About my Recipes
‘You should write a cookbook’. It’s been said often enough to me for me to think people aren’t just being kind; that they actually think the food they’ve eaten at my table, or through my fund-raising, and catering and my cooking classes is something they’d like to make at home, and maybe also think should have a wider audience.
Of course, they ought to know me well enough to not hold their breath! A book! Gee, that’s like a relationship, ain’t it. Something I would have to focus on, put a heap of work into, give up other things for!
But recipes written up when I get the urge, now that I can handle. Hell, I can even handle doing the dish a couple of times to get the recipe right! So here goes with the recipe book for when you aren’t writing a recipe book.
On this site, recipes that are Sri Lankan or otherwise South Asian are collected under Mallung. A mallung is a Sri Lankan dish of green vegetables chopped, lightly spiced, maybe with a little bit of pounded Maldive fish, sautéed and finished off with fresh grated coconut. It’s quick, simple to put together but quite complex on your palate. I’d like to think my recipes are generally like that. A mallung is also by its nature messy, and you, dear foodie, may come to think my recipes equally are like that. Which is fine with me, really.
Mostly, they are adaptations of recipes I've read or been given, tweaked here and there from my experimenting with techniques, quantities, ingredients. I’ve tried to be good about citing the sources where I know them.
The other collection of Sri Lankan recipes on this site are those from the domestic cookbook of my grandmother, Ada de la Harpe. Now that’s a recipe book of quite a different order as you will see if you read Thamboom Hodie, Lumpraya Curry and Blancmange. I love her cookbook not just because it’s now part of three generations of my family, but also because it documents the food of the Sri Lankan Dutch Burghers, the ethnic group to which Ada and I belong.
The third set of recipes here - Recipes from other sources – is where I’ve lodged other recipes I’ve tweaked and twiddled, from cuisines other than South Asian.
Hope you enjoy cooking these dishes. Email me if things don’t work out or if you have questions about particular recipes.