Sri Lankan Fish with Cauliflower rice


  • Goraka (a.k.a Malabar tamarind 35 g or 2 tablespoons tamarind paste)
  • Garlic (1 clove)
  • Ginger (2 cm piece)
  • Pandan leaf (1; I used dried leaf which you can soak in warm water for 10 -15 minutes before using)
  • Ground Cinnamon (1 large pinch)
  • Ground Black Pepper (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Red Chili Powder (1 tablespoon)
  • Curry leaves (30)
  • Salmon (1 lb or Yellowfin Tuna)
  • 2 banana leaves
  • Cauliflower
  • Turmeric powder (1 1/2 teaspoon)
  • Cumin seeds (1/2 tablespoon)
  • Onion (1 finely chopped)
  • Salt (to taste)


In a pot of boiling water add the Goraka and boil it for about 20 minutes or until softened.

Peel and roughly chop the garlic and ginger and roughly chop half the pandan leaf.

Place the softened goraka (or tamarind paste), garlic, ginger and pandan in a pestle and mortar, along with the cinnamon, black pepper, 15-20 curry leaves, red chili powder and a good pinch of salt. Give it a bash until everything has broken down. Add 3 tablespoons of boiling water and muddle to make it a fine paste. If you don’t have a pestle and mortar just use a food processor.

Cut the salmon in into even pieces and rub the paste all over the fishes and marinate it for 20-30 minutes.

If you have the skin on the salmon, add a tablespoon of oil and fry the fish skin side down for 2 minutes.

To make the banana leaves more malleable, carefully heat it over the gas hob on both sides for 30 seconds each.

Place a banana leaf in a cast iron pan and pop the fish into the cast iron pan and cover it with another banana leaf and lid and cook for 15 minutes or until cooked through.

For cauliflower rice, add the cauliflower florets into a food processor and grind it till it’s very fine.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds and let it crackle. Then add the onions and cook it till it’s translucent. Add the remaining curry leaves and chopped pandam leaf and cook it for for another 20-30 seconds.

Add the turmeric powder and cook it for 10 seconds and then add the cauliflower rice and give it a good mix till all of it is combined. Add salt to taste and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.

To serve place a banana leaf over a plate and arrange some cauliflower rice and the fish.


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