Tag Archives: Sri Lankan Recipes

Enjoy Sri Lankan Food Recipes the Healthy Way

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Authentic Sri Lankan cuisine boasts of a distinctive and remarkable variety of tastes and textures combined into one cooked meal. Sri Lankan food recipes are always mouth wateringly delicious, from the way it’s presented to its explosion of flavours. A traditional Sri Lankan meal is usually made up of a handful portion of red or white rice accompanied by two or three curries of locally sourced vegetables, one meat or seafood curry and one green sambol or pickle, all of which come together in unique harmony to create an exceptional meal.

We’re fortunate that we have the opportunity to learn all the traditional masterpieces from our elders, from delicious chicken recipes in Sri Lanka to healthy rice varieties. Unfortunately, locals have forgotten or choose to forgo the optimal combination of curries and carbs and oftentimes favour meals with oversized portions of rice or meat portions as well as excessively oily vegetable dishes.

Let’s take a look at some simple ways in which you can make your Sri Lankan meal healthier and more wholesome without compromising on taste:

Opt for Smaller Portions of Rice

We Sri Lankans are used to huge portions of rice that is usually more than enough to feed two people. Toning down on your rice portions and increasing the serving of vegetables and green leaves will ultimately lead to a healthier lifestyle. Replacing your white rice with red rice is also a healthier choice and a good way to get in shape.

Always Include a Salad in Your Meal

Green leaves may not be the favourite part of a plate of rice and curry for most Sri Lankans but it is one of the most important item you should include in your meals. A fresh green salad or a properly cooked curry of greens is rich in fibre and antioxidants and adding green leaves is easily one of the smartest meal choices you can make.

Be Wise with Your Spices

Almost all Sri Lankan food recipes include a rich variety of spices but it’s important to add the proper proportion of spices to your meals. The health benefits of spices are immense and it has been an essential part of our long history and cultural heritage thanks to their taste enhancing properties as well as the numerous health benefits they bring to meals.

Avoid Overcooking Your Vegetables

Most Sri Lankans prepare vegetable dishes that are too overcooked and basically stewed into the curry itself, thereby causing the loss of nutritional properties of a properly cooked vegetable curry. Properly cooked vegetables can give you a lot more nutrients than overcooked or boiled ones and this is a backed by studies. So make sure you cook your vegetables only just so as not to lose their nutritional value. Remember, you have to eat to fuel your body and not to feed your emotions.

Opt for Carbohydrates from Food like Quinoa, Brown Rice and Bulgur

While most of us can easily source any local grain from the nearest supermarket, we usually opt for breads and rotis in our meals. This means that we often miss out on the healthy nutrients that we can get from grains and other healthy carb alternatives. If you’re conscious about your health, replacing your usual carb intake with healthy carb choices is the way to go.

When it comes to healthy eating habits, what we have to remember is that moderation is key. It can be a subjective term because it means something different for each person. For example, moderation for one person could mean eating half a roti with a small serving of curry while for another, it could mean having a whole wheat roti instead of white roti.

Moderation may be a complex and even a biased word but it’s an important one. Learning to eat in moderation can help you achieve and maintain a healthy body weight without having to restrict your food intake. Have you ever tried to cut out sugar, meat, or flour completely, only to crave it so badly that you end up bingeing? Deprivation often backfires and the only thing that will work is healthy eating habits and lifestyle changes.

When we go on a diet, we usually set ourselves up for failure. It all boils down to slow changes vs fast changes. Rather than avoiding certain foods completely, remember to eat in moderation. So that means you can still enjoy the occasional pizza or slice of cake.

Food is there to be enjoyed but remember these three important keys to eating healthy: balance, moderation and variety.

How to Cook a Chicken Curry – Sri Lankan style!

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Sri Lankan food recipes are always a touch above the rest given that we Lankans really love our food to burst with flavour and spice. And let’s face it – who doesn’t love chicken? From crispy fried chicken to barbecued deliciousness, chicken tastes good regardless of how it’s prepared. But if you haven’t tried the classic Sri Lankan chicken curry, you don’t know what you’re missing!

As far as the nutritional benefits are concerned, chicken is a great source of minerals, vitamins and it very rich in protein. It also has fewer fats when compared to other meat varieties such as beef or mutton. Because of this, chicken is a good source for weight loss and helps balance blood pressure, lessen the risk of cancer and reduce the risk of cholesterol.

While there are a wide array of Sri Lankan chicken curry recipes out there, this particular chicken curry dish is special in its own right. Tendy, juicy, aromatic and literally exploding with flavour, this tantalizing curry will take you to culinary heaven! Here’s how you can prepare it yourself:

Ingredients

  • 500g chicken parts
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • A generous piece of ginger
  • 15 red chilies
  • One sprig of curry leaves
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¾ tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 cardamoms
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • One small stick of cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • Cooking oil
  • Salt to taste

Method:

 Portion the chicken and wash it well.

  • Add salt and turmeric powder, mix it well onto the chicken and let it marinate for 15 minutes.
  • In a pan over medium heat, dry roast the following ingredients – red chilies coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, curry leaves, black pepper, cinnamon and cardamom. Stir it frequently for about three minutes.
  • Take this dry roasted mixture and grind it finely.
  • Grind the ginger and garlic until it becomes a fine paste and set aside.
  • In a separate pan, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. Allow it to splutter.
  • To this, add the onion and saute is until it turns golden in colour.
  • Add the ginger and garlic paste to this and cook it for 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
  • Now, add the marinated chicken pieces to this and mix thoroughly.
  • Place the lid and cook it under high flame for about five minutes.
  • Remove the lid and stir for a few more minutes under medium heat until the chicken it well cooked.
  • After the chicken pieces turn into light brown, add the spices and the coconut milk.
  • Stir everything and cook it covered for about six minutes under low flame.
  • Give it a taste and add more salt if required.
  • Serve it with rice.

So there you have it – one of the most favorite chicken recipes in Sri Lanka! Do prepare this dish using Bairaha’s premium chicken and let us know how you find it!

Discover the Many Flavours of Sri Lanka

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Just Rice and Curry may sound really plain and mundane but when it means the Sri Lankan version, it is sublime. It’s a medley of amazing flavors and dishes that offers a constantly changing array of tastes that reflects the skills of the cook and the bounty of the markets.

Although Sri Lankan recipes may look very similar to South Indian cuisine, it is uniquely different in taste, texture as well as preparation, echoing the indelible cultures left by the tiny island’s traders, immigrants, neighbours and colonisers. Home to some of the most exotic fruits and vegetables as well as amazing spices and seafood, it’s no wonder that Sri Lankan recipes has garnered so much attention by food lovers.

Though Sri Lanka may be a pint-sized island, each region of the country has its own signature dishes which have become part of the staple diet and some recipes in Sri Lanka have even gone on to reach global recognition as a comfort food and island delicacy.

When it comes to the most popular comfort food, there’s nothing quite like the Sri Lankan dhal curry. It’s a permanent fixture of the local staple and a tempered dhal or Red Lentil curry makes a satisfying accompaniment to any carb dish, be it rice, string hoppers, bread or roti; Sri Lankans cannot do without dhal in their food in the food.

When talking about comfort food, we cannot ignore street food and as far as street food in Sri Lanka goes, the undisputed leader is the hugely popular Kottu. Found nowhere else in the world, kottu is prepared with much ado and noise with shredded roti tossed with a colorful assortment of tempered vegetables, spices, meat and eggs. Sri Lankan recipes for kottu come in numerous variations including  just plain eggs, fish, chicken or all of these together with a healthy helping of cheese. Kottu is typically served with a side dish of hot, spicy gravy to add extra flavor to the dish.

Then there is the seafood and as islanders, Sri Lankans have a great love for their seafood dishes. Using a variety of cooking techniques – from tempering and frying to baking and steaming, seafood in Sri Lanka is enjoyed in  numerous ways. This is evident in the way seafood is prepared in different parts of the island. The northern region likes to incorporate seafood as an all-rounder with leafy greens, jackfruit seeds and a melange of seafood in their seafood curry. The western region likes to have their seafood dishes slow cooked to perfection and smothered in a spicy gravy. These variety of seafood dishes stand as a testimony to how much Sri Lankans cherish the bounties of the ocean.

Chicken dishes feature prominently in Sri Lankan recipes in an assortment of delightful curries and is a firm dinner favorite with many Lankans. Owing to its ease of cooking and delectable taste, chicken recipes are seeing a new high in Sri Lanka, thanks to the variety of exciting chicken products in the market today.

And finally, as far as desserts and sweets are concerned, Sri Lanka has a fantastic selection that can permanently cure anyone’s sweet addiction. Form tangy curd and treacle and creamy wattalapam to traditional sweetmeats like Kavvum or sweet oil cakes and deep-fried, crispy sweets called Kokis, sweets and desserts in Sri Lanka are by no means lacking, making Sri Lankan a well rounded in the culinary department.

Exploring Sri Lankan Cooking

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When it comes to Sri Lankan food, spices and coconut are featured heavily, making Sri Lankan recipes wholly unique. Most of the Sri Lankan recipes took its roots in India where curries took its influences to the wide reaches of the globe – to Africa, Indonesia and beyond.

Main courses in Sri Lanka are almost always rice with a dizzying array of colourful curries that come in every imaginable combination – from fish, shellfish and vegetables to meat and chicken and much more. Chicken dishes are gaining popularity with quality chicken products like Bairaha making cooking chicken dishes all the more easy and flavorful. While recipes in Sri Lanka call for a long list of ingredients, the recipes are very simple and goes together fairly quickly.

At its most extravagant, a rice and curry affair can include half a dozen vegetarian curries, a couple of delicious meat curries, sambols, mallums and papadum. Any lunch without three or four of these components is considered incomplete anywhere in Sri Lanka. While a meal with so many elements can seem a little overwhelming, its colors, textures and flavours are a true representation of the complexity of Sri Lankan food.

Sri Lankan food is, in many ways, similar to that of Southern India, its closest neighbour. But there have been lots of other culinary influences too throughout the island’s long, eventful history. Early Portuguese and Dutch occupation left their mark on certain rice dishes and the British left they’re love for tea with the islanders.
Based on a bedrock of vibrant spices masterfully blended in roasted and unroasted curry powders, Sri Lankan recipes a perfect balance and it does so with exceptional finesses and flair.