We sat down for a chat with Mrs. Nilmi Kotuwelle, and she shared how the city has affected her and how has she has adapted to the city. Hailing from Sri Lanka, Mrs. Kotuwelle shifted to Visakhapatnam a year ago. She has written two books about Sri Lankan cooking and is an expert on authentic Sri Lankan dishes. Visakhapatnam has so far been nothing but good to her, she says, and she hopes it continues to show her and her family love.
She adds, “Visakhapatnam has been different than Sri Lanka and it took time to adjust in the alien place. The language was different and people were not friendly initially but things are different now. People tend to help every time and my Telugu is slowly improving.”
Mrs. Nilmi resides on the Beach Road and finds the city very scenic. She lovingly called the city a ‘Beautiful Paradise’ and plans to stay here for a long time. Her children are happy here even though they miss their hometown some times. Mrs. Nilmi adds, “Finding the right ingredients in cooking can be a challenge and you have to search the correct places for your needs. ‘Karachiwala’ is my one stop destination as many things are easily available in that store. I often try Sri Lankan recipes with the substitutes available in the city and they turn out to be good.”
She shares with us an authentic Sri Lankan recipe named ‘Watalappan’ that she made back in her hometown on special occasions. This recipe is nutritious and a delicious treat for children.
1 litre coconut milk
750 gms jaggery
200 gms cashew nuts
1 table spoon vanilla essence
1 table spoon spice powder [cardamom, clove and cinnamon stick]
Combine the eggs and chopped jiggery
Blend the mixture adding the coconut milk little by little
Mix the ground spices and strain
Butter the baking tray and put the mixture into the tray
Add cashew nuts and vanilla essence
Cover the tray with foil paper and steam it for 30-45 minutes
Watalappan may have originated with Sri Lankan Malays, who came to the country during Dutch rule. The dessert is popular during weddings, religious festivals and other social functions and celebrations.
Feature Image Credit: curryandcomfort