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.