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A Bon Appetit best cookbook of the year

More than 80 lush Sri Lankan recipes for fresh dinners, cold drinks, and sticky sweets that prove small islands can bring big flavors

Since Cynthia Shanmugalingam was a young girl, she has worked to piece together her sense of Sri Lanka, her ancestral homeland that she experienced through the wondrous flavors of her immigrant parents' kitchen in London. In Rambutan, these ingredients, methods, and tastes - combining Javanese, Malay, Indian, Arab, Portuguese, Dutch and British influences - come together to create an irresistible portrait of modern Sri Lankan cuisine.

In more than 80 recipes, Shanmugalingam takes her favorite parts of the island's culinary tradition and adapts them to be accessible and fun for the home cook: with dinners of sticky chicken buriani and crunchy fried potatoes with turmeric, desserts of mango fluff pie and milk toffee, and drinks of lemongrass lime soda and boozy tea cocktails, Rambutan is designed to deliver as much edible Sri Lankan joy as possible. Combining luscious recipe photography and stunning candids from the island, this exuberant guide is perfect for home cooks looking to explore the exciting Sri Lankan tradition in South Asian cuisine.

About the author

Cynthia Shanmugalingam is a British-Sri Lankan cook who grew up in Coventry in the UK, visiting Sri Lanka every childhood holiday and eating dishes adapted by her mother and grandmother at home.

She has run pop-ups and street food stalls since 2014 and is the founder of a social enterprise street food truck Kitchenette Karts, which helps ex-offenders get a start in the food industry. In 2019 she started doing Sri Lankan Rambutan pop-ups, which she plans to develop into a restaurant. She has been featured on BBC News and WePresent alongside a spectrum of print media.

A true gift to anyone who reads it." - Alison Roman
"Delicious. . . this book makes me hungry." - Yotam Ottolenghi
"Glorious. . . like having an encouraging, enthusiastic friend with you in the kitchen as you cook." - Nigella Lawson