Sri Lankan Snacks

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Pan Rolls

A crisp batter which contains a spicy meat filling that your not going to get enough of!

Sri Lankan Pan Rolls
Sri Lankan Pan Rolls


The Filling:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large brown onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
10  curry leaves chopped
1 tablespoon  curry powder
500 g minced beef (or fish/chicken/lamb)
1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1 cm dice
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon  finely chopped ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

The Pancakes:

300 g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 eggs
500 ml milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter or oil
220 g dry breadcrumbs
oil, for deep-frying


The Filling:

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat and fry the onion, garlic and curry leaves until soft. Add the curry powder. Add the beef and cook over high heat until it browns. Add the potato, lemon or lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, salt, ginger and 125 ml water.
  2. Cover, and cook over medium heat until the potato is cooked through and the liquid has absorbed — the mixture should be moist, not wet. Finally, add the pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed — you may like to add a teaspoon of chilli powder or chopped fresh chilli. (You can prepare this filling beforehand and refrigerate it to make for later). Allow to cool as it is easier to handle a cold filling.

The Pancake (filling to go inside):

  1. To make the pancakes, sift together the flour and baking powder in a bowl. Whisk 3 of the eggs in a separate mixing bowl. Alternately add the flour and milk, then add the salt, sugar and melted butter or oil and beat until smooth —the batter should be just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If necessary, thin out with a little extra milk or water. Rest for 1 hour.
  2. Lightly oil a small pancake pan and place over medium heat. Pour in enough batter to make a pancake with a 14 cm diameter. When cooked on one side, remove to a plate and start cooking the next pancake. While it cooks, place a tablespoon of filling on the cooked pancake. Fold in the two sides and then roll up like a spring roll. Move to a tray and continue making, filling and rolling the pancakes.

Breadcrumb Coating:

  1. When all the mixture has been used and the pancakes are rolled, dip each one in the remaining two beaten eggs  and roll in dry breadcrumbs to coat — the rolls may be refrigerated at this stage.
  2. To serve, fry the rolls in hot oil, then drain on a paper towel and serve plain or with chilli sauce. The rolls can also be frozen and enjoyed for later. Make sure to thaw and re-heat in a moderate oven when required.

Recipe credits: LINK