Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A different kind of ‘Fried’ Potato

This recipe is from a wonderful book called ‘Ceylon Cookery’ by Chandra Dissanayake. It’s not available in Australian bookstores. I got the book as a gift from family friend, Aunty Tulsi, returning from a holiday in Sri Lanka.

Before this book, I served Tofu Stroganoff for dinner, now it’s ‘Ala Thel Dala’ and so many other dishes that bring a delicious taste of nostalgia during mealtimes.
Ala thel dala’ roughly means ‘potatoes fried in oil’ .

You will need:
1kg of potatoes - about 6 medium sized spuds - any kind will do
½ kg onions - I used 2 large red onions
2-3 sprigs of curry leaves - fresh is best, dried if you must, omit if you have no choice.  
½  teaspoons turmeric
2 heaped tablespoons chilli flakes (yes, tablespoons, this is not a typo)
2 teaspoons salt
3-6 tablespoons of oil. (Ms Dissanayake recommends 8 dessertspoons, I went with 4 generous tablespoons)

What to do:
Peel, cube and microwave potato. Ms Dissanayake recommends mixing the turmeric, salt and chilli pieces in with the cooked potato at this stage.
Peel and slice onion. 
Heat oil in wok. To test if oil is hot - toss a sliver of onion into the oil, if it sizzles it’s good to go. 
Add curry leaves, then immediately after, the sliced onion. Fry until onion turns a golden brown or until the onion start to brown at the edges.

Add all other ingredients, stir fry for a several minutes until the potatoes are well-coated and aromatic.

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