Sri Lankan Patties

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Sri Lankan patties are one of the most traditional short eats, and my favourite snack ever! These little gems hold all the sunny flavours of fish, spices and potato wrapped in beautifully crisp and golden cases. The process of folding each little pocket can be done with nothing more than love for the people you are making it for. 

Patties are traditionally served as a starter to a meal. In Sri Lanka you can never go very far before you find these scrummy little patties stacked high in little shops and markets, as people often grab a few for a snack or as an alternative to lunch. On evenings where I fancy something a little lighter for dinner, I have a few patties served up with some crunchy salad.  I've also discovered that any left over filling is also absolutely glorious packed into a hot sandwich toastie!


Makes 50 patties

For the filling:

  • 500g potatoes - peeled, boiled and smashed
  • 300g tuna - tinned/fresh
  • 1/2 chopped white onion - finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 5 green chillies - finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of ground pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 lime - squeezed
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves, finely chopped 

For the pastry:

  • 300g plain flour
  • 100g margarine
  • pinch of salt
  • cold water to bind 
  • 1 egg, mixed well



  1. Heat the coconut oil in a pan, once hot add in the onions and curry leaves and leave to sweat
  2. Turn the heat to medium and add in the green chillies, and tuna, cook for a further few minutes
  3. Turn the heat to low and add in the potatoes, salt, pepper and lime juice. Stir everything together on the low heat for a further minute
  4. Turn the heat off, taste the mixture and add more seasoning or lime juice if needed. Stir with the heat off for a further minute to ensure all the ingredients are mixed in well


  1. Add the flour, margarine and salt together
  2. Using your fingers, crumble the margarine into the flour so you are left with a soft, crumbly mixture
  3. Slowly add in a few tablespoons of water at a time, and begin to bind the mixture together with your hands
  4. Knead the pastry into a ball. The mixture should not be too wet, but should have just enough moisture to ensure that the bowl is clean of crumbs and is bound together in the pastry ball


  1. Flour a clean work surface and rolling pin
  2. Cut one quarter of the pastry ball and roll this out until the pastry is a few millimetres thin. The pastry should not be see through, however it should also not be too thick (ideally 2mm), so be careful not to roll it out too thick or thin!
  3. Using a round cutter of diameter 8cm, cut out as many discs as you can from the pastry sheet. Remove the excess pastry and keep aside for the next batch
  4. Using a teaspoon, gently spoon the tuna filling into the centre of each pastry disc (see image below)
  5. Brush the outer edge of the pastry disc with egg and using your hands, gently fold the disc over to create a half moon shape 
  6. Gently press the edges together with your fingers, which will stick nicely due to the egg
  7. Using a fork, gently create a corrugated edge to keep the filling nice and safe in the pastry
  8. Once the first batch is one, repeat the process with another quarter of the pastry ball and any excess pastry leftover from this batch

Cooking and Storage

  1. Once the patties are prepared they are best stored in the freezer for up to 6 months (although they will most definitely get eaten up sooner than that!)
  2. Heat up a deep fat fryer, once hot, add the patties in frozen (if you allow them to defrost, the pastry will bubble up)
  3. Fry for 3-4 minutes, occasionally turning them. Once golden brown, strain and leave to rest for a minute on some kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil
  4. Serve piping hot! :) 

Ps. Please be minded never to re-heat patties, microwave or other!

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