Isso (prawn) vadai, a popular snack or ‘short eat’ at Galle Face Green, are crisp, deep-fried lentil patties topped with small prawns, and doused with a tangy chilli sauce. Munching on a plate of these while the sun sets over the Indian Ocean certainly beats any five-star-restaurant experience. Many stalls sell prawn vadai; one popular with the locals is run by
Drain the soaked dhal, then rinse and drain again; set aside
In a large bowl, combine the coconut with the dissolved food colouring. Wearing gloves, mix well with your hands to combine. Add the processed dhal and whole dhal and mix well. Sift in the flour and salt; mix with your hands to form a sticky dough. Take a small handful of the dough (about 30 g/
Take a ball of dough and place it between two pieces of plastic wrap, and place on a hard surface. Using the palm of your hand, press down to slightly flatten the ball. Remove the top piece of plastic and arrange 4 prawns on the dough ball, placing them in a straight row and all facing the same direction. Place the piece of plastic on top, then use your palm to press down hard to flatten the discs until they are about 7 cm (2¾ inches) in diameter and
Fill a large wok one-third full of oil and heat to approximately 160°C (315°F) (a cube of bread dropped into the oil will brown in 30 seconds). Fry in batches for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Meanwhile, combine the cabbage, onion, carrot, chilli and lime juice in a bowl; toss well. Serve the prawn vadai warm with chilli sauce and the cabbage salad.
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