Sri Lankan food isn’t “just Indian food”


Musings on life, food, & culture.

 I recently went on a work trip to Hyderabad, India and popped over to Sri Lanka. Those two days I spent in Sri Lanka were much needed — and, thankfully, time felt much longer and fuller there than just 48 hours. I got to spend time with friends, chat with local vendors, feast on delicious foods, and soak it all in. 

A major myth about Sri Lankan cuisine is that “it’s just Indian food.” My trip to India and Sri Lanka, side by side, reaffirmed this difference. Sri Lankan food isn’t just Indian food! 

Sri Lanka is a small island, but it has its own mix of distinct dishes and flavours — The use of ten to fifteen spices in any given dish, from ceylon cinnamon to turmeric. The presence of coconut in many foods and in all its forms, especially coconut milk. The layers of aromatics like pandan leaf, dried garcinia, or curry leaf that add unique notes and depth. The rich variety of fruits and vegetables. 

I love that a Sri Lankan meal, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, will always have a balanced approach. That would include some sort of protein, veggies & greens, and bread or rice. It is incredibly colorful and nourishing, which is very important to me as a parent. 

Every region in Sri Lanka has its own delicacies, and I hope you get to travel around Sri Lanka and experience it for yourself. 

As you explore our cooking kits, you’ll see some fun Sri Lankan ingredients. We love highlighting them on each product page under “The Island Way”!

— by Jayani // edited by Samia 

Things that brightened our week.

 I. A PODCAST: Cynthia Shanmugalingam on This is TASTE podcast 

How Sri Lankan-British cook Cynthia Shanmugalingam transitioned from working in finance to writing a cookbook Rambutan and opening a restaurant, all in the same year. 


— rec by Samia 

II. A TV SHOW: The Lost Kitchen with Erin French

Erin French welcomes travellers from all over the world to her restaurant The Lost Kitchen in Freedom, Massachusetts. A huge comfort watch that touches on the power of farm to table cooking, community, and simply joys. 


— rec by Samia 

III. A SNACK: We're always craving Sri Lankan short eats. 

Savoury pastries, pan rolls, tea buns, crocodile buns (kimbula), and more! Kandy by Sri Lankan Bites (@kandy_by_bites) has a great post on short eats here. If you're in Sydney, you should definitely check out their restaurant

— rec by Jayani 


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