Monday Meal Review: Sri Lanka

It all started about a month ago. While watching our new Sri Lankan friend, Iyona, prepare a dozen or so platters for Ruby’s 40th birthday party, I noticed how little she measured. Anything. Nothing.

Ruby seemed completely relaxed. Un-phased.

(P.S. I’m pretty sure she’d pass for 22, right?!)

ruby

Anyway. Back to the cooking.

It was a dash of this. A heap of that.

Cook it a while.

Don’t forget to stir.

That was the extent of her instructions.

I’ve seen many people cook with similar abandon (my mom included), but I typically struggle with the desire to control the flow of the ingredients.

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So often, this is because I want you to be able to make these dishes at home.  I have to include exact measurements to make sure you are successful.

BUT, this is not the way of the world. MOST of the world doesn’t measure.

And here’s the kicker.

Somehow, some way, the food comes out just as good as if they had.

So,  a month later, when I cooked the meal for a few friends… I began to question my approach.

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And, honestly, it goes so much further than just recipes.

What drives us to compartmentalize, scale, and measure everything in our lives?

Why do we want our lives to fit neatly into “boxes”? Why must our choices make sense – not just any sort of sense, but the exact same sense every single time we unpack the trappings of our lives and examine them?

Here’s the truth:  life cannot fit in a box. And, it’s worth remembering, that recipes don’t have to either.

The lesson in all this? Live a little.

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So how did that play into the blog this week? You’ll find I left a few things to your interpretation, such as a knuckle of water, or how long you’d like to cook things.

Because, honestly, your flame might burn with a different intensity than mine. And your knuckle might be longer.

And there’s no accounting for that.

Not without losing my mind, anyway.

And, truthfully, figuring it out isn’t even the point.

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NOTE: This week we shared Sri Lanka with two families, so please excuse the mishmash of photos and video. It was all good fun.

THE FOOD

Quick White Dal Curry [Recipe]

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What I loved most about this dish:

The flavor of this curry was warm, comforting and, with a swirl of coconut milk so classically Sri Lankan. Ava ate quite a bit of this, and I look forward to making it for her again in the future.

What I loved least about this dish:

Nothing, although it might be fun to add more pandan to this recipe, as I feel it gets a bit lost with the other spices.

Sri Lankan Yellow Rice | Kaha Bath [Recipe]

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What I loved most about this dish:

Everything. I’ve already made this three times. Vegan, easy (there’s not even any browning of ingredients, yet the flavor virtually explodes). Keith and Ava were all over it.

What I loved least about this dish:

Nothing.

Coconut Roti [Recipe]

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What I loved most about this dish:

Roti is a lot easier than I expected. I especially love having another bread in the rotation that doesn’t require yeast or a long ferment. Such a fun way to add dimension to a dinner party.

What I loved least about this dish:

Nothing, although I’d consider adding salt next time…. even though our Sri Lankan friends don’t use any.

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Comments

  1. Dal is favorite for my daughter.So much so that once her ballet teacher asked her whats her fav food and she said coyly “Dal and rice”.Needless to say,it totally confused her teacher.

  2. I think it is awesome that you are starting to make more of an awareness of the vegan options! There are so many health and environmental benefits of a vegan/plant-based diet. The more people that know about this, the better it is everyone. Thank you!

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Absolutely! I happen to eat vegan/vegetarian quite a bit, and cook more meat than I usually would because of the blog… have you seen the tab under lifestyles for the vegan recipes on the blog? Lots of delicious dishes in there! :)

  3. Terence says:

    I bought that same exact toy armor/shield/helmet at the Metropolitan Museum in NY! Wonder what happen to it…
    As for roti, it’s a staple in Malaysian cuisine! My Malaysian born mom thought roti was a native Malay word.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      How neat! We found ours at a second hand shop, so maybe it was yours ;) As for the Roti, I’ve also seen it enjoyed in India. It is one of those dishes that spans several cultures, which is fun (each with their own variations, I’m sure).

  4. Quite true… life and recipes do not fit into a box… thank you for reminding us.

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  1. […] Sasha is now working through the letter T, if you can believe it! Anyway, I read her review of Sri Lanka recently and knew I had to recreate it in its entirety. Here’s Mr. X’s […]

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