Two delicious Sri Lankan recipes

Check out these yummy Sri Lankan recipes from Ranji Thangiah, AKA Tooting Mama


Sri Lankan Devilled Prawns


  • 2 tbs coconut oil / vegetable oil
  • 1 large red onion sliced into half moons
  • 4 cloves of garlic peeled and finely chopped 
  • 2 cm of ginger peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, cut lengthways (deseeded if you want to reduce the heat)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric 
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, sliced / 1 tomato roughly chopped
  • 1 tbs of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs Worcester sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 500g of prawns, ideally fresh with heads and legs taken off
  • Salt


  1. Heat the oil in a large wok or frying pan
  2. Add the onions and start to cook them, when they soften add the garlic, ginger and chilli. 
  3. Now add the dry spices with the tomatoes and quickly stir these into the onions. Allow the onions to cook down well but they should not burn. If you think the ingredients are looking like they’re drying out, add a splash of water.
  4. In quick succession add the vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and sugar – followed by the prawns.
  5. Stir fry the prawns until they are cooked, and the onions are looking caramelised. Any liquid should be cooked down until a sticky sauce coats the prawns, add a little salt to lift the flavour.
  6. Serve hot – with rice, or eat simply as an appetiser.

Cabbage Mallung


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped or one dried crushed red chilli
  • 1 tbsp Maldive fish (optional)
  • A generous helping of curry leaves (around 10 -12)
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 400g cabbage finely sliced
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • Juice of a fresh lime


  1. Heat the oil in a solid-based frying pan. Add the whole spices, the Maldive fish, curry leaves and green chilli, heat until the spices start to crackle.
  2. Add the onion and turmeric and cook until they are soft and transparent. Stir so the turmeric evenly coats the onion.
  3. Now add the cabbage. Cook the cabbage until it’s soft. Season with salt and keep stirring and tossing for the spices and onion to be fully incorporated into the cabbage.
  4. Finally, add the coconut stir and the dried red chilii through, and cook until the coconut just starts to turn golden
  5. Finish off with a squeeze of lime and serve with rice and any curry of your choice.