Sri Lankan Style Vegan ‘Chicken’ and Courgette Curry with Coconut Rotis

This is really three recipes in one. The first part of the recipe is the Ceylon curry powder, which is used as the main spice blend for this dish. The second part is the curry itself and the third is coconut rotis that the curry is served with.

Ceylon curry powders can vary depending on the spices you put in them. You can easily buy them ready mixed online, but if you have a spice grinder or suitable blender (I use a spice attachment that came with my Kenwood blender) you can create some divine-tasting spice blends. The trick to bringing out the best flavour from your spices is to use whole spices and toast them before you grind them, which you achieve by putting them in a hot, dry pan until they have released their aroma. It’s important to note that different spices take different times to toast, so if you try to cook them altogether you will have some underdone and some overdone. Rather than toasting them all separately, what I do is add the spices at different times to the same pan, so that the ones that take longer go in first, followed by the quickest ones at the end. It is very easy to burn the spices, so you must keep an eye on them during cooking.

The curry powder recipe here makes enough for about 3 of these dishes and will keep in an airtight jar for about 3 months.

This recipe uses vegan chicken, which not everybody likes using. I’m personally quite the fan of some of the products that are on the market now, but if it really isn’t your thing just replace it with another vegetable, like mushrooms, aubergines or squash. This is also a good dish to make with my Homemade Seitan Recipe.

Coconut rotis are easy flatbreads to make and require no yeast or proving. Resting for 30 minutes after kneading to allow the baking powder to do its work will be quite sufficient to achieve great tasting and light bread. Desiccated coconut is mixed in with bread flour, coconut oil and salt. A handful of fresh, chopped coriander gives them an additional fresh taste.


Vegan Sri Lankan Curry

Sri Lankan Style Vegan chicken and Courgette Curry with Coconut Rotis

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Sri Lanka
Servings 2


For the Ceylon Curry Powder:

  • 2 cinnamon sticks broken into pieces
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 4 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 4-5 whole dried red chillies stalks removed
  • 10-12 whole curry leaves
  • 3 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 4 tsp black mustard seeds

For the Coconut Rotis:

  • 320 g bread flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 50 g desiccated coconut
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • A small handful of fresh coriander chopped
  • Enough water to form a dough about 100ml
  • Oil for frying the rotis

For the Curry:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 2 medium courgettes diced
  • 160-200 g vegan chicken pieces I used What the Cluck
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger peeled and chopped
  • 150 g baby tomatoes halved
  • 3 heaped tbsp of the Ceylon curry powder see above
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 flat tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 3 heaped tbsp Greek style vegan yoghurt
  • 2 green chillies deseeded and chopped
  • A handful of fresh coriander roughly chopped
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Salt to taste

To Serve:

  • A little cooking oil for frying
  • 6 baby tomatoes halved
  • 1 green chilli sliced
  • A small amount of chopped coriander


  • The first thing to do is make the spice blend. To do this, heat a dry frying pan over a low-medium flame. When it is hot enough, add the cinnamon sticks, coriander seeds, peppercorns and cloves and toast them for approximately 2 minutes. Move them often in the pan so that they are fully toasting and not just on one side. Now add the chillies and the curry leaves and toast those for another minute or so. Finally put in the rest of the seeds and give them another 2 minutes, keeping a constant eye on them. You will smell a spicy, nutty aroma and the smaller seeds will begin to pop and crackle in the pan. Let this happen for a couple of seconds and them turn off the heat. Immediately transfer the seeds to a cold plate to stop the cooking process. Allow the seeds to fully cool before grinding.
  • When the seeds are cold, run them through your grinder or blender, until you have a quite fine powder (you may need to do this in batches). Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • Make the coconut rotis at this point so that they will have time to rest while you make the curry.
  • Put the flour, baking powder, salt and coconut into a mixing bowl and rub in the coconut oil, until it is fully incorporated. Stir in the coriander and then pour in the water. Stir through again and then knead with your hands for about 5 minutes to stretch the dough. Cover and leave to rest until you are ready for it.
  • Now you can start making the curry. Heat the coconut oil in a medium saucepan or wok and cook the onion and courgettes for 8-10 minutes, until they have softened. Add the vegan chicken pieces (or whatever vegetable you are using) and cook for another 8-10 minutes, until everything has browned nicely.
  • Put in the garlic, ginger and the baby tomatoes, stir this through and cook for a couple of minutes, until the flavours are released and the tomatoes have slightly softened.
  • Now it’s time to build up the curry. Add the 3 heaped tablespoons of the Ceylon curry powder you made earlier, as well as the teaspoon of ground turmeric and the salt. Cook the spices for 3-4 minutes to release their flavours, then put in the peanut butter and yoghurt. Cook for 2 more minutes, stirring often.
  • Finally put in the green chillies and the coriander and pour in the coconut milk. Bring it all to the boil and gently simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring from time to time, until you have a thick curry sauce.
  • While the curry is simmering it is time to cook the rotis. Place the dough onto a floured surface, roll it into a sausage shape and divide it into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and then use a rolling pin to create a flat round about the size of a saucer, and about 3mm thick.
  • Heat a frying pan or skillet and add a little cooking oil. Cook each roti, on a medium-high heat, for about 4-5 minutes on each side, until the bread is risen and browned. You can keep them warm in a low oven while you are cooking the rest.
  • To serve, heat a little more oil in your frying pan and cook the baby tomato halves and the sliced chilli together for a couple of minutes, until soft.
  • Serve the curry with cooked rice and the freshly cooked rotis. Top with the fried tomatoes and chillies and a little fresh coriander.
Keyword curry, Sri Lanka, vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Vegan Sri Lankan Curry

Check out my latest recipes

Rhubarb and Blueberry Jam

This is a great recipe if you have some leftover rhubarb in your garden, in addition to some fresh blueberries, available now in most supermarkets if you don’t grow them. It’s the kind of thing you can throw together late one evening, as it only requires the occasional stir. You can then leave it to…

Caramelised Red Onion Dip

This is the perfect time of year to be experimenting with cold and light food. Easy items that you can store in the fridge and eat over a few days as the mood takes you. Dips are great for outdoor eating. You can put a selection of homemade dips on the table on any occasion,…

Asparagus, Mushroom and Leek Pastries

April 23rd marks the start of asparagus season and we are now starting to see British asparagus appear on the shelves. Young asparagus is a thin and tender vegetable that is perfect for cooking a variety of dishes. It cooks quickly, so you must keep an eye on it. The more mature plant is thicker…

Vegan Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

What is it about a plate of plump vegan meatballs in a rich tomato sauce, nestled comfortably on a soft pillow of spaghetti that is so satisfying even before a single mouthful is taken? It is a dish where even the sight and smell of it has its own umami. It creates thrilling anticipation from…

Vegan Enchiladas

To veganise something like Enchiladas now is incredibly easy with the variety of ingredients available in most supermarkets. For this one I have used fresh vegan mince, along with mushrooms and onions for the chilli base. Don’t worry if you don’t like eating vegan mince, you can always substitute this chilli for my Sweet Potato,…

Spanish Lentils with Vegan Chorizo and Black Pudding

I first tried this dish about 25 years ago, when my Spanish girlfriend made it for me in a bedsit we shared in North London back in the mid-nineties. It was cooked on one of those old Baby Belling stoves that you would often see in bedsits back in those days (they might still have…

Vegan Fudge Cookies

We’ve been enjoying packets of vegan fudge in our house for quite a while now and a recent conversation with my wife got me thinking about how great it would be to have the fudge in a cookie, just like it was chocolate chip. This recipe is the product of that discussion: a very simple…

Please follow and like us:
Tweet 20

1 thought on “Sri Lankan Style Vegan ‘Chicken’ and Courgette Curry with Coconut Rotis”

  1. Pingback: Sri Lankan Style Vegan ‘Chicken’ and Courgette Curry with Coconut Rotis — Richard Church UK | My Meals are on Wheels

Leave a Reply

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial
Scroll to Top