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Sri Lankan Beef Curry in Instant Pot

Sri Lankan Beef Curry in Instant Pot
Cooking Method
Difficulty Beginner
Prep Time: 12 min Cook Time: 93 min Total Time: 1 hr 45 mins
Servings 6

My instant pot beef curry recipe is one of the easiest ways to make super tender Sri Lankan-style beef curry. This rich and creamy comfort dish never fails to impress anyone who tries it.

    To Marinate Beef
  • 600 grams Beef chuck
  • 1 tablespoon Sri Lankan roasted curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grounded black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Other ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (optional)
  • 5 green cardamom
  • 5 cloves
  • 4 pieces of cinnamon sticks
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • 1 pandan leaf, broken into pieces
  • 6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons unroasted curry powder
  • 1 cup water (adjust as you need)
  • 2/3 cups coconut milk (I use canned)
  • salt as needed
  1. Cut beef into 1-inch cubes. Marinate beef pieces with roasted curry powder, black pepper, turmeric powder, vinegar, and salt. Leave it to 20 mins on the counter or you can marinate overnight in the fridge.

  2. Turn on the saute function of your Instant Pot/ Multicooker and adjust it to medium heat. Add coconut oil. When coconut oil is heated add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. When mustard starts to splatter, add cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon sticks. Saute for about 30 seconds.

  3. Then add chili powder and curry powder. (turn off the Instant pot if the pot is over-heated). Saute until chili powder turns dark red.

  4. Then add fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, pandan leaves and saute for about 30 seconds.

  5. Add garlic, ginger, chopped onions and saute until onions turn translucent. 

  6. Now add your marinated beef, mix well with all the spices and aromatics. Keep mixing for about a minute until beef pieces get some sear on the outside. 

  7. Add water. Mix. Close the lid and pressure cook on high for 30 mins. (Select pressure cook function, select high pressure and adjust the time to 30 mins.)

  8. When the pressure cooking is done, do a quick release and open the lid. Meat should be tender by now but probably taste bland. If there's too much oil on top you can remove some at this step.

  9. Add coconut milk*, mix well.  Taste the gravy for salt and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Turn on the saute mode again. Set the temp to low and simmer the curry for 45min to 1hour or until you get the desired amount of gravy.

  10. Turn on the saute mode again. Set the temp to low and simmer the curry for 45min to 1hour or until you get the desired amount of gravy.

  • I use canned coconut milk. Since it's very thick, I usually dilute it with a little bit of warm water. If you use coconut milk from cartons or freshly squeezed then no need to dilute.
  • If you want the curry to be more creamy add more coconut milk, if you want it to be less creamy and light use less coconut milk. You can even skip adding coconut milk and just use water.
Keywords: Beef, Instant pot, Beef curry, Curry, Sri Lankan food, Pressure cooked, Slow cooker, Slow cooked, Sri Lankan beef curry, Instant pot curries