Sri Lanka being a teardrop island is a land of spices, rich in flavours, fragrance and colour. Spices used in the right combination, turns the simplest food into an aromatic and rich experience in the world of cooking but would make the food taste bitter if used in the wrong way. Most of the spices are incorporated by chefs and home cooks bringing out the extraordinary flavours not only from the native spices but also from the other spices brought into the country. The spices are used in different ways such as in curries, short eats, sambols, sweets and much more in which the mix of seasonings will tickle the inner senses.
The Ceylon Cinnamon which is also called True Cinnamon was the first crop that put Sri Lanka on the spice map and is considered to be the most famous, of all the spices used in Sri Lanka cuisine. Sri Lanka also produces a range of other spices, some of which are used for natural Ayurvedic remedies and much more. Black Pepper, Cardamom, Cloves, Nutmeg and Mace, Turmeric, Curry leaves also known as Karapincha, chilli peppers, etc. are some of the spices that are grown within the country or not.
Black Pepper, which is used in most of the Sri Lankan dishes is considered to be the second most produced spice in Sri Lanka after Ceylon Cinnamon and is also been exported worldwide. Sri Lanka being the main suppliers of both white and green Cardamoms which is also called the “Queen of Spices” is used in both savory and sweet dishes such as curries, sambols and also spiced tea, which is a must try when in Sri Lanka. Cloves which are not native to Sri Lanka nor India is also a flavouring agent commonly used in curry and other Sri Lankan cuisines. Nutmeg and Mace which can be used in all sorts of food, form savory to cakes and other sweets, are also one of the ingredients that are not native to Sri Lanka but to Indonesia. Nutmeg is one of the spices that is popular worldwide along with cloves. Gaining a lot of recognition lately as a medicinal plant, Turmeric is used mostly in face masks and hair treatments and the powder of this root is used in authentic Sri Lankan food.
Sri Lanka is an island full of spices, but the few mentioned above are the main and commonly used spices. Sri Lanka offers a variety of spice gardens where the growth of these spices can be witnessed. Don’t forget to include a visit to the Spice Gardens on your itinerary when planning your trip.