Sri Lanka sounds like a dream destination. It’s a small tropical Island in the Indian Ocean, just south of India. It’s tiny, just larger than the state of West Virginia, but has lots going on: lush forests, national wildlife parks with elephants and leopards, ancient temples, beautiful unspoiled beaches, tea plantations (Ceylon), and fiery flavorful curries that make use of delicious local spices, coconuts, and green chilies.
Curry and rice is the staple food of Sri Lanka. Though similar to the curries of neighboring India, Sri Lankan curries have a couple of stand-out qualities. Firstly, they tend to be startlingly hot. Disclaimer: my Sri Lankan vegetable curry recipe is toned down to my preferred level of heat, which is about medium – maybe not authentic, but I can’t taste food when my mouth is on fire. You can double or even triple up on the hot chilies if you want more burn.
Another unique feature of Sri Lankan curries is that layers of flavor are added at different stages of the cooking process. The first round of herbs, spices and aromatics form the base of the curry.
Another aromatic mix is fried up at the last minute and is stirred through the finished dish, to give it a fresh, exciting burst of flavor. It’s called tempering.
A sprinkle of cilantro leaves and some toasted cashews are a perfect finishing touch.
This week I’ve joined with the Sunday Supper food bloggers to bring you a round up of thirty-five delicious Asian inspired recipes. You’ll find them when you scroll down past my Sri Lankan vegetable curry recipe. I hope you have fun exploring some new blogs and finding lots of great cooking inspiration.
- 4 tablespoons cooking oil or ghee, divided
- 2 yellow onions, divided, one halved and sliced, one chopped
- 3 hot green chili peppers ( such as jalapeño) divided, 2 sliced in half lengthwise, 1 thinly sliced crosswise. Or double the chilies if you want to kick up the heat!
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic, divided (4 medium cloves)
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoons minced fresh ginger, divided
- 1 3-inch cinnamon stick, broken in half
- 8 whole cloves
- 2 sprigs of fresh curry leaves (about 6-8 leaves on each) divided
- 2 tablespoons good Indian curry powder, such as Madras. Here's a recipe if you want to make your own Sri Lankan curry powder.
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1½ pounds yams or orange flesh sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1½ cups water
- 1 13½ ounce can unsweetened coconut milk, shaken well before opening
- ¾ pound green beans, stem end trimmed off
- 6 cups of cauliflower florets (about ¾ of a large cauliflower or a whole small cauliflower)
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 teaspoons brown or black mustard seeds
- Optional Garnish:
- 1 cup toasted cashews
- ½ cup cilantro leaves
- Suggested Accompaniments
- white or brown rice or naan
- Make the Curry: Heat 2 tablespoons oil or ghee in a large heavy pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add sliced onion, 1 tablespoon of the garlic, 1 tablespoon of the ginger, the two halved chilies, cinnamon, cloves and one sprig of curry leaves (about 7 leaves). Sauté everything, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes, until the onion starts to soften and everything is fragrant. Add curry powder, turmeric and salt. Cook, stirring, for one minute longer, until fragrant.
- Add sweet potatoes, water and ½ cup coconut milk. Cook for a minute or two, stirring with a wooden spoon, and coating the sweet potatoes, until the water starts to simmer. Add cauliflower and green beans. Stir, to coat, as you bring the pot to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender. Add the rest of the coconut milk and cook, uncovered, for a minute or so, until hot. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
- Finishing: Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil or ghee in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, the thinly sliced chili, the remaining 1 tablespoon garlic, the remaining 1 teaspoon ginger, mustard seeds, and 1 sprig of curry leaves. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or so, until the onion starts to brown. Stir the onion mixture through the finished curry or ladle the curry into bowls and spoon the mixture on top. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves and toasted cashews.
- Serve curry with white or brown rice or naan.
- Note: Remove cinnamon sticks. Curry leaves are edible but you might want to remove any that aren't softened into the curry.
ASIAN INSPIRED CUISINE BY #SUNDAY SUPPER FOOD BLOGGERS
- Baked Turkey Lumpia – Filipino Eggroll by Food Done Light
- Crab Ragoon by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Fried Rice by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Homemade Sushi by The Freshman Cook
- Mango Pudding by Brunch with Joy
- Shrimp Rangoon Egg Rolls with Honey-Soy Dipping Sauce by The Weekend Gourmet
- Thai Style Sliders by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Venison Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Asam Laksa by Caroline’s Cooking
- Bacon Miso Ramen by The Crumby Cupcake
- Bok Choy Gai See Tong (Bok Choy and Shredded Chicken Soup) by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Pork Prawn Wonton Soup by Food Lust People Love
- Asian Beef and Green Bean Stir-Fry by Family Foodie
- Banh Mi Hot Dog by Life Tastes Good
- Beef Lo Mein by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Cheese Korokke by Manu’s Menu
- Chicken Zoodle “Lo Mein” by Casa de Crews
- Easy Chow Mein by Momma’s Meals
- Ginger-Citrus Grilled Salmon by Palatable Pastime
- Grilled Pork Báhn Mì by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Grilled Tandoori Chicken by Cooking Chat
- Hoisin Burgers with Peanut Slaw by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Ojingeo Bokkeum (Korean Spicy Stir-fried Squid) by kimchi MOM
- Oven Simmered Asian BBQ Chicken by What Smells So Good?
- Pad Thai by Curious Cuisiniere
- Seven Flavor Precious Chicken by Nosh My Way
- Sri Lankan Vegetable Curry by Panning The Globe
- Thai Chicken by Feeding Big
- Vietnamese Flank Steak by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
On the Lighter Side
- Copy Cat: CPK Thai Salad by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Crispy Asian Noodle Salad by Ruffles & Truffles
- Nam Sod (Thai Pork Salad) by Magnolia Days
- Soba Noodle Salad by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Best Wines To Pair with Asian Cuisine by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
Oodles of Noodles
- Asian Noodle Types and 34 Best Asian Recipes by SundaySupper
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