Sri Lankan Red Curry Seasoning Base

image of Sri Lankan red curry
Curry base recipes

The Sri Lankan Umami Part -3

We have had a quite a journey with seasoning blends that we prepared in our previous posts. After much trial and error and research, it was a hallelujah moment for me when I figured out the curry blends that simplified labor intensive process of Sri Lankan curries. I am no stranger to making my own seasoning bases. Ever since I started cooking when I was 7 or 8 years old from my first lentil curry, I was always trying to make things more efficient in the kitchen. I strived to stay authentic to rustic flavors but always tweaking things to make ready to go seasoning and food prep techniques. I would borrow or buy cookbooks and read how flavors evolve and watch so many instructional videos how other chefs and home cooks do it. Most of my tiny bit of leisure time after caring for my two little angels went to researching curries, flavors, and other similar dishes around the world. At first my husband was the guinea pig to test the new seasoning blends. He was always such a good sport with his comments and super nice about it when he did not like something, but as time went on was totally and completely hooked with what I would create. Slowly but steadily, I would tweak flavors, regularly cook with them making improvements. The Perfect curry was born out of this love for curries, curry seasoning bases and similar dishes around the world. I am grateful to everyone who are here with me cheering on.

Over last two months I shared two such distinctive seasoning blends with you. We talked about turmeric lemongrass seasoning blend in my post, The Sri Lankan Umami part 1 and talked about few different recipes we can make with that, like light yellow curries, lentil, and such. Then we talked about Black curry seasoning blend in my post Sri Lankan umami Part 2 and talked about how we can use it in array of recipes including smoking and pan-frying pork which was a huge hit. If you have not had a chance to read them yet, please click the links below and check those out.

Turmeric Lemongrass yellow curry Paste
Sri Lankan black curry paste

Today, I am ready to share third and final seasoning blend of this three-part series with you. I did save the best for last because this red curry seasoning blend is the most versatile, flavorful, and popular once out of the three. I do have a sense of completion and happiness but our journey through seasonings and curry blends does not end here. I do have lot more recipes lined up with these blends and already developing my next seasoning series as at now. So, without further ado lets get to adding a Sri Lankan pop to your cooking.

All the ingredients are easy to find in your local grocery store and your Indian grocery store. Dry ingredients are easily available from Amazon. This recipe is a one I cook in my kitchen frequently and holds true to conditions in my home and a huge hit every time I make it.

Red curry seasoning base

Sri Lankan Red curry Seasoning Base. 

Yield: 3 qt of Seasoning Paste

Prep Time: One hour including prep

Equipment: high speed food processor , heavy bottomed pot ,cup measure and wooden spoon


  • Roasted cayenne pepper 2 Tablespoon
  • Roasted cumin ¼ cup
  • Spanish paprika 1 cup
  • Coriander powder ¼ cup
  • Garlic cloves 2 heads
  • Onion powder ½ cup
  • Ginger root cubed 1 cup
  • Crushed black pepper ¼ cup
  • Ground nutmeg 2 tablespoons
  • Cloves 10
  • Cardamom 20
  • Amchur powder 2 tablespoons (ground raw mango powder)
  • Coconut vinegar 1 cup
  • Desiccated coconut ½ cup
  • Red lentil soaked 1 cup
  • Tomato pastes 2 cans
  • Salt ½ cup
  • Nutritional yeast ¼ cup
  • Soy sauce ¼ cup
  • Mustard oil cup
  • coconut oil cup
  • Lemongrass 2 sticks
  • Sri Lankan black curry powder 2 tablespoons


Measure out quantities of dry seasonings in separate bowls, have them ready to go.

Clean and rinse lemongrass and ginger. Peel and roughly chop garlic, ginger, and lemongrass.

Rinse and soak red lentils in cold water until soft.

Peel and crush cloves and cardamom.

Pulse lentils, lemongrass ginger and garlic in the food processor until finely processed.

Add half a cup of mustard oil, half a cup of coconut oil, 2/3 cup vinegar and quarter cup of dark soy sauce. Continue to blend until smooth. For about two more minutes.

Stop the food processor and add all the dry seasoning powders at once. Scrape the sides down. Cover and process additional minute.

Add remaining mustard oil, coconut oil and vinegar and continue to process until a smooth and well combined.

Heat a heavy bottomed pan on very low heat and melt two tablespoon of coconut oil. Gently pour the paste in there and heat on very gentle heat for about 5 to 10 minutes, until fragrant and turns darker in color continuously stirring.

Turn the heat off and allow to completely cool in the same pan.

This recipe yields a lot of seasoning base. It is too strong to be used on its own, so I highly recommend dividing in to 8 to 16 oz glass jars. Store in the freezer what you are not going to use in a week.

Basic Curry in 15 minutes using red curry seasoning.

2 heaping tablespoons of the seasoning base

Cup of scraped coconut

One medium size onion

One big tomato

Two Thai hot green chilies (optional)

sprig of curry leaves

pinch of Turmeric (optional)

I cup of scraped coconut

Half an inch of cinnamon stick

Blend everything in a blender with a cup of water to make runny base. Heat a heavy bottomed pot in a medium high and pour this curry base. heat to a rolling boil stirring continuously.

Once started to boil add a cinnamon stick, curry leaves, and turn the heat down to medium low. If you want to add a vegetable, seafood, or chicken you can add here. I would recommend any of followings chicken breast/ shrimp/ potatoes/ carrots and peas/boiled red beans and Swiss chard/ any white fish cubed without skin.

Simmer for 15 minutes or until oil separates from the coconut cream.

Adjust the salt to your taste and your curry sauce is ready. (Mine didn’t need any 😊). Enjoy over steamed rice, pasta or with flatbread on the side.

I hope will have great curry journey experimenting with this seasoning base. Let’s meet up next week with spicy curried rainbow trout recipe with all the tips and tricks.

Looking forward to make these curry seasoned recipes using red curry seasoning base soon.