Three Cheers for Rice

We LOVE rice. I mean the food, not Condoleezza Rice.

Sri Lankans have rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They love it, they want it. Take away their freedom, but don't take away their rice. Rice here is a national symbol, an icon that deserves to be put on the flag.

A Sri Lankan rice and curry meal is indeed a great treat. A treat fit for Kings. Fit for kings - that's the problem. The preparation requires an army of chefs, and loads of time. If I were a King, probably i could afford to have rice three times a day - the way it's meant to be, in this paradise isle.

But the trouble is, this is the 21st century. The king goes to work, while the queen probably does the same too. There are no armies of chefs at home. The national dish didn't evolve with times; it still commands laborious hours forcing the queen of home to wake up at wee hours - probably by 4 O'clock - to prepare the majestic meal. Imagine the number of hours this nation wastes in cooking their rice every single day?

If the womenfolk at home spends 4 hours a day in cooking (in average), that would be 20 hours during the weekdays. Keep 6 each for the weekend and she's spending a good 32 hours a week cooking. Let's be fair, and say 25 hours a week. Now multiply by the millions who do this every day... What a waste of time..!!

Ask a Sri Lankan guy to spend 25 hours a week cooking - to see what he has to say.

I'd say, evolve, people, Evolve..!

Just look at our neighbours - the Indians. They also eat rice and curry. True, their dishes are different, the preparations different, and the taste is different. But they have evolved. For the rice-fancy men who MUST have their home-made food, the city of Bombay offers a lunch-distribution network that is more complex, but a lot more efficient than DHL or FedEx. The women cook at leisure and send the lunch over to the guy's office - fresh. For those who wouldn't mind where the food came from, there are "ready to microwave & eat" rice and curry packs. Or the restaurants have "monthly tickets" and they deliver.

In most parts of the world, your lunch is delivered to the office. Works out to be fresher, cheaper and convenient. But here, in the paradise island, we love to go against the convention. Our hand-made shoes are cheaper and home cooked meals are cheaper. Who cares about the resources, who cares about the woman who wakes up so early every morning? Where's the compassion in this so called "most hospitable nation" on earth?

Why can't we be efficient in preparing our meals? Why only rice? Even if we MUST remain a rice-loving nation, why can't there be new innovations, new recipes? Russians love potatoes, and they have thousands of different recipes. Some take just 5 minutes to cook.

Why not pasta? Why not noodles? Why not roti for lunch?

We just love our rice. A lot more than our women. We don't really care if the wife, mom, sister, or the maid has to get up at 4 in the morning to cook for us, day in, day out. Do we?

I'd say, Evolve. Guys, love your rice, but love your women better.

Or learn to cook.


  1. I dunno. Every country has their quirks. Do you think japan would be japan without their women doing the tea ceremonies?

    I'm not saying we shouldn't change. but...just a thought.

    hm...I would actually prefer to cook for my husband. Not due to cultural/pressure from him. But it would be healthier..and it would be just part of showing him that I love him.

    Sorry...i just pondered on your blog. :)

  2. Agree with Deecee.
    I'd cook for my husband. Not rice though (and if he is a serious rice lover...i'd make sure i change it...muhahahah) something I can make quickly.

    And also, WHO in the world takes 4 hours to cook?! =S

  3. DeeCee, Sabby; you two remind me of this friend of mine’s wife – Mary from Madras. She just loved taking care of the kids, cooking and attending to my friend. Of course she didn’t work; and I used to drop in for a nice home-cooked meal every so often.

    I personally think that our cooking should evolve – not in a fusion kind of a way, but time saving. Kola thoaranna ehema godak welaa yanawa neh..?

  4. I taught myself to cook. Then learned that our women do a great job. And that waking up in the morning to cook is out of the question. So started eating outside.
    Oh I still cook once a week and eat for three days. LOL... You can't really get rid of our rice...