Devilled Potatoes (Ala Theldala)




Me and this dish had a falling out some years ago.  Twice a year the Sri Lankan Buddhist community in Sydney would throw a food fair to help raise money for the temple. Groups of people would host stalls serving traditional Sri Lankan fare; string hoppers, roti, koththu etc. The hopper stall was always a favourite, with a  queue that usually extended out the doors.

Now I vaguely remember talking about rules in Sri Lankan cooking. About how meals needed particular components, a protein for example and definitely a “hodi” dish , with gravy for moistening the food.

The hopper stall for many years would serve this dish with the hoppers, it puzzled me no end. There was usually a meat curry which served as protein and gravy, and a condiment like seeni sambol (caramelised fried onions) or lunu miris. For me, at the end of my hopper eating fest the potatoes would remain defiantly on my plate, unsure of where to go. I came to resent these potatoes, even though logically I knew they weren’t to blame. I did not like them sitting there, uneaten…unwanted.

I’ve forgiven these dear potatoes since, especially as in Washington you get these beautiful gem like potatoes that are tiny and come in 3-4 colours.  And sometimes, you just need a simple, quick dish that packs a punch!


  • 8 small potatoes boiled
  • 1/2 small medium onion sliced
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp. chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. maldive fish
  • curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


In a medium frypan add the oil and when it’s hot add the onions, garlic, curry leaves, cinnamon and spices. Fry until the onions are soft and brown and spices are pungent.


Add the potatoes and warm through until the potatoes are coated in the spices and the warmed through and slightly browned..



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jessica says:

    Hi Chath! I was surfing the internet/food blogs and did a double take when I saw “Akki’s Kitchen” as I am an Akki myself. Congrats on your blog – you’re doing a great job. Love Sri Lankan food and your Ala Theldala looks delicious; it’s definitely one of my faves.

    Oh, and your son is adorable too!

    1. chathginige says:

      Thanks Jessica,
      Lovely to hear from you and I had the chance to look at your blog…looks fabulous!

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