Sri Lankan Cashew Coconut Chicken


I was trying to figure out something to make with chicken thighs that were defrosting in the refrigerator and was going through a list of dishes that I could think of. I had finally settled on something Turkish or Moroccan so started to look through my index of recipes that could be made, but as I went through the recipes I just couldn’t bring myself to make something from that region so it was back to the drawing board.


To help me come up with a recipe I decided to randomly have the internet pick a country for me. It generated Sri Lanka. I know very little about Sri Lanka, and less about Sri Lankan cuisine so I did some research. Many dishes are similar to Indian and Middle Eastern ones, but I did notice that coconut seems to be more prevalent in their cooking.



IMG_6307Almost every Sri Lankan recipe I found had coconut in some form or another. Not that this is bad, I love coconut and would readily use it in many recipes if I could, but most of the time coconut is found in sweeter recipes, unless it is coconut milk which is used in sweet and savoury dishes.


IMG_6322This dish is amazing. With every bite I am taken to the next level of nirvana or something and all I could keep thinking was, where has this been all my life? If you want to please dinner guests or serve something new and exciting for family night I suggest making this, you will be put on a pedestal which will be hard to come down from.

IMG_6301I served mine with coconut flavoured rice and coconut roti (see told you I love coconut in everything). Although it is recommended to make roti with fresh or frozen coconut flesh I was unable to find any so used dried coconut which I soaked for 15 minutes in water, this helped to refresh and soften it.




Sri Lankan Cashew Coconut Chicken
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • ½ Cup cashews, raw or roasted
  • ¼ Cup grated coconut, fresh, frozen or dried (don't worry about soaking for this)
  • ½ Medium yellow onion
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tsp cayenne
  • 1 Tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 Tsp cumin
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 Tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ Tsp ginger
  • 2 Pound Skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • ½ Cup Coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Quickly toast coconut in a non-stick skillet, no more then 2-3 minutes. If you are using raw cashews do the same thing.
  3. Blend all ingredients together except for chicken, coconut oil, and coconut milk.
  4. In a large bowl, combine paste and chicken thighs together, make sure all piece are coated. Cover and let sit in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes, you could also do this a day ahead.
  5. Once marinated, pour coconut milk and coconut oil into the bowl and mix to combine.
  6. Pour into baking pan and bake for 1 hour.
  7. Once done, serve immediately with rice, roti or other side dish.
  8. Will keep in refrigerator for 3 days. I had leftovers for lunch the next day and the flavours were even better!


Coconut Roti

Makes: 6 small rounds     Cook time: 15 minutes     Total time: 45 minutes


1 Cup gluten free flour, I use Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 flour

1/2 Cup coconut, fresh, previously frozen or soaked dried coconut

1/4 Cup water

Oil for cooking


1. Combine all ingredients together to form dough, it such hold together well and be just a bit dry feeling.

2. Break off golf sized piece and roll into balls. Coat in a small amount of vegetable oil and place back into bowl, continue with the rest of dough.

3. Cover with tea towel and let rest for at least 20 minutes.

4. Once rested take one ball and with your hands flatten and stretch into flat discs.

5. Heat up a small amount of oil on medium-high heat. Cook roti for 2 minutes on both sides. Roti such be spotted browned. Remove and place under a tea towel while you cook the rest.

6. Serve while still warm. If you have any left, keep them in a sealed container of cling wrap on the counter, do not put them in the refrigerator. To reheat place between paper towel and heat in microwave for 30 seconds.



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