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Black Pork Curry (Kalu Uru-Mas Curry)

Black Pork Curry Sri Lankan

Black Pork Curry aka Kalu Uru-Mas Curry/කලු ඌරු මස් කරිය is a very popular Sri Lankan Pork dish that I think every pork lover should try. This curry is so delicious, and the meat always turns out super tender, I always make a large batch so I can plan a few meals around it. You need a few Sri Lankan ingredients of course (I'll link all the products below so it won't be hard for you to get them) but the process is super easy. Trust me it's worth trying.

I have a few pork curry recipes. My husband LOVES pork so I make some type of pork dish at least once a week. Sometimes it's pork stir-fry, sometimes it's pork fried rice. But since we both are Sri Lankan, most of the time I make a pork curry (Uru-Mas Curry). You'd find many pork curry recipes on the blog including my other black pork curry recipe (spicier than this). This is milder, tangier, and peppery. Both recipes are delicious!!

Which cut of pork is best for Black Pork Curry?

I think the cut of pork depends on how fatty or lean you like your meat. You can use Pork shoulder (commonly known as pork butt in the USA) if you like it more on the lean side but with a little bit of fat. Or you can use pork belly if you like all of the pork pieces to be fatty (Keep in mind this will render a lot of fat too as you cook the curry). My favorite way is to use a mix of pork shoulder and pork belly. You can decide the ratios as you prefer.

Ingredients info and Substitutes:

The ingredient list for Black pork curry (Kalu Uru-Mas Curry) is quite long but do not get intimidated by it. The process is very easy. That being said, some of the Sri Lankan ingredients I use here might be hard for you to find. Especially if you live in an area where Asian grocery stores are not very common. I'll add the Amazon links to the products I use so you don't have to worry about not finding them in your area.

(All Amazon links here are affiliated)


A popular Sri Lankan/south Asian sour ingredient with a unique flavor. Also known as Garcinia cambogia, Malabar tamarind, Brindle berry, and Kudampuli. You can buy Goraka from Amazon or a good substitute would be to use tamarind pulp. But tamarind doesn't give the black color we are looking for. You can also use store-bough goraka paste or goraka powder.

Sri Lankan roasted curry powder:

I love the smokiness of roasted curry powder. It's darker in color and strong in flavor than regular curry powder. You can substitute this with my meat curry powder. Or dry roast some unroasted Sri Lankan curry powder on a pan until it turns dark in color.

Roasted Chili Powder:

This is usually darker in Color and has a smoky flavor and an aroma. If you can't find this you can regular chili powder. Or you can dry roast regular chili powder with a bit of salt to get that dark color.

Curry leaves:

Adds a very nice aroma. I usually buy them from the nearby Indian and Korean grocery store. I don't have a good alternative for this since curry leaves have a unique flavor. If it's hard to get this ingredient you can still make the Black Pork Curry/ Kalu Uru-Mas Curry without it. Trust me it's still delicious.

Pandan leaves:

This is probably my favorite herb. It has such a good aroma. Available in Asian grocery stores, especially in Thai/Vietnamese stores. Check the frozen aisle as well. You can use a bay leaf as a substitute but the taste and aroma would be different.

Cardamom, Cloves and Cinnamon

If possible, always use whole spices for dishes. Ground spices are usually not as potent as whole spices. Also make sure what you use is true Ceylon Cinnamon, not Cassia (unfortunately this is what many western markets sell as Cinnamon. They are way thicker than cinnamon and have a licorice flavor and smell)

All the other ingredients are pretty common in most cuisines and are easier to find. So I'm not going to talk about them. If you have any questions, please add them in the comment section at the end of the page. I'd be happy to answer.

What makes Black pork curry (Kalu Uru-Mas Curry), Black?

Goraka/Garcinia cambogia: Freshly ground goraka is the best to get the color right. I notice a significant difference in color when you use fresh ground goraka vs store-bought goraka paste. When you choose goraka, get the glossy oily-looking goraka. Usually, these goraka are fresher than the matte hard goraka pieces. And easier to grind.

Curry Powder: Sri Lankan roasted curry powder is already dark in color. It gets darker when you saute it in oil. But be sure not to burn.

Black pepper: Freshly ground black pepper is the best and adds a nice dark color to Black Pork Curry.

Cooking it low and slow: Black pork curry needs a longer cooking time in low heat to get the meat tender. I usually cook it for atleast an hour or until the meat pieces become tender enough that I can break it apart with my fingers. Low and slow cooking helps to get the curry look darker in color too.

What to serve with Black Pork Curry

In Sri Lanka, black pork curry is mostly served with Rice and other curries. One of my favorite rice and curry menus are,

  1. Yellow Rice, Black pork curry, Creamy potato curry, Egg plant Moju and Lettuce salad.
  2. White Rice, Creamy Red lentil curry, Black pork curry, Coconut sambol.
  3. Red or white Rice, Black Pork Curry, Spicy red lentil curry, Gotukola Salmbol and papadums.

Black Pork Curry goes so well with Sri Lankan Coconut Roti, or String hoppes (Idiappam) and bread/roast paan as well.

Sri Lankan Rice and Curry with pork
Sri Lankan Rice and Curry with pork
Ratings 5 from 1 votes
Cooking Method ,
Courses ,
Difficulty Beginner
Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 60 mins Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Servings 8

Don't be fooled by the black color, this very popular Sri Lankan Black Pork curry is so tender and super flavorful, and smoky. It's a one-pot curry and easy to make. You got to give it a try! 

To Mix with meat:
  • 5 medium pieces of Goraka/Garcinia cambogia (check the description for substitutes)
  • 1/4 cup water to soak Goraka pieces
  • 6 Cardamom pods
  • 6 Cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Black Peppercorns
  • 2 Piece of Ginger
  • 6 Garlic cloves
  • 3 sprigs of Curry Leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 pounds Pork shoulder cut into small bite size pieces (3lb = 1.35kg)
  • To Sauté and Cook the Curry:
  • 2 teaspoons Oil (you can render some fat from a fatty pork piece as well)
  • 3 pieces of cinnamon, each about 3 inches long
  • 4 teaspoons Sri Lankan roasted curry powder (see description for substitutes)
  • 1 teaspoon Roasted Chili powder or regular chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt (adjust to your taste once the meat is cooked)
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 Pandan Leaf, broken into pieces
  • 1 cup water
    Mix with Meat:
  1. Soak Goraka (Garcinia cambogia) in hot water until you ready other ingredients. When they are softened, grind them in a small blender cup or in mortar and pestle to a paste. (You can also use store-bought goraka paste or goraka powder) 

    if the Goraka pieces you use are very softened you can crush that in mortar and pestle along with cardamom and cloves too. But if the goraka pieces are too dry, this takes too long. In that case use a blender.
  2. In a mortar and pestle, grind cardamom, cloves, and black peppercorns until they are fine (You can remove the outer shell of cardamom). Then add ginger, garlic, and curry leaves and grind them all into a rough paste. 

  3. Sri Lankan Black Pork Curry

    Add goraka paste, spices & ginger garlic paste, and salt to your pork pieces. Mix it well and set it aside. 

  4. Cook the Curry
  5. Sri Lankan Black Pork Curry Heat Oil to medium heat. Add Cinnamon. When they start to sizzle, add curry powder, chili powder and salt. Saute for a few seconds until the curry powder turns deeper in color. Then add onions and pandan leaves. Mix well.
    If you're using a lot of fatty pork pieces, you can render some fat from some of the fatty pork pieces and use it instead of oil. Or if you want to reduce the amount of oil in the curry, you can skip the sauteing, mix everything together and cook. It's still delicious But make sure to cook the curry low and slow.
  6. Sri Lankan Black Pork Curry

    Add Pork. Mix well with onions. Add a cup of water. Cover with a lid and cook on medium-low heat for about 1 hour or until meat is nice and tender. Stir in between. If the curry is drying out and sticking to the bottom add a little bit more water. If you have too much liquid at the end of cooking, turn up the heat and cook uncovered for a few minutes until excess water evaporates. 

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Roshani Wickramasinghe
Roshani Wickramasinghe
Hungry Lankan

Food blog with recipes from Sri Lanka and around the world