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Sri Lankan cucumber curry

The hot island weather calls for dishes that cool the soul. Cucumbers, because of their high water and mineral content are naturally cooling. Sri Lankan cuisine is filled with cucumber sambals, salads, and of course this version of a curry.

This is a light dish that is perfect for the hot weather. The flavours are mild, ones that satiate but don't make you sweat. The creamy coconut curry is more refreshing and fluid than thick, and make sure you keep it that way for your guests. There is a lovely balance of flavours that come together to keep you happy.

is is an amazing cookbook, so much so that I rarely now go to the other Sri Lankan cookbooks on my shelf. It is a gorgeous cookbook, from which I have cooked at least half the recipes, every one spectacular. I believe what makes this book special is the attention to detail, including recipes for every spice blend, The Roasted curry powder in this recipe, allows this dish to shine.

For more recipes from this cookbook click here.


2 tablespoons grated fresh coconut

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

3-4 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon chilli powder, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon tur

1/2 onion, finely diced

1-2 green chillies, finely chopped, or to taste

10-12 curry leaves

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly toasted and lightly crushed in a mortar and pestle

1-inch cinnamon stick

1 cup coconut milk

2 cups water

Salt, to taste

1 large, or 2-3 small Kirby cucumbers

Peel the cucumbers. Remove the inner seeds and pith and discard them if they are hard. Cut the cucumbers into 4 quarters longitudinally. Cut each quarter into 1/2-inch pieces on the diagonal. Set aside.

Individually toast the coconut, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds till light golden and aromatic. Cool completely. Add to a small blender with the water and blend to a fine paste. You may need to blend for a bit to get a smooth paste. Set aside.

Heat a pot on a flame and add all the ingredients including the paset except for the cucumber, to it. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes till the curry has thickened. You are looking for the consistency of light cream.

Add the cucumber and continue to cook for 1 minute and turn off the heat. You want the cucumbers to get just blanched, they should still retain a firm crispness. Do not make them mushy, please. Taste for salt.

Serve immediately as a side with rice.

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