• Yield: 6
  • Serving: 4
  • Prep time: 2:0 h
  • Cook time: 20 m
  • Ready in: 2:20 h
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With the texture and nuttiness of a falafel and the added succulence of king prawns, these Sri Lankan shrimp vadai (prawn fritters) are hugely moreish. The pol sambol is a fiery coconut-based dry chutney that goes well with many spicy dishes – try it with the egg hoppers . Maldive fish flakes are hard to source, but do use them in place of the fish sauce if you can find them.


Step by Step Methods

  • Step No 1

    Soak the chana dal for 2 hours in plenty of cold water, then drain and place in a food processor. Pulse until finely ground, then add the onion, coriander, chillies, garlic, ginger and turmeric. Season well with salt and pepper and process until smooth. Scrape into a bowl and tip in the chopped prawns, mixing them through thoroughly. Take tablespoonfuls of the mixture and shape into balls, flattening slightly into mini patties. Set aside.

  • Step No 2

    To make the pol sambol , place the coconut in a large frying pan and set over a medium heat. Toast, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes until golden in places and aromatic. Remove from the heat into a large bowl. Stir through the onion, garlic, lime juice, chilli powder, fish flakes or sauce, sugar and add a good sprinkle of salt. Taste to check the seasoning: it should be hot, sharp and just a little sweet. Add more chilli, lime juice or sugar, to taste.

  • Step No 3

    Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer to 180°C/350°F. Fry the vadai in batches for 3– 4 minutes until deep golden brown and crisp. Drain over kitchen paper briefly before serving with the pol sambol .

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