Sri Lankan Black Pork Curry


After a trip to Sri Lanka I was inspired to re-create some of their delicious curries in my pressure cooker. Sri Lankan curries are often more liquid than Indian curries and are often hotter, this curry gets the colour and heat from the back pepper. Reduce the pepper and chilli for a milder curry. If you cannot find pandam leaves or curry leaves cook it anyway, it will still be delicous.

You will need:

Marinade (at least 8 hours)
4 teaspoons tamarind pulp
¼ cup boiling water
3-4 teaspoons ground black pepper (add less if you desire less heat)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons Sri Lankan curry powder*
½ teaspoon salt
750g pork shoulder, diced

1-2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely diced
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely diced
2 fresh chillies, finely diced (remove seeds if less heat is desired)
3 sprigs curry leaves, leaves only
30cm piece pandam leaf, cut into 2cm pieces (optional)
½ stick Ceylon cinnamon, broken into large pieces
1 ½ cups (375ml) boiling water
coconut sugar, jaggery or palm sugar


Soak tamarind in boiling water for at least half an hour. Strain tamarind keeping the water and throwing away the seeds and hard pulpy bits.
Add the spices and salt to the tamarind liquid and then coat the pork pieces, leave to marinade minimum 8 hours or overnight.
Heat the pressure cooker to medium heat and add oil. When the oil is hot add onion, ginger, garlic, chilli, curry and pandam leaves, cinnamon and marinated pork pieces and fry for a few minutes or until fragrant.
Add water and stir.
Put on the pressure cooker lid and lock it into place. Set to high pressure (2) Bring up to pressure and maintain the pressure for 25 minutes.
Remove lid from pressure cooker then taste adding salt and a little grated sugar to get a balance of sour and sweet, simmer with the lid off if sauce needs reducing, remembering Sri Lankan curries are often more liquid.
Serve with Sri Lankan red rice and Mallum* see recipe.

Serves 4-6

* Sri Lankan curry powder recipe



For more recipes by Lisa Loveday buy her book here