My Aachi Amma’s Easy Beetroot Curry Recipe

My Aachi Amma’s Easy Beetroot Curry Recipe

Ayubowan culinary cuties! I need to preface this recipe with a warning that self respecting Lankans would never make just one curry at a time. If you want to eat like a true aunty from the island, you must be prepared to rise at dawn to prep your five to ten curries plus sambol for the day ahead (and you must also like coconut in all forms). For now, give this easy beetroot curry a go, delicious with just a super easy pol (coconut) sambol and some form of carbohydrate (another non-negotiable Lankan staple). Just don’t say it tastes like Indian food!


Two large beetroots

One small red onion, or half a big one

One cup coconut milk

Two small green chillies, finely chopped

Two garlic cloves, finely chopped

One teaspoon chilli powder

½ teaspoon curry powder

One teaspoon ground coriander

One cinnamon quill

One teaspoon sugar

Three teaspoons white vinegar

Couple of curry leaves (sometimes these are really hard to find or $$$, go to an Indian-Pakistani-Lankan grocer, but if you can’t find them go on without them)

Salt for seasoning

Oil or ghee for frying

Lemon or lime


1.     Peel, wash and cut beetroot into cubes or thin sticks.

2.     Chop onion into small pieces.

3.     Over medium heat add a solid swig of oil/ghee and onion, garlic, curry powder, curry leaves, chilli powder, chillies, coriander, and cinnamon to a large frying pan or deep based saucepan. Fry until onions turn translucent and spices blend.

4.     Add beetroot, vinegar, sugar, and coconut milk. Cover, turn heat down to moderate, and leave to cook for about 20 minutes, or until beetroot has softened.

5.     Taste and season with salt and a squeeze of lime or lemon, as you desire.

6.     Serve with rice, roti bread, sambal, and ten other curries (lol).

Words and Photos by Tara Kenny

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