Best Everyday Sri Lankan Pork Curry

pork curry

Pork curry is a very popular day to day recipe in Sri Lanka and one very close to my heart. My mom, she was always adamant on us always eating homecooked meals. No mater how busy she was with her career, us, putting up with my dad’s busy schedule she always made delicious meals. But she never cooked pork. That was until I got married and realized how much my husband loved eating pork curry and how good my mother-in-law and my father-in-law was cooking it. They both had two different recipes to cook pork, and both was delicious. So, no pressure!

image of pork curry in bowl

Little by little I mastered the technique of making a great pork curry. That is how I am giving you this quick and easy pork curry recipe. You can make the curry seasoning base ahead of time and keep it in the fridge or freezer and use it whenever you need. To cut down cooking time and enhance the notes of fragrant spices, we are making the pork in pressure cooker. With all that lets get cooking.


Choosing the cut for a great pork curry

For a flavorful red curry of pork, you we do need to use some of the bone, some of the fat and some of the meat. A meat curry is one single dish you do not have to think too far in to buying a specific cut. If you have a good seasoning base the curry is guaranteed to give you happy belly with a easy cookout. One thing we do have to be careful about is how much fat we are going to use. Little fat is flavorful, but lot of it isn’t going to be good when it comes to water-based curry like the one we are going to make today. For a good curry and a good balance of flavor in the sauce we need marbled fat in between muscle intact.

raw meat on white plastic rack
Photo by Mark Stebnicki on

That means we are not really going to add any skin or fat under the skin when we are making the curry much. We will almost all of it. Any time you can find a cut of meat with bone in, use the bone in your curry. it will add great flavor, help to give nice thick flavorful sauce. With all that said, my favorite cuts for making pork curry is picnic shoulder, country style ribs or bone in pork butt roast. Remove the skin if any and trim of a lot of fat under the skin and cut into even sized cubes. After preparing , we are going to make some great red curry seasoning rub for flavoring the meat


Making the curry seasoning base

One of the reasons pork red curry is my personal favorite curries is because it gets better as the time goes on. Specifically, when you season the meat just right. Whenever I make I just make a big batch and save some in freezer for next time I am craving some yummy pork curry.

Image of Pork Red Curry
Pork red curry

I am going to make the seasoning base from the scratch today and will customize to suit cooking in pressure cooker and the flavors I want to get. However, one other really good alternative is to use red curry seasoning base to season the meat and cook from that. I always have frozen red curry seasoning base with me when I am in a hurry and do not want to make curry powders from scratch.

Click on the button below to read how to make red curry seasoning base

Pork Red Curry Recipe


  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vinegar (coconut vinegar)
  • 1/2 tsp of fenugreek
  • 1/4 tsp fennel
  • Half a tsp black cumin
  • 3 tbsp Spanish paprika
  • 1 Tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 Tsp in roasted cumin powder
  • 1 Tbsp of black curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp tamarind
  • 1 Malabar Tamarind /Brindle berry
  • 1 inch stick of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp crushed ginger and garlic
  • 2 red onions caramelized
  • Lemongrass
  • Pandan leaves
  • Curry leaves
  • Pork butt roast

Cooking Utensils

  • Pressure cooker or instant pot
  • Food processor


Trim off the outer layer of fat and skin cube the meat as evenly as possible. Leave little bit of fat and bone intact.

Toast fennel, black cumin, fenugreek separately. Roast coriander powder, cumin powder, paprika together. Grind all the spices except fenugreek seeds and add to the meat.

Crush black pepper, mustard seeds and salt in mortar and pastel. Add that to the meat along with tamarind and vinegar. Massage the seasoning into the meat well and let it marinade for half an hour.

Heat the pressure cooker and add sliced onion, sauté until golden brown.  add ginger garlic, curry leaves, lemongrass sauté until soft. Add meat and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes. Add cup of water pandan leaves and curry leaves.

Seal the pressure cooker and cook on high until the pressure start releasing. Set the timer for 20 minutes and turn the heat down to medium low to low. Cook for 20 minutes. Turn the heat down and let the pressure cooker cool and, no steam is being released.

Enjoy over rice or pasta.

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