Dr Parvathy Kanthasamy could also be dressed to impress in a vibrant silk saree, however she clearly isn’t afraid to get her arms soiled.
Putting some ginger, shallots, curry leaves, grated coconut and dried chilli on an enormous, sturdy grinding stone (batu giling), she units about rolling the lengthy, heavy pestle over the concoction till it kinds a easy paste, a tedious, back-breaking course of that is still a labour of affection for Parvathy.
“Once I was rising up, we used this stone to make moist pastes and likewise for dry grinding. The machines got here later, however someway it doesn’t style the identical while you use the machines, ” she says.
The septuagenarian Parvathy is the mom of Abethan Kantha-samy, the proprietor of common Sri Lankan restaurant Aliyaa Island Restaurant & Bar in Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.
She can also be the particular person accountable for the restaurant’s extensive arsenal of acclaimed Ceylonese meals.
“I taught the chef make all these dishes. He nonetheless calls me to verify that he’s making all the pieces accurately, ” says Parvathy, a professor of Tamil tradition who resides in Canada.
On her most up-to-date journey to KL, Parvathy imparted extra of her Sri Lankan recipes to Aliyaa’s long-standing chef Sivarajan Suppiah, aka Siva.
This burgeoning recipe repertoire has now given rise to the Jaffna Meals Competition, a three-day buffet expertise at Aliyaa from Feb 17 to 19, priced at RM148++ per particular person.
One of many dishes you possibly can count on to savour on the pageant is Jaffna-style crab curry, a scrumptious aquatic affair that options completely cooked crabs slathered in a wealthy, spice-accentuated curry enlivened with the addition of coconut milk.
“It is a recipe that I learnt make in Sri Lanka however I’ve tailored it a bit bit, ” says Parvathy, who grew up in Sri Lanka and learnt make the true-blue meals of her homeland from her mom, additionally an acclai-med residence prepare dinner.
Greens will even kind an integral pressure on the pageant and far of that is all the way down to Parvathy’s childhood, as her household residence was surrounded by a lush backyard full of an assortment of home-grown greens.
“I used to like the standard herbs and greens round our home, just like the moringa tree.
“So I learnt make drumstick (the fruit of the moringa) curry from my aunt, my mum’s sister. Completely different individuals have other ways of cooking it, however I believe her method is absolutely tasty, ” affirms Parvathy.
And he or she’s proper on the cash – the drumstick curry is revelatory, the flavours held collectively by a house-made roasted Jaffna curry powder which provides it verve and dimension.
The drumsticks themselves are extremely pliant and chewy and the pods inside are candy, with a nice pop.
In Sri Lanka, sambals are a recurring facet dish obtainable all through the nation and are usually made up of chillies, lime, salt, coconut and different variables, relying on what’s on supply.
Parvathy’s model of ginger sambal is a recent, enjoyable affair with a gingery underbelly and undulating coconut nuances – an addictive deal with you’ll end up reaching for repeatedly.
Though she is now over 70, Parvathy continues to prepare dinner tirelessly, paying particular consideration to individuals who really want these scrumptious home-cooked Sri Lankan meals.
“In Canada, I prepare dinner so much and provides the meals to aged Sri Lankans in nursing properties, as a result of they actually lengthy for the meals and there’s no one to prepare dinner it for them.
“I by no means tire of cooking for individuals, as a result of I nonetheless have the eagerness and coronary heart for it, ” she says.
PARVATHY’S DRUMSTICK CURRY
1tbsp vegetable oil
1 giant onion, sliced
5 shallots, sliced (non-compulsory)
5 cloves garlic, crushed
three inexperienced chillies, sliced
1 Thai purple chilli, sliced
half tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fennel
10 curry leaves
half tsp fenugreek
1 tsp Kashmir chilli powder
1/four tsp turmeric
2 tsp Jaffna roasted curry powder
2 drumsticks, slit and lower into 5cm items
2 giant or four small tomatoes
2 cups coconut milk (from one small coconut)
half tsp salt
1 tbsp tamarind, soaked in water, juice extracted
1 teaspoon roasted cumin-pepper powder (non-compulsory)
In a big pan, add oil. When sizzling, add onions, garlic and chillies. When onions are smooth, make a effectively in the midst of pan and add mustard seeds.
When seeds splutter within the oil, add fennel and stir until combination is mild brown. Then add curry leaves, fenugreek and chilli powder. Stir collectively for awhile.
Add turmeric, curry powder and drumstick and stir effectively to mix. Add tomatoes and fry till tomatoes have tenderised.
Add coconut milk and salt and depart to simmer for 15 minutes. Then add tamarind and pepper-cumin powder and prepare dinner on low warmth for a couple of minutes. Serve sizzling.