Chilli Bites


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka

Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka

By Bree Hutchins

Published 2013

  • About

Sumith’s chilli bites are dangerously addictive. So much so that the day before I was due to fly home, I rang Sumith and ordered two kilos of them. Unfazed by my request, he bundled them up and put them on the next bus bound for Colombo. Eighteen hours later I was munching on chilli bites as I boarded the plane.


  • 635 g (1 lb oz/ cups) plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon dried yeast
  • cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • teaspoon sugar
  • teaspoon egg yellow powdered food colouring*
  • 750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) coconut oil* or vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 1 teaspoon unroasted chilli powder*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ajinomoto* (optional)


In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, garlic and sugar. Mix the food colouring with 310 ml (10¾ fl oz/ cups) water, then add to the flour mixture and mix well. Add a little extra water, if needed, to bring the dough together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave the dough to rise in a warm place for 2 hours.

Once the dough has risen, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a 2 mm (1/16 inch) thickness. Using a bottle top, cut out small crescent moon shapes. Heat the oil in a wok or large saucepan to approximately 170°C (325°F) (a cube of bread dropped into the oil will brown in 20 seconds). Deep-fry the dough pieces in batches for 3 minutes, or until puffy, light golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towel and cool.

In a large zip-lock plastic bag, put the chilli powder, salt and ajinomoto (if you aren’t using ajinomoto, add an extra 1 teaspoon salt), and shake to combine. Add the fried dough pieces and shake well until they are evenly coated in the chilli mix.