Chicken Ambulthiyal

Chicken Ambulthiyal

Spicy, sour chicken infused with flavours of goraka and fragrant spices slow cooked on a banana leaf.

  • Recipe serves:6 to 8
  • Preparation Time10 Minutes
  • Cooking Time50 Minutes


  • 1kg chicken, cut into 10-12 pieces
  • 25 pieces of goraka
  • 1 ½ tablespoons salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons black peppercorns (ungrounded pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 to 2 pieces rampe (pandan leaves)
  • ½ inch lemon grass, chopped
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 4 garlic cloves (2 crushed cloves to mix with goraka)
  • 2 tablespoons roasted curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ cup coconut water
  • Banana leaves


  • Wash and cut the chicken into 10-12 pieces and allow it to drain off excess water.
  • Place the goraka pieces in a saucepan and add a little water with peppercorn and 2 crushed garlic cloves. Cover and simmer for about 15-25 minutes or until the goraka is soft.
  • Mix salt, pepper, chilli powder, turmeric and curry powder in a bowl. Coat the chicken pieces in this marinade.
  • Drain the goraka mixture and blend the soft goraka pieces, garlic and peppercorns into a coarse paste using a food processor. Mix the paste with the drained goraka mixture water and pour it over the chicken. Mix the chicken well with all the contents in the bowl.
  • Arrange the chicken in a shallow pan on top of banana leaves and pour the marinade over the pieces.
  • Wash the bowl with ½ cup of coconut water and pour it over the chicken.
  • Swirl the marinade around the pan to coat the pieces of chicken. Add curry leaves, rampe, cinnamon, lemon grass, garlic cloves and coconut oil.
  • Cook over low heat until the chicken is done.
  • Do you love Sri Lankan cooking? Try this award winning chicken recipe today!

    Chef’s Tip:

    For a completely dry dish, transfer the chicken and thick gravy into an oven proof container and leave it in a warm oven until completely dry.