A Feast of Serendib

A Feast of Serendib

by Mary Anne Mohanraj


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We come together with other Sri Lankans—homelander and diaspora, Sinhalese and Tamil, Buddhist and Hindu and Christian and Muslim—over delicious shared meals. Sri Lanka has been a multi-ethnic society for over two thousand years, with neighbors of different ethnicities, languages, religions, living side by side. We try to teach our children to be welcoming to all, to share our unique cultural traditions. That is part of what it means to be Sri Lankan, what it has always meant.

Dark roasted curry powder, a fine attention to the balance of salty-sour-sweet, wholesome red rice and toasted curry leaves, plenty of coconut milk and chili heat. These are the flavors of Sri Lanka, a South Asian island at the crossroads of centuries of migration and trade.

Can we choose the good parts of our culture to cherish, and leave the darker aspects behind? I hope so. I hope food can help provide a pathway there. Come together at our table, sharing milk rice and pol sambol, paruppu and crab curry. Linger over the chai—just one more cup. Eat, drink, and share joy.

In A Feast of Serendib, novelist and post-colonial academic Mary Anne Mohanraj introduces her mother’s cooking and her own American adaptations, providing an introduction to Sri Lankan American cooking that is straightforward enough for a beginner, yet nuanced enough to capture the unique flavors of Sri Lankan cooking.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781645432753
Publisher: Mascot Books
Publication date: 03/06/2020
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 652,915
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Mary Anne Mohanraj is author of Bodies in Motion (HarperCollins) and fourteen other titles. Bodies in Motion was a finalist for the Asian American Book Awards, a USA Today Notable Book, and has been translated into six languages. She’s received a Locus Award, a CFW Breaking Barriers Award, an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, and more.

Mohanraj is Clinical Associate Professor of fiction and literature at the University of Illinois at Chicago, serves as Executive Director of DesiLit (desilit.org), and directs the Kriti Festival of Art and Literature (kritifestival.org). She founded and served for ten issues as editor-in-chief of Jaggery, a South Asian literary journal (jaggerylit.com). She serves on the board of her local garden club – she loves incorporating garden harvests into her recipes – and was recently elected to the Oak Park library board.

Mohanraj was born in Sri Lanka in 1971, and moved to America at the age of 2. When she was young, her family would go back often to visit grandparents and other relatives, until the war intervened. Since peace returned, Mohanraj has started travelling back to Sri Lanka more often for research and pleasure. She’s currently working on a video game, Sigiriya, based on 5th century Sri Lanka, in partnership with the company, Rad Magpie, and is developing a food tour and writing retreat to be held on the island.

When she’s not cooking, Mohanraj is writing science fiction and superhero stories; recent books include The Stars Change (Sri Lankans in space), and stories for George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards anthology series, which is coming to Hulu soon. She lives in a creaky old Victorian in Oak Park, just outside Chicago,with her partner, Kevin, two small children, a sweet dog, and two rescued space kittens.

www.serendibkitchen.com www.maryannemohanraj.com

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