The Boy and I have discovered Sri Lankan food and with it I have rediscovered my love of cooking. I got bored with cooking about two years ago, but that was before I discovered the curry leaf and Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian. Oh the curry leaf, what a magical food stuff, what a delicious flavouring, what a delightful ingredient. Food has never tasted so good.
We have now replaced the tomato sauce and brown rice that we have been eating pretty much every day for two years with tomato sambal and Sri Lankan yellow rice, a similar but far more interesting and delicious meal. For now. Perhaps when we've been eating it for two years straight we'll be bored of it too, but for now I could (and quite often do) eat it every day...
Slice 450g of ripe, red tomatoes very thinnly, lay on a plate and sprinkle with two teaspoons of salt and one and half teaspoons of finest chilli powder. Alternatively use two cans of peeled plum tomatoes, drained and sliced thinnly. This will make a thicker, richer and equally delicious sauce.
In a large frying pan, over a medium high heat warm six tablespoons of olive oil. When hot add four slightly crushed, unpeeled garlic cloves, stirring them and frying them until they turn golden brown. Add 15 curry leaves (or more if you're finding yourself hopelessly addicted to them) and a three inch stick of cinnamon (or quarter of a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, should you have run out of the sticks). Stir once or twice then add two medium sized onions, cut into very fine slices.
Add the sliced tomatoes and four finely sliced garlic cloves, stir and simmer for two minutes. Turn down the heat and continue to cook for twenty minutes to half an hour, stirring occassionally.
Squeeze in two tablespoons of fresh lime juice, picking out any pips that fall in and add one teaspoon of caster sugar, stirring well to mix. Remove the slightly crushed, unpeeled garlic cloves and the cinnamon stick if you used one before serving.
Serve with any rice or bean dish, perhaps with fresh bread to wipe clean the plate and a cool glass of old fashioned lemonade or a light, golden Scottish ale.