Whether you’re looking for delicious meat-free Monday recipes or new easy dinner ideas, give these authentic Sri Lankan patties a try. They’re delicious hot or cold, served as part of a curry night or a picnic, and a great recipe to get kids cooking.
Recipe and image from Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka by Bree Hutchins, Published by Murdoch Books, RRP: $49.99
Sri Lankan patties are unlike the ones I’m used to; these are deep-fried pastry parcels filled with curried vegetables, similar to a samosa. Vigneshwaran wrapped up a few patties for me to eat on the drive back to Jaffna, but we only made it down the road before they were all gone.
1 tablespoon coconut oil
200 g cabbage, thinly sliced
4 dried long red chillies, chopped
6 small pink Asian shallots, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon roasted chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 sprig curry leaves, leaves picked and roughly chopped
6 cm piece rampe (pandanus) leaf, chopped
1 teaspoon salt, dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water
1 kg potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
600 g (4 cups) plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon coconut oil, plus 2 tablespoons extra
250 ml (1 cup) full-cream milk
1. To make the filling, heat the coconut oil in a wok or deep frying pan over medium heat. Add the cabbage, dried chillies, shallots, fennel seeds, chilli powder, turmeric, curry leaves and rampe; cook for 5 minutes, or until the shallots are golden brown. Add the salty water and remove from the heat. Stir in the mashed potato until well combined. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
2. To make the dough, sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl. Using your hands, mix in the coconut oil, then gradually add the milk, about 2 tablespoons at a time. Continue to work the dough until it is soft and pliable; you may need to add a little water (up to 4 tablespoons). Shape the dough into a large ball and rub with a little extra coconut oil.
3. Roll out half the dough on a lightly floured surface to 3 mm thick. Cut out 10 cm circles with a pastry cutter or glass. Spoon a heaped tablespoon of the filling into the centre of each circle and fold in half. Use your fingers to press the edges together, brushing the edge of the dough with a little water if necessary. Re-roll the offcuts and use as well. Repeat with the remaining dough.
4. Fill a wok one-third full of oil and heat to approximately 180°C (a cube of bread dropped into the oil will brown in 15 seconds). Deep-fry the patties in batches for 2–3 minutes until crisp and golden, turning them over halfway through cooking time. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Serve hot or cold.
What’s your favourite meat-free Monday recipe? Share them in the comments!
Julia has lived and worked in London, Amsterdam, and New York, and is obsessed with food. She's either cooking or thinking about what to eat next. Follow Julia on Twitter.