Osu Kutiya – Fresh, Healthy and Compassionate Cuisine

May 2018| 416 views

A tempting display of Wattaka curry, Watakolu Kebab and Polos Bola curry

Otara Gunewardene and Chef Publis Silva present ‘Osu Kutiya’, a culinary programme that focuses on recipes for delicious vegan dishes, prepared using the freshest and nutritious ingredients from the island.

Words Keshini de Silva

Fresh, nutritious and compassionate, the gastronomic journey by ‘Osu Kutiya’, is centred around these principles. Wellbeing begins in the kitchen, hence the programme has been named to reflect a transformation of the cooking space to promote healthy living. Presented by entrepreneur and thought leader, Otara Gunewardene together with Chef Publis Silva, an expert on traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, the programme has been inspired by the wholesome vegetables and fruits of the island and its culinary heritage.

The programme, in collaboration with Mount Lavinia Hotel, is founded on Otara’s mission to promote compassionate and cruelty-free gastronomy, which also appreciates the essence of Sri Lankan cuisine.

Chef Publis and Otara Gunewardene carefully select the greens

“Osu Kutiya is a programme that combines all that is close to my heart. To make people understand the suffering that we and the entire food industry puts animals through for the sake of food. Once you witness this suffering, it is difficult to unsee it. That is why I decided to promote cruelty-free vegan dishes that you can enjoy as well as receive the required proteins and nutrition,” says Otara Gunewardene.

On a backdrop of lively music, the pilot episode of Osu Kutiya, takes viewers through the bustling Mount Lavinia Pola (fair), introducing them to the concept of compassionate cuisine. Chef Publis guides Otara and the audience through the island’s prized leafy greens, precious spices, nutritious vegetables and nourishing fruit. With jovial, informative remarks from Chef Publis, the emphasis of the programme is on obtaining field-fresh ingredients. The subsequent episodes have focused on the preparation of traditional, healthy and cruelty-free Sri Lankan dishes, using these fresh, nutritious ingredients. She explains, “Sri Lanka has so many good things to offer. The superfood being spoken about globally such as jak fruit (kos) and moringa (murunga), grow in home backyards in Sri Lanka. Our vegetables and greens have medicinal properties that could be used for various ailments. We should not lose our amazing culinary identity and must urge people to eat the freshest food.”

Sip a refreshing cup of Polpala Kanda

Polpala Kanda (Porridge)


Polpala 250g

Red rice 100g

Coconut milk 100ml

Garlic 50g

Water 300ml

Ginger 10g

Salt to taste


Wash polpala, pluck the leaves and blend with 100ml water.

Squeeze and strain to separate the juice (Liquid One).

Use the residue from squeezing and blend with coconut milk.

Squeeze the mixture, strain and separate juice (Liquid Two).

Boil red rice with ginger.

Remove ginger piece and blend the boiled red rice.

Get a pan on fire and mix boiled rice with Liquid Two.

Add Liquid One and mix for a little while.

Add salt to taste.

Wattaka (Pumkin) Cury


Pumpkin 250g

Chilli powder 02 tsp

Curry powder 02 tsp

Turmeric powder 02 tsp

Fried curry powder  03 tsp

Mustard 10g

Coconut oil 50ml

Chopped garlic 15g

Chopped onion 15g

Green chilli 10g

Garlic 10g

Fenugreek 10g

Tomato cubes 02 Nos

Sugar 01 tsp

Rampe (pandan)

Curry leaves


Cut pumpkin into cubes (with the peel) and bake them.| Get a pan, add oil, allow to heat and add mustard. | When the mustard pops, add onion, rampe (pandan), curry leaves, garlic and cook until they are golden in colour. | Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, curry powder and fenugreek. | Then add coconut milk or a little amount of water. | Add tomato pieces and continue to cook. | Add the pumpkin.  | Add a little sugar and lime juice. | Then add fried curry powder and mix well.

Enjoy a plate of Watakolu Kebab

Watakolu (Ridge Gourd) Kebab


Watakolu 150g

Red onion 50g

Bell pepper 50g

Pineapple 100g


Chilli powder 10g

Black pepper 10g


Cut vegetables into cubes.

Pierce them with a BBQ stick in a nice coloured arrangement.

Add salt, chilli powder and black pepper powder around the vegetable pieces.

Grill the kebabs.

The polos mixture is made into small balls to be deep fried

Polos (Tender Jak Fruit) Bola Curry


Polos 500g

Rampe   50g

Curry leaves   10g

Big Onion 100g

Green chilli   10g

Turmeric powder   ½ tsp

Chilli powder   ½ tsp

Curry powder   ½ tsp

Chickpea powder   3 tsp

Chopped garlic   15g

Coconut milk 250g

Oil to fry

Salt to taste

Lime juice to taste


Boil polos and cut into pieces.

Add onion, green chilli, curry powder ¼ tsp, chilli powder ¼ tsp, chickpea powder ¼ tsp and mix the mash.

Make small balls and deep fry.

The preparation of the curry

Curry Preparation

Sauté garlic, onion, curry leaves, rampe, curry powder, chilli powder and turmeric powder.

Add coconut milk and allow to boil.

Add fried polos balls.

Mix and serve.