Recipes raising funds

Author Jonette Wilton launching a Sri Lankan cookbook, Plates of Goodness. Photos: Maxine Stibbe

By Abbey Cannan

Chef Peter Kuruvita and author Jonette Wilton launched a Sri Lankan cookbook, Plates of Goodness, at Alba by Kuruvita on Thursday 13 July.

The collaboration brought together by Noosa’s Luxe Coastal Property Buyer’s Agent, Christine Mount, saw the production of this cookbook to raise funds for the Sri Lankan charity, Foundation of Goodness.

The three locals had many stories to tell to keep guests intrigued about this hidden gem of an island off the east coast of India, which although poor, is a wonderful food bowl for unique recipes.

“The reason there’s a big punt of spice in all of this is because when you eat vegetarian food I think you need a bit of flavour. Especially the beetroot curry I can see people wiping their noses,“ Peter said.

“I’ve been going backwards and forwards to Sri Lanka forever, before the tsunami, during the war… and you can always see the difficulty that every day life is for a lot of people in Sri Lanka. This is what this book and the Foundation of Goodness is all about.

“There’s a little saying in Sri Lanka. It’s always a big mob having dinner. With 22 relatives plus all the helpers and everything, there’s a big compound with three houses on it and we would all go to someone’s house and have this lavish meal.

“At the end of the meal, after we’ve said goodbye (saying goodbye in Sri Lanka takes as long as it does to have the dinner, basically they’re hanging in your car still saying goodbye to you) but when you do finally part with those people, someone in your party will say ’That was really good, but not as good as mine’. So what I urge all of you to do is make these recipes in the book your own.“

Jonette said, “We probably had 100 different villages from Sri Lanka send in their recipes with notes written on pieces of paper and we collated all of that into this book.“

All proceeds raised will go to the Foundation of Goodness’ Village Heartbeat Empowerment Centres, which have been integral in empowering local villages from Jaffna at the northernmost tip to Seenigama in the south, with essential projects such as providing dry rations and groceries to food-insecure families who have not been able to access daily meals.

A raffle was held on the day, with funds raised for the Tewantin-Noosa Country Women’s Association.

The book is currently being pre-sold from the fundraising platform, and the Foundation has raised over $37,000 so far.