Sri Lankan Beetroot Curry with Beef Koftas and Turmeric Rice

Sri lankan beef kofta recipe Sri lankan beef kofta recipe

Besides looking wonderfully colourful, this dish is deliciously flavoursome. The fussy eaters in your life may never know of the beetroot that lurks beneath! Choose a curry paste to suit everyone's palate or leave it out altogether if preferred. The koftas and sauce can be made a day ahead or well in advance and frozen. The rice is cooked by the absorption method, so don't be tempted to lift the lid or stir it until it has had its cooking time.

4 people 20 minutes 15 minutes


For the koftas

  • 1 pinch Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 clove Garlic crushed
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 tbsp SuperValu Sunflower Oil
  • 500 g lean minced beef

For the rice

  • 75 g SuperValu Baby Spinach
  • 300 g SuperValu Basmati Rice
  • 1 tsp Turmeric

For the sauce

  • 1 small Beetroot
  • 400 g Chopped Tomatoes
  • 150 ml Coconut Milk
  • 2 tbsp Curry Paste mild, medium or hot


  1. Pour the rice into a jug, note its volume and pour it into a wide pan. Pour double its volume of boiled water over and add the turmeric and a little salt. Bring to the boil, pop a lid on and reduce to simmer very gently for 10 to 12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until the rice is tender and the water has been absorbed.
  2. To make the koftas, mix the beef mince, garlic and garam masala together really well. Season to taste and shape into 12 even-sized cigar shapes. (These can be prepared the day before). Heat the oil in a large frying pan set on a medium heat and fry the koftas for 6 to 8 minutes, turning regularly, until golden and cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, pour the tinned tomatoes and all but 1 tablespoon of the coconut milk into a wide pan and add the curry paste. Peel and finely grate the beetroot in, then stir together and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, until thickened.
  4. Once the rice is cooked, leave it in the pan and sit the spinach on top. Pop the lid back on and leave to wilt for a minute or two before stirring it through.
  5. Spoon the rice onto each serving plate. Top with three koftas and spoon the sauce over. Drizzle with the reserved coconut milk and serve at once.

Tip: Use lamb mince instead of beef mince , or a mix of pork and beef works really well too.

Make extra koftas to have as lunchbox fillers the next day. They are delicious served with a mint yogurt dip or stuffed in a pitta pocket with salad.

Use 0% fat Greek yogurt instead of the coconut milk, if preferred, but don't allow it to boil to prevent splitting.

Use brown rice if preferred, but it will take longer (and more water) to cook (about 25 minutes for easy-cook rice).

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