A Sri Lankan Safari in Yala National Park
After spending Christmas and New Year in Unawatuna on our Sri Lankan Adventure we had 4/5 days at the end of our trip where we hadn’t planned anything in particular.
How to cook a traditional Sri Lankan Curry | Cooking class
We found a cooking class.
Any travelling experience for us tends to involve food and when we landed in Unawatuna in December 2018 we were delighted to find that one of the restaurants we visited did cooking classes. This restaurant, Wasanthas, was an extension of the families home and the whole family were involved in cooking, serving and generally making sure that diners had a lovely time. The menu was limited but delicious so we signed up for a class the following day to learn how to cook a Sri Lankan Curry. Find out more here.
Where was the cooking class?
The restaurant was Wasantha’s Cuisine & Cookery and is only a short walk away from the beach. You can reach Wasantha by WhatsApp +94 77 288 6761 and that seems to be their preferred way of contacting them. Wasantha’s daughters speak really good English and they really are a lovely family. We had a few meals there during our stay as well as the cooking class.
The Market at Galle – Lets get the Sri Lankan Curry ingredients
The first part of the cooking class was a trip to the market. Traditional Sri Lankan curries are served with 3 or 4 different curries and rice so we had to choose our ingredients. A Tuk Tuk was sent to pick us up from our hotel and took us to the market in Galle.
What a market, rows and rows of wonderful produce, all fresh and some I didn’t recognise at all. We got to choose our vegetables and Wasantha would explain what were the best vegetables to work with and the different results we’d get. We then choose some chicken and had a good look round the market. As it was afternoon it was near to closing which made it better as it wasn’t as busy. We love any kind of markets !
Here’s how the Sri Lankan curry came together
Wasantha’s mum explained carefully how she made her spices and that each family in Sri Lanka had their own variation on their spice mix. She then proceeded to show us how to cut up the vegetables and meat for the curries. She took each step really slowly and explained things through her daughter carefully.
She had an amazing machine that scraped out the insides of the coconuts to make the coconut milk and that was Chris’s job to get all the gorgeous white flakey coconut out from its shell. She showed us how to make the coconut milk that she’d then use for the rice and before long we had an array of curries all ready to eat. I absolutely loved her cooking bowls and the way she made it all see so simple.
So how was the food?
The food was amazing. The curries varied in spice and temperature and were all very different and extremely delicious. Chris asked for some of her recipes and she had a notebook that looked like it had been with her family for generations. All threadbare and stained from various spices. Chris took a few pictures on his phone but to be honest I’m not sure we’d be able to make the writing out.
I particularly loved the pans that Wasantha used and she had a particular grinding gadget for getting the coconut flesh out of the shell. We were so impressed with that we asked a Tuk Tuk driver to take us to a hardware store where we bought one to take home. Goodness knows what the airline x ray people made of that!
We always look for a cooking class when we are on our travels. Its a great way to get to know the culture of the place as well as how the locals actually cook. If you can find one like this one that takes you out to the local markets to buy your ingredients.
Booking resources for your trip
Tours & Tickets
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A Sri Lankan Safari in Yala National Park
Exploring Galle, Sri Lanka
One of the things we love to do when visiting a new city is to see as much of it as we can with the time allowed. I don’t know about anyone else but I hate to miss anything.
Arriving at Galle from the train we exited the station and hailed a Tuk Tuk. There were loads around and we just chose the first one and asked him to take us to Unawatuna.