Cooking Sri Lankan Style

Opportunities to take part in a Sri Lankan cooking demonstration at GlenMyu Resort, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

We have had many guests that visit GlenMyu Estate who are really interested in Sri Lankan Cooking.

For some, their visit to this Paradise Island is their first taste of the local cuisine.

Similar other countries there are delicate differences between how food is prepared and the ingredients used around the Island.

Feeling, hot , hot, hot!

The level of heat is something that visitors have to get used to. 

Even asking for no or only a little black pepper and chilli pepper is something that is interpreted in different ways. 

The consequences of this is that some food is overtaken by the spice and you really don’t get to savour the best of Sri Lankan cooking.

Sri Lankans generally expect that you will have chilli in your meal even, if you ask for none to be added.

Expectations and unexpected results

An example of the expectation of my own was in our early holidays to the Island an elderly aunt of my wife would regularly make tea for us. 

Unlike in the UK, I always have Plain Tea (black tea without milk) as Sri Lanka is known for the quality of the tea and I really enjoy the flavours here.

I also have not had sugar in my tea since I was around 16 years old.

I would always ask for Plain Tea with no sugar.

I always received Plain Tea with sugar.

The elderly aunt did understand enough English to know how I liked my tea.

After several days of sugary tea, I asked my wife to tell the elderly aunt that I did not want sugar in my tea.

The elderly aunt shook her head and advised that she understood my request, however, “how can you drink tea without sugar?!!!”

Building a tolerance level.

Being from the West, but married to a Sri Lankan, my tolerance for chilli has been watched up over the years. However, I am normally the taster in the kitchen and the barometer of what is likely to be acceptable to a Western palette, and what will having them running for glasses of water to cool them down.

An interest in Sri Lankan Cooking

Often guests have wanted to know more about how dishes are made and what ingredients the food is made from.

Ruwanthi has regularly had guests in the kitchen and given them an outline of how the dishes are made. 

Last week Ruwanthi had guests using the pestle and mortar to grind the ingredients for Lunumiris – a spicy Sri Lankan samba paste which is served as a condiment. The dish consists of chilli pepper, shallots, Maldivian fish, sea salt, black pepper and lime juice.

Pick the ingredients and learn how to cook by my mother-in-law

Today we had a couple from Europe who had extended their two night stay to three and they had also really enjoyed the food that we had provided.

They were really interested in Sri Lankan cooking and wanted to be able to replicate some of the dishes when they got home.

Our guest really enjoyed the experience of being part of the team making the dishes and she took plenty of notes as illustrated in the pictures below.

Further reading on Sri Lankan Cooking

There are some great Sri Lankan Chefs around the world and in Sri Lanka itself.

Here are a few ideas for some further reading to get you more information on cooking Sri Lankan Style!

Peter Kurivita

One of the early books we bought was “Serendip My Sri Lankan Kitchen” by Peter Kurivita.

The book is just beautiful and has some wonderfully illustrated Sri Lankan recipes.

To find out more please click on the following link https://www.peterkuruvita.com

London based Chef Cynthia Shanmugalingam
(Cynthia_Uma) is worth following on Instagram for her recipes which have the taste of Jaffna. we understand that she is shortly to release a cookery book which we are looking forward to read. You can also find out more information at 
Rambutan (@rambutan_ldn)

You can also find out more through the website for Top Ten Chefs  https://thetoptenchefs.com/favorite-top-10-chefs-in-sri-lanka/

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