It was the low-season when we stayed at the rather hidden away Mas Villa, in the middle of Sri Lanka’s Hill Country, which meant that we were the only guests of the seven-room hotel.
This rather intimate state of thing lead to the same situation every afternoon, with one member of the staff asking us what we want to have for dinner.
Because you see, when you’re alone in a hotel in the middle of nowhere, there’s no such thing as a menu anymore, there’s just a chef cooking only for you. The funny part is that even if there’re treasures of variety in Sri Lankan food -I’ll get to that after- it seemed like there weren’t much words to describe it, or at least in English. Whatever you may desire, if it is local it’s probably gonna be called rice & curry. But don’t let the bland appellation fool you.
So, that’s how it began every afternoon. We would say that we prefer local food and we would be told “let’s do rice and curry, that’s perfect”. The chef would begin to cook right away because, let’s face it, that’s not the kind of dinner that you can whip up in thirty minutes. We would then eagerly wait for dinner, as the delicious smells would invade the entire villa, until we’ll finally sit on the terrace and watch the myriad of little dishes arrive at our table. That’s the thing with rice and curry, the name is really here to fool you, it should actually be called rice and curries since there is always a multitude of litlle dishes.
Now, we’ve had our fair share of delicious curries in Sri Lanka, but those ones were just my favourites. They had that very precious homemade quality while being very delicate and original.
______________ One day we even asked for vegetarian curries, almost to challenge the chef’s creativity, and were delighted to taste some pretty surprising variations that included cashew nuts curry, pumpkin curry, green beans curry and pineapple curry. The fabulous Mas Villa.