To me nothing screams ‘vibrant’ more than turmeric. Whether you use the fresh root or readily available ground turmeric, its yellow hue and earthy flavour add vibrancy to any dish. I’ve used butternut pumpkin (squash) in this dish as I find it holds its shape when cooked a little better than some other varieties, but Japanese pumpkin would also work great.
The smell of spiced cauliflower and chickpeas as they roast in the oven is enough to make anyone hungry. Pair that with buttered rice and a fragrant coriander sauce and you’ve got one of my favourite kinds of meals.
Tamarind brings not only sourness but also sweetness to this crunchy salad. I like to buy the solid blocks of tamarind paste found at Asian supermarkets, tear off a chunk and soak it in boiling water before passing it through a sieve to remove the seeds. You’ll get better flavour this way, but the more readily available (and easier!) tamarind puree can be used instead, I won’t tell. Make sure you mix and dress this salad right before you plan to eat, otherwise you risk the crunchy bits going soggy.
The sweet earthiness of beetroot forms the basis of this nourishing soup, which I adapted from one of my favourite Sri Lankan beetroot curries. It’s delicious just by itself, but the creamy, toasted-cumin yoghurt and buttery, fried curry leaves definitely add another dimension.
This curry is as decadent as they come which is why in Sri Lanka it’s served at celebrations such as weddings. It also happens to be one of my all-time favourites. I use an untoasted curry powder which I brought home with me, but any good-quality curry powder will do. Make sure you find coconut milk and cream without any unnecessary additives (the ingredients list should only read coconut and water).
This salad contains so many of my favourite ingredients, from the tender roasted carrot chunks, to the ginger and miso. Karengo adds the umami hit here, but kelp granules or any other finely ground dried seaweed would also work.
Having grown up in a family that sprinkles kelp granules liberally over everything, adding it to spiced, buttered popcorn seems only natural. Shichimi togarashi is a Japanese sevenspice mix (hot red pepper, orange peel, black and yellow sesame seeds, pepper, seaweed and ginger) and can be found at most Asian grocers. If you can’t find it, you could make a batch of seaweed gomasio Click here to view KŪMARA SOUP WITH SEAWEED GOMASIO, leaving out the salt and adding a few dried chilli flakes for similar effect. I’ve shared my foolproof method for popping corn, but by all means follow your own method or use an air popper if you have one.
This very simple kūmara soup gets a little salty sesame lift from seaweed-spiked gomasio. I used dulse flakes but you could also use karengo seasoning/fronds or even kelp granules if that’s what you have at hand. To make this vegan, use olive oil in place of butter.
This umami butter brings a little something special to cooked baby potatoes, but it’s equally as good spread onto a nice slice of bread too. Karengo fronds (finely chopped) can also be
used in place of dulse.