We all know the basic traditional Sri lankan food but to be honest I hardly know much of the Sri lankan food. I have relatives in Colombo, negombo and beruwela but Sri Lanka has many towns which are all different to one another. People in Galle cook rice in a different way than of those in Colombo and negombo. Yes I got to know that after my cousin brother married a girl from Galle. She taught my entire family how to make the normal rice aromatic and interesting. We cook rice just plain with salt or if its yellow rice we add some cinnamon, garlic and pandan leaf with a few french onions. We make buriyani and ghee rice too but when its normal rice and curry we just cook the rice plain with salt. It has no flavour or aroma. People in Galle cook it with curry leaves and pandan leaves to make it aromatic. Now that’s very interesting. When the rice smells good you don’t need any side dish you can just eat it from the pot. Like wise my mother in law makes her rice a bit different by adding some raisins and cashew with onions tempered in oil. It’s different and I am sure kids will like rice when its different and it’s the beruwela way which i didn’t know till I got married though my mum has a part in beruwela she lived the Colombo style ever since she moved to Colombo after marrying my dad.
Recently I met a friend who is my brother in laws mother in law. It makes her happy to call her as a friend as she is too young to be called as an aunt. I got to know her only after the wedding and found so much of a foodie in her. She was a living foodie, I hear people say she cooks and send home lots of stuff especially to my mother in law and sister-in-law. But I tasted them only after the wedding. Trust me she cooks the best beef. She makes good food that’s Sri lankan. She often mentions about the techniques and methods she use to cook and I find it quiet interesting. I can write a whole post about her food. She is the one who made me think of making hoppers. Her stories are really fascinating and when she mentioned how her mother in law questions about the food and the methods used to prepare I was really mesmerized. She uses those traditional grinding methods to make a fish curry where she grinds the chilli and stuff using those large black stone like thing you roll over the ingredients to grind am not sure what’s it called in English.
She even said they use bred to make hoppers and that’s when i remembered my mum also mentioned that her mother used to make hoppers for them using bread pieces and she was served 5 hoppers for breakfast. Oh my grandma has been such a nice cook. She was from negombo and she cooked the best chicken curry, the best battu curry and best ash plantain she used the traditional clay pot and wood fire until she went sick and was no more able to stand near a wood fire to cook. Her food smelled so good and the aroma of cooking made sure to bring the entire family to the dining table no matter what they did.
Getting back to my friend she was so nice to prepare a good seafood meal for me and my husband as a send of treat. What she served us made me really happy. It was all fish and prawns. Not the ordinary rice and curry this was different. She said they call it watti soru and it’s usually served on a banana leaf but as they dint have a banana leaf she served as it is and it was all in a sahan.
meaning of watti soru in english – watti means a flat woven basket sort of thing in Sri Lanka. soru means rice in Tamil in sri Lanka. so its basically basket rice 🙂
The rice the fish fried, deviled, cooked and the prawns deviled. Some vegetables fried and cooked. Grated carrots.
Papadam and curd chillies which were my favourite at any meals. There was some green stuff. Everything on a sahan almost mixed and topped. It’s like a one pot meal but every ingredient you taste has been specially prepared separately and carefully. They all had their unique taste. She says it’s usually made for pregnant women as a treat but she made it for me as a treat for going to Dubai.
Now am sure you might be anxious to see the image of the dish. Here it is ;
FYI she was doing i weligama style 🙂
So like wise there are many parts of sri lanka that i have not yet discovered or experienced jafna is one such part and i hear that food is different in jafna.
Most people are taken the taste of food with those machines which make us lazy. Try grinding your spices using a mortar and pestal and cooking in a clay pot or wood fire the taste is obviously different.
Sri lankas food basically includes its traditional spices like cinnamon sticks, curry leaves, pandan leaves, cloves and pepper. chillie powder and turmeric is a must in most vegetables and meat curry.
Hope you enjoyed exploring a bit of sri lanka with me.