Dish It Out: Saji Kalugalage

Mar 28 2024.

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What do our food experts cook and eat? This week, food blogger and digital creator, Saji of @calorie_palate takes our Q&A! 

Did you grow up in a cooking family? 

No. But my mother does an amazing job. She taught me a lot, and I'm still learning from her, but my journey also entailed a lot of self-learning.

How did Calorie Palate come about?

I created an Instagram account during Covid, but I couldn’t keep that account, unfortunately. After a break, I got back on Instagram again and Calorie Palate came to life and it’s been slowly growing every day. 

The unique ingredient that will make or break your dishes?

Lime/ Lemon!  I use lime or lemon quite often in my cooking. 

What was your favourite childhood meal?  

My mum prepares "Milk Roti" with a juicy chilli paste to pair with it. Back then, when she was making them, my brother and I used to be glued to her side so that we could quickly take them when it was done. My mother still makes it if we ask her to and I still adore it! 

What’s your favourite recipe on your page right now?

Right now, I have two favourites.  But my "Lava cake" recipe is currently my most popular and go-to dessert. It is always a hit and a favourite among all.

What’s one food or ingredient that you can’t stand?

I can't stand Papaya. It’s just a personal preference but I can’t wrap my head around it. 

What is the Easiest meal you’d make to impress someone?

Oooh, a cheesy atta flour chicken wrap


Your favourite recipe that has been passed down to you from family?

Weli Thalapa recipe from my mum. It is a well-balanced sweet treat which my mum mastered. I’m learning also but I am not an expert yet.

As a food blogger, what does a restaurant need to have or do to get a 5/5 recommendation from you?
There are certain things I consider when I dine out. The simplicity of the menu speaks a lot to me because I’m not a fan of overly complicated or twisted menus. Cleanliness and how they treat their customers are also very important. And of course, the food must be true to description! 

Your best advice to someone who is starting to cook for the first time?

If this is your first time, I would advise you to mentally and physically prepare yourself in advance. For example, make sure you prep your ingredients in advance and follow a recipe thoroughly. Additionally, experiment often and practice until you feel successful.

What’s the foolproof recipe on your page you’ll recommend to anyone?

I would recommend my ‘Mini Prawn Bun’ recipe.

What’s a dish you’d love to relive for the first time?

I have a serious butter chicken obsession. I would enjoy reliving my very first butter chicken experience.

Your comfort food after a long day? 

I will make pasta for myself if I have to cook. If it were store-bought, my choice would be a slice of cake from The Fab, along with a strong cup of coffee.

What’s your hack for creating great food content?

I always try to create content as authentic as possible. I think the hack is to constantly follow my heart and do what I love.

Savoury vs. Sweet – which one wins?

Hands down it's savoury.

What’s a food item you want to try in the future?

I’d love to try a deep-dish pizza.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Panchali Illankoon

Law Graduate, food and travel enthusiast and full time dog mom..

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