Malu Ambulthiyal

Today’s guest blogger is Sunera Edirisuriya, a staff member of Save the Children. She will be sharing a little background information on Matara district’s specialty seafood dish as well as her mother’s recipe for it.

This is one of the famous fish curries which is unique to down south Sri Lanka. It does not mean that this curry is not cooked in other parts of the country yet there is a difference in the flavour and the ingredients used. Due to its origins in the south, it is customary for people from the south to take a pot or jar of malu ambulthiyal when they visit relatives living elsewhere. This fish curry can be served with rice and other curries. Specially, Malu Ambulthiyal pairs well with Kiribath (Milk rice) and katta Sambola.

In our family, we never miss Malu Ambulthiyal at the meal table during the Sinhala and Hindu New Year festival. It was my paternal grand-mother who used to prepare this dish and then my mother and now my elder sister brings this curry to our New Year meal table.

Malu Ambulthiyal

Cooking time: 20 mins

Serves 10

Malu Ambulthiyal


  • Fish 1kg
  • Goraka (Garcinia gummi-gutta) – 100g
  • Pepper- 2 tea spoons
  • Green chilies -5
  • Cinnamon – ½ tea spoons
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt, to taste
  • Water – 1 cup


  1. Cut the fish in to small pieces (15-20) and wash them properly.
  2. Put the pieces of goraka in a saucepan with a little water and simmer until the goraka is soft.
  3. Crush the drained goraka pieces until it becomes a coarse paste
  4. Put the fish, goraka paste, pepper, curry leaves, cinnamon powder, salt and green chillies in the pan and mix them well until all the fish pieces are well coated.
  5. Add 1 cup of water to it.
  6. Cook the mixture over low heat for 20 mins. It would be much more delicious if this dish is cooked in a clay pot.
  7. Serve with rice or kiribath.

Recipe source: Sunera Edirisuriya.


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