Here’s another video on Sri Lankan cooking which starts out with string hoppers.
Charmaine Solomon, the woman in the first half of the video uses a wildly different amount of ingredients in her curries than I’ve seen in other Sri Lankan curries. Again, it comes down to variations in ethnicity and region, I believe, in combination with adapting to personal and familial preferences. For example, Charmaine serves coconut sambol which is a very very pale orange. It looks like it’s supposed to be pol sambol, which my mother in law makes such that it turns out a dark orange-red. Ms. Solomon uses an entire pandan (rampe or screwpine) leaf in her curry, whereas my mother in law doesn’t use pandan at all, and other Sri Lankan recipes call for an inch or two of the leaf, not the entire leaf. Ms. Solomon uses an entire stick of cinnamon where my mother in law would use a piece of cinnamon stick that’s, oh, an inch or two long and perhaps a quarter to a half inch wide at most. Ms. Solomon serves scrambled eggs as a side dish, which had Fahim aghast at the idea.
There are more differences, but you get the idea, I hope. 🙂 The idea being that there’s no consensus even within the Sri Lankan community on exactly what Sri Lankan cuisine is and exactly how it should be made. 🙂
The last part of the video is about Wattalappam. Um… How do I put this? It’s so pale! And they’re adding so much weird stuff, like rose water. And mace. And cardamom. The last two aren’t quite so odd, but rose water?
My mother in law’s wattalappam is the best I’ve ever had, bar none. She uses kithul jaggery, coconut milk, and eggs. I’ve had other wattalapam that had cardamom in it, perhaps cashews or raisins, but that’s about as adventurous as it gets. My mother in law’s wattalappam is a dark, dark brown – the colour is from the jaggery, which is a very very dark brown.
Here’s the video. Enjoy! 🙂