You’re going to love this classic Sri Lankan black pork curry!
Black meat curries like this Sri Lankan black pork curry are hugely popular in Sri Lanka.
They’re pretty popular at my house too. This is one you’ve got to try! To make it like you get at the best restaurants in Sri Lanka, you’re going to have to put some work in. But I have a good cheat for you below.
The secret to making black meat curries is in the curry powder.
In order to make this black pork curry, you need dark roasted curry powder. This is available online and at specialty shops.
I make my own which really takes the curry up a notch or two.
Making your own dark roasted curry powder is a time consuming process and you really have to pay attention to what you’re doing or you’ll burn the spices.
My dark roasted curry powder is right here. Give it a go. You’ll be glad you did.
Which cut of pork should you use?
You want to use a fatty cut of pork like the shoulder or pork belly. The fat adds a lot of flavour.
I prefer pork belly.
You could use a leaner cut such as fillet if you’re watching the calories but it just isn’t the same.
The pork needs to be marinated for best results. You can do this up to a day before cooking the curry.
I love the flavour that the vinegar gives the pork.
You can also get all of your ingredients prepared and ready before hand. This ensures that you don’t have to go looking for things while you’re cooking.
Two of the herbs that really make this black pork curry shine are curry leaves and pandan leaves.
If you can’t get them fresh, frozen are also fine. I was first introduced to pandan leaves when I visited Sri Lanka for the first time back in 2013.
Although they are worth sourcing and really add to the flavour, you can leave them out if you must.
How long does Sri Lankan black pork curry keep in the fridge?
You should be able to keep the curry in the fridge for a good three days. So if you are serving this later in the week, go ahead and make it. The flavours will actually develop as it sits in the fridge and your Sri Lankan black pork curry will be even better.
Can you freeze this curry?
Yes. It freezes really well for up to 6 months.
How do you reheat this pork curry?
If heating it from the fridge, you can do so in a pan or in the microwave. The same applies when you have frozen it.
Just allow it to defrost and heat it up in the way that is most convenient for you.
- If you can, be sure to prepare your own dark curry powder. It really does take this recipe up a few notches though shop-bought will work fine.
- Allow the meat to marinate for 24 hours if you can.
- Cook this curry one or two days ahead of serving. The flavours will develop and it will taste even better.
- Be sure to cook the pork until very tender. The meat is ready when it is mouthwateringly tender so don’t rush this.
Step by step…
NOTE: There is a lot of oil on top from the pork belly. We skimmed most of it off but it’s often stirred in.
If you like this black pork curry, you might enjoy some of these too…
Don’t forget to try making your own dark roasted curry powder!
- 900g (2 lbs) belly pork, cut into bite sized pieces
- FOR THE MARINADE
- 2 tsp red chilli powder* (or to taste)
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- 70ml (1/4 cup) distilled white vinegar
- 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
- 1 tsp salt
- FOR THE CURRY
- 2 tbsp coconut oil or rapeseed (canola) oil
- 20 fresh or frozen curry leaves
- 1 x 5cm x 5cm (2” x 2”) pandan leaf (optional)
- 2 medium red onions, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
- 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, cut into about 8 pieces
- 3 tbsp dark roasted curry powder (see page 00) or another good quality curry powder
- 5 green bird’s eye chillies, slit lengthwise down the middle
- 1 whole head of garlic, smashed but left in the skins
- 2 tsp jaggery or light brown sugar
- 2 tsp tamarind concentrate
- Put the pork pieces in a mixing bowl and add the marinade ingredients. Mix well with your hands or a spoon. You might want to wear plastic gloves if mixing by hand because of the chilli powder. Cover and leave to marinate for 3 hours or overnight. The longer the better.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. When visibly hot, stir in the curry leaves and pandan leaves and allow them to infuse into the oil for about 30 seconds.
- Now add the chopped red onions and fry for about 5 minutes or until soft and translucent.
- Stir in the garlic and ginger paste, lemongrass and the chillies and fry for a further 30 seconds.
- Add the black curry powder and stir well to combine.
- Now pour in the marinade coated pork and stir until the meat is nicely coated with the other ingredients. Fry over medium heat for about 10 minutes to brown the pork and then add just enough water to cover the meat completely.
- Stir in the smashed garlic, sugar and tamarind concentrate and simmer, covered for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, lift the lid and take a look. This is a dry curry so if it is looking really saucy, cook a little longer until the delicious thick sauce is coating the meat.
- Taste the curry and add more sugar, for sweetness and tamarind for sourness to taste. Complete by adding salt to taste.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 413Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 2086mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 5gSugar: 11gProtein: 13g