Sri Lankan (Ceylon) Spices

Spices enhance the colour, fragrance and flavour of food. In addition many of them also have many health benefits. Used in the right combination, spices can turn the simplest food into an aromatic and rich experience in the world of cooking. Of course, used incorrectly, if the wrong spices are combined, they will make food taste terrible and bitter. Hence care and knowledge is important for the successful use of spices. Here are a few interesting things to know when cooking with spices:

5 Things to know when you Cook with Spices:

  1. A combination of spices when used properly depending on the food will mix to create a complex aroma and spicy flavour.
  2. The maximum number of spices that can be combined safely is said to be around 20.
  3. Sometimes taking away (not using) too much flavour, can enhance the remaining aroma and spiciness.
  4. Heating spices in oils or fats enhance their fragrance and flavour.
  5. Fresh spices smell and taste better than dry or processed ones.

Spices in Sri Lanka

Asia, most specifically Southeast Asia, has always been quite famous for its spicy foods. The region’s cooks have dabbled with the science of spices for millenia and are very experienced and used to cooking using spices. The fact that most spices are grown around the tropical regions of Southeast Asia played a large part in this. Sri Lanka, the pearl of the Indian Ocean, has been the centre of the spice trade throughout history.

5 Spice-related Historical Facts about Sri Lanka

  1. Sri Lanka, historically renowned under names such as Tabrobane, Serendib and Ceylon, was famous for its high quality spices throughout history.
  2. In ancient times it maintained relations with the Greeks, Romans and Arabs through its spice trade.
  3. Old 14th century trade route maps of the world have proved that almost all trade routes passed through Sri Lanka. The main reasons for this popularity were the spices and ivory found in the tropical island.
  4. The Portugese, Dutch and English found the country attractive, when they conquered Asia, mainly due its spice and ivory trade.
  5. Tropical Sri Lanka with its diverse micro climates and soil types has many spices grown in the island, some of them endemic, which has been the cause for their lucrative spice trade throughout the ages.

There are many other spices in Sri Lanka, but these are the main. If you would need more information on the spices of Sri Lanka and their uses, The Sri Lankan Spice Council website has more information.

Join us from Lakpura as we guide you on the ‘Spiceperience’, a sensual journey you will never forget. Let us guide you into the world of spice so you may understand spices the Sri Lankan way!

Hierarchy of Spices

  • Seeds

    Black Pepper

    Cardamom

    Coriander

    Fenugreek

    Fennel

    Mustard

    Nutmeg

  • Fruits

    Brindleberry

    Chillie

    Coconut

    Lime

    Tamarind

  • Leaves

    Coriandar

    Curry Leaves

    Lemongrass

    Mint Leaves

    Pandan Leaves

  • Plants and Trees

    Cinnamon

    Cloves

    Garlic

    Onions

    Ginger

  • Other

    Curry Powder

    Vinegar

    Salt

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