Authentic spicy stew beef curry Sri Lankan style

Stew beef curry in the cooking pan

It’s easy to love stew beef curry. Sri Lankan spicy stew beef curry among all of them is peppery, savory, and steaming deliciousness with chunky meat cooked to perfection but still with little texture. That’s how I like my Sri Lankan spicy stew beef curry.

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Stew beef curry in the cooking pan

This coconut curry beef stew can be made in one pot or instant pot just as easily. Like most Sri Lankan meat curries my version of beef curry recipe does not need browning of meat beforehand. Thus, making authentic version of beef curry from Colombo perfect for easy crockpot beef curry dinner.

If you got the perfect cut of beef and haven’t gotten out to make any Irish beef stew yet, let me try and persuade you to make a spicier stew beef version with this Sri Lankan beef curry recipe. An easy, delicious, nourishing gourmet weeknight dinner on a budget is what you will get if you try it.

beef meat spices and herbs in bowls

Making a homemade curry paste for Sri Lankan stew beef curry

Meat curry powder:

Liquid flavors:

Add tablespoon of coconut vinegar and three tablespoons each of tamarind water and soy sauce. Add liquid flavors and curry mix powder to beef pieces and allow it to marinade for half an hour. It’s best to cut the beef into smaller chunks for the stew beef curry allowing the flavors to be absorbed well.

Herbs and other ingredients:

Finely minced shallots or red onions, green chili, curry leaves, ginger and garlic, bruised stalk of lemongrass and pandan leaves are a part of every Sri Lankan curry. In this stew beef curry, these Sri Lankan herbs blend bring nice fresh flavors and balance to dry spices.

Peppery heat and aroma from red curry powder with savory cooking liquid from soy sauce, vinegar, and tamarind, helps beef pieces to become very tender, spicy, flavor bombs that melt in the mouth.

The sweet woodsy aroma from cinnamon, also the aroma from cloves and nutmeg really complements the spicy and peppery flavors in the stew beef curry sauce.

What to serve with curry beef stew

I love to pair this spicy stew beef curry with vegetable fried rice or seafood fried rice. Such a delectable combination that I have really fallen in love with since my time in Colombo.

Another one of my favorite foods to pair with this coconut curry beef stew is rice flour puttu. Creamy and filling puttu is perfect mild side to have with spicy authentic one pot beef curry from Sri Lanka.

White rice, puttu, fried rice, flat bread are all good combinations for traditional style meals with beef curry.

Pair, mix and match this curry beef stew with mashed potato, cauliflower or bread is for a perfect everyday curry dinner.

Full printable stew beef curry recipe

Authentic spicy stew beef curry Sri Lankan style

Sri Lankan spicy stew beef curry is peppery, savory, and delicious with chunky meat cooked to perfection making a gourmet dinner with stew beef.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Marinate 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Sri Lankan


  • 3 lb Beed stew pieces cubed
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium red onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 inch ginger minced
  • 2-3 green chilies sliced
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 2 pandan leave shreds inch long
  • 3 inch stalk of lemongrass with root bruised
  • 4 tbsp Beef curry powder Ref to notes and article
  • 1 cinnamon stick 2 inch long
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp tamarind water
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard sauce
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Salt or to taste.


  • Add curry powder, salt, tamarind juice, yellow mustard, and soy sauce to the beef and mix well. Allow beef to marinade for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the oil in a large pot or pan over medium high heat. add cinnamon stick, fenugreek seeds and onion.
  • Sauté until onions are soft and translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, and green chilies, curry leaves and pandan leaves and sauté for a few more seconds until fragrant.
  • Add marinated pieces of beef to the pan stir well to coat with the onion mixture. Turn the heat to medium and cook for about 5-7 minutes until the beef is lightly fried on all sides.
  • Pour in the water to cover the beef prices. Add lemongrass as well. Stir well to combine everything. Cook on medium for 30 minutes or until beef is cooked through and tender.
  • Season with salt to taste during the last 5 minutes of simmering. Once the sauce is thickened to your desire add coconut cream and cook for another 10 minutes until oil separates to the top from coconut milk. check for the seasoning one last time.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice or bread or naan. Enjoy !
Keyword Beef Curry, crock pot beef curry, stew beef curry

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