I could go on and on because I am quite smitten by this cuisine. Similar yet so different from what I am so used to.
The first dish I tried from the book is this Mango Curry. It’s similar to our mango pachadi recipe but has its subtle differences. I was disappointed to see that the author hadn’t mentioned the local name for this dish, but anyway, the next recipe I tried, beetroot thel dala seems to be uniquely Sri Lankan and seems to be quite popular too.
Sri Lankan Mango Curry
Preparation time: 30 mins
Source: Sri Lankan Flavours by Channa Dassanayaka
1.5 cups cubed raw mangoes
1/2 onion, chopped fine
2 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp crushed ginger
(or use 2 tsp ginger garlic paste)
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp vinegar
4-5 curry leaves
1 pandan leaf cut/torn into bits
a 1″ cinnamon stick
1/2 cup thick coconut milk
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1 tbsp oil
1. Peel mango and cut into long, thin pieces. I made the mistake of not peeling the mango and the curry came out slightly bitter. So please take the time and do it!
2. Grind mustard seeds and vinegar together to form a coarse paste.
3. Heat oil in a pan and add the onion, ginger, garlic, curry leaves and cinnamon. Saute until onion turns golden – about 5-7 mins.
4. Add the mango, light coconut milk, pandan leaf bits and the mustard seed mixture and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat and simmer until mango is cooked and tender. Add the thick coconut milk and simmer for another 10 mins. Add salt.
– You can use store-bought coconut milk for this recipe. I used it and to get the light coconut milk, I added equal amounts of water to the coconut milk. It won’t curdle if you cook it in very low fire
– The dish will taste just fine without pandan leaves. It will be like making an Indian dish without curry leaves – a certain flavour will be missing but that won’t break the dish totally, so don’t worry 🙂
Sri Lankan raw mango curry is usually served with rice and some meat curry during a typical Sri Lankan lunch.