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Sri Lankan Chargrilled Chicken

  • 8
Sri Lankan Chargrilled Chicken

This is an ideal recipe for the barbeque. If you do not have the spices use 2 tablespoons of your favourite curry powder.


  • 5 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 3 Tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • a small piece of cinnamon
  • 12 green cardamoms
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 3-4 blades mace
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 3 curry leaves (optional)

Sri-Lankan Chicken

  • 2 cups non-fat plain yoghurt
  • 2 1.8kg chickens
  • 50 grams butter, melted


  1. Roast the whole spices in a hot frying pan until they smell fragrant but do not allow them to burn. Cool.
  2. Process the spices with the chilli powder and curry leaves until finely ground in a coffee grinder or small food processor. Mix the spices with the yoghurt.
  3. Using kitchen scissors, cut down either side of the chicken backbone and press the chicken flat. Slash the chicken through to the bone on the breast and leg and thigh portions. Place in a container and pour over the spice yoghurt mix. Cover and marinate overnight.
  4. When ready to cook, brush off excess marinade and brush the chickens with the melted butter. Fan bake at 240°C oven for 20 minutes and then lower to 160°C fan bake for a further 20 minutes until well browned and just cooked. (Fan baking helps the chickens crispen so that they look slightly burned like they have been cooked in a Tandoor.
  5. Stand 2-3 minutes before serving the chicken topped with several handfuls of Mango and Basil Salad, see the recipe on my website and the dressing poured over.

Cooks Tips

Use 8 leg and thigh pieces in place of whole chickens if wished. Cook for 20 minutes at 240°C fan bake only. Alternatively barbeque the chickens over a moderate heat until cooked through to the bone.

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