Sri-Lankan Minced Beef curry

Sri-Lankan Minced Beef curry

This is probably the best minced beef dish you will ever have. This Sri-Lankan minced beef curry is spicy, savoury and sweet. Complex of flavours which, makes you want to go back to the second, third and fourth bites; this is why Sri-Lankan dishes are popular amongst people who have tried them before.


Some people mistakenly think it’s similar to Indian food but it’s far from it. Sri-Lankan cuisines like to push their boundaries with spices and want to remain unique from Indian and other South Asian and South East Asian cuisines.


There are so many varieties of dishes in Sri-Lankan for you to be ever being bored of one dish. SriLankan dishes are influenced by an ethnic diversity from India, Arabia, Africa, the Malay world and Europe and evolved over time to give a best culinary experience.



Sri-Lankan Minced Beef Curry


Why you should consider this Sri-Lankan beef dish:

  • I choose minced beef for this beef curry dish so it cooks a lot faster than diced meet. So you can attempt it on a weeknight if you fancy a beef curry.
  • Mince doesn’t need to be marinated, it will absorb the flavours whilst it is cooking and give you a delicious dish
  • This is a dry dish without gravy, which means you can have it with rice or even turn this into a sandwich. Top the bread with this curry filling and if you love cheese, add some cheese and toast it or don’t toast it. It’s delicious either way.
  • Leftovers – Oh yes. Now we are talking. Cook plenty so you can freeze them for later.


I don’t think I need to convince you any more, so let’s look at the process shall we?


How to make Sri-Lankan Beef Curry

Choosing the beef mince for the curry: I would actually choose the normal mince meat rather than lean mince. The melting fat from the meat add extra flavour to curries but if you are on diet then lean meat is fine.


First, you need to get the skillet nice and hot so you can lightly fry the whole spices. They will release some delicious aromas and flavours to the dish.

whole spices being fried in the pan


Then you add the Onion, curry leaves, garlic and ginger paste and fry until the onions are transparent.


Onion being fried until it is transparent


Add dry spices to the pan, including salt to get a paste. The spices might start to stick to the skillets, thats why it’s important to reduce the heat to below medium so they gently fry rather than burn.

spice mixture being added to the pan


Adding chopped tomatoes to the pan will stop the spices sticking to the pan. The juice released from the tomatoes will add tangy and sweet taste to the dish. Yum! Oh, and, wait for it……..tomatoes are full go antioxidants which reduces stress and thought to help reduce heard diseases. I also included peppers to add crunch to the dish (and more vitamin C) but its optional.


Adding tomatoes to the spice mixture


Now add the minced beef and break the meat with the spoon and mix it well with spice mixture to ensure there is no big lumps. I don’t think you would want to bite into big lumps of meat here and there. Maybe it’s me that dislike that.


Sri-Lankan minced beef before adding sweet and sour sauce


Now, it’s time to add the sauce; this combined sauce of soy sauce, oyster sauce and ketchup will add salty and sweet flavours and take this dish to another dimension.

Adding sweet and sour souce to the minced beef


The sauce, combined with rest of the spices and herbs is absolutely divine. The challenge is to stop eating.

Ways to enjoy this dish:

  • With rice,
  • With rotti or naan
  • As a sandwich or
  • Wrap them in lettuce leaves and serve at a part as an appetiser / entree


Sri-Lankan minced beef in a full pan



Always cook extra so you have another night’s meal already prepared and sitting in the freezer. Dishes like these, I usually cook enough for four or five nights.

Sri-Lankan minced beef leftovers in containers

4 from 1 vote

Sri-Lankan Beef Curry

Course Appetizer, Curry, Entree, Main Course, Party food, Platter, Starter
Keyword Beef Curry
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author Florita Balaskantha


  • 500 g Minced beef you can go for lean meat if you are trying to be healthy but for curry, standard mince is better as it adds flavour
  • ½ tsp. fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Crushed chilli flakes
  • 2 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper optional
  • 2 tsp. chilli powder
  • ½ tsp. Turmeric
  • ½ tsp. Cumin powder
  • ½ tsp. Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. Garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. Ginger paste
  • 6 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. Rapeseed oil or any cooking oil

For the Sweet and Sour sauce

  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Oyster sauce
  • 4 tbsp. Ketchup


  1. Lightly fry the whole spices in a skillet with tiny amount of oil for about 30 seconds before it starts to pop.

  2. Add onions and curry leaves and fry for about 1 or 2 minutes until its transparent

  3. Reduce the heat to medium to low and add cumin, coriander and chilli powder with garlic and ginger paste for about 1 minute on low heat. The spices will start to stick to the skillet since there isn’t enough oil but it’s ok. 

  4. Add tomatoes and fry for further 2 minutes. 

  5. You can include crunchy vegetable to the pan if you like to add texture. On this recipe, I included peppers. Fry for further 2 minutes

  6. Add the beef, breaking apart with the spoon. Stirring until mostly cooked. Which should be about 3 minutes. Taste for spice level and if you want more spices, you can add fresh birds eye chillies. It will add colour to the dish too.

  7. Combine the ingredients for the sauce and add that to the beef mixture

  8. Cook for further 5 minutes.

  9. Taste for seasoning and the texture of the mince. If you prefer to cook a bit longer, then cook for further couple of minutes and turn the heat off. The meat will cook in the heat for further few minutes anyway.

Let me know your feedback and comments below. If you have tried this recipe at home, tag me @mamaflosdiary, on your instagram pictures. It will be great to see your version 🙂


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