Aromatic cuisine from Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka,or Ceylon as it was known during colonial times,lies in the indian Ocean,south east of India and north of the Equator.Like Malaysia,Sri Lanka is home to many races including Tamils,Malays and the majority Sinhalese.This tiny island has been ruled by the Portuguese,Dutch and British who gave influenced its culinary development and its people since the end of the sixteenth century.

SPICY and aromatic, Sri Lankan cuisine bears a close resemblance to Indian food. The similarity ends as soon as you taste the food. Sinhalese cooking is a sparkling combination of spices such as black pepper,cinnamon and cardamom are used extensively.Although some Sri Lankan dishes are rich since they are cooked with coconut milk, there are also plenty of vegetarian dishes as well.
Popular dishes include delights like Katurumuranga, a type of leafy green vegetable stir-fried with crispy anchovies and green chillies and the Lunu Sambola, which is an interesting sweet-sour salad, comprises onions and tomatoes. For a nice and spicy fish curry, Ambulthial is highly recommended.
There is also the famous “Lumprice” which refers to a Sri Lankan delicacy in which yellow rice (boiled in turmeric,coconut milk an spices) is topped with Lunu Sambola, Brinjal Moju (a type of salad also popular with customers), Fish Cutlet, Seeni Sambal (made of Maldive fish) and curry. Lumprice is a concoction wrapped in banana leaf and brown paper.

Today I am blogging two Sri Lanka cuisine which are Aubergine Morju and Prawn Theldulla. Both these recipes are courtesy from two hotels in Sri Lanka posted at Flavours Magazine ,Sept/Oct 2003 Issue.

Both recipes uses green capsicum in the recipes but since I had red capsicum at hand I made do with it.The Prawn Theldulla is a must try because after making it, I thought to myself that it will actually go very well with briyani. Neither the less both dishes were indeed tasty and yummy.

Aubergine Morju

2 medium sized aubergine (eggplant)
1 tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp salt

1 tsp fenugreek
1 small cinnamon stick
5 shallots,peeled and sliced thinly

1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp mustard seeds, grounded
1 screwpine leaf, cut into 5cm lengths or knotted
1 sprig curry leaf
1 red/green capsicum/bell pepper
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp thin coconut milk

2 tbsp thick coconut milk
2 tsp sugar, or to taste
½ tsp salt or to taste

Slice eggplant thinly and season with the turmeric powder and salt.Deep fry in oil until golden brown.Drain on paper towel.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a pan to saute fenugreek and cinnamon until fragrant.Add shallot and fry until golden brown.Add the rest of the ingredients except the thick coconut milk seasonings and cook on medium heat for about 1 minute.
Add the fried eggplant and cook for a few seconds before adding the thick coconut milk.Season to taste.

Prawn Theldulla

500g medium-sized prawns,shelled but keep tails
1 teaspoon turmeric powder

90g shallots,peeled whole
2 medium-sized onions,halved and sliced
1 tablespoon ginger,minced
1 tablespoon garlic,minced
2 sprigs curry leaf
1 screwpine leaf,cut 1cm diagonally or knotted
1 small stick cinnamon
4-5 bird’s eye chillies,cut/cili padi
1 red /green capsicum,cut
2 tomatoes,cut into wedges
2 tablespoons water
1 lime - juice
1 tablespoon freshly grated black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Season prawns with the turmeric powder.Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan and fry shallot,onion,ginger,garlic,curry leaf,pandan leaf,cinnamon and chilli.Stir-fry for a minute before adding the seasoned prawns.Stir-fry for a minute before adding capsicum,tomato,water and lime juice.Cook further and season to taste with salt and pepper.I did not cook the dish too long ,if preffered you can dry fry it until the tomatoes smash and you get a reddish dish.

Am submitting Aubergine Morju to 'A Worldly Epicurean’s Delight' event started from
Chefinyou and now hosted by Siri of Siri’s Corner with the theme of AWED: Sri Lanka .


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