Sugar and Spice | Sunday Observer

Sugar and Spice

 Dear Readers,

Today, in Sugar & Spice we bring you two mouth watering dishes made from the treasures of the sea. Keeping in mind that the Sinhala and Hindu New Year is around the corner, we bring you two traditional Sri Lankan sweetmeats and will bring more such recipes during the run up to the New Year.

Till we meet next,
Happy cooking!


Squid ink white wine risotto with seafood in garlic butter


For the Fish Stock (500ml)

Non oily fish bones 600g, water 500ml, thyme 1 sprig parsley stems 1 bay leaf 1 no, leek Leaf 3’’ 1 no, onion peeled and sliced 20g,celery sliced 20g, fennel sliced 10g, leeks white part sliced 20g

For the Risotto

Olive oil 10ml

Chopped shallot 20g

Chopped garlic 10g

White wine 50ml

Fish stock 375ml

Arbario rice 80g

Squid ink 20g

Lemon zest ½ a lemon

Salt to taste

Cracked black pepper to taste

Butter 20g

Grated Grana Padano 20g

For the Seafood

Tiger prawn cleaned, shell off, tail & head on 1 no

Sea scallops 2nos

Seabass cube skin-off 20g

Calamari cone- pineapple cut 15g

Tuna cube 20g

Clams 1no

Mussels 2nos

Garlic butter 50g

White wine 10ml


Cleaned and blanched fish bone & tail 1 no

Marinated bocconcini 1no

Cherry tomato halved 1no

Cherry tomato sliced 2nos

Buttered asparagus spears 2nos

Buttered baby carrot 1no

Red raddish whole 1no

Red raddish slivers 2nos

Nasturtium leaves 2nos

Rock violet flowers 1no

Shallot rings 2nos

Grana Padano Parmesan Crisp 1no


For the Fish Stock

1. Soak the bones for 30 minutes, drain and rinse under cold water to remove all signs of blood.

2. Prepare a Bouquet Garni by placing the thyme, bay leaf and parsley stem inside the leek leaf. Fold the Leaf into a parcel and tie with twine.

3. Combine the bones with the cold water, Bouquet Garni& vegetables, bring them slowly to a simmer in a stock pot.

4. Maintain a slow simmer for 30 minutes whilst skimming the scum. (Removing impurities that float above)

5. Strain the stock gently through a fine mesh strainer.

For the Risotto

1. Place the fish stock simmering in a separate pot with a ladle.

2. Place a pot on the stove and heat Olive oil over a medium-low heat.

3. Add the chopped shallots, garlic. Stir and cook until they are just translucent, golden & fragrant.

4. Add the rice and use a wooden spoon to gently stir the rice until it sings, a crackle.

5. Raise the heat to medium and add the white wine and cook until the wine is absorbed, add enough warm fish stock to just cover the rice, stirring gently until the stock has absorbed the rice.

6. Add the lemon zest, salt & pepper. Once the initial stock has been absorbed, again add enough warm fish stock to just cover the rice, cook and gently stir until the stock is absorbed by the rice, You will begin to see the bottom of the pot as you stir and the stock has almost been absorbed.

(with the second and third addition of stock, the rice will absorb the stock more slowly. Throughout cooking, the rice and stock should bubble gently as the flavor of the stock is slowly and evenly absorbed into the rice)

7. Keep adding small increments of stock, keeping it at a level just above the rice. When all of the stock has almost been absorbed, add the squid ink.

8. Stir until it coats the rice well and take off the heat, add the butter, grated Grana Padano Parmesan cheese & olive oil while stirring. This will enrich the risotto’s flavor & texture.

For the Garlic Butter

1. Beat the butter , chopped garlic, parsley and salt until light in colour with a hand beater.

For The Seafood

1. Season the Prawn, Seabass, Tuna, Calamari & Scallop with salt, pepper, lemon juice.

2. Heat a pan and add 40g garlic butter and a drop of olive oil. (The oil will prevent the butter from burning)

3. Cook the prawn, seabass, calamari & scallop whilst basting in the garlic butter. Reserve the seafood.

4. Add the tuna to the pan and Sear all corners , Trim 2 sides so the center is visible, Reserve with the other seafood.

5. In a pan, add the garlic butter, a drop of olive oil, add the clams and mussels, and a splash of white wine, season with salt, pepper and cover until the clam opens.

For the Parmesan Crisp

1. Pre heat the oven to 200C.

2. Line a silicone mat or silicone paper on an oven tray.

3. Sprinkle grated grana padano to the desired shape.

4. Place the tray in the oven for 3 -5 minutes.

5. Remove the parmesan crisp and adjust the shape as desired.

To Assemble

1. Plate the risotto into the center of the plate.

2. Plate the seafood around the risotto, garnishing with the fish bone, asparagus, baby carrot, cherry tomato, bocconcini, red radish, nasturtium, edible flower & Parmesan crisp.


Pan fried Negombo lagoon prawns and modha fish

serves 04

Ingredients 04 nos. (150 gms modha fillets), 12 nos. cleaned prawns with tail (40 gms. each) 2 tbs olive oil,

Marinade for fish and prawns 1⁄2tablespoon chilli powder, 1⁄2tablespoon salt,1⁄2tablespoon chopped


1⁄4tablespoon crushed black pepper,1⁄4tablespoon curry powder,1⁄4tablespoon turmeric, pepper1⁄4tablespoon, lime juice


Fish and prawns: Blend the spices together. Season both the fish and prawn with spices. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil. Add the fish to the saute pan, pan-frying for about 4 minutes on each side.

Ingredients for dill mango butter sauce 1cup dry white wine, ½ cup lemon juice,½ cup chopped mango , 2tbs. chopped garlic 1tbs. chopped onion,1tsp. salt, 1⁄4 tsp. crushed black pepper,1dash soy sauce,1dash chilli sauce,1⁄2cup heavy cream,1cup butter (soft), chopped dill leaves


Dill mango butter sauce:

Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the wine, lemon juice, garlic, onion and mango. Cook for 3 minutes.Stir in the salt, pepper, soy sauce, and chilli sauce and simmer until the mixture is smooth and glazed. (about 3 minutes) .Stir in the cream and cook for 1 minute. Over low heat, whisk in the butter, a few pats at a time. Continue whisking until all of the butter is incorporated into the sauce. Finally, add the chopped dill leaves.

Ingredients for the pilaf

250g basmati rice, 1 lime, grated zest, 2 cardamom pods, crushed, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 onion sliced, 150 ml dry white wine, pinch of saffron strands,50gms raisins, 450ml fish stock (made with the bones), 04 nos carrot cut length wise, 01 nos roughly cut sweet yam,, 02 nos small potato wedges, 01 nos radish wedges, 01 nos leek white part, 10 - 12 nos. large red onions, 02 nos. fennel bulbs


Soak the rice in cold water for 5 minutes, then drain well and tip into a bowl. Mix in the grated lime zests. Add all the spices. Heat oil in a thick bottom pan, then sauté the onion for 5 minutes. Add rice and wine, with all ingredients and root vegetables except raisins, boil until evaporated, then add the stock. Bring to the boil. Simmer until rice is done and add the raisins.

Remove from the pan.

To serve: Drizzle some dill mango butter sauce on each plate. Top with fish and drizzle more sauce over top of fish. Top with fresh dill leaves. Serve with rice pilaf and root vegetables.


Meegamu aluwa


750 g Coconut treacle

850 g Rice flour

100 g Cadjunuts


Roast the rice flour in a pan on low heat stirring all the time. Sieve and set aside. Then heat the coconut treacle and add the roasted rice flour and the sliced cashew nuts. Stir well and remove the pan from the fire. A flexible consistency should be obtained. Roll out on a well floured board. Cut into diamond shapes.

(Note: The rice flour should be well roasted for this receipe to come out well)


Pani walalu/Unduwel


Undu (urad dhal) 2 cups ,rice flour 1 cup, coconut milk 1 cup, 1 tsp salt, sugar 4 cups,boiled water 1 cup, coconut oil


Wash the undu thoroughly ,remove the dark skin and soak it overnight . Drain the water, grind the undu while adding coconut milk little by little until the mixture becomes creamy.Transfer the mixture into a bowl , add the rice flower and mix well adding the remaining coconut milk till the mixture becomes a smooth paste.Keep the mixture for about 1 hour. Put the sugar in a saucepan,keep on medium heat and stir well.When the sugar becomes caramalised and add boiled water and stir well until the syrup becomes thicker. Finally, kee the syrup on low heat.

Take the batter which ahs been kept for one hour , add salt and mix well.Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. (1 ½” inches deep oil is enough for frying pani walalu ). Then, take the icing bag and fill it with batter.

When the oil is heated to the required degree squeeze the batter onto the oil in the shape of a coiled circle. Fry the coiled circles (pani walalu) until they are a nice golden colour all over.Drain the oil from the pani walalu and dip the pani walau in the warm sugar syrup. After a few minutes remove the pani walalu from the sugar syrup and put it into a container. Repeat the process until the batter is finished. Finally, pour the sugar syrup into the container and keep for a day and serve.