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Sri Lankan Cuisine – Memoirs From My Childhood
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Sri Lankan Cuisine – Memoirs From My Childhood

When I think back to my childhood I fondly recollect the aroma of curry leaves and onions sautéing in the fry pan. I think this is a common memory of Westernised South-Asians living in a place such as Australia. But somehow I can’t help but think that there is nothing as special as being bought up on Sri Lankan Cuisine.

I grew up in the 1980’s when there was a small population of Sri Lankan immigrants living in Australia. Even though I now have a strong sense of patriotism towards my heritage, back then the main objective was to fit in with everyone else. It was true that my skin was darker, my parents had a thick accent, and my household had the aroma of curry wafting through it at least five times a week- However I desperately wanted my peers to overlook these little facts. In essence I wanted to be just like my friends at school. I wanted meat & three veg for dinner, the football Grand Final BBQ, and most of all, the quintessential Sunday Roast.

Now in my 30’s however, I’m proud to announce to the world- I AM A CURRY MUNCHER!!!

And not just any Curry Muncher, but a Sri Lankan Curry Muncher.

Like many people of my age group, when I moved away from the family abode the only thing I really missed was Mamma’s food. She had been slaving away in the kitchen since I was knee high to a .... (I can’t quite remember how the saying goes)- But she had been cooking for me ever since I could remember.

To compensate for the hole I was feeling in my life, I would eat out and have Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Nepalese and any other restaurant or take-away joint that could possibly fix my curry craving. I’ve had some amazing food. I’ve been a regular patron at at-least one restaurant per ethnic cuisine type for many, many years. However, there is something just unique about a good Sri Lankan rice and curry.

Many assume that Sri Lankan food is the same as Indian food. I guess this would be due to its close proximity to each other. The little island resting like a tear drop to its bigger sibling, however Sri Lankan cuisine is quite complex.

The main staple of a Sri-Lankan plate is steamed rice, which would have one or two meat (or fish) curries as the feature of the dish. There would commonly be an assortment of four to five accompaniments to the meat curry varying from vegetables, lentils or pickles to name a few.

Popular Sri Lankan cuisine include:

• Lamprais

• String Hoppers

• Kirihoddi

• Pol Sambol

• Pittu

• Egg Hoppers

Of course many of these dishes are unknown to the masses. Sri Lankan cuisine is like an undiscovered jewel waiting to be bastardised for western culture. Between you and me; I’m glad that it is not as famous as its bigger siblings. For one the food is super spicy and a bit hard for the palate not accustomed to its intensity. And I thoroughly enjoy introducing it slowly to my own little circle and being the centre of attention for the evening. My selfishness aside however, I believe it’s time to step up from the shadows and to take its rightful place within the South Asian family tree.

This proud curry muncher is going to spread the word about this special cuisine. I’m going to create the scent of sautéing cardamom & curry leaves, and share the fond memories of Sri Lankan cuisine and culture. I invite you to share your fond childhood foods, and together we can all find our inner children. I’m sure however, that there is nothing like being bought up on Sri Lankan cuisine.


Street Talk

Yum!

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Simon K  

Nice article. Flows naturally, I really like it. I'm a big fan of Sri Lankan food as well :D

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks for your encouragement Simon K. It was my first article. In the coming weeks I plan to provide a run down introduction to Sri Lankan cuisine, including some hard to get recipes. Being a fan of Sri-Lankan food, I would encourage you to try some of them out.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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