Who does not enjoy an old seafood curry?! This squid curry is definitely a family favorite, so flavorsome, fragrant, easy and quick to make, and undoubtedly delicious! This Sri Lankan-style squid curry also known as cuttlefish curry, or calamari curry served with turmeric rice is utterly delicious even without all the frying.
I cook curries quite often and this is because I love curries and I happen to be married to a Sri Lankan too. Sri Lankan cuisine is definitely one to die for in my opinion, so many delicious dishes that I might need a few lives to try them all.
My Sri Lankan cooking might not be as traditional and authentic as I do not like frying or adding much oil so I certainly give them a healthier note in that respect and also add my own interpretation when it comes to cooking in general which I cannot help but add to every dish I make.
I particularly like cooking seafood curries like prawn, fish (you need to try my own monkfish curry), or squid, you name it, and then it comes to the lamb curry - check out my recipe - another amazing and healthy curry recipe that you should definitely try.
🥘 Ingredients for squid curry
The ingredients used are amazing, with super health benefits. What I find fascinating is the benefits of those seeds that Asians use for thousands of years. Cumin, fennel, coriander, turmeric, and tamarind are all such unique spices and ingredients that you just want to cook with over and over again.
You need a good curry powder and a few more spices besides the squid to prepare the curry.
- curry powder - a good curry powder is essential
- squid - both fresh and frozen will work well in this recipe
- fresh ginger
- fresh garlic
- coconut milk - adds a great flavor to the curry
- turmeric - such a great ingredient - great for flavor and health benefits
- curry leaves - fresh curry leaves are simply amazing and add so much flavor to any curry, try and find these in Asian supermarkets if you can - they're priceless
- Turmeric powder - use fresh turmeric if you have it - you will need a small root
- Fresh curry leaves - these are so unique and honestly if you cannot source these do not bother with the dried or frozen version. These do not add much to the curry and cannot be compared to the flavor the fresh ones add to any curry dish.
- Make it extra spicy - add one or two red chilies - depending on personal heat threshold
- Low-fat option - do not add any oils or coconut milk - this is great without it too
- Make it kids friendly - watch the amount of curry powder added depending on how hot the one you are using is
- Add a handful of prawns too - it will make it a mixed seafood curry
🔪 How to make this dish
Prepare your ingredients, clean the squid, and set all aside.
Cook the onion, spices, ginger, and garlic, and add the tomato paste
👩🏻🍳 How to prepare the squid for the curry
Fresh squid is the best one to use to make this curry but frozen tubes are also a good option if the fresh squid option isn't available. If you get the larger squid you will need to cut these into rings or just like I did here I did cut them into rings and then again into pieces. If you get the baby squid, you can cook those as a whole or cut them into two lengthwise.
A few steps to take when preparing the squid
If using fresh squid:
- separate the body or the tube from its head and tentacles.
- twist and pull out the transparent cartilage or the blade inside the tube.
- remove by peeling the outer skin.
- cut the large squid into the desired shape.
- wash and place them in a colander to drain off any liquid.
If using frozen tubes:
- thaw these and cut them into the desired shape
- allow enough time for these to thaw - they are normally coated in ice and therefore release a lot of water so they need a fair amount of time to drain off any excess water. Ideally, thaw this overnight in the refrigerator.
📌 Cook's tips
Do not overcook the squid, this will become rubbery so add this at the end when the curry sauce or gravy has reached the desired thickness. The squid should not be cooked for longer than 3-4 minutes.
Squid must be cooked for either a very short time (3 mins) or a very long time (30 min). Anything in between means rubbery. Three minutes over high heat is plenty. Beyond that will require at least 30 minutes to an hour for this to re-tenderize.
Squid is high in vitamins (B12) and minerals (potassium, iron, copper, and phosphorus) which help with blood cells' health, bones, as well as the immune system in general.
Yes, sure but as I said the quid will have to be cooked for a longer time. It is either cooked freshly for a good 3 minutes or for 30 min in which case they may cook it in advance but it will require longer cooking to re-tenderize the squid meat.
I do not recommend this unless you just make the gravy and add separately the squid when cooking it to serve immediately. The squid can be cooked from frozen, however, it might release the extra amount of water and make your curry more watery than you wish.
Ideally is to prepare the gravy and then add the fresh squid to it once the gravy reaches a boiling point.
🧾 Other curry recipes you may enjoy
- Chicken curry
- Easy Pineapple Curry (Ready in 25 minutes)- vegan
- Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry - vegan
- Duck Thai Curry With Fresh Coconut And Lemongrass Infused Rice
- Vegetarian Thai Curry On Egg-Fried Rice
- Ox Tongue Curry
- Red Split Lentil Curry (Dhal)
- Superb Lamb Biryani with Quail Eggs
Ok, let's just get cooking!
Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page. Thanks so much for stopping by!
🦑 Squid curry with turmeric rice
- chopping board
- wooden spoon
For the curry:
- 800 g squid tubes (28.22 oz) (cleaned)
- 5-6 medium shallots (sliced julienne)
- 1 tablespoon fish curry powder
- 1/2 tablespoon hot curry powder (or more, for extra spiciness)
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon seeds (mixed: cummin, fennel, mustard)
- 1/3 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger (fresh, grated)
- 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 4 tablespoons coconut milk
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 5-6 leaves curry (fresh)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (freshly grounded)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 green chili
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil ghee or olive oil
- 1/2 lemon (the juice)
- sprigs chives (or coriander) to sprinkle over
For the rice:
- 350 g rice (12.35 oz)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Cook the rice according to package instructions. Add the turmeric and the butter or ghee if you chose to add to the rice right at the beginning of cooking.
- Wash and chop the squid. Set aside for 5-10 min to make sure the water drains completely. Cut them as you wish into chunks or rings. For some reason, in a curry, I like the squid cut into pieces/chunks rather than rings.
- Place the squid into a bowl. Sprinkle some salt and pepper, and add all the spices (chili, coriander, turmeric, garam masala powder as well as half of the ginger and the garlic both grated). Mix well until all nicely coated and set aside for a few minutes. Allow marinating while you prepare the rest. You may marinate the squid for longer if you would like.
- Meanwhile, place a deeper pan over medium heat, add the coconut oil and the shredded shallots with the chopped green chili, the curry leaves, and the mixed seeds. Cook for 2 minutes. Sprinkle some coconut milk if it begins to sizzle. (This is because I avoid frying, but you could caramelize the shallots if you like).
- Add the remaining ginger and the garlic which you can finely chop or grate. Cook for 1 minute, stirring a couple of times. Oh..., the smell!! Bring it on!
- Immediately after, put in the tomato paste, the marinated squid, and coconut milk and cook for about 5 minutes, covered or uncovered.
- Once finished, turn the heat off and sprinkle some coriander or freshly chopped chives over with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Serve as desired.