Review: Sri Lankan Food Festival at Sofitel, Mumbai BKC

Influenced by geography, colonization & intertwining cultures with other countries, Sri Lankan cuisine is a melting pot of flavors. Fiery curries made with meat- chicken, mutton/goat, pork, local vegetables & seafood in coconut gravy are paired with boiled or steamed rice, served with a dash of sambol (made with freshly grated coconut, red chilies, shallots & dried fish) can be enjoyed across restaurants or homes in this tropical paradise. Many say a visit to Sri Lanka is worth for its food alone....but prepare those taste buds to sample spicy flavors :)

An interesting amalgamation of history, cultural factors & geographical conditions, Sri Lankan cuisine is distinct & has gained wide spread popularity. Have we now tempted you to try Sri Lankan cuisine? Want to try it closer to home? Pondicherry cafe- the 24 hour dining outlet of Sofitel Mumbai, BKC is serving delicious traditional Sri Lankan delicacies in a 9 day festival prepared by Chef Julinda Pushpa Kumara.

Chef Julinda Pushpa Kumara.

We stepped into Pondicherry cafe & instantly noticed traditional decor elements that set the right mood for the evening ahead.

A live station was serving hot pooris with coconut sambol & an onion relish-tempting :) We ordered some & sat back with some salads from the spread. The coconut sambol was fresh & delicately flavored, though low on spice & we loved it instantly. In fact, we took many servings of the sambol that paired beautifully with our curry-rice combo.

Next, we tried Kottu roti, a favorite street food across Sri Lanka that reminded us about the Kothu parotta we had recently relished in Chennai. And we were intrigued!! A quick search confirmed our thoughts. A local Sri Lankan favorite, this dish has been adapted & localized in the South of India.

For the main course, we tried two types of rice- red rice & chicken & turmeric rice cooked in Sri Lankan style with various curries. Sri Lankan cuisine inculcates many tropical fruits like pineapple in their cuisine & we enjoyed a dry pepper pineapple preparation along with a robust pineapple curry.

Pepper pineapple at Sofitel Mumbai, BKC

The pineapple curry was made in coconut milk with a hint of cinnamon. The flavour was intense & we prodded Chef Julinda Pushpa Kumara to tell us more about the famed Sri Lankan curries.

The secret ingredient that flavors Sri Lankan curries is a dark roasted Sri Lankan curry powder, a delicious blend of coriander seeds, black pepper, cumin, mustard, fennel seeds, cloves,cardamom seeds & raw rice. The curry powder is fragrant, bursting with flavors & imparts the dark color to the curries.

We also tried Chicken Baduma (Sri Lankan style roasted or grilled chicken) & Sri Lankan pork curry. Both the dishes had a beautiful balance of flavors. The pork curry is a semi dry preparation & can be enjoyed as a side dish.

For desserts, we tried Watalappan - a traditional dessert made with coconut milk, crushed cardamom, jaggery & a hint of caramelized sugar & served topped with cashew nuts.

If you want to enjoy a delicious culinary safari with Sri Lankan favorites, head to Sofitel Mumbai, BKC & get instantly transported to the tropical shores of Sri Lanka.

Where- Pondicherry Cafe, Sofitel Mumbai-BKC

From- January 20th till January 29th 2017

Call for reservations- (022) 61175115