Sri Lankan Devilled Chicken

My mom's super easy, no fuss Sri Lankan devilled chicken recipe that everyone craves. A dish that you should definitely try.
Sri Lankan Devilled Chicken pinit
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My mom’s super easy, no-fuss Sri Lankan devilled chicken recipe that everyone craves. A dish that you should definitely try. It’s spicy, sweet, and tangy, and super delicious. And I use the air fryer to fry the chicken too.

Serve this Devilled chicken with Sri Lankan yellow rice and creamy red lentil curry , Eggplant moju a salad. I also love it with fried rice as well.Β 

Few tips to make Deviled Chicken right:

  • Use bone-in chicken. Thigh and leg meat if possible. Bones help to retain the moisture in the chicken while you fry them.
  • Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the fridge before you fry to get the maximum flavor.
  • If you don’t have an air fryer, you can always either bake or deep fry. Deep frying is what my mom does. But do not over-fry them until they get super dry and tough.
  • Air frying time may vary depending on your air fryer and also the size of your chicken pieces. Check them in between frying to see if they’re done.
  • If you don’t have Sri Lankan chili paste, that’s okay, you can use a little bit of chicken bouillon powder/stock powder instead. or totally skip it.
  • this recipe does give you too much gravy. but if you like more gravy, then add some more ketchup and water.

And here’s a bonus idea. Make your chicken wings this way next time. It’s messy but crazy delicious. You’d thank me later.

deviled chicken with yellow rice

Products and equipment I use

(amazon affiliate links)

Chili paste

Turmeric powder

Black pepper powder

Chili flakes

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 20 mins Total Time 35 mins
Servings: 4


My mom's super easy, no fuss Sri Lankan devilled chicken recipe that everyone craves. A dish that you should definitely try.


To marinate chicken

Other ingredients


  1. Mix all the ingredients from the marinade list above with chicken. Leave it aside for 30 mins or up to 2 hours (or up to 12 hours in the fridge)
  2. Now air-fry them until chicken pieces are golden. It took me 14mins on 390F in my Ninja air fryer. You may need more or less time than this depending on your air fryer and the size of your chicken pieces. Make sure you do not overcrowd the air fryer pan and flip them once to get even browning.
  3. Now heat a wok or pan. Add some oil and let it heat. When the oil is hot, add your finely chopped ginger and garlic pieces.
  4. Now add chili flakes and chili paste. Mix everything together.
  5. Now add ketchup and mix.
  6. Then add 1/4 cup of water, mix and let it come to simmer. (You can add more if you want more gravy)
  7. When the sauce is simmering you add sugar. Taste and adjust salt if needed. Then add your fried chicken pieces and mix well.
  8. Then add your peppers and onions. Mix well.
  9. (Optional) Add the cornstarch slurry. This will add a nice glossy look to the sauce and chicken pieces. Also if you have some gravy, this will thicken that up. You can also add large chunks of tomatoes too at the end.

Keywords: devilled chicken, chicken, devel, devel chicken, sri lankan, sri lanka, spicy, air fried, fried, spicy chicken, devilled


  1. My wife and I tried this last night and already have plans to make considerably more this week. Thanks so much for sharing, it’s delicious!

  2. Made this twice and it’s a hit with my family. Waiting to make it for my Aussie friends. I am sure they will be coming for more. πŸ˜πŸ’“πŸ’žπŸ’“

  3. Really delicious! Ran out of ketchup and so I caramelized tomato paste with the onions. Loved being able to match up or down the chili heat level. Just the marinated meat air fried was delish.

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