Monday 17th June 2024
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Sri Lankan Spiced Vegetable Curry Recipe

As it’s National Curry Week, we are sharing with you some fabulous South Indian and Sri Lankan curry recipes. Today we have a SRI LANKAN SPICED VEGETABLE CURRY courtesy of TOTAL Greek Yoghurt and chef Paul Merrett. Paul tells us in his own words how he came up with the recipe:

So….a few weeks ago a lady walked up to me at The Victoria and said ‘Paul, we love your restaurant, the food is great but please stop cooking risotto as the vegetarian option – give us something truly original.’

Well I like a challenge and I have to admit we do resort to the risotto quite a bit when writing vegetarian dishes (By the way, nothing wrong with a decent risotto, but I knew what she meant.)

Several years ago I spent a few very happy months working in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka and I have to say the food was amazing. Although meat and especially fish featured on all menus, there were a lot of dishes which contained nothing but fantastic vegetables in a delicious sauce.

This curry is all about the sauce. It has loads of flavour and freezes well so there is no excuse not to have a batch at the ready. Also it can really feature whichever vegetables are at their best so it’s a good recipe to have up your sleeve for those emergency vegetarian moments!

The yoghurt dip is served as a relish to ‘calm’ the curry!

Serves: 8

Preparation time: 1 hour

Cooking time: 30 minutes

For the roasted curry powder

1/2 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tbsp cumin and Fennel Seed

1 inch cinnamon stick

5 Cardamom pods

1/2 tsp black mustard seeds

1 tsp fenugreek seeds

1/2 tsp black peppercorns

1 dried chilli

1tbsp basmati rice

For the sauce

150g TOTAL Classic Greek Yoghurt

2 onions, sliced

3 cloves garlic, sliced

1 and 1/2 inch ginger, grated

2 lemongrass stalks, each chopped into 6 bits

10 curry leaves

2 tbsp of the roasted curry powder, the one we just made!

3 inches cinnamon stick

5 cardamoms

4 cloves

2 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp turmeric

800ml coconut milk

800ml veg stock, you can make this up using a stock cube

15g palm sugar

1 and a 1/2 limes, juiced


2 courgettes, sliced fairly thickly

1/2 small cauliflower, cut into large florets

200g butternut squash, peeled, diced and cut into about inch cubes

1 red pepper, diced

40 French beans, cut in half

10 Shitake mushrooms, thickly sliced

To serve:

100g TOTAL Greek Yoghurt

Handful of coriander

Sticky rice

For the roasted curry powder

– Heat a frying pan and without adding any oil. Fry all of the spices and rice together – stirring occasionally. The spices will start to smoke a little and but be careful not to burn. After they have darkened slightly in colour, tip them out and cool.

– Once cool, grind them to a fine powder using a pestle and mortar and put aside.

For the sauce

Heat a large casserole pan and pour in a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add in the onions, garlic, ginger and lemon grass and gently fry until a very pale golden colour.

Add the curry leaves, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, turmeric, chilli powder and your home made curry powder you have already put aside. Mix in well.

Pour in your vegetable stock and coconut milk and simmer for about 35 minutes.

Finally add the Greek yoghurt, palm sugar and the lime juice. Simmer for a further 5 minutes and then pass the sauce through a strainer to remove all the bits.

Your sauce is made. Keep out four portions, freezing the rest for use at another date.

Prepare the vegetables as stated. Heat your sauce and dr0p in the butternut squash and cauliflower. Two minutes later add the mushrooms, courgette, pepper and green beans and cook for a further 3/4 minutes.

-Mix the Greek yoghurt with the coriander. Serve the curry with sticky rice and a blob of coriander infused Greek yoghurt on top.

…And there you have it, a spiced Sri Lankan vegetable curry!