Chicken Ceylon with Masala Gravy

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Chicken Ceylon with Masala Gravy

I really enjoy Indian food, especially a good southern style curry with coconut milk and some garam masala. Last year I came across a treasure trove of some particularly good masala from a spice shop in Norfolk (that has unfortunately closed it’s doors), and the exquisite aroma of this mix is intoxicating. It adds a wonderful richness to the gravy for this recipe that I stumbled across a couple years ago. The first time I made it Michael proclaimed this to be an excellent curry that I could make anytime. I usually make some naan bread to go along with it.


3 to 4 quart sauce pan
large skillet, with lid
immersion blender (or food processor)


1 pound chicken breast, cubed
1 onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 finely chopped cayenne chilis
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 coconut, grated (approximately 1-2 cups)
1/2 cup coconut milk

1 onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 whole canned tomatoes, quartered
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
seeds of 4 green cardamom pods
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 pinch sea salt


1. Masala Gravy: In the sauce pan, saute the onion, tomatoes, and garlic in the oil over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent and the tomatoes are beginning to go mushy, about 10 minutes.

2. Add half the water and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the water and spices and stir. Simmer for 5 more minutes, stirring.

3. Turn off the heat and remove the pan. Cool slightly and puree with the immersion blender.

4. Chicken: Make a spicy paste by mixing the curry powder and chili powder with a little water. Set aside.

5. In the skillet, saute the onion in the vegetable oil until translucent, then add the garlic, ginger, and chilis and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes.

6. Add the curry and chili powder paste and stir in, cooking for about 30 seconds.

7. Add the chicken pieces and stir until the chicken is sealed well on all sides.

8. Add half the masala gravy, coconut, and coconut milk and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the remaining masala gravy at the end.

9. Add the finely chopped cilantro leaves and cook for one more minute.

10. Serve with whole cilantro leaves sprinkled on top and naan.


Wikipedia – Garam Masala

Wikipedia – Indian cuisine

Wikipedia – Naan


Source: adapted from Recipezaar

[Disclosure: This blog earns a small commission through affiliate links.]


  1. says

    Hi Andrea, this recipe looks lovely. I posted a ceylon chicken recipe ages ago, but the masala gravy is what makes this one special and different.

    Must try this soon.

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