Food is love , it’s a member of your mind and life, just like your pet or your partner . In a quiet way, it determines if you’re going to lead a miserable ending or you’re going to find your happily ever after . However, there’s one general problem we all face is;
How Do We Make Food EXCITING ?
We are all brought up in a certain environment and culture where a certain type of food is the norm. We find it difficult to move from our comfort food to another type of unfamiliar food. It may seem odd, expensive and complicated. It’s simply because we aren’t brought with such food or culture however it’s never impossible to understand and expand our taste buds.
So to make the impossible , possible I decided the previous week to expand my knowledge in a different direction yet sticking true to my roots. Currently living in a European country , Sri Lankan Cuisine may seem distant and fairly unattainable .
Sri Lankan cuisine, on the other hand, was developed with flavors that bring together , happiness , spirituality, and empathy in one plate . The odd and essentially flavors that are close to mother nature helps create an oxidation venue for both your mind and body .
Their fearless use of strong flavors such as GARLIC can cage all your bloodsucking vampire like emotions .
The FoodToHeal companions vary each week , from close friends to complete strangers they change . The purpose of food is sharing hence that’s what we do .
Spices have definitely been a real challenge here in Europe . Aside from the basic spice, you can’t find the exact flavors from motherland Sri Lanka to make your dish taste exquisite . On the other hand finding a coconut which doesn’t cost you your liver can also be a challenge. Since being on a budget is also important I generally take my time planning the dishes and allocating the time for it .
This week we are going with a thick Garlic Curry, Pineapple, and Mango Curry. Pickled Eggplants and a generous amount of rice . The flavors of Sri Lankan cuisine can paint a picture of smiles and family . With the summer flavors from the Mango and Pineapples and the earthy spice from the pickled eggplants , they can all sing together harmoniously as one big happy family. If you’ve watched “FRIENDS” you’ll know what I meant when I said food and harmony.
Harmony aside , we can all relate to the biggest challenges cooking unusual food in a continent where the spice doesn’t belong , so here’s mine .
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE
Sri Lankan cuisine uses different types of spice’s that aren’t typically off the European spice rack. For example, some elements of the garam masala and the essential fruits can be a challenge to find in this cold winter . When you find it , you’re then hit with another challenge , I would call it the “battle of not being broke” . How can you balance both the lack of ingredient and the price of exquisite food without jeopardizing your mindset?
It’s Simple ,
You improvise and be creative . Creativity is part of cooking , it’s the heart of cooking .
In my case , I decided to combine the curries and go with my palate instead of a family recipe . After studying the recipes , I found one thing in common ; it was all created by people who’s aim was to ease the depression and stress of people whilst Sri Lanka was in the midst of war . On the other hand, it was also created to highlight the rich prospects of the country .
By combining the Mango and Pineapple curry into one with a generous amount of dairy . You can smell the richness of the country and imagine it as you taste every morsel of your dish . The garlic curry cuts through the acidity and sweetness of the summer spice and the pickled eggplants give you the punch you need to combine all the food together .
Simplicity , elegance, and love were what SriLankan food was all about , and that’s what the crowd felt while eating it .
How Do You Get Your Skeptical Friends To Open Up ?
In every group, we all have this one person who’s constantly skeptical when something is out of the box . They question the logic and the existence of such food, culture or experience . Even though they’re meaning good , getting them to the door of trying can prove to be a challenge .
How do you get them to try?
You can never get someone to try something by forcing them to enjoy it . Instead, create an ambiance where change and experimenting are embedded in that night .
In our Sri Lankan night we were all open minded and we definitely have someone who could be skeptical . I mean come on , Pineapple in a curry ? Who would do that ? It’s blasphemy , I could see those thoughts running marigold rounds in their head.
However , the turning point was because of all the other guests who without a second thought, started digging in, licking their fingers and slurping it all up. This created a chain reaction and finally, the thoughts simmered down and the skeptic became the hero; embracing all the dishes as part of his culture.
The Tip For The Skeptic Is To Let It Flow.
I personally think at the core of Sri Lankan cuisines beginning , it was created to induce joy and showcase their lands richness. It was created as a platform to share and enjoy it together . When you can bring the same mindset and emotions to the plate , you can paint the picture of Sri Lanka rather vividly.
PS. No Food Was Wasted In The Making Of These Dishes .