Fried rice is big in Sri Lanka; it’s a hybrid Sri Lankan-Chinese food, and it tastes as brilliant as you’d expect from two powerhouse cuisines coming together.
- Prepare20 mins
- Cook45 mins
- Total time1 hr 5 mins
Preheat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7. Scoop out the seeds of the pumpkin or squash with a spoon and discard. Cut the pumpkin or squash into wedges, around 2cm thick (leave the skin on). Put on a baking tray, toss in 1 tbsp oil and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt, ¼ tsp chilli powder and the ground coriander, mixing well. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until tender and golden and starting to brown at the edges. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray.
Meanwhile, put the rice and 400ml water in a pan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10-11 minutes, covered. Turn on the heat. Transfer the rice to a sieve and run under cold water for a few minutes. Drain well, then put in the fridge, covered, to cool until needed.
Put a medium-sized wok or saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil, then, when hot, fry the onion until translucent. Add the curry leaves and garlic, then, about a minute later, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and cardamom. Fry the mixture for 1 minute, being careful not to burn the spices, stirring and adding a little more oil if necessary. Pour in the coconut milk and add the turmeric and remaining ¼ tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp salt and 2 pieces of the roasted pumpkin for flavour. Cook so that the curry is gently bubbling for 3-4 minutes, then turn on the heat.
In a wok over a medium-high heat, add the oil for the temper and, when hot, add the curry leaves, letting them crisp up. Add the cooked rice, curry and pumpkin wedges, breaking them up a little as you go, and cook until piping hot. Transfer to a platter and serve decorated with the fresh ginger and with the lime wedges for squeezing over.