Fire and Spice: The Cuisine of Sri Lanka

Heather Jansz Balasuriya, Author McGraw-Hill Companies $19.95 (227p) ISBN 978-0-07-003549-2
According to Sri Lankan-born Balasuriya and Minneapolis Star and Tribune writer Winegar, only one Sri Lankan restaurant exists in the U.S.--the Sri Lanka Curry House in Minneapolis, co-owned and managed by Balasuriya. So to sample the ``fiery, aromatic and vivid'' food of the island once known as Ceylon, you will most likely have to cook it. This book is a good introduction to a little-known cuisine. Historical and cultural background information relates the diverse influences--Indian, Arabic, Malaysian, Portuguese, Dutch, British--on this early center of maritime commerce and its cookery. Recipes range from soups, breads, curries and condiments familiar to any Indian-food fancier to indigenous specialties, such as the pancake-like hopper, and Americanized hybrids of questionable appeal (``Hellaciously Hot Sloppy Joes,'' ``Potato Salad with a Kick''). Dishes are simple to prepare, if you've got frickadels (deep-fried meatballs), jaggery (palm sap sweetener) and the like on hand. If you go too far in your taste for authenticity, there is even a note on how to cool an inflamed mouth (by drinking tea, beer, tomato juice or lemonade). A glossary and a list of mail-order sources are appended. Illustrated. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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