Sri Lankan Black curry paste simplified

image of black curry seasoning paste

Every time I make a black pork curry or a tuna ambul thiyal I use dry roasted spice blend that is aromatic, tart smoky and highly aromatic, it enhances the flavor of coated meat or fish to the next level, tenderizes to give melt in mouth meat. Black curry sauce has refreshingly smoky sour spiciness to it coming from Malabar tamarind and herbs. I love black curry with this roasted spice blend so much that, from time to time, I make a big batch of black curry seasoning and store it in the freezer. That way the process of making delicious black pork curry or Tuna ambul thiyal comes down by half.

Sri Lankan black curry

There are so many recipes you can make with black curry seasoning. Curry seasoning lasts in the freezer for up to six months. Some curries like black pork or Tuna use just black curry and others I use black and red curry seasoning both in the cooking process of the curry. It being summer I can’t think of a better curry seasoning I like for Barbeques. Hot days are here with abundance of greenery and black curry seasoning works beautifully for smoking and grilling pork.

Some other curries with black curry seasoning

To me, Black curry based Ambul thiyal completes rice and curry combination meal, with lentil curry, green salad, coconut sambol. But that is not at all, it is great on any recipe that could benefit from little tartness along with spice, one of the recent quick meals I shared through my Facebook page was black curry tuna hummus wrap, which became a hit with my family very quickly. click on the link to check out my Facebook page and group for more updates

To keep it more interesting for my family, I experimented with Ambul thiyal seasoning base with Pork chops, Pork loin, and in array of different seafood combinations.

I wanted to find out the perfect combination of marinade and the cooking method and I loved the results with grilling, roasting with pork. That is what I am excited to share with you today. along with how you can prepare the black curry seasoning for pork from scratch. Preparation of the seasoning base is easy with adding ingredients together and blending it if you have readymade curry powder. Once blended it stays good in the fridge for up to two weeks and freezer up to six months and tablespoon or two according to your taste is plenty for flavoring a curry that serves four people.

black curry seasoning

How to make Black Curry Seasoning paste for pork recipes


  • Dried goraka (Malabar tamarind) –5 cloves
  • 2-inch piece of lemongrass
  • 5 Garlic cloves
  • 2-inch piece ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 3 tablespoons whole black pepper
  • 2 tbsp of toddy vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of red curry powder blend
  • 2 tablespoon Sri Lankan black curry powder
  • 2-inch piece of cinnamon
  • Water to blend the spices into a paste

Preparation of seasoning Base

Step 1

Soak Kadampuli/ Malabar tamarind separately. Clean and discard the water. Add salt and set aside.

Measure out red curry powder and black curry powder in a blending cup

Pre grind black peppercorns and crush ginger garlic and cinnamon.

Add all the ingredients into the food processor and blend until you get a smooth paste with just enough water. I use one of my smoothie cups in Ninja high speed blender for blending. Heat half a cup of coconut oil on low flame and cook the seasoning base until aromatic and raw taste of the garlic disappears. Let the seasoning base cool down completely. pack them in an ice cube tray or in jars.

Butter fried Pork Chops

image of butter and pork

3 pork chops (Boneless)  

2 tablespoons of Black curry seasoning base

Marinade pork in seasoning base for about an hour. longer the better. Add tablespoon of olive oil to coat.  Heat the cast iron skillet up to smoke point. Sear the pork on both sides 2 minutes per side (until color develops). Turn the heat to medium and add a heaping tablespoon of butter on top of the pork per side and cook until done while basting in butter. There is no cap on how much butter you can add here, only your preference. We are after the flavor.

Enjoy your favorite crusty bread and grilled vegetables.

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