A Taste of Sri Lanka
OK, so maybe we’re not suffering here in our beautiful bright orange beach bungalow as much as our last posting might have suggested. Yes, the palm-backed beaches are beautiful. But what’s paradise without some fantastic food.
So what is food like in Sri Lanka? An exotic adventure – and, unexpectedly, quite different from Indian food.
We wake up to a brunch of cinnamon-garlic-ginger omelettes served with spicy lentil curry and coconut sambar (a mix of grated coconut and red chili pepper.) Afterwards, a huge fruit platter featuring papaya or pineapple ringed with bananas. And, of course, a huge pot of Sri Lankan tea.
Dinner is another adventure. Mounds of rice and a collection of sides including: sweet curried pumpkin, spicy lady fingers, cassava in lime sauce, jackfruit seeds in gravy, or, perhaps, plantains in coconut sauce. Meat curries include chicken, fish, and beef. Fancier meals might include grilled prawns, shark steak, or calamari.
We’ve also encountered a host of jungle vegetables that have no recognizable English names. My favorite is batu, which looks like a giant olive but is much softer. There’s also another one that looks like a type of cactus.
Our favorite treat is thick, creamy Sri Lankan curd covered in treacle, a kind of syrup made from the kitul palm. We also love wattalappam, a coconut milk and egg pudding with jaggery (crystallized treacle) and cardamom. Delicious!