Sri Lankan Cuisine - July 24th 2015

Unmoulding the Pittu

Unmoulding the Pittu

Meena cooked a wonderful dinner for us last night.  She made Pittu which is Kurakkan Flour mix steamed in a tall cylindrical device. It is pushed out in a cylinder shape and a little fresh coconut milk poured over it before serving. It was accompanied by Kirihodhi a coconut milk gravy with spicy ingredients including chilli. She also served the cute donut shaped southern Indian Undulu Wade’s. It was truly a great experience and as we poured the Kirihodi over the Pittu we also mixed with it her hot and spicy onion sambal. We possibly ate too much but were unable to stop as it was all so delicious. When Kodi offered us a sweet banana to finish we were obliged to decline as there was just no room left!    https://srilankancuisine.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/kurakkan-pittu/

The Southwest Monsoon has hit Sri Lanka late this year and the incessant rain of yesterday continued and was punctuated by a storm at around 3am with rain so heavy we both awoke. The same will probably happen today so we are off after breakfast to explore Galle City before the rain later in the day. Having never experienced a monsoon we are quite enjoying it!

Breakfast this morning consisted of Spicy Chickpeas, and grated fresh coconut. It was followed by Halape in steamed Kanda leaf. This tasty gem is made with Kurakkan flour and has fresh grated coconut and treacle inside. A taste like no other and the leaf flavour came through! Double Yummy! Finished off with fresh Papaya with fresh lime squeezed over it and a pot of Sri Lankan black tea.

Walked to the main street of Galle city. The colourful scenes of locals going about their business are impossible to describe. You needed to be there. We passed men repairing old shoes by the roadside, a large pineapple display, and shoe shops in large numbers, hardware, clothing, wholesalers, rice merchants, and a bathroom showroom with tiles taps and porcelain, flower wholesalers, creatively named fashion stores and finally a Wine Shop! The young man inside showed us all his Gins about of the screw and we purchased a small bottle of local gin and sampled it outside his shop out of the screw cap! Luckily no one we know was watching as it was right out of character. (It tasted OK but it would be better with tonic). We took pity on a poor old man sitting roadside and gave him money for food and my late Mother’s words echoed in my ears “It is better to give than to receive”. Another thing she used to say to me all the time is “There is no such thing as can’t” She was a very wise Mother!

A young man on a push bike approached us on the street and struck up a conversation. Turned out he was a Chef buying from the market for tonight’s dishes. He asked Erica “Are you a school teacher?” She replied no but I interrupted and said “She teaches me!” He liked the fact I was wearing Sri Lankan made clothes purchased at Wicks in his town and labelled me “A good Sri Lankan Boy!” He wished us well and rode away down the busy street.

We found a major supermarket our friend on the bike had directed us to and I did a price check on items such as eggs, rice, flour, Coke, bread, milk, tea, butter, margarine, bottled water, chicken breasts, soap and dishwashing liquid. I will not bore you with detailed pricing but most things were about half Australian prices. Eggs rice and flour were all even cheaper.

We now walked along Wackwella Road a large feeder road into Galle City. It was a very busy one way street into the city. We soon struck Hemas Private Hospital (The leading one in Galle). We went inside and gave it the once over and a very kind receptionist left her station to retrieve an English brochure for us that listed the myriad of Specialists that consult. Seemed very efficient so we would arrive with confidence should the need arise!

Hemas Private Hospital

Hemas Private Hospital

The Galle Co-Op Private Hospital

The Galle Co-Op Private Hospital

A little further along past dozens of Pharmacies we came upon a brand new hospital not yet open. We entered and found out it was a new part of The Galle Co-Op Private Hospital on the other side of the road. Risking life and limb we crossed the busy road and approached staff for a brochure. After a while they produced one in Sri Lankan that listed procedures and their prices. A very busy hospital indeed.

Took a Tuk Tuk to Galle station to enquire about trains to Kandy tomorrow and we have decided to chance a “Change trains at Colombo Fort” to cut a few hours off the journey. Left the station and walked for about a km west along a main artery that was almost exclusively Jewellery shops. Found another more up market supermarket and went in to cool down. Prices were higher than down town but more exclusive goods were being offered. Purchased some tonic for our gin and water for the train in the morning. Tuk Tuk back to Beatrice House as the locals say rain coming this afternoon.

Our experience this morning tells us that Galle is a very liveable city that caters for everything an “aging expat” might need. We were surprised at the variety that this city has to offer. We could very easily live here.