Chana Bateta

This month I am featuring the Bohra cuisine of Sri Lanka courtesy of Zahabia Adamaly. She shares here a recipe from a recipe book with permission from the authors. This is what Zahabia wrote to me about the dish.

“This is a popular dish used as a side to a main meal in Bohra meals. We also often have it as a snack or a light dinner because it is both filling and nutritious. The chickpeas and potatoes can be tempered as stated in the recipe and kept in the fridge for a few days. It can then be lightly warmed and mixed with the tamarind sauce and garnished just before serving. It is also tasty with a little yoghurt added into the above mix.

This recipe is from “From our Kitchen” a privately published recipe book by Femida Jafferjee and Sakina Galely.” Chana Bateta

Chana Bateta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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  • 250gms (8ozs) chick peas (Chana)
  • 4 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed (jeeru)
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • Pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander and cumin seed powder
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon chillie powder
  • 2 tablespoons gram flour
  • Curry leaves
  • Pinch of soda bicarbonate

Tamarind chutney:

  • 100gms tamarind
  • 200gms (8ozs) jaggery grated
  • 1 teaspoon chillie powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup of water
  • Coriander leaves

Mix all together and boil. When tamarind is soft, jaggery has dissolved and is thick, remove and strain. Method: Soak the chickpeas overnight in water with a pinch of soda bicarbonate. In the morning throw the water. Add fresh water with little salt and boil chana in pressure cooker till soft. Do not throw the water remaining. Boil potatoes separately and cut into cubes. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onion, when it becomes transparent, add the garlic paste, curry leaves and whole cumin seed. When garlic gets light brown, add green chillies, turmeric, coriander/ cumin powder and red chillie powder. Cook for 2-3 mins, then add the gram flour and saute, for a further 5 minutes. Add boiled chickpeas with the water and allow to cook for a while. Add tamarind chutney as required. (the amount given may be more). Add the potatoes and serve garnished with coriander. Recipe source: Femida Jafferjee and Sakina Galely

Potato Layered Pie

This week’s recipe is the last of the five recipes sent in by Trevor Martil. I am bringing this recipe, together with some lovely music from Senegal, to Fiesta Friday.

Today’s featured musician is Youssou N’Dour. The first clip is from an 80s concert of Le Super Etoile de Dakar.

The next clip is a music video (1994) composed by Youssou N’Dour, Neneh Cherry, Cameron McVey and Jonathan Sharp.

Hope you enjoyed the songs and do send me your feedback if you try out the recipe given below! 🙂

Potato Layered Pie

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: average
  • Print


  • 250g flaky pastry
  • 250g potatoes
  • 150g boiled minced meat (vegetarians can substitute this with mushroom or vegetarian sausage)
  • 30g butter or vegetable oil margarine
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • MD ginger paste and garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon MD tomato sauce and chilli sauce
  • onions
  • curry leaves
  • 30g cheese
  • parsley and chopped tomatoes, for garnish


  1. Make flaky pastry and keep aside.
  2. Stir-fry onions, curry leaves, ginger and garlic paste, boiled minced meat or vegetarian substitute and boiled mashed potatoes.
  3. Mix the tempered ingredients well.
  4. Add a beaten egg, sauces and seasoning.
  5. Roll the pastry cut into squares.
  6. Sprinkle cheese and parsley and the potato mixture. Roll it to a cone shape.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Garnish with parsley and tomatoes.

Recipe source: Trevor Martil.


Today’s guest blogger is renowned independent film-maker Asoka Handagama. His movies have garnered much critical acclaim and have been screened at numerous major international film festivals (Toronto, Edinburgh, Tokyo etc.) around the world. His most recent movie ‘Ini, Avan’ had its world premiere at the ACID programme in the Cannes festival in 2012. Asoka is currently working on his newest film project which he plans to partially fund through crowd-funding. If you would like to participate in Sri Lanka’s first partially crowd-funded movie production, do check out the film’s Crimso page

Today, Asoka shares his favourite dish, Hathmalu – a specialty dish made during the Sri Lankan New Year/ Avurudhu/ Puthaandu.

Hath Malu ( A curry made of Seven vegetable/ingredients )

This traditional curry dish is prepared for an auspicious AVURUDU meal; popular in Sabaragamuva province in Sri Lanka. Uniqueness in this dish is that it is not prepared for any other occasion than AVURUDU.  It is so yummy that you can swallow a whole load of milk-rice in a few seconds!


Hathmalu Recipe


  • Cashew Nuts (raw un roasted)

And any six (or seven) of the following:

  • Egg plant/ aubergines
  • Jackfruit Seeds
  • Snake beans
  • Sweet potato
  • Sweet potato baby leaves or pumpkin leaves
  • Desha-ala (indigenous potato)
  • Desha-ala leaf stems
  • ‘Ambul’ banana (unripe bananas)

For the curry: 

  • Turmeric
  • Chili powder (un roasted)
  • ‘Thuna paha’ local spice mix such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves (un roasted)
  • Salt
  • Red onions
  • Green chili
  • Curry leaves
  • Coconut milk: thick cream (first squeeze) and diluted (second squeeze)

Chop aubergines and other vegetables and potatoes into 1cm x 1cm x 1cm cubes. Add the seven main ingredients along with salt, spice mix, curry leaves, chili powder, red onions, green chili, turmeric and diluted coconut milk to a (preferably) clay pot. Place on stove and allow to cook slowly on low heat until all ingredients have cooked and softened (15-20 minutes). Then add thick coconut milk and (on medium heat) allow to simmer until the curry thickens and take it off the heat.

Serve curry with milk rice.

hathmalu2Recipe source: Asoka Handagama.


Tomato and Potato Curry

Today’s recipe is a lovely tomato and potato curry, which my mother calls her tomatish potato dish. It is a simple and easy to prepare dish that you will certainly like.

Tomato and Potato Curry

Time taken: 30 mins

Serves 2

Tomatish potatoIngredients:

  • Potato – 1
  • Tomato – 1
  • Onion – ½
  • Green chilli – 1
  • Crushed red chillies – 1 tsp
  • Ginger – ½ tsp, crushed
  • Garlic – ½ tsp, crushed
  • Salt, to taste
  • Low fat oil, for frying


  1. Boil the potato and then, peel and chop it into smaller pieces.
  2. Lightly fry the potato pieces and keep aside.
  3. Heat a little oil in a pan and lightly fry the chopped green chilli, ginger and garlic. Add the chopped tomato pieces and crushed red chillies to the pan and continue frying for a few minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the stove and transfer its contents to a blender to grind it to a paste.
  5. Transfer the tomato paste back to the pan and heat it over a low heat.
  6. Add the fried potato pieces to the pan and salt, to taste. Stir well.
  7. Serve the tomato and potato curry with rice or pittu.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Potato curry – the drier version

Today’s recipe is that of a simple potato curry that is easy and quick to prepare when you are not in the mood for preparing something elaborate. What’s more, you are sure to like the results. For those who do not like their curries dry, check out the other potato curry recipe.

Potato curry – the drier version.

Time taken: 30 mins

Serves 4

potato curry - drier versionIngredients:

  • Potatoes – 2, large
  • Onions – 2, large
  • Curry powder – 1 or 2 tsp
  • Salt, as required
  • Low fat oil – 3 tbsp


  1. Boil the potatoes. After the potatoes are boiled, peel and chop them into smaller pieces. Mix in the curry powder and some salt and keep aside.
  2. Clean and chop the onions. Sprinkle with salt.
  3. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the chopped onion for about 5 to 10 mins.
  4. Once the onions starts changing colour and the aroma wafts about, add the seasoned, boiled potatoes to the pan and mix well. Cook for another 5 mins.
  5. Serve warm with roti or pittu.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Murungaikai Curry

Re-posting recipe: This is my grandmother’s recipe, as remembered and replicated by my mother. For my mother’s recipe, check out this post.

Drumstick curry

Cooking time – 25 minutes

Serves 3



  • Drumstick/ Murungai – 1
  • Potato – 1 large
  • Onion – ½ medium sized
  • ¼ fresh Coconut ~ ½ cup of scraped fresh coconut
  • Curry powder – 1 tbsp, can add another 1/2 tbsp for more spiciness
  • Salt to taste


  1. Cut the drumstick into 2’’ pieces and chop up the potato and onion.
  2. To the scraped fresh coconut, add some water and squeeze out the first coconut milk and keep aside. Reuse the coconut flakes and squeeze out the second milk by adding some water. If you don’t like to squeeze out the coconut milk by hand, simply use a blender and strain out the first and second milk. An alternative is to use ready-made coconut milk but the different consistencies expected in this dish will not be there. The first milk is richer in consistency and fats while the second milk is thinner in consistency.
  3. In a sauce pan, add four cups of water to coconut milk obtained the second time – the second coconut milk.
  4. Add the cut vegetables (drumstick, potato and onion) to the pan as well as the chilli powder and cook the vegetables.
  5. Once the potato and drumstick pieces are cooked, add the reserved first coconut milk and salt and let it simmer for five minutes before taking off the heat.
  6. Serve hot with rice or pittu or stringhoppers.

A slight variation in my great grandmother’s drumstick curry recipe is that she did not add potatoes  to the drumsticks. Just before taking the curry off the heat, she lightly fried some chopped onion, dried red chillies and fennel seeds in a separate pan and added the tempered seasonings to the curry. This gives a nice aroma and flavour to the dish.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.


Today’s recipe is that of savoury patties, a regular tea-time snack made by my mother at home.


Time taken: 45 mins – 1 hour

Makes 14


  • Flour – 1 ½ cups
  • Potato – 2 tbsp, chopped
  • Carrot – 2 tbsp, chopped
  • Beans – 1 or 2, chopped
  • Green peas – 2 tbsp
  • Cabbage – 2 tbsp, shredded
  • Leeks – ½, chopped
  • Onion – ½ , chopped
  • Ginger – ½ “ piece, chopped
  • Garlic – 2 or 3 cloves, chopped
  • Celery – 1 sprig
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Curry powder – 2 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Low fat oil, as required


  1. Mix 1 tbsp oil with the flour and salt and stir in ¼ cup of hot water, kneading into a dough. Divide into 14 balls. Brush with some oil.
  2. Boil the potato and mash it up. Add salt to the mashed potato.
  3. Boil the carrot, cabbage, beans and the green peas. Mash them up and add a little salt.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the onion, ginger and garlic for a couple of mins. Add the fennel seeds and curry leaves and stir.
  5. Add the mashed and chopped vegetables, except the potato, and the chopped leeks and celery to the pan. Add 2 tsp curry powder and stir fry for a few mins.
  6. Add the mashed and boiled potato to the pan. Mix well and continue frying for a few mins. Remove pan from stove and divide filling into 14 portions.
  7. Roll out each of the 14 balls of dough into circular shapes. Spoon the filling into the center of the circular dough. Fold the dough over the filling in a half-moon shape, by hand or using a patty mold.
  8. Heat the oil for deep-frying. Fry the patties, a few at a time, until they are golden brown all over.
  9. Transfer fried patties to a tray lined with grease absorbing paper.
  10. Serve hot.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.