Feasting. Funny note — Jed and I went to the grocery store yesterday, but I forgot to check what spices he had on hand before. If I’d been thinking when I packed in Chicago, I would’ve at least brought along some of my homemade dark-roasted curry powder.
I didn’t want to try to reproduce an entire Sri Lankan spice cabinet, so I just grabbed black mustard seed, cumin seed, turmeric, cayenne, and the Madras curry powder they had on hand — not the same as ours, but close enough in a pinch. (North Indian curry powder is very different; don’t try to substitute…)
I’d consider those spices (along with some fresh green chilies and limes) the bare minimum for getting by with Sri Lankan cooking — that’s what I started with in college. Add in cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom pods, and you’re pretty solid — those will get you through most of our dishes just fine.
As it turned out, Jed actually did have just enough of my own curry powder in the cupboard for last night’s cooking (must send him home with more next time, to replenish his stock), but he also had two other barely used jars of black mustard seed, presumably from the last times I was here, and cooked for a Sri Lankan dinner party!
I ended up making Genisha take two of those jars home with her, because she actually cooks, so they wouldn’t just sit on the shelf gathering dust. Mustn’t waste food!
My new Sri Lankan cookbook, A Feast of Serendib, launches on March 6, 2020, but we’re doing a long, slow pre-launch of the special Kickstarter edition in the interim. Right now, we still have discounted Kickstarter pricing available for pre-orders, along with Kickstarter goodies — you can pre-order here: http://serendibkitchen.com/a-feast-of-serendib/
If you’d like to support the development of more mostly Sri Lankan recipes, I’d love to have you join the cookbook club — for $2 / month, you’ll get recipes delivered to your inbox (fairly) regularly: https://www.patreon.com/mohanraj
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