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Sri Lankan 3 Meat Curry

You are going to love this Sri Lankan meat curry!

Sri Lankan 3 meat curry is often served as part of a Sri Lankan lamprais. This is a selection of prepared curries, frikadeller meatballs and rice that is all steamed together in a banana leaf.

I plan to feature a lamprais recipe on my blog soon but for now, why not just try this delicious Sri Lankan meat curry over rice?

You could also serve it with Maldive fish and sambol as I did.

Sri Lankan meat curry

If you enjoy Sri Lankan food, you’re going to love this 3 meat curry.

Which meats are used?

In this case I used lamb, beef and chicken. You could use whichever meats you want. Venison is a popular option for one of the meats. 

In season, I often substitute pheasant or partridge for the chicken.

You also don’t have to use three different meats. This meat curry is often prepared with just two meats. 

Working ahead…

As with so many curries, this Sri Lankan meat curry actually tastes better when cooked and allowed to sit in the fridge for a day.

The ingredients develop awesome flavour overnight. This makes curries like this the perfect option for some who want to entertain but don’t want to do all the cooking in one day. 

What is different about this Sri Lankan meat curry?

Other than the fact that three meats are used, it is different also in the cooking process.

Tougher cuts of meat need to cook for longer so they are added first. 

Rather than preparing a base masala for the sauce such as frying your onions and garlic and ginger paste first, these are added only after the tougher meats have had time in the pan to tenderise.

I’m not saying you can’t do it differently but I find that cooking the meat first before adding the sauce ingredients gives a completely different flavour and definitely something to be tried. 

Step by step 

Ingredients for Sri Lankan 3 meat curry

Make things easier on yourself and get your ingredients laid out before the cooking begins.

Infusing aromatic and adding lamb to pan

Infuse the cinnamon stick, curry leaves and pandan leaves into the oil for about 30 seconds. Then add the lamb pieces.

 

Adding beef, ground turmeric and chilli powder to pan

Brown the lamb for about 5 minutes and then add the beef, ground turmeric and chilli powder.

Frying onion and lemongrass into the sauce.

Stir in the chopped onion and lemongrass. Fry for about a minute, stirring continuously.

Adding chillies and garlic and ginger paste

Now stir in the garlic and ginger paste and also the slit chillies. Fry for a further minute.

Topping the curry with water

Top with just enough water to cover the meat and bring to a simmer.

Covering the pan to simmer

Cover the pan a simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until the meat is still a bit tough but almost tender enough to eat.

Adding chicken to pan

Remove the lid and add the chicken. This doesn’t take as long to cook so it is added later in the cooking process.

Adding coconut milk, tamarind, curry powder and black pepper to pan

Add the coconut milk and tamarind along with the curry powder and black pepper.

Simmer meat curry

Simmer, uncovered until the chicken is cooked through and the meat is tender. Continue simmering to thick to preferred consistency.

Sri Lankan 3 meat curry

All done! Just season with salt to taste and adjust the spicy and sour flavours to you preference.

If you like this recipe, you might like to try some of these too…

Make your own homemade tamarind concentrate
Dark Roasted Curry Powder
Sri Lankan Eggplant Curry
Black Pork Curry

 

Yield: 6

Sri Lankan 3 Meat Curry

Sri Lankan 3 meat curry
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 x 5cm (2 inch) cinnamon stick
  • 20 fresh or frozen curry leave
  • 2 x 5cm x 5cm (2 inch x 2 inch) pandan leaves, optional
  • 250g (9oz) lamb, cut into small dice
  • 250g (9oz) beef, cut into small dice
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white parts only, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 3 green bird's eye chillies, slit down the centre
  • 2 tbsp Sri Lankan dark roasted curry powder or another good quality curry powder
  • 1 generous tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp tamarind concentrate
  • 400ml (1 1/2 cups) thick coconut milk
  • 250g (9oz) chicken, cut into small dice
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large high sided pan or wok that has a lid over medium-high heat. When visibly hot, stir in add the cinnamon stick, curry leaves and pandan leaves and let these ingredients infuse into the hot oil for about 30 seconds. Now add the lamb pieces and fry to brown for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the beef pieces and sprinkle it all with the chilli powder and ground turmeric. Stir well to coat.
  2. Stir in the chopped onion and lemongrass and fry for about a minute. Then stir in the garlic and ginger paste and the chillies and fry, stirring continuously for about a minute. Add just enough water to cover and cook the meat with the lid on for about 20 minutes or until it is still a bit tough but almost tender enough to eat.
  3. Add the chicken pieces, curry powder, tamarind concentrate and black pepper and stir it all in well. Then add the coconut milk and tamarind concentrate. Simmer with the lid off until the chicken is cooked through. Then continue simmering to thicken then sauce. Make sure that beef and lamb is deliciously tender before serving.
  4. Season with salt to taste and adjust the flavour of the sauce to taste.

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