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Sri Lankas ambassador praises local spices

Unique blend of spices creates distinct Sri Lankan cuisine

Sri Lanka's UN Ambassador, Dr Palitha Kohona, has waxed lyrically about the traditional spices used in his homeland's cooking. 

Speaking to the Eater, Dr Kohona extolled Sri Lankan cuisine and emphasised that it was unique to Indian food, which he complains it is often classified as.

While he admitted that his current home of New York had many quality Sri Lankan restaurants, the ambassador said there were some key elements missing, such as the unique use of culinary spices

"The combinations of spices Sri Lankans use: cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, curry, gamboge, rampe, lemongrass... Many Sri Lankan dishes contain coconut and that adds a sweetness to almost every dish, and there's a constant contrast to the heat provided by chillies," he explained. 

"You have to remember Sri Lanka has been historically renowned for the spices they produce. Romans, Greeks, Arabs and Persians all visited Sri Lanka in the in historical times to trade cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and peppers."

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