The enchanting island of Sri Lanka, located just off the southern tip of India, has long been considered “The Pearl of the Indian Ocean,” and its unique and delicious cuisine reflects this singular status. While sharing many spices and ingredients in common with its neighbor to the north, Sri Lankan food, popularly known as “rice & curry,” also sets itself apart, creating an identity all its own. The coconut figures prominently in Sri Lankan cooking as does the distinctive curry leaf and, of course, a preponderance of chili peppers, which provide its trademark kick. Fragrant basmati rice provides the centerpiece of any meal, supplemented by various meat, seafood, and vegetable curries, pickles, chutneys, and fresh salads. Though not well known in the U.S. outside of small expat communities in New York and California, Sri Lankan food constantly expands its following from all those who have tried it.
Food = Art and the Creative Alliance is pleased to introduce the Baltimore area to this unique cuisine with the Sri Lankan Supper club. Charles Village resident, S. H. “Skiz” Fernando Jr., prepares a veritable feast of Sri Lankan specialties from his upcoming cookbook, Rice & Curry: Sri Lankan Home Cooking (Hippocrene Books), to be released in late October.
In addition to writing a blog about Sri Lankan food and all things spicy (www.riceandcurry.wordpress.com), and marketing his own brand of Sri Lankan curry powder, Fernando also showed popular Travel Channel host Anthony Bourdain around the island for the Sri Lanka episode of No Reservations With Anthony Bourdain. Now, for one night only, Fernando invites the hometown crowd to kick off his unique book tour with The Sri Lankan Supper Club, a pop-up restaurant, which will be making appearances in D.C., New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Attendance is limited to 20 persons, so sign up soon and join us for the exotic tastes of paradise!
You may purchase tickets online at the following link:
The Sri Lankan Supper Club Menu
A Trio of Sri Lankan ‘short-eats’ or appetizers, which Sri Lankans usually snack on between meals.
Fish Cutlets – Croquettes made from fish, potatoes, and spices, rolled in breadcrumbs and deep-fried to perfection.
Masala Vadai –Fritters made with ground yellow split peas and spices, similar to a spicy falafel.
Beef patties – Savory turnovers of ground beef, potatoes and spices baked in a pastry shell.
All of the following dishes are served together.
Chicken Curry – One of Sri Lanka’s signature dishes; pieces of chicken braised in coconut milk and Skiz’s own roasted curry powder (made with 13 different spices) with a healthy dose of chilies.
Fish Ambul Thiyal (“Sour” fish curry) – This dish’s primary flavor comes from gamboge, a sour fruit peculiar to Sri Lanka that is dried and used to provide acidity.
Parippu – No Sri Lankan dinner would be complete without these red lentils stewed in coconut milk with hints of cinnamon and lemongrass.
Mallun – Sri Lankan style sautéed greens (usually collard greens or kale), supplemented with shallots, shredded fresh coconut, and toasted mustard seeds.
Beet curry – A hearty, colorful fall vegetable gets the Sri Lankan treatment with Skiz’s own raw curry powder and coconut milk.
Yellow Rice – fragrant basmati rice cooked in chicken stock and tinged with turmeric.
Papadum – Thin and crispy lentil ‘chips’ which add a nice textural counterpoint to the meal.
Mango chutney — a sweet/spicy condiment that rounds out the palette of flavors of the meal
Wattalapam – a rich flan made with coconut milk and jaggery or palm sugar and laced with a hint of cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom.
Hungry yet!? Well follow this link to purchase tickets: