Fish Chilli Dry Curry (Ambulthiyal)

Fish Chilli Dry Curry (Ambulthiyal)

This is a very traditional Sri Lankan fish curry and one of my Mum’s favourites – we make this on all our special occasions. When I was working for Sri Lankan Airlines, we served milk rice and fish Ambulthiyal on our breakfast menu on the London to Colombo flights. It was really popular with the passengers as well as the staff. I hope you’ll try it!


500g tuna fish (cut into 1 1/2″ squares and washed)
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chilli powder
2 teaspoons roasted curry powder
2 teaspoons black pepper powder
2 tablespoons goraka paste
3 sprigs curry leaves


  • Mix all the ingredients together with water and check the seasoning.
  • Add the fish pieces and leave to marinate.
  • Arrange the fish pieces in clay pot or pan, cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
  • When it comes to the boil, tilt the pot and let the gravy run right around.
  • Simmer until the gravy thickens.

This is tastier if you can make it a day or two ahead – leftovers will last a couple of days too, even out of the fridge.

© Ajith Perera. All rights reserved.