Tamarind Chili Chicken

"This is a dish given to me by friends from Sri Lanka. Tastes better the next day as the flavors mellow a little."
photo by JustJanS photo by JustJanS
photo by JustJanS
Ready In:




  • Heat the oil in a wide saucepan and, when hot, add the mustard seeds.
  • Once the seeds start popping, remove the pan from the heat.
  • When the popping stops, return to the heat, reduce the heat and stir in the chilis and onion.
  • Fry for 8-10 minutes until the onions are soft.
  • Add the tomatoes and 1 cup water (if using canned tomatoes, drain juice into measuring cup and add additional water to equal 1 cup) and stir.
  • Stir in the tamarind and coriander seeds and season.
  • Add the chicken, mix well and cook over a medium heat for 8 minutes until cooked through.

Questions & Replies

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  1. JustJanS
    This was a simply flavoured, simple to make curry. I went light on the green chillies (used 8) I would use 10 or 12 next time to crank up the heat a bit. The freshly roasted and ground coriander really shone in this and I also added some garlic to it. I used chicken thighs as I prefer them in a curry. I cooked them for about 20 minutes.
  2. Muffin Goddess
    I wasn't sure how I was going to like this one when I chose this recipe, but I was pretty impressed. I was a little leery of using 8-10 hot peppers, but I think my worries were unfounded. I ended up using 6 serranos, plus one poblano to make up the missing bulk of the other 4 peppers (just what I had on hand), and it was only a mild heat. Toasting the mustard seeds was quite the adventure. I didn't realize how hot my stupid electric stovetop had gotten, and the seeds began violently popping as soon as they hit the pan. I think about 1/3 of the little suckers were a loss because they popped right out of the pan onto the stove, countertop and floor! No biggie, I swept up while I waited for them to stop popping and moved on. I opted for the canned tomatoes, and I used Mexichef tamarind paste because that's what I had in the fridge. This was really a great flavor combination -- Thanks for posting! Made for ZWT4
  3. LilKiwiChicken
    This was lovely Celticevergreen, thanks for posting. I used about 4 chilis, we do love spicy food but I had hot Thai chillis so 8 would have killed us! I also crushed about 6 garlic cloves and added this just after the onion, purely because I felt like I was getting a cold & wanted something to kick it out of my system. I did use the can of tomatoes and didn't read the recipe properly regarding the tamarind - I put about 2T of the block Thai tamarind in a bowl of hot water (about 1 cup) and let it soak until I was able to remove the fibrous seeds etc - just leaving the lovely tamarind water with the pulpy soft stuff in it. The taste was great, a lovely sourish/chilli flavour that was hard to beat. I also added some roughly chopped capsicums towards the end to bulk this out (meat being as expensive as it is). Thanks for the great recipe.



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