"I was overwhelmed by the variety and the sophistication of the meals" - The Financial Times

Ulpotha - A Kitchen in Paradise

Ulpotha is a recipe and photographic book celebrating a small traditional village nestled in Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle.

It’s the land that time forgot, full of lore, mystery, and legend. It’s where monkeys swing through the trees and nature is in full play.

Buffaloes are used to thresh heritage red rice, there is no electricity, food is cooked on open fires and vegetables grown in the garden. The villagers welcome guests six months a year to do yoga, eat Ayurvedic food and have Ayurvedic treatments.

Carina Cooper (Author of Notting Hill cook book, and after work cook book) has taken the recipes and interpreted them to be cooked in the west whilst taking the reader on a lyrical tour of this magical kingdom.

Ingrid Rasmussen (photographer of ‘New London Style’, ‘Ibiza Style’, ‘New Country Style’ and ‘Style City’) has brought her refreshing eye to photograph the delicious food whilst also capturing the villagers at ‘leisure, pleasure and rest’ which is the credo for Ulpotha.

Author | Carina Cooper
Photographs | Ingrid Rasmussen
Hardback | 240 pages
Publisher | East Pole Foundation Limited (1 Dec 2012)
Language | English
ISBN | 978-0-9573383-0-2
Dimensions | 170 x 240 mm
Price | $35.00 & plus shipping
Available to purchase in Ulpotha

Sample recipe
Serves 4 - 6

This is a rich velvety jewel coloured dish. You can cook this in an ovenproof earthenware pot (or casserole dish) and reheat the leftovers the next day. It is even better when all the ingredients have found their voice.


  1. 2 dessertspoon of coconut oil
  2. 1 large red onion roughly chopped
  3. 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  4. 2 large beetroot cut into strips
  5. 1/4 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  6. 1 cinnamon stick
  7. 4 cardamom pods, crushed
  8. A handful of curry leaves
  9. 400ml coconut milk
  10. 2 tablespoons of fragrant curry powder
  11. 1 handful of desiccated coconut, keep a little for decoration
  12. Sea salt flakes
  13. A handful of fresh basil
  14. 1 lime

How to cook:
Put the coconut oil in a large earthenware pot or casserole dish over a low heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté.

When the onions start to soften, add the cinnamon stick, curry leaves, curry powder, chilli and desiccated coconut. Stir together well. Add the beetroot and stir well and sauté for a few more minutes.

Pour over the coconut milk and add the crushed cardamom. Cover and simmer gently until the beetroot is tender but still crunchy, stirring occasionally.

Season well with salt.

Decorate with the fresh basil and sprinkle with a little bit of desiccated coconut and a squeeze of lime.