In Sri Lanka the traditional cooking method is wood fires with three reasonably sized stones or bricks. The utensils used are clay pots (chatties) and coconut shell spoons. To create authentic meals genuine utensils should be used.
The three stones are placed in a triangular formation with one stone placed at the back. The firewood is inserted through the front two bricks. To keep the fire burning, the locals blow air from the front or sometimes a metal tube is used.
Similar to previous generations, local cooks use fresh spices that are abundant on the island. Chillies are ground on a flat stone and a round stone ‘rolling pin’. Flour is always made fresh by pounding rice in a stone mortar and pestle. The pestle is made from stone and is about five feet in length.
The clay pots give the curries a unique flavour that cannot be imitated with aluminium utensils. Aluminium pots will do the job if clay pots are unavailable.
- These are ‘starting point’ ingredients needed for Sri Lankan Cooking. Virtually all of these are available at your local supermarket.
- Ginger – ground aromatic
- Coriander – ground
- Cummin – ground
- Fennel – ground
- Fenugreek – seeds
- Cinnamon – sticks
- Cardamon – pods and ground
- Chilli Powder – if you like curries with a bit of bite.
- Curry Leaves – dried
- Cloves – whole and ground
- Peppercorns – whole
- Tumeric – ground.
- Coconut – creamed and desiccated
- Paprika – ground. There are different types of paprika. If you prefer not to make hot curries use paprika for the red colour in the curries.
- Lemon Grass – dried
- Black Mustard – seeds
- Tamarind Pulp – dried
- Vegetable Oil