Jaffna, in Sri Lanka, is known for its own style of spicy cuisine. This recipe for goat curry is as simple as popping all the ingredients in a pot and allowing it to simmer until the meat is tender and the gravy is thick and rich. This dish should be finished with the liver and heart of the goat if it is killed in the village, but it works just as well without the addition of the offal. Substitute with tomato paste. You can also use lamb instead of goat.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (424 votes)


  • 400 g goat, preferably chump chops with bones
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 7 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 2 tsp roast coriander powder
  • 1 tsp roast cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Jaffna curry powder
  • 1 tsp dark roast curry powder
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds, lightly roasted
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (instead of offal)
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 150 ml vegetable oil or 2 tbsp ghee
  • 100 g diced onion
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, leaves picked
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 thin slices ginger, peeled, finely sliced
  • 3 green chillies
  • 10 cm piece pandan leaf, torn
  • 10 cm lemongrass stalk, chopped
  • ½ lime, juiced

Cook's notes

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.


Chop the goat into 2 cm pieces with the bone in.

Place the dry spices, tomato paste and coconut milk into a large bowl with the goat to marinate.

Place a heavy-based pan o high heat and add the oil. Add the onion, curry leaves, garlic, ginger, chilli, pandan leaf and lemongrass and sautee for a few minutes until the onion is translucent.

Add the goat mixture to the pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes or until the gravy thickens and the meat is tender.

Add the lime juice and season to taste.