"This dish was invented for Kasyapa, the King of Sigiriya rock fortress in Sri Lanka," writes Kuruvita. "According to legend, Kasyapa was very demanding and his chefs had to invent new curries daily." The secret to this recipe is the sandalwood. In Sri Lanka it's possible to buy fresh sandalwood, which leaches its oil when boiled in a curry. A few drops of pure sandalwood oil, available from some health-food shops, will give the same heady flavour. If using the oil, add it with the water.
Note My Feast with Peter Kuruvita is published by Hardie Grant ($49.95, hbk). The recipes here have been reproduced with minor GT style changes.