This thick seafood soup is one of Jaffna’s signature dishes and each family makes it slightly differently. The soup is thickened with odiyal flour, which is made from the roots of a young palmyra plant. For many Sri Lankan families kool is not just about the food, it’s about bringing family and friends together and should always be prepared and eaten by a lot of people.
To make the chilli paste, soak the dried chillies in water for 1 hour until soft. Drain and place the chillies in a small food processor with the peppercorns and 2 tablespoons water. Process to a smooth paste.
Prepare the tamarind pulp following the method. Set the tamarind water aside. Mix the odiyal flour with
Peel the garlic cloves. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and 2 teaspoons salt into a paste. Set aside.
Wash the samba rice well, and place in a large stockpot with 1.25 litres (
Add the chilli paste, garlic paste and burnt dried fish (if using) to the pot. Gently stir to combine and simmer for a further 2 minutes. Add the odiyal flour paste, gently stir to combine, then add the tamarind water. Simmer for 2 minutes, or until the kool is thick and glossy. Season to taste with salt, remove the pot from the heat and serve.
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