MAN Vs FOOD
I would like to start sharing my thoughts using a quote which is as follows:
“Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.”
Sri Lanka boasts a unique and exciting cuisine, shaped by the bounty of the island and the varied tastes introduces by traders and invaders. The distinctiveness of the island’s cuisine comes from the freshness of its herbs and spices and the method used to grind, pound, roast, temper and combine. Rice is the main staple of Sri Lankan cuisine, and it is served in numerous ways. The rice will be served with a variety of small spiced dishes made from fresh vegetables, meat or fish. Local spices flavor Sri Lankan curry, and most curries include chillie, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, curry leaves, mustard, tamarind and coconut milk. Sri Lankan food is slow to prepare and way too hot to consume.
Sri Lanka is famous for it’s Sea food, excellent fish and prawns are widespread and in many coastal towns you will find crab and lobster. Ser, a tuna-type fish is always a favorite. We do have other specialties like hoppers, these bowl shaped pan-cake are skillfully fired over a high flame and served. String hoppers, often eaten with a dash of dhal or curry for breakfast/Dinner. Pittu, a mixture of flour and grated coconut steamed in a bamboo mould, Derives from Dutch Lamprais, rice baked in banana leaf, Kottu rotty, this is fun to watch how they make them because of the noise, like a part musical performance…..
Desserts and sweets, The classic Sri Lankan dessert is curd with honey. Watalappam, a coconut milk and egg pudding with jiggery and cardamom. This is good at any time. We are also been influenced very much by the South Indian varieties of sweets as well. Faluda, colorful cocktail of milk, syrup, jelly , ice cream and ice served in a tall glass.
Fruits, we have a huge variety of fruits, bananas, from small yellow specimens to enormous red monsters. Papaya a distinctively sweet and pulpy fruit, jackfruit, Durian, rambutan, mangosteen which looks like a purple tomato, guavas are few of the favorites of all Sri Lankans. Below are few pictures of the above mentioned fruits.
Eating Sri Lankan style is one of the life’s greatest pleasures. We as Sri Lankan’s say that it’s only by eating with fingers that you can fully enjoy the texture of food.
Sri Lanka is among the topmost producers of tea in the world. Usually, it is consumed with sugar and milk. Some people are fond of taking ‘plain tea’ which means tea only with sugar and without milk. Crushed ginger can add more flavour to the tea. The Sri Lankans also like to have coffee. Colombo is a place to enjoy really good espresso. Indigenous cold drinks in Sri Lanka are made of fresh fruit. Bottled carbonated branded drinks like Coca-Cola, Sprite, Pepsi etc. are also widely available. Carbonated drink brands Elephant House and Ginger Beer are very popular in Sri Lanka. People also like drinking water of young coconut. Cut fresh they are delicious and nutritious too. An array of locally produced and imported beers are also available. Two local intoxicating drinks are Toddy and Arrack. Toddy is made out of palm trees while Arrack is fermented and refined toddy.
I will briefly explain the method of cooking Milk Rice for all those would love to try,
Milk rice or Kiribath is a traditional Sri Lankan dish made from rice. It is a popular festive dish or any auspicious moment. The dish is prepared by cooking rice with coconut milk, hence this name. The recipe for Kiribath is fairly simple.
How to prepare Milk Rice in Sri Lanka
1) 2 cups short grain white rice
2) 3 cups water
3) 2 cups thick coconut milk
4) 2 teaspoons salt
5) 1 stick cinnamon, optional
Wash rice and put rice and water into a pan and bring to the boil. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add coconut milk, salt and cinnamon, stir well with handle of a wooden spoon, cover pan and simmer on low heat for further 10-15 minutes, when all the coconut milk should be absorbed. Remove cinnamon, cool slightly, then turn out on to a flat plate. Mark off in diamond shapes and serve with bananas, Jaggery or chili paste.
I can go on and on about the lovely food Sri Lanka has to offer but would like to conclude my comments about the mouthwatering dishes and food I have experienced in Sri Lanka.
By Shiroma Rodrigo