Lunch on the Ramparts

In traditional families – or where you can get home for lunch, the major meal of the day here in Sri Lanka is at lunchtime.  Whether it’s a vast array of fragrant dishes, or a simple ‘packet’ lunch with just a few curries, a malung and some chutney or pickle, rice and curry is everyone’s favourite.


I couldn’t resist snapping this trader eating his packet lunch from home during a quiet time at the Mal Pola – the weekly plant market.

My friend Mo loves to throw a lunchtime bash – her Sunday lunches are legendary among her friends, and we all look forward to the feast she’s sure to serve up for us.


Five chatties on the burners here, and several on the table opposite!

On my birthday trip to Galle last year, while we opted for a slap up lunch on the veranda of Amangalla

Luncheon on the Ramparts 1

(my grilled squid salad was cooked perfectly – succulent, juicy and delicious)

Luncheon on the Ramparts 2

under the shade a tree on the ramparts opposite, a better prepared group of travellers was having a picnic lunch on the grass (watched over by a very attentive dog!).

I’ve been looking for an excuse to share these lunchtime shots with you and this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge theme is the perfect opportunity.

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36 thoughts on “Lunch on the Ramparts

  1. How do those ladies in black tents manage to eat anything at all? I imagine it’s the same in Sri Lanka as in Seychelles, in that if a meal is without rice, you haven’t eaten. In the staff room at the Poly where I taught, the other teachers would bring in breakfast of rice and curry or stew to eat before we started teacing at 7.30 am. They would eat the same things for lunch at breaktime and sometimes again before going home at 2.pm. I just ate fruit – abundant and mostly free!

    • Yes Viv, some people can’t function unless they have rice three times a day! A couple of people I know fit into that category. For others, the wide variety of other carbohydrates – including lots of really delicious rice-flour specialities like hoppers – are so enticing that breakfast and dinner are usually the time to eat mung beans, for instance, or chick peas (breakfast), or hoppers, or string hoppers (at night).

      The black all-over does present a bit of a problems for eating and drinking (they lift the face veil), but of course they are designed for outside wear, and in the past, when they were designed, a woman wouldn’t be seen out of the house eating or drinking in public.

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  3. Wonderful! Mo’s lunch time bash looks like a lot of fun. You seem to have captured everyone’s ability to relax and enjoy the blessing of the food they have been given. Even the guy eating the wrapped lunch isn’t rushing or gulping down “a quick bite”. No fast food here 😉

  4. This was a great challenge. Not only were there some creative replies but some, like yours, offered us views into different cultures through an entirely different lens. Thanks for a peek into a Sri Lanka that many of us would overlook.

    • Oh yes, and the thing is she’s used to ‘open house’ from when her kids were growing up and the house was always full of their friends, so there’s always enough to share with a stray friend who pops in, famished … 🙂

  5. Your squid looks divine and the shots of the picnickers are lovely, but it is Mo’s clay chatties that grab my attention 🙂 Haven’t eaten food cooked in chatties since we moved to Chennai!

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    • Oh yeah – you’d love it – she’s a fabulous cook and in fact has begun running cooking classes for tourists – locals next, once she’s persuaded her daughter and son in law to allow her to share her recipes with their fellow Colomboites!

  8. It must be difficult to eat with a burqa hanging in front of your face.
    If I were to put my woman in one of those, I would have made sure it was a full tent so that no one could see her sinful eyes (I wouldn’t have used one of those slutty Afghanistan versions of the burqa, where there’s a grid in front of the eyes).
    I’d also made her wear gloves of course.

  9. I want to taste your grilled swuid, right now, and eat it in the shade under a tree. But I feel so sorry for women who have to hide themselves, who are carrying their own prisons…

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