7/24/18: 25th Bday In Sri Lanka

I started my 25th year of life by sleeping in. We went down for breakfast around 9:30 and feasted on hoppers, potato curry, onion sambol, and fruit.

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We left for the beach and laid out on the sun beds. The waves were insane– they’d break about 5 times before finally reaching shore, and there was no way to predict how and when each wave would break. They were looking a bit intimidating, but there were some people swimming so that gave me some comfort.

We decided to test it out and walked into the ocean. It was ok at first, but the farther we went in, the more waves would come in, one after the other. It was impossible to just relax. It was a constant toss up between ducking and jumping. Needless to say, I was tired of it after only a few minutes and got out to relax on the sun bed some more.

We went back to the hotel after about an hour. Adrian was really tired and wanted to nap, and I blogged a bit.

We had until 3:30 to chill— that was when our cooking class was scheduled to begin. Around 3, I realized that I had multiple missed calls from someone. I called the number back, and it turned out to be the cooking school. She told me she had to cancel the class because she didn’t have enough bookings. Disappointed, I called another place, Amarasinghe Guest House, to see if they had any availability. Luckily, they did. Class would start at 4.

It was super close by, and we were there in 5 minutes. There were two others in the class— a couple, both French Canadians from Montreal.

The teacher was super cool and outgoing. First she had us identify all the staple spices used in Sri Lankan cooking— mustard, chili, turmeric, black pepper, curry, and dry mix. She also showed us cardamom, pandan leaves, and curry leaves, which are also very important in Sri Lankan kitchens.

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We were given some fresh fruit juices as we took in all the info. They were made with papaya, passion fruit, and pineapple. So good!

We got to working on our six dishes— daal, okra curry, pumpkin curry , tomato curry , pineapple chutney, and coconut sambol.

We took turns on the tasks. Some of us would be on recipe-writing duty, while others were on stir duty, chopping duty, and paste-making duty. The pastes for each recipe generally used similar ingredients— garlic, pandan leaves, cinnamon, curry leaves, and ginger.

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Making the paste
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Okra curry

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The Sri Lankans use a special knife that faces upwards, and you cut the vegetables going down into the knife. It was a bit scary to handle since you could seriously cut yourself at any moment. The teacher was so good at it, though. She could cut everything super quickly and nonchalantly. She would be just chatting away while cutting an entire pineapple into tiny pieces without looking down once.

Once everything was finished, we sat down to eat.

My favorites were the tomato and pumpkin. I can’t wait to make them at home!!

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The Canadians (Vincent and Mary), Adrian, and I

It was crazy that everything was completely vegan. Like, I didn’t even have to say I was vegetarian, let alone vegan, and I could eat every single thing. I felt like I was in an alternate universe.

We walked back to the hotel around 6. I wanted to go to the vegan cafe down the street, Ahimsa, to see if they had any cakes or cookies. I wanted a bday treat!

We got there and the gate was closed, so I assumed it wasn’t open. Sad. We walked back to the hotel to watch some Netflix. We decided on Argo. I ate a coconut cookie that I had leftover from a while ago, plus some chocolate. At least it was better than nothing.

Argo was good!! I can’t believe it’s based on a true story. So crazy.

We watched a little Queer Eye before I dozed off around 11:30. Such a wild 25th!!!

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