Sri Lankan spice trail: Amangalla’s seafood curry recipe

On our last scouting trip in search of hotels in Sri Lanka, the Smith team soaked up the local flavours with a cooking class at Amangalla boutique hotel, set in a historic fort in the coastal town of Galle, three hours south of capital Colombo. Here we share a no-brainer seafood curry recipe…

Amangalla boutique hotel, Sri Lanka

Admittedly, it can be tough to tear yourself away from Amangalla’s breezy veranda, luxe poolside cabanas (oh how we love sorbet-bearing staff) and the soporific day-spa (yes, we may have drifted off mid-facial), but beyond these elegant walls lies a wealth of experiences, from guided fort ambles to a hands-on cooking lesson (which Smith members staying at Amangalla get free).

Amangalla boutique hotel in Sri Lanka

Chef Umesh’s foodie foray begins outside the fort walls, with a visit to the local markets (below) to rustle up ingredients for the day’s class. We sip coconut juice as we trawl Galle’s food stalls, unearthing foot-long cinnamon quills, fragrant herbs and flapping-fresh fish. Back in Chef’s steamy kitchen, we whip up a killer curry banquet (top), then scoff the lot in the elegant dining room (above).

Markets in Galle, Sri Lanka

Hungry? Here’s a little seafood curry recipe to whet your appetite. Check back on Saturday for beetroot curry and mint sambol recipes to complete your Sri Lankan banquet…

1 tbs vegetable oil
25g garlic, crushed
1/2 onion, sliced
15g curry powder
15g chilli powder
10g turmeric powder
4 curry leaves*
100g seer fish, or other firm white fish, sliced
100g calamari, sliced
100g medium raw prawns, peeled
1/2 tomato, sliced
200ml coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp lime juice
Steamed basmati rice, to serve
*You should be able to source curry leaves in an Asian supermarket or really good greengrocer

1 Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
2 Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring, for three to five minutes until the onion is lightly golden.
3 Add the dry spices and the curry leaves, then cook over low heat, stirring, for three minutes or until fragrant.
4 Add the fish, calamari, prawns and tomato, then stir to coat in the spices.
5 Add the coconut milk, season with salt and pepper, then cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the seafood is cooked through.
6 Stir in the lime juice, then serve immediately with steamed rice.

For more fabulous things to do in and around the fort, tap into our Galle destination guide.

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There are 5 comments for this article
  1. Bibi Baskin at 8:40 am

    Loved the Sri Lankan seafood curry. Our hotel is in Kerala ( as you know, we are part of the wonderful Smith list of boutique hotels!) and so the cuisine is not too dissimilar. Was curious though to find ‘curry powder’ among the ingredients as such an item tends not to exist in this part of the world. We make our own Masalas which I expect is the home-made equivalent. WHat spices are in the curry powder above?

    Fab recipe.

  2. Lucy at 7:47 pm

    Indeed – if you’d like to share your Keralan fish curry recipe I’m sure our blog readers would enjoy creating a ‘curry cook-off’ at home to see which one they like best! I think the curry powder specified in the Sri Lankan curry recipe is just to make it easier for us to have a go (you can buy generic curry powder here, usually a mix of turmeric, fenugreek, cumin, coriander and red pepper); but I’m sure a home-made garam masala is much nicer!

  3. Bibi Baskin at 7:55 am


    This is a great idea. In fact our Alleppey Fish Curry (we are located at Alleppey Beach in Kerala) has already been featured on Mr and Mrs Smith’s blog! So you will find it – and all our contestants! – in the Blog Archive.
    There is what may be to some a mysterious ingredient in that recipe. Check out ‘kokum’. It’s a kind of tamarind which is essential to fish curries in the Malabar region.
    I have made this curry myself back in Ireland (I’m Irish) and sometimes I have felt that I have put in too much Coriander powder because the curry sauce took on a brownish hue whereas in Raheem Res restaurant it’s more dark yellow/red.
    Last night some guests who were checking out went off with a copy of this recipe so it’s quite popular. But who will win??!!

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