When I first came to Sri Lanka in 2003 I have to be honest and say that it took some time for my western palate to adapt to some of the fiery dishes on offer here. The following dish, however, I was instantly addicted to. I adore potatoes and to have them served fried with onions was already a favourite. Add some fragrant spices to that and I was hooked. Here is my own recipe:
- 500 (1lb) potatoes
- Good sprig of curry leaves (10 to 15 leaves)
- 3 onions (finely sliced)
- 2 tsps hot chilli powder
- 1 tbsp dired red chilli pieces
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp turmeric (Kaha)
- 2 small green chillies (very finely cut, de-seeded if liked)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp lime juice
- Vegetable oil
* some people add maldive fish (dried sprats) but I’m not a fan
- Peel and boil potatoes and cut into 1 inch cubes. They should still be firm to avoid getting mashed potatoes later! Drain.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the curry leaves, onions and mustard seeds until the seeds start popping.
- Add the green chillies and fry until the onions brown a little.
- Add the chilli powder, chilli pieces, turmeric and salt and fry for a few seconds before added the potato cubes.
- Fry the mixture for 5 to 10 minutes until the flavours have merged together and the potatoes have a reddish hue.
- Finally add the lime juice and serve.
This serves 4-6 people. Eat it as part of a rice and curry meal. I also like to smash the potatoes with a fork and slather it in between two slices of buttered fresh bread. It makes a very spicy vegetarian sandwich. Enjoy!