Sri Lankan (Sinhala) Mutton Curry

Home cook: Sharmini Jayawardena


300gm mutton
3 tsps spice mix
1tsp turmeric powder
3 tsps chili powder or to desired heat
1/2 cup thick tamarind juice (mix 3 tbls of tamarind in 1/2 cup of water and strain. Add appropriately)
3 small onions
1” piece fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic
3 sprigs curry leaf
1 pandan leaf
4 small green chilies
2” piece of lemon grass                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Pieces of Star Anise (this gives a good aroma to the curry)
1” stick Ceylon cinnamon
3 cloves
3 cardamoms (tear each pod leaving the seeds intact)
2 tbls coconut oil
1 1/2  – 2 cups coconut milk (1 cup thin milk which is the second squeeze and 1/2 cup the thick milk which is the first squeeze. If you are adding the packeted coconut cream, dilute appropriately)
2 green chilis cut in half
Sea salt to taste

1. Wash the meat and cube it to bite size pieces.
2. Add all of the powders into the marinade including the tamarind juice, mix and keep aside.
3. Cut the curry leaves into three parts each and so the pandan leaf and set aside.
4. Peel and slice the onions.
5. Peel ginger and garlic and mash it into a pulp in the pestle and mortar.
6. Heat the coconut oil in a pan or pot and add the sliced onion, ginger and garlic and fry until golden brown.
7. Add the curry leaves, pandan leaves and lemon grass to the fry.                                                                                            8. Add the Star Anise, Ceylon cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms.
9. Then add the meat and fry until very dry.
10. Add the thin coconut milk to cover the ingredients. Cover with a lid and cook until well done .
11. Once done, add the thick milk and leave to simmer under low flame.
12. Once the gravy is thickened check for seasoning and remove from fire.                                                                           13. Serve with steamed rice and other accompaniments.

I used to love having left over meat curry with bread and butter the following morning for breakfast. Since becoming a vegetarian, much of my eating habits have become things of the past 😊. Mutton curry goes best with all sorts of flat breads including Sri Lankan pol roti. Mutton curry can also be had with Sri Lankan yellow rice, known as kaha bath. and with plain steamed rice and other accompaniments like brinjal curry,  potato tempered, salaadhey and seeni sambol.

It is good with Sri Lankan string hoppers, hoppers and pittu. Not forgetting how delicious it is with pancakes and waffles.

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