Basic items for most curry meals

1 Curry dishes. Make large vegetable curries and freeze the leftovers in smaller portions. Have some that night and fill glass or ceramic dishes of it to freeze for dinner parties. Meat substitutes: soy chunks or granules, kidney beans, chick peas.

2 Dhal substitute. Lentils do not suit all blood types – yellow peas (pigeon peas) do. Cook up a large quantity of yellow peas without salt until they soft and tender. Then use a stick blender to make a paste, adding oil, salt, cumin, coriander and especially MSG to make it more digestible.MSG is not a toxic chemical.

3 Poppadums. Instead of frying in oil, spray them with olive oil (upper side only) and grill under a glowing element - about 15cm away on a baking tray. Be careful and watch them all the time as they only take a few seconds. Using a microwave gives consistent results. 3 large oiled or plain dry poppadum’s on a plate usually take about 2 minutes.

4 Paneer. Green: cook up some spinach, stir in a little olive oil and seasoning. Pound it into a paste and add paneer cheese. Use feta or haloumi as a substitute.) Quick spicy paneer: use leftover vegetable curry and make it into a puree before adding cheese.

5 Rice dishes. For pilaf, you need to add cinnamon, star aniseed, cloves, cardamom, fennel seeds and black pepper. Biryani is a combination of meat (use soya chunks), vegetables and a spicy mixture that includes turmeric.

6 Breads: going gluten free will save a lot of heartburn! Bake naan and chapatti with a gluten free flour. Alternatively, make thick pancakes out of rice flour, baking powder, water and egg as a base. To make it more pliable, add 30% quinoa, potato or tapioca flour.

7 Pancakes. Roti wraps and masala dosa pancakes can be made in a similar way, using a thinner batter. Masala dosa pancakes are cooked on 1 side till very crispy (use more oil). A chunky potato curry rich in turmeric is spooned onto one side and folded over.

8 Salads and greens. Raita is grated cucumber that is slated, squeezed dry and added to yoghurt. Curries are topped with green coriander leaves called dhania. Try other sambals made of chopped onion, tomato, peppers, etc.

9 Pickles. Buy mango pickle or lime pickle to serve. If you have to make a mild curry, this gives more heat.

10 Beverages. Lassi is drinking yoghurt with mint and is for cooling the fiery palate. Local beer is the usual choice.

The basics

Curry, rice, poppadums, sambals

Chick pea curry

Gluten free chapati / fritter

the basic ingredients

Lentil sprouts substitute beef mince

Masala dosa rice pancke

Use same batter for all pancakes

White bean curry

add yoghurt mint, dhania

The world of curry is without end

South East Asian curries from Thailand or Singapore have more coconut milk, lime and ginger. Indian curries have cheese – paneer and use yoghurt for raita (cucumber sambal) and lassie (drinking yoghurt with mint). African curries depend on the climate and availability of ingredients.

Special advice for digestive problems: If people have stomach ulcers, heartburn or poor digestion and are afraid of hot foods it could be the gluten from the roti, naan or chapatti that is to blame. That is why the reflux tastes of curry and it gets the blame. Most of the spices used in curries are medicinal and aid digestion. Gluten and especially products make from modern wheat are impossible to digest with other foods and unknown to many, can disrupt the pancreas, gallbladder and the gut. Hence the popularity of this website!

A Banana Leaf Curry Banana leaves act like paper plates. They don’t have to be warmed up or washed and they also provide a soft, casual ambience. (Use dark green paper plates as an alternative or pieces of green plastic table cloth.) All this food can be prepared well in advance for a number of meals. Keep leftovers in the fridge or freeze them. Although it is a lot of work to make large amounts of dhal, vegetable curry, rice, pickles, etc. you can really enjoy effortless entertaining the next time around.

Mild African curry

Singapore banana leaf curry

Vega curry

Bean curry with lentil sprouts

Zanzibar pilaaw rice

Red curry: paprika, tomato, chilli

Sri Lankan curry combinations without gluten or meat:


1Potato curry. Mild and similar to Indian Masala dosa. A ot of turmeric in a sauce with diced potato and onion.

2 Aubergine mixture. Small pieces well browned and fried in a spicy read sauce.

3 Dhal. Similar to any other dhal. It can also be made from chickpeas or yellow peas, should lentils not agree with you (blood type O1)

4 Cabbage. Separate red and green curried cabbage. Fried, small shreds, quite greasy.


1 Gotu koala (Centella) with red onion and shredded fresh coconut is unique to Sri Lanka. it tastes similar to parsley/carrot tops.

2 Spicy chilli made from dried chillies, salt and sugar. The mixture is pounded with coconut.(Use dessiccated coconut and coconut oil)

3 Red chilli sauce, like a hot gravy, very oily.

4 Fresh chopped green chillies, for a bit more heat.Their dishes tend to be very mild.

Side dishes to add to the rice

Mild vegetable curries, hot s ambals and dhal

Served with rice and papadum crisps

Red rice is not as popular as Basmati rice. But it is healthier.

How to eat this curry

Traditionally only the right hand is used.

Home cooking

A mound of rice surrounded by different curries mixed and eaten with one hand

The only guests - just after the bombing

Made especially for the two of us

3 days after the 2019 bombing

White flags everywhere as people mourn

Streets are deserted in Muslim area

No more tourists

Staff outnumber the guests

I guess WE are the tourist attraction

The food was fresher at local cafes

It was quicker, cheaper and very tasty

A very large menu

With no tourists, food poisoning is a problem

Hoppers are unique to Sri Lanka

Made from fermented rice batter

Hoppers are cooked on a gas flame

An egg is added. Hoppers have crispy edges and a bread-like chewey centre.

Hoppers (left) and string hoppers (right)

String hoppers are like noodles, made of rice

Local cafes serve the best hoppers

Our guide Indika found us the nicest selection

Hoppers are the best street food

The production line

Curry dishes for breakfast in the Maldives

The Maldives are situated between India and Africa so the local dishes are spicy and delicious. If you are a modified vegetarian - a pescatarian / flexitarian, then you will enjoy all the curried fish dishes. The vegans and vegetarians will have a problem because everything is laced with fish or chicken stock.  Gluten free means rice, definitely not their bread or cakes. We stayed at the Kandooma Holiday Inn island resort where the only dining options are a very expensive buffet or the a la carte restaurant. I ordered the vegetarian curry and it cost R600 (4 US $) for a mound of rice and a little dish of curried floury potato chunks and unrecogniseable vegetables. Not even a sambal or chilli sauce - no matter how hard I pleaded. I couldn't eat it - yuk! The next morning I was shown a plant-based alternative menu. For a mere R 800 - a fake burger and chips and salad, or even a fake cheese pizza that was definitely not gluten free. The evening buffet had more options, especially for dessert and each visit was billed for R 1 300. Alternatively, a solo scoop of ice cream cost R 60. 

At breakfast one can have a traditional curry breakfast with a wheat-laden chappati, a fish curry, a fishy sauce and a dried fish and coconut sambal. alternatively, the Indian breakfast provides two wheaty fatty-fried doughnuts with a scoop of fishy curry.  Sri Lanka fefinitely had more imagination, offering up to 12 vegetarian-friendly side dishes! 

Maldives Indian curry breakfast

Breakfast - not gluten free

Maldives breakfast curry

Not vegetarian or gluten free

Maldives coconut muffins

yaaaay - gluten free

Male market plenty of produce

All the ingredients are there!