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Lion's Head Casserole

The name of this dish - shi zi tou in Chinese - derives from the rather strange idea that the pork meatballs look like a lion's head and the chinese leaves resembles its mane.

Minced pork - 450 gms
Mushrooms - 50 gms
Prawns - 50 gms (cooked, peeled and finely chopped)
Spring onion - 2 tsp (Finely chopped)
Fresh root ginger - 1 tsp (finely grated)
Light soy sauce - 1 tbsp
Light brown sugar - 1 tsp
Chinese rice wine or dry sherry - 1 tbsp
Corn flour - 1 tbsp
Chinese leaves - 675 gms
Vegetable oil- 3-4 tbsp
Salt to taste
Basic stock or water - 300 ml


  • Mix together the pork, spring onion, ginger, mushroom, prawns, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine and corn flour. Shape the mixture into 4-6 meatballs.
  • Cut the chinese leaves into large pieces, all about the same size.
  • Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the chinese leaves and salt and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the meatballs and the stock, bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 30-45 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

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Dondakaya Masala (Gherkins Masala) curry

Dondakayalu - 250gms
Onions - 2
Oil - 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1tsp
Tamarind juice - 2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4tsp
Salt to taste

For Masala paste:
Peanuts -1 tbsp, Red Chillies - 3 no.'s, Gingely seeds - 1tbsp, Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp, coconut powder - 1tbsp,  cumin seeds - 1 tsp

Cut the onions into small pieces. Slit the dondakayalu into 4 long pieces. Dry roast all the masala ingredients and grind to make fine powder. Heat the oil add jeera when it crackles add onions. Fry onions for 5 minutes add dondakayalu, turmeric and salt. Cook for another 5 minutes the add the masala powder, tamarind juice and some water. Cook the curry till the oil floats. This curry goes well with rice and roti.