10 Jan, 2016
The world is divided into two parts- the garlic lovers and the garlic haters! Can there be anything more polarising than a harmless looking clove of this humble bulb?
Well… Whether you go weak in the knees with just the aroma of it’sintense flavour, or have never really been a fan of its overpowering slightly bossy nature, the fact of the matter is that you cannot go far on any culinary journey anywhere in the world without encountering this pungent and very distinct creation.
Let’s begin at home- just a dash of crushed or chopped garlic lifts our curries, and can there be any comparable joy to a nicely crisp Garlic Naan getting dunked in a greasy but comforting bowl of your favourite daal? Which reminds me actually of the magical number garlic weaves on any kind of breads- truly a made for each other jodi! From the overdone garlic bread to herbed toasties to freshly baked French baguettes smeared with garlic to crostini and delightful bruschetta- this is a meal on the go that is both filling and flavourful.
All good things come in small packages, and so even flavour intense cultures like India and Thailand use garlic with caution. However, one of my most memorable meals has actually been a home cooked curry and rice combination savoured in the hills of Ella in Sri Lanka whose main star was a most stellar garlic clove curry. Yes- whole garlic cloves swimming lazily with each in a creamy curry, soft and tender, with just a hint of garlicyness and as mushy as a Yash Raj film.
I could ramble on my clear love for garlic, and how it adds bounce to grilled fish, magic to stir fries and life to soups. I could also tell you that it helps keep the devil away if you please. But why not explore our menu and discover for yourself the headiness this cute chunky bulb has to offer and start off a love affair of your own?
02 Jan, 2016
Sri Lanka is a land of many charms and it is incredible how such a seemingly tiny nation can pack in so much diversity in its topography, climate, culture and of course food. While arguably the culinary claim to fame of this emerald isle is the “curry and rice” combination which is a stunning array of unique gravies with a variety of rice, there are other treasures to be revealed as well.
The most notable of these is the incredible aquatic life that is on offer to tickle your palate. With a coastline that is 1340 km long, is it surprising that fish and shellfish sneak into almost every part of food that is eaten along the coast? For purists looking to indulge in nothing but the best, be prepared to be spoilt, and our destination for that is picturesque Mirissa. Mirissa is 240 kms south of Colombo, almost the southernmost tip of the island and is an idyllic beach where you can gently sip on a cocktail, soak your feet into warm water and of course dive into sumptuous seafood.
The fish here is so fresh that you can almost see them diving back into the ocean waters. Daily catch is laid out over boxes of ice and displayed with pride by local shack owners, each vying for your attention and belly. From large lobsters, juicy king prawns, Red Snappers to King Fish, the most delicious, freshest and most flavourful goodness from the waters is served up with absolute perfection.
Since the catch is so incredibly fresh, it requires little work before serving, and no matter where you pick your piece up from, it is typically lashed with lemon and garlic and butter and served up with grilled vegetables and your choice of rice or potatoes. The shellfish calls for hard work, but the meat inside is so tender and so sweet that you cannot help but smile with satisfaction when you gently savour it. And of course, it helps that this magical meal is being consumed besides the waves, on a vast starry night, and amidst people that are out to have the best night of their lives.