Exotic fruits of Sinhala – Sri Lanka part 4


tiger coconutThe beauty of travel lies in the new experiences and endless discoveries. It’s always exciting to be introduced to unfamiliar things, for instance the weird exotic fruits of Sri Lanka, that many of you never heard about (like me before visiting the island). Without forgetting the common fruits that we already know but trust me they taste different.

Sri Lanka people believe in the art of ancient healing through spices, herbs, fruits and vegetables. Your health depends on what you eat.

The nature has its own remedies!

pineapplePineapple: it has been used to treat digestion problems and inflammation. Sri Lanka pineapple is so delicious, i was having it on every meal! Pineapple is rich in manganese and vitamin B1 for energy production. It’s also rich in vitamins A, C, and E offering a protection against macular degeneration.

pineapple sri lankapineapple sri lanka

You only need to cut the crown and the stem, slice the skin off the sides and enjoy! You don’t have even to remove the center part, it’s soft and juicy. Did you know that minimal processing of fruit cutting, packaging and chilling does not significantly affect its nutritional content even after 6 and up to 9 days?!

Banana: Eating bananas combats depression, improves your mood, reduces PMS symptoms, protects against muscle cramps, cures hangovers, relieves morning sickness, protects against kidney cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and blindness and provides relief from acid reflux and heartburn. Yes all of this!

You can eat a lot per day without counting because they are too small and can be eaten in two bites! Nady was enjoying them.

banana sri lankaDid you know that bananas can cure the itch of a mosquito bite?  Due to Sri Lanka nature there is a lot of mosquitoes. Rub the inside of a banana peel on  the bites and here it goes!

Guava:  helps those who want to loose weight and those who suffers from diabetes. It’s an extremely good source of vitamin A, which is well known as a booster for vision health. Rich in lycopene that makes it a powerful antioxidant, rich in copper which is an important part of regulating thyroid metabolism. It reduces the symptoms of diarrhea, relieves cough and cold and improves the texture of your skin.

guava sri lankaGuava is rich in vitamin B3 and B6, therfore eating guava can help you increase brain function and sharpen your focus. Did you know also that the juice of guava leaves has been known to cure toothaches, swollen gums & oral ulcers, and the juice speeds up the healing process of wounds when applied externally?!

Wood apple: is very famous for its amazing health and medicinal benefits. Every part of this fruit means tree, root, leaves, seeds is usable for medicinal purposes because of its high level of nutritional values. It acts as an instant energy booster and energizes the body, it enhances the metabolism process. Wood apple is iron rich fruit which has ability to balance the hemoglobin count in women during pregnancy, and eating the pulp reduces morning sickness. It helps in enhancing the production of breast milk among lactating mother.

When we arrived to the hotel in Kandy they greeted us with wood apple juice! Not bad when mixed with sugar.

wood apple sri lankaDid you know that wood apple is a natural aphrodisiac property, that helps in enhancing the sexual desire among men as well as treating the conditions like impotence, sexual dysfunction and premature ejaculation?!

Watermelon: consists of mostly water, about 92% but it is full of nutrients. It is fat-free, very low in sodium and has only 40 calories per cup. Watermelon reduces the inflammation for people suffering from arthritis, helps prevent heart stroke. Rich in Vitamin A that helps keeping the skin and hair moisturized, and it also encourages healthy growth of new collagen and elastin cells.

They are small watermelons, two people can eat a whole one. We were offered watermelon after each meal!

watwermelon sri lankaDid you know that athletes drinks watermelon juice before an intense workout because it helps reduce next-day muscle soreness and heart rate?!

king coconut:  known as thembili, considered the premier, or “king”, of coconuts, in terms of its water.  King coconut is filled with electrolytes, refreshing, rejuvenating, healthy and delicious. It is sweeter than regular coconuts. Sri Lankans sell and consume thousands of them on a daily basis. It’s exclusively for drinking you can’t eat the inside flesh. King coconut juice showed significant anti aging and anti carcinogenic effect.

You find a lot of king coconut vendors on the road, it’s very cheap and refreshing if you like the sweet taste.

king coconut sri lankaking coconut sri lankaDid you know that a whole unopened tiger coconut can live up to 6 months at room temperature?!

Mangosteen: The purple Mangosteen, acclaimed for its unique appearance and flavor is often revered as queen of the tropical fruits. Mangosteen aids in promoting red blood cells and prevents against anemia. Vitamin C in mangosteen is effective against cataracts.1000mg Vitamin C per day is said to be effective in curbing cataracts and improving vision. It also helps to control the level of triglycerides, contains high amounts of minerals like copper, manganese, magnesium and potassium providing protection against strokes and coronary heart diseases.

mangosteen sri lankaThe fruit has three major parts: the deep purple inedible rind, the white edible flesh which is segmented like oranges and the seeds, found within the flesh. The seed is extremely bitter and can’t be eaten. Did you know that one of the major health benefits of mangosteen is its effectiveness in treating Alzheimer’s disease?!

Papaya: is very helpful for the prevention of  heart disease, it’s an excellent source of the powerful antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin A and folate. In addition, it is a good source of dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, copper, and vitamin K. It plays a major role in the prevention of colon cancer.

papaya sri lanka

papaya  sri lanka papaya  sri lankaDid you know that papayas due to their soft and butter like consistency are called the “fruit of the angels” by Christopher Columbus?!

Passion fruit: Pleasantly sweet and tart, the delicious passion fruit is a rich source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and fiber. It is a very good source of dietary fibers acting as a laxative. Its richness in potassium helps regulating the heart rate and blood pressure.

passion fruit  sri lanka passion fruit sri lankaDid you know that passion fruits with wrinkle surface are actually more flavorful and rich in sugar?!

Star fruit or carambola: is a star shaped fruit with sweet and sour flavor I always felt it resembles lebanese janerik a bit :) The fruit with its waxy peel provides a good amount of dietary fibers that help preventing the absorption of the LDL cholesterol in the gut. It contains good quantities of vitamin C and it’s a good source of B complex vitamins. The fruit and its juice are often recommended in medicine as a diuretic.

star fruit or carambola sri lankaDid you know that carambola fruit is used to suppress cough and as an expectorant?!

Grapefruit: Grapefruits vary in hue from white or yellow to pink and red. They range in taste very acidic and even bitter or sweet and sugary. They are full of nutrients: they support clear and healthy skin due to the vitamin C.  They also help in weight loss as part of an overall healthy and varied diet.

grapefruit sri lankaDid you know that grapefruits were bred between pomelo and orange and they were given the name grapefruit because they grow in clusters similar to grape?!

Mango: originated 4,000 plus years ago, prevents cancer and lowers cholesterol due to the high levels of fiber, pectin and vitamin C. One cup of sliced mangoes supplies 25 percent of the daily needed value of vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight and prevents night blindness and dry eyes. There are over 1,000 different varieties of mangoes.

mango sri lankaDid you know that mango clears clogged pores and eliminate pimples?

There is a tremendous amount of fruits in Sri Lanka, available at cheap price and rich in benefits! It gives you a reason to eat more fruits!

fruits sri lankaSri lankan people are really sweet and welcoming, I would like to thank this amazing guy from the Earl’s regent hotel who was a big help to write this post.

The 65610 shades of green Sinhala – Sri Lanka part 3


bentota the surf

Bentota is a coastal town, located in the South of Sri Lanka. It is a tourist attraction, and a destination for water sports mainly surfing.

The beach was more amazing than i can describe. It’s a shame we didn’t spend at least 4 days there to get enough of it. But within our two days we managed to have lots of fun with Nady who was really a fantastic traveler!Nady

bentota the surf

nady nady

 

“Travel brings love and power into your life” – Rumi

It’s absolutely true, we had a quality time as a family and created memories that will never be forgotten.

bentota the surf bentota the surf bentota the surf bentota the surf

Bentota has a see turtle farm and hatchery, Kosgoda Where you can see five species of turtles-Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta), Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) and Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea). The eggs collected by the Villagers and Fishermen are purchased by the Kosgoda Hatchery and kept in sandy pens until they are hatched. The newly hatched ones are kept in seawater tanks and released to the sea in the night. This Hatchery alone has released more then 1,750,000 young turtles to the sea. An endowment by the Hasselblad Estate was responsible for the establishment of this hatchery.

sea turtle hatchery sea turtle hatchery sea turtle hatchery sea turtle hatchery sea turtle hatchery

The last thing we did before saying good bye to Bentota and Sri lanka is a boat safari by the madu river, the most beautiful lagoon of the southern Province of Sri Lanka. It is situated in Balapitiya within the Galle District . It opens to the Indian Ocean. We started our trip from captain’s boat house:

madu river safarimadu river safari madu river safariThere was several stops in the river, the first one was to the island of Mada Duwa (Cinnamon Island). When we arrived at the island’s wooden pier there was a number of fish spa pools, people sitting and dangling their feet in the river as hundreds of small fish eat their dead skin.  We took few steps to enter the island. We were invited to sit under a thatched shelter while a local man showed us how to strip the bark from a cinnamon branch. Then told us about the numerous uses and benefits of cinnamon and showed us how to make sections of thatched roofing from coconut leaves. When leaving and at the end of the pier there was baby alligators if you want to pose for a picture holding one. Personally i skipped this one, fearing any bad could happen to my kid!

madu river safari madu river safari madu river safariIMG_2779madu river safariThe next stop was for the island  temple of Kothduwa Rajamaha Viharaya. We were given a tour of the temple then we met a monk.

madu river safari madu river safari madu river safari madu river safariIt was an exciting safari, Nady actually made it so joyable and fun with his cute reactions to things he used to see only in books!

madu river safarimadu river safarimadu river safari madu river safari

In antiquity, Sri Lanka was known to travelers by a variety of names. Known in India as Lanka or Sinhala,  ancient Greek geographers called it Taprobane and Arabs referred to it as Serendib (the origin of the word serendipity) and Portuguese gave it the name Cellao translated to Ceylon in english.

Sri Lanka the land of lions is the paradise on earth . The beauty of the isle lies not just in its blue and golden beaches, evergreen  jungles, beautiful  mountains or waterfalls but also in its remarkable authenticity.

Here is the new comer to my precious collection. A milestone reached, more yet to come….

snow globe

Stay tuned to Sri Lanka part 4…

The 65610 shades of green Sinhala – Sri Lanka part 2


tea plantation

After Kandy we proceeded to the ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka. Nuwara Eliya is set against beautiful backdrops of mountains, valleys, waterfalls and tea plantations with picturesque landscape. Hardly you can blink to not miss a single scene. Nuwara Eliya is located at an altitude of 1,868 m (6,128 ft). So can you imagine how fresh the weather was?!

Moving from one place to the other is at least 3 hours drive, if you are traveling with you kids, you should keep them entertained. It’s not that hard actually, along the way there are things to talk about, one monkey jumps from here or a huge cow makes an appearance… The nature itself is entertaining. But you will reach a point when they are tired, nothing outside pleases them anymore, i advise you to take with you their favorite toy, music, movie, series, or book. It’s not easy to be with young adventurers (less than 2 years) but trust me it’s an enjoyment like no other, you wish you can register every moment, every word and every reaction. Just priceless!

entertainment

 

As known Sri Lanka earned the reputation for its tea, the best Ceylon tea all over the world. Having the most favorable factor of the climate and the best soil conditions required for the health grow of the Tea Plant. Glenloch tea factory, is one of the giant partners of its significant endeavor of Sri Lanka, the world  number one and the biggest producer of quality tea.

glenloch tea factory

 

Glen tea plantation:

tea plantation tea plantation tea plantation tea plantation tea plantation  tea plantation tea plantation

If you are willing to go to Sri Lanka, keep in mind tipping is very essential, to the point of tipping sometimes left and right even if you already paid for the tour or entrance fees! People have small income and count on tourists generosity! You feel you don’t have the choice because they are expecting you to give them extra money.

The visit to the factory was really fruitful, it gets you to know lots of info am sure you didn’t know before, or at least it makes you able to differentiate good from bad teas and know the difference between the types. The tour ended with a nice cup of tea, we were lucky we tried all types and bought souvenirs for the family and friends!

Ramboda waterfalls:

After the tea factory, we headed to Ramboda waterfalls. It’s 109m high and 11th highest waterfall in Sri Lanka and 729th highest waterfall in the world. You access Ramboda falls via a hotel where you can enjoy a meal on their terrasse watching this piece of art.

Ramboda waterfalls Ramboda waterfalls Ramboda waterfalls

For easy transportation, i advise you to hire a driver from the minute you arrive to the airport to the last minute of your trip. We should admit our driver did a really good job to keep us relaxed and entertained through all this journey. I recommend Mr. Lakmal Suranga, he was really good, he works on his own. If you are willing to go to Sri Lanka and you need his contacts please email me. He can also help in hotel bookings and suggests nice places to go to.

We spent the night in Nuwara eliya. The next day, we prepared ourselves for a long ride (about 7 hours drive!) to the beautiful beach of Bentota our last stop in the journey.

Stay tuned to Sri Lanka part 3….

The 65610 shades of green Sinhala – Sri Lanka part 1


pinnawala elephant orphanage

I am sure you noticed me being away from my blog for the last two weeks. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, I miss you and came back with a series of interesting posts about my trip to Sri Lanka.

Once a year go someplace you’ve never been before – Dalai Lama

A trip for only the three of us as a family, my lovely husband Antoun, my precious son Nady and I. This is what i call quality time for the family. We chose Sri Lanka on purpose to offer to Nady a new enriching journey, full of discoveries, adventures and novelties. It was indeed!

pinnawala elephant orphanage

Our trip kicked off in Pinnawala, a village in Kegalle district of Sri Lanka, situated 90 km from the capital Colombo. It is well known for its Elephant orphanage.

pinnawala elephant orphanage

pinnawala elephant orphanage

Pinnawala elephant orphanage: was started in 1975 to house the abandoned and wounded elephants. The number of elephants has increased now, including baby elephants brought from various parts, as well as the babies born, as a result of the captive breeding programs. The best time to visit is the feeding time from 9:30-10:00 am and 13:30-14:00 pm and the bathing time from 10:00-10:30 am and 14:00-14:30 pm when all the elephants are taken to the river close by.

pinnawala elephant orphanage

You can spend time there watching the elephant bathing. Vendors are everywhere selling small bags of bananas to feed them too.

We proceeded then to Kandy to spend the night there, the second largest city after Colombo. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO as it was the last stronghold of the Sinhalese Kings during the Portuguese, Dutch and British rule and finally ceded to the British in 1815 after an agreement. To the Buddhists of Sri Lanka and the World, Kandy is one of the most sacred sites as it is the home of the “Dalada Maligawa” – Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha.

The next morning, walking up fresh and enlivened to go to my favorite place where i can spend hours and days contemplating the beauty of the mother nature in the Royal Botanical garden of Peradeniya,  situated about 5.5 km to the west from Kandy.

royal botanical gardens Peradeniya

147 acres in extent; Started in 1374 as a pleasure garden of the Kings of Gampola and Kandy. There are more than 5,000 species of trees, plants and creepers. Some rare and endemic! As well as flora from the tropical world are found in the gardens. Spice Garden and Orchid House are popular with tourists. There are 5 Palm Avenues beautifying the gardens, the earliest and tallest Palm Avenue (Royal Palm Avenue) was planted in 1905. Also Double Coconuts from the Seashells Island, with the largest seed of all plants in the world.

royal botanical gardens Peradeniyaroyal botanical gardens Peradeniya royal botanical gardens Peradeniya royal botanical gardens Peradeniya royal botanical gardens Peradeniya royal botanical gardens Peradeniya royal botanical gardens Peradeniya royal botanical gardens Peradeniya royal botanical gardens Peradeniya royal botanical gardens Peradeniya royal botanical gardens Peradeniya royal botanical gardens Peradeniya royal botanical gardens Peradeniya royal botanical gardens Peradeniya royal botanical gardens Peradeniya royal botanical gardens Peradeniya royal botanical gardens Peradeniya royal botanical gardens Peradeniyaroyal botanical gardens Peradeniya royal botanical gardens PeradeniyaTrust me it was so hard to choose 20 pics out of hundreds. It’s a piece of heaven on earth. I recommend this site big time, as it is not usual wherever you live to find all this beauty in one place. It was a great opportunity to enjoy and reserve a big dosage of green and oxygen…

Stay tuned to Sri Lanka part 2….

Handy conversions and equivalents for easier cooking


measuring-cups marmite et ponpon

 

We have all been there, amazing recipes that needs to be converted with no doubts. Finally i got time to creates these super handy charts. I am sure many of you (like i did after writing them) will print this. This way you can keep it in the kitchen at your fingertips.

No more confusions and with the oven temperature chart, no more reason for burning stuff :P

Volume for dry ingredients:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volume for liquids:

 

Weights:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equivalents:

 

Oven temperature:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abbreviations:

  • Teaspoon: tsp
  • Tablespoon: tbsp
  • Cup: c
  • Pint: pt
  • Quart: qt
  • Gallon: gal
  • Milliliter: ml
  • Liter: l
  • Ounce: fl. oz.
  • Pound: lb
  • Fahrenheit: F
  • Celsius: C

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