Sri Lanka Cooking Experience


As our food in principal was either grilled fish or curry and after seeing all those wonderful vegetables on the market I had the urgent desire to cook something of my own.

This love for curry is somehow the main problem with the Sri Lankan kitchen – in reality there is only one dish – curry. It might come in a great variety, but in the end you always mix some vegetable ingredients, add cinnamon, cloves, curry leaves, garlic and onions as well as curcuma and chilli and then add coconut milk to make it creamy. There is no concept of a non-creamy curry, no clear soups, no plain meat (aside grilled fish – which is then eaten with a vegetable curry Zwinkerndes Smiley).

In addition when you talk with people, the response you usually get, when we request food without garlic and onions, is that this must be boring… Well, how boring is it to eat the same kind of food every day?

In the end I convinced the hotel that I am allowed to cook when I buy the fish from them… So, off I went to the market to get the stuff I need

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and with all the produce on my way to the kitchen…

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But first some bee-line to select the fish which we use

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Somehow the cook was not too impressed by my ideas; it was a bit off for him Zwinkerndes SmileyDSCF0543

Approaching the main restaurant (and kitchen) I was quite unpleasantly surprised as they told me to cook at the show station at the end. No problem with that in general – only that I have to have everything finished in a rather short time…

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I intended to work inside – where you are far more relaxed as well…

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So, with only 1,5h to go a quick start was mandatory

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All these will be populated in no time…

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And a hungry guest is waiting as well…

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Chopping, cleaning, rinsing

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Yes, chillies are needed…

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What an arcane way to get fire to the stove, but their ignition starter was broken…

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Somehow they had the show of their lifetime…

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They were very, very suspicious… In addition our kitchen techniques in the west are quite different to theirs. Even like we use the knives and the way we hold them are not the same…

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When I started to cook the clear spicy fish broth with loads of coriander roots and the fish bones they couldn’t really believe that you can eat it – yet in the end they were quite pleased by the results…

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Very sceptical…

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In the meantime Ursi was waiting outside and joined us from time to time

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Finally the first course was ready… Hot fish soup with slices of fish fillet and an egg

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Followed by ladyfinger (okra) salad with papaya and prawns

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In the meantime sunset was there

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and it must have been beautiful (yet I haven’t seen a bit of it…) Smiley

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As I had to really, really rush to get the stuff ready for they needed the kitchen. So in desperation I combined my two last courses into one…

Winged beans with coconut flower and fish fillets in a coconut cashew sauce accompanied by mango salad with fresh peppermint and papaya salad with basil.

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I had made a bit more so we could share stuff with the people working in “The Shack” (the fish restaurant where we usually eat).

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Finally, after all the ordeal I was able to sit down and enjoy my food as well Smiley 

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And then as a chill out a little time on our terrace Smiley

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Interestingly (or perhaps not so much…) people liked the main course (as it resembled a curry mostly…) most of all. I guess the other things were simply very educative for them Zwinkerndes Smiley

The only subtle issue for them (and us) was, that it was not “hot” enough… I simply couldn’t get real hot chilli as “snake chilli” is out of season in the moment and  the usual green one is rather mild.

In the end it was an interesting experience and a nice break of food routine Smiley

Kategorien:Sri Lanka

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