Monday, April 27, 2009

leaves and lime...

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...




Tomato Sambal

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.




18 comments:

  1. holy moly! you should shoot food more often. these are pretty gorgeous!

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  2. Oh man if we actually had a lot of curry leaf here in the States that's all my husband would eat.

    We were just happy to get some nice curry powder mixes.

    Looks really good though.

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  3. These are astonishing photos. I agree, food agrees with your camera. The one with what looks like a lime in the background? Can we all hum along to Flemish-style still life?

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  4. I want this right now! damn you and your pretty pictures. off to make toast w peanut butter.

    again.

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  5. this sounds gorgeous - a friend at work cooked sri lankan food for me a few years ago, and it was the loveliest curry i've ever tasted....xx

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  6. i love these photos! i find sweet foods so much more appealing to photograph - but the way you've captured the savoury and spicy is inspiring!

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  7. That looks amazing. Could you please share your recommendation for a light, golden Scottish ale?

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  8. The pictures are gorgeous. I'm trying this.

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  9. We love a good Malayan curry, but so far mine comes out of a packet :-(
    Your gorgeous photographs might have inspired a from-scratch one for dinner though? Lucky lucky beautiful boy... (Mine and yours!)

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  10. oooh this looks lovely. i suck at cooking. i am in fact heading out for $10 steaks at my local pub. BUT this is kinda motivating...and looks fairly easy?

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  11. Are any of these amazing food photos going to make it into your shop? Because I would love to decorate my kitchen with them when we eventually move.

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  12. Wow. This sounds de-lish! I really need to get more adventurous with my cooking. Enough spaghetti already!

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  13. I am in awe of your photography. Breathtaking.

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  14. I love your photos.

    More please.

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  15. cooking with curry scares me.

    pretty pictures.

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  16. ESB, I ate toast and peanut butter for dinner last night. You can't beat it.

    Kirsty, I will think about it and maybe write a list.

    Amber, it's super easy!

    Cate Subrosa, ooh, I'll think about it.

    Cevd, don't be scared! It's yummy!

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  17. It does look lovely, but I'm always a wee bit scared about cooking with real tomato (I have a very strange tomato fear), that book has just gone on my wishlist though!!

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play nice.