Lanka Food is a comprehensive guide to Sri Lankan cooking from acclaimed Sydney chef and restaurateur O Tama Carey.
Sitting on the edge of the Indian Ocean, just below India, is a tiny teardrop-shaped island called Sri Lanka – Lanka is sanskrit for island, in Tamil meaning 'that which glitters'. It is a country full of contradictions, and the food of Sri Lanka is equally hard to pin down. While the dishes are slowly gaining international recognition, the foundations and building blocks of Sri Lankan cooking are complex. They reflect the many diverse peoples, history, flavours and ideas that have overlapped to create a cuisine that is distinct yet difficult to define.
It was O Tama’s love of the addictive pancake-like Sri Lankan staple hoppers that drove her to start professionally cooking the food from her youth, her heritage and her travels. In Lanka Food, the Lankan Filling Station owner brings her knowledge together with recipes that demystify vegetable-dominant curries, hoppers, and the full range of spices and curry powders that enliven Sri Lankan dishes.
With essays that further contextualise the cuisine, this cookbook is a guide for people wanting a deeper understanding of the culture and the central place of food, and serves as a wonderful starting point for cooking and sharing Sri Lankan feasts with friends and family at home.
About the Author
O Tama Carey first learnt to cook the food of her Sri Lankan heritage at her mother and grandmother's side - but began her cooking career quite by accident after landing a job in a restaurant kitchen in London's Notting Hill. Since then she has cooked French at Bistro Moncur, Chinese at Billy Kwong and Italian, of sorts, at Berta where she was head chef. In 2018 she opened Lankan Filling Station, her first solo venture, in Sydney's inner-city Darlinghurst. It's here that she spends her time pounding spices, working the floor and communicating the flavours of her Sri Lankan heritage. Outside the restaurant, her interests include beekeeping, salumi making, writing and teaching.