Colombo is always buzzing with excitement and, rather surprisingly, even more so just before Christmas. So on Saturday morning I walked out to the Good Market, home of the best organic produce in the entire city. The unmistakeable smell of freshly baked bread and frying spices filled the air before I even reached the stalls. I was there to meet Ishara, one of the handlers from Pinnawala elephant Orphanage, and soon found him at his family’s amazingly colourful fruit stand. Suitably fortified by his father’s ’10-fruit’ smoothie we wasted no time in catching the bus east…

I spent the next few days washing elephant calves in the river – by all accounts their contact with humans has made them both biddable and placid. Well – Ishara said he had never seen them enjoy playing with anyone quite so much. I’m sure they found it great fun, but after several days of being trumpeted at (and if I turned my back, butted head first into the river) I felt they were getting far too much of a good thing and in a happy but exhausted state got on the next train south to Galle.

I love this fortified old city, such a contrast to Colombo…and the curries I have had! Monkfish, green bean…and wait until you try the beetroot… I just had to scribble down these recipes for you!

‘Vinoden kanna’.

Wish you were here! Spice Pioneer x