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Muttai Kulambu (Sri Lankan Egg Curry) in a white bowl.

Muttai Kulambu (Sri Lankan Egg Curry)

A recipe for Muttai Kulambu (Sri Lankan Egg Curry) from the cookbook, Sri Lanka: The Cookbook.
Course Main
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Keyword curry, egg, Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 4 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 medium onion finely chopped
  • 6 fresh curry leaves
  • 6 garlic cloves cut into quarters
  • 2 green chillies chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz, generous 3/4 cup) coconut milk
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz, 1 2/3 cups) water
  • 1 tablespoon Thool curry powder: see recipe below
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Thool Method B:

  • 20 fresh curry leaves
  • 250 grams (9 ounces, 2 1/2 cups) ground coriander
  • 50 grams (1 3/4 ounces, 1/2 cup) ground cumin
  • 75 grams (2 3/4 ounces, 3/4 cup) fennel powder
  • 20 grams (3/4 ounce, 3 tablespoons) ground fenugreek
  • 250 grams (9 ounces, 2 1/2 cups) chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 50 grams (1 3/4 ounces, 1/2 cup) ground black pepper


  • Shell the boiled eggs, cut them in half lengthways and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a medium, lidded saucepan over low heat, then add the mustard seeds. Let them cook for a few seconds until they pop, then add the onion and curry leaves and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add the garlic, chillies, fenugreek and cumin seeds, and sauté until the onions are soft and turning golden.
  • Add the turmeric and give it a stir. Add the coconut milk, water, curry powder and salt, and mix well. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, half-cover the pan with the lid and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
  • Gently slide in the halved eggs, then half cover with the lid again and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Taste for salt, then remove from heat and serve.

To make the Thool:

  • Dry roast the curry leaves in a dry frying pan (skillet) over a low heat until beginning to colour. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Mix all the other ingredients together to form a blended powder.
  • Dry-roast this powder very lightly in a dry frying pan over a very low heat, for about a minute until the colour darkens slightly. Remove from heat, stir and let it cool. Mix in the whole roasted curry leaves before storing.
  • Be warned that there will be a very strong smell of chillies around the house and the mixture can burn very quickly.