Sri Lankan Mutton Curry

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Last Updated on December 14, 2020 by Chef Mireille

Sri Lankan Mutton CurryMutton Curry from Sri Lanka is infused with pandan, the vanilla like tasting green herb from South/Southeast Asia.

Here in NYC, lamb and goat meat are pretty easy to come by, especially in communities where there are large Caribbean populations as goat curry and goat head soup are very common Caribbean foods. However, mutton is harder to come by. Then a few months ago I discovered the Brooklyn Terminal Market and located only 20 minutes from my house. Drive down an alley and on both sides of the road are two huge markets that sell both wholesale and retail. Apparently, this is where many African and Caribbean restaurants get their supplies. The variety of Caribbean and African products were such a treat to discover. Every type of fufu grain you can possibly imagine. Instant mixes for things we eat in the Caribbean like peanut porridge. Also, lots of British products because many African and Caribbean countries were colonized by the British so these over the counter products are common like Horlick’s.

However, the best discovery was the meat counter. Since they supply restaurants, the turnover is very rapid so you know the meat is not sitting there for long. I have never before seen such clean and fresh looking meat of every variety – lamb, goat, and mutton. This is my new place to purchase my meat – even basics like chicken and they also have a fabulous fish and seafood collection.

In the past, any Indian recipe I always used lamb or goat although mutton is much more commonly used in Indian recipes. So do you know the difference? Even I get confused sometimes. Lamb is actually a young sheep and the older sheep in meat form is called mutton. Goat is a completely different animal that has hair instead of fur.

Now on to today’s delicious Mutton Curry that was part of my Sri Lankan Thali.

Sri Lankan Thali

Sri Lankan Thali -edit

This curry is infused with pandan, known as rampe in Sri Lanka. Pandan are the leaves of the screwpine tree with the flavor of vanilla. Here in the US you will generally find it in the frozen section of Asian markets, sometimes sold under the name Bai Toey.

Sri Lankan Mutton Curry
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4.50 from 6 votes

Sri Lankan Mutton Curry

Mutton Curry from Sri Lanka is infused with pandan, the vanilla like tasting green herb from South/Southeast Asia.
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Entree, Mutton
Cuisine: Sri Lankan
Servings: 8
Calories: 218.72kcal



  • Combine mutton, water, bay leaves, ginger garlic paste, pepperconrms, cardamom , cloves, cinnamon and salt in a large pot.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer on medium heat for 45 minutes, adding additional water if necessary. Remove meat from pot with all of the liquid. Strain and reserve the broth..
  • Heat ghee in pot.
  • Add bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, cumin seed, fennel seed. Toast for 1 minute until they become fragrant.
  • Add onion and green chiles. Saute until softened. Add ginger garlic paste and tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes become soft and mushy, about 5 minutes.
  • Add pandan leaves, kasuri methi, chile powder, coriander, and turmeric. Stir to combine.
  • Return meat to pot with yogurt and reserved broth, adding additional water if necessary to equal 1 cup.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add salt and chilantro.


Calories: 218.72kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.82g | Protein: 11.04g | Fat: 15.92g | Saturated Fat: 7.43g | Sodium: 513.72mg | Fiber: 2.25g | Sugar: 3.07g
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I'd love to share them!


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Reader Interactions


  1. I had tough time searching for pandan in our local stores, then had to give up when I realised that its not possible. I had to use substitues instead..this one sounds interesting way to make this dish..enjoyed your thali series Mir, hope you have all the thalis covered..:)

  2. I get goat meat from Jackson Heights. But these people don’t sell mutton. I need check this place once. Sri Lankan curry looks good and preparation is some what similar to Indian curry.

  3. We do not get paandan leaves here , but I got its extract from Singapore , which I still need to use . Lankan flavours are delicious and I am
    sure this curry must be great too . The whole spread looks wonderful !

  4. Omg Mirelle am drooling here , your srilankan thali is just rocking !!.. You have put lot of efforts behind this elaborate thali, kudos to you.. I am eyeing your Savboro <3 it looks fantastic and how perfectly shaped they are.. I enjoyed all your thali Mir 🙂 Dal with coconut milk looks so yummy .. When I don't have pandan leaves I have got this Pandan extract from asian store so I use the extract instead ..

  5. Getting fresh ingredients is always a luxuary. Glad you found a place close by. This curry sounds flavorful and all those ingredients on the thali look great as well.

  6. This thali on the whole, looks like a well balanced meal with its share of carbs, protein and fat. Am looking forward to seeing the recipe for the coconut milk dal.

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