Sri Lankan black pork curry brings smoky flavors of summer BBQ to winter kitchen

Sri Lankan black pork curry
image of dinner plate with black pork curry

So far, I have shared several delicious pork curry recipes using Sri Lankan homemade curry powders. However, looking through my posts I realized I haven’t really shared my black pork curry recipe and tips in a single post. My Sri Lankan black pork curry recipe is in bits and pieces, a picture here, curry powder blend there and little bit in smoking and baking recipes with black curry seasoning paste. My Sri Lankan style black pork curry is one of my most loved pork recipes for dinner and it deserves its own post. So, let’s get to making the curry powder blend.

What do you need to make black curry powder for black pork curry

image of black pork curry
Black pork curry

Combination of Malabar tamarind, dry roasted coriander, coconut, and chilies gives this curry a slight tang and the smooth smoky crust around the pieces of pork, without smoking the meat. Traditionally black pork curry is cooked to have a mild taste, to experience the sour smokiness and buttery texture of the meat. What little heat it has comes from black pepper and ginger. Heat from chilies is completely subdued in the cooking process.

Cleaning and prepping pork for the curry

Trim off some of the unwanted fats from the meat. Wash and pat dry. For the preparation of curry, once you clean and pat dry the meat cut it to smaller bite sized chunks.

Marinating and cooking the Pork curry

How much or how little curry powder to use is entirely according to your taste, however I would recommend using at least two teaspoon of curry seasoning blend per pound. You can add extra up to five teaspoons if you are used to complex curry flavors. You could skip the step of letting the meat sit until the flavors are absorbed. Just add curry seasoning and cook right away, it will give a delicious black pork curry.

For smoking and cooking this curry in the oven, mix two teaspoon of curry paste/ Lb and massage to spread over the meat. You could cook whole pork butt or shoulder in the oven or smoke if you so prefer. Just be aware of the longer cooking time and Malabar tamarind we use in the seasoning will release more flavor and tartness while cooking and resting.

Black pork curry is cooked under one hour on stove top with curry cut pork and is one of the quickest layered curries you can make if you have ready-made curry paste.

image of black pork curry

Black pork curry recipe

What does the Sri Lankan black pork curry taste like? Black pork curry brings out the flavors of tender smoky pork flavor to spotlight that you might want to keep making this curry over and over to keep that taste around. This is how I make it.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Sri Lankan, Sri Lankan curry
Servings 8 servings


  • 3 tbsp whole coriander toasted and ground
  • 1 tsp whole cumin toasted and ground
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds toasted and ground
  • 5 curry leaves toasted
  • 1 tbsp dry raw white rice toasted until deep brown and ground
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut toasted until deep brown and ground
  • 2 inches piece of pandan leaves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 whole red chilies toasted and crushed
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 3 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 inch piece of lemongrass
  • 5 cloves of Malabar tamarind soaked and cut into small pieces
  • 3 tbsp whole black pepper freshly crushed
  • 4 lb. pork rinsed and cut into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp toddy vinegar


  • Dry roast coriander, cumin, fennel seeds, and chilies separately.
  • on the same skillet toast white rice and curry leaves, until dry and turns smoky brown. (Rice will take longer to brown)
  • Next toast grated coconut until deep brown and fragrant.
  • Grind all toasted spices, black pepper, cloves, red chilies, nutmeg into a fine powder in a blender cup or spice grinder.
  • Use four heaping tablespoons of this deep black curry powder and all remaining spices except cinnamon in the blender cup with sufficient water to make a smooth paste. you just made pork curry paste.
    black curry seasoning

Cooking the curry

  • Add curry paste you just made to pork and massage into the meat.
  • Heat couple of tablespoons coconut oil and add stick of cinnamon to fry for a second. add all the meat. in the cooking pot trying to scrape out the curry paste as much as possible into the cooking pot.
  • Add a cup and half of water cover and cook on low until meat is cooked through and tender. Mine took 40 minutes, cooking time will slightly vary depending on how many pork bones you are using and how small the meat is cut.
  • Pork shoulder cooked in smoker with black curry paste
    black pork smoked
  • pork curry cooked in oven
    pork curry made in oven with flat bread and salad


For smoking with black curry paste use the curry paste to rub the entire piece of meat and cook in Dutch oven over 8 hours at 225-degree temperature. 
Cooking curry flavored pork roast in oven place seasoned pork in Dutch oven and cook at 325 degrees for 2 hours. (Cooking time will be shorter if you are using the curry cut pork). 
Keyword Pork ambul thiyal, Sri Lankan black pork curry, Sri Lankan black pork curry recipe, Sri Lankan style black pork curry

Serving suggestions that go well with black pork curry

Serve black pork curry with steamed white rice, creamy mashed potatoes, or Sri Lankan coconut roti with a salad on the side.

I hope you enjoyed cooking my recipes and give this recipe a go. I promise you won’t be disappointed. My recipes will serve as guidelines, but cooking curries is an art and there is no right or wrong way to do it. Keep trying tasting adjusting flavors to suit your liking.

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3 responses to “Sri Lankan black pork curry brings smoky flavors of summer BBQ to winter kitchen”

  1. […] could easily make the spicy pork curry powder blend using my home blend red curry powder and black curry powder, if you have been following my recipe blog. However, today I am going to describe how to make the […]

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