I took Duneesha's cooking class the day I was leaving Sri Lanka. The flight was after midnight, so I asked her to have a class for dinner. Duneesha and I contacted using WhatApp and the communication was really smooth. She accommodates your plan and preferences very flexibly. She asked my preference in menu (which she has so many options to choose from) and I could ask some specific dishes I wanted to learn for substitutes. Duneesha knows the best combinations and very knowledgeable, so seek her recommendation and suggestions. She is super flexible so if you want to substitute some dishes, you can, but ask her whether that goes with the rest of the dishes, if you want to learn how to make an authentic Sri Lankan plate at the end. The idea is you want to have some spicy, some mild, some wet, some dry, and the final plate should look colourful! We had many back and forth to decide the final menu, so I knew even before the class that she is serious about the food!
It took about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Colombo city center to get her place by car because of Friday evening traffic. So plan to leave your place early, especially if it is during rush hour. The class starts with her lecture on Sri Lankan everyday food. Then we go to the kitchen and start cooking. You can have as much hands-on experience as you want if you like. I was too busy taking pictures and writing notes but was still able to do some preparation, mixing, cooking, etc. Duneesha's very nice mom was also in the kitchen with us, helping out at every part of the making of the meal.
I learned how to make string hoppers, coconut roti, dhal curry, coconut sambol, lunumiris, egg plant mojo, spicy egg curry, ambultiyal (a dry fish dish) and potato curry. Even if you may not reproduce what you learnt in Dunee's kitchen in your home country, you would learn so much; the ingredients of certain dish, how it is cooked, about its spices, what to combine and how to eat, etc., so when you eat in Sri Lanka, you appreciate the food much more and understand why it takes time for food to arrive in restaurants when they cook it fresh.
You can order food in much more sensible way. You will understand how Sri Lankan curry is different from Indian curry. That course was 60 Euro. The basic course is 50 Euro and you can add extra dish if you like.
My husband came along but he did not take a class. At the end we ate togetherr with Duneesha and her nice husband, Stephan. We had a great time and learned so much about Sri Lanka's food. Duneesha will teach you how to put different food items in one plate (which is very useful knowledge at any buffet situation in Sri Lanka), and how exactly to eat the food by hand. I never realised that the food tastes so different if you mix well with your finger sand then eat. The food then is not as spicy as you eat individually, and results in some noticeably different flavours when combined this way.
I was the first student since the pandemic, and I am so grateful that she offered a course. Many cooking class requires at least two people, but Duneesha allows one participant. Most of cooking class has a set time, but Duneesha is flexible. All and all, I highly recommend to take her class if you have time in Colombo. You will not see Sri Lankan food the same way again!