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Kandy calling

Get a taste of authentic Sri Lankan cuisine at the ongoing food festival .


THE CASINO Hotel is hosting `Kandy', a Sri Lankan Food Festival offering `flavours with a difference'. Enhancing this island cuisine that harnesses spices and ingredients familiar to the Malayali palate, the hotel focuses on a variety of flavours that can be created simply by the different use of similar ingredients. And with an array of spices thrown in, the festival has a plethora of dishes starting from its popular fish and lentil soup subtly flavoured with cumin and coriander, to a host of side dishes accompanied by rice and breads.

Of these, unique remain the Sri Lankan veg- roll, which is a crumb fry, made of maida stuffed with paneer and potato that has been cooked in coconut milk. Other delights include the popular `Palandy', a preparation of chicken in yogurt with a hint of lemon grass. This delightfully unique preparation along with `Isso Badum', a dry prawn curry made of Sri Lankan spice mix and blanched spinach, adds much to the spread.

Most of these Sri Lankan creations blend well with rice, especially the `Kaha Bath', lightly flavoured with pepper, curry leaves and a dash of turmeric that is savoured along with a host of other dishes like `Kukkulu Muringa Kola Vanjanaye', a mixture of crab and ground drumstick leaves cooked in coconut milk and flavoured with a mix of Sri Lankan spices.

For the ardent vegetarians, the festival provides variety that includes `Mallun'- spinach with dried coconut, and a spicy eggplant curry called `Wam Battu Pahi', or `Ala Badun', a spicy potato based dish peppered with paprika. The flavours portrayed far exceeds those of the usual nomenclature, and with Sri-Lanka's famous `Vatallapam' sweetened with jaggerry and `Poldosi', a sweet-meat prepared out of rava and coconut milk, this cuisine tempers itself as one close to our cuisine, yet different in its own taste.

A buffet dinner on every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the festival remains a la carte the rest of the week. Priced at Rs. 350 plus taxes, the festival is on till June 28.

TANYA ABRAHAM

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