Fried sun-dried salted fish (Karawala Baduma) කරවල බැදුම


In Ceylon, dried fish dishes have been popular among people since ages. It is not only an effective way to preserve fish but also a great source of protein, vitamins and essential minerals. Among number of popular dried fish kinds, skates, sear fish (Spanish mackerel), shark, balaya(Skipjack tuna), Katta fish, Keeramin and sprats hold the top ranks. Today, I am going to share a one of few ways of cooking a fried dried fish dish. Specialty of this version of the recipe is that you can keep this fresh for a longer period even without refrigerating (If kept sealed in a container).

karavala 2


200g Karawala (Sun dried salted fish) – washed and cut into small pieces

6 cloves of garlic – finely sliced

2 large onions – finely sliced

Curry leaves of few spikes

A small piece of a pandan leaf (optional) – cut into tiny pieces

1 tsp of red chili flakes

½ a small lime or 1 tbsp of lime juice

A pinch of sugar

2 pinches of salt

Oil as needed for deep frying


Separately, deep garlic and onions until they turn to golden color. Also, deep the rest of the dry ingredients except chili flakes, separately. Keep following on your mind.

  • Deep fry curry leaves under low heat until they turn to green-black and crispy
  • Deep fry the fish pieces under medium heat level for about 3 – 4 minutes. Remember, they should not be over fried. So, keep eye balling for their appearance and watch out for any burning like smell.
  • Note: Be very careful when adding salt as the dried fish pieces are already salted. This is the reason for only mixing salt to the rest of the ingredients, separately. That way, it will minimize adding more salt to fish pieces.
  • Then, except the fish, combine the rest of the deep fried ingredients and salt. After, bring in the fish pieces, red chili flakes, and sugar and squeeze the lime over all. Now, mix all thoroughly with your hand or a spoon. If necessary, you can adjust the amounts of lime or chili flakes to your taste.




    • Thank you so much for the comment.

      This dish is more like a “Sri Lankan speciality food’ and this dried fish is usually available in south Asian stores in Canada. Just thought you might want to know 😉


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