SRI LANKA, EXOTIC TASTES OF >by Suharshini Seneviratne
The chapters of Exotic Tastes of Sri Lanka are devoted to short eats (appetizers), salads, staples, vegetarian dishes, poultry, meat and egg recipes, seafood preparations, desserts, and sweetmeats (treats). An array of exotic ingredients that is key and integral to Sri Lankan cuisine enhances the dishes. For instance, gamboge, with its uniquely sour flavor, is often used in traditional seafood preparations like Fish Ambul Thiyal, while either grated coconut or coconut milk intensify most recipes, including Pumpkin Kalu Pol Curry. Local staples are delectable works of art, such as the exquisite Stringhoppers, Hoppers, and Pittu. Since the entrees revolve around the nation's favorite ingredient, rice, the loosely coined term "rice and curry" best describes Sri Lankan cuisine. Other staple ingredients include coconut (milk, oil, or grated), as well as aromatic herbs and spices such as curry leaves, mint, coriander and fennel seeds, and cloves. Sri Lanka offers a particularly impressive repertoire of vegetarian and seafood preparations. Sample menus, explanations of spice uses and availability, typical cooking techniques, and descriptions of traditional utensils complement the 157 recipes, all adapted for home cooks.
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Suharshini's 'Exotic Tastes of Sri Lanka' is a wonderful traditional Sri Lankan cookbook. It's packed with lots of recipes and hints to help with anything from alternative ingredients to preparations. The measurements are accurate and time directions are specific. All the recipes that I tried have come out great. There are plenty of recipes from Northern and Southern part of Sri Lanka. Some of the favorites are traditional thosai, idly, vara, spicy chicken curry, cabbage mallum and breaded fried fish! Highly recommend 'Exotic Tastes of Sri Lanka' to those who want to make authentic Sri Lankan food.
A lot of recipes for the price. I have already tried out two of the dishes (yellow rice and capsicum badun) and they came out excellent!! - had a lot of praise from friends who enjoyed it. There is a wide selection of rice dishes, curries, appetizers and desserts. Also recipes for a lot of 'village' dishes for which the ingredients can be bought at an Asian Store. Excellent book for Srilankan cooking that is easy for even the amatuer cook.