Camellia Sri Lankan Restaurant, Manuka

Kategasma - Entree - So Delicious!

One of the awesome things about being in a relationship with Em is the Sri Lankan food! She and her family cook amazing food; the spices, the coconut, the beautiful broken-down vegetables and meat – and of course, the chilli!

When we heard that there was a new Sri Lankan restaurant in town, we ran over there right away!

“Do you think you can take the heat?” asks Em as we run over to Camellia Sri Lankan restaurant “I’m not white, remember!” I protest. “Thats only a figment of your imagination. I’m cool as a native Sri Lankan when it comes to chilli!” but Em is skeptical, “Yeah right, honkey”.

Camellia is a Sri Lankan and Modern Australian restaurant, I had not heard of many of the menu items and I rubbed my hands together.

Em was so Hangry that day :)
Em was so Hangry that day πŸ™‚
Waiting to EAT!
Waiting to EAT!

I wanted to try the unpronounceable dishes of course, things that are unique and I haven’t tried before, so for entree we chose Kategasma.

I’m glad we ordered exotic – this was dish of the night! It was a wonderful balance of sweet, sour, salty and hot. Sounds like south east asian cuisine right? Right! Em said that this is a modern Sri Lankan take on it. Beautifully cooked fish, sweet and hot devilled sauce with spices – just delicious, but the real surprise was how well the fresh red onion just completed the dish. You might think this would overpower the rest, not at all, it really did work well with the very deep flavour of the sauce. Great dish!

Emelia suggested Kottu Roti. It is like a fried rice or Biriyani with the edition of small chopped up pieces of roti. We had this with the signature beef curry.

Kottu Roti seems to be all about texture, the roti adds a really satisfying chewiness and bite to the dish. The beef curry was very deep in flavour, and for those of our readers who are worried about heat in these dishes, worry not! All the food was mild to medium… Em didn’t have to carry the Whiteboy out in a wheelbarrow! πŸ™‚

Beef Curry-Delicious.
Beef Curry-Delicious.

We really felt like curry this night, so we ordered them all! To be honest they have a lot more on their menu, but lets face it – you come to a Sri Lankan restaurant for the curry. The chicken and lamb curries were equally as amazing as the chicken. As different in flavour as they all were, they shared three common themes: Refined, deep and DELICIOUS!

String hoppers - a unique Sri Lankan accompaniment to food :)
String hoppers – a unique Sri Lankan accompaniment to food πŸ™‚
String hoppers and Chicken curry
String hoppers and Chicken curry
Lamb Curry
Lamb Curry

The service was very attentive and polite and the food was outstanding – and with the moderate price, it is highly recommended by us. Run down there! If you see an over excited Sri Lankan midget named EMELIA and an awesome whiteboy running through the streets of Manuka you know what’s going on! πŸ™‚

I survived the Sri Lankan onslaught of CHILLI!!
I survived the Sri Lankan onslaught of CHILLI!!

Camellia Restaurant Sri Lankan Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Dhal – Lankan Style – Parippu

Simple dhal - A staple in every Sri Lankan home
Simple dhal – A staple in every Sri Lankan home

Most of you know that I come from a Sri Lankan family and have grown up eating Sri Lankan food. While I really love cooking and eating food from all over the world, there comes a time when that Sri Lankan craving hits, and that craving must be obeyed!

My quick and easy Sri Lankan fix is a simple Dhal. It’s healthy, goes great with some brown rice and you can make it in less that 15 minutes.

Masala Dharba

Ingredients

1C red lentils
1 small onion finely diced
1 green chilli finely chopped
10 curry leaves
1/4 tsp black mustard seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (optional)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2C Coconut milk
2C water
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil
Salt to taste

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Method

1. Wash the lentils thoroughly.

2. Heat the oil, fry the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. Then add the onions and curry leaves and when the onions caramalised add in lentils, turmeric, cinnamon and water and cook over a low heat. Add salt and the milk and continue to cook for about 10 minutes and the dhal curry is ready for serving. Once the dhal is cooked, it will turn yellow in colour and will have a nice mushy texture.

3. Serve with steamed rice.

See easy peasy!!!!

Dhal Success!  YUM!
Dhal Success! YUM!

So tell me friends… What’s your ultimate comfort food?