Monday, 2 May 2011

Sri Lankan Carrot Curry

I had deliberately picked up a white cabbage and some carrots to make a coleslaw but when the time came I changed my mind.   
Instead I made a 'Sri Lankan inspired Carrot and Cabbage Curry'.  The cooking method used in this dish is very similar to the Sri Lankan Beetroot Curry, but the final dish was completely different.  Its very flavourful. D really really liked this Carrot Curry and described it as a 'sweet and spicy coleslaw laced in coconut milk'. I found it just a little too sweet, yes even with the mellow spices but I did like the way the vegetables retained their crunch.

Although we had this dish hot ladled over plain Basmati rice, it is advised in the book that it would also be fabulous served as a cold salad.
Sri Lankan Carrot and Cabbage Curry
Serves 4
1 large onion, finely sliced
2 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
A pinch of fenugreek seeds
¼ teaspoon brown or black mustard seeds
a handful of fresh or dried curry leaves (optional)
2 - 3 green chillies, sliced
200g carrots, peeled, chopped in half and then cut into batons
200g – 250g white or green cabbage, sliced
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste
300ml - 400ml coconut milk
In a wide pan, fry the onion in oil for about 5 minutes, then add in the spices, green chillies curry leaves and salt. Continue cooking until the onion is golden. Add the carrots and cabbage and turmeric and cook for a few minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently until the vegetables begin to feel tender.
Stir in the coconut milk, bring to a boil and simmer covered gently for 10 minutes or so. Taste and adjust seasoning, then serve either hot, warm or cold.  Adapted from Sophie Grigsons Feasts for a Fiver.


  1. Wow, this looks amazing. I've got to try this.

    I've only done a carrot curry once before, and it was a very sweet curry.

    In the event I can't find curry leaves, is there an adequate substitute, or do I just need to look harder?

  2. Reminds me of the Indonesian "Sayur Lodeh". Do you know that one?

  3. Anything with coconut milk is already worth trying in my book. We've been to Sri Lanka twice and I loved the food so think I may definitely have to give this a try. :) Best wishes, Tammy

  4. That looks delicious. I think I'll pick myself up a cabbage this morning at the market.

  5. I am a huge curry fan but... thinking about it... I don't think I've ever had a Sri Lankan curry! I am getting a little bored of eating Thai curries every week (the life of a student). This looks like the best way to go next! Yum!

  6. I'm thinking that it really would be a wonderful cold salad...with the crunch and the refreshing flavors, summer side salad on a picnic perhaps, with a titch of pineapple?? or apple? might that have softened the sweet?...I wonder... Well whatever, it sounds delicious just as it is.

  7. Your carrot curry looks and sounds yummy!

  8. cabbage and carrots are the veg I most often have too much of - I can think they are dull and yes I actually love them in so many dishes - this one looks great

  9. It sounds wonderful and I love that last picture. I just want to dive in.

  10. Carrot curry sounds very unusual. Cummin and carrots are supposed to complement each other so a curry should work well

  11. Thanks Dan.
    I agree that carrot curry has a tendency to be sweet, this one is too - but not overly.

    Re curry leaves - I can't recommend a substitution and would say just make it without. But I'd recommend checking out South Asian or Chinese Grocers and if you do find some, freeze them.

    I had not thought of it, but you are right it does have a similarity to "Sayur Lodeh", but I can't remember if its either the Malaysian or the Indonesian version that is made with shrimp paste. Do you know?

  12. Thanks Ana Powell.

    Thank you Tammy.
    I hope you make it, but be aware that the cabbage was my addition.

    Thank you veggiegobbler.

    Thanks Hazel.
    I love my Red and Green Thai curries, as well as the South Asian style 'currys' but there comes a time for a change. Thsi reciep is also good for the pocket, as many of us are watching out pennies :) Warm wishes.

  13. Thanks Gardeningbren.
    I don't know if I dare put pineapple in it, as I think it would sweeten it more, but the apple - yeah I think that would work well.

    Thank you yummychunklet.

    Thank you Johanna GGG.
    We don't often have cabbages in our home, but carrots is another story.

    Thanks Kath.

    I've had carrots in South Asian style curries before, this was my first time with an Sri Lankan variation, I can assure you they do work well - flavour packed.


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