Cynthia Shanmugalingam cookboook Rambutan on Sri Lankan delicacies

Cynthia Shanmugalingam cookboook Rambutan on Sri Lankan delicacies

Cynthia Shanmugalingam’s cookbook is a treasure trove for culinary enthusiasts looking to immerse themselves in the vibrant flavors of Sri Lankan delicacies. This article dives into the world of Cynthia Shanmugalingam and her expertise in incorporating the exotic fruit rambutan into traditional Sri Lankan recipes.

Who is Cynthia Shanmugalingam?

Cynthia Shanmugalingam is a renowned chef and food writer hailing from Sri Lanka. Her passion for cooking and preserving Sri Lankan culinary traditions has made her a respected figure in the culinary world. With years of experience and a deep understanding of local flavors, Cynthia has curated a cookbook that captures the essence of Sri Lankan cuisine.

Rambutan: A Tropical Gem of Sri Lanka

Discovering the Rambutan Fruit

Rambutan, a tropical fruit native to Southeast Asia, has found its way into the heart of Sri Lankan cuisine. This fruit, resembling a lychee with its spiky exterior, offers a juicy and sweet flesh that adds a unique touch to various dishes. Cynthia Shanmugalingam’s cookbook explores the versatility of rambutan and its integration into Sri Lankan delicacies.

Origins and Appearance of Rambutan

Originating from the Malay Archipelago, rambutan is now widely cultivated in Sri Lanka. Its name translates to “hairy” in Malay, which perfectly describes its appearance. The fruit features a vibrant red or yellow spiky skin, which is easily removable to reveal the translucent, succulent flesh within.

Nutritional Benefits of Rambutan

Apart from its delicious taste, rambutan offers several health benefits. It is rich in vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and promotes healthy skin. Additionally, rambutan contains dietary fiber, antioxidants, and minerals that contribute to overall well-being.

Cynthia Shanmugalingam’s Rambutan Recipes

Bringing Rambutan into Sri Lankan Cuisine

Cynthia Shanmugalingam’s cookbook introduces a delightful array of rambutan recipes that showcase the fruit’s versatility. By blending rambutan with traditional Sri Lankan ingredients and spices, these recipes elevate the flavors to new heights.

Rambutan Curry: A Burst of Flavors

One of the standout recipes in Cynthia’s cookbook is the Rambutan Curry. This aromatic dish combines the sweetness of rambutan with a medley of spices, creating a harmonious blend of flavors. The curry can be prepared with meat, seafood, or as a vegetarian option, offering something for everyone.

Rambutan Sambol: A Spicy and Tangy Delight

For those who appreciate a touch of spice, Cynthia presents the Rambutan Sambol. This zesty condiment features rambutan combined with chili, lime, and other traditional Sri Lankan spices. The result is a tantalizing balance of heat and tanginess that pairs exceptionally well with rice and curry.

Rambutan Chutney: Sweet and Savory Harmony

Cynthia’s cookbook also unveils a unique Rambutan Chutney recipe. By blending rambutan with aromatic spices, vinegar, and sugar, this chutney delivers a delightful balance of sweet and savory flavors. It serves as an excellent accompaniment to snacks, grilled meats, or as a spread for sandwiches.

Cooking Techniques and Tips

Mastering the Art of Cooking Rambutan

To fully enjoy the rambutan recipes in Cynthia’s cookbook, it’s essential to understand the cooking techniques and tips specific to this fruit. The following guidelines will help you make the most of your culinary adventure:

Selecting and Preparing Rambutan: Choose ripe rambutan with vibrant colors and firm yet yielding flesh. Remove the skin and discard the seed before using the fruit in your recipes.

Cooking Methods for Rambutan Dishes: Cynthia’s cookbook offers various cooking methods for rambutan dishes, including simmering, stir-frying, and grilling. Each method imparts a unique flavor profile, allowing you to experiment and find your preferred cooking style.

Pairing Rambutan with Other Ingredients: Cynthia provides insights into pairing rambutan with other ingredients to enhance the overall taste. Her cookbook explores combinations with meats, vegetables, and spices to create balanced and delectable dishes.

Exploring the Sri Lankan Culinary Culture

The Richness of Sri Lankan Cuisine

Sri Lankan cuisine is a testament to the island’s rich history and cultural influences. The blending of indigenous flavors with colonial legacies and regional traditions has resulted in a vibrant and diverse culinary tapestry. Cynthia Shanmugalingam’s cookbook celebrates this culinary heritage and offers a gateway to the world of Sri Lankan delicacies.

Influences on Sri Lankan Food

The cuisine of Sri Lanka has been shaped by various influences, including Indian, Dutch, Portuguese, and British. These influences are evident in the diverse spices, cooking techniques, and ingredients used in Sri Lankan dishes. Cynthia’s cookbook showcases the fusion of these culinary elements, providing a unique gastronomic experience.

Traditional Sri Lankan Dishes

Cynthia’s cookbook also explores traditional Sri Lankan dishes beyond the rambutan recipes. From aromatic rice dishes like biryani and lamprais to savory seafood curries and hoppers, the cookbook offers a comprehensive exploration of Sri Lankan culinary traditions. Each recipe is accompanied by detailed instructions and insights into the cultural significance of the dish.


Cynthia Shanmugalingam’s cookbook is a testament to the richness and diversity of Sri Lankan cuisine. Through her expertise and passion, Cynthia brings the exotic rambutan fruit into the spotlight, showcasing its versatility in traditional Sri Lankan delicacies. Whether you’re an avid cook or a food enthusiast, this cookbook is a must-have for exploring the vibrant flavors of Sri Lanka.