My initiation into Sri Lanka cookery came via Aralia, a tiny cafe in Loveland Ohio, a faltering suburb of Cincinnati. The chef owner Triset de Fonseka blew me away with dish after dish of Sri Lanka soul food.
I was only fortunate enough to sample this chef’s cuisine on two occasions before she closed her small cafe and went on to other ventures.
To honor Chef Fonseka we threw a Sri Lanka food party one night in Loveland. I utilized some basic techniques I learned when I cooked for a time in a Thai restaurant in Birmingham to carry me through the process. The star of the show that night was a roasted fish with green chiles and coconut served on a pillowy green onion pilaf. I’ve posted the pilaf recipe in the past here
http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2011/1/15/How-To-Make-Cajun-Green-Onion-Rice [ omit blackening seasoning for this Sri Lanka dish ]
and now I’m putting up this intensely delicious seafood dish.
For the chutney:
2 c. cilantro, leaves, minced
4 each Chiles, green Thai, coarsely chopped
1 each garlic, head, minced
1 T. ginger, minced
1 c. fresh grated coconut
¼ c. water
2 t. coriander, ground
¼ c. lime juice
2 t. sugar
2 t. sea salt
2 T. oil, peanut, olive, coconut
8 each fish filets, small, your choice, King, Snapper, Catfish, Tuna
* Pre heat oven to 300 degrees
* Process cilantro, chiles, garlic, ginger, coconut and water in Cuisinart® til thick paste forms
* Rub fish filets with oil, lime juice, coriander, sugar and sea salt
* Place four fish filets in roasting pan, cover with chutney
* Place next four fish filets on top of first four, cover with chutney
* Roast for 25 minutes or til fish is done
When the only Sri Lanka restaurant in town shuts their doors your options are pretty limited.
While I doubt Triset de Fonseka lost any sleep at the prospect of me displacing her as top Sri Lanka chef in Loveland Ohio this is a delicious recipe.
Bon Appetit Y’all