A bowl full of Sudanese ful medames with tomatoes, arugula, tomatoes andn onions on top.
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Ful Medames (Sudanese Fava Beans)

A delicious vegetarian recipe dating back to the Pharohs

Course Main Course
Cuisine Egyptian, Sudanese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
soaking time 8 hours
Total Time 10 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 155 kcal
Author Darlene at International Cuisine

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Fava Bean Dry
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 2 tsp cumin or to taste
  • 2 medium tomatoes diced
  • 1 medium red onion diced
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
  • 1 cup Arugula baby
  • 4 large hard-boiled eggs optional
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Soak the dry fava beans in water for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain

  2. In a large pot, add in the soaked fava beans and cover with water.

  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer, and cook for about 2 hours or until the beans are soft

  4. Put your fava beans into a bowl along with some broth.

  5. Mash the beans using a potato masher or you could use a coke bottle like they do in Sudan.

  6. Add in the salt and cumin to taste.

  7. Put the beans in your serving bowl and top with some of the tomatoes, cheese, arugula, and onions, top with sesame oil and serve with some warm flat bread.

  8. You can serve the left over toppings so people can add more of what they like including the hard-boiled eggs if using. We also served it with Sudanese shata, a hot sauce.

Nutrition Facts
Ful Medames (Sudanese Fava Beans)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 155 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 102mg34%
Sodium 723mg31%
Potassium 262mg7%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 498IU10%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 89mg9%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Sudanese Shata (A popular hot sauce)

Sudanese shata is a popular hot sauce that is used on many dishes in Sudan and South Sudan to spice things up a bit.  We used it on ful medames which is a delicious fava bean vegetarian dish that is considered to be the national dish.  The ful medames is served with several accompaniments and the Sudanese shata was that we really enjoyed.

a container with a popular hot sauce in Sudan called shata it has hot chili flakes, garlic and lemons.

This Sudanese shata hot sauce is made with spicy red pepper flakes, lemon juice, garlic with a bit of salt and pepper.  A quick and easy sauce to put together.  It certainly would be good on all sorts of dishes that need a bit of zip to liven them up with practically no calories.

Did you know that South Sudan is the newest country in the world?  They received their Independence in July 2011 after years of civil war.  Both Sudan and South Sudan have very impoverished people and have much work to do for peace in both nations. Sudan prior to the split was the largest country in Africa and since the split is the 3rd largest.  We pray for the people of both nations.

If you would like to learn more be sure to check out “Our Journey to Sudan and South Sudan”.  There you will find more authentic Sudanese recipes like Sudanese eggplant dip , ful Medames, and Sudanese peanut macaroons.

Craving even more?  Be sure to join the culinary and cultural journey around the world so you don’t miss a thing,  it’s free,  You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook ,  Pinterest and youtube to follow along our journey.

Please note that this page contains affiliate links in which I will earn a small commission however, it will in no way affect the price you pay. I thank you for your support!
a container with a popular hot sauce in Sudan called shata it has hot chili flakes, garlic and lemons.
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Sudanese Shata (A popular hot sauce)

A super quick and easy hot sauce that would be perfect to liven up just about any dish.

Course Sauce
Cuisine Sudanese
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 17 kcal
Author Darlene at International Cuisine

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Lemon Juice
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 3 Tbsp Crushed Red Pepper hot
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and blend or whisk together.

  2. Serve in a containter so it can easily be poured on the dish.

Nutrition Facts
Sudanese Shata (A popular hot sauce)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 17 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 340mg15%
Potassium 94mg3%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 890IU18%
Vitamin C 12mg15%
Calcium 14mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Sudanese Peanut Macaroons (Ful Sudani)

Sudanese peanut macaroons are called ful Sudani. They are really quick and easy to make. We enjoyed them alongside Sudanese cinnamon tea. Peanuts are a staple ingredient in both Sudan and South Sudan.  Did you know that peanuts are not a nut but actually a legume?  Many people are surprised by that fact. They are called ground nuts in Sudan. 

A plate full of Sudanese peanut Macaroons

These little light bites are more like a peanut meringue than a macaroon you may be familiar with from France.  We loved them!

Sudan used to be one of the world’s top exporters of peanuts but its ranking has fallen in recent years, Traditional small-scale farming in Sudan’s western states produces 70% of the country’s groundnut supply. Since peanuts depend on rainfall to survive, devastating droughts in these regions have significantly affected the farmers abilities to produce high yields.

The government has high hopes for a new variety of peanut that has been developed that supposedly is more drought resistant with higher yields it is called Tafra-1.  We can only hope that this works as 70 percent of the labor force works in agriculture and the groundnuts are a source of protein in Sudanese cuisine. 

If you would like to learn more be sure to check out “Our Journey to Sudan and South Sudan”.  There you will find more authentic Sudanese recipes like Sudanese eggplant dip and ful Medames.

Craving even more?  Be sure to join the culinary and cultural journey around the world so you don’t miss a thing,  it’s free,  You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook ,  Pinterest and youtube to follow along our journey.

Please note that this page contains affiliate links in which I will earn a small commission however, it will in no way affect the price you pay. I thank you for your support!
A plate full of Sudanese peanut macaroons.
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Sudanese Peanut Macaroons (Ful Sudani)

A wonderful quick and easy recipe from Sudan.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Sudanese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 91 kcal
Author Darlene at International Cuisine

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Peanuts roasted and unsalted
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F

  2. Grind the unsalted, roasted peanuts to small bits reaching a grainy texture but not a powder. Set aside.

  3. In a bowl beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff

  4. Add in the powder sugar a little at a time using a low speed until fully incorporated.

  5. Add in the vanilla extract and the peanuts, stir to combine

  6. Place parchment paper on a backing sheet and place about 1 tablespoon size spoonfuls of the dough, leaving a room between each one.

  7. Bake for 15 minutes, watch closely, they should be lightly colored but not browned.

Nutrition Facts
Sudanese Peanut Macaroons (Ful Sudani)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 91 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 22mg1%
Potassium 97mg3%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 4g8%
Calcium 13mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
 
 
 

 

A plate full of Sudanese peanut macaroons.
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Sudanese Peanut Macaroons (Ful Sudani)

A wonderful quick and easy recipe from Sudan.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Sudanese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 91 kcal
Author Darlene at International Cuisine

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Peanuts roasted and unsalted
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F

  2. Grind the unsalted, roasted peanuts to small bits reaching a grainy texture but not a powder. Set aside.

  3. In a bowl beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff

  4. Add in the powder sugar a little at a time using a low speed until fully incorporated.

  5. Add in the vanilla extract and the peanuts, stir to combine

  6. Place parchment paper on a backing sheet and place about 1 tablespoon size spoonfuls of the dough, leaving a room between each one.

  7. Bake for 15 minutes, watch closely, they should be lightly colored but not browned.

Nutrition Facts
Sudanese Peanut Macaroons (Ful Sudani)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 91 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 22mg1%
Potassium 97mg3%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 4g8%
Calcium 13mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Sudanese Cinnamon Tea (Shai)

Sudanese cinnamon tea called shai, went perfectly with the little light Sudanese peanut macaroons called ful sudani.    Tea and coffee and both very popular in both Sudan’s.  When tea drinking does not happen in one’s home, it is very common to find tea ladies called sitashai,  set up on street corners.  They will quite often remain in the same spot for many hours throughout the day.  Customers sit around on simple metal stools bound with colorful string, and socialize.  

A couple of cups of Sudanese cinnamon tea with sugarThis tea is really easy to make, it would typically be made with a simple black tea and then steeped with the cinnamon sticks.  The tea could also be flavored with mint or ginger which is also very popular and authentic. Make sure to have it with sugar, one thing is certain, no matter which flavor, they like it sweet.  We enjoyed the tea with the light Sudanese peanut macaroons.

Sudan was colonized by both Egypt and Britain, certainly the tea culture comes from the English.  January 1st is the day that the Sudanese celebrate National Day, the day they got their Independence back in 1956. Although much has transpired since then.  If you would like to learn more be sure to check out “Our Journey to Sudan and South Sudan”,  there you will also find more authentic recipes like Sudanese eggplant dip and ful medames

Craving even more?  Be sure to join the culinary and cultural journey around the world so you don’t miss a thing,  it’s free,  You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook ,  Pinterest and youtube to follow along our journey.

Please note that this page contains affiliate links in which I will earn a small commission however, it will in no way affect the price you pay. I thank you for your support!

A couple of cups of Sudanese cinnamon tea with sugar
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Sudanese Cinnamon Tea (Shai)

A wonderful way to enjoy a cup of tea.

Course Drinks
Cuisine Sudanese
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 55 kcal
Author Darlene at International Cuisine

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 Tbsp black tea leaves
  • 2 Tbsp sugar or to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil with 2 cinnamon sticks

  2. When boiling, pour over the tea leaves or bags

  3. Let steep until desired flavor

  4. Add sugar as desired

Nutrition Facts
Sudanese Cinnamon Tea (Shai)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 55 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 13mg1%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 1g2%
Calcium 42mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

Our Journey to Sudan and South Sudan

How did Sudan and South Sudan get their names?

The name Sudan comes from Arabic, “Bilad as Sudan” or “Land of the Blacks.”  This name refers to the area south of the Sahara.  South Sudan was named when it became independent of Sudan on July 9, 2011.  It is officially the Republic of South Sudan.  South Sudan is the most newly recognized nation in the world, and joined the United Nations just a few days after Independence, on July 14, 2011.

Where are Sudan and South Sudan located?

Sudan is located in east, Central Africa.  It has many neighbors and borders:  Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west and Libya to the northwest.  The Nile River is the dominant geographic feature of Sudan.

South Sudan is a landlocked country, also with many neighbors:  Sudan to the north, Ethiopia to the east, Central African Republic to the south, Democratic Republic of the Congo to the southwest, Uganda to the south and Kenya to the southeast.

Prior to the split of the two countries, Sudan was the largest country in Africa and in the Arab world.

A Brief History of Sudan and South Sudan

The earliest civilizations began in Sudan along the Nile, which grew into the Kingdom of Kush during the eighth century B.C..  Kush conquered Egypt and adopted many facets of Egyptian culture.  Sudan actually has more pyramids than Egypt in the area of Meroe.  The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The region converted to Christianity in the sixth century A.D., and then to Islam in the 14th century.  Egypt conquered Sudan in the 1820s, turning the country into a slave market.  It administered Sudan jointly with Britain who was keen to control the area around the newly built Suez Canal. 

For a time the Sudanese Mahdist armies managed to kick out Egyptian and British forces holding the capital city of Khartoum, until the British re-conquered the territory in 1898.  By the mid-20th century, the Sudanese wanted independence, which was granted in 1956. 

Resenting the political domination of the north, the mostly Christian and animist southerners launched a fight against the Khartoum government.  This was the trigger for a civil war conflict that raged on and off for more than 50 years and claimed an estimated two million Sudanese lives.

President Nimeiri ended the first civil war in 1972, granting the south considerable autonomy.  His plans to bring back the economy went bad and after pressure from the north, they rescinded the autonomy agreement with the south.  Civil war returned, along with an army coup.  These cycles of wars and coups have shaped much of Sudan’s post-independence history. 

In 1989, General Omar al-Bashir seized power.  He introduced hard line Islamic views, although Sharia (Islamic canonical law) was already instituted in 1980.  It wasn’t until the change of geopolitics, brought about by 911, that Sudan started to shift from its Islamist position.  Sudan saw prosperity from its new oilfields and sought peace with the south, which became independent in July 2011, although clashes continue.  The South fared far worse since Independence, as there has been a constant battle for power between the tribes of this new nation.

As if this were not enough pain for both of these countries, a struggle for resources in Darfur sprang into a full rebellion.  The repression from Bashir led the president to become the first head of state to be indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.  He was finally overthrown in April 2019 by a military coup.  Although there is now some hope for a new leader in a pro-democracy movement, it remains to be seen how it will shake out.  The military are currently running the country, and there will, no doubt, be a new power struggle in their future.

Sudanese Culture

Sudan has a population of about 45 million people.  About 70 percent of the population is Sudanese Arab, with the balance being black ethnic groups like: Fur, Beja, Nuba and Fallata, to name a few.

The population of South Sudan is about 11 million and home to about 60 indigenous ethnic groups. The largest is the Dinka people, followed by the Neur and the Shiluk.

In Sudan, Arabic and English are the official languages.  In Sudan however, many indigenous languages are spoken.  In South Sudan, English is the official language however, most speak their indigenous languages as well.

In Sudan, Sunni Muslim is the main religion in the country. The country goes by Sharia law.  There are still indigenous tribes who practice animism, (a belief that all objects, such as trees and rivers, have a spirit.)  There is also a very small Christian minority left in Sudan.  Most Christians have since fled to the south.  The religious makeup in South Sudan is 60 percent Christian, 33 percent African religion (animism) and seven percent Islam.

In Sudan only about 30 percent of the population live in the urban areas; most are nomadic or live rural.  South Sudan is even less urban, at about 20 percent.  In Sudan, some 80 percent of the labor force works in agriculture.  Cotton is Sudan’s primary export, although the crop is vulnerable to drought.  Livestock, sesame, groundnuts, oil and gum Arabic are other important exports.  The country is poor and half of the population lives in poverty. 

In South Sudan the main export is petroleum followed by foraged corps and raw cotton, gold and dried legumes.  South Sudan is even poorer than its northern counterpart, with 80 percent living on less than $1 a day.  It is one of the most impoverished countries in the world.  Constant war has taken its toll on both of these nations.

Sudanese Cuisine

Sudan and South Sudan share many common dishes.  Sudanese food is inspired by colonial rule.  The most important ingredient in the cuisine is porridge, called dura, a starch, typically made from millet, wheat or corn.  The cuisine is also regional with fish being popular along the Nile.  In Sudan, lamb, chicken and beef are the most prevalent meats.  Being a strict Islamic state, pork and alcohol are strictly forbidden.

Typically, Sudanese food is meat heavy, interspersed with vegetables.  Stews, called mullah, are very popular.  Peanuts or ground nuts are also prevalent in Sudanese dishes. Ful Medames is a popular dish made of beans, usually fava beans and some consider it to be the national dish.  On a very sad note, there is a dish called Bush, a poor man’s ful, which is served using the bean water left in the gidra (the pot the beans are cooked in) and sopped up with onions and bread.  It gets its name from the first Bush president who cut aid to Sudan in the early 1990s in response to the Sudanese government’s support of Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf War.  Falafels, made from chickpeas are a popular street snack but not served with the normal accompaniments that you might expect.  Generally speaking, the dishes do not use too many spices or seasonings, but they do like to add dried fruits, especially apricots.

So let’s enjoy a Sudanese Meal:

 

The Menu

Appetizer

Salata Aswad be Zabadi (Eggplant Dip)

A platefu of eggplant dip garnished with cilantro and flat bread in the background.

Main Course

Ful Medames (Sudanese Fava Beans)

Served with

Shata (Spicy Sauce)

A little dish filled with shata a spicy hot sauce from Sudan that has hot pepper, lemons and garlic in the mix.

Dessert

Ful Sudani (Peanut Macaroons)

A plate full of Sudanese peanut macaroons.

Served with

Shai (Sudanese Cinnamon Tea)

A couple of cups of Sudanese cinnamon tea with sugar

For our Sudanese meal we began with a handwashing.  We would eat sitting on the floor with a communal dish and use only our right hand, as would be customary in both Sudan countries.  Flat bread was a big help in scooping up the food. 

Our first dish was a delicious, fried eggplant dip, made with yogurt and peanut butter and tomatoes.  We absolutely loved the combination of flavors.  Typically, this would be served with fermented sorghum flat bread called, kisra.  I tried to make it but it was a failure, so naan would have to be my substitute.

For the main course, we thoroughly enjoyed the national dish called, Ful Medames.  This dish is very popular in many other countries as well.  It is a vegetarian, protein rich, dish that is garnished with onions, tomatoes, arugula, feta cheese, boiled eggs and sesame oil.  Honestly, this dish was perfectly delicious and filling.  It was served with a spicy hot sauce called shata, which is also very popular.

For dessert, little peanut meringue cookies were served that went perfectly with a cup of black tea, spiced up with cinnamon.  In Sudan, they love to enjoy their tea with lots of sugar.

As we say goodbye to the Sudans’, I must be honest and say that although we thoroughly enjoyed our International Cuisine meal, we did so with a heavy heart.  Both of these countries are in awful shape, with way too many of their people living in extreme poverty and war.  We ended our meal with a simple prayer for those people.

I leave you with a couple Sudanese proverbs:

“Empty stomachs have no ears.”

“No one likes to eat crumbs from a feast; everyone likes to sit at a table.”

“Better a meal of vegetables, where there is love than a fatted ox, where there is hatred.”

Until next time,

Warmest regards,

Darlene

 

Sri Lankan Spiced Chickpeas (Kadala Thal Dala)

Sri Lankan spiced chickpeas called Kadal thal dala is a very common snack.  They are often served in little paper cones or bags straight from the fire.  Chickpeas are a healthy snack and exceptionally tasty all spiced up.  Sri Lankan spiced chickpeas are also served as a side dish.

A bowl of Sri Lankan spiced chickpeasSri Lankan spiced chickpeas cook up in a jiffy especially if you use canned chickpeas.  Of course, you can make them from dry chickpeas just follow the  package instructions.  What I love about this recipe is the versatility, feel free to add in more heat if that is your thing or spices that you like. The possibilities are simply endless.

Sri Lanka is known for its curries.  Being part of the spice trade for centuries Sri Lanka is also known as the Spice Island.  This recipe calls for curry leaf called karapincha  which can be found in most Sri-Lankan gardens.  If you don’t have access to these fresh leaves you can buy them dried here.  I highly recommend you try cooking with curry leaves, they are delicious.

Black mustard seeds are also used in this recipe.  The black seeds may be hard to find at your local grocery so you can get them here.  If you can find yellow ones just double the amount as they are not quite as pungent as the black ones.  Both colors pop while they cook when it releases the strong mustard aroma.   Please note that both the curry leaves and the black mustard are used in the other dishes we made for our IC meal.  Sri Lankan prawn curry and the Sri Lankan roasted curry powder.

Did you know that Sri Lanka is the world’s leading exporter of cinnamon spice?  Sri Lanka contributes eighty percent of the world’s output.  Do you know where cinnamon actually comes from?  It actually comes from the inner bark of a tree.  If you would like to learn more about this fascinating little spice island be sure to check out “Our Journey to Sri Lanka”  you will also find more authentic recipes as well.

Craving even more?  Be sure to join the culinary and cultural journey around the world so you don’t miss a thing,  it’s free,  You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook ,  Pinterest and youtube to follow along our journey.

Please note that this page contains affiliate links in which I will earn a small commission however, it will in no way affect the price you pay. I thank you for your support!

A bowl of Sri Lankan spiced chickpeas
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Sri Lankan Spiced Chickpeas (Kadala Thal Dala )

A healthy snack that cooks up in a jiffy!

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 84 kcal
Author Darlene at International Cuisine

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 4 dried red chilies chopped into large chunks
  • 1 large onion finely diced
  • 2 15 oz. chickpeas cans (drained)
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

Instructions

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan.
  2. Fry the mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves and chilies for around 30 seconds until you hear the seeds pop.
  3. Add the onions and cook until soft and golden.
  4. Stir through the chickpeas and add salt to taste. Sauté for a few minutes until heated through.
  5. Serve warm as a snack or as a side to your meal.
Nutrition Facts
Sri Lankan Spiced Chickpeas (Kadala Thal Dala )
Amount Per Serving
Calories 84 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Sodium 3mg0%
Potassium 74mg2%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 130IU3%
Vitamin C 60mg73%
Calcium 24mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

Sri Lankan Roasted Curry Powder

Sri Lankan roasted curry powder is an essential spice blend to make Sri Lankan curries.  Sri Lanka also known as the Spice Island is famous for its curries.  As every family likely has their own spice blend that they use for various curries, most will have the same basic flavors of Sri Lanka.  Feel free when you make your roasted Sri Lankan roasted curry powder to adjust to your liking.  This is the one I used to make the Sri Lankan Prawn curry for our International Cuisine meal.

Sri Lankan roasted curry powder surrounded by the ingredients that make it. Coriander seed, cumin seed, whole clove, black peppercorns, black mustard seed, fennel seed, basmati rice, cardomom pods. This spice blend is roasted and then ground together.  You can use a spice grinder or do it the right way with a granite mortar and pestle called gal wangediya in Sri Lanka. 

Other spices that you may want to include in your spice blend include star anise, nutmeg, fenugreek, cinnamon, mace and ginger to simply name a few.  All these spices are used regularly in Sri Lankan cuisine.

Sri Lanka is a tropical Island paradise that was a stop on the historic Oceanic Silk Road.  Sri Lanka brought the world cinnamon and black pepper two indigenous spices found on the island.

Did you know that Sri Lanka is one of the world’s largest exporters of tea and cinnamon?  If you would like to learn more about  this beautiful Island nation be sure to check out “Our Journey to Sri Lanka”.  There you will get authentic Sri Lankan recipes like pol sambal  and much more.

Craving even more?  Be sure to join the culinary and cultural journey around the world so you don’t miss a thing,  it’s free,  You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook ,  Pinterest and youtube to follow along our journey.

Please note that this page contains affiliate links in which I will earn a small commission however, it will in no way affect the price you pay. I thank you for your support!

Sri Lankan roasted curry powder surrounded by the ingredients that make it. Coriander seed, cumin seed, whole clove, black peppercorns, black mustard seed, fennel seed, basmati rice, cardomom pods.
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Sri Lankan Roasted Curry Powder

A lovely spice blend which will set the tone for your Sri Lankan curry dish.

Course Seasoning
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Servings 8 Tablespoons
Calories 46 kcal
Author Darlene at International Cuisine

Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 3 Tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 Tbsp basmati rice
  • 1 Tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 3 tsp whole cloves
  • 2 tsp green cardamom seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds

Instructions

Instructions:

  1. Place the rice in a non-stick pan.
  2. Heat over medium heat until the rice starts to turn light brown.
  3. Add the rest of the spices and roast for few more minutes until the spices start to become aromatic. Keep moving the pan to prevent the spices from burning.
  4. Remove from the heat and let the spices cool down.
  5. Once cool, use a spice grinder (or a mortar and pestle) to grind the spice mix into a powder.
  6. Store in an air tight container.
Nutrition Facts
Sri Lankan Roasted Curry Powder
Amount Per Serving
Calories 46 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 7mg0%
Potassium 121mg3%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 42IU1%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 61mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

Sri Lankan Prawn Curry

Sri Lankan prawn curry is an authentic and delicious main dish.  If you can find prawns or shrimp with the heads on, they are said to take the dish to another level.  I wasn’t able to find prawns or shrimps with the heads on, so I left the tails on while cooking to get additional flavor.  The result was a memorable and delicious curry dish with all the flavors of Sri Lanka.

A plate full of Prawn curry with Pol Sambal and riceIn Sri Lanka, curry and rice is considered the national dish. Rice is either steamed or boiled but comes in many varieties and served alongside all sorts of amazing curries made of vegetables, meats, fish and seafood. Sri Lankan prawn curry is just one of hundreds of delicious choices in Sri Lankan cuisine.  Generally Sri Lankan curry is spicy hot so feel free to adjust the chili to your personal preference.

Sri Lankan curry is made with several spices, every cook has their own personal spice blend.  The roasted curry powder should be made ahead of time and feel free to add more or less of the spices you love.  This recipe also calls for a few ingredients that may be difficult to find at your local grocery, so here is a link for curry leaves and pandan leaves.

Be sure to serve it alongside rice and Sri Lankan pol sambol a coconut curry that is the perfect accompaniment.  If you would like to learn more about this island nation be sure to check out “Our Journey to Sri Lanka”  there you will also find more authentic Sri Lankan recipes.

Craving even more?  Be sure to join the culinary and cultural journey around the world so you don’t miss a thing,  it’s free,  You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook ,  Pinterest and youtube to follow along our journey.

Please note that this page contains affiliate links in which I will earn a small commission however, it will in no way affect the price you pay. I thank you for your support!

A plate full of Prawn curry with Pol Sambal and rice
5 from 1 vote
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Sri Lankan Prawn Curry

A wonderful main dish to give you a taste of Sri Lanka

Course Main Dish
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 287 kcal
Author Darlene at International Cuisine

Ingredients

Ingredients:

    Prawns /Shrimp

    • 1 lb large shrimp or prawns head-on about 20 shrimp
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • ¼ tsp Sri Lankan Curry Powder

    Prawn/ shrimp Curry

    • 3 tbsp coconut oil
    • 4 garlic cloves minced
    • 1 inch piece ginger, minced
    • 1 medium sweet onion chopped finely
    • 1 Tbsp Sri Lankan Curry Powder
    • ½ tsp ground fennel
    • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • ½ tsp ground black pepper
    • 12 curry leaves
    • 3 pandan leaves
    • cup coconut milk
    • cup water
    • 2 fresh red chili peppers more or less to your heat tolerance
    • 2 Tbsp lime juice
    • 1 Tbsp Cilantro chopped, finely

    Instructions

    Instructions:

      Preparing the Prawns/Shrimp

      1. Clean the prawns/shrimp by removing the heads (if using) and setting them aside.
      2. Peel the shell, leaving the tails intact and de-vein the shrimp.
      3. Rinse the prawns/shrimp and prawns/shrimp heads separately.
      4. Sprinkle the salt and curry powder over the shrimp and mix well and set aside to marinate while you cook the curry.

      Prawn/Shrimp Curry

      1. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat, and add the coconut oil.
      2. Add the prawn/shrimp heads to the pan if using.
      3. Cook the prawn/shrimp heads for about 5 -10 minutes until the heads become crispy and caramelized. If not using the heads proceed to the next step.
      4. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, a generous pinch of salt and reduce the heat to medium and cook the shrimp heads until they soften - a few minutes.
      5. Add the curry powder, fennel powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, curry leaves and stir frequently for about 5 minutes, until the spices are fragrant and have formed a paste with the onion, garlic and ginger.
      6. Add the coconut milk, 2/3 cup water, fresh red chili pepper, lime juice and stir to combine. Bring to a boil.
      7. Cover and simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes until the mixture is thick.
      8. Add the peeled prawns/shrimp into the curry base and gently mix to combine and completely coat the prawn/shrimp with the sauce. Add a bit of water if the sauce is too thick, or you would like more sauce.
      9. While stirring, bring the mix to a boil. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, or just until the prawns/shrimp is cooked through and is pink. Season with salt to taste.
      10. Turn off the heat and cover the pan with a lid and let the prawns/shrimp sit in the sauce for a few minutes.
      11. Sprinkle cilantro to garnish if using, and serve with steamed Basamati rice . Enjoy!
      Nutrition Facts
      Sri Lankan Prawn Curry
      Amount Per Serving
      Calories 287 Calories from Fat 153
      % Daily Value*
      Fat 17g26%
      Saturated Fat 13g81%
      Cholesterol 286mg95%
      Sodium 1040mg45%
      Potassium 286mg8%
      Carbohydrates 11g4%
      Fiber 2g8%
      Sugar 5g6%
      Protein 25g50%
      Vitamin A 579IU12%
      Vitamin C 76mg92%
      Calcium 212mg21%
      Iron 4mg22%
      * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

       

      Sri Lankan Pol Sambol (Coconut Relish )

      Sri Lankan pol sambol is a coconut relish that is served with just about everything there.  I love everything about this and it is very tasty on its own.  This hits every note on the palate, sweetness from the coconut, sour from the lime, heat from the red chilies,  umami from the shallots and Maldive fish.  Trust me, you will absolutely love this!

       

      A bowl full of pol sambol with coconut, lime, shallot and red chilies as the ingredients.

      Coconuts are an abundant ingredient and used in most Sri Lankan dishes in one form or another.  You must use fresh grated coconut for this recipe to appreciate it. I love any opportunity to use my Mbuzi (goat) that I purchased on my trip to Zanzibar which is how they grate coconut there.  If you don’t have one, you can get a coconut grater here.

      This dish is also made with an ingredient called (umbalakadaMaldive fish.  This is a dried and cured skip jack tuna that adds a wonderful umami flavor.  Vegetarians do not add this ingredient and it is still delicious without it, however, if you can get your hands on it, you should. It is sold in either flakes or chips.

      When you make this recipe let your taste buds guide you along the way, add a little more heat, or lime or salt etc. to make that perfect balance to please your palate.

      Did you know that Sri Lanka grows many varieties of coconuts?  They are the fifth largest producer of coconuts in the world.  One variety is called the King coconut locally called (thambili) are a bright orange variety known for its sweetness.  The sweet coconut water is a favorite thirst quencher on a hot Sri Lankan day.

      If you would like to learn more about the island known as “the teardrop of India”, be sure to check out “Our Journey to Sri Lanka”.  There you will find recipes to serve alongside your Sri Lankan pol sambol  like Sri Lankan prawn curry.

      Craving even more?  Be sure to join the culinary and cultural journey around the world so you don’t miss a thing,  it’s free,  You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook ,  Pinterest and youtube to follow along our journey.

      Please note that this page contains affiliate links in which I will earn a small commission however, it will in no way affect the price you pay. I thank you for your support!

      A bowl full of pol sambol with coconut, lime, shallot and red chilies as the ingredients.
      5 from 1 vote
      Print

      Sri Lankan Pol Sambol

      A side dish or relish perfect with Sri Lankan curries or on its own.

      Course Side Dish
      Cuisine Sri Lankan
      Prep Time 15 minutes
      Total Time 15 minutes
      Servings 4
      Calories 79 kcal
      Author Darlene at International Cuisine

      Ingredients

      • 1 coconut grated
      • 5 dried chilies
      • 6 small shallots
      • 2 limes juice of
      • 1 teaspoon Maldive fish
      • salt

      Instructions

      1. Using a mortar and pestle make a paste with the dried chilies and a pinch of salt

      2. In a bowl, mix together the shallots, coconut, and chili paste.

      3. Add the Maldive fish if using

      4. Add the fresh lime juice

      5. Add salt to taste

      6. Mix everything together and taste, adjust as your palate dictates. The end result should be sweet, sour, savory, hot, and a heavenly bite.

      Nutrition Facts
      Sri Lankan Pol Sambol
      Amount Per Serving
      Calories 79 Calories from Fat 36
      % Daily Value*
      Fat 4g6%
      Saturated Fat 3g19%
      Sodium 8mg0%
      Potassium 211mg6%
      Carbohydrates 12g4%
      Fiber 3g13%
      Sugar 4g4%
      Protein 2g4%
      Vitamin A 182IU4%
      Vitamin C 13mg16%
      Calcium 25mg3%
      Iron 1mg6%
      * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.