First off, thank you for everyone who commented on my previous post about body image. I was quite unsure of whether to make my mental soliloquy public, but I am so glad I did. It was wonderful to read the comments of support and hear about others perspectives and similar struggles. Blogging constantly reminds me that I am not alone in this journey, and that is wonderful, encouraging, and reassuring thing.
But, on to more exciting things, I ate Sri Lankan food for the first time last night! Yes, Sri Lankan food. Never heard of it? Honestly, I had no idea that Sri Lankan food even existed before this week until a friend tried to describe to me the wonder of Koththu. I was intrigued, and I am generally up to try any sort of vegetarian food, so plans were made and subsequently executed. The restaurant of choice was The Sekara, advertised as the only full Sri Lankan restaurant in the vicinity of London.
For an appetizer, my dining companion and I split the Channa Puri: spicy chick peas served on a flaky deep-fried puri bread. It was warm, rich, and savory, and it was the perfect amount of food to get my appetite ready for the main course.
For the main dish, there was Koththu – the dish that was the entire reason for the Sri Lankan venture. Koththu is roti (like a whole wheat Nan) that is shredded and cooked with an assortment of vegetables and eggs. This stuff isn’t even on Wikipedia ya’ll, so pay attention. Edited to Add: Apparently, I was only kidding – more can be found out about Koththu under Kutto on Wikipedia. When I first heard about this, I imagined something similar to bread pudding, but my expectations were a little off.
This dish was unlike anything I had ever eaten before. The best thing about this dish was the texture; the flavor was deep and spicy but perfectly complimented by the subtle buttery roti that seamlessly emerged as the main facet of the dish. Aside from being distinctive, the Koththu was just really freaking good. The roti made this dish hearty without being too heavy, and the culmination of the juicy roti, the cooked vegetables, and spice was perfection. A large part of my fascination with this dish was due to the novelty of baking shredded bread into a vegetable dish, but I would absolutely venture out on a cold, dreary, near-freezing evening to devour this Sri Lankan speciality again.
Sometimes, I forget that I am living in this extraordinary, international city. I feel comfortable here in London. I am a city girl and always have been. I feel at home here amongst the hustle and bustle. But, then I have these moments when I am enjoying completely new-to-me, unique things like Koththu, and it reminds me that stepping outside of my comfort zones and trying unfamiliar things can be quite rewarding. And although those moments of newness can be a little intimidating, I am really trying appreciate those moments because they remind me of how lucky I am to have these opportunities and how grateful I am to have these experiences.