2016 Oct 28
by Ridmi Upeksha
Authentic Sri Lankan cuisine is a deliciously exceptional variety of tastes combined into one cooked meal and presented to us to remind that mouthwatering taste every time we hear or see each of these extraordinary dishes. A traditional Sri Lankan meal include a handy portion of red or white rice, one to two curries of locally sourced vegetables kirata or thelata, one meat or fish curry, one green sambol and a pickle or a appetiser to get the tastes blending in together. But most of us locals forget this ultimate combination of curries and carbs, and lean towards a meal with over sized portions of rice, a very oily vegetable dish or two, and maybe a meat dish or an over sized meat portion as well. Also some of us prefer to devour fast food items, different types of cuisines, or easy mixed rice with way too much of oil in it.
When you do have a great opportunity of knowing recipes of such a great cuisine, why not make use of them to make a great lifestyle alteration out of it? Let’s look at a few ways you can make your Lankan meal healthier whilst making it your favorite cuisine out of all.
Always go for a smaller portion of rice
Us, Sri Lankans are used to serving a big rice portion that’s good enough for two people to eat when there is an option of not doing so. Serving a smaller portion and serving curries and vegetables proportionately will lead you to a much healthier lifestyle. If you get the chance you can replace your white rice with red rice which is much healthier and will definitely help you get in shape if it is indeed something you are concerned about.
Always add a green leaf salad to your meals
Mallum might not be the favourite dish you add in to your Lankan meal, but it is one of the most important items on your daily meal. A fresh green salad or a properly cooked mallum is heavy in fibre and antioxidants depending on the type of leaves you use, but either way adding one green salad to your daily meals is one of the smartest meal choices you can make.
Cut down the coconut cream
This part unfortunately is a sad alteration to our exquisite cuisine which has most of its dishes essentially cooked with a base of coconut cream. Coconut cream, made out of a tropical fruit that’s familiar and easily sourced in Sri Lanka, has been used without fail. Since it’s heavy in saturated fat, it could be an ingredient that you can keep on hold without overly using it when making your Lankan meals.
Add the proper proportion of spices
Normally as Sri Lankans we need our food to be filled abundantly with spices since we’ve been eating well marinated food our whole life. Even though adding essential spices plays a major role when cooking Lankan dishes, cooking them with heaped, extra spoons of spices might not be a good item. If you look at what medically approved diseases you could get as a result, you should be aware of gastrointestinal diseases, such as hiatal hernias, ulcers and bowel disorders if you are a heavy spice eater!
Don’t overcook your curries
Some of us cook vegetable curries that are overcooked and basically stewed into the curry itself, avoiding the nutritional facts of a properly cooked veggie curry. Properly cooked vegetables will give you a lot more nutrients than overcooked/boiled vegetables, which is a scientifically proven fact. So when you are cooking your Lankan dishes, be aware of the nutritional concerns of different cooking methods. Eat right for a better fight!
Replace your carbs with locally grown grain or Kos
When most of us have the opportunity to easily source any local grain or kos at the nearest supermarket, we tend to include bread or flat hotties in our meals avoiding the healthy nutrients that we can get from grains and other healthy carb alternatives. If you are a health conscious eater, this probably is an item to think about.