• Sangeethaa Siva

Sri Lankan Beef Fry

Beef Fry (Dry Curry) is a deeply flavourful, rich Sri Lankan curry. The oil is important to bring the flavours together when you fry the spice mix with the onions so don't skimp.

It is called "fry"because it is much drier than a curry. Its clingy sticky coating is attributed to being cooked in a very hot pan with minimal liquid. 


  • 1 Lb of Stewing Beef

  • 2 Inches fresh ginger, minced

  • 8 Garlic Cloves, minced

  • 4 Tbsp of Water

  • 3 Tbsp of oil (I used Avo oil)

  • 5 Whole cardamom pods

  • 2 Bay Leaves

  • 3-4 Whole cloves

  • 5 Peppercorns

  • 2 1⁄2 cm Cinnamon Sticks

  • 2 onions, finely chopped

  • 2 Tsps, Cumin seeds

  • 4 Tsps, Chilli Powder

  • 1 Tsp, Turmeric

  • 6 Tbsps, Plain Yogurt

  • 1⁄4 Tbsp, Garam Masala

  • Salt to Taste

  • Chilli flakes for Garnish

  • Curry Leaves for Garnish


  1. Cut Beef into bite sizes and wash with salt water.

  2. Put the ginger, garlic, and 4 tablespoons of water into the blender. Blend well until you have a smooth paste.

  3. Heat oil in a wide heavy pot over a medium heat, brown the meat cubes in several batches and set to one side.

  4. Put the cardamom, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon into the same hot oil. stir once and wait until the cloves swell and the bay leaves begin to take on colour.

  5. Now add in the onions. Stir and fry for 5 minutes until they turn a medium brown colour.

  6. Put in the ginger garlic paste and stir for 30 seconds.

  7. Add the cumin, chilli powder, garam masala and tumeric, and salt. Stir and fry for 30 seconds.

  8. Add the fried meat cubes and juices.

  9. Stir for 30 seconds, now add 1 tablespoon of yogurt, stir until well blended .

  10. Add the remaining yoghurt, a tablespoon at a time in the same way. Stir and fry for another 3 minutes.

  11. Now add 2-3 Tbsps of water

  12. Bring to the boil, scraping all the browned spices off the sides and bottom of the pot. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours if cooking beef, (or until meat is tender.).

  13. Every 10 minutes give the meat a good stir. When the meat is tender take off the lid, turn the heat up to medium, and boil away some of the liquid.

  14. All the fat that collects in the pot may be spooned off the top.

  15. Garnish with Chilli Flakes and Curry Leaves

"Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all"- Harriet Van Horne

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© 2015 by Sangeethaa Siva