A Bowl of Comfort
This Sri-Lankan Curry is a staple in my house, a well-established dish on our weekly dinner rotation. The curry itself is fresh but comforting, with soft spices and mellow heat. The broccoli “mops up” the rich and silky sauce perfectly, and the carrots bring subtle sweetness and texture.
The curry feels very clean without any sense of lacking flavour. It’s a plant-based/vegan recipe that I guarantee meat-eaters will also enjoy. It is easy to scale up for larger families/groups and is also great for batch cooking. (Leave out the broccoli if you’re planning to freeze it. It is better added fresh when serving.)
Carrots may seem like an odd choice, but I promise that it works. The spice mix for the curry contains fennel seeds (common in Sri-Lankan dishes) and cumin seeds, which blend perfectly with the carrots, bringing out their complex flavour while sweetening the sauce perfectly. I’ve served the curry with beluga lentils and quinoa in this example. The lentils have a peppery creaminess that acts as an excellent base for the curry itself. Of course, it is also perfect with rice.
The magic of the recipe comes from making your own spice mix; it is worth the extra effort. The result will have a much deeper flavour than any shop-bought spice mix. Spice grinders are a worthwhile kitchen gadget, and some are pretty inexpensive.
Sri-Lankan Carrot and Broccoli Curry
Fresh but comforting Sri Lankan style carrot and broccoli curry; with soft spices and mellow heat. The broccoli "mops up" the rich and silky sauce perfectly, and the carrots bring subtle sweetness and texture.
- Spice Mix
- 1 Tsp Fennel seeds
- 1 Tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 Tsp Ground Corriander
- 1/8 to 1/4 Tsp of Hot Cayenne Pepper (depending on desired heat level)
- The Curry
- 2-3 Tbsp of Coconut Oil
- 1 large or 2 medium red onions- Thinly sliced
- 4 Garlic cloves- chopped
- Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger- grated
- Thumb sized piece of fresh turmeric- grated (If fresh turmeric is unavailable, substitute for 2 tsp dried ground turmeric)
- 1 - 400ml can of coconut milk
- 10-12 Curry Leaves (Leave them out if you can't source them)
- 2 Medium Carrots - Sliced
- 1/2 a head of broccoli - cut into florets
- Sea Salt to taste
- 1-2 Limes
- Fresh Corriander (optional)
- Rice, lentils, quinoa etc. for serving
In a spice grinder, grind the fennel seed to a fine powder.
Grind the cumin seed to a fine powder.
Mix the ground fennel and cumin seed with the coriander and cayenne pepper.
Toast the spice mix over medium heat for a few moments to release the oils and intensify the flavour. Be careful not to burn the spices.
Set Aside for now
Fry the sliced onions in coconut oil. Sprinkle the onions with sea salt to draw out water and speed up the cooking. Fry for around 10 minutes until soft and beginning to colour.
While the onions are frying, Blanch the broccoli in boiling salted water for two minutes to semi-cook it. Plunge it immediately into ice water to stop the cooking and then drain.
Add the spice mix to the onions and stir well.
Add the chopped garlic and the grated ginger and turmeric—Fry for a few minutes.
Pour in the coconut milk and stir everything together.
Add the sliced carrots and curry leaves.
Season with sea salt.
Let the curry simmer until the carrots are softened to your liking (Mine took around 20 minutes)
When the carrots are softened, check and just the seasoning and add the cooked, drained broccoli.
Allow the broccoli to reheat in the sauce.
To serve, squeeze over the lime juice to taste and sprinkle with freshly chopped coriander if desired.
Serve over rice, lentils, or quinoa as desired.