Power women in the kitchen – ” cooking for my family is a passion & a labour of love”

Manohari Abeysekera – Director National Savings Bank

Manohari Abeyesekera  is Satynmag’s Power Woman cooking for her family in the new year.

Manohari is one of the most accomplished women in the corporate world.

She has functioned as the Director – Strategy & Business Development at Fentons Limited- and Director -Hayleys Group Services (Pvt.) Ltd.

She was Head – Strategic Business Development at Hayleys PLC, which was responsible for the Group’s acquisitions during her 17 year career with the company.An Alumnus of KPMG and a Fellow of Chartered Institute of Management Accountant (CIMA-UK)  and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka.

Manohari holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biological Science (1stClass Honours) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Colombo.She has completed the Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations conducted by the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute, where she received the Vernon Mendis Memorial Award for excellent results.

Manohari has represent Sri Lanka at the Fortune Mentoring Program for female leaders in March 2019 and the prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) in 2014 by the Dept. of State, USA. A recipient of the AOTS Scholarship, Japan in 2015,  she has completed an Executive Education at Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, Asian Development Bank, Manila and BHF Bank, Germany.

She has served as the Chair of CIMA Sri Lanka Country Network Panel in CIMA’s Centenary year 2019 while currently serves as a Member of the CIMA UK Global Member Engagement Committee.

She has also served as an Executive Committee Member in the International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (2015-2019). Satynmag caught up with Manohari as she took time off her busy schedule.

All women love cooking for their families – power women are no different.Cooking nutritious and tasty meals is indeed a labour of love for all of us.Particularly during the COVID-19 restrictions, it gives everyone the ability to connect with their families and create great conversation around the family meal time.

Manohari says she enjoyed cooking a simple yet great meal for her daughter Nevanmie and husband Rajik.This is her take on our Quick Five questionnaire.

  • What is your favourite dish?

I like Garlic Rice, Smoked Salmon with Mashed Potatoes

  • How do you connect with your family during free time?

       Watching Netflix movies

  • What is your favourite cuisine?

       Sri Lankan – nothing beats a good  dhal & pol sambol plus hoppers with lunu miris

  • What advice can you give upcoming power women?

       Try to devote quality time to your loved ones.

  • A dish you would like to try?

      Garlic Rice with devilled prawns – Sunday Lunch

  • Do you cook with gas or electric?


Cooking with the blue flame is safer, efficient and ensures faster cooking times. Cooking on low heat helps the old retain its nutrients while ensuring taste and proper cooking.

Manohari’s recipe for Garlic Rice & Devilled Prawns

Garlic Rice –

– White rice for 4  pax

– Large pods of garlic – 4 ( crushed)

– 3 tablespoons of butter

– Spring onions  – chopped

-Salt and Pepper to taste

Method :

Heat a pan, add butter .

Add the crushed garlic and heat till the garlic browns – add  boiled white rice , salt and pepper to taste. Toss.

Add spring onions on top and serve hot.

Devilled Prawns

Prawns-500 gms

Garlic -one large pod crushed

Coconut oil ( 2-3 tablespoons)

Crushed chili, 02 tomatoes (sliced) , a dash of tomato sauce, pepper and salt to taste.

Curry Leaves

Method –

Clean the prawns but retain the shell.

Marinade with salt and pepper for 15-20 minutes.

Heat the pan; pour coconut oil.  Add the prawns and chopped garlic .Stir well.

Add chilli pieces, sliced tomato, spring onions and curry leaves – add  tomato sauce and thicken with water if needed.

Serve hot.


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