Category Archives: Sri Lankan food

Rice and curry 24/7

Rice & Curry 24/7

72876_3014559819924_2145431425_nRice & Curry all day every day!! While visiting a new country is interesting and exciting, moving to one, learning to adapt, and understanding the culture can be challenging. Some things are very obvious and easy to get used to, while there are certain other things… well, you’ll probably never get used to them. Here’s one that is very typical for ‪Sri Lanka‬, but can be difficult to a foreigner.

Sri Lankans do love their rice and curry. So much so that they prefer to eat it at every single meal, and if that wasn’t crazy enough, they put enough spices in it to kill a small animal. Jokes aside, Sri Lankan food is exotic, bursting with flavours and overall really good. But let’s face it, eating rice and meat in a spicy gravy for breakfast is never going to feel normal to a Westerner.

Bon Apetite

Red streets of Sri Lanka

Rambutan2It’s that time of year again  in Sri Lanka where the streets are turned red with many stalls at the side of the road selling the rambutan fruit. In some places it can be such a spectacle!! but what exactly is it?

The Rambutan Fruit

The Rambutan tree grows to about 10 to 20 metres in height. Its alternate leaves are 10 to 30 cm in length and pinnate and have three to eleven leaflets, each with an entire margin about 5 to 15 cm in width and 3 to 10 cm in breadth. Petal-less small flowers which are about 2 1/2 to 5 mm in size are disk-shape and they bloom cluster wise. The shape of the Rambutan fruit is round or oval and it is about three to six cm by three to four cm in dimension.
Rambutan Rambutan_fruit_Sri_Lanka

Rambutan is borne in clusters, and about 10 to 20 Rambutan fruit can be present in a typical cluster. Its leather like skin has pliable thorns. Rambutan fruit is typically red though some are yellow or orange. ‘Rambut’ is a Malay word that means ‘hairs’, hence it gets its name because of the thorn like appearance of its fruits. Its brownish seed is about two to three cm in size and is basally scarred. It is soft and crunchy. Although the raw seeds are poisonous, they may be eaten after cooking.

Open Rambutan fruit by removing one part of its skin. Find the seam across the fruit and pull apart the leathery skin. You can also use the knife, but be careful, only cut through the skin. Then you can hold the fruit with your fingers and enjoy the sweet taste. Rambutan fruit cannot be cooked; it can be eaten raw only.



Hotels are not always Hotels

IMG_9753I know it sounds strange, but in Sri Lanka, somethings are simply not what they say they are,

For me this is part and parcel of what Sri Lanka is all about.

On your travels in Sri Lanka you will come across many Hotels. For example….Hotel Vegan, Hotel Dhal, Vegetarian Hotel.

Those weird and food sounding names are not actually hotels but restaurants. The only thing on the menu is food, not double or single rooms. I found it quite amusing and it put a smile on my face every single time I saw yet another one of those “hotels”.

They are mostly run by Tamil or Hindus and there are two things you are guaranteed – lovely local food, often spicy, and rock bottom prices.

Don’t be scared. Give them a try!!!

4 Great Minds come together in Negombo

When four great minds come together they create something that is simply authentic, different and a total success.

That is what happened with a new bar and restaurant named Toro (which is Spanish for bull) ideally located opposite the Jetwing Sea hotel in Palagathura which is Negombo Beach North.

The four great minds are:

  • Krishan (the owner) who has many years experience as a local caterer and a chef. He worked at Rodeo for many years.
  • Chanaka (Head Chef) who was the Head Chef at Rodeo for over 20 years.
  • Madusanka (Head Barman) who has gained experience by working at the Cricket Club in Colombo.
  • Geeth (Head Waiter) who is very well known to many Negombo residents as he previously worked at Serendib for many years.

Toro Bar & Restaurant has only been opened for about 4 months but is already established itself as one of the top venues in Negombo due to its great food, unique and imaginative menu, good value, great bar service and cocktails and friendly welcoming service.

The bar is frequented by many local families as its a safe and friendly place for women to come, many aircrew (especially the Emirates team as they stopover at the Jetwing Sea which is opposite) and foreign visitors to the area.

The atmosphere is friendly, mixed and there’s always great music and every Friday you can expect live music and feel free to dance if you want, there is plenty of room.

The décor of the place is modern with wooden pallets making up the walls and the ceiling. Modern lighting and wooden tables, some low down and some high up, spotlessly clean toilets and attractive bar area.

Feel relaxed with lots of large wall fans to cool you down. There is a vast array of drinks to choose from. From Lion beer, Apple cider, cocktails, milkshakes, Calsberg, Corona to Chilean wine by the glass.

Madusanka can serve up both the quickest and the meanest mojito in Negombo. Its great value with Lion beer just 420 rupees or Gin and tonic (with ice and lime, which is a rare thing in Sri Lanka) for just 500 rupees.

The menu is a mixed of Sri Lankan and Western and can be suitable for everyine including vegetarians and vegans. Steak Panini sandwich, (700 LKR) Prawn & Avacado wrap,(600LKR) Beer batter fish with home made chips and salad, (950 LKR), Freshly made pizzas, Seafood. Chop Suey and even delicious Traditional Sri Lankan rice and curry. The menu has been devised by Krishan and Chanaka and their joint vast experience is shown in their dishes and presentation.
If you have any questions then Geeth will be pleased to answer them.

The owner Krishan is very proud of his new venue. If you ask to see the kitchen he will be delighted to show it to you. Here you will find one of the largest and cleanest kitchens in the country. Very impressive and offers peace of mind about the food.

 

 

So if you are visiting Negombo then head North along the beach road, with the sea on your left hand side and get youself down to Toro Bar & Restaurant.

Why not stay at one of our many highly recommended guest houses in Negombo Beach North such as Anne Residence (from $18 a night) or Shannon Rest (from $20 a night), these two properties are only a short 5 minute walk to Toros.

Why jackfruit might save the world

jackfruit-weird-fruit.jpg.838x0_q80Jackfruit trees are frequently encountered in Sri Lanka.Often bearing large fruit. Jackfruit can be eaten raw, used as faux meat, or can be in salads or desserts.

Climate change makes the future of our food uncertain. Animals raised for meat contribute to climate change, so reducing the number of animals raised could slow the change, but then there would be less meat to go around.

What will people eat?

Some think jackfruit is the answer.

If you’re unfamiliar with the fruit, you may not be for long. It’s not just jackfruit’s huge size, because the smallest weighs about 10 pounds, that makes it a candidate for filling the bellies of the world. The nutrients and calories in the fruit are significant.

Jackfruit and nutrition

Jackfruit is “high in protein, potassium and vitamin B. It also contains 37 percent of a day’s worth of vitamin C, 1 gram of fat, and 38 grams of carbs.

The nutrients in jackfruit can help prevent cancer, strengthen the immune system, aid in digestion, lower cholesterol, strengthen bones and more

Getting this nutritional powerhouse into the mouths of more people will take some work, but it’s very possible.

Jackfruit and growing conditions jackfruit

Under the right conditions, jackfruit grows easily. It survives pests and diseases and high temperatures. It is drought-resistant. Once the tree is mature, it doesn’t need much care.

Jackfruit is ripe for saving the world, but is it something people want to eat?

Jackfruit’s versatility

Depending on the seasonings used, jackfruit can be used all sorts of faux meat. A quick search on Pinterest will turn up recipes for pulled pork, buffalo chicken dip, crab cakes, cheese steaks and more — all meatless. People are getting very creative with jackfruit.

It can be eaten raw, of course. When ripe, it’s been described to taste like a cross between a pineapple and mango, with hints of banana, peach or pear. The seeds from jackfruit are edible, too. They can even be roasted, dried and turned into flour.

Enjoy the Seafood Stalls Along the Galle Face Colombo

Galle Face ColomboOne of the areas where people escape the hectic life of Colombo city in Sri Lanka is the Galle Face. It is a promenade along the sea front with many food stalls. These food stalls offer delicacies with prawns and crabs.

The Galle Face promenade

Noticeably absent are the trinket stalls that you would find in a normal touristic area. A few exist but they are easily outnumbered by the food stalls present.

The Galle Face promenade is flanked by the Raj Hotel on one side and the Galle Face Hotel on the other.

20160615_190631It is not safe to bathe in this area, or swim in the sea. There are various sign posts around warning you of the dangers. It is however an area where people like to stroll hand in hand, and you will aso come across the occasional jogger or walker seeking exercise.

There is also a “green area” – a lawn between the parking area and the promenade itself.

One jetty enables you to get closer to the sea as it juts out from the Galle Face promenade and extends into the sea area. Popular with photographers and those seeking a sea experience.

Closeby are the World Trade Centre and the Dutch Hospital with its restaurants and shops.

Escape the city and check it out for yourself. Especially pleasant in early evening when the sun has gone down and you are feeling peckish for some seafood.