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Lavariya – Sweet Dumpling String Hoppers (ලැවරියා)


For the coconut mixture:

Cooked Moong Dhal 1 1/4 Cup
Grated Coconut 1 Cup
Jaggery ¾ Cup (adjust to suit your taste)
Cardamom powder 1/8 TSP
Salt A pinch
Banana leaf/ plastic paper 2


Pressure cooker the moong dhal with ½ teaspoon of salt for up to 3 whistles. And set aside.
Prepare the coconut mixture.
Heat a heavy bottom pan and add jaggery with little water and melt the jaggery slowly.
Once the jaggery fully melted, add the cooked moong dhal.
Add cardamom powder along with a pinch of salt. Stir continuously.
Add the coconut and keep stirring until the mixture become dry.

Meanwhile prepare the string hopper dough.
Place the dough in a string hopper mould and press the both handle to squeeze onto banana leaf or any oiled paper.
Place one tablespoon of the coconut mixture in the center and fold the banana leaf into two.
Press the edges to seal properly.
Slip the folded lavariya on to string hopper mats and steam for 10 to 15 minutes.

Watalappan (වටලප්පන්)


Thick Coconut Milk 200ml
Eggs 2
Kithul Jaggery (Grated) 110g
Brown Sugar 2 TBS
Vanilla Extract 1 TSP
Nutmeg Powder 1/2 TSP
Roasted Cashew Nuts 25g


Grate the palm/ kithul jaggery and set aside.
In a food blender crack both the eggs one by one.
Beat the egg in the same blender until fluffy.
Add grated jaggery, brown sugar, coconut milk, vanilla extract and nutmeg powder.
Blend until it becomes fluffy without any lumps.
Strain the mixture and pour into a steaming bowl.
Cover with foil.
Place the bowl in a double boiler and steam for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle over the roasted cashews and steam for another 15 minutes or until just set.
Serve warm or chilled.

Jaffna Goat Curry by Peter Kuruwita


400g goat, preferably chump chops with bones
100g of diced onion
1 sprig of curry leaves
1 stick of cinnamon
2 cloves garlic
2 thin slices ginger peeled
1 x 10cm piece of pandanus
1 x 10cm of lemon grass
7 cardamom pods cracked
½ tsp full fenugreek lightly roasted
½ tsp chilli powder
1 tsp dark roast curry powder
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp Jaffna curry powder
2 tsp roast coriander powder
1 tsp roast cumin powder
2 tbsp tomato puree (instead of offal)
Juice of ½ a lime


Chop the goat into 2 centimetre pieces with the bone in.

Place all the ingredients in a heavy based pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes or until the gravy thickens and the meat is tender.

Note: This dish should be finished with the liver and heart of the goat if it is killed in the village, but it works just as well without the addition of the offal. Substitute with tomato paste. You can also substitute the goat with lamb.

Pumpkin Curry with Bringal Rotti by Peter Kuruvita


Brinjal rotti
2 cups plain flour
2 tbsp butter
½ tsp salt
1 cup water or enough to make moist but non-sticky dough
100ml oil, for greasing the skillet

Brinjal pickle
1 large eggplant, cut into batons
8 red onions, chopped into quarters
2 green chilli
1 tbsp turmeric, plus extra
500ml oil
2 sprigs curry leaves
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vinegar

Pumpkin curry
2 tbsp ghee, melted
1 sprig curry leaves
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 green chillies
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp roast curry powder
2 tbsp thickening powder
2 tsp cumin powder
½ turmeric powder
1 tbsp mustard paste
1 large pumpkin, peeled, cut into thick slices
400ml water
100ml coconut cream
1 tsp salt


To make the brinjal rotti, in a bowl, place the flour, butter, salt and water. Using your hands, knead the mixture until a sticky dough forms. Divide the dough into balls. Transfer to a bowl, drizzle over the oil and set aside to rest.

Meanwhile, to make the Brinjol pickle, place the eggplant, onion, chilli and turmeric in a bowl. Cover the bowl and shake to coat the eggplant.

Heat the oil in a wok and, once hot, deep fry the eggplant mixture. Once cooked, remove from heat and place into a bowl.

Heat some more oil in a pot. Add the curry leaves, garlic, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, extra turmeric, sugar and vinegar.

Cook until the spice mixture is fragrant and taste to check there is equal balance of sweet and sour. Remove from heat, combine with the eggplant mixture and set aside.

To make the curry, place the ghee, curry leaves, onion, garlic and green chillies, and fry until fragrant. Add the coriander powder, roast curry powder, thickening powder, cumin, turmeric and mustard paste, and fry for a few minutes.

Line the base of the pot with the pumpkin slices and add a bit of the water, as well as the coconut cream.

Add the salt, increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the pumpkin is cooked through. Remove from heat.

To prepare the rotti, take a ball of dough and, using your fingers, spread it out to form a thin disc. Take a spoonful of the eggplant pickle and place in the centre of the disc. Fold the dough over the pickle to form a triangle.

Heat oil on a hotplate over low heat and fry each side of the triangle to seal.

Next, place the triangle flat on the hotplate to cook. Repeat with the dough and eggplant pickle.

Serve the rotti with the pumpkin curry.

Lotus Root, Yam and Bitter Gourd Curry


Bitter gourd (karawila) curry
2 bitter gourds, deseeded, thinly sliced
½ tbsp turmeric, plus extra
½ onion
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tomato
½ cup coconut milk
Juice of half a lime or lemon

Yam curry

1 large yam, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
Grated coconut, to serve

Lotus root (nelum ala) curry

225g lotus root
2 whole tomatoes
1 whole green chilli peppers fresh
25g shallots
1 curry leaves
1/2 tsp fenugreek
1/2 tsp salt
250ml coconut milk thick
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chilli powder
25g ghee (clarified butter)
1 tsp roasted curry powder


To make the bitter gourd curry, soak the gourd in salt and extra turmeric for a few minutes. Squeeze out the water and set aside the gourd.

Sautee the onion and mustard seeds until the seeds splatter. Add the cumin, turmeric and chilli powder, stirring. Add the gourd and stir well. Add the tomato and season with salt. Add 1/4 cup water and the coconut milk. Cook until the gourd softens, stirring occasionally.
Add the lime juice.

To make the yam curry, place the yam and salt in a large pot over high heat. Cover with water and cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes, or until the yam is cooked through.

Drain the yam and return to the pot. Cover and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the yam has fluffed up.

Serve as an accompaniment to the curries, sprinkled with the grated coconut.

To make the lotus root curry, wash and cut the lotus root into small pieces.

Slice the tomatoes, chilli and shallots.

Place the lotus root in a pan and add the tomato, chilli, curry leaves, fenugreek, salt, coconut milk, turmeric, chilli powder and cook for about 10 minutes or until the lotus root is cooked.

Heat the ghee in a frypan over high heat. Add the shallots and fry until transparent.

Transfer the cooked curry to the frying pan. Add the roasted curry powder, cook for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and serve.