Hey! I'm Marie - I was born, grew up and still live in London, now with my husband, Ben, and our two semi-Bengal cats - Mowgli and Yoda. I'm half Sri Lankan - my Dad is from Sri Lanka, and although he's lived here since he finished school, we still travel over there a lot - it's kind of like our second home. We all love it! So much, in fact, that my husband and I just had our wedding out there in February! We couldn't imagine doing it anywhere else!
The best thing for me about Sri Lanka is the food! It's amazing... So much variety! So many flavours! I don't know anyone who's tried Sri Lankan food and didn't love it! Whenever we have friends round for dinner, or when my parents do, if curry isn't on the menu there is always a sense of genuine disappointment (hopefully it's not because we're just bad at cooking everything else)!
Whenever I'm in Sri Lanka I literally spend all my time eating! Tuk-tukking from one eatery to another, always planning our next meal and permanently stressing that we're going to miss out on something tasty. Even inbetween meals I'm always stocking up on short eats for the road - there's always room for a mutton roll or two! Saying that, I love food in general. When I'm not working or spending time with my friends and family, I'm either cooking, eating, or on the internet - searching for inspiration for what to make next!
That brings me to the reason why I've been wanting to start this blog. I'm always on a mission to find the 'best' recipes! Particulary when it comes to Sri Lankan food. Over the last few years I've spent many a day experimenting in the kitchen with curry recipes trying to replicate the flavours and recreate the feeling of being back in Sri Lanka. It's not always easy. While food is a huge part of Sri Lankan life, my road to discovering Sri Lankan cookery has exposed there is a severe lack of current, decent and comprehensive Sri Lankan cookery books! A quick search on amazon reveals only 15 solely Sri Lankan cookery books, and only 11 published after 1998!
Sri Lankan recipes are notoriously passed down through generations - often with quite big differences between each family's recipes, with no one right or wrong way to make anything. Unfortunately, I never got to meet my paternal grandparents and while I'm lucky enough to have been given a couple of recipes from my Dad, which were given to him by his mother, sadly I don't have access to all my ancestral recipes and tips. Not only that, we (my father's family) are burghers - an ever-decreasing community in Sri Lanka, who are descendents from the Portuguese, Dutch and other Europeans settlers. The burghers introduced their own unique flavours to Sri Lankan cuisine and even now some of their specialities such as lamprais, bol fiado, breudher, and love cake, have become intertwined with Sri Lankan cuisine. That said, trying to get hold of some of these recipes is even harder than others, as they are being slowly forgotten as generations pass. It saddens me to think that all that knowledge may get lost forever!
So the way I see it, I need to find another way to collect and share edible knowlege. Hungry Giants (name inspired by Asian elephants, who are also massive fans of Sri Lanka and eating loads!) is a way for me to share my appreciation for Sri Lanka, particulary its food, both in order to inspire you to embrace Sri Lankan culture, make Sri Lankan food and also as an attempt to preserve some culinary history.