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“Slight deception” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Karuna s Cooking Class @ Sonja's Healthfood Restaurant

Karuna s Cooking Class @ Sonja's Healthfood Restaurant
Wella Devale Road, Unawatuna, Galle, Sri Lanka
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Ranked #2 of 15 Activities in Unawatuna
Type: Classes/Workshops, Classes
Attraction details
15 reviews 15 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Slight deception”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013 via mobile

Karuna is a nice and professional teacher. But i disliked the feeling of not finding that "magic" sri lankan taste at the end. Besides, all the lesson went really fast and the was no real pedagogy or personal advising (7 pupils at once!). Finally, I was surprised that Karuna tell that some sri lankan people take advantage of tourism as her lessons aren't cheap at all. I wouldn't recommend these courses.

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67 reviews from our community

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Top Contributor
137 reviews 137 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
“Our best day in Unawatuna”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

What a laugh!! Karuna has a great sense of humour. Don't go there expecting to just sit and watch, everyone participates and Karuna has a great laugh. Like most Sri Lankans she is warm and hospitable and we just enjoyed being around her.

Like others have said we took a tuk tuk to the markets to select our vegetables and fish and what is cooked on the day is dependant on what you all choose to buy. As I live in a tropical country also most of the ingredients are readily available at my local market so I was eager to select some of those. Our menu consisted of Pumpkin curry, Okra curry, Banana Flower curry, Tuna curry, Devilled potatoes and Dhal. I was so suprised at how easy and quick the cooking process is once everything is prepared. We made coconut cream and coconut milk from scratch which is acually a tedious and time consuming process but in the end is so much better than the tinned product. While we are cooking each curry Karuna offers alternative ingredient suggestions for each curry which is very helpful for those who don't have access to what is actually being cooked. The result was a delicious late lunch shared amongst you all. Karuna is open to questions regarding any of the cooking process.

It's not fancy. Very casual and lighthearted but a great way to spend an afternoon. In no way did I feel Karuna was "going through the motions". This is her personality and it's up to you to engage and take an interest. Note pads and pen are available to write down recipes.

As explained the reason she no longer provides recipe books is because every day is a different ingredient, some are not available in other countries, and recipes are decided upon what is purchased at the market so it's up to you to write down the recipes you like.

One suggestion is before recreating these dishes at home is test your spices as the quality and strength differ. What appeared to be a huge amount of dried chilli was infact quite mild however at home it was super hot and too much. As suggested by Karuna do not substitute Garam Masala for the powder type. If you can make your own from whole raw ingredients the better tasting your dishes will be.

Great day and wll definately go back to do another session.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“karuna is a living doll”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

we did a lot of research on the net and karuna's classes came up with more hits than anyone else she has been doing this for 9 years and her prices haven't increased in that 9 years, she is going to increase her prices accordingly and as we all know inflation is a killer and after 9 years of not increasing her prices how could you possibly make a profit if you are paying for the produce and the tuk tuk's to and from the markets for the fresh produce and to those of you who think karuna is just going through the motions then why don't you pay more attention to detail and write in all down, she does supply pencil and paper and is open to any questions you may have so don't diss her for your lack of attention, my friend and i gained a lot of knowledge from her and will still keep in touch with her and will be returning again sometime during the year..........give her a break, can you do any better under the economical circumstances.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Charismatic Karuna”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

My adult daughter and I had the most marvelous day cooking with Karuna. The visit to Galle fruit and veg market was fascinating, and the smiling stall holders clearly enjoy welcoming Karuna's endless streams of pupils. Karuna herself has such a warm and engaging personality that one can't fail to feel captivated. With great efficiently she draws her students into the process of peeling vegetables, grating coconut, chopping herbs so that everyone feels involved and included. Time flew by as we were led expertly through the preparation of a fish curry, a pumpkin curry, green bean curry, a dahl and a green mango curry. Before we knew it we were seated round the long table sampling rice and curries, swapping travellers tales with our class-mates who now felt like old friends. Throughout this overcast day rain fell in torrents but were we bovvered......absolutely not since Karuna held us spellbound. The next day the sun came out again :)

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Becoming Regulars!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013 via mobile

Did this course last year and had to go again this year, the highlight for us is the people you meet, Karujna was on top form as usual and her constant infectious laughter made the whole day a joy. For those that haven't done it the day consists of:
1. Arrive approx 11am, general chit chat
2. Travel by tuk tuk, included in the price, to Galle and visit the veg market, spice shops and the fish stall, choose the ingredient that you will be cooking.
3. Return to Unawatuna by tuk tuk
4. Time taken to prepare cook and serve depends greatly on the number present on the day, first time we were 8 and it was a little cramped but still great fun. This time we were just 4 and it was great, no rush plenty of time.
5. Ginger tea is normally served at some point in the proceeding and is very palatable unless you don't like ginger....
6. Eat as a group, photos, sign guest book etc.

Both times we have attended the day wound on until mid afternoon so look at the meal as a very late lunch. My other half is vegetarian and was catered for with no issues so the fact that fish is on the menus should not deter any of a similar dietary bent.

Price seems to have stayed static since last year at 6000 rupees per person or there abouts, you may get a small discount for a group booking.

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