When I was seven years old, I remember my grandmother’s interpretation of Sri Lankan fusion. She was making patties with Sri Lankan and Chinese spices and using wonton wrappers in lieu of the classic patty dough. I knew it was different and, in awe of my grandmother, thought she was cutting edge. That’s just her: Whipping up good food with whatever ingredients were on hand.
As a young girl, I often slithered my way into the kitchen when my mother was roasting and blending her own curry powders from scratch. The smell from the kitchen was mind-blowing and my hair smelled like curry powder from bending over the pan and inhaling the aromas. My mom always got a big laugh from my “oohs” and “ahhs” as she cooked. I laugh because I still do that with her today!
Clearly, I have always been curious about the food and spices I grew up on.
I am the creator, writer and recipe developer behind 13 Spices. All photographs are taken by me unless otherwise noted.
My Food: South Asian Source Cuisine
Whether I am preparing a traditional beef curry or making a good ol’ fashioned hamburger, I am always a short step away from my “13 Spices” – The Source. I develop recipes such as Thai Biryani, Crab Cutlet with Heirloom Tomatoes and even Sri Lankan Baklava.
My food is always cooked with fresh ingredients, raw and roasted spices and an innate ability to improvise if my preferred ingredients are not handy. Improvisation is what really makes the experience in the kitchen fun!
Amidst a world of fabulous food blogs, my niche is Sri Lankan fare and sharing a part of my culture (I’m half Sri Lankan) with you by fusing food from many countries around the world.
I love blogging about the inspiration behind the recipes. There is always a story attached to them, and I think that gives food life. Sri Lankan food has a breadth of world influences: Portuguese, Dutch and British to name a few. Along with recipes, I like to delve into the history and inception of a dish.
The best things about this food blog and my social media are the comments, talking with people from all over the world, learning from one another and heightening our craft through food and culture.
I live in the Washington, DC area with my husband Rick, who is a finance and real estate geek. When I can pry him away from CNBC or crunching numbers, he is tasting my creations and giving honest feedback. Usually a small smile, followed by silence, followed by us exploding in laughter is a clear sign that a recipe will be nixed. And when my creation is really good, we are also initially silent but then start high-fiving and doing goofy dances!
My work in the fashion industry – modeling and business development – afforded me the opportunity to travel to places which have also been instrumental in defining my food. Dubai, Austria, Italy, and Paris to name a few; of course Sri Lanka is my favorite, but Paris is Paris – a very close second.
When I am not cooking, I am outdoors with Rick, hiking or playing tennis (where I usually win). HA! Not true, but we are competitive! We even hold our own pseudo Chopped competitions. My craziest basket was ice cream cones, ground turkey meat, and Fruit Loops. I was penalized for not transforming the cones! Ayayaaaa!
You don’t have to ask me twice to host a fancy sit-down dinner at our house. Family, old friends and new friends bonding, laughing over good food and wine. I relish in the ambiance of an elegant restaurant dinner at home. No rush, no restaurant closing time and seconds and thirds if you wish! Oh yes…plenty of candles. Definitely an obsession with candles.
Rick has been instrumental in giving me the nudge to get 13 Spices off the ground. He’s my biggest fan, the sweetest food critic, and the most loving husband in the universe!!
A few of my addictions:
Artisanal in NYC, Prayers That Avail Much by Germaine Copeland, the Western US, travel, hiking, branzino, scrambled eggs, candles (obsessed), reading NatGeo, French design, jeans, bright nails, statement heels, fancy dinners at home, tennis, Thai chilies, fresh flowers, antiques, stacked bangles, Paris, everything Sri Lanka (especially the Moju – eggplant heaven).
I am so glad you stopped by! For additional inquiries, contact me.
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