The Sri Lankan food culture is vibrantly influenced by its ethnic diversity. Being a multiracial country, Sri Lanka is indeed blessed with unlimited choices when it comes to tempting one’s taste buds. One will find a cultural gathering of Sri Lanka can be extremely colourful and tasteful due to these unlimited choices. When talking about Great Sri Lankan Recipes, there are many. However there are few all-time favourites by almost every Sri Lankan irrespective of their culture, social background, religion or ethnicity.
One of the best loved Great Sri Lankan Recipe is Kottu or Kottu Roti. This aromatic and tasty dish which is believed to be invented by tea estate workers in the central hills are now a nation-wide delicacy. Making a Kottu is not much of a difficult task. If you possess the proper utensils and cooking skill, a mouth-watering Kottu will be on your table in no time.
What you need to make a Kottu Rotti:
- 4 shredded Parathas or Godhamba Roti shredded (Can be purchased at street side cafes)
- 2 cups of curried meat (Beef/Chicken/Fish/Mutton)
- 2 eggs beaten
- Large sliced Onion
- Couple of Green Chillies
- Couple of large Tomatoes cubed
- Few Curry Leaves
- 4-5 tbs. Vegetable Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
How to make a Kottu Rotti:
- Heat the oil in a frying pan.
- Add curry leaves, onion and fry until the onion is lightly brown.
- Add green chilies & tomatoes and stir for few minutes.
- Add egg and stir well to coat all the onion & tomatoes.
- Add the curried meat. Stir well.
- Cook for few minutes.
- Add the stripes of Godhamba Roti, stir and allow to cook for few minutes longer on reduced heat.
- Adjust salt & pepper to taste.
- Serve hot or cold with chili Sauce.
Jaffna Style Crab Curry
The next Great Sri Lankan Recipe we are going to talk about is the Jaffna Style Crab Curry. Spicy yet capable of making food connoisseurs fell in love with it, the Jaffna Style Crab Curry is simply a heavenly treat. Originated in the Northern parts of the island where there’s an ample supply of Fresh Sea Crab all year-round, this is one dish Sri Lankans consider to be ashamed of for not trying at least once.
What you need to make Jaffna Crab Curry:
- Few Large crabs
- 2 big onions
- 4 green chili
- 3 tbsp roasted curry powder
- 10 curry leaves
- 1 tsp Fennel seeds
- 3 cups of Coconut milk (can be substituted with milk)
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
- 2.5cm Ginger
- 2 tbsp of Vegetable Oil
- 2 cups water
- Salt to taste
How to make a Jaffna Crab Curry:
- Dice onions, cut green chilies and ginger into small pieces.
- Clean and cut the crabs into four. Keep the claws on.
- In a large pan, dry roast the fennel seeds until golden.
- Add oil and the diced onions and fry until onions turn golden.
- Add the curry leaves and fry for a minute.
- Add the crab, curry powder, salt and the water.
- Cover and cook for five to eight minutes.
- Stir, add the milk and simmer over low fire until the liquid is reduced to half.
- Add lime juice and remove from fire. The gravy should have reduced to a thick consistency.
- Serve while hot.
The colonial era of Sri Lanka did left few wonders for coming generations to enjoy. The next dish is one of them; the Lamprais. The original recipe of this Sri Lankan Dutch Burgher delicacy has gone through many alterations in the hands of time but still the taste is one of a kind. The authentic Lamprais consists of Lamprais Curry, Frikkadels, Brinjal Paella, Chili & Onion Salad, Ash Plantain Fries, Deep fried boiled Egg and of course, the Rice all neatly wrapped in a banana leaf. As you may have already thought, making a Lamparis is a bit of a messy job, yet once the end result ends with success, one would sure to say ‘it’s worth the effort’. To begin with the next great Sri Lankan recipe let’s start with making the Lamprais Curry
What you need to make Lamprais Curry:
- 1 lb chicken/beef/mutton/pork
- 2 tbsp chilli powder
- 1 tbsp roasted curry powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 3 cardamoms
- 3 cloves
- 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 3 cups thick coconut milk
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
- A piece of rampe
- 1 stalk lemon grass
- Sprig of curry leaves
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 inch piece of ginger, chopped
- 2 tbsp vegetable/coconut oil
- 1/4 cup of tamarind pulp
- salt to taste
How to make a Lamprais Curry:
Cut the meat into small pieces. Add the next seven ingredients and mix thoroughly. Heat the oil in a pan, and add the next seven ingredients. Fry till fragrant. Next add the meat mixture and cook under low heat till the meat has cooked. Add tamarind and cook for a couple of minutes. Add salt to taste. Now let’s prepare the Frikkadels for our Lamprais.
What you need to make Frikkadels:
- 1 lb minced chicken (or a meat of your choice)
- 1 thick slice of bread (slightly roasted & grated)
- 1 tblp chopped red onion
- 1 ½ tsp sweet cumin seeds (slightly roasted and ground)
- A pinch of Saffron
- 1 tbsp Ginger (chopped)
- 1 tsp powdered Cinnamon
- 5 cloves
- Pepper and salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp Lime juice
- Bread crumbs
- Oil / Ghee for frying
How to make Frikkadels:
Season the meat with pepper, salt, cloves and cinnamon. Add the onions and grated bread to the meat. Then add the lime juice. Mix everything and make small balls. Beat the egg and dip the balls in the beaten egg. Fully cover in powdered bread crumbs and then deep fry until golden brown. And now we go to make the Brinjal Paella.
What you need to make Brinjal Paella:
- 1 lb Egg Plant (Brinjal)
- 1/2 lb small red onions or pearl onions
- 1/4 small dried prawns (shrimp)
- 1/4 lb small green chillies cut in the middle
- 10 cloves of finely chopped (paste)garlic
- 2 table spoon of crushed dried red chillies
- 1/3 cup of coconut vinegar
- 3 tsp pf finely powdered black mustard seed
- 5 full tsp of sugar
- 1 piece of Pandan Leaf
- 2 Curry Leafs
- 2 cloves (chopped)
- 2 cardamoms(chopped)
- Salt to taste
- coconut or veg oil to deep fry
How to make Brinjal Paella:
Cut eggplant into thin slices. Deep fry the slices, drain and keep aside. Fry small onions for about 2 minutes and then fry green chillies for about 30 seconds. Drain and keep aside. Fry fried shrimps for 45 seconds. Then sauté crushed red chillies for 15 seconds and fry Pandan Leaf and curry leafs for about 15 seconds. Mix garlic, mustard, cardamom, cloves and sugar together with vinegar, boil for 1 1/2 minutes. Take out from fire and put all fried stuff. Add salt to taste. Mix well. Keep till cool. Tastes better if consumed after one day. Chilli and Onion Salad is what is next in line.
What you need to make Chilli and Onion Salad:
- 1/2 lb sliced Onions
- 1/4 lb sliced red Onions (Shallots)
- 3 chopped green Chillies
- Juice from 1/2 Lime
- Salt to taste
How to make Chilli and Onion Salad:
Mix the sliced onions with the Chilli. Add the Lime juice. Add salt to taste and mix well.
What you need to make Ash Plantain Fries:
- 4 medium sized ash platains
- 2 tspn saffron powder
- Salt to taste
- Oil for frying
How to make Ash Plantain Fries:
First peel the Ash plantains and cut into square shapes. Then mix with saffron and salt to taste. Deep fry in oil.
What you need to make the rice:
- 500 grams (2 cups) Basmati or other long grain rice
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1 medium onion, finely sliced
- 6 cardamoms
- 6 cloves
- 8 peppercorns
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 inch piece lemon grass
- 2 inch piece cinnamon
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 level tsp salt
How to make the rice:
Wash and drain the rice. Heat ghee in a large saucepan and add the onion then fry until becomes tender. Add all the ingredients including the rice. Continue to fry while stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. Put into a rice cooker or pot. Pour in chicken stock and coconut milk. Cook until the moisture evaporates. Though kitchen will look like an utter disaster after all this drama, the aromatic flavour of your freshly made Lamprais will make you forget the world around you.
The culinary culture of Sri Lanka is such a diverse topic due to many influences throughout the history of the country. The next is one is an easy to make all-time snack loved by every Sri Lankan. We call it ‘Coconut Rotti with Lunu Miris’. First we make the Roti.
What you need to make Coconut Roti:
- 2 cups of plain flour
- I cup desiccated coconut
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil
- Enough Luke warm water to make the dough
How to make the Coconut Roti:
Take a large cooking bowl and place all the dry ingredients together with the oil. Mix thoroughly. Now slowly add enough warm water and make dough which will come together as a ball. Divide the large ball of dough into small balls. Now press the dough flat with the tips of your fingers until the roti is about 1/2 cm thick. Place a frying pan or crepe pan on the stove and turn the heat to medium. Put a small amount of oil on to the pan. Place a roti on the pan. Keep turning them until both sides become golden brown with few dark brown patches. Coconut Roti is never completed with ‘Lunu Miris’. So let’s just make some to complement the great taste of Coconut Roti.
What you need to make Lunu Miris:
- 1/2 a small red onion chopped
- 3/4 tbsp chilli flakes
- 1/2 tsp Maldives fish flakes
- 1 small clove of garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp lemon juice
How to make the Lunu Miris:
Take a food processor bowl and place your onion, chilli flakes, Maldives fish flakes, garlic and pepper. Now whizz it up until the onion is finely chopped and all the ingredients are well mixed. Place the contents in bowl and add the salt and lemon juice to taste. Mix and serve with your warm roti. Alternatively you can fine chop the onions and mix everything in a bowl while adding pressure with you r hand to the mixture.
Now it’s time for dessert and we are going to make Watalappan. Watalappan is a bit of a heavy dessert which anyone with a sweet tooth will fell in love with. Popular among the Muslim Community of Sri Lanka, Watalappan is a must for their religious festivals.
What you need to make Watalappan:
- 12 eggs
- 500 grams of Jaggery
- 2 cups of thick coconut milk
- 150 grams of brown sugar
- 2 tsp Ground Cardamom
- 2 tsp Vanilla
- 2 tbsp chopped cashew
- 2 tbsp raisins
- Pinch of salt
How to make Watalappan:
Fine chop the Jaggery and put in to a pan with 2 fl oz of water. Bring to boil and simmer until the jiggery is completely dissolved. Let it cool. Beat the eggs and mix the jiggery and coconut milk with the beaten eggs. Now add the Cardamom, vanilla, brown sugar, salt and beat well. Strain the mixture through a fine strainer a large bowl. Cover it with oil paper or a piece of clean cloth and steam for 1 ½ hours. To check the Watallapan is cooked, insert a toothpick in to it and if the toothpick comes out clean, then you have a perfectly cooked Watalppan. Let it cool and chill it in a refrigerator before serving. You can garnish your Watalappan by sprinkling chopped cashew and raisins.