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Chef Charles

The Perfect Lamprais


I consider Lamprais to be an exquisite accomplishment in Sri Lanka’s diverse and fascinating cuisine.  Sri Lanka is created out of many diverse ethnic groups which has gifted the island with a unique  eclectic cuisine.

One of these ethnic groups is the burgher community and Lamprais, is certainly one of the cornerstones of Dutch Burgher cuisine.  The origin of the word Lamprais remains unclear but it is thought to be the anglicized version of the original Dutch words – klomp (lump) rijst (rice). [Read more…]

Chef Charles wins Brooklyn “Curry Experiment” with his Curried Beef Lasagne



“One World One Kitchen just won the Brooklyn “Curry Experiment” Competition organised by The Food Experiment.  Many thanks to the judges Andy Ricker, Patrick Connolly, and Jehangir Mehta for selecting me and to my sous chef Natasha Sicard!!  The competition was tight with those ever so talented and creative Brooklyn chefs!!” [Read more…]

Chef & The City: Hot Buttered Cuttlefish or Calamari

Chef Charles: Hot Buttered Cuttlefish ( Calamari ) is a personal favourite !Until you read my next update on the lively journey of changing my career from Management to Cheffing, here is something for the husbands to impress their family on weekends with in the meanwhile 😉


Hot Buttered Cuttle Fish (Calamari) with Cashew and Spring onions




Prep :

Clean the Cuttlefish and cut into 2-3 inch rectangle pieces. Then using a sharp knife make thin diagonal cuts on one side of the cuttle fish without cutting all the way through. This will make it look like flowers when they fry up and will help create a softer texture with a crispy coating. You can leave the tentacles as is. If you find flowers difficult to create – just cut the Cuttlefish into rings and it will come out fine.

Tip:  Soak the Cuttlefish(Calamari) in whole milk for a couple of hours. This will help tenderize the fish and keep it from getting a rubber like consistency.


1. After marinating the Cuttlefish for a couple of hours in milk drain the Cuttlefish well and wipe with paper towels.

2. Season the Cuttlefish with salt, and fresh ground pepper and coat with the beaten egg. Mix corn flour and the semolina flour in a large zip lock bag season the flour with a few pinches of salt and pepper add the cuttlefish in batches and shake well till all the pieces are well coated.

3. Heat oil and drop the cuttlefish into the hot oil shaking off any excess flour. (Do this in small batches to prevent them from clumping together).

4. Fry till cooked and light golden and let the oil drain on paper towels

5. Fry up the dried red chillies till crisp using the same oil. (Tip soak the chillies in salt water before frying for a tasty crunchy finished product)

6 Lightly fry the whole cashews till golden brown and season with a pinch of red chili powder and salt.

7. Heat a wok. Add the butter when it is fully melted and almost at smoking point add the minced garlic and spring onion.

8. Immediately add the sugar, chili paste and fried cuttlefish and toss for a few seconds. 10grams of Chili paste instead of 25 maybe better for most folks.

Finally toss in the fried chilies and chopped cilantro/coriander leaves and cashew nuts and drizzle the Ponzi soy sauce.

Serve hot with lime or lemon wedges.




Best served with steamed jasmine rice or a simple egg fried rice washed down with a chilled glass of beer ☺.

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Chef & The City



By  Chef Charles NYC

Change your Life to do what really excites you : I did. From a corporate career to becoming a Chef/Restuarant Consultant

Hello everyone! This is Chef Charles. I was named Chalaka and so ended up being Charles, Charlie and Chucky to my friends ;). Food and cooking have always intrigued me, yet when I chose a career, it was the less spectacular choice of Marketing Management.  But hey, that was how I came to live in New York City for over ten years of my life. I arrived to follow an MBA in Marketing and fell in love with the city instantly. I made NYC my home and  continued my career in Marketing.

My passion for cuisine though never left me. I kept finding myself working a full week in the corporate world and then plunging into culinary gigs during the weekend, including the underground dining circles in New York. [Read more…]