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Sri Lankan Cooking Together- Ajwaini Chicken, Pol Roti, Galle Kirata Fish

Cooking Together Sri Lankan Recipes

Our cooking together cookery classes are as much about learning to cook as they are a sociable experience. We hope you enjoyed your class and are ready to recreate the meals at home. The recipes work really well as delicious dinners and make a great combination for dinner party ideas. 

We Cooked:

  1. Starter: Ajwaini Chicken, Pol Roti with Mango Chutney
  2. Main: Galle Kirata Fish, Ghee Rice, and Pomegranate Kachumber
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Ajwaini Chicken – Starter

Ingredients – Serves 2

  • – 2 Chicken breast or 3 thighs, cut into pieces
  • – Corn flour 3tsp
  • – Salt and pepper to taste
  • – Ajwain 2tsp (ground carom seeds)
  • – 2cm of fresh ginger, grated
  • – 2 cloves of fresh garlic, grated
  • – Turmeric ¼ tsp
  • – Onion powder ½ tsp
  • – Vegetable oil for cooking


  1. Toast your ajwain seeds in a dry pan.
  2. Dip the chicken into garlic and ginger and massage it together. Mix cornflour, onion powder, turmeric, ajwain seeds and coat the chicken well.
  3. Shallow fry in 2 cm of hot oil until crispy and golden, flip and repeat until cooked through.

Pol Roti – Starter

Ingredients – Makes 2 small or 4 large roti

  • – 185g plain flour – plus extra for dusting
  • – 30g of desiccated coconut
  • – 25g of vegetableoil
  • – 80ml water
  • – 0.5tsp of baking powder
  • – 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • – 1/2 green chilli, finely chopped


  1. Add all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir together using a wooden spoon.
  2. Once it starts to form a dough, use your hands to bring everything together. If your dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. If too crumbly, add a little more water.
  3. Kneed lightly to form a ball and sett aside for 10-30 minutes. 
  4. Split dough into 2- 4 balls. Heat a frying pan to high heat, while the temperature builds, sprinkle flour on clean work surface or board, and some on your rolling pin.
  5. Take a ball of dough, flatten into rough circle with your hand then roll until thin, keep turning and flipping over.
  6. Add the roti to your pan one or two at a time, and cook until they blister and char.
  7. Once both sides cooked, keep wrapped in tea towel to keep them warm and soft.

Mango Chutney (Demo) – Starter

Ingredients: Makes half a jar

  • 1 large Mango 
  • 1/2 Red Onion, diced
  • 1tsp Fennel seeds
  • 1tsp Crushed chillies 
  • 60g Brown Sugar 
  • 40ml White wine vinegar
  • 1 lime juice 
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom 
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 red chilli 


  1. Peel and dice the mango into 1 inch pieces.
  2. Heat some oil in a large pan. Fry the onion for 5 minutes over a medium heat, until soft.
  3.  Add in the cardamom, fennel and mango. Add the fresh chilli and cook until the mango is soft.
  4. Add the turmeric, sugar and vinegar. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved. 
  5. Simmer until thick and jammy. Finish with the lime juice and season to taste.

Sri Lankan Curry Powder – Main

Ingredients: Makes plenty – Save in an airtight container

  • 4 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 3 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns and 2 tbsp uncooked rice
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 3 tspn cloves
  • 2 tspn green cardamom (seeds from the pods)
  • 1 tspn fennel seeds


  1. Toast all in a pan, taking care not to burn.  Grind in a food processor or nutri-bullet – alternatively use a pestle & mortar and crush!

Galle Kirata Curry – Main

  1. Make with fish or chicken, or if you prefer to eat vegetarian, how about cauliflower.  We think this will become a favourite in your house!  It is very easily adaptable, add chilli or not, coconut milk or not.  You could of course buy a curry powder but we think that making your own makes all the difference.

Ingredients: Serves 2

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1-inch grated ginger
  • 6 curry leaves
  • 2 ½ tbsp Sri Lankan curry powder (see above)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne or chilli powder (more if you like it hot)
  • 1 tbsp paprika (not sweet or smoked)
  • 2 green chillis (sliced in half length ways)
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tin of coconut milk
  • 200 ml water

Method for the curry sauce

  1. Heat the oil and onion, garlic and ginger until softened.
  2. Add Sri Lankan curry powder, cayenne powder, paprika, cinnamon and curry leaves. Continue cooking for 2 or 3 minutes gently.
  3. Add chillis, salt, tomatoes, 1 tsp sugar and mix.
  4. Cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat, stir frequently as you don’t want the spices to burn
  5. Add the coconut milk, water and vinegar. Let this simmer with a lid for 15 – 20 minutes.
  6. You need to do some adjustments at this point. Taste the curry, you may need to add the rest of the sugar, more vinegar and more salt.  This is really personal taste.
  7. You could carry on cooking to make the sauce thicker or indeed add more water if you want more sauce.

Method for Whole Baked Fish

  1. Marinade your fish in the curry sauce, then roast in the oven at 180C for approx 10 minutes. Spoon some of the sauce over the fish and return to the oven for another 8 minutes. 

Ghee Rice – Main

Ingredients: Serves 2

  • 400 g basmati rice
  • 2 – 3 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 large red onion (finely chopped)
  • 4 cloves
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4-6 curry leaves
  • 3½ cups hot vegetable stock


  1. Wash the rice well and drain in a sieve for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the ghee in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat.
  3. Add the onion and cook gently until golden brown.
  4. Add the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, curry leaves and fry all for 1-2minutes.
  5. Add rice and stirring well for few minutes
  6. Add the hot stock and bring to the boil; reduce the heat to low,
  7. Cover pot and cook for 10–12 minutes without lifting the lid.
  8. Remove from the heat, uncover and rest for 5 minutes to allow steam to escape.
  9. Gently fluff up the rice with a fork and remove the spices added except curry leaves.
  10. Serve hot.

Pomegranate Kachumber – main (optional)

Ingredients – Serves 4 as a side/ garnish

  • -1/4 of white cabbage
  • 1x plum tomato, de-seeded and diced
  • – 1 small red onion, diced
  • – 1tbsp extra virgin oil
  • – 1 lime, zest and juice
  • – ½ cucumber, de-seeded and diced
  • – Handful of pomegranate seeds
  • – Salt and pepper
  • – 2tbsp of fresh parsley, chopped
  • – 2tbsp of fresh coriander, chopped
  • Salt and pepper


  1.  Shred the cabbage, place in a mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt. Massage the cabbage until softened. 
  2. Add all the other ingredients into a mixing bowl, toss and let marinade for at least 20 minutes.

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