Sri Lanka: Curry

I’ve mentioned before that I LOVE curry. It’s probably one of my most favourite things to eat. I don’t always branch out to lamb or beef related curries, but vegetarian or chicken usually. I’m the same in my cooking of curry – chicken or vegetarian (I’ll have to change this sometime). It was therefore a no-brainer that I would cook a curry for Sri Lankan week. I have a beautiful curry book, and I decided that if there was a Sri Lankan recipe in there I would take it as a sign and cook it. Which there was, and so I did. The book is called ‘The Curry Cookbook’ and here is the recipe Sri Lankan Curry.

Curry Cookbook_0002

I was away this week in the Kruger National Park with my family, so I offered to cook for the family the one night – mainly to accomplish my cooking challenge, but also because I like to play my part every now and then! I had made the spice mix before when I was at home which worked out well – although I had worried it had burnt. It smelled amazing though. I used curry leaves from my house in Pietermaritzburg that my dad brought up. I used ground cloves and fenugreek though as I couldn’t find seeds.

I was unfortunately not well during the week at Kruger though when I cooked the food which I think has had an impact on my appreciation of the dish. I was very tired while cooking it, and it felt more of a chore than an enjoyable experience – I’m always very excited to cook my meals. It was super hot, and I noticed myself not giving it the attention and effort it deserved. I didn’t feel enthusiastic. I was cooking in an electric frying pan because we weren’t sure whether we would have pots and pans available to us at the camp. I felt like the onion was burning initially, but then later I realised (when I tasted it) that I had undercooked them. The dish smelled delicious though – really lovely aroma coming through. I didn’t eat it the night I cooked it, but I received rave reviews from my family – they had clean plates afterwards, had seconds, and my mom asked for the recipe. I ate it the following day when I was feeling better and it did taste good. It’s not super spicy like an Indian curry (even though the spice mix was so substantial) and had a bit of a Thai flavour to it – the lemon grass and coconut milk definitely contributed to this. It would have been better without the relatively crunchy onions – although they weren’t horrible. Oh, I also used some coconut cream instead of creamed coconut – I cannot find the stuff anywhere in Joburg and it doesn’t seem to be very common here. For those that are unsure (as I was when I first read the recipe), creamed coconut is, in simplified terms, pieces of coconut that have literally been creamed in a blender and compressed. You buy it in white blocks (according to the pictures).

I’m definitely going to have to cook this again to give a fair review on it – at the moment I feel a bit ambivalent about it. It was good, but it didn’t blow me away. But for now I’m putting this down to being unwell, because the other reviews (although they could be biased) were really good.

Claire curry

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