Learn Sri Lankan History with Turmeric and Prawn Curry

Ask any islander from Sri Lanka, and they’ll show you that you can make food for performance beyond just chicken and broccoli.  Coconuts, seafood, and the most important spices of a trade system that influenced medicine as far as Rome, are all what you’ll get from experiencing the fuel of Sri Lanka.

So we dabble into the era of Ayurveda, from a country that has experienced British rule under the East India Company to some of the most boisterous ancient city structures, to tough-as-nails tea plantation workers, to surviving a civil war.

Now, we’re not saying the spices themselves or the foods directly make the people of Sri Lanka epic.  At the same time, we kind of are.

A very important spice, turmeric, has been studied and posses several health benefits, specifically its compound: Curcumin.

From having antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects, curcumin has even risen in the athletic community as a recommended compound to include in a person’s diet to help with maintaining the integrity of musculo-skeletal structures.

The turmeric spice that Curcumin is found in is also a very important spice in all South Asian cooking, including Sri Lankan food.

Practitioners of the Sri Lankan martial art, Angampora

Check out this awesome recipe for shrimp curry, that includes this useful spice of curcumin.


700 g fresh medium prawns, peeled and deveined

salt, to taste

2 teaspoons coarsely pounded red chilllies

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon lime juice

1-2 teaspoons oil

200 g sliced onion

5 cloves garlic, sliced

1-2 green finger-length chillies, sliced

1 small cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon crushed peppercorns

1 small tomato, cut in wedges

1 sprig curry leaves



  1. Rub the prawns, with the salt, pounded with red chillies, turmeric powder and lime juice, and allow to marinate for 20 minutes
  2. Heat oil in pan and quickly stir-fry the prawns at high heat until half done, about 2 minutes.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. In same pan, fry the onions, garlic, green chillies, cinnamon, pepper, tomato wedges and curry leaves until crispy, about 3 minutes
  4. Return the prawns to the pan and toss to coat the prawns completely.  Cook for 3 minutes or until done.


Macro-nutrient breakdown:

Carbohydrates: 29 grams

Fats: 17 grams

Proteins: 140 grams

NOTE:  these are subject to the actual size of prawns you utilize and the amount of oil that you use.  The fats and proteins are going to be the main macro-nutrients (in terms of relevancy to training).  But eating this with some rice is a very delicious way of getting in not only proteins and carbohydrates for performance, but also spices that have helped fuel performance across the world and throughout history for over a thousand years.