What to read?

Cook Books

No, I didn't just invent all the recipes you'll find on this site out of thin air or childhood memory, or even by watching my dad. Yes, I also use cook books.

The two I use most regularly, as do many Sri Lankan domestic cooks if the number of reprints each has gone thorugh is anything to go by are:

(a) Ceylon Daily News Cookery Book Hilda Deutrom.
It's the standard text in many ways, and I think the oldest standing published cookery book. It's a compendium of European and Sri Lankan dishes, the kind of book mums give to their daughters when they get married. You may find it hard to get outside of Sri Lanka or the odd Sri Lankan grocery store.

(b) Ceylon Cookery Chandra Dissanayake.
First published in the 1980's and the only serious competitor for the Deutrom's in terms of its scope and popularity. Still, this one too you will find hard to get outside of Sri Lanka. The book has what can only be called an idiosyncratic indexing system which can be frustrating.

Some other books that you may more readily find are:

(a) Sri Lankan Flavours Channa Dassanayake.
First published in 2003 in Australia by Hardie Grant, it's well laid out, the recipes are 'authentic', and it's written with the Western home cook in mind.

(b) The Food of Sri Lanka Douglas Bullis and Wendy Hutton
A glossy production from Periplus, first published in 2001. It's part of a series of 'The Food of...' but is not to be sneered at because of that. 

(c) Exotic Tastes of Sri Lanka Suharshini Seneviratne
I like this one a lot. First published by Hippocrene in 2003, it's got a lovely chatty style and good recipes and again addresses itself to the Western home cook.


Copyright (C) 2007 Paul van Reyk


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