Ambul Thiyal (Sri Lankan Sour Curry of Fish)
Cook time: 40 min
Wash and dry fish, cut into serving pieces.
Soak tamarind in vinegar until its soft. (If tamarind is very dry, heat in an enamel saucepan for a few minutes adding some of the water).
When cool enough to handle, squeeze the tamarind in the liquid to dissolve the pulp, strain through a fine nylon sieve and discard seeds and fibres.
Put all ingredients into a pan (preferably an enamel or stainless steel pan) and bring to the boil.
Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until fish is cooked and gravy is thick.
Shake pan or turn fish pieces carefully once or twice during cooking.
Serve with white rice.
Sri Lanka Pittu
Steaming is done in a special cylindrical mould. Thraditionally, this mould was made out of hollow bamboo (see the picture below). Now, moulds made out of aluminium together with purpose made pots are available. In northern Sri Lanka, a conical mould woven out of leaves of Palmyra Palm. In this case, scraped coconut is not inter-layered, but mixed evenly with the granules of flour mix. In the last case, the mix can even be steamed in a normal steaming pan
Sri Lankan Recipes, Food and Cooking
Formerly known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka is an island situated in the Indian Ocean just south of India. It has a coastline of 1,340 km and a terrain made up of central highlands, lowland plains and coastal belt. There are dense evergreen rain forests in the south-west and although there are a few deep-water bays and many rivers, there are no natural lakes. The climate is warm subtropical with high humidity in the lowlands. Monsoonal rainfall is generally sufficient for agriculture except in the north of the island.
Ancient times, History and Influences on Sri Lankan Cooking
The island is estimated to have been colonised by the Balangoda people about 34,000 years ago. The people called the Veddas (forest-dwellers) are believed to have inhabited Sri Lanka's semi-evergreen dry forest called the Wanni, for at least 16,000. Although the Balangoda are originally believed to have been hunter gatherers who generally lived in caves and having been responsible for creating Horton Plains situated in the central hills, by burning the trees in order to catch game, the discovery of oats and barley on the plains dating to c15,000 BC suggest they may also have used the land for agricultural purposes. Their diets included deer, wild boar and reptilians as confirmed by the discovery of these bones at various sites. The meat was probably roasted over an open. With such a large coastline, not surprisingly plenty of fish including shark was also part of their daily diet.
Sri Lankan Soups and Main Course recipes