Importance of Ceylon Spices.

Importance of Ceylon Spices.

The spices that make up our daily diet are indispensable to Sri Lankan cuisine (then Ceylon). It is important to look at the history of spices before describing its properties. Today we need ginger – fennel, coriander, we imported it from India, Romania, but then Sri Lanka not only cultivated here but also exported it. After the cessation of the importation of turmeric, the money that was outflowing remained and is now successfully cultivating turmeric in Sri Lanka.

Any type of spice is grown in Sri Lanka. Modern experimental cultivation has confirmed that. Spices have long been used by the Sinhalese to flavor and preserve food.

Pali Rasavahini tells about a trader who went to Malaya in search of ginger and turmeric. Commenting on this incident, Prof. Senarath Paranavithana says that ginger, turmeric and pepper were abundant in the hills of Sri Lanka at that time. According to the book ‘Pattipanalai’ written in South India, it is said that Sri Lankan spices were exported. A tourist named ‘Moses’ who came to Ceylon in the 5th century says that Ceylon is rich in spices. The Thupavamsa and the Saddharmaratnavali show that the Sinhalese at that time knew how to use spices to preserve food.

The Thonigala inscription states that spices and incense were among the offerings made to the monks. In the middle of the information about a large backyard pasture, the spring book shows Tam. The ‘Kaswini’ tourist who came to Ceylon in the 13th century says that it is rich in spices. From the Dambadeniya period until the arrival of the Portuguese, Muslim, Arab and Chinese traders bought our spices and later the Portuguese, Dutch and other western nations came here because of cinnamon and spices. Ginger, cumin and chillies were grown around the house in those days.

Robert Knox and Robero list the spices grown in Ceylon. Robero writes that anything grows because of the pleasant climate in Sri Lanka. According to the German description of Haiti in Ceylon and Knox, it is the custom of the Sinhalese to drink a daily soup made with chilli, cumin and ginger. It makes them healthier and easier to digest. Davy describes how the upcountry grew the ginger, turmeric, salt, and garlic he wanted around the house. Thus we became addicted to foreign spices only recently after the dependency era.

Today the use of spices is widespread in Eastern countries such as Sri Lanka and India. In those days, Europe needed Eastern spices to preserve food for the winter. Spices used in Sri Lanka are Cinnamon, Curry, Ginger, Fennel, Coriander, Cardamom, Cloves, Chili, Pepper, Uluhal, Goraka, Raw Chili, Raw Ginger, Mustard, Sorghum, Turmeric, Siyambala, Red Onion, Garlic etc. Everyday fish is not only dehydrated but also seasoned with salt and pepper. It is made from salt, pickles and spices which stimulate the appetite. There are several benefits of spices.

It enhances the appearance of the food. Chili turmeric is an example.

(This article is based on the extracted details from the original writing of former zonal Director of Education, Wattegama, Mr. SK Jayawardene)

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