In 2011, we took a weekend trip to Sri Lanka (so hilariously awesome to me that I can say that about our life back in Kuala Lumpur). My cousin had visited Sri Lanka several times and spoke rapturously of the swaths of tea plantations and the slow pace at which the country moved. We could hardly resist. Even though Ge Ge was just five months old then, the slog of parenthood hadn’t yet gotten the better of us, so within a few weeks we found ourselves, baby in tow, heading in a rickety van up to Ashburnham Estate for a brief respite from Kuala Lumpur.
There are two things that still haunt me from our that trip: the unbelievable tea and this mysteriously simple coconut-carrot salad that kept turning up at almost every meal.
The tea — oh, the tea. The tea leaves are tiny yet they produce the most fragrant tea I’ve ever had. We brought back as much as we could stuff into our little rolling suitcases without looking like nefarious smugglers. And that coconut carrot salad — well, every time it showed up I begged someone to tell me what was in it. The answer, as I’ve found frustratingly common in foreign countries, was: a little of this, a little of that.