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Authentic Sri Lankan Curry Recipe: A Culinary Journey to the Spice Island

Kendra Phillips

Posted on August 28 2023

Embark on a culinary adventure to the exotic Spice Island of Sri Lanka, where flavours and aromas come alive in a harmonious dance of spices. Sri Lankan cuisine is renowned for its bold and vibrant flavours, especially in the realm of curries. A Sri Lankan Curry Recipe is a celebration of spices, showcasing the rich cultural heritage and culinary expertise of the island. In this blog, we will take you on a flavourful journey, exploring the art of preparing an authentic Sri Lankan curry that tantalises the taste buds and transports you to the vibrant kitchens of Sri Lanka. To ensure an authentic experience, we've collaborated with Curry Traders - a trusted source of premium Sri Lankan spices and ingredients.

The Essence of Sri Lankan Curry:

Curries are an integral part of Sri Lankan cuisine, and their preparation varies across regions and households. Sri Lankan curries are characterised by a tantalising blend of aromatic spices that infuse the dish with depth and complexity. The use of freshly ground spices and coconut milk creates a luscious and flavourful base that complements a variety of ingredients, such as meats, seafood, and vegetables.

The Key Ingredients:

To prepare an authentic Sri Lankan curry, you'll need a medley of spices and key ingredients, which can be easily sourced from Curry Traders:

  1. Spices: Sri Lankan curries typically feature an assortment of spices such as cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and fenugreek seeds. Curry leaves, pandan leaves, and lemongrass add distinctive flavours to the curry.

  1. Chili Powder: Sri Lankan cuisine is known for its spiciness, and chilli powder is a crucial component to achieving the desired level of heat in the curry.

  1. Coconut Milk: Creamy and rich, coconut milk forms the base of the curry, providing a velvety texture and a subtle sweetness that balances the spices.

  1. Tamarind Pulp: Tamarind pulp adds a tangy and slightly sour note to the curry, enhancing the overall flavour profile.

  1. Onions, Garlic, and Ginger: These aromatic ingredients form the foundation of the curry, infusing it with depth and fragrance.

  1. Meat, Seafood, or Vegetables: Choose your preferred protein or vegetables to create a curry that suits your taste and dietary preferences.

Step-by-Step Sri Lankan Curry Recipe:


- 500g of your choice of protein or vegetables (chicken, beef, prawns, or mixed vegetables)

- 1 large onion, finely chopped

- 3 cloves of garlic, minced

- 1-inch piece of ginger, minced

- 2-3 green chillies, sliced (adjust to your preferred level of spiciness)

- 1 tablespoon of curry powder (made with a blend of cumin, coriander, fennel, and fenugreek)

- 1 teaspoon of chilli powder

- 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

- 1 cinnamon stick

- 2-3 cardamom pods

- 2-3 cloves

- 1 sprig of curry leaves

- 1 can (400ml) of coconut milk

- 1 tablespoon of tamarind pulp, soaked in ¼ cup of warm water

- Salt to taste

- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil


  1. In a large pan or pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, and green chillies. Sauté until the onions turn translucent and the mixture becomes aromatic.

  1. Add the curry powder, chilli powder, and turmeric powder. Stir well to coat the onions and spices evenly. Cook for a couple of minutes to toast the spices and enhance their flavours.

  1. Add your choice of protein or vegetables to the pan and mix well with the spice-infused onion mixture. Ensure that the protein or vegetables are coated with the spice mixture.

  1. Pour in the coconut milk and stir gently to combine. Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, and curry leaves to the pan.

  1. Cover the pan and let the curry simmer on low heat for about 15-20 minutes, or until the protein is cooked through, and the flavours meld together.

  1. Meanwhile, prepare the tamarind pulp by soaking it in warm water. Once soaked, strain the tamarind water into the curry, discarding any solids.

  1. Season the curry with salt to taste and let it simmer for an additional 5 minutes to allow the tamarind to infuse the curry with a tangy flavour.

  1. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Congratulations, you've successfully prepared an authentic Sri Lankan curry, packed with the tantalising flavours and aromas of Spice Island! Sri Lankan cuisine's bold use of spices and rich ingredients creates a symphony of tastes that make each bite a delightful experience.

The key to a truly authentic Sri Lankan curry lies in the quality and freshness of the spices. For premium Sri Lankan spices and ingredients, trust Curry Traders - a reliable source that brings the vibrant flavours of Sri Lanka to your kitchen.

Indulge in the flavours of Sri Lanka and embark on a culinary journey that celebrates the rich cultural heritage of this tropical paradise. Enjoy your Sri Lankan curry with steamed rice or traditional Sri Lankan accompaniments such as roti or hoppers, and savour the magic of Spice Island on your plate.