Around the World #3: An Intro to Sri Lanka and a curry powder recipe

collageOk – Sri Lanka it is, friends, the last country for my virtual tour this year! My health issues the last few months slowed down my virtual tours a bit but you can be sure that I will certainly not back out.  Honestly, I don’t know why I chose Sri Lanka for my next tour. Perhaps it was because of an article I read in a local magazine that talked about sri lankan cuisine. I am not sure what triggered it. But I can tell you this – that I have been salivating the past two days reading about Sri Lankan cuisine! Sri Lanka, even with its proximity to south India, definitely seems to have its own strong identity when it comes to foods. Of course there are some similarities to Kerala cuisine with the liberal use of coconut, spices and tropical fruits/vegetables. Rice Hoppers or Appams, string hoppers(steamed rice noodles) and puttu(steamed rice and coconut cakes) are popular foods which are common in Kerala too. But I think the similarities end there and then Sri lankan cuisine offers up much more – several enticing recipes – delicious aromatic curries with fish and or meat, spicy vegetable side dishes, an array of fried appetizer dishes accompanied by hot chutneys. Some great food reviews I read I note below. Of course go to those pages at your own risk – the drooling won’t stop! I for one have already added Sri Lanka as my top culinary vacation destination since it certainly seems like a ‘foodie paradise’! 🙂

After browsing through several of the curry recipes, i realized that Sri lankan curry powder in itself is key to the Sri lankan curry. In Indian curries, we typically add the different spices in varying proportions vs adding a ‘curry powder’. The proportions of the different spices is what gives a curry its distinctive taste. Hence, I thought I should first try to make a good authentic Sri Lankan curry powder blend.  One of my fellow bloggers, Ahila from ‘A taste of Sri Lankan cuisine’ had posted her mom’s curry powder blend recipe. Thanks to ahila’s mom for the recipe! Since that recipe had the proportion of the ingredients by weight, I followed the recipe proportions roughly to come up with a ‘by volume’ recipe. And I also added less red chilies to allow me the flexibility later of adding more heat if needed. The spice blend came out to be so aromatic and heavenly! A great blend to have in your kitchen pantry!

I am sharing this lovely aromatic spice blend at Fiesta Friday this week. I wish folks could smell the fragrant spices through this post!

Sri Lankan curry powder

So here’s my version of the curry powder blend by volume. Do check out Ahila’s mom’s recipe if you need the exact quantities by weight.

Sri Lankan Curry powder

  • Servings: Makes about 1 1/2 cups
  • Time: About 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • Cumin Seeds (jeera)  – 5 tsp
  • Fennel seeds (saunf) – 5 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds (Methi) – 2.5 tsp
  • Black Peppercorns – 1 tsp
  • Fresh Curry leaves – about 8-10
  • Red chilli powder 6 tsp
  • Coriander powder 10 tsp
  • Turmeric – 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon – 2” piece stick
  • Cardamom pods (shells removed) – 2
  • Whole Cloves – 5


  1. Take a small frying pan and dry roast cumin, fennel,fenugreek and black peppercorns for about 2 minutes on a low flame. Keep them aside.
  2. Next roast the curry leaves too on a low flame till they turn dry (almost crispy) – about 2 minutes. Keep aside.
  3. Next add all the rest of the ingredients and roast for about 30 seconds. Turn heat off.
  4. Add all the above roasted ingredients to a food processor or a coffee grinder and blend till fine.
  5. Place the curry powder in an air tight container at room temperature.


You can use dry red chillies and whole coriander seeds too instead of using ground coriander and red chillies.



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0 thoughts on “Around the World #3: An Intro to Sri Lanka and a curry powder recipe

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  5. Thanks for the recipe, Indu! Remember my trip to the Indian Superstore? I also bought fresh curry leaves and they’ve been in the freezer all this time. Hopefully I can still use them for some flavorful Sri Lankan curry. I don’t think I’ve had any, not sure. And I’m sorry to hear about your health issues; I just hope that you continue to get better. XOXO

    • Yes Angie I remember ur trip when you get a lot of ingredients including poha! Yes those frozen curry leaves would be good for this recipe since we have to dry roast them. And thanks for your wishes. Just realized today that its been 6 months since the start of my symptoms and I have not got any better unfortunately :(. Pain has become a part of me now. But still positive that something will work – trying meds, homeopathy and diet! thanks again XOXO! 🙂

  6. i love Sri Lankan Cuisine, Indu and this curry powder looks amazing. Pinning it!
    Hope you are doing better, health wise. For a friend of mine, getting the right meds after a long trial and error period has worked fantastically. So hang in there. You are in my thoughts.

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