• Sri Lankan fish curry (kiri malu) (Sharyn Cairns)Source: Sharyn Cairns

This Sri Lankan curry, fragrant with ginger and lemongrass, will feed your family in less than an hour. Food Safari Water






Skill level

Average: 2.8 (709 votes)


  • 600 g skinless barramundi fillets, cut into chunky cubes  
  • salt  
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, white part only  
  • 2 bird’s eye chillies  
  • 80 ml ( cup)vegetable oil  
  • 180 g red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves, plus extra, to serve  
  • 30 g ginger, peeled and finely chopped 
  • 200 g semi-ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped  
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric  
  • 600 ml coconut cream  
  • 1 tsp sugar  
  • 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced on an angle
  • Steamed basmati rice, to serve 

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.


Season the fish with a pinch of salt. Using the back of knife or cleaver, bruise the lemongrass and chillies.

Heat a wok over medium heat. Add the oil and fry the onion for 5 minutes or until golden. Add the curry leaves, ginger, lemongrass and chillies and stir-fry for 4 minutes or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Add 125 ml (½ cup) water, the turmeric and coconut cream. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Add 1 teaspoon salt and the sugar, then check the seasoning. Add the fish pieces and gently poach for about 5 minutes or until just cooked through- a small knife or skewer should insert easily into the fish without resistance. Serve the curry with steamed rice, sliced red chilli and extra curry leaves.


Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Rachel Lane. Creative concept by Belinda So.

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