Another dream come true on this magical adventure!
I started the week with the team asking if anyone would be interested in a cooking class and by surprise, everyone else seemed to share my excitement. And since Sion Surf Camp doesn't serve dinner on Wednesday and Saturday evenings, we figured a Wednesday evening cooking class would make perfect sense.
As recommended by Sion's yoga instructor, we found and booked with Chef Welle.
Our adventure began with the Sri Lankan bus system, a bit of a walk in the dark (mind you, it is pitch black around 6:00 pm) and finally locating Chef Welle's home/homestay/cooking classes.
Upon arrival, how do I begin to explain the inner child that was peaking out and jumping for freaking joy inside of me? I was trying my best to contain this inner-chile, as I didn't want to embarrass myself with the team - BUT REALLY, I AM LEARNING AYURVEDIC COOKING IN A SRI LANKAN GRANDMA'S KITCHEN!? HOLY SHIT this is a dream beyond a dream come!
Chef Welle cooks in his grandma's kitchen, is a published author, fisherman, owns a homestay, makes and sells his own spices and homemade-coconut oil, oh and makes awesome lights out of fisherman equipment. Basically, I aspire to be somewhat of a small percentage of this man!
As we begin our cooking lesson we notice the baskets of ingredients on the kitchen floor and almost question if he will be able to make enough food for the group with so little.
We begin with the pumpkin curry. Using Walle's homemade curry powder and only the freshest ingredients.
We watch as he cracks open a coconut and then scrapes out the meat! Then using this fresh coconut meat to make milk (three cups water to the whole coconut's meat) which will be used in most of our night's menu.
I watch in awe, trying to remember everything Chef Walle is saying so that I may go home and "try" to duplicate myself - and I sit in amazement that I found someone else who cooks with little to no oil! There wasn't one thing the Chef was cooking with that I wouldn't use at home. Is this a first, I found a 100% Nicole-Friendly option!?
Moving on to the “jungle” mushroom dish- I had never had a jungle mushroom prior, but they almost appear and feel like noodles when cooked!
Next on the menu was a refreshing coconut cucumber salad- very simple, basically cucumbers, tomato, lime juice and freshly grated coconut. This was one of my favorites from the evening.
Lastly, a quick tuna dish was created for our non-veg folks.
Oh and not to forget, one of my favorite Sri Lankan delicacies, the red rice. Chef had previously cooked the red rice due to the length of time it takes to cook.
Then, as a group, we sat and enjoyed our made with love meal!
Just as our group was finishing stuffing our faces, chef brings out dessert. A coconut milk, coconut meat, sweet potatoes and bananas, raisins and honey!
Amazing! I wish I would have saved more room for this dessert!
Random notes I took during class
Pumpkin skin = yes!!!
Red onion is no sugar, white onion is high in sugar...
Curry leaves clean blood
Black is better than yellow seeds
Ulaha- spice to help with joints.
Coconut water will become vinegar if you let it set.
Red rice is without sugar and white rice = sugar
Honey with black pepper good for brain
What Chef Walle eats in a typical day:
Breakfast: Vegan pancakes or sweet potato cookies.
Lunh: Salad bowls
Dinner: Curry of some sort.