A Los Angeles Times standout book of the season
A National Post best cookbook of 2020
Featured by Eater Seattle, Seattle Times, National Post, Globe and Mail, CBC News, CTV News, and the Boston Lanka Network
"This vegetable and seafood-heavy book has recipes for all the classics . . . I would plead for as a kid . . . It’s a technique-heavy book, full of reliable instructions and gorgeous, nostalgic photographs.” —Epicurious
Ruwanmali Samarakoon-Amunugama’s childhood memories of visits to her parents’ homeland in Sri Lanka were filled with colourful trips to the market, lively, happy meals with her extended family, and long, scenic car rides from the capital of Colombo, past tea estates and farmers’ stalls, into the hill country around Kandy.
In Milk, Spice and Curry Leaves, Ruwan shares the rustic, tropical flavours of these Sri Lankan visits—sweet pineapple and mango, bitter gourd, toothsome cashews, spicy chili pepper, tart lime, and many more—in recipes designed with North American home cooks in mind.
She introduces the three pillars of Sri Lankan cuisine: coconut milk, rice, and spice, and walks readers through the steps to make the two foundational Sri Lankan curry powders (roasted and unroasted). She also goes into detail on specialty products—like goraka, pandanus leaves, tamarind, and young jackfruit—always with attention to using ingredients available in North American grocery stores.
With lush food photography and styling, hand-drawn illustrations, heirloom photos and ephemera, Milk, Spice and Curry Leaves is an invitation to a way of cooking and a family of traditions from the country known as “the Pearl of the Indian Ocean.”
Ruwanmali Samarakoon-Amunugama learned to cook Sri Lankan food from her mother and grandmother.
Her knowledge of South Asian foods and ingredients has been further enhanced by numerous trips to Sri Lanka and other parts of Asia.
Born in Mississauga, Ontario, Ruwan graduated from Simon Fraser University and has lived in British Columbia, Alberta, Ottawa, and Washington state.