Healthy local food is the theme of the third season of Osu Kutiya. Presented by Otara Gunewardene and Chef Publis Silva of Mount Lavinia Hotel, the culinary programme promotes cruelty-free Sri Lankan cuisine with dishes prepared to appeal to all five senses.
Words Keshini De Silva
The tropical landscape of the island blossoms with a bountiful collection of vegetables and fruits filled with flavour and nourishment. While preserving centuries of Sri Lankan culinary knowledge, Osu Kutiya promotes a healthy, cruelty-free and compassionate lifestyle. In this series, a delicious dish is prepared with Thibbatu (Turkey Berry/Wild Eggplant), a fibrous vegetable that especially aides the prevention of diabetes. In Sri Lanka, 90 per cent of the banana plant is used for cuisine, and a favourite island delicacy is the preparation of Kehel Muwa (Banana Blossom). Chef Publis shows how to use Kehel Muwa as an alternative to dried sprats/fish and prepare a vegan meal that will have anyone, asking for more. As the food steaming with mouthwatering aromas are served into dishes, Osu Kutiya provides simple and encouraging tips for enhancing taste and nutrition by placing a strong emphasis on purchasing and preparing food: “Buy fresh vegetables and fruits from the Pola”, and “Make food with pleasant and kind thoughts.”
Thibbatu Mallum (Wild Eggplant Salad)
Grated coconut 100g
Sliced Bombay onion 30g
Chopped garlic 25g
Lime juice 15ml
Chopped green chilli 2 nos
Soak the thibbatu in warm water for 20 minutes. Afterwards, wash the thibbatu and remove the seeds. Fry the mustard seeds in a pan till they pop. Add onions and thibbatu, and sauté. Reduce the flame and allow to simmer while stirring occasionally. In the meantime, in a separate bowl, mix the grated coconut, garlic, salt, turmeric, curry leaves and pepper. Stir in the coconut mixture to the pan. Take the mixture off the stove, add lime to taste and serve hot.
Kehel Muwa saha Carrot Baduma (Tempered Banana Blossom and Carrot)
Cleaned and finely cut Kehel Muwa 500g
Sliced carrot 150g
Chopped onion 2 nos
Chopped garlic 15g
Lime juice 15ml
Crushed black pepper 10g
Corn oil 10ml
Deep fry the finely cut kehel muwa and leave it to rest. In the meantime, sauté onions, garlic, green chilli and pandan leaves in oil. After the onions are soft add the spice powder. Add kehel muwa to the pan and mix well. Mix in coconut milk. Stir in the carrots, leeks and capsicum, and sauté till carrots are soft. Add crushed pepper and salt to taste. Take the pan off the stove, add lime and serve hot.