Secrets of Sri Lankan Cuisine

On Sunday morning I took myself off to my local spice shop, Gewürzhaus (German for spice house), for a lesson in Sri Lankan cooking.
Although I've eaten a good share of Sri Lankan food - it became a favourite cultural & culinary destination after I visited in 2010 - I wanted to learn more from an expert; the secrets, special ingredients & techniques that make its food so yummy.
So when Gewürzhaus presented me with the opportunity to observe, smell, taste, make, & ask any burning questions I had regarding Sri Lankan cuisine, I seized it!  And what a fruitful way it was to spend a Sunday.
The menu was extensive enough that two and a half hours provided ample time for me to learn the tricks of the trade & find out some of the country's cultural & cooking practices.

Our teacher does the sambal!

Hitting the books & learning some Sri Lankan secrets.

The beginnings of a pork curry . . . 

I thought these deserved a close up, the preserved lemon being an important component to the flavour of Sri Lankan cuisine.

I also decided the Himalayan Pink Salt deserved a close up.  This ancient delight is a staple in my own kitchen & is insanely good for you.  They also sell this at Gewürzhaus as a loose salt you can scoop up yourself, or in jars, ready for the pantry.  

Dahl (known in Sri Lanka as "parippu").  I think I might prefer the Sri Lankan word.  
Sorry, I have to say it again . . . Parippu!

Can you smell the aromas?

After preparing the side sambals, checking on the curry and allowing those red lentils and spices to transform themselves into a fragrant Parippu, it was time to make . . . The Hoppers.

As we were newbies, our teacher demonstrated the technique & whipped up two perfect hoppers before our eyes.

Soon enough, it was time to try our hand.  How proud it makes one to create something we have only previously observed being made.

And then it all comes together: the fluffy hopper, generously piled with a vibrant & varied array of the dishes we have learned to prepare . . . 

Although it's hiding beneath my bounty of curry, dahl & sambals, my hopper also holds an egg. And may I highly recommend the addition of the egg if you are given the option?  It gives an excellent creamy balance to the punchy flavour of the other dishes.

Finally, after having a photography feast, it's time for the real thing.  See the joy on our faces?

I do take my food quite seriously, at times . . .

If you fancy booking yourself in for a class at the Gewürzhaus kitchen, you can peruse their selection of courses here.  Whether you go solo, with a friend or with a group, you are guaranteed entertainment, new ideas & delicious food!


  1. Looks delicious. It's making me hungry

  2. Try hoppers with honey and banana! Sooo good. I had it last night for tea. Your blog is nice and delicious xx

  3. How scrumptious that would be! Sweet hopper. A hopper brunch could be the best idea ever ;)
    Thank you for perusing the blog. Looking forward to checking out yours!


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