Fearne Cotton's Sri Lankan vegetable curry recipe

(444 ratings)

Fearne Cotton's Sri Lankan vegetable curry takes 25 minutes to cook and serves 4-6.

Fearne Cotton's Sri Lankan vegetable curry
(Image credit: Tamin Jones/Cook Happy, Cook Healthy by Fearne Cotton)
Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time25 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories292 Kcal15%
Sugars7.3 g8%
Saturated Fat17.6 g88%
Protein8.2 g16%
Fat24.3 g35%
Carbohydrates10.2 g4%

Fearne Cotton's Sri Lankan vegetable curry is 292 calories per portion and is perfect for batch cooking. 

Fearne understands how important it is to nourish yourself and your family with healthy but delicious meals, even when you’re short on time. This easy recipe takes 45 minutes to prepare and cook, making it a great mid-week option. 

Please note that the nutrition has been calculated with the fish but does not include the side portion of brown rice. 


  • 1½ tbsp coconut or sunflower oil
  • 10 fresh curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 5cm piece of root ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1½ tbsp mild curry powder
  • ½ tsp chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 16 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 x 400ml cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 200g skinless and boneless cod or sea bass fillets, cut into bite size pieces (optional)
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced, to serve
  • Cooked brown rice, to serve




  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the curry leaves (if using) and fry for 2–3 minutes until the leaves begin to crisp up and brown.
  2. Add the onion and ginger and sauté gently for 5 minutes, until the onion has softened, then add the garlic and fry for a further minute until aromatic.
  3. Add the spices, tomatoes, half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Fry for a further 2 minutes until aromatic, then add the coconut milk, carrots and green pepper.
  4. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 20–25 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through and the sauce has reduced down a little.
  5. If you are using fish, add it to the curry for the last 5 minutes of cooking time, until just cooked through.
  6. Serve with the spring onion scattered over the top and rice alongside.

Top tips for making Fearne Cotton's Sri Lankan vegetable curry 

Fearne has recommended serving the curry with brown rice but you can use noodles if you prefer. 

Should I add fish to my curry?

Fearne says: “I love adding fish to this curry as it adds an extra boost of protein and makes it even more hearty." You could add prawns if you prefer or some chicken breast. It is also tasty without any extras if you want to keep the recipe vegan. 

What inspired Fearne Cotton’s recipes?

Speaking about this curry in particular, Fearne explained: “​​Many moons ago, before Rex and Honey came along, Jesse and I went on a far-flung adventure to Sri Lanka. It is such a vibrant country where the people smile from the heart and the food is made with love.

On the entire trip, there wasn’t a dish I didn’t love. This curry is inspired by the flavours we encountered and the warmth their food provides.”

Is Fearne Cotton vegan?

Over the past few years Fearne has transitioned to a completely plant-based diet. The cookbook in which this recipe was first published, was released back in 2016 and before she transitioned to a vegan diet. 

Profile picture of Jessica Ransom
Jessica Ransom

“Fresh curry leaves will elevate the flavour of this curry and are well-worth seeking out. If you have any left over, freeze them and use straight from the freezer in future recipes.”

Cook Happy, Cook HealthyView at Amazon

Cook Happy, Cook Healthy by Fearne Cotton (Orion, £10.99) - View at Amazon

With chapters for breakfast, drinks, snacks, lunch, speedy dinners and much more, this book is full of recipes you’ll love, no matter the cooking occasion. 

If you fancy some more celeb cooking inspo, check out this Gordon Ramsay vegetable curry. You might also like this Joe Wicks chickpea curry or our split pea and vegetable curry is a hearty but healthy choice. Joe Wicks' halloumi and cashew curry is perfect if you’re in a hurry as it only takes 10 minutes. If you have more time, try Wagamama's katsu curry recipe instead. 

Jessica Ransom
Senior Food Writer

Jessica is a freelance food writer, stylist and recipe tester. She previously worked as Senior Food Writer at Future. While at Future Jessica wrote food and drink-related news stories and features, curated product pages, reviewed equipment, and developed recipes that she then styled on food shoots. She is an enthusiastic, self-taught cook who adores eating out and sharing great food and drink with friends and family. She has completed the Level 1 Associate course at the Academy of Cheese and is continually building on her knowledge of beers, wines, and spirits.