Jaffna Odiyal Kool is one of the classic recipes that has originated from the Northern region of Sri Lanka. This spicy seafood soup is one of Jaffna’s quintessential dishes, which is made from ingredients found from both sea and land. It contains oily fish, shrimp, squid, crabs, crayfish, tapioca, Jackfruit seed, and Long beans, while the soup is thickened by adding odiyal flour, which is made from the boiled and dried young Palmyrah tuber. Palmyrah tuber flour is super nutritious and offers numerous health benefits.
How to prepare it at home
Recipe type: Non-Vegetarian | Serves : 8 People
- Fish – 1.5kg
- Cuttlefish/Squid – 250g
- Prawn/Shrimp – 250g
- Crab – 500g
- Long beans – 100g
- Tapioca – 350g
- Jackfruit seeds – 200g
- Palmyra tuber flour/Odiyal flour – 75g
- Brown rice – 100g
- Red chili flakes – 75g
- Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
- Salt – As you need
- Thin tamarind juice – 600ml
- Water – 2000ml
- Wash the brown rice thoroughly.
- Boil the brown rice and keep it separately for later use.
- Clean, rinse, and cut the fish, cuttlefish/squid, prawns/shrimps, and crabs. (Refer Note 1)
- Rinse and cut the jackfruit seeds, long beans, and tapioca.
- Get ready with thin tamarind juice and water. (Refer Note 2)
- Get ready with Odiyal flour, dried red chilies, salt, and turmeric powder.
- Rinse the odiyal flour 2 or 3 times thoroughly before adding it to the mix.
- Grind the dried red chilies into flakes. (Refer Note 3)
- When the preparations are over, place a large cooking pot on the stove.
- Add the pieces of fish, squid(cuttlefish/calamari), prawns/shrimps, and crabs.
- Then add turmeric powder and salt.
- Add all of the water and mix everything well.
- Now turn on the stove and cook under the high flame for 15 minutes covered by a lid.
- Take off the lid and stir the pot. Add the slices of tapioca and jackfruit seeds. Mix and cook under the high flame for another 15 minutes covered by the lid.
- Take off the lid and scrunch everything a bit using a spoon/spatula, especially the fish chunks. Then cook turning on high flame for 5 minutes without the lid.
- Now add pieced long beans and cook without the lid turning on high flame for 2 minutes.
- Add the red chili flakes. (Refer Note 4)
- Add the thin tamarind juice to the mix.
- Add washed odiyal flour. Once you add the odiyal flour, you should stir well as soon as possible. If not, the odiyal flour won’t dissolve easily.
- Finally, add the boiled brown rice.
- Mix everything well and cook under medium flame for 5 minutes uncovered.
- Taste it and adjust salt, red chili flakes, tamarind juice to your liking.
- Serve and enjoy this delightfully spicy Jaffna odiyal kool or seafood soup in traditional Sri Lankan style.
Use some big oily fish for this recipe. Small fish won’t taste good, and they have small fish bones that are hard to remove. It’s really important to have a fish head in this soup. The oil and juices in the fish head come out and give an extra taste to the Jaffna odiyal kool. The fish dissolve in the water, and the fish chunks give an incredible taste at the end of this recipe.
Also, do not reduce the amount of fish because fish is the main ingredient in this recipe. So, I heavily recommend that you use a large, oily fish such as Trevallies (Paraw), Tuna, or Spanish mackerels.
I used 600ml of thin tamarind juice with 2 liters of water. But you can adjust the amounts as you wish.
If you already have red chili flakes bought from the store, you can use that. But instantly made chili flakes from dried red chilies give a better taste.
If you don’t like spicy food much, you can reduce the red chili flakes. But, be warned, Jaffna odiyal kool without spiciness is not the same delight it’s supposed to be.
Health Benefits of Odiyal (Palmyra tuber) flour
- Good for digestion because it is rich in dietary fiber and enzymes.
- Metabolic booster because it contains a wealth of enzymes that usually aren’t available through food.
- Prevents Anemia and improves blood circulation because it’s high in nutrients like iron and copper.
- Improves heart health because it is a great source of omega-3-fatty-acids.
- Good for infant health because it’s rich in folate.
- Immune booster because of the wealth of Vitamin C in it.
If you love eating seafood, check out the Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits of Prawns here.