Sri Lankan Pan Fried Leeks and Dried Sprats ( Leeks- Haal masso baduma)ලීක්ස් සහ හාල් මැස්සො බැදුම

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Guess what! Both my kids are having their afternoon nap at the same time! Yeah ! What a miracle! Usually, my daughter plays with her toys while her big brother tries to take his nap and once she finishes playing, she wants to cuddle with me and sleep. By the time she sleeps, her big brother is awake. Anyways, now that I have some time for myself, I decided to write a little blog post.

This is a very common vegetable that Sri Lankans use to prepare as a side dish for everyday meals. Today, however, I spiced up this boring very common pan fried leeks dish in to a crunchy, delicious and lively dish that can be prepared even for a special occasion.

Ingredients

  • 1 large leek – finely chopped
  • 1 large onion – finely chopped or sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves – finely chopped
  • 1 tsp of chopped ginger
  • A handful of dried sprats – washed and cleaned
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 ½ to 2 tbsp of red chili flakes or to your taste
  • A pinch of ground black pepper
  • Several raw cashew nuts (optional)
  • 3 clove
  • 4 cardamom seeds
  • A handful of curry leaves
  • A piece of lemon grass
  • 1 small lime or ½ a large lime or to your taste
  • Oil as needed

Preparation

Dried Sprats (Haal Masso):

Warm a sufficient amount of oil needed to deep fry the sprats, under medium heat level. Then, deep fry them for about 5 minutes or until they turn crunchy. Now, take them out of the oil and let them aside for later use.

Method

Warm about 3 -4 tbsp of oil under medium-to-high heat level. Then, stir fry onions, ginger, garlic, cashew nuts, curry leaves, lemon grass, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves together for about 2 minutes. After, bring in the leek pieces and continue stir frying. At this point, you can add little bit of salt. Roughly around ½ tsp of salt. Remember, since dried sprats are already having salty taste, you should be careful when adding salt. It is always better to stay till the end to adjust salt to you taste. Now, bring the heat to medium level and continue stir frying until you see the leek pieces are sort of well fried and dehydrated. Normally, it takes around 5 minutes or little longer for this to happen. Anyways, just watch for the intended texture. Now, add the pre-deep fried sprats and squeeze the lime over the ingredients and continue stir frying for about a minute. Finally, taste and adjust salt for your taste.

Enjoy !

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