The chances are pretty slim that I will make it to Sri Lanka for Christmas this year, so this Sri Lankan Baked Chicken will just have to do while I wait to get there. And I am happy to wait, as this chicken dish is just delicious. Grab some paper serviettes, a few flatbreads to scoop up the sauce and eat it with your hands – that is my advice.

This version of the classic Sri Lankan dish has been westernised for us home cooks. The recipe comes from Sri Lanka: The Cookbook by husband and wife team Prakash Sivanathan and Niranjala Ellawala, who were both born in Sri Lanka. From what I understand the dish is usually cooked on top of the stove, but this version is baked in the oven, making life just a little bit easier. But saying that, it will be absolutely fantastic on the barbecue.

The recipe for this recipe Sri Lankan Baked Chicken is super easy. Place all the ingredients in a food processor, blitz to a paste and cover the chicken. Let it marinate for a few hours or overnight and cook. Spice, heat, acidity and a good dose of garlic and ginger. Lip smackingly good! Serve it with a crisp salad and a quick sambal of chopped tomatoes, cucumber, coriander, vinegar and some sugar for sweetness. A few flatbreads to mop up the sauce would come in very handy.

The images in this post have been shot on Frosted Blackberry, one of the backgrounds from my newly launched Heinstirred Collection, available for sale online at Do you have a look around, your favourite new surface may be just a click away.

I hope you enjoy this recipe for Sri Lankan Baked Chicken and that it will become a family favourite. If you’ve made the recipe share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred. It is always a treat to see the recipes made and enjoyed.

Sri Lankan Baked Chicken


  • 8 chicken pieces
  • ½ onion quartered
  • 5 garlic cloves mashed
  • 2 cm fresh ginger chopped
  • 2 - 3 birds eye chillies chopped
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 90 ml vegetable oil
  • 4 tbsp tomato sauce (ketchup)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 bay leaves


  • Put all the marinade ingredients into a food processor and blitz until you have a coarse paste
  • Place the chicken into a large freezer bag and pour over the marinade. Mix well and marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  • Heat the oven to 160 degrees C.
  • Place the chicken in a shallow oven dish with a lid
  • Bake for 30 minutes covered
  • Remove the lid and bake for another 30 minutes at 180 degrees C
  • Pop under the grill for a few minutes for the chicken skin to crisp up
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