Learn to Cook Sri Lankan Food

After a week of indulging in Sri Lankan deliciousness, it was high time I got myself back into the kitchen to see first hand how they do it. There are many places you will find along the way that offer cooking lessons – hell go for it – take a couple! However, I really must recommend taking a class with Chandika from Ella’s Spice Garden.

At 27, and having started these classes already 5 years ago, his knowledge and teaching skills are up to a high standard and his English is excellent – and man his humor – he’s probably one of the wittiest people I’ve met in a long time! He can really dish it out πŸ˜‰ One of my favourite responses of his was to a question he asked the class on how many chilis we thought were used in Sri Lankan dishes, somebody answered with 8 or something. With a slight giggle under his poker face insinuating that the answer was outrageous he said “More than 5 chilis – you can go to the space without a rocket”.

The class is 3 hours, from 5pm – 8pm, and you get to enjoy all the treats you created in the kitchen. AND you get a little recipe book of all the things you cooked to go with it – bonus! His classes are interactive and fun, he really gets everyone involved, and my what a treat to learn the secrets of Sri Lankan cooking! At LKR 2500 ($17) there’s really no question. They also have a little spice garden where they grow their own spices, it’s interesting to see where the spices actually come from.

What you will learn:

  • A run through of all the typical spices used in Sri Lankan cuisine
  • Garlic Curry – I kid you not – they use 20 cloves of garlic for one portion! Sounds intense but the way the garlic is cooked it comes out silky smooth and slightly sweet, topped off with all the amazing spices – bomber!!
  • Potato Curry – you will find this curry as a part of every “Rice and Curry” meal throughout Sri Lanka, bursting with deliciousness
  • Rice and Papadams – because no curry is complete without them
  • Dhal Curry – MY ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE!! Never before have I eaten Dhal so tasty. Eaten with breakfast and dinner, I was hooked after the first day
  • Coconut Sambol – Another favourite, usually eaten with breakfast. Made from freshly grated coconuts Β seasoned with spices and fresh lime – how can you say no! Did you know: They use the coconut shells as firewood as it burns slowly – very economical.

After class (once you’ve been nearly driven to murder because you’re so hungry and tortured by the delicious smells) you get to enjoy a lovely dinner of all the dishes, hosted by Chandika in his home.

Sri Lankan food, although using similar flavours to it’s heavyweight cousin, India, is a completely unique cuisine bursting with such an intensity of spices, you literally fall off your chair Β with every mouthful. Check out this post on some of the typical dishes you can find on your journey through this stunning country.

Go for it!

If you want to learn to cook Sri Lankan foodΒ go find these guys and get some authentic insight into this amazing cuisine. They don’t do bookings over the phone but it’s easy to find once you are in the little town of Ella, so just pop in and get your name on the list.

Find them on Trip Advisor

Here are some pics from the class to give you a taste!

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