Friday 6 May 2016

Curry Cooking in Bandarawela, Sri Lanka

From Kandy we boarded a 7.5 hour train to Bandarawela. Whilst the journey was long, it was beautiful. 

The train traversed steep mountain ridges and weeved through the highlands, giving us stunning views of the scenery. 

We were surrounded by hills, tea plantations and waterfalls.

We entertained ourselves with lunch...some more appealing than others!

We arrived into Bandarawela mid-afternoon and stretched our legs briefly in the town.

The town is 10km north of Haputale and has very little to offer tourists, other than its location – it’s a good place to base yourself to explore the surrounding countryside, but that’s about it. Locals spend holidays there and it has a popular Sunday morning market but its main selling point is the transportation.

The highlight for me was a visit to a local home for a cooking demonstration.

It was great! We learnt a lot about the traditional Sri Lankan food as we made six different curries:

1) Ridge Gourd (“Watakolu”), also called loofah which is a cucumber type vegetable

Loofah on the far right 

2) Potato

3) Aubergine (eggplant, for my American friends)

4) Water Spinach (“Kankun”), a leafy green and popular stir fry dish also in Malaysia and Singapore

5) Chicken

6) Sour Apple (“Ambarella”)

So many spices involved, including numeric, curry powder, dill seeds, cinnamon and cardamon.

Also everything was cooked with coconut oil (it turns out that only the Tamil people really use ghee) so the whole room smelt tropical!

It was great to get involved.

Plus an array of side dishes:


Red rice 

Coconut sambol…for which we even freshly grated the coconut fruit using a traditional stool and made the milk and cream as well.

What a feast!

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