Breaking Coconuts Like Nobody’s Business

A few months before my big fat Sri Lankan wedding I learned that according to local traditions one of my male family members had to break a coconut during the ceremony. With a huge knife. At the first try. In front of over a hundred people. The closest my Russian relatives have ever come to…

Where to Try Sri Lankan Food in Colombo

Colombo is rarely on anyone’s radar when visiting Sri Lanka. Travelers arrive to Bandaranaike airport and straight away drive down south to the beautiful beaches or into the Hill Country to see mountains. The capital is left out which I understand full well: Colombo isn’t pretty and there’s not much to do. I would go…

Kitchen Staples: Sri Lankan Edition

I don’t want to sound nosy (which means I will totally sound like it!), but I love peeking into other people’s shopping carts while waiting in line to cashier. Mostly, because in USA people buy a completely different set of products than I do. I’ve been once asked whether I am a vegetarian by a…

How to Eat Like a Sri Lankan

It was in a tiny roadside café in Sri Lanka that I first saw people eating with their hands. Growing up I have watched quite a few Bollywood movies with Mithun Chakraborty breaking into a dance in the middle of nowhere and fighting a dozen bad guys at a time. But none of the above…

Mung Kawum and the Story of My Relations with Sri Lankan Sweets

“Complicated” is probably the best way to describe my relationships with Sri Lankan sweets. While getting used to Lankan rice and curry wasn’t so hard (apart from the fact that I was crying with every spoonful of chili-infused curries), local sweets didn’t find the way to my heart even 6 years after I first arrived…

Everything You Need to Know About Sri Lankan Kiribath

My first memory of kiribath goes back to 2013 New Year celebrations in Sri Lanka. Not the kind of New Year you greet on the night of 31st of December with a glass of champagne and fireworks, but the kind you welcome on 13th of April with rice, deep fried pastries and a fire pit in the…

The End of the World As I Knew It

“It’s not like anything I imagined,” is the best thought that can run through your mind upon arrival to a new country. It’s scary, promising, and exactly what I thought to myself after landing in Colombo. Standing outside in my figure-hugging pink dress and high heels, I could almost physically feel the realization, that I…

Foodie Souvenirs to Bring Back from Sri Lanka

What can be better than hosting your family when they come to visit half way around the world? Getting a suitcase full of presents from them! I told you a story of my brother bringing 8 boxes of sweets from Russia just a month back. This week my parents-in-law brought 15 kilos of goodies from…

Cooking in Sri Lanka: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

All windows and doors open, my kitchen should have at least a slight breeze to let me have a breath of fresh air, instead it feels like I am slowly roasting in hell, my face red, sweat accumulating on my forehead and running down my spine. There’s no air conditioning in my kitchen – hence…