Devilled Potato (Ala Thel Dala)
The Sri Lankan Way to Make Potato Stir-Fry
Sri Lanka is famous for its spicy cuisine. If you’ve tried my spicy shrimps or devilled pineapple then you will already have an idea of the fiery taste of a real Sri Lankan stir-fry. Devilled potato (ala thel dala in Sinhala) is not different. This is a very spicy recipe an if you’re not familiar with traditional Sri Lankan cuisine – or similarly fiery cuisines such as Thai food – I recommend that you substitute some of the chili powder with sweet red pepper for a milder taste.
Potato doesn’t play a central role in Sri Lankan food culture like it does in Western cuisines. That role is mostly filled by manyok root, which tastes similar to sweet potato. We do however use potatos in a number of recipes and ala thel dala is one of the most common ways to preare potatos in Sri Lanka. This is a very simple recipe and makes for a great side dish with rice, bread or string hoppers.
1 medium onion
2 branches curry leaves
1 inch pandan leaves
1 1/2 tbsp ground chili pieces
2 small green chilis
3 tbsp vegetable oil
salt to taste
1. Peel the potatos and cut into cubes of 1 inch each.
2. Boil the potatos in hot water with three pinches of salt until the potatos are soft and put them away.
3. Cut the green chili open and cut the onion into small pieces.
4. Fry the onion and green chili on medium flame with the vegetable oil, curry leaves and pandan leaves until brown.
4. Add the chili pieces and stir well for 5 seconds, then add the potatos.
5. Leave it cooking on low fire for 5 minutes and keep stirring well.