Rice and Curry – Sri Lankan Roasted Curry Powder and Shrimp Curry

 A couple of months back, I had told you about how I was working through the Sri Lankan cookbook by Skiz Fenando - Rice and Curry.

In a house, where I am constantly working with my own recipes developing them for my own cookbooks and columns. Then again there is the constant cooking for the kids routine and I promise you the amazing and sharp flavors of this cookbook puts the recipes way beyond the children’s reach but possibly why we have been loving the book. Today I will share the shrimp recipe that we have been enjoying and someday I will also share the chicken curry recipe which has almost become a sunday staple. 

I adapt the shrimp recipe just a little to add some bell peppers to the dish. It really is more about the color factor that I love so much because with cayenne, tamarind and lime the shrimp has plenty of happening flavor.

At the heart of the Rice and Curry recipes are Skiz’s recipes for his curry powders a roasted variety and the raw curry powder which he uses for recipes such as the carrot curry recipe posted here. I have also shared my thoughts and some insights to the book in my first post.

Sri Lankan Roasted Curry Powder


  • 1 tablespoon uncooked rice
  • 4 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 2 inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 inch piece of pandanaus leaf
  • 2 springs (about 10) curry leaves


  1. Roast each spice separately in a small frying pan until darker and arromatic.
  2. Place in a coffee or spice grinder and grind until smooth.
  3. Store in an air-tight container and use as needed.
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This curry powder has a nice balance of flavors and enough distinction for it to become my go to powder. Now, the best part of all is that you can actually get the curry powder pre-made from Skiz’s site. On to the shrimp curry, I will mention that for some reason my dishes have been ending up saucier than Skiz’s pictures and there is more evidence of the coconut milk that is so generously applied to these curries. My dishes have a creamier appearance to them. 

However, they are all good! Skiz has a section on the health benefits of coconut and it is quite the trend these days. Coconut is full of monosaturated fats that is supposed to speed up your metabolism.

For me as with most things, it is always about taste. The bengali girl that I am, I love the combination of matching shrimp with coconut. Very native to me, but in this recipe we are talking spice loaded action packed fun.

I have made this dish so many times, I am actually writing up the recipe as I like to make it. It is close and it feels more instinctive that way. It meshes into the nice and casual style of the book.


Sri Lankan Shrimp Curry


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 11/2 tablespoons Sri Lankan Roasted Curry Powder (per recipe above)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 11/2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 4 pods of minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced lemon grass
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 green chili minced
  • 2 pounds of large shrimp shelled and deviened
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro to garnish


  1. Heat the oil on medium heat and add in the mustard seeds and wait for them to crackle.
  2. Pound the fenugreek seeds and add into the oil with the curry powder and stir well.
  3. Add in the onion, ginger and garlic and stir and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion wilts and begins to turn softly golden.
  4. Add in the turmeric, cayenne, lemon grass and the green chili and stir well.
  5. Add in the shrimp and the salt.
  6. Mix in the tamarind paste and the coconut milk and bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes until the shrimp turns dark red.
  7. Turn off the heat.
  8. Squeeze in the lime juice, stir in the cilantro and serve.
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  1. Rumana says:

    The curry is looking delicious…

  2. aza says:

    i dont uderstand how much is 11/2 tablespoons Sri Lankan Roasted Curry Powder?
    Can you clarify this please? thanks!

  3. Sharmistha says:

    Good to be back on your blog after eons!
    And this dish looks amazingly good!
    And the spices are all in my kitchen and some wholesome prawns in my fridge! So will definitely give this a try!

  4. usha says:

    Hi, what is pandanaus leaf? I did a google search and it lead me no where.

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