An authentic and flavorful Sri Lankan beef curry recipe, that is adaptable and versatile! Made from scratch with a homemade curry powder. Naturally gluten free and keto-friendly. Great for meal prep too.EASY - This recipe is easy, but there is a lengthy cook time. Please read the post for tips on how to make a quick version of this curry that cuts down on time. But keep in mind it may impact the depth of flavor.Some variations in the ingredients are OK. Weight measurements do not have to be precise.
1tspground black pepperuse less for a milder curry
1tspcayenne pepperuse less for a milder curry
1tspground ceylon cinnamon
Salt to taste
Cut the beef into bite-sized pieces, and place it in a bowl. Add the salt and curry powder for the marinade, and mix. Let the beef marinate for at least one hour if you can, OR in the fridge overnight or up to 24 hours.
Slice the onions. Finely chop the ginger and garlic. Slice the green chili either lengthwise or across. Remove the seeds and white pith if you prefer, to lessen the heat.
Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add the oil, and once heated, add the onion and saute for a few minutes until the onions start to soften.
Add the garlic, ginger, curry leaves, and green chilis. Saute until the onions are translucent.
Add the curry powder and saute for a few seconds until you can smell the spices.
Add the rest of the spices, along with the marinated beef. Stir well to coat the beef with the spices.
Saute the beef for about 15 - 20 minutes. Some caramelization on the meat pieces is ideal, but not necessary.
Add the water and let it come to a boil. Add the coconut milk at this point, if you'd like the coconut milk to split in the curry. This enhances the flavor of the curry. Otherwise, leave out the coconut milk until towards the end of the cook time. This will yield a creamy curry sauce.
Lower the heat to a simmer. Let the curry simmer (uncovered), for about 30 minutes. Stir regularly.
Add a little more water, as needed, if the water is evaporating. You can also place the lid on the pot half way through the cooking time.
When the beef is very tender (about 30 - 40 minutes of simmering), the curry is ready.
If you didn’t add the coconut milk at the beginning, then add it towards the end of the cook time. Stir the coconut milk through the curry, and allow the curry to come back to a simmer.
The curry is now ready. Let the curry preferably rest for about 30 minutes to let the flavors “mingle”. But it can also be served right away at this point too.
Make ahead tips / storing leftovers
Store the curry in portions. Store enough for 1 meal, in separate containers. Curries can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days, but avoid reheating and refrigerating multiple times.
The curry will keep in the freezer for at least up to 2 months. Store in separate containers, so that you can thaw and reheat only what you need for one meal at a time.
If you're pressed for time
You can skip the step where you marinate the beef. Also, you can cut the beef into thinner slices so that it becomes tender sooner and cooks faster. OR use a fat marbled beef cut (sirloin) to make the curry, which will also become tender faster.