Sri Lanka Beef Curry


This beef curry uses roasted curry powder.

Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
1 hr 45 mins
Additional Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 40 mins
8 servings


  • 3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes

  • 6 cloves garlic

  • 1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger root - peeled, sliced and crushed

  • 3 ½ tablespoons white vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon curry powder, toasted

  • 1 ½ tablespoons cayenne pepper

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 8 fresh curry leaves

  • 4 strips pandan leaf

  • 1 onion, sliced

  • 1 (1 inch) piece cinnamon stick

  • 4 green cardamom pods

  • 2 whole cloves

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup thick coconut milk


  1. Rinse the beef and pat dry. Crush the garlic cloves into a paste and combine it with the crushed ginger. Add the vinegar, salt, pepper, roasted curry powder, and cayenne. Mix in the beef cubes and toss to coat. Set aside for 30 minutes.

  2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the curry leaves and pandan strips. Stir in the onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes.

  3. Mix in the beef cubes and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, and cloves. Add the tomato paste and water and mix well.

  4. Simmer, covered, on low heat for 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is tender. Check the curry every half hour; you may need to add more water (up to 1 cup) if the curry is too dry and is sticking to the pan.

  5. Add the coconut milk and heat through. Taste and adjust the seasonings before serving.

Editor's Note

Roasted curry powder is available from specialty purveyors or online sources. To roast your own curry powder, heat 1 tablespoon of curry powder in an ungreased skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and slightly browned. Immediately transfer the spice to a bowl to cool.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

627 Calories
45g Fat
8g Carbs
47g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 627
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 45g 58%
Saturated Fat 19g 97%
Cholesterol 148mg 49%
Sodium 729mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 47g
Vitamin C 5mg 26%
Calcium 63mg 5%
Iron 7mg 36%
Potassium 750mg 16%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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