250g squid, cleaned well and cut into 1 cm rings
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
1/4 tsp salt
30g unsalted butter
3/4 Tbs minced garlic
3/4 Tbs minced ginger
165g red onion, cut into 5 mm thick slices
1 banana pepper or green pepper, deseeded and cut into 5 mm thick strips
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp chilli paste
70g cornflour (cornstarch)
60g self-raising (self-rising) ?our
200mL soda water
Oil, for deep-frying
1 green chilli, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
Combine the squid with the turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place a small pan over a medium heat and add the butter. Once melted, add the garlic and ginger and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the onion and banana chilli and continue to cook until light brown and just softened, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar, chilli paste, a large pinch of salt and the remaining crushed black peppercorns and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.
Preheat a deep pan or wok over a high heat with oil for deep-frying. Meanwhile, combine the cornflour (cornstarch), self-raising flour, a large pinch of salt and the soda water to form a thin batter.
Dip the squid into the batter and fry for 60–90 seconds, until the batter is crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
After about 30 seconds, transfer to the pan with the butter sauce, toss well to coat and add the green chillies, cooking over medium heat for 1 minute.
Garnish with spring onions and serve immediately.
In Sri Lanka, this dish is usually made with cuttlefish, but we have always used squid or chipirones as we find them less prone to overcooking or turning chewy. If you can source good-quality fresh cuttlefish, swap the squid for the former and give the recipe a go.
Clean and cut the cuttlefish into 5 cm squares and lightly score one side with a criss-cross pattern using a sharp knife, being careful not to cut through.
Credits: This is an edited extract from Hoppers: The Cookbook by Karan Gokani, published by Quadrille, RRP $60.00. Available in stores nationally from 19 October 2022. Photography by Ryan Wijayaratne.
Photo Credits: This is an edited extract from Hoppers: The Cookbook by Karan Gokani, published by Quadrille, RRP $60.00. Available in stores nationally from 19 October 2022. Photography by Ryan Wijayaratne.