Cookbook ‘ingredients’ coming together nicely

Sri Lankan Spice Guide

Cookbook ‘ingredients’ coming together nicely

Hi everyone

I have not been blogging for a long time. Time passes so quickly when you are having fun! My friends Norman Burns, photographer Craig Kinder and designer Cally Browning, and myself, have been busy working on my Sri Lankan cookbook.

Last August the four of us went on a trip to Sri Lanka so that we could concentrate on the book. We visited Negombo the fishing haven, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Yala, Hambantota, Galle and Unawattune _ not forgetting my childhood home in Hatton. I cannot let you into the secret too much because it would spoil all the fun when the book is published.

Recently we had four days of photo shooting at Craig’s lovely F22 Studio. Shoots took place from 8 am till about 5 pm. It was a very busy four days but it was fun as well. Over the four days I prepared about 40 dishes and needless to say, all the delicious dishes were devoured by the team. Craig and his wife Emma let me use their lovely kitchen. I must say it was much more fun using their large kitchen.
With the photos taken, Cally is fine-tuning the design. Next will be deciding on the final format and securing a printer – we plan a great, easy to use book, which will have some super recipes and fantastic photos. So stay tuned to my website for more details!

Now that winter is upon us why not try some Mulligatawny Soup?

This word was derived from the words Milagu Tanni which means “pepper water”.(“Millagu” means pepper and “tanni” means water). In Tamil cooking this is also referred to as Rasam. When Rasam is made it is classified as a vegetarian soup since no meat bones are used.

When the British Raj came to India they liked this soup and introduced it to the West as Mulligatawny.

There are many variations but this is my version:


A highly seasoned soup with curry flavour which originated from Tamil “Milagutanni” – Pepper water. Coconut milk is added for flavour and richness.

500 grams soup bones
3 cardamom pods
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 cloves garlic
6 peppercorns

1 tablespoon lemon juice (or 1 tablespoon tamarind juice)
1 onion (whole)
3 cloves
1 tablespoon ghee or Margarine
2 onions, finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
10 curry leaves
1/2 cup coconut milk
salt to taste


Boil bones in large saucepan with sufficient water to cover.
Add cardamom pods,curry leaves, coriander seeds, garlic, peppercorns, salt and tamarind pulp and the whole onions studded with cloves. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer gently for about 1 hour until the stock is reduced. Discard bones and strain stock.

Heat ghee and fry the sliced onions. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves and stir for a minute or two. Lower heat and add the stock. Simmer for 5 minutes, add the coconut milk and season with salt to taste.

Until next time, take care!