Ala Thel Dala (Fried / Tempered Potatos)

This is a every famous dish in Sri Lanka in both occasions and day to day meals. If you are a vegetarian prepare this dish without Maldive fish, I´m sure you´ll love it. One of my family´s favorite menu is, yellow rice, parippu (dhal) curry, chicken curry with ala thel dala (tempered potatoes). Try this meal with yourself, hope you also like it very much just like us :-). Good luck with the recipe.

3 boiled potatoes – cut into chunks
1 onion – sliced
3 – 4 garlic cloves - sliced
4 – 5 teaspoons Maldive fish – optional
1 ½ teaspoons mustard seeds
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons chili pieces
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric
4 – 5 tablespoons oil
1x1.5cm cinnamon piece
5 – 6 curry leaves
salt to taste

In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients (onion, garlic,Maldive fish, lime juice, chili pieces, chili powder, turmeric & salt) except the potatoes and oil. Heat a pan in medium heat & when it´s hot add the oil. When oil is ready add mustard seeds and let it pop up (nearly 2 – 4 seconds), then add cinnamon and curry leaves and let it fry for 1 – 2 minutes. then add the onion mixture & mix it well with oil. Keep it on heat for 5 minutes. After that mix it again and keep it again for another 5 minutes.
When the onion mixture is nice brown & also you can smell a nice smell, that´s the time you have to add potatoes into onion mixture. Mix onions and potatoes well but don´t break potatoes into small pieces. Keep it on heat nearly 2 – 3 minutes. Taste for salt.

Mainly goes with every kind of rice. you can have it with bread & roti too.(My favorite :-) )

1.If you don´t have Maldive fish, you can use dried prawns also. Break it to small pieces.
2.If you want you can add lime juice at the end, no problem you can do it that way also.



  1. Good job! I enjoyed watching your clear directions. I want to try ala-thel-dala now!

  2. i make foods as you teach,every body say,it,s im very happy.thanks akki.and i want to know,how can make accharu

  3. i cooked today this potatos and it is great. thank you!!

  4. Thank you everyone for the comments and the encouragement. I will fulfill your requests as time permits.

  5. I made this came out perfectly! thankx

  6. Mmmm, I could not find masterd seeds and curry leaves in Japan so I used a masterd paste with seeds. But it was a bit sour and tast was not which I expected... I will try it again!

  7. @ Anonymous: you are welcome, glad you like the dish... :-)

    @ Gangafish: mustard paste is not the same as mustard seed, so I think it's good if you try the recipe without mustard paste, (if you really can't find mustard seeds.)

  8. Thank you very much for your suggestion! By the way, I really would like to have "kola kanda" these days... Please update how to make it in the future!

  9. I used to stir fried boiled potato chunks with very little oil,(before mixing the onion mixture) then potato become crispy & taste good, if like try..


  10. Hi Chamari,

    I am a guy in NZ and I made this as daané for a Sri lankan temple here. Thank you so much for your clear instructions; I followed them and the outcome - the smell, the taste and the sight was amazing! Here is a pic of it:

    Thanks very much and bohoma ping for you too :)

  11. Thank you so much for this recipe. This is the best version of ala thel dala out there. My husband loved it and he almost cried eating it! :) Thank you very much again and I look forward to trying out the other recipes on your site.

  12. Thanx alot for the help its so helpful

  13. I am a guy with less cooking experience. Just tried this and it went well. Thank you very much.

  14. Like your site alot, I made potato fried and the chicken curry from your videos , both came out very good and tasty. Keep posting more delicious dishes for us. Thanks

    A Sri Lankan living abroad ..

  15. I tried this for the first time and it turned out well! Thanks a lot for the precise instructions akki :)

    - Sri Lankan living abroad

  16. Looks delicious. I like my potatoes fried well and brown, do you suppose I could cook the dish for longer in order to get the crispy bottom brown?

  17. Hi chamari
    Thank you so much for uploading recipes and vidoes of Sri Lankan cooking. Being in overseas no matter how many different food we tried, still we are craving for our own kind food to taste. I've been searching for months a good site for Sri Lankan recipes and here you are. simple and less complicated demonstration. Im loving it.
    Indeed your site is very helpful to all Sri Lankans who live abroad and who wanted to learn how to cook Sri Lankan food.
    I tried this recipe by deep frying the potatoes to give more tempted taste. It came awesome!!
    Im looking forward to cook your Pork curry recipe (a big fan of pork). Will let you know the outcome! :)
    Thanks once again and pls keep on add more recipe...
    We are watching you! :)


  18. Thanks. pls put more Sri Lankan curries. I'm from Australia learning Sri Lankan curries.

  19. This came exceptionally well,

  20. This looks delicious. I tend to like my potatoes a little browned and crispy, so I think I'll keep them more than 5 minutes when I attempt this dish. Lovely videos!


  21. im from uk.thanks for your all the sri lankan food recipes,its so help full for me.

  22. I wish you could speed up a little. Process is very slow and time consuming.
    Watch some other peoples U tube videos and learn please how to execute at a
    faster pace..
    No complaints with the recipes.

  23. Thanks...I made it and it was Delicious....

  24. What a recipe . Looks so delicious. Please visit this site to know the nutritional value of seafood ...............

  25. Is this a hot dish? I need to cook something mild.

  26. when do u add the lime juice

  27. thanks a lot , but I coud not see when you put the lime juice , I think we have to put the end the last minute .

  28. Hi Chamarie

    On tmrw i will try to cook ALA THEL DALA n PARIPPU as ur recipe that u have given. but I want to knw Is it necesry to add "PANDAN LEAF" (Rampe) as well no? bcz i hv seen my mother add "Rampe" when cooked.
    Even when add the lime juice to potato curry??

  29. will it be ok if i add a little piece of chicken stock cube? it gives more flavour please let me know

  30. Duh... a little piece of stock cube? A little bit of rampe? A little lime juice? Guys she's not replying anymore. It was over 5 years ago!! Just try it. If it works then good, if not then don't do it. Chamari has give us her recipe and I thank her for it. Btw this is my favourite of her recipes. I always add some of the water that I boiled the potato in cuz it helps to soften up the dried fish flakes. But hey, that's just me. Thanks Chamari you're a legend and I love your accent.

  31. Maldive fish is one of key ingredient in this recipe and also you can add rampe but dont recommend stock cube


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