Sri Lankan Beetroot Curry

Having just returned from travelling around Sri Lanka, I can’t get enough of their gorgeous food! Sri Lankan curries are second to none, and Beetroot Curry was one of my favourites.

I made time to attend a cooking class during my stay – in a traditional home in the hills above Kandy.

It was a delightful, authentic experience where we literally cooked up a storm – it was the best meal I had during my stay in Sri Lanka.

This is my version of Sri Lankan Beetroot Curry and is modified for the Western palate. But if you (like me) prefer it hotter, add more chillies and leave the seeds in.

Ingredients (serves 4 or more if part of a banquet):
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large or 2 small onions, finely chopped
3-4 birds eye chllies, seeded and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon chilli powder
3 sprigs curry leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
1½ tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons caster sugar (or coconut sugar)
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pandan essence (optional)
750g beetroot, peeled, washed and cut into thin batons

1. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until soft.
2. Add the chillies, garlic, coriander, chilli powder, curry leaves and cinnamon sticks and cook for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant.
3. Add the coconut milk, rice wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pandan essence (if using). Stir to combine then add the beetroot. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes or until the beetroot is tender, stirring occasionally.
4. Check and adjust the seasoning if necessary and serve with steamed rice.

Beetroot are in season right now, and can be easily found at the Noosa Farmers’ Market.

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