Eating Around the Globe: Sri Lanka


“Traveling without a book is like cooking curry without spices”
Tell them I said so.

With Oliver Twist as my travel companion, I am taking the U-bahn to Vino’s student residence in ‘Margarethenhöhe’, a lovely neighbourhood in Essen. Lots of trees and an early 19th century architecture make it a very picturesque district.

I am so exciteIMG_1057d! He is going to show me how to cook chicken curry, one of my favourite dishes of all time.

Vino knows how to make people smile, whether it is by telling an anecdote from his endless list of crazy party stories or by taking care of his friends.
In the chaotic cosiness of his room, every object is in some way typical of his personality. A short list of items, just to give you an idea:

A massive Black Tea bag, which is actually a shopping bag with wheels.

An untuned guitar.

An impressive painting of two books playing chess. This was a birthday gift from a russian friend with whom he used to play. He couldn’t defeat Vino and therefore painted this in honour of his chess skills.


IMG_1108Lots of candles!

And finally, ‘la pièce de résistence’: a fork, rendered completely unusable, because Vino and his flatmates use it to open their doors when they forget their keys inside…



Vino was born and raised in Sri Lanka. Six years ago he came to Germany and is now studying biomedicine at the university of Duisburg-Essen.
His mother tongue is ‘Tamil’, a language belonging to the Dravidian family, mainly spoken by people from Sri Lanka, Singapore and the southern part of India. It has a fascinating script in which a consonant is always accompanied by a vowel in order to form a character. “The vowels are the soul of the character,” Vino says, “whereas the consonants represent the body. Without vowels, the consonants are dead.”

I guess it’s high time to begin cooking, because I can hear your stomach growling from all the way overhere 😉
Grab all spices you can find in your cupbord, let’s get started!

What you will need for 4 persons:


– 2 onions
– 3 cloves of garlic
– a little piece of ginger
– 1 red pepper (paprika)
– 1 big tomato
– approximately 1 kilo of chicken meat
– coconut milk
– Rice
– the spices:
mustard grains
cumin grains
clove buds (2)
Madras curry powder
Chili powder
cinnamon powder
coriander powder
– aromatic spices to cook with the rice:
clove buds (2)
black cardamom (1)

This is how you prepare it:

Fry the spices in a little bit of coconut oil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and paprika and give it a stir.
IMG_1090When this has all combined together into a nice curry paste, you can add in the chicken and fry until the skin has a nice golden brown colour. Then put in the tomatoes.
When these have become soft you can pour in the coconut milk.
While that is simmering away, you cook the rice together with the aromas in another pan.
Make sure the chicken is well cooked through, before you serve it.

Enjoy your savoury, lip-smacking curry!

நல்லா சாப்பிடுங்கோ. Nallah Saappidungo!




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