Basics and sides

Leek theldala

Fried, spicy leeks. In Sinhalese parlance, a leek theldala is a vegetarian leek mirisata. A mirisata, is, in turn, a traditional Sri Lankan leek stir-fry that includes dried Maldivian fish flakes (try buying those in Cheshire).

As a means of using up leeks (which supermarkets inexplicably sell in packs of three) thelada has no equal. it is a lovely side dish, and also makes a perfect vegan lunch.

Leek theldala

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By Nigel Eastmond Serves: 4 as a side
Cooking Time: 20 mins


  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • 2 onions, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 leeks, washed and sliced
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper



Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook gently until soft and lightly browned (about 10 mins). Add the turmeric, and stir in.


Add the leeks and chilli flakes. Season with pepper and sauté until the leeks are just done (about another 10 mins).

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