Citizens, Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) is an island nation off the southern tip of India, rich in gold, precious gems, fragrant woods such as Sandalwood, ancient history and a unique cuisine refined over the centuries.
This chicken curry first described by Peter Kuruvita isn’t your average beast, thanks to the unique addition of a small piece of sandalwood. “The recipe was found on an old palm leaf and transcribed into a book called Food of the Ancient Kings,” says Peter.
This dish was invented for Kasyapa, the King of Sigiriya rock fortress in Sri Lanka, writes Kuruvita. “According to legend, Kasyapa was very demanding and his chefs had to invent new curries daily.”
The secret to this recipe is the sandalwood. In Sri Lanka it’s possible to buy fresh sandalwood, which leaches its oil when boiled in a curry. A few drops of pure sandalwood oil, available from some health-food shops, will give the same heady flavor. If using the oil, add it with the water. It is very important that you use ONLY pure Sandalwood extract, ideally designed for culinary usage.
I use my own version of a Sri Lankan curry powder, which unlike the various Indian versions, browns each ingredient for a strong roasted flavor.
Citizens, do not be intimidated by this recipe, you can make it without the Sandalwood if you so choose. Show the world that the members of TFD nation do not know the meaning of culinary fear!
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