Print Options:

Sri Lankan Beef Curry

Ratings 5 from 1 votes
Cooking Method ,
Difficulty Beginner
Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 90 min Total Time: 1 hr 45 mins
Servings 4
Marinate the beef
  • 400 grams Beef cut into small cubes
  • 2 teaspoons Sri Lankan roasted curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons red chili powder (substitute with paprika for low heat)
  • 3 cardomom
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 small sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 pandan leaf cut broken into pieces
  • 1 cinnamon stick (2 inches long)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 4 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/3 cup onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup thin coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • water as needed
  • salt to taste

Try the recipe for a melt-in-your-mouth tender beef curry. The secret is low heat slow cooking with the perfect spices.

  1. Marinade your beef cubes with Sri Lankan roasted curry powder, black pepper powder, turmeric, and a bit of salt. Leave it on the counter while you prep other ingredients. (about 10mins).


  2. Heat 2tbsps of coconut oil in a pot. (clay pots and cast iron pots are better as they retain the heat). Add 1/4 tsp cumin seeds, 2 tsp red chili powder, and fry them in oil until the red chili powder become dark and your oil becomes red in color.

    Then add 3 cloves, 3 cardamoms (crush the pods lightly to open them), curry leaves, pandan leaves, cinnamon stick, fenugreek seeds to the oil, and saute for about 30seconds until you get a really good aroma.

  3. Now add 4 cloves of garlic chopped and fry for few seconds. Then add your chopped onion and bit of salt and fry in oil until the onions become soft and translucent.

  4. Add your marinated beef cubes into the oil and fry for about a minute to get a good sear on the outside of the beef pieces.

  5. Add one cup of thin coconut milk, cover, and cook on very low heat for about an hour. Check the curry from time to time to see if it has enough liquid. If it doesn't, add more water or thin coconut milk. Also, make sure you stir it to avoid the bottom meat from roasting and sticking to the pot.

  6. Taste and adjust salt after one hour. If you used small meat cubes, the meat should be already tender now. If you want a lighter curry with less milk, then you can stop here at this point and enjoy the curry as it is. Optional: spoon out the excess oil that is on top of the dish

  7. If you want a thicker and creamier gravy, add another 1/2cup of coconut milk (first or second squeeze depending on how creamy you want it) and mix. Cook it on very low heat until you get the desired amount of gravy or about 20mins.

  8. At the end of the cooking, meat should be tender and melt in your mouth.
Keywords: Spicy beef curry, Sri Lankan beef curry, Beef curry, Beef, Curry, Meat curry, Beef, Harak mas, veal, veal curry, Sri Lankan