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Calamari curry(cuttlefish curry).

Calamari recipe cooked with curry powders and coconut milk, you are going to love cooking this seafood curry for its delicious flavors.

Whether you call it a calamari curry, a cuttlefish curry, or even “dallo curry” in Sinhalese, the taste of turning these sea creatures into a curry with Sri Lankan spices is a seafood dish you won’t want to miss.

If you make this Sri Lankan cuttlefish curry, you will also have no need for extra side dishes but instead, serve it as a one-pot seafood dish.

Now that you have frozen calamari rings already cleaned and packed, this “dallo curry” is easier than ever to cook

Cooking calamari in coconut milk.

This calamari/squid curry recipe is my own version of the seafood curry.

By trial and error, I’ve learned how to cook the cuttlefish without turning them rubbery in texture.

This is one reason I like cooking squid/calamari in coconut milk and spices with gravy.

It’s easy to avoid the rubbery texture.

If you love curried calamari dishes then please do give this squid curry in a heavily spiced coconut gravy will make the a try.

Frequently asked questions about calamari curry.

  • Calamari, squid, cuttlefish, is there a difference?

I’m not going into their scientific names or parts that differentiate them.

Basically, they belong to the same family and can easily replace each other to make your seafood dish.

The difference comes in the texture, price, and fins or tails.

Calamari is more suited to cooking as the flesh is tender, they have longer fins, and are expensive than squid.

  • Can all parts of the calamari, squid cuttlefish be eaten?

Once you’ve removed the outer skin, the glass-like bone within the cavity of the cuttlefish and scraped off the gel-like substance, yes you can.

The head, tentacles, fins and even the ink can be used to prepare seafood dishes.

  • What are the diets that can include calamari(squid)curry into their meal plans.

Pescetarian, low-carb, keto, paleo, gluten-free.

Which is the best to cook the curry? Cuttlefish, calamari or squid?

Cuttlefish will be your best option as its meat is much more tender than the other two, the second option would be calamari and then squid.

Beginner’s tips for making this calamari recipe.

  • How to clean calamari/cuttlefish.

At some point, I’ll add my own how to clean them but for now,

Here’s a video on how to clean calamari to make this Sri Lankan seafood dish.
If you are not into watching videos here’s a post you can read about cleaning calamari.

  • how to choose fresh squid or calamari to make the seafood recipe.

You can easily tell the difference between fresh calamari/squid, make sure the outer skin is wet and shiny.

If they smell funny or unpleasant then the calamari is not fresh. seafood usually carries the smell of brine or ocean. 

Frozen calamari or squid is available for an extra price but check the date of packaging. 

If there are excessive ice crystals this is a sign of freezer burn. you’ll want to avoid these.

  • Since we are slow-cooking the calamari, you should use low-medium heat to cook the seafood curry throughout the cooking process. 
  • Follow instructions on how to clean cuttlefish as per the instruction is given above. 
  • Make sure your windows are open as you make the curry.

Calamari/cuttlefish carry a strong smell that some might find offensive, especially while boiling them and you are living in an apartment.  

When you are cleaning cuttlefish, make sure the sink area is clear of your regular plates and cups. 

have the wastebasket ready with a bag and dispose of it immediately.

If you live in an area where garbage is not collected daily, I would suggest wrapping the waste bit in two bags and immediately freezing it until the day of disposal.  

  • Spend a few minutes getting all the flavors right in the gravy. constantly taste it.

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How much dallo/cuttlefish/squid should I buy?

You have to keep in mind that more than half of the cuttlefish weight will reduce once you clean them.

For two people, I would suggest 500-700g.

For my family of 6(2 adults, 2 teens, two under 12-year-olds), I find 1kg of cuttlefish enough for a single-serve.


And yet the family complains that this is not enough when shared among themselves.
So, 5-6 people, I would suggest about 1 and 1/2kg-to 2kg.

Try to get the cuttlefish cleaned at the seafood stall if possible because it’s a lot of cuttlefish to clean.

Or do like I do.

Hand the cleaning cuttlefish part to your husband.

Utensils and appliances needed.

Knife and chopping board.
A large bowl with a bag to collect waste.
One medium-sized cooking pan.
a medium-sized deep wok.

More seafood recipes.

Sri Lankan red chilli fish curry.

How to make tandoori masala fish(oven-baked)

How to make a Sri Lankan canned fish curry.

Caramelized garlic prawn stir-fry

Sriracha spicy shrimp in coconut milk sauce(easy).

Storing- this dallo curry is heavily spiced, please use old plastic containers or glass containers so they don’t stain your new containers. even wooden spoons stain unless you are using coconut husk spoon which are more resistent to stain.

Freezing– can freeze only upto 4 days as the texture and taste will change the longer its kept frozen. if refrigerating use within 2 days.

Reheating-AVOID HEATING IN YOUR MICROWAVE as it will lead to unpleasent odor in your microwave. use stove top, take the curry out and let it reach room temperature.

Transfer to a cooking pan, add 1/4 cup water and heat it for 3 minutes.

Stop food waste by-unless cooking for a crowd, cook only as much as you need. leftovers can only be used for2 days.

RECIPE DIFFICULTY -LITTLE CARE IS NEEDED

Notes on making this calalmari recipe.

Assuming you are making the “dallo” curry for the first time,

The recipe instruction given is a step-by-step process where you finish one step of preparing the cuttlefish before moving onto the next step.

I usually do both the boiling, draining and making of the gravy side by side. 

For this purpose, I have all the ingredients ready and start making the gravy 20-30 minutes before boiling the cuttlefish.

This way the gravy has enough time to cook and thicken for the cuttlefish to be added.

But for your first time, I would suggest you start as per the recipe instruction below just to have an idea of the workflow involved in cooking the “dallo” curry.

How to make cuttlefish(Calamari)curry

Please make sure to read the recipe instructions carefully to avoid mistakes.

The ingredients mentioned below use standard measuring cups and spoons.

Ingredients

700g-1 kg cleaned calamari or squid(see video or reading provided above).

To boil the calamari first

4 cups of water

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 tablespoon of garlic-ginger paste

Salt to season(1 teaspoon should do)

Cooking calamari(dallo)gravy.

4 tablespoons of oil

A sprig of curry leaves

2 tablespoons of ginger-garlic paste(mince

2 medium-sized onions chopped fine

3 green chillies split

2-3 banana peppers(optional ingredient)

1-inch piece Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder

2 teaspoons of chilli powder

1 tablespoon of fresh ground black pepper(increase by a teaspoon if necessary)

2 tablespoon raw curry powder(you can substitute this with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of cumin  powder and 3 tablespoons
coriander powder)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 and 1/2 cup thick coconut milk

Salt to season

Method

Have all the ingredients prepped and ready, this will make making the calamari recipe easier.

Have a pan in your sink ready to drain the water from the cuttlefish(700g-1 kg)once they are boiled.

Clean and cut the calamari/cuttlefish into rings and set them aside.

Fill a medium-sized pan with water(4 cups)and boil the water until bubbles appear, add turmeric(1 tsp), garlic-ginger paste(1 tbsp), salt(1 tsp)to season.

Reduce heat to medium and add the calamari/squid/cuttlefish rings to the boiled water.

Boil the cuttlefish for exactly 2 minutes(time it if necessary).

Once the 2 minutes are done, immediately drain the water from the cuttlefish and set aside until you add the cuttlefish to the gravy.

How to make the calamari/cuttlefish gravy.

Place a wok or cooking pan over low-medium heat and pour the oil(4 tbsp).

Once the oil heats, add the curry leaves(a sprig), ginger-garlic paste(2 tbsp)and cook over low heat for 2 minutes.

Add the chopped onion(2 medium), green chillies(3), cinnamon(1″piece) and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the banana peppers(3, optional).

Cook until they turn slightly soft. 3 minutes over low-medium fire.

Have the spices ready turmeric(1/2 a tsp), red chilli powder(2 tsp), pepper powder(1 tbsp), raw curry powder(2 tbsp, yes you can substitute with regular curry powder or 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of cumin powder and 3 tablespoons of
coriander powder).

You can also add Jaffna curry powder or roasted curry powder for a more intense and spicier taste.

Add the turmeric, chilli powder, curry powder, pepper and cook the spices with the other ingredients in the pan over low heat.

The result would be a wet, oily spice paste.

Depending on the curry powder used(mentioned above), you will have a darker or lighter color wet spice paste.

My spice paste is darker because I used roasted curry powder.

Cook the paste for 2 minutes over low fire and avoid burning it.


Pour in the coconut milk(1 and 1/2 cup).

Slightly increase heat for the gravy to simmer while turning thick. 3-5 minutes.

Add sugar(1 tbsp)and season with salt, taste make sure you have a balanced taste in the gravy at this point.

Slow-simmer the gravy for 10-15 minutes until gravy is slightly thick and changes color to have the usual light brown color.


Once the “dallo” curry gravy reaches the right color and consistency, add the cuttlefish to the gravy, lower heat and slow simmer for another 10 minutes or until the gravy thickens and begins coating the calamari.

As the calamari(cuttlefish)curry cooks, make sure you taste the “dallo curry” and make adjustments according to your taste

You can add pepper, curry powder, chilli powder and a little bit more sugar to balance off the taste.

Add only if you need to increase spiciness or leave out adding spices at this point.

Once the gravy is thick and lightly coats the cuttlefish.

Serve the cuttlefish curry warm and enjoy with your favorite rice and curry dish.

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Calamari(squid) curry or as we call it dallo curry. A Sri Lankan seafood recipe you are going to love making for friends and family.

Calalmari curry(Sri Lankan dallo curry).

Yield: 5
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Calamari recipe cooked with curry powders and coconut milk, you are going to love cooking this seafood curry for its delicious flavors.

Whether you call it a calamari curry, a cuttlefish curry, or even “dallo curry” in Sinhalese, the taste of turning these sea creatures into a curry with Sri Lankan spices is a seafood dish you won’t want to miss.

Ingredients

  • Ingredients mentioned below use standard measuring cups and spoons.
  • 700g-1 kg cleaned calamari or squid(see video or reading provided above)
  • To boil the calamari first
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic-ginger paste
  • salt to season(1 teaspoon should do)
  • To cook the calamari/squid/dallo gravy.
  • 4 tablespoons of oil
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 3 green chillies split
  • 3 medium-sized onions chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoon of ginger-garlic paste
  • 1-inch piece Cinnamon
  • 2-3 banana peppers(though I have used, you can avoid using it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons of chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ground black pepper(increase to 1 teaspoon if necessary)
  • 2 tablespoon raw curry powder(you can substitute this with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of cumin powder and 3 tablespoons coriander powder)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cup thick coconut milk
  • Salt to season

Instructions

Have all the ingredients prepped and ready, this will make making the calamari recipe easier.

Have a pan in your sink ready to drain the water from the cuttlefish(700g-1 kg)once they are boiled.

Clean and cut the calamari/cuttlefish into rings and set them aside.

Fill a medium-sized pan with water(4 cups)and boil the water until bubbles appear, add turmeric(1 tsp), garlic-ginger paste(1 tbsp), salt(1 tsp)to season.

Reduce heat to medium and add the calamari/squid/cuttlefish rings to the boiled water.

Boil the cuttlefish for exactly 2 minutes(time it if necessary).

Once the 2 minutes are done, immediately drain the water from the cuttlefish and set aside until you add the cuttlefish to the gravy.

Place a wok or cooking pan over low-medium heat and pour the oil(4 tbsp).

Once the oil heats, add the curry leaves(a sprig), ginger-garlic paste(2 tbsp)and cook over low heat for 2 minutes.

Add the chopped onion(2 medium), green chillies(3), cinnamon(1″piece) and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the banana peppers(3, optional).

Cook until they turn slightly soft. 3 minutes over low-medium fire.

Have the spices ready turmeric(1/2 a tsp), red chilli powder(2 tsp), pepper powder(1 tbsp), raw curry powder(2 tbsp, yes you can substitute with regular curry powder or 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of cumin powder and 3 tablespoons coriandercoriander powder).

You can also add Jaffna curry powder or roasted curry powder for a more intense and spicier taste.

Add the turmeric, chilli powder, curry powder, pepper and cook the spices with the other ingredients in the pan over low heat.

The result would be a wet, oily spice paste.

Depending on the curry powder used(mentioned above), you will have a darker or lighter color wet spice paste.

My spice paste is darker because I used roasted curry powder.

Cook the paste for 2 minutes over low fire and avoid burning it.

Pour in the coconut milk(1 and 1/2 cup).

Slightly increase heat for the gravy to simmer while turning thick. 3-5 minutes.

Add sugar(1 tbsp)and season with salt, taste make sure you have a balanced taste in the gravy at this point.

Slow-simmer the gravy for 10-15 minutes until gravy is slightly thick and changes color to have the usual light brown color.

Once the “dallo” curry gravy reaches the right color and consistency, add the cuttlefish to the gravy, lower heat and slow simmer for another 10 minutes or until the gravy thickens and begins coating the calamari.

As the calamari(cuttlefish)curry cooks, make sure you taste the “dallo curry” and make adjustments according to your taste

You can add pepper, curry powder, chilli powder and a little bit more sugar to balance off the taste.

Add only if you need to increase spiciness or leave out adding spices at this point.

Once the gravy is thick and lightly coats the cuttlefish.
Serve the cuttlefish curry warm and enjoy with your favorite rice and curry dish.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2217Total Fat: 111gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 84gCholesterol: 775mgSodium: 2921mgCarbohydrates: 233gFiber: 18gSugar: 39gProtein: 81g

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