A taste of Sri Lankan lifestyle

27th May 2005 at 01:00
Ideas and inspiration across the curiculum

We are in our second year of a link with Bishop's College, in Sri Lanka, developed though the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds, and funded through the British Council. We are finding "cross-continent" curricular activities in which the youngest children in both schools can take part.

Two of our staff visited our partner school and spent a fortnight teaching there, strengthening our link and developing projects that both sets of pupils could engage in on an equal footing. Food is a fantastic topic for this, embedded in the curriculum of both countries. The Sri Lankan children made a book of simple recipes for our children to make, illustrated with pictures of themselves and their families cooking.

Here are two delicious recipes we've already tried at school. The children made the chapatis to accompany the curry.

Dhal curry

1 cup red lentils

2 cups water


1 onion finely chopped

6 cloves garlic finely chopped

2 tomatoes finely chopped

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon of garam masala

Half teaspoon of chilli powder

A few coriander leaves


Put the lentils and water in a pan with the salt and a pinch of turmeric.

Cook over the stove and bring to the boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the garlic for a short while.

Add the onion and a pinch of turmeric and fry until golden brown.

Add the tomatoes, fry and stir. Add the boiled dhal to the fried ingredients. Add a little chilli powder and salt.

Cook for a further 10 minutes. Finally, add garam masala and coriander leaves.


250 grams atta (plain) flour

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons margarine; water


Sieve the flour into a bowl and add salt and margarine. Slowly add water and mix the ingredients into a soft dough. Make small balls, then roll into chapatis. Heat a little margarine in a frying pan and fry the chapatis until golden brown in colour. Serve with the dhal curry.

The children had a great time and the whole school was filled with a wonderful aroma. A very healthy meal was had by all. Our Sri Lankan counterparts are due to visit our school in June. Our children are now busy working on a recipe book to send back with them. Maybe ours won't sound so exotic, but hopefully the children at Bishop's College will have as much fun creating our meals.

Mark Edwards and Sue Hardy

St Michael's C of E Primary School, Leeds

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