Sri Lankan Devilled Potato Fry

A much loved Sri Lankan favourite is tempered or devilled potato and is known locally as ‘ala thel dala’. This Portuguese inspired dish is a wonderful accompaniment to rice and thosai.


  • 450 g boiled potatoes
  • 2 or 3 sliced red onions
  • 3 tsp vegetable oil
  • 6 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tblsp powdered or crushed maldive fish
  • 1 tblsp crushed dried chillies
  • 1/2 tblsp hot chillie powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tblsp coconut milk (first extract)
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp salt

Peel the boiled potatoes and cut into halves or quarters. Coat potatoes with a sprinkle of turmeric. Heat the oil in a wok and fry onions on a medium heat until the edges brown. Add the curry leaves, mustard seeds, crushed chilies, maldive fish, salt and mix well with a wooden spoon. When the curry leaves have begun to crisp up, add the remaining ground turmeric and potatoes and gently mix the potatoes in the onion mix. Add coconut milk and stir. Remove from the heat and add lime or lemon juice