Try Peter Kuruvita's recipe for this Sri Lankan seafood dish. It looks sensational and tastes even better, with the different and delicious flavours and textures of the prawns, okra, vegetable balls and pangrattato.
- 2 potatoes
- 2 carrots
- 1 large beetroot
- 12 green prawns, shelled, deveined
- 20 g butter
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 large tomato, finely diced
- 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
- Maldive fish flakes, to sprinkle
- 6 gotu kola leaves (see Note) or parsley leaves
- lime cheeks, to serve
- 50 ml olive oil
- 50 g butter, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 thick slices bread, crusts removed, cut into small cubes
- 1 green prawn, shelled, deveined, chopped
- 1 litre (4 cups) vegetable oil
- 300 g okra, trimmed, halved lengthwise
- 1 lime, juiced
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Peel the potatoes, carrots and beetroot, and scoop into balls using a small melon baller. Keep the beetroot balls separate, but you can combine the potato and carrot.
Place potato and carrot in a large saucepan of water and the beetroot in a separate pan of water. Bring to the boil over medium heat and cook for 10 minutes or until just cooked. Drain and refresh in iced water to stop them cooking further. Drain again and set aside.
Meanwhile, to make the pangrattato, heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until the mixture starts to froth. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the bread and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes or until crisp and golden. Add the prawn and cook, stirring to combine, for 1 minute or until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and drain in a fine mesh sieve placed over a heatproof bowl. Reserve the cooking oil. Chop bread mixture into smaller cubes and set aside until ready to serve.
To make okra sambal, heat oil in a large deep saucepan to 180°C or until a cube of bread turns golden in 10 seconds. Add okra, in batches, and deep-fry for 2 minutes or until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Toss in a bowl with ½ tsp salt, a pinch of pepper and lime juice. Set aside.
To cook prawns, trim prawns if necessary, so they are a similar size to ensure even cooking, and season with pepper. Heat reserved oil from pangrattato in a frying pan over medium heat, season with ½ tsp salt, and, when the oil is hot, add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes each side or until they change colour and are cooked through. Remove the prawns from the pan, leaving the oil in the pan, and set aside.
Add the potato, carrot and beetroot to the same pan and cook over low heat, stirring to coat the vegetables in the oil, until warmed through. Season if necessary. Stir in the butter and lime juice, then remove from the heat.
Place okra sambal on a platter, top with the prawns and scatter over vegetable balls and pangrattato. Scatter remaining ingredients over dish and serve with lime cheeks.
• Gotu kola, also known as centella or Indian pennywort, is a leafy green used for cooking in countries throughout South-East and South Asia. It is available online from selected health food shops and nurseries.