Harak Mas Curry – Beef Curry from Sri Lanka

Harak Mas Curry – Beef Curry from Sri Lanka 2

The first time I prepared this curry was about 20 years ago following the instruction of the book wrote by Charmaine Solomon. In the meantime I completed the recipe (see spice mix recipe added) and I adapted it to the ingredient we have. This serves 2-4 peoples depending on the other dishes added.

Sri Lankan cuisine has influences from the Kerala region of India and from Tamil Nadu. Main ingredients are rice, coconut and especially spices, reflecting the island’s history as a spice producer and trading post over several centuries.

With dish includes beef which is widely used in Sri Lanka as the main religion (70% of population) is Buddhism and it allows to eat beer/cow.

This gentle curry with homemade Ceylon curry powder is very hot (depends also on the kind of cayenne you use) and my guest were always delighted by this dish and asked me the recipe.

Once more the list of the ingredients is long, but if you prepared all the ingredients first you will see that the preparation is fast. What you need is more time for simmering as the meat need a few hours.

Harak Mas Curry – Beef Curry from Sri Lanka

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

Harak Mas Curry – Beef Curry from Sri Lanka

Main dish

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Sri Lankan curry powder (see added instructions)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander ground
  • 1 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • 750 g beef, for stew diced into 2 cm pieces
  • 2 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or 1 can chopped tomatoes)
  • 1 fresh chili, seeded and chopped

Sri Lankan curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/2 small cinnamon stick, broken into small pieces
  • 3 dried curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper


  1. If you don’t have the basic Sri Lankan curry mixture, prepare it yourself: roast dry (without oil) coriander, cumin, fennel fenugreek, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Grind the roasted mixture with the curry leaves. Mix in the cayenne. Store in an air tight jar.
  2. In a medium pot with lid heat the ghee, add onion, ginger and garlic. Fry until onions get soft.
  3. Add the spices (curry, turmeric, coriander and mustard seeds) and fry at low heat until spices get fragrant.
  4. Add meat, toss until coated and fry a few minutes on all sides.
  5. Add vinegar and salt. Cook until liquid is adsorbed.
  6. Add tomatoes and chili, stir well, adjust salt if necessary.
  7. Cover and let simmer at low heat until meat is tender. This takes about 2 hours. Check from time to time if you have to add some water.
  8. Serve with rotis, naans or rice with a vegetables dish.


Author: artandkitchen

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12 thoughts on “Harak Mas Curry – Beef Curry from Sri Lanka”

      1. Curries are fav of mine also – I could have curry every night of the week if it wasn’t for the “little people” in the house! 🙂

  1. I have this cooking now using pork (which I know you would never consider 😉 ) and have to say it’s smelling amazing. I increased the cayenne and used two mild green chillis as I didn’t have a small hot red one. I’ll let you know later how it tastes!

    1. Thanks Jan, I’m very curious how will be the result.
      We had a some roasted pork with curry in the house of Peggy and it was really amazing! Pork meat on Crete was OK. We tried twice (no other menu was available) without allergic response! 🙂 The pork meat was also much better in taste than the meat I get at home. I think that the dermatitis is the result of a combination of different factors.

  2. The curried pork was delicious! We actually bought a whole 57kg pig from a butcher and he cut it into four pieces (head and shoulders, 2x Loins,and 2 legs as the 4th portion). then Russ and I broke it down further into small portions to freeze. The curry was made from the trimmings of various parts of our pig.

    1. WOW! I never did something like this! Good idea to prepare the curry with the trimmings of the animal.
      Once I stood 3 weeks in a farmer family, in the afternoon they had their break and they ate some parts of the pork they did not sell (boiled feet, ears and tail from pork) with bread this was the meal between lunch and dinner. A Spanish friend bough pork legs and he prepared “jamon serrano”. But the best were the salami that a friend of me prepared with the trimmings part of pork; she added wild fennel seed (much smaller and tastier than the commercial ones), Andi agrees that this was THE best salami we ever had!
      I’m sure you will prepare many very good different dishes, enjoy!

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