Recipes for Change: Sri Lanka - Polos Curry

IFAD Asset Request Portlet

Asset Publisher

Recipes for Change: Sri Lanka - Polos Curry

Try the recipe at home

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

In Sri Lanka, the climate crisis is causing rising temperatures, increasingly extreme weather events and variable precipitation patterns are harming agricultural productivity and food security.

Through the Smallholder Agribusiness Partnership Programme, IFAD offers solutions for rural people in Sri Lanka, including promoting jackfruit among smallholder farmers because of its high value and resilience, as well as drip irrigation, sprinkler systems and training in composting and mulching.

Climate risks to jackfruit

  • Prolonged drought
  • Loss of land due to floods
  • Increasingly violent storms

IFAD solutions

  • Promoting jackfruit cultivation among smallholder farmers in almost all areas of the country
  • Implementing drip irrigation and sprinkler systems
  • Training in composting and mulching

The Recipe

Polos Curry (Baby Jackfruit Curry/Green Jackfruit Curry)

Serves 5-6


  • 500-600 g polos (baby jackfruit)
  • Spice mix: 2-3 tbsp each red chili and curry powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 2-3 each dried red chili and fresh green chili
  • 2 pieces goraka (”Indian Tamarind”) or 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 2-3 tbsp cooking oil
  • A sprig of curry leaves, 2 pandan leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cardamom pods, 2 cloves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp each salt and ground black pepper
  • 500-700 ml thick coconut milk + 250 ml of water

Cooking instructions:

  • Toast spice mix until golden brown. Keep aside. Separately, toast ½ tsp of mustard seeds, grind into powder and keep aside. Be careful not to burn.
  • Remove polos skin and cut in to cubes. Add to bowl of water to avoid discolouring. Once complete, wash well and drain water. Mix with toasted spice mix and keep aside.
  • Heat 2-3 tbsp of oil in a pan. Add ½ tsp of mustard seeds (untoasted) until they pop, then add remaining dry ingredients. When onions are tender, add polos to pan and mix well. Add the coconut milk, 250 ml of water and goraka and mix well.
  • Cook until polos are soft, about 30 minutes. Simmer for another 30 minutes over low flame until gravy becomes thick and creamy. Polos will turn reddish brown colour.
  • Sprinkle with the powdered mustard seeds and serve with plain rice or traditional idiyappam (also called ”string hoppers”: a Sri Lankan speciality of thin, steamed rice noodles).