Roasted Brussel sprouts, with Sri Lankan spices

Roasted Brussel sprouts, with Sri Lankan spices

Christmas and Brussel sprouts go together like mulled and wine. For a long time, I could not abide Brussel sprouts. I loathed them with the passion I reserved for PE (netball – I was rubbish) and country dancing (why?). I’m haunted by overcooked, bland Christmas school dinners, with Brussel sprouts that smelt like old sweaty socks lurking at the side of my plate. But one year, my mum had stir-fried them, in Sri Lankan spices and oh my goodness these green mini-footballs actually tasted good! I’ve been playing around with Brussel sprouts, and roasting them, tempering them with garlic, ginger, onion and spices to recreate this revelation. And roasted Brussel sprouts, with Sri Lankan spices, it works. Try it.

What spices go with Brussel sprouts?

Brussel sprouts are brassicas, the same family of vegetables as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and kale. And like these vegetables, Brussel sprouts relish the company of spices – chilli, cumin, coriander, mustard seeds – make perfect companions.

How to make crispy Brussel sprouts?

Oven roasted crispy Brussel sprouts are a treat. The trick to crisping them up is to pre-sheet the baking tray in the oven so it’s nice and hot before adding the oiled and salted sprouts. As soon as they touch the tray they will start sizzling.

How long should I roast Brussel sprouts for?

I’ve seen many recipes that say between 30 to 40 minutes, some even say an hour. In a pre-heated, hot oven, on a pre-heated baking tray, 20 minutes seemed sufficient.

Other roasted Brussel sprouts recipes?

There are so many amazing recipes for roasted Brussel sprouts. Keeping it simple with salt and chilli makes for an incredibly moreish snack, roasted Brussel sprouts with Sriracha sauce, roasted Brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar, delicious.


Roasted Brussel sprouts, with Sri Lankan spices

  • Author: Tooting Mama
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: Sri Lankan


  • 500g Brussel sprouts –  stalks trimmed, and sprouts halved
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • A sprinkling of salt
  • A twist of pepper
  • 1 dried red chilli, crushed
  • 1 red onion, quartered and sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cm ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 crushed dried chilli
  • A generous helping of curry leaves (10 – 12)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • A teaspoon Maldive fish (optional)
  • Juice of one fresh lime


  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius, with the baking tray in the upper shelf
  • Put 1 tsp olive oil into a bowl add the halved Brussel sprouts. Using your hands tumble the sprouts until they have an even coating of oil
  • Add the salt, pepper and chilli and give them another tumble
  • Once the oven has heated up to 200 degrees Celcius, carefully take out the baking tray (wearing oven gloves). Place the tray on a heatproof surface, and scatter the sprouts on the tray
  • Place the tray back in the oven
  • Keep a check on the sprouts, they will cook quickly
  • While your sprouts are roasting, heat the remaining vegetable oil in a small frying pan, add the cumin and mustard seeds, once these start popping add the chilli, curry leaves and Maldive fish. 
  • Once the fragrance yields add the onion, garlic and ginger
  • You may want to turn down the heat but keep stirring, moving the spices, onions and garlic around the pan.  Keep cooking until the onions soften and start caramelise
  • Once cooked, take off the heat and set aside
  • Take your sprouts out of the oven, and place the tray (wearing oven glove) on a heatproof surface
  • Take the pan with the onion, garlic and spices and tip the contents on to the Brussel sprouts, toss the sprouts and onion and spices, followed by the juice of the fresh lime, before tipping the contents of the tray into a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately

Keywords: Roasted Brussel sprouts

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