Sri Lankan Pork Curry with Yellow Rice

Sri Lankan curries are delicious because they use a number of Indian spices along with fresh ingredients like tamarind, lemongrass, and coconut milk. As for the curry, I decided to use a Sri Lankan blend of cumin, fennel, coriander, fenugreek, cardamom, cloves, curry leaves and cinnamon. I reserved 1 tsp of the curry powder for the yellow rice.  The key step in using any curry powder is to toast it beforehand. It’s a step that can be forgotten easily but it results in much more fragrant flavors. While the pork was roasting in the oven, I prepared the base for the curry which wasn’t too hard to throw together. After letting the meat rest the pork was shredded and mixed in to the curry sauce. I loved the flavors of this dish! I really enjoyed the slightly sour flavor of the tamarind and the creaminess of the coconut milk. The pork curry with the yellow rice were great together as well.

Sri Lankan Pork Curry
(makes 4-5 servings)
Printable Version

Curry Powder Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tsp cardamom, ground
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 2 tsp peppercorns
  • 2 tsp lemongrass, ground
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 stick cinnamon, broken into pieces

Pork Curry Ingredients:

  • 4 lb pork butt, bone in
  • 2 tbsp chili oil
  • 1/3 cup tamarind concentrate
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 8 oz. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup tamarind concentrate
  • 2 jalapenos, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 4 tbsp lemongrass paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 cup water
  • cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • 1 batch yellow rice


  1. In a shallow pan, pour the dry curry powder ingredients and toast on high for several minutes until fragrant.  Grind the spices in a spice grinder and set aside.
  2. Rub the pork with salt, chili oil, 1/3 cup tamarind, and half of the toasted curry powder.
  3. Cover with foil and bake at 325F for about 2 hours, or until the internal temperature reads 160F.
  4. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, in a sauce pot saute the butter, vegetable oil, and onions for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Add the ginger, garlic, and jalapenos and saute for a minute.
  6. Add the turmeric, lemongrass, tomato paste, and the curry powder (reserving 1 tsp for the rice) and saute until the tomato paste has started to caramelize.
  7. Add coconut milk, 1/2 cup tamarind, and a little water to thin the sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, let the pork rest for 5 minutes covered. Shred the pork into bite-sized pieces and add to the sauce, cooking on low for 5 minutes.
  9. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice.

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