Sri Lankan Dry Beetroot Curry Recipe and Food Photography by Shika Finnemore, The Bellephant

Sri Lankan Dry Beetroot Curry

Growing up, at the back of our little garden my mum had a vegetable patch. She grew rows and rows of beetroot and with them would cook up so many scrumptious dishes like this Sri Lankan Dry Beetroot Curry.

Nothing beats the taste of fresh homegrown/local produce and since I’ve been here in Australia, I’ve been obsessed with going to farmers markets for my fruit and veg. And have I mentioned that my local one sets up at foot of my flat every Saturday? Score! Last weekend I got my hands on a lovely bunch of beetroot and it made me think of my mum’s Dry Beetroot Curry straight away. So one whatsapp message to her and 30 minutes later I had this cooked up.

Now I know what you’re thinking – what on earth is a ‘dry’ curry? Dry curries are very common in Sri Lanka. Cooked with little or no liquid at all, they are more like stir fry of vegetables. By cooking whole spices and curry leaves in the oil before adding the beetroot you get a real burst of flavour for such a quick and easy dish. If you can’t get your hands on fresh curry leaves, you can use dry ones. Just add more as they don’t pack as much flavour. 

Sri Lankan Dry Beetroot Curry Recipe and Food Photography by Shika Finnemore, The Bellephant

Serve this Dry Beetroot Curry with some Coconut Lentil Curry and Green Bean Curry for the perfect Sri Lankan dinner.

I’d love to see photos of recipes you try. Tag me using #thebellephant on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

Sri Lankan Dry Beetroot Curry

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 2

Sri Lankan Dry Beetroot Curry


  • 400g beetroot
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 15-20 curry leaves
  • 2 green chillies, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ lime, juiced


  1. Peel and dice the beetroot into small 1 cm cubes.
  2. Heat the coconut oil in a deep frying pan.
  3. Fry the mustard and cumin seeds for around 30 seconds until you hear them start to pop.
  4. Add the onions and curry leaves. Sauté for a few minutes until the onions soften and brown.
  5. Mix through the beetroot, chillies, turmeric and salt then cover and leave to cook on a medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the beetroot from burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Once the beetroot has cooked but still has a crunch to it, turn off the heat and then stir through the lime juice.


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