Sri Lankan Pork Curry Recipe

Sri Lankan Pork Curry Recipe | A Rare Pork Curry Recipe

Sri Lankan Pork Curry Recipe | A Rare Pork Curry Recipe

This Sri Lankan pork curry recipe is proof of two very important things. First, that India isn’t the only country in the world who know what to do with spices. Second, that pork really can work in a curry, no matter how uncommon it is! For an authentic looking serving bowl, check out this quick link to see an affiliate product for which I earn a commission per purchase.

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Sri Lankan Pork Curry Recipe
Lots and lots of meat makes this a much more exciting meal!

Introduction

I always think of Indian food as kind of the be all end all of curry making. It’s silly, because I adore curries from all over the world.

Malaysian and Indonesian curries fascinate me. I know enough to know I like them, but not enough to claim anything resembling expert knowledge.

And then there’s Thai food, the curries from which could quite easily be argued to be the very best in all the world. Their zing, kick and exotic flavours come together to make an amazing, refreshing, otherworldly experience you won’t find anywhere else.

But even if we’re looking at curries as they make them in India. Curries with fragrant spices, slowly braised meats and beautiful earthy flavours. Even if we look primarily at dishes like those, India isn’t the only place in the world to get it right. Pakistan, Bangladesh and, I’m sure, a whole host of others create dishes just like them and they’re perfectly delicious as well.

Oh, and England!

And, of course, there’s Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan Pork Curry Recipe
The sauce is nice and thick, so it coats every single mouthful.

About the dish

This Sri Lankan pork curry recipe is a wonderful example of how pork can be used in a type of dish it’s very rarely seen in. We’re so used to lamb curries, chicken curries, vegetable curries, sometimes even beef curries. But pork curries? I don’t think it would be unfair to say that many of us have never even had a pork curry.

But, of course, that changes today.

This dish is a rare example of exactly how a pork curry recipe can be done. Perhaps the most important components of the dish, save, of course, for the pork itself, are the tamarind and the vinegar. Pork lends itself wonderfully to sour flavours. Something about the fattiness of the pork is perfectly complimented by their lightness and tang.

Garlic and ginger, as well, a staple of curries everywhere, go wonderfully with pork. So, quite ironically, pork actually lends itself very well to perhaps the two most integral components of the curries we know and love.

It’s actually something of a shame pork doesn’t find its way into them more often.

About this dish – Sri Lankan Pork Curry Recipe

In my version of this Sri Lankan pork curry recipe we’ll be using pork shoulder, which we will slowly braise in a mix of delicious, earthy spices. The usual suspects.

We’ll add the usual combo of onions, garlic and ginger, as well as any chillies you might wish to include.

The lamb shoulder melts wonderfully in the stewing sauce, its beautifully rendered fat the perfect vehicle for those phenomenal, fragrant spices. And a hit of tamarind and vinegar at the very, very end, perfectly highlights the dish, bringing a little kick to what would otherwise be a very salty, earthy experience. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

To enhance that saltiness, we’re actually going to use just a splash of soy sauce. It really helps to bring everything together and enhances the meaty flavour. Pork can be a tad neutral at times, so a little enhancement goes a long way!

Sri Lankan Pork Curry Recipe
Never forget your bay leaf!

A quick guide to making this Sri Lankan pork curry

We’re going to start by toasting any whole spices and grinding them into a spice powder.

Then, we’ll chop up the pork and sear it in a hot pan with a tiny splash of oil, then set it aside to be added later. You want it nice and brown all over. Don’t be afraid to cut big chunks and to cook them until they really start to caramelise on the outside.

You’ll collect some fat when you remove the pork from the pan. Keep it. Then deglaze the pan with a little water and set it aside to use as the stewing liquid.

Add some of that fat back to the pan, topping up with oil if necessary and caramelising our onion slowly over a low heat, before adding our dry spices, which we’ll have set aside earlier, and our ginger and garlic paste.

Then we’ll add the meat back in and the deglazed liquid to braise over a couple of hours, at the end of which we’ll add a splash of soy, vinegar and tamarind. As well as any additional seasonings we might require.

Sri Lankan Pork Curry Recipe
A nice close up of the curry, with nice, fatty, tasty pieces of pork.

A few final things to remember

  • Any cut of pork would do just fine. I’ve used shoulder because it’s a great cut for braising and this curry really benefits from a nice long braise. If you have belly, great, or even tenderloin. Just be prepared to add a little bit more fat in the latter case – tenderloin won’t baste itself!
  • Tweak the heat as you see fit. I’ve gone with a couple of teaspoons to allow for a little kick without being overwhelming. You could go crazy and really crank up the heat, or omit it entirely for a much mellower meal!
  • Beef is a great alternative to pork in this dish, and another protein that rarely gets to be the star. At least in curries!

Similar Recipes & Useful Sides

The Best Kashmiri Lamb Rogan Josh Recipe – An unexpected favourite, a childhood favourite in its grown up form. Rich, deep and incredible.

Passanda Sauce Recipe – An Authentic Leftover Chicken Curry – The sexiest, creamiest, butteriest, chickeniest curry I’ve ever made and an absolute personal favourite.

Goan Lamb Curry – Another of Goa’s beautiful curries. This time a delicious vindaloo style lamb dish!

The Best Indian Flatbread Recipe – The best Indian flatbreads you’ve ever seen. Seriously.


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Pork Curry Recipe

Sri Lankan Pork Curry Recipe | A Rare Pork Curry Recipe

This Sri Lankan pork curry recipe is proof of two very important things. First, that India isn't the only country in the world who know what to do with spices. Second, that pork really can work in a curry, no matter how uncommon it is!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

Main Ingredients & Seasonings

  • 400 g Lamb shoulder or otherwise
  • 1 lrg White Onion
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 tsp Tamarind Paste
  • 1 splash Vinegar cider works well with pork, but any vinegar will work
  • 1 tsp Soy Sauce
  • Oil
  • Salt

Paste and Spices

  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 2 inches Ginger
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon Powder
  • 5 Cardamom Pods
  • 5 Cloves
  • 2 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek
  • 6 Curry Leaves

Instructions
 

Make the curry paste

  • This part is really quick and easy. Peel the garlic and the ginger, then finely chop them up and grind them into a paste in a pestle and mortar. Set them aside, wipe out the pestle and mortar and continue.

Make your spice mix

  • Toast the cloves and cardamom pods in a dry, hot pan until the smell lifts a little. Grind them into a fine powder and combine with the cinnamon, fenugreek powder and chilli powder.

Prep & Cook

  • Peel and finely dice the onion, then set aside.
  • Dice the meat into fairly large chunks and sear in a very hot pan with a tiny splash of oil and some salt. The fat from the pork will quickly render out, so you won't need much oil.
  • Once the meat is well browned, remove it from the pan and set it aside. Keep as much of the fat as you can in a separate bowl to use shortly, then deglaze the pan with about a pint of water, scraping up as much of the burnt on bits of pork and fat from the bottom of the pan and setting it aside in the pint glass.
  • Add a good splash of that pork fat back into the pan and then add the onion with a generous hit of salt. Caramelise the onion on a low-medium temperature for 10 minutes or so before adding the dry spice mix and stirring everything together.
  • After another minute or two of cooking, add the garlic and ginger paste and cook for a further couple of minutes, then re-add the pork, the bay leaf, 6 curry leaves and the deglaze water. Slowly stew the dish on a low temperature for a couple of hours or until the sauce thickens to the desired degree. If the sauce reaches the desired level of thickness before the pork is as soft as you'd like, just add another splash of water and cook for a little longer.
  • Once everything has fully cooked and reduced, add your tamarind, soy and vinegar, as well as any extra salt you might need. You could even add a little bit of sugar at this stage, though it isn't necessary.

If you’ve enjoyed this recipe or have any comments or queries, please do let us know in the comments section below! And don’t forget to like and share!

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