JK's Xmas Sri Lankan Style

Each year, I prepare my family recipe – herb roasted turkey and gravy, but being in the land of exotic spices for half my life makes me more adventurous in the spice department. Hence curry. In Sri Lanka, no two curries are alike. I categorize curry two ways – mild and hot.
Due to tropical daytime heat and guests who are working, Christmas dinner in Sri Lanka is at 8:00 pm. I set four round tables on the veranda. Almost a hundred lanterns are placed across the property creating a festive glow. There are no place settings instead tables are divided into four categories. Mild and Hot curry, a third table for guests who eat Sri Lankan style with their hands, which is to bring harmony to the flavors and textures of the food. And a fourth table, for those like me who prefer the family flatware. Unlike my culinary partner Jeff, typically I adhere to each recipe, but on Christmas I release my culinary inhibitions. 
In Sri Lanka and India I learned about combining color and texture in food.  As a result guests choose three prime ingredients- turkey, rice, and condiments.  There are small dishes like diced cucumbers, lime pickle, hot mango, raisins, banana slivers, roasted cashews, sliced avocado and dried cranberries, to name a few.
It’s so much fun sharing these flavors and watching friends and family turn fifty shades of purple from spices that give a new meaning of HOT!