Weligama by Emily Dobbs

Global cuisine brings the four corners of the world to my kitchen. The flavors and spices of Asian and Indian food are my weakness and I could cook and eat this food every day and sometimes go for stretches re-creating dishes. Like binge watching a television show, I'll binge cook Vietnamese or Thai. 

Sri Lankan food provides a lively and colourful combination of spices, flavours and textures which were influenced by South Indian, Indonesian and Dutch cuisines as well as its close ties to other neighboring South and Southeast Asian cuisines. It is naturally healthy, mostly gluten and dairy free due to the heavy use of rice flour and coconut milk, vegan and non vegan friendly, making it suitable for all and a great way to entertain as you can meet the needs of any dietary restrictions in your circle of friends and family. 

Emily Dobbs loves Sri Lankan food and is credited with being the first chef to popularise this cuisine to the London masses through her celebrated pop-up egg hopper, Weligama (since shuttered). Her debut cookbook Weligama: Recipes from Sri Lanka shares those vibrant dishes that garnered a declaration from the Evening Standard as  "utterly fantastic". 

Hoppers are a Sri Lankan breakfast and street food made from fermented rice and coconut batter (don't let that description scare you) cooked into a bowl-shaped pancake in a special wok called an appachatti. This edible bowl is filled with curry and sometimes a fried egg. The author first tasted a hopper on Tabprobane Island (owned by her uncle), in Weligama Bay on Sri Lanka's south coast when she was a child thinking it strange to have curry for breakfast. That viewpoint has changed. 

Weligama, the cookbook, is a unique collection of easy-to-use, innovative recipes from hoppers to sweet treats, sample menus and tutorials on spices and ingredients. A culinary voyage to Sri Lanka with stunning photographs and enticing dishes, Weligama, will have you firing up your wok and replenishing your spice cabinet in no time.

Special thanks to Seven Dials for sharing a recipe with our members and for providing three copies of this fun book in our worldwide contest below.


Papaya, radish, buffalo curd and chilli salad
පැපොල් ස ලාද
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I love the refreshing crunch of raw lotus root, juicy sweet papaya, crisp, bitter radish, fresh lime juice and hot chilli. Cut the radish so thin that you can almost see through it, like a stained-glass window, but just strong enough so it holds its shape.

Serves 2-4 as a side dish or starter

  • 450g ripe, juicy papaya, deseeded, flesh carefully scooped out with a spoon and cut into chunks
  • juice of 1 lime
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 245g buffalo curd or labneh
  • handful of radish and leaves
  • 1 mooli, peeled and sliced very thin on a mandolin
  • 1 lotus root, thinly sliced (if possible)
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced

Place the papaya in a bowl with half the lime juice and half the sea salt. Place the buffalo curd or yoghurt in a separate bowl and season with the remaining sea salt.

Arrange a few chunks of papaya on each serving plate, followed by a dollop each of the buffalo curd or yoghurt, the radish, mooli and lotus root.

Sprinkle the chilli over the salads and serve immediately.

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members worldwide. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on March 13th, 2018.


  • heyjude  on  2/2/2018 at 4:12 PM

    Cashew Curry

  • lpatterson412  on  2/2/2018 at 6:28 PM

    What a wonderful book! I would love to try the green banana curry, sounds like an interesting recipe!!

  • Scotsman61  on  2/2/2018 at 6:39 PM

    Cashew Curry

  • nicki.williams  on  2/2/2018 at 8:44 PM

    The Sri Lankan salad looks good and will help me use some of the courgettes from my garden!

  • antpantsii  on  2/2/2018 at 9:25 PM

    I would like to make a hopper. I could Start with a plain hopper then move to the ginger hopper!

  • DarcyVaughn  on  2/2/2018 at 9:42 PM

    Brown shrimp vadai with cashew nut dipping sauce

  • jmay42066  on  2/2/2018 at 11:12 PM

    Basic meat curry

  • lapsapchung  on  2/2/2018 at 11:23 PM

    Roast spiced chicken with brown sugar, limes and coconut milk

  • AnnaZed  on  2/3/2018 at 1:11 AM

    Sun House chilli eggs

  • EmilyR  on  2/3/2018 at 10:09 AM

    Coconut and macadamia granola with kithul & red chilli

  • rchesser  on  2/3/2018 at 5:39 PM

    Chicken liver curry

  • lean1  on  2/3/2018 at 6:05 PM

    Sri Lankan cheese on toast.

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  2/3/2018 at 7:13 PM

    I would like to try making the Brown shrimp vadai with cashew nut dipping sauce.

  • Joy001  on  2/3/2018 at 7:26 PM

    Coconut stir-fry sounds delicious!

  • MeatMe  on  2/3/2018 at 8:08 PM

    Love Cake, simply because February is the month of Love!

  • HelenB  on  2/3/2018 at 10:19 PM

    Coconut scotch pancakes.

  • t.t  on  2/3/2018 at 11:26 PM

    Tomato curry 'shakshuka'

  • Joyceeong  on  2/4/2018 at 7:55 AM

    Egg curry

  • LMS209  on  2/4/2018 at 8:29 AM

    coconut and macadamia granola :)

  • love2laf  on  2/4/2018 at 1:53 PM

    Papaya, radish, buffalo curd and chilli salad

  • kmn4  on  2/5/2018 at 10:27 AM

    Black pork curry

  • sarahawker  on  2/5/2018 at 10:28 AM

    Curry buns

  • matag  on  2/5/2018 at 2:34 PM

    Gotu kola

  • maria411  on  2/5/2018 at 5:20 PM

    chicken liver curry

  • Dannausc  on  2/5/2018 at 6:26 PM

    String hoppers

  • mjes  on  2/5/2018 at 6:29 PM

    Clams in rum, tamarind butter and cinnamon with string hoppers

  • LaurenE  on  2/5/2018 at 7:06 PM

    Egg curry

  • ptkcollins  on  2/6/2018 at 6:38 AM

    Black pork curry

  • cake17uk  on  2/6/2018 at 7:47 AM

    Would love to try Veena's aubergine curry first

  • thecharlah  on  2/6/2018 at 8:02 AM

    Pumpkin curry

  • fionajk42  on  2/6/2018 at 8:22 AM

    I like the sound of the cashew curry

  • Carolyn99  on  2/6/2018 at 10:33 AM

    String hoppers!

  • DimensionAEB  on  2/6/2018 at 12:11 PM

    The Bang Bang Chicken

  • lgroom  on  2/6/2018 at 2:49 PM

    Mmmmm ... cashew curry.

  • contest718  on  2/6/2018 at 8:28 PM

    Deep-fried string hoppers with crab mayo

  • Steben  on  2/8/2018 at 8:40 AM

    Raw rhubarb and ginger sambol

  • sipa  on  2/8/2018 at 2:49 PM

    Tomato curry 'shakshuka'

  • Siegal  on  2/8/2018 at 9:31 PM

    I want to make the pol roti

  • sgump  on  2/9/2018 at 5:05 PM

    St. Valentine's Day is around the corner . . . so "love cake" it would have to be!

  • shaz4  on  2/10/2018 at 4:09 AM

    Beetroot curry - sounds delightfully warming for this snowy winter!

  • choppergirl  on  2/11/2018 at 7:47 AM

    Mussels, lime & chilli butter in arrack

  • nicolacowburn  on  2/11/2018 at 8:18 AM

    The fermented batter sounds lush

  • Livia  on  2/11/2018 at 12:19 PM

    It has got to be the Love Cake, how could I resist :)

  • niniacedo  on  2/11/2018 at 10:56 PM

    Black pork curry

  • Ebanni  on  2/14/2018 at 6:16 AM

    Raw rhubarb and ginger sambol because if I win I’ll get my book when the rhubarb in my garden will be ready to cut and this is a healthy non sugar recipe that would be great with an egg hopper for breakfast. And it will remind me of my Dad who did his National Service with the Signals in Kandy.

  • horselady57  on  2/15/2018 at 9:16 PM

    The coconut scotch pancakes sound tasty!

  • rahiscock  on  2/15/2018 at 11:43 PM

    Cashew curry

  • Execchef1225  on  2/16/2018 at 2:42 AM

    Bang bang chicken

  • Katti  on  2/16/2018 at 6:43 AM

    Papaya cake with lime cream cheese icing

  • rlmiller  on  2/16/2018 at 4:39 PM

    I really want to learn to make string hoppers!

  • katehenderson  on  2/16/2018 at 6:09 PM

    Squid Curry!

  • kitchen_chick  on  2/16/2018 at 8:51 PM

    String hopper biryani

  • Moodge  on  2/16/2018 at 9:22 PM

    Kaffir Lime and Lemongrass Marmalade - so I have it ready for the Ceylon Tea Malt Loaf!

  • Execchef1225  on  2/17/2018 at 12:53 AM

    Bang bang chicken

  • Lmhemphill  on  2/17/2018 at 1:15 AM

    Roast spiced chicken with brown sugar, limes and coconut milk :)

  • Njpadget  on  2/17/2018 at 2:41 AM

    The Dahl, still looking for the perfect version

  • luccio  on  2/17/2018 at 3:07 AM

    Tomato curry 'shakshuka'

  • PennyBarr  on  2/17/2018 at 3:22 AM

    Ginger hopper for me - I know it sounds like a breed of frog but I bet it’s delicious!

  • TanyaD  on  2/17/2018 at 6:01 AM

    I'd probably try Kola kanda first.

  • cora429  on  2/17/2018 at 8:29 AM

    I love shakshuka, so the tomato curry "shakshuka"

  • sequoia55  on  2/17/2018 at 2:07 PM

    Coconut stir-fry

  • JenJoLa  on  2/17/2018 at 3:44 PM

    Sri Lankan cheese on toast

  • alisonp  on  2/17/2018 at 3:59 PM

    I would try the egg curry and try to emulate the one a friends mother made for me when I was a child

  • lizr  on  2/17/2018 at 4:20 PM

    Hoppers. I’ve just read ‘The Hamilton case’ by Michelle de Kretser set in Sri Lanka and it’s one of the breakfast dishes she mentions.

  • infotrop  on  2/17/2018 at 4:44 PM

    Hot chocolate, clearly like no hot chocolate I've ever had!

  • kikilalah  on  2/18/2018 at 12:34 AM

    Plain hopper!

  • v.t  on  2/18/2018 at 11:42 AM

    Coconut 'Scotch' pancakes

  • jd5761  on  2/18/2018 at 2:38 PM

    Coconut scotch pancakes for me :-)

  • percussion03  on  2/18/2018 at 9:09 PM

    This book sounds amazing! Enticed by “avocado fool with like curd and coconut cream.”

  • PeavineBlues  on  2/19/2018 at 9:26 AM


  • RickPearson54  on  2/19/2018 at 9:50 AM

    Egg curry

  • Sfgordon  on  2/19/2018 at 6:34 PM

    I would try the pol roti and the Papaya, radish, buffalo curd and chilli salad

  • kitchenclimbers  on  2/20/2018 at 2:45 PM

    curry buns

  • MaryCunningham86  on  2/22/2018 at 12:17 AM

    Watermelon gazpacho!

  • kennethjohngilmour  on  2/23/2018 at 12:09 PM

    will try to start the day off right with the Sun House chilli eggs found on page 30

  • RuthHarwood  on  2/25/2018 at 9:25 AM

    Sun House chilli eggs

  • PennyG  on  2/25/2018 at 4:23 PM

    Sri Lankan cheese on toast!

  • rachael_mc  on  2/25/2018 at 5:43 PM

    Mussels, lime and chilli butter in arrack

  • HermionieG  on  2/27/2018 at 10:42 AM

    Basic vegetable curry

  • jjankows  on  2/27/2018 at 10:12 PM

    Pumpkin curry!

  • parnassus  on  2/27/2018 at 11:08 PM

    Papaya cake with lime cream cheese icing!!!!

  • lhavard  on  2/27/2018 at 11:55 PM

    Love cake - who can resist a Sri Lankan love cake🙂

  • CheekySpouse  on  2/28/2018 at 1:34 AM

    I’m totally addicted to spices so this book would be the perfect addition to my collection. The first recipe I would try would be the Black Pork Curry.

  • obbigttam  on  2/28/2018 at 1:51 AM

    Mutton rolls - lamb is great but mutton is sooooo underrated

  • biro  on  2/28/2018 at 2:24 AM

    Ceylon tea malt loaf

  • Arinelle  on  2/28/2018 at 5:48 AM

    The Ceylon tea malt loaf sounds very nice!

  • HomespunHouse  on  2/28/2018 at 2:13 PM

    Roast Spiced chicken

  • GregH  on  2/28/2018 at 7:06 PM

    Mussels, lime & chilli butter in arrack

  • madelainelc  on  3/1/2018 at 4:04 PM

    peas and cheese curry! It looks like you make your own fresh cheese for this recipe, which I am most excited to try.

  • maggie_moo  on  3/2/2018 at 7:17 AM

    It's gotta be Kottu Rottu - although I have eaten this a few dozen times as Kottu Roti - a chicken one is my absolute fave to the point that I am thinking of planning a holiday to Sri Lanka just to eat as many versions of this street food as possible. So I do need to try to make it at home as it's cheaper than a flight to Sri Lanka :)

  • Jen.oc  on  3/2/2018 at 3:06 PM

    Coconut stir fry sounds amazing!

  • sunset34  on  3/2/2018 at 9:28 PM

    Roast spiced chicken with brown sugar, limes and coconut milk

  • maestra  on  3/3/2018 at 3:31 PM

    Kottu rottu sounds or Hot chocolate. What an amazing combination of flavors in each one!

  • shellee  on  3/5/2018 at 10:40 AM

    Basic Vegetable Curry

  • ejsmith  on  3/6/2018 at 5:57 PM

    Sri Lankan cheese on toast

  • bopper  on  3/7/2018 at 4:57 PM

    Black Pork Curry

  • yd1556  on  3/8/2018 at 1:44 AM

    Watermelon Gazpacho

  • Vecta2  on  3/8/2018 at 3:34 AM

    Sri Lankan cheese on toast

  • sheridarby  on  3/8/2018 at 8:16 AM

    Tomato curry 'shakshuka'

  • chimpbob  on  3/8/2018 at 8:59 AM

    Bang Bang Chicken

  • Jenamarie  on  3/8/2018 at 9:32 AM

    Avocado fool with lime curd and coconut cream

  • iza27  on  3/9/2018 at 1:29 AM

    Egg curry

  • Coffeebean  on  3/9/2018 at 10:27 PM

    Bang bang chicken

  • trudys_person  on  3/11/2018 at 12:48 PM

    String Hoppers ... I've had them in restaurants, and I think they would be fun to make!

  • JudeVFR400  on  3/11/2018 at 1:12 PM

    The dahl, with coconut milk and mustard seeds, sounds really good.

  • Cah12377  on  3/11/2018 at 4:23 PM

    Chicken liver curry :)

  • gillwill  on  3/12/2018 at 12:33 PM

    String Hoppers

  • zeeenie  on  3/12/2018 at 2:54 PM

    id try the Cashew Curry

  • sammii04  on  3/13/2018 at 6:36 AM

    I'd try the egg curry because I love egg and I love curry!

  • MammaGoRound  on  3/13/2018 at 1:39 PM

    Definitely the Cashew Curry.

  • Radley  on  3/13/2018 at 2:37 PM

    Egg Curry

  • Ishtar  on  3/13/2018 at 3:26 PM

    Green banana curry. Memories of my honeymoon there last year

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