#MondayMeals: Fearne Cotton’s Sri Lankan vegetable curry

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Many moons ago, before Rex and Honey came along, Jesse and I went on a far-flung adventure to Sri Lanka. It is such a vibrant country where the people smile from the heart and the food is made with care. On the entire trip, there wasn’t a dish I didn’t love. 

This curry is inspired by the flavours we encountered and the warmth Sri Lankan food provides. 

I love adding fish to this as it gives an extra boost of protein and makes it even more hearty.

Amongst my own #ferns

A photo posted by Fearne (@fearnecotton) on


1½ tbsp coconut or sunflower oil

10 fresh curry leaves (optional)

1 onion, finely chopped

5cm piece of root ginger, peeled and finely grated

5 cloves garlic, crushed

½ tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1½ tbsp mild curry powder

½ tsp chilli powder (optional)

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp sweet smoked paprika

16 cherry tomatoes, halved

2 x 400ml cans full-fat coconut milk

2 carrots, thinly sliced

1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into bite-sized chunks

200g skinless and boneless cod or sea bass fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces (optional)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 spring onion, finely sliced, to serve

cooked brown rice, to serve

Fish curry reminding me of Sri Lanka. 👍🏻

A photo posted by Fearne (@fearnecotton) on


  • Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the curry leaves (if using) and fry for 2-3 minutes until the leaves begin to crisp up and brown. Add the onion and ginger and sauté gently for 5 minutes until the onion has softened, then add the garlic and fry for a further minute until aromatic. Add the spices, tomatoes, half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Fry for a further 2 minutes until aromatic, then add the coconut milk, carrots and green pepper.
  • Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through and the sauce has reduced down a little. If you are using fish, add it for the last 5 minutes of cooking time, until just cooked through.
  • Serve with the spring onion scattered over the top and rice alongside.

Don’t forget to tag us in your #mondaymeals and let us know how they turned out! 

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