Sri Lankan Dinner & Packing Party

Local friends, just sent out an Evite for a Sri Lankan dinner & packing party for next Wed evening (10/30). If you’d like to get an invitation, let me know what e-mail address to send it to. I will feed you in exchange for packing help. 

Pondering Gluten-Free Serendib

I’ve been pondering gluten-free Serendib some more. One thing I want to do is try to make gluten-free versions of love cake and rich cake — but the tricky thing is that it’s kind of an expensive and time-consuming thing to experiment with, because it’s a really small amount of flour and a lot of nuts and dried fruit for both cakes.

Both cakes use semolina normally, so I’m going to try a simple swap out of fine polenta for the love cake first, I think, and see how that works. From researching gluten-free baking online, it seems like a 1:1 swap is appropriate? But if anyone has any tips on that, they’d be appreciated.

Should I be concerned about adding a corn flavor to the cake?

An alternative option is to do a blend of coconut flour & almond flour, but a) that requires changing the ratios of the flour (complicated), and possibly adding even more eggs to combat the way coconut flour soaks up moisture, and b) it won’t give the characteristic yellow color of love cake, I imagine. So I’m hesitant.

I keep buying food that I don’t have the appetite to eat much of

The combination of being really tired + being in a new city (Montreal) + staying in the heart of a food culture I really haven’t been exposed to much (Chinatown) = dangerous. Willpower is very absent at the moment. Willpower has taken a long walk off a short pier.

I keep buying food that I don’t actually have the appetite to eat much of, but I just want to taste it all. Roshani had to fly home a day earlier than me, so I can’t even make her eat some of it. My hotel room has a fridge, but there is still a limit on how much leftover food I can carry home on the plane tomorrow.

And I have *still* not managed to try poutine. Maybe at the airport tomorrow? I am feeling guilty for all of you who have kindly recommended your favorite poutine restaurants, which I faithfully made note of — the logistics just didn’t work out. I will just have to come back to Montreal. (World Fantasy will be here in a few years….)

Pictured: Spicy hotpot from Chez Chili. Tasty. The shrimp were sweet, the mussels yummy, and there was also lotus root and shiitake mushrooms and noodles tied up in neat ways and various other ingredients including some I couldn’t identify. Good choice. Though even if you ask for very spicy, don’t expect it to actually come that way. It did burn a little though.

We have Feast on a book table here at Scintillation

We have Feast on a book table here at Scintillation in Montreal — I brought one demo copy, and people are SUPER-EXCITED about it. I think if I can actually get this book into bookstores, we will actually sell copies. Must hustle a bit doing all the production prep! Jed has ALMOST finished my ebook; I need to review what he’s sent, probably tomorrow, and then there are just some small bits to finish off. SO CLOSE TO DONE.

Note that we will be CLOSING BackerKit next Wednesday, so we can do a count and get everything we need ready for shipping on 10/31. So if you are wanting curry powder, lovely food notecards, postcards, Kriti Festival tote bags, etc., to be shipped along with early copies of Feast, now is basically the time. They should arrive in time for the holidays. 

The tentative plan is to still take book orders in November for a few more weeks, and then shut it all down for the winter, so we can start prepping for the real launch in early March.

Bulk Spices for Sri Lankan Curry Powder

I need bulk spices, because in the next week, I’ll be making up 118 4 oz. packets of my dry-roasted Sri Lankan curry powder to send out with Kickstarter orders. 118! (Possibly plus a few more; we’re going to be closing pre-orders next Wednesday.)

Suggestions on where you’d buy masses of coriander seed and such? Pete’s has a decent selection of Indian spices, so I may just go there. My real inclination is to swing by the Indian neighborhood on Devon, with a side trip to Geetha’s for Sri Lankan goodies for my freezer (so nice to have effortless idiyappam on hand), but if you have other recommendations, send them along.


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:

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:

And here’s all the foodie social media:

Serendib Kitchen blog:
Serendib Kitchen Instagram:
Serendib FB Group:
Serendib FB Page:

Thanks for your support!


Lunch with Amanda Daly

On my way back from lunch at Léa with Amanda Daly (which was lovely, of course, so excited to hear about how her Daly Bagel shop is coming along — can’t wait for launch!), I dropped off a comp. copy of Feast at Carnivore Oak Park — mostly because I love having a local butcher in walking distance from me, and they’re sweethearts. (I also picked up some pork shoulder for making Sri Lankan black pork curry, probably for tomorrow night’s dinner.)

But also, we’ll be doing a launch event with them in the spring, so I wanted to get them a copy early so they could hopefully start trying recipes, and maybe they’ll even carry the book in the store? And, maybe, curry powder too? Milk toffee? Hmm…would need a serious food license for that, though, and access to a commercial kitchen. Something to think about.


I’m a little confused about ebook editions and updating.

I’m a little confused about ebook editions and updating. So, one thing that seems like I should be doing is when I bring out a new ebook (like Feast of Serendib), I should include links at the back to my other ebooks (like Vegan Serendib, the Marshmallows of Serendib, Perennial, etc.). That’s straightforward enough.

BUT. It seems like I should also upload new versions of those earlier books with links to the new ebook, yes? And my question is, does that ‘count’ as a new edition, in the eyes of librarians, booksellers, and academics? Do I need to change the ISBN? That seems sort of goofy, since I’m essentially just changing advertising copy, not the actual text of the original book.

Is there settled practice on this? Or are we just in a Wild West of chaotic ISBN-assigning? (Yes, I know a lot of ebook writers don’t even bother with ISBNs, but that makes the librarian and academic in me cringe — I couldn’t do that myself.)