O Tama Carey

is the owner of Lankan Filling Station. Her first cookbook is Lanka Food. She is a food editor of The Saturday Paper.

By this author


Food March 26, 2022

Brussels sprout mallung

If you don’t know what a mallung is then please allow me to introduce you. Also known as mallum, it’s a Sri Lankan side dish that is usually purely vegetarian. Like a salad, which can be anything really, so too is a mallung. And like a refreshing …

Food March 05, 2022

Green pie

There is something very satisfying about eating pie in any of its various forms. It’s comforting, usually easy to eat, and often, but not always, better with some saucy bit on the side. The variations are endless; what you put in, the type of pastry …

Food February 12, 2022

Upside-down peach, almond and polenta cake

One of the interesting things about food and eating is how throughout your life your tastes can morph. I spent most of my life blissfully on the fence about the idea of cake. There were some delicious ones of course, but my cravings generally veered towards …

Food January 22, 2022

Smoky eggplant with yoghurt, tahini and seeds

I have a love-hate relationship with eggplants. We had an auspicious start, years of deliciousness, until we hit a rocky patch, in no small part due to me. And, although it’s smooth sailing once again, the memory of that fractious period refuses to …

Food December 11, 2021

Mu-mu cocktail

I love a cocktail. I love the glasses, I love the ritual of making them, I love aperitivo hour and I love nothing more than sitting at a bar drinking them while eating snacks. My go-to is a dirty martini, the murkier the better, although if there is a …

Food November 27, 2021

Raspberry fool

Plump, ripe, fresh-picked berries, still warm with the heat of the sun, are true summer bliss. These fruits have a delicate nature, and are small and vulnerable, needing to be handled with care. I don’t think there are any berries I don’t like, although …

Food November 06, 2021

Spring sourdough spaetzle with peas and things

Apologies, but this recipe does come conditionally: you will need a spaetzle maker; a little obscure, I know, but relatively easy to find and inexpensive. I bought mine on a trip to Italy prior to ever actually having made them. It was autumn, up near …

Food October 16, 2021

Rhubarb compote with fennel pollen

As much as I admire rhubarb, I still think it’s a tricky beast. For a start, it has an identity crisis: it’s a vegetable masquerading as a fruit. Second, its leaves contain high amounts of oxalic acid, which is poisonous. You would need to eat a lot …

Food September 25, 2021

Potato gratin with ricotta, honey and thyme

Potatoes are nothing short of perfect. There is nothing they cannot do, no way they can’t be cooked, and each way is best. A perfectly boiled too-young potato, straight from the ground, is one of the sweetest things I have ever eaten. A crispy hot chip …

Food September 04, 2021

Cabbage cream with cabbage, parmesan and toasted buckwheat

Back in the good old days, when you could move more than five kilometres and make plans in advance, we booked a holiday house for Christmas – 10 days by the beach with a smattering of overlapping friends. Our restaurants were closed, which meant any …

Food August 14, 2021

Clementine marmalade with star anise and black pepper

I love citrus, a family of fruits all with a sour tang and varying degrees of sweetness, their history a tale of hybrids. There were four firsts – citron, pomelo, papeda and the mandarin, the only sweet one – that were mixed and interbred so successfully …

Food July 24, 2021

Mud crab with curry leaf butter

Before you dismiss the idea of cooking crab because you think it’s too hard, please give me a moment to persuade you that it’s not. I think most people will agree the flesh from a crab is delicious. It’s succulent, sweet and slightly salty, with …