Wednesday, 14 August 2013 00:00
Though a tiny island, the varied cuisine of Sri Lanka makes an elaborate mosaic through its rich heritage and culture. Jaffna cuisine, the very epitome of fine northern cuisine, will be presented in all its great flavour at the Gardenia Coffee Shop at the Ramada from 17 to 25 August.
With a history spanning thousands of years in a wondrous blend of great kings, colonial influences and a deep Hindu culture, Jaffna cuisine is as distinct as the region itself. What’s more, the sea beyond the stunning Jaffna lagoon makes fresh seafood dishes an integral part of the culinary offerings.
A true lover of these delights might whisper to you that the best place to have authentic Jaffna cuisine is in the cosy comfort of a friendly home in the north of the island itself. It is this very homemade cuisine that Yaal Virindu recreates for you. To be sure that flavours are true to age old recipes, the Ramada has brought down a team of skilled chefs from Jaffna itself. Ingredients are carefully chosen with spices being ground by the chefs – nothing is spared in the quest to meet perfection
The buffet will entail all of Jaffna’s favourite dishes and some that may be considered hidden treasures. ‘Odiyal Kool’, a delicacy of seafood and vegetables in a broth is a wonderful dish to begin with. ‘Pal appam’ or milk hoppers and tangy ‘puli chadam’, a delicious tamarind rice are great bases to try out a range of curries.
The Jaffna style crab curry is the clear must try and pairs off wonderfully with the ‘kathirikkai’ or fried brinjal curry with coconut milk. Gently marinated ‘meen poriyal’ or fried fish and the ‘canawai varuval’ or fried cuttlefish are more in the range of seafood offerings whilst the ‘aattu erachi kulambu’ is a mutton dish made with a delightful concoction of spices including coriander and cumin seeds.
Exotic vegetarian dishes popular in the north add even more variety to the buffet – ‘maravalli’ and ‘pusanikai’ curry or manioc and pumpkin, ‘pelakottai poriyal’ of fried jack fruit seed and the ‘murunga’ leaves varai are just a few.
Jaffna’s most popular pudding, the ‘rasa valli’ makes its appearance with its distinct purple colour stemming from the yam it is made of. The ‘sago payasam’ with cashew and raisins, the ‘seeni ariyatharam’, a crunchy dessert and ‘pinatu’, a palmyrah sweetmeat, are sure to gratify your cravings.
As you walk into the Gardenia Coffee Shop be welcomed by the charm of Jaffna itself with fresh palmyrah trees, the waft of jasmine flowers and live instrumental music of the north. Yaal Virindu will be on at the Ramada, Colombo from 17 August to 25 August for dinner only. Enjoy this splendid spread at Rs. 1,550+++ per person. Call 2422001 for reservations.