Sri Lankan food is quite beautiful. Based on the ayurvedic principle that everything that is eaten has a life-giving property, the diet is largely based on vegetables and fish – almost no meat is eaten at all, stated Skye Gyngell, head chef at Petersham Nurseries, Richmond, Surrey, detailing her experiences on Sri Lankan food while in Sri Lanka, to UK's The Independent yesterday (20).
In early February she was invited to cook dinners at the Galle literary festival. Recalling the memories of the festival Skye Gyngell stated , "I had been to the country before and loved it – it is still very unspoilt – and attending the literary festival is one of the most fascinating and fun things I have done".
'The cuisine is hot, but not overwhelmingly so, as all curries are accompanied by cooling sambal relishes', she explained.
Coconut milk binds almost everything and the fragrant flavour of lime and curry leaves abounds, while spices such as cardamom, coriander and turmeric lay the foundations, she added.
"I had the opportunity to cook alongside locals, who taught me the subtlety of this beautiful cuisine. The recipe for the fish I've given here is based on a dish that was cooked for me. The fish was trevally, bought from the fisherman straight from their nets before the sun had properly risen on the beach where we were staying," Skye Gyngell adds.
Sri Lanka has the most inspiring vegetables. Many are particular to that part of the world – wing beans and gotu kola, for example – but pumpkin, readily available here, she stated.
She also provides reciepes she learned while in Sri Lanka.
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