Sri Lankan rice and curry of (clockwise from bottom left) gotukola mallum (shredded Indian pennywort), curried pumpkin in coconut milk, fried leeks, jackfruit seeds with cabbage, stir-fried carrot, deep fried bitter gourd, date and lime jam, and (in the centre) kaluheeneti rice and chicken curry.

Lunch in Cinnamon Gardens

Beetroot salad, Café Kumbuk, September 2022.

• 35mm • f/2 • 1/250 • ISO100 • Canon R6 & RF 35/1.8 courtesy Canon/Metropolitan.

Sour Sweet

One of my favourite fruit, soursop (Annona muricata), known locally as anodha or katu atha, is native to tropical parts of the Americas, but is widely cultivated in Indonesia, from where it was probably introduced to Sri Lanka by the Dutch. The name soursop is a derivative of the Dutch zuurzak, and has nothing to do with the fruit’s flavour, which is comparable to pineapple and mangosteen, but with a texture more like durian. It’s impossible to eat a good soursop without juice running down one’s chin, so the fruit also makes an excellent drink. Colombo, June 2021.

Slow Food

Sri Lankan beef curry cooked for an hour and a half over a low flame. June 2021.
Beef topside.