Curd Chillies

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    40 g

Appears in

Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka

Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka

By Bree Hutchins

Published 2013

  • About

When Bamini and Jayamathi offered me fried whole chillies, I thought they were playing a joke, so I cautiously nibbled at one. Much to my surprise, my mouth didn’t catch on fire and they were really good — crunchy, salty and smoky. Curd chillies are a great accompaniment to any curry and are easy to make, but they take a week to dry in the sun. Pre-dried ones are available from Sri Lankan specialty stores, and these just need to be deep-fried before serving.


  • 250 g (9 oz) medium green chillies* (see note)
  • 125 g ( oz/½ cup) curd* (or thick, natural yoghurt)
  • 3 teaspoons salt, dissolved in 3 teaspoons warm water


Cut off the stalks from the chillies and then make two 5 mm (¼ inch) slits in the middle of each chilli. If they aren’t pierced, the chillies can explode when you deep-fry them. Place the slit chillies in a bowl and add the curd and salty water; mix well, making sure all the chillies are evenly coated in curd. Remove the chillies and place on a terracotta plate and leave in the sun, uncovered, for a week to dry out, bringing them inside at night.

Once the chillies have absorbed all the curd and dried out, store in an airtight container. When needed, deep-fry in batches in hot vegetable oil for 30-60 seconds, or until dark brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Serve as an accompaniment to curries or eat as a spicy snack.

Michelle Noerianto