Discover your Nature: Finding Balance at Tri

Ayurveda — the ancient practice of cultivating true wellness through balance — has a long history in Sri Lanka. Tri’s co-founder Lara grew up in India, and Ayurveda has been part of her life ever since — even informing the process of personal practice optimization through Quantum Yoga.

We have spoken to Lara to get the low-down on Ayurveda, and how we can incorporate Ayurvedic principles into our everyday lives…

“Ayurveda is based on the idea of inner balance; realizing that everyone has different needs, and therefore there is no one-size-fits-all approach to health. A person’s prakriti or nature is defined by the inner distribution of the three doshas, or body-mind constitutions. One’s prakriti informs every aspect of our being, from skin type to activity levels and response to times of stress. In order to be free from dis-ease, healthy and happy, one needs to live in harmony with one’s nature.

Tri 35
Image credit: Recess City

Slim, with dry skin, variable appetite and thirst, creative tendencies, a love of activity, good short-term memory, fast speech, brittle nails and a speedy pulse? That would reflect vata dosha dominance. Athletic build, with a love of cooler climates and spicy food, fast metabolism, competitive nature, passionate with a need to exercise for emotional balance? Sounds like a high pitta dosha. Tendency to hold weight, oily skin, dislikes humidity, loves heavy food, easy-going attitude and great at retaining memories? Here kapha dosha is dominant.

As humans, we are drawn to the things that reinforce our nature, but this results in greater imbalance and disharmony. Therefore, Ayurveda teaches us to moderate these desires and strive towards balance. I have a pitta-dominant nature, meaning I am fiery, active, athletic, forceful and at times hot-headed, and typically I enjoy coffee, spicy foods, passionate artistic expression and challenging workouts. However, I understand that I would find greater harmony through cooling, soothing and balancing my pitta nature.

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Image credit: Recess City

This knowledge inspired the creation of Quantum Yoga: an awareness that our yoga practice can either exacerbate or balance our prakriti. We use Ayurveda to assess each practitioner’s prakriti (personal dosha distribution) before offering sequences tailored not only to their ability level, but also their inner nature. Vata-regulation emphasises grounding, strengthening and stabilizing; pitta-regulation hones a more soothing, cooling and balancing approach; kapha-regulation energises, invigorates and stimulates.

We have also carried this over to inform many aspects of life at Tri, from our delicious Ayurvedic juices and smoothies at breakfast, to recommended activities and excursions, and choice of spa treatments and massage oil blends.

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Image credit: Recess City

We help our guests to find true inner balance — whether that means yoga and healing therapies, or boat rides and beetroot martinis at sunset — so they can return home feeling healthy, happy and inspired.”

Ocean giants: How to spot Whales, Turtles and Dolphins in Sri Lanka

Sitting a stone’s throw from the equator, within the warm and fertile waters of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is home to a mind-boggling diversity of marine wildlife. From tiny, colourful reef fish to magnificent cetaceans, there’s a whole underwater world to discover.

Oliver Sjostrom
Credit: Oliver Sjöström

Our local waters are famous for whale watching, with the opportunity to spot blue whales, humpback whales, sperm whales, fin whales, Bryde’s whales, bottlenose dolphins, spinner dolphins and much more. With such a wealth of marine wildlife, it’s important to ensure that any whale watching is operated through a responsible business.

Credit: Guille Pozzi
Credit: Guille Pozzi

Raja and the Whales is one such business — set up in 2008 by Raja Madushanka, a former fisherman who chose to dedicate his life to protecting the oceans. The company works alongside the Biosphere Foundation, the University of Rahuna and the International Fund for Animal Welfare on the Indian Ocean Marine Mammal Research and Conservation Project, collecting data to identify and protect local whale populations.

Credit: Iswanto Arif
Credit: Iswanto Arif

An alternative option for responsible whale watching leaves the oceans far below — taking to the skies in a whale watching seaplane instead. This offers a bird’s eye view of whales and dolphins splashing about below, whilst ensuring no disturbance of their behaviour.

Credit: Lachlan Dempsey
Credit: Lachlan Dempsey

Turtles are a little easier to spot on our shores: they nest on the southern coast beaches. There are many local turtle hatcheries looking after sick and injured turtles, as well as overseeing the safe hatching of new babies, and you can visit our local hatchery, Koggala Turtle Farm every day from 8am to 6pm. If you’re lucky, you could also happen upon a green turtle nesting on one of our local beaches if you visit at night.

Credit: Jeremy Bishop
Credit: Jeremy Bishop

Dolphins are perhaps our most visible oceanic residents, frequently spotted surfing the waves along the south coast and performing aerial acrobatics amongst the sea spray. Head down to the beach and watch the waves to catch a glimpse of local bottlenose dolphins — and look out for spinner dolphins, so called for the way they spin through the air!

Credit: Jeremy Bishop
Credit: Jeremy Bishop

Sunset sipping: The best sundowners in Sri Lanka

There are few more enjoyable parts to a holiday than settling down in the evening, drink in hand, to watch the sun dip below the horizon. We’re lucky enough to have a wealth of great local bars for sundown sipping, so here are a few of our very favourite little gems.

Galle Face Hotel, Colombo

Credit: Galle Face Hotel
Credit: Galle Face Hotel

One of Colombo’s most iconic luxury hotels, the Galle Face Hotel has hosted generations of travellers since 1864. Head to the terrace by the pool to sip an icy G&T as the sun slips into the sea beyond.

Elephant Palace, Kabalana

Credit: Elephant Palace
Credit: Elephant Palace

One of our local spots, chic Elephant Palace is situated on beautiful Kabalana beach and is the perfect spot for sunset cocktails. Make like the locals, and dress in sunset-coloured silk kaftans from Galle Fort’s Mimimango for extra style points.

The Kingsbury Hotel, Colombo

Kingsbury Hotel
Credit: Kingsbury Hotel

Ideal for celebratory drinks, the luxurious Kingsbury Hotel is situated between Galle Face Green, the World Trade Centre and the Dutch Hospital Precinct in Colombo. With a strict dress code — no shorts or sandals to be seen here — this is the one for special occasion sundowners.

Unawatuna Beach

Credit: Rowan Heuval
Credit: Rowan Heuval

One of Sri Lanka’s most famous beaches, Unawatuna is a wide, golden stretch of sand fringed with countless colourful beach bars. Following a tough surf session, this is just the place to rest aching limbs with your toes in the sand, and rehydrate in the most delicious way.

Tri’s Water Tower

Credit: Lulu Escapes
Credit: Lulu Escapes

Following a touch day of relaxing in the sunshine, restorative yoga classes, listening to the sounds of the jungle — and perhaps a midday excursion to Cinnamon Island for tea — there’s nowhere better for sundowners than our very own water tower. Located at the heart of the resort, the spiral staircase winds upwards to an open terrace, where you can enjoy an icy beer from our honesty bar, or call down for a spicy carrot martini from the bar. Settle in and watch the sky turn pink and violet — sheer bliss.

Sun, sea, sand: Southern Sri Lanka’s best beaches

From the verdant and mist-draped valleys and soaring waterfalls of the Tea Country to the spectacular temples and vast lakes of the Cultural Triangle, it’s all too easy to miss out on Sri Lanka’s beaches. These are no Maldivian powder-white sands; Sri Lankan beaches are wild and golden, boasting crashing waves, pounding surf and distant whales breaching above the turquoise seas — and all the more exciting for it. Tucked away on the serene shores of Koggala Lake, Tri is within easy reach of some of the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka — here are some of our all-time favourites.

Unawatuna

Famously named one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Unawatuna is a must-visit for any beach lover. Dotted with colourful guest houses and bars, this is one of the buzziest options on the coast, and offers brilliant scuba diving just off the shore.

Unawatuna

Kabalana

Just beyond Koggala, Kabalana is one of our closest beaches. The gently-shelving shoreline makes this a great spot for fans of open water swimming, whilst local surf break ‘The Rock’ is rapidly becoming one of the most popular spots on the island for braving the barrelling waves.

Kabalana Beach, Conde Nast Traveller
Credit: David Loftus for Conde Nast Traveller

Weligama

A long, wide stretch of golden sands and gentle waves, Weligama is perfectly located at the heart of the south coast surf scene, offering waves for all abilities. Fringed by palms and frequently passed by migrating whales, this picturesque beach is the ideal spot to while away an afternoon.

Weligama

Mirissa

Vibrant and colourful, bohemian Mirissa is one of the most popular local beaches. Dotted with surf shacks and beach bars serving up fresh thambili king coconuts, the sound of music drifting on the breeze, there is a huge amount to discover on this much-loved local beach.

Mirissa

 Hiruketiya

Further to the east, Hiruketiya is a small collection of coves and bays dotting the coastline towards Dickwella. A little further from tourist hotspot Galle Fort, these beaches have retained their undiscovered vibe — perfect for stretching out, coconut in hand, and doing not much at all.

Hiruketiya

Rekkawa

The easternmost beach in our selection, Rekawwa is around halfway between Tri and leopard hotspot Yala National Park. Fusing wild, boulder-strewn beaches with crashing waves and swaying palms at precarious angles, this seemingly endless sandy beach offers a slice of pure, unspoilt escapism.

Rekkawa

The impact of Yoga on your Mind

With the essence of wellbeing and concept of inner journey ever present at Tri, we hope that each and every guest will leave with a calmer mind, more nourished body and lifted spirits. We’re proud to pioneer the Quantum Yoga approach, a powerful platform that offers individualised and dynamic self-healing through yoga, breath and meditation. Its approach is holistic, leaning on the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, and combining this with the modern insight of Quantum Physics.

Yogashala (7)

The Health Benefits of Quantum Yoga

Quantum Physics has proven that any activity, when done with a heightened level of awareness, bears a greater transformative potential. Just by being more conscious, our cells vibrate with increased healing intention. Combine this with the therapeutic practice of yoga, and we have the ability to rewire our minds for the better.

Yoga at Tri Lanka

Sanctuary of peace

Patanjali’s definition of yoga in the Yoga Sutras of the 3rd century CE is “Yogash Citta Vritti Nirodha”, literally translated as “Yoga is the stopping of the thoughts turning around in your mind.” A calming and grounding practice, yoga disconnects us from the constant hum-drum of daily stresses and offers us a true sanctuary of peace.

Increased serotonin levels

A true Quantum yogi masters the harmonisation of breath and movement, and the concentration required to fully do so can lead to a meditative or trance-like state, welcoming increased serotonin levels and in turn feelings of positivity and happiness.

 Appreciation of the now

 As a practice that promotes a conscious and loving interaction between the body and mind, yoga allows us to be grounded in the present moment, promoting an increased awareness of self, a connection to the world around us and an appreciation of the now.

 Physical benefits

 Moving beyond our spiritual and mental wellbeing, the benefits of yoga extend to our physical bodies too. The practice offers a plethora of benefits, including improved motor skills and coordination, increased energy levels, flexibility and strength, better posture, greater muscle tone and agility.

 

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Wish you were here: The five best views in Sri Lanka

We’re lucky to live in such a diverse and varied country, boasting an endless variety of spectacular sights. If you can tear yourself away from our lakeside panoramas, there are a wealth of views to behold. From the highest mountain peaks to long, golden beaches, here is our round-up of the best Sri Lankan views…

Sigiriya at sunrise

Wikimedia

Located in the heart of the cultural triangle, surrounded by towering peaks and vast lakes, Sigiriya is renowned as one of the most beautiful spots in Sri Lanka. The towering ‘Lion’s Rock’ is an icon of Sri Lanka and a place of pilgrimage for locals and travellers alike. The best views come at sunrise, but this means the path to the top is often busy. Our suggestion? Head to neighbouring Pidurangala rock. This little-known peak is often empty, and offers spectacular views of Sigiriya Fortress without the crowds.

Nuwara Eliya from the train

Credit: Salt in our Hair
Credit: Salt in our Hair

The train ride through Sri Lanka’s lush and mountainous hill country is renowned as one of the world’s most spectacular rides. Journeying through tea fields, past waterfalls and colourful villages, the train snakes its way from the coast all the way to the verdant central region. The most picturesque stretch goes through Nuwara Eliya, with clear days offering views right down to the south coast. Grab a ‘short eat’ of crisp vadai fritters at the station, settle into your seat and drink in the views…

Adam’s Peak / Sri Pada

Abbeyman2002
Credit: Flicker / Abbeyman2002

A sacred place for Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians alike, Sri Pada or Adam’s Peak is a uniquely symmetrical mountain located in central Sri Lanka, known for a sacred footprint found within a rock formation near the summit. For the most breathtaking Sri Lanka view, climb the mountain in the pre-dawn darkness, and arrive at the peak in time to watch the sun rise behind you, casting a distinctive triangular shadow on the clouds lining the valley below.

Unawatuna at Sunset

Pixabay

One of Sri Lanka’s best-loved beaches, Unawatuna is a long, palm-fringed stretch of golden sand and crashing waves running along the island’s southern tip. Surfers and sun-worshippers flock to the beaches by day, but we think the best views come at sunset, when the sky is stained gold and pink. Relax on the sand, coconut in hand and watch the sun set over the sea with nothing between you and Antarctica.

Koggala Lake from Tri’s water tower      

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Credit: Chandler Borries

Perhaps we’re a little biased, but we think that one of the best views on the island can be found right on our doorstep. Follow the spiralling path from the pool, up past the library and yoga shala to the water tower. Climb the spiralling stair case to the very top, to find our hidden little viewing platform. As the sun sets below the trees, this is our very favourite spot to relax, sip an ice-cold beer from the honesty bar and listen to the sounds of nature at dusk.

Where are your favourite views in Sri Lanka? Let us know in the comments below.

The Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Cinnamon is all around at Tri, from the sweet scent that lingers from the wood that adorns our villas and suites, to the bark freshly cut from the tree that makes its mark in our aromatic curries and fragrant dahl. For centuries, cinnamon has been used in Ayurvedic practices to harmonise the doshas, particularly good for balancing Vata and pacifying Kapha.

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More recently, the spice has been widely acknowledged for its health benefits, helping to improve everything from heart health to brain function. Here are five reasons why cinnamon’s bark is as powerful as its bite:

1. CINNAMON IS A GREAT SOURCE OF ANTIOXIDANTS

Cinnamon is jam-packed full of antioxidants – substances that protect us from free radicals (essentially, the things that cause nasty diseases). Foods high in antioxidants are associated with a whole range of health benefits, including improved heart health, better immune systems and lower risk of infection. More antioxidants = happier bodies.

SriLanka5644
Credit: Sara Melotti

2. CINNAMON CAN LOWER CHOLESTEROL

We’re constantly warned of the dangers of high cholesterol, but with different types of cholesterol in different foods, it can be confusing to know what we’re ‘allowed’ to eat. Cinnamon helps to raise the levels of HDL (the ‘good’ cholesterol) in our bodies, which in turn helps remove LDL, aka ‘bad’ cholesterol. Lower LDL means improved heart health, and likely a lower risk of heart disease.

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Credit: Sara Melotti

3. CINNAMON CAN HELP TO TREAT TYPE 2 DIABETES

Cinnamon has been floated as helpful in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, as it has the ability to reduce blood pressure and have a positive effect on blood markers for those suffering from the condition. Its sweet, vibrant flavour also means it can be used as a natural sweetener in many dishes, reducing daily sugar intake.

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Credit: Sara Melotti

4. CINNAMON HAS NATURAL ANTIBIOTIC, ANTI-VIRAL & ANTI-FUNGAL PROPERTIES

As cinnamon is a natural antibiotic, anti-viral and anti-fungal agent, it can be used to fight a whole range of day-to-day nasties. Next time you feel a common cold coming on, hold off on the Lemsip and reach for a bottle of cinnamon oil to rub onto your pressure points, instead.

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Credit: Sara Melotti

5. CINNAMON CAN BE USED TO IMPROVE BRAIN FUNCTION

Studies have shown that one of the benefits of cinnamon’s antioxidant properties is that it can help defend the brain against neurological disorders, particularly helpful in improving motor function for those suffering from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.

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Credit: Sara Melotti

Take a trip with us to Cinnamon Island for the full experience from tree to tea.

Hidden Secrets: Walking the streets of Galle

Historic and bustling, the labyrinthine streets of Galle Fort offer endless opportunities to lose yourself. Wander the winding streets, lined with colourful boutiques, scented with spices from tempting eateries and dappled with shade from the climbing greenery and towering palms — all just a short tuk-tuk ride from your lakeside refuge at Tri.

Image: David Loftus for Conde Nast Traveller
Image: David Loftus for Conde Nast Traveller

There are countless secret spots to discover within Galle Fort, and the best place to start is right on the fortified walls. Walk the perimeter of the town to escape the heat and enjoy a cooling ocean breeze, with panoramic views of the Indian Ocean beyond. Take in the iconic white lighthouse, and pause to watch local kids leaping from Flag Rock into the deep azure waters below. Getting hungry? Head to a street food stall to sample a fresh parippu wade prawn and lentil fritter or pani cadji ice cream with kithul honey and cashew nuts.

Wikipedia

The winding backstreets of Galle Fort are a haven for shopaholics, dotted with boutiques selling colourful clothing, beautiful homewares and eclectic knick-knacks. Stock up on vibrant and sequin-scattered kaftans at resort wear wonderland Mimimango (63 Pedlar Street), or fill your suitcase with beautiful, locally-made pattern- and print-adorned homewares at Tallentire House (51 Pedlar Street), whilst Stick No Bills (35 Church Street) is home to a fascinating collection of vintage travel posters and prints. In a city famed for its jewellers, those in the know head to Laksana (30 Hospital Street) for the deep, cornflower-blue Ceylon sapphires, bought loose, as well as spectacular jewellery with uncut stones.

A bedroom in one of the family villas Tri Lanka
Image: Tallentire House fabrics at Tri
Image: Stick No Bills by David Loftus for Conde Nast Traveller
Image: Stick No Bills by David Loftus for Conde Nast Traveller

Galle Fort offers a smorgasbord of dining experiences for every palate and budget. The Tuna & The Crab (Galle Dutch Hospital, Hospital Street) is a southern offshoot of Colombo institution Ministry of Crab, serving up Japanese-inspired seafood to glamorous diners in the beautiful old Dutch Hospital. For a low-key lunch, Poonie’s Kitchen (63 Pedlar Street), tucked in beside Mimimango, is renowned for its fresh juices and colourful salad thalis, whilst Galle Things Roti (38 Church Street) offers a simple and delicious DIY menu of roti, curry and sambols. As the sun dips below the horizon, end your explorations with a delicious cocktail on the veranda at Amangalla (10 Church Street) — the fresh mango Bellini is our favourite.

Conde Nast Traveller
Image: Poonie’s Kitchen dishes by Conde Nast Traveller

Sri Lankan Wildlife: a paradise for bird watchers

Sri Lankan wildlife is legendary, from the elusive leopards of Yala National Park and the gargantuan blue whales in the south coast waters, to the kaleidoscopic array of birdlife that takes to the skies each day. Of Sri Lanka’s more than 400 species of bird, over 50 of these can be seen here at Tri. 2018 marks National Geographic’s Year of the Bird, so what better time to celebrate the winged and wonderful companions with which we share our home…

Black-rumped Flameback (Dinopium benghalense psarodes)

A sub-species of the more commonly known black-rumped flameback, this woodpecker is endemic to Sri Lanka and differentiates itself with deep red wings and darker, more extensive markings. Often spotted flitting through the trees at Tri, you’ll recognise its characteristic rattling-whinnying call and undulating flight.

flameback

White-bellied Sea Eagle (Heliaeetus leucogaster)

Keen birders will spot the huge white-bellied sea eagle swooping down to pluck fish from Koggala Lake, its regular hunting ground, and the bird can often be seen roaming the grounds here at Tri. No shrinking violet, this raptor bird of prey is Sri Lanka’s largest bird — with a wingspan of up to 2.5m — and is particularly distinctive with its white head, under-wing coverts and loud, goose-like honking.

WB_Sea_Eagle_Pounce

Sri Lankan Green Pigeon (Treron pompadora)

A sub-species of the fabulously-named pompadour green pigeon (also seen at Tri), this bird is thought to be endemic to Sri Lankan wildlife. Beautifully bright in colour with an emerald green body and deep purple wings, the Sri Lankan Green Pigeon usually nests alone or in small groups, and can be spotted making fast and fleeting flights with a sharp flick of the wing.

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Jerdon’s Leafbird (Chloropsis jerdoni)

Living high amongst the treetops, the Jerdon’s Leafbird is easily camouflaged in Tri’s lush vegetation thanks to its small size and fluorescent green body. Eagle-eyed guests will spot the little bird hanging out in our cashew and jackfruit trees, singing its unique song made through mimicking the calls of a number of other nearby bird species.

Jerdon's_Leafbird

White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)

A favourite amongst birders of Sri Lankan wildlife, these gorgeously iridescent blue birds can be spotted flitting across the waters by Tri, feeding on small reptiles, amphibians, crabs and even other birds. A powerful bill and rapid flight means the species has few predators, and they are especially noticeable here at Tri during breeding season thanks to a loud morning wake up call.

Kingfisher

 

Birding interest piqued? The list doesn’t stop there… Here at Tri, you’ll also find black-hooded orioles, emerald doves, red-wattled lapwings – more commonly known as the ‘did ‘e do it’ bird on account of its unique call – babblers, bul buls and barbets, peacocks, parakeets and more…

There’s a whole world of aerial Sri Lankan wildlife to discover. Keen birders: grab your binoculars, for Sri Lanka’s birding paradise awaits…

The 10 foods you must try in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan food is a melting pot of cultural influences and flavours, fusing fiery spices with sweet tropical fruits, fresh ocean fish and healing Ayurvedic herbs. The Tri team have eaten our way along the length and breadth of Sri Lanka and narrowed this down to the top 10 dishes which every traveller must taste – it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it! Read on for our highlights

HOPPERS

Crisp and lacy-edged pancakes made with fermented rice flour, bowl-shaped hoppers are surely the most iconic Sri Lankan dish. Traditionally served for breakfast, our favourite hoppers are served with a golden-yoked egg and generous helpings of sweet onion seeni sambol and fiery lunu miris.

Credit: Nick Hopper
Credit: Nick Hopper

PARIPPOU

Flavoured with fragrant spices, fiery chillies and black pepper and sweet-sour tamarind, curries are perhaps the most famous Sri Lankan food. The humble Parippou (otherwise known as dhal) is king of the curries: mild and creamy, the perfect foil to hearty meat or vegetable curries and sweet sambols.

dal

JACKFRUIT CURRY

A pale green-to-yellow fruit, jack fruit is a staple in Sri Lankan cookery. The fruit takes on a convincingly meaty texture as it cooks and soaks up all the surrounding spices and flavours, making it the ideal base for a delicious vegetarian — or vegan — curry.

Credit: Color and Spices
Credit: Color and Spices

KOTTU ROTI

The ultimate quick and tasty meal, kottu roti is a delicious, spicy dish formed of flaky roti bread, which is shredded and quickly fried up with spices, fresh vegetables, meat or fish on a hot, flat grill. Travelling through regional towns and villages, you’ll often hear the rhythmic metal clacking sound of Kottu Roti being prepared. Fast, fresh and delicious!

Kottu Rotti @ Srilankan Canra

STRING HOPPERS

Another common Sri Lankan breakfast option, string hoppers are a far cry from their bowl-shaped cousins. These hoppers are a tangle of rice noodles, steamed and piled high with curries — a little like a savoury noodle pancake!

Credit: Flickr / Charles Haynes
Credit: Flickr / Charles Haynes

VADAI

Served sizzling hot and wrapped in newspaper, ‘short eats’ are quick afternoon snacks sold to hungry passers-by at roadside stalls up and night markets and down the country. Our favourite is a fresh fritter called a vadai – a lentil-based dumpling, fried until crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, dotted with spices and fresh corn or flavoursome shrimp.

Vadai

AMBUL THIYAL

Ambul means ‘sour’, and ambul thiyal is a fittingly hearty fish curry which strikes a perfect balance between sour tamarind, sweet coconut milk and fragrant spice. Our fish is always fresh from the ocean or our very own Koggala Lake, and the curry is served with myriad accompaniments including coconut pol sambol and fresh mallum made from shredded greens.

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Credit: Nick Hopper

BUFFALO CURD & TREACLE

Thick and creamy buffalo curd, paired with sweet kithul palm treacle, makes for a delicious start to the day. Add some colour with vibrant local pineapple, mango, papaya and banana, or try Tri’s famous buffalo curd ice cream, served with homemade granola!

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WOOD APPLE

Of all the bright and colourful fruits used in Sri Lankan food, the wood apple is not going to win any beauty contests. The small, hard, ball-shaped fruits have a tough rind and curious scent, but the smooth and sweet brown pulp aids digestion, tastes delicious and can be used in tangy chutneys, or blended with water and jaggery to make a refreshing juice.

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Credit: Recess City

WATALAPPAN

With so many delicious savoury dishes In Sri Lankan food, there’s rarely any room for dessert! One exception, however, is watalappan: a wobbly custard pudding akin to pannacotta, made with coconut milk infused with sweet jaggery, crunchy cashew nuts and fragrant spices including cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Wattalapam

Finally — no meal in Sri Lanka would be complete without an amber-toned cup of the finest Ceylon tea. The national drink is grown throughout the country, along the coast and in the lush and mist-draped central highlands, picked by hand and carefully sorted and dried to produce a refreshing, fragrant brew: the ultimate taste of Sri Lanka.