we were excited to be invited to cook with a friend of ours that owns a fantastic hole in the wall place in Galle Fort called Spoons. Babbis is a legend, having a natural flair for home cooked traditional dishes that he learnt from Mum, he and his brother in law run this place, with only 16 covers it is open for lunch and dinner and is always packed.
So on the menu today is aubergine curry, dahl, chicken curry and tempura carrots. All ingredients are fresh from the market and we cooked everything within an hour. The base spices were pretty much the same, roasted curry powder, chilli powder and flakes, the flakes being more potent than the powder! and turmeric. Onion, garlic, ginger, cinnamon and fresh chillies featured in all dishes and of course plenty of curry leaves. We cooked with coconut oil and finished a number of the dishes with coconut milk. Pretty much most homes in Sri Lanka have a piece of kit for extracting the coconut meat, it is a small stool with a piece of wood with a round blade that basically grates the coconut out of the shell, it’s not as easy at it looks when you watch the locals doing it (there’s a photo below). They then add water to the coconut meat and squeeze it in their hands to get the coconut milk.
We thoroughly enjoyed cooking with Babbis and of course eating what we’re prepared together.