Sushila's Chicken Curry Recipe from Hopper Joint

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Hopper Joint, a newly opened Sri Lankan restaurant by Jason Jones and Brahman Perera, shares a specialty dish: Sushila’s Chicken Curry, a cherished recipe from Brahman’s mother.

04 April 2024

Sushila's Chicken Curry


1.5 kg chicken thigh, boneless, cut into pieces 
1 tsp turmeric powder 
2 tsp chilli powder 
2 tbsp roasted curry powder 
1 tsp fenugreek seeds 
1 tsp mustard seeds 
1 cinnamon stick 
A handful of curry leaves 
2 pandan leaves 
1 large onion, finely chopped 
4 garlic cloves, minced 
2-inch piece of ginger, grated 
2 medium tomatoes, chopped 
400 ml coconut milk 
Salt to taste 
3 tbsp vegetable oil 


  • Marinate the chicken with turmeric, chilli, and curry powder for at least 30 minutes. 
  • In a pot, heat oil and sauté mustard seeds, fenugreek, cinnamon, curry leaves, and pandan leaves until fragrant. 
  • Add onions, garlic, and ginger, cooking until onions are translucent. 
  • Add the marinated chicken and cook until browned. 
  • Add tomatoes and salt, then simmer for 20 minutes. 
  • Pour in coconut milk and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. 
  • Adjust seasoning to taste and serve warm. 

Chef's Note on Tempering in Sri Lankan Cuisine:  

At the heart of Sri Lankan cooking lies the art of tempering ("tadka" or "temperadu"), a technique that involves briefly frying spices in oil to release their essential oils and rich aromas. This process enhances the depth and complexity of flavours, with commonly used ingredients like mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves, and fenugreek. The key to successful tempering is balancing heat and timing to ensure the spices infuse the oil without burning, elevating the dish with a quintessentially Sri Lankan touch.  

Hopper Joint 

157 Greville Street, Prahran