Episode two of My Sri Lanka with Peter Kuruvita takes us north east from Colombo to central Sri Lanka and to the stunning Sigiriya, an ancient palace built on top of a rock. The vista is stunning. And true to Peter’s raw and real form, he cooks King’s chicken curry in shorts, barefoot while a dog hovers around. The special ingredient here is sandalwood, yes the stuff you’ve worn as perfume or body lotion. Here, Peter throws a small cutting into the curry.
The colour for episode two is green, from the luscious leaves of the central jungle to the dark green river and the pandan leaves Peter uses in the curry.
This episode goes even greener as he visits a farm that is off the beaten track. It’s on the edge of the jungle and only accessible by boat. The farmers don’t have cars, electricity or tvs. They live in treetop houses to keep guard against elephants and monkeys attacking their crops. Against this lush green backdrop, Peter goes fishing with the locals and uses a freshly caught black fish to cook ambul thial (also spelt thiyal), a sour fish curry. The sheer number of ingredients gives you a sense of the rich texture and flavours in Sri Lankan cooking.
While still raw, you get a sense that Peter is getting used to the camera. He’s more comfortable allowing more of his personality to come through, making this series even more engaging.
Sri Lanka is probably less of a tourist destination than Australia’s current favourite, Vietnam so you’re likely to find much in this show that is exotic, enchanting and ultimately enthralling.
Episode two airs this coming Thursday, 10th October 2011, 7.30pm.
My Sri Lanka with Peter Kuruvita
SBS One, Thursdays 7.30pm
More on episode one.
Disclosure: noodlies Sydney food blog is a passion I indulge in after hours. During the day, I am an employee of SBS, however, not in a food related area.
Born in 1963 in Fulham, to an Sri Lankan father and Austrian mother, Kuruvita lived the first four years of his life in England. In 1967 Kuruvita’s family decided to move to his father’s hometown of Colombo, Sri Lanka. In 1974 Kuruvita and his family moved to Sydney, Australia.
He spent only 7 years in sri lanka, from when he was 4 years to when he was 11 years old.
This explains his fake, un-authentic sri lankan cookery. For instance , contrary to what he shows on TV, Sri Lankans dont use fish/soy/oyster sauce in their cooking.
Watch Rick Stein for the real thing
thats not true, my parents were born and brought up in sri lanka will they were in their 30’s which is when they moved to england and my mother sometimes uses fish and oyster sauces in her cooking. Its a personal take on traditional dishes.
Big Peter Kuruvita fan here!! Both my parents are Sri Lankan and having eaten Sri Lankan food all my life, I can affirm that Peter’s cooking is the real deal. I also love his cook book Serendip. The photography and stories in the book are beautiful. I was really excited about his cooking series on Australian SBS. However, being based in London I was unable to watch the on demand episodes on “My Sri Lanka” on the SBS website. So I decided to buy it just now on dvd, however international delivery charges are even higher than the cost of the dvd :-(( When is it going to be available on Amazon??