The Sri Lanka food journal : in my kitchen

I made the hoppers with ready to use coconut flour and the taste was no different from using fresh coconut milk. An experiment shared :-)

In sri lanka you can never miss a shop that has hoppers. They have it in the front with many hopper pans and the aroma is so good. Every time i see the hopper stand at a hotel i think it’s a special course they follow to make maybe and i never thought i will master it. This was my second and attempt at making hoppers and it was successful. ¬†made the hoppers with ready to use coconut flour and the taste was no different from using fresh coconut milk.
An experiment shared ūüôā

In sri lanka prawns or shrimps are cooked into a gravy, fried and served with salad leaves or made into a spicy devil. We also use it to make buriyani and fried rice or even chinese soups. They also sell prawn wada at galle face. I’ve been making prawn gravy and devil from the age of 17 and ever since i got married i never tried it. It’s been many years now and i was craving for some sri lankan prawn gravy and devil. So i decided to cook it. The special taste of a sri lankan prawn gravy comes with a binding of prawns and sri lankan spices. Yea we don’t forget to use the spices in all our dishes. I couldn’t get a proper photo shoot of my prawn gravy as i was so hungry and busy devouring it so tokk the shot from my plate. I guess you can see the spices.

Prawn gravy


1 onion chopped

2 green chillies cut into 2

1 medium size tomato cut into 6

A few curry leaves

1 and a half cups of coconut milk thick and light

1 cup prawns or shrimps

1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

1 stick cinnamon

5 cloves of garlic chopped

A few slices of ginger chopped

3 pinches of turmeric powder

Chillie powder and crushed peper to taste

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon roasted curry powder

2 tbsp oil

1 large potatoes chopped into tiny cubes

Method to cook

  1. Heat oil in a pan and temper the onions with curry leaves.
  2. Add the fenugreek seed, crushed ginger and garlic along with the green chillies and tomato.
  3. Stir and add the prawns with the potatoes.
  4. Season with salt, pepper, chillie powder, curry powder and turmeric powder.
  5. Keep stirring for a minute over a low flame and pour the thin coconut milk and let it cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Pour the thick coconut milk and let it simmer over a  medium  high heat.
  7. Take off and garnish with some corruander leaves and a dash of lime juice.
  8. Serve hot with a bowl of rice.



I made my very own roasted curry powder and this is how i did it.

Add 2 tbsp coriander seeds, 1/4 tsp of cumin seeds, a stick of cinnmon, some pepper seeds.

Roast it over a medium flame till you get the aroma of spices making sure not burn by stirring constantly or swirling the pan. Grind to a powder in your dry grinder and store in an airtight container.

I made a little and used all up in a week so am not sure how long it will last but as long as it’s dry and kept closed you can keep it for sometime. Make little if you eat curry atyle food rarely. Make a lot if your are a regular curry eater. I mean by curry is using curry powder on all meat gravy dishes and some vegetables. ¬†We sri lankans use it daily in all our cooking except rice.

Roasted curry powder

Roasted curry powder



Cambodge  is really very interesting ingredient. Am not sure who uses it but we sri lankans use it often. We make ambul thiyals with cambodge we also add this to our beef or mutton gravy. It adds a very sour taste somewhat similar to adding tamarind to your gravies but my mum used to say when cambodge is added to beef curry it helps it cook fast. The flavour of the gravy is enhanced.  The pantry can require a bot of some air fresher due to its strong odour apart from that when washed and added to the gravy before cooking you hardly smell it.  I wanted to make some ambul thiyals and polos curry aka breadfruit curry so went and got myself a pack of cambodge and i add it to my gravies.

It’s really interesting to know the real shape of a a cambodge when it’s on the tree is similar to a lime. I just discovered it and have never seen a tree in person.

My grandparents used to keep the cambodge and tamarind with a little bit of rock salt and i am not aware of the reason i guess to preserve it for long cos when the tamarind is kept closed in a box for long you can see some flying objects appear from the inside so if you will be using it very rarely do add some salt anx store in an air tight container.  Not only the tamarind even the cambodge.

Good market for food

The good market as mentioned in the previous posts is an initiative to promote local goods. Starting off at the diyatha uyana at waters edge and the araliya car park at crescat the good market is now having their stalls at the race course car park. Race course is a nice place with a peaceful atmosphere located in the vicinity of the royal collage colombo and colombo university. A very posh area with less traffic and ideal location for walks and get togethers with family and friends race course has a line up of shops with a lovely car park and seating for those who like to have a McDonald’s lunch or dinner.
The good market is an addition that has made the location even more colorful with those lovely tents and music on the background,  the aroma of the food and colorful goods on display never failed to attract the crowd.
I dropped in at the good market on my way to a birthday party of my close cousin in law with a cake as gift.
walking in looking around at the good market I first went over to “milk and honey” its a shop that serves vegetarian food and had an array of gluten free cakes with kithul jaggery or kithul treacle substituted for sugar on all the sweet goodies. I am a budding baker who is looking for options on baking gluten free and healthy. When I first herd of the milk and honey shop in colombo 7 I was wanting to visit and try some from their menu yet time did not permit and I was so glad and eager to try their sweets at the good market.
I chose the chocolate fudge brownies which was 250 rupees a piece although it was less than 10 dirhams and filled with healthy ingredients I felt it to be a bit expensive counting in sri lankan rupees. I wanted to taste all the sweets they had which was covered and kept while all food was carefully packed with extra care and gloves.
All bags used were biodegradable.
As I tasted the chocolate fudge brownie I hardly felt any difference as the sales lady explained the brownies contain no wheat or rice flour which makes it gluten free and she also mentioned having used kithul jaggery intead of sugar as a healthy option. I am so happy to have spent 250 rupees on that brownie it was well worth.

My next search was for the achcharu kadeys new addition the kama kadey. Yes I’ve mentioned achcharu kadey on my previous post and they have developed to have two stalls together introducing the kama kadey which sells authentic sri lankan meals. They serve a special ambul thiyal sandwich with pol (coconut) sambol or polos thiyal with pol sambol. I sure need a good separate post to write about ambul thiyal.
In short – Its so delicious and yummy. Some kind of curry that can be prepared and preserved in a jar I sure will upload a post on this very soon.
Until then just have a look at my sandwich and imagine how ambul thiyals would be no matter if its fish or polos all taste good and spicy.
Yes thats how it looks the smell of kandan leaf and the roast bread is awesome.
The sandwich becomes more authentic because of the Kandan lead wrap.
Am so impressed by this food.
My reason to run over at good market was a big secret.
Memories are so great that sometimes we do things just to experience it, That’s what was my reason.
I remember my mum used to ask dad for boiled cashew nuts wraped in kandan leaves. It tasted so good and you hardly find it nowadays. About 15 years ago it was only 40 rupees I guess but now just a little bit is 250 rupees. I feel that 15 years is a very long time :-).
I text the kama kadey cum achcharu kadey to reserve me some boiled cashew nuts and I rushed over to get them before they are sold out.
Its served in the same old way with a very small quantity. Its was so soft and chewy. Its always best to taste something after many years. This is how I revisited my memory.
Everyone sure did enjoy the taste of good market food.
A birthday cake post is to follow and until then its good night from mafaza