This vegetarian curry is packed full of flavour.
- 50 ml vegetable oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 12 curry leaves
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 5 cm piece ginger, finely chopped
- 8 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 8 hard-boiled eggs
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 green chillies, sliced
- 400 g basmati rice, to serve
- Poppadum triangles, to serve
Sri Lankan curry powder
- 2 tbsp basmati rice, raw
- 4 tbsp coriander seeds
- 3 tbsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp black peppercorns
- 2 tbsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
- 2 tsp cloves
- 1 heaped tsp cardamom seeds (from the pods)
- 1 heaped tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 large dried red Kashmiri chilli
- 50 g shallots, roughly chopped
- 3 green chillies, roughly chopped
- 10 g garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 10–12 curry leaves (about 1 sprig)
- 5 g bonito flakes
- 100 g fresh coconut, grated
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp salt
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
For the curry powder, place the rice in a dry pan and roast until brown. Add the spices and cook together until fragrant. Place in a blender and process to a powder.
For the curry, warm half of the vegetable oil in a large, wide pan and add the onions and 6 of the curry leaves; cook until lightly coloured then add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 3 minutes.
Move this onion mixture to one side of the pan and place 1 ½ tablespoons of the roasted curry powder in the space left. Cook the spices for 1 minute.
Bring the powder and vegetables together, cooking the mixture for a further 20 minutes.
Meanwhile for the sambol, heat a dry, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the dried chilli and shake it around for 2–3 minutes until it has darkened slightly. Tip into a mortar, leave to cool and become brittle, then crush into flakes. Put the flakes into a mini food processor, add the onions, cayenne chillies, garlic, chilli powder, curry leaves, bonito flakes and coconut and process using the pulse button until finely chopped. Tip into a bowl and stir in the lime juice, black pepper and ½ teaspoon salt.
Meanwhile boil the rice, then cover to keep warm.
If the curry starts to dry, add a little water. You want the tomatoes to break down and release their juice. Now add the coconut milk and cook until reduced and thick. Keep the curry warm over a low heat. Halve the eggs and add to the curry. Cook for one minute until warm. Serve with the coconut sambol.