Sri Lankan Recipes
Note: I've just (9/99) started working on this page. I expect it to be
much fuller soon. If you're interested in a particular recipe, please
ask. Nagging is a good way to get me to update quickly. :-)
Sri Lankan Meals
A typical Sri Lankan breakfast is a little rice with some curry, or with
lentils. (I dislike lentils, so they're oddly absent from this page, but
most people eat lots of them). If you're feeling fancier, you might make
hoppers (but you have to plan that the night before). Uppuma is also a
nice change, usually with some fish curry. (I've actually gotten
addicted to American pancakes with curry; the sweetness of the pancakes
actually works really well with a spicy curry).
Lunches are rice and curries, usually eaten around 3 p.m. in my parents'
home, and dinners are the same, usually eaten around 9 p.m. Generally
plain white rice, a meat curry, and a vegetable curry. Appetizers and
sides are usually saved for when guests or more family come over, although
you'll often keep a container of sambol around, just for a little added
flavor. Some of my American friends are surprised when I told them
that I had rice and curry for dinner every single night when I was
growing up -- what can I say? If your mother is an excellent cook,
like mine, then you never get bored with it.
Notes on the Recipes
Most of these are dishes I make often for myself at home. The amounts are
my best approximations; like most cooks, I often vary them while cooking,
depending on my mood (some days I'll want a tangier curry, and so will add
more lemon; other days I'll want a richer, smoother one, so might throw in
some coconut milk).
Some of the dishes below I made up (for example, golden rice is a much
simplified version of vegetable biryani; it's really not the same dish at
all, but it's a nice way to brighten up an otherwise ordinary dinner);
others (such as rich cake) are very traditional. (You may be startled
to see ketchup among the ingredients, but my mother uses it, so it
must be traditional). Most of these dishes are actually fairly easy,
once you find the appropriate spices. I recommend starting with the
mixed vegetables for a really simple but yummy dish.
A Few Words About Spices
Sri Lankan curry powder is a blend made from several spices separately
dark roasted and then ground together. I generally use a 1:1 ratio of Sri
Lankan curry powder (that I mix myself) to red chili powder, but if you're
not that ambitious, you can just use chili powder. Be careful with the
heat levels -- Sri Lankan cooking is generally hotter than Indian, so if
you're not used to it, trying making the recipe with only half the spice
the first time around.
S = Spicy (spice levels can be modified on most recipes, but these are
intended to be hot...)
- Coconut Sambol - S
- Mint-Coriander Chutney
- Samosas (Potato and Pea)
- Tamarind Chutney
- Curry Buns (Meat or Vegetable)
Main Dishes (Non-Veg)
- Beef and Potato Curry - S
- Chicken Curry - S
- Mackerel Curry - S
Main Dishes (Veg)
Rice and Breads
- Rich Cake (aka Wedding/Christmas Cake)
More about Sri Lanka.