Sweetening the deal

Originally published on National Geographic Traveller India · April, 2016

Several years ago, on my first-ever visit to Sri Lanka, I remember enjoying one particularly memorable meal at Beach Wadiya, a glorified seaside shack in Colombo. An apt introduction to the unhurried pace of life in the island I would eventually call home, the meal stretched over several hours and multiple courses of freshly prepared seafood. But the fondest memory I have of that day is of the final course: a generous scoop of chilled yogurt, sweetened with a drizzle of what I thought was honey. It reminded me of my childhood fixation with curd sweetened with sugar. It wasn’t until years later that I found out that the simple dessert was in fact a national obsession, and that the syrup was not honey at all. It was kithul treacle, one of Sri Lanka’s best-loved secrets.

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