Sri Lankan party food – #1 Chick peas

Kicking off the Sri Lankan recipes I promised – here’s one of my favourite party foods. Post your own recipes and link to the Facebook party (or post recipes at the FB party itself) and you could win a copy of either Having a Ball or Kick Assitude.

Copyright Indi Samarajeeva

Fried Chickpeas ( or ‘kadala thel dala’)

Fried chickpeas are the Sri Lanka equivalent of popcorn. A handful of these in a twist of newspaper and you’re good to go. I sometimes make a chilli-free version in the summer, as something to nibble if we’re sitting out in the garden.


1 tin of chickpeas

Dessicated coconut, the coarser the better

Mustard seeds (about a teaspoon full)

Curry leaves – 10

Onions diced finely

Garlic, finely diced

Dried chili flakes to taste

Vegetable oil or ground nut oil – a good splash


Heat the oil gently in a pan and add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to pop, the oil is hot enough. Add onion, curry leaves and garlic and fry until the onions are translucent. Then add dessicated coconut, chili flakes and chick peas. Give them a good stir so that all the chickpeas are coated with the mixture. Leave to cool a bit. Enjoy.

I’ve used store cupboard ingredients. The real thing uses rampe, which I can’t get hold of easily.

5 thoughts on “Sri Lankan party food – #1 Chick peas

  1. kadala thel dala is a much loved dish in our household. I have great memories of it served in a cone shaped holder (made of newspaper) whilst watching the Cricket.


    1. Yes. It tastes better that way, I think. The newspaper soaks of some of the oil too. (I used to love the bags made from exercise books. You got to open them up and read someone’s homework.


  2. I really enjoy Sri Lankan food and often use chick peas and lentils, especially when my vegan son comes over for dinner. Until recently I couldn’t get curry leaves. Will try this recipe. Thanks Rhoda!

    Janice xx


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