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Calalmari curry(Sri Lankan dallo curry).

Calamari(squid) curry or as we call it dallo curry.

You won’t need much of a side dish to serve this one-pot curry.

A Sri Lankan seafood recipe you are going to love making for friends and family.

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

Yes, it takes time and effort to clean calamari but once you’ve done cleaning the cuttlefish, you can create the most delicious seafood curry to hit your taste buds.

Slow-cooking calamari/squid curry in coconut milk.

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

One thing I learned by trial and error is avoiding the cuttlefish/squid turning into a rubbery 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.

Slow-cooked in a heavily spiced coconut gravy will make the calamari/squid soft and easy to bite.

You won't seed much of a side dish to serve this one-pot curry that's going to make you want to make this calamari/squid curry over and over again

Calamari, squid, cuttlefish are all the same?

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 the 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.

Diets that can include this Sri Lankan calamari(squid)curry into their meal plans.

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

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.

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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. You won't seed much of a side dish to serve this one-pot curry that's going to make you want to make this calamari/squid curry over and over again
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.

How to clean calamari/cuttlefish.

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 for freezer burn. you’ll want to avoid these.

Beginner’s tips for making squid(calamari curry).

  • Since we are slow-cooking the calamari, you should use low-medium heat to cook the seafood curry throughout the cooking process. 
  • Read how to choose the freshest calamari/cuttlefish written above. 
  • 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.

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.

Workflow to make Sri Lankan “dallo” curry.

  • Clean the calamari/cuttlefish.
  • A quick boil as per recipe instruction.
  • Make the curry gravy.
  • Add the calamari to the gravy and slow-cook to the time given.
How I cook the calamari curry.

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 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.

Other Sri Lankan seafood recipes you might like.

Sri Lankan red chilli fish curry(thalapath malu mirisata)

How to make tandoori masala fish(oven baked, Indian recipe).

How to make a Sri Lankan canned fish curry.

Caramelized garlic prawn stir-fry(20 minutes, healthy).

Sriracha spicy shrimp in coconut milk sauce(easy).

RECIPE DIFFICULTY -LITTLE CARE IS NEEDED

Calalmari curry (Sri Lankan dallo curry).

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

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 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 a pan in your sink ready to drain the water from the cuttlefish once they are boiled.

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

Fill a medium-sized pan with water and boil the water until bubbles appear, add turmeric, garlic-ginger paste, salt 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 over medium heat and pour the oil.

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

Add the chopped onion, green chillies, cinnamon and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the banana peppers, cook until they turn slightly soft. 3 minutes over low-medium fire.

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.


Pour in the coconut milk, slightly increase heat for the gravy to slow simmer while turning thick.

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

Slow-simmer the gravy for 15-20 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 15-20 minutes.

Make sure you taste the “dallo” and make adjustments according to your taste, you can add pepper, curry powder and a little bit more sugar to balance off the taste.

Once the gravy is thick and lightly coats the cuttlefish, remove the wok from the stove.

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

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Yield: 5

Calalmari curry(Sri Lankan dallo curry).

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.

CALAMARI(SQUID) CURRY OR AS WE CALL IT DALLO CURRY.
YOU WON’T SEED MUCH OF A SIDE DISH TO SERVE THIS ONE-POT CURRY THAT’S GOING TO MAKE YOU WANT TO MAKE THIS CALAMARI/SQUID CURRY OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
A SRI LANKAN SEAFOOD RECIPE YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE MAKING FOR FRIENDS AND FAMILY.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

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

  1. Have a pan in your sink ready to drain the water from the cuttlefish once they aret boiled.
  2. Clean and cut the calamari/cuttlefish into rings and set aside.
  3. Fill a medium-sized pan with water and boil the water until bubbles appear, add turmeric, garlic-ginger paste, salt to season.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and add the calamari/squid/cuttlefish rings to the boiled water.
  5. Boil the cuttlefish for exactly 2 minutes(time it if necessary).
  6. 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.
  1. Place a wok over medium heat and pour the oil.
  2. Once the oil heats, add the curry leaves, ginger-garlic paste and cook over low heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped onion, green chillies, cinnamon and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the banana peppers, cook until they turn slightly soft. 3 minutes over low-medium fire.
  5. 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.
  6. Pour in the coconut milk, slightly increase heat for the gravy to slow simmer while turning thick.
  7. Add sugar and season with salt, make sure you have a balanced taste in the gravy at this point.
  8. Slow-simmer the gravy for 15-20 minutes until gravy is slightly thick and changes color to have the usual light brown color.
  9. Once the “dallo” curry gravy reaches the right color and consistency, add the cuttlefish to the gravy, lower heat and slow simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  10. Make sure you taste the “dallo” and make adjustment according to your taste, you can add pepper, curry powder and a little bit more sugar to balance off the taste.
  11. Once the gravy is thick and slightly coats the cuttlefish, remove wok from the stove.
  12. Serve 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

Each recipe on this blog has been written with great care and love to the best of my ability with you in mind.
It’s free and on the blog, for you to try anytime.

All I ask is that you do not save it on any apps, recipe boxes or online groups which will affect me as a food blogger and the growth of this blog. I would appreciate if you only share the link rather than the full recipe. 

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