My travels through cooking: A Sri Lankan feast

Today I’m continuing on my virtual lockdown travels in my kitchen – cooking the delightful food of Sri Lanka. I’m trying out some dishes from Sri Lanka: The Cookbook by husband and wife team Prakash Sivanathum and Niranjala Ellawala.

I visited Sri Lanka in 2016 and totally fell in love with the country. It’s a land of huge variety from tropical palm-lined beaches and misty mountains and forests to vibrant, bustling cities and swathes of beautiful countryside. And the food! Never-ending deliciousness with fabulous vegetable dishes, the best seafood and such a range of colourful spiciness.

The book starts with a handy, detailed glossary of exotic-sounding ingredients before moving into the world of homemade curry powders and breakfast dishes. And then to hoppers! How I consumed hoppers when in Sri Lanka – and even bought myself a dedicated hopper pan to bring home. I’m ashamed to say I still haven’t used it. I’m thinking these deliciously light savoury rice pancakes are more difficult to make than I’m expecting. Must get on that. Anyway, here’s what I have been cooking.

What’s on the menu

Today I chose a chicken dish and a range of veg options which I served all at once. Oh and I made bread too.

Ala Thel Dala is a form of devilled potatoes – demonstrating the British influence. It’s made using ginger and chilli rather than English mustard, as well as a cornucopia of other spices including my favourite – fresh curry leaves.

Sri Lanka: devilled potatoes
Luscious, spicy and soft potatoes

The Kukul Mas Mirisata (spicy chicken curry) was creamily fragrant and packed with flavour.

Sri Lanka: chicken
The perfect fresh and fragrant chicken dish

There are sambols galore in Sir Lanka so I had to include one. These relishes make every meal complete. This is a zesty carrot, coconut and onion mix with a touch of lime juice.

Sri Lanka: Sambol
Coconutty carrot sambol with a zesty bite

I think this was my favourite. Cauliflower Mallung – a mix of cauliflower, cashew nuts and coconut – with plenty of spices, obviously.

And here’s a feast for your eyes! Including the Pol Rotti – a freshly made coconut flatbread, lime pickle and chutney.

Time for a fabulous Sri Lankan feast

I even made a Sri Lankan retro pudding with clear British influence called pineapple fluff. It’s made from evaporated milk. But would you believe I forgot to take a picture of it! Not many desserts appear on my table so that’s probably why it slipped my mind. Sorry!

The book is beautifully illustrated and recipes are easy to follow. And paging through it is all the inspiration you need to get into that kitchen and travel to Sri Lanka by bringing exotic new flavours home.

Sri Lanka: The Cookbook is available on Amazon from £15.65

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