1. THICK Coconut Oil
2. Curry Leaf
(not to be mistaken for desi curry patta or Bay Leaf)
3. Pandanus Leaf
(Rampe, usually frozen)
4. And… some more coconut
(shredded, chopped, powdered, whatever)
Fact #1: Coconut to Sri Lankans is like cheese to Arabs, or yoghurt to Desis.
Fact #2: Sri Lankans love anything and everything coconut and unlike desis, they stir fry their stuff in coconut oil (we use corn oil or ghee). It also has a nicer smell and it doesn’t float on top of your food!
Fact #3: Lankans use the same spices as the desis! The same cumin powder, salt, red chili powder and coriander powder.
Fact #4: Adding the curry leaves is what gives the SriLankan food that special aroma that we all are always curious about! The leaf has a very strong smell, so you only use a bunch to get the specific Sri Lankan aroma. I always thought it was the coconut oil that gives it the scent, but boy was I wrong.
Fact #5: Adding a cinnamon stick or two in your rice still tastes awesome!
So, why exactly am I blogging about Lankan food?
Well, you see… today my sweet neighbour, who wanted to reciprocate sending us a lunch over for ‘Eid, invited me over as I always wanted to learn some of the Lankan dishes. Her and I spent good 3 hours in the kitchen and cooked a meat curry, some really salty fish with green pepper, cabbage in coconut gravy, fried eggplant gravy and rice with spices. We also had something like taboula (Parsley and Bulgar salad – see pic below)…
… except it wasn’t Parsley.
I didn’t do much, except for writing recipes and occasionally stirring the mixture and keeping her yung’un entertained.
Jazakillaahu khayr Sr. R for an amazing lunch and an awesome time in the kitchen! I also got served some peanut butter delicacy from Chicago with tea during my time there :)
Alhumdulillaahil ladhi at’amana wa saqaana wa ja’alna minal muslimeen!
P.S. pic of taboula