Time Out reviews the best new recipe books to spice up your suppers
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London is home to one of the largest Sri Lankan populations beyond the shores of their country, yet there are few notable restaurants serving the food of what was once Ceylon in the capital. Many Londoners of Sri Lankan heritage agree that restaurant food just can’t approach home cooking for quality, yet there have been few good books in English showing the keen amateur how to create Sri Lankan dishes. Now, thankfully, the balance has been redressed.
The author of this beautifully produced book is chef at the Flying Fish Restaurant in Sydney, but was born in London. The recipes are largely family creations, including dishes from his Sinhalese grandmother’s kitchen, which are some of the best in the book, including a chicken curry thickened with desiccated coconut and ground rice, and the ‘beginners’ curry’ known as kiri hoddy. The ‘On the Road’ chapter includes classic ‘short eats’ such as fish cutlets and mutton rolls.
The book is a cross between a family album with recipes and a travelogue. It’s helped along by lush, colourful photography (by Alan Benson and Peter Kuruvita) of the dishes, people and landscapes of this island once known as Serendip. A gorgeous book that brings Sri Lanka to life on the page and palate.
Susan Low, Time Out London Issue 2027: June 25-July 1 2009