62 Vegetables in Sinhala… And Why I Should Be Eating More Of Them (Hint: I’ve become a Fatty)

vegetables in sinhala

Promises, I keep them. I really do.

Perhaps I don’t deliver on them as soon as one might like, but I don’t forget about them. I really don’t.

A few weeks ago I gave you a choice between 2 blog post topics and the majority of you voted for “Members of the family”. But to those who voted for “Vegetables”, I made a promise that I will do that one next and that their vote didn’t go waste.

Well folks, answer the doorbell, say hello to the guy holding a package, and sign your name right here because that promise has just been delivered to you!

But before we get into that, let’s do my usual “ramblings of a mad man”, shall we?

“Hahahahaha, It’s funny because he’s fat” –  Mr. Chow, from the movie ‘The Hangover’ (2009)

I couldn’t think of a better time to write about vegetables in Sinhala since, ahem, I honestly think I should be eating only veggies these days…

Yes folks, I have gained some weight. And as much as my massive ego tells me “Don’t worry Hot Stuff, you’ve still got the goods”, I’ve started to think that maybe I should nip it in the bud already. Noticing a new chin each morning is never a good sign.

It’s most probably due to all the AMAZING Sri Lankan food that I’ve been stuffing my face with since I arrived here 2 months ago. Or maybe it’s the recent holiday I had in Dubai where, as we speak, the hotel management might be rethinking their buffet policy after they saw the devastation I single-handedly did.

Either way, the reasons didn’t matter. I just knew that something had to be done about “Lazy But Fat Dilshan”. So I’ve made some changes recently…

I’ve started doing 60 minutes of cardio each day. I’ve also been starting my morning off with a protein shake and a liter of ice-cold water (I’ve learned from multiple sources that this kick-starts the metabolism). In terms of diet though, well, not many changes there I’m afraid. Can’t seem to (still) shake off my fascination with Sri Lankan food, although I have tried to reduce my intake of rice and other carbs. For those of you who know Sri Lankan cuisine, that makes up like 90% of it!

Listen, I know that you don’t give a rat’s backside about my recent fatty-boom-boom issues. You’re here just to learn Sinhala, I get it. However, I thought that you’d be amused to know that your favorite Sinhala blogger had to first undo the top button of his jeans when he sat down to write this post. True story.

But enough about Fatty McFatson. Let’s get to the veggies.

 

Vegetables in Sinhala – My Approach

Unlike the categorizing system I used in my Fruits in Sinhala post (i.e. “Common” vs. “Exotic”) this time I’ve categorized them according to the family of vegetables they fall into. I’m no botanist obviously; I learned this from Wikipedia:

  1. “Rooty” and Tuberous Vegetables
  2. “Fruity” Vegetables
  3. “Leafy” Vegetables
  4. Bulb & Stem Vegetables
  5. Legumes & Grains
  6. Types of Gourds
  7. Types of Chilies
  8. Other Vegetables (fungi, flowers, nuts)

Below, you’ll notice some familiar vegetables and perhaps some completely unknown ones too. But before I forget…

Special Thanks To My Awesome Father!

veggies in sinhala-1

Awesome input from my awesome father
(Click to enlarge)

Full Disclosure: I didn’t know most of these vegetables myself (yeah, no surprises there considering what a “fan” I am…). But luckily, I happened to mention to my father (who from now on shall be referred to as “Awesome Father”), that I’ll be needing his help with the names of vegetables in Sinhala.That very same day Awesome Father brought me the following two sheets that he had written up. This turned out to be what I based this entire post on. What a sweet guy, eh? He’s my favorite nominee for “Thaaththa of the Year”. (Also, he may have given me an idea for a new post that I’ll write soon: “Spices in Sinhala”. Keep a look out for that one)

 

Alright, let’s get into the vegetables in Sinhala and we’ll chat as we usually do at the end of this post. Enjoy folks!

 

How to say VEGETABLE in Sinhala

Vegetableé∙lȧ∙vȧ∙lu∙vȧ
A vegetableé∙lȧ∙vȧ∙lu∙vak
Vegetablesé∙lȧ∙vȧ∙lu

 

1. “Rooty” and Tuberous Vegetables in Sinhala

Beetrootbeet root (similar to the English word)
Carrotkæ∙rȧt (similar to the English word)
Gingeriňgu∙ru
Kohilako∙hi∙lȧ
Manioc / Tapiocaman∙yok∙ka
Potato / Yama∙lȧ
Radishraa∙bu
Sweet Potatoba∙thȧ∙lȧ

 

 2. “Fruity” Vegetables in Sinhala

Ash Plantaina∙lu  ké∙hél
Breadfruitdhél
Jackfruitkos
Tender Jackfruitpo∙los
Tomatothak∙kaa∙li

 

Mid Post Phrasebook Promo - Lazy But Smart Sinhala

 

3. “Leafy” Vegetables in Sinhala

Agati Leaveska∙thu∙ru  mu∙run∙ga
Amaranth Leavestham∙pȧ∙la
Cabbagegō∙va
Gotu Kolago∙tu  ko∙lȧ
Kangkung / Water Spinachkang∙kung (similar to the English word)
Lettuce Leavessa∙laa∙dhȧ  ko∙lȧ
Lime Leavesdhé∙hi  ko∙lȧ
Mint Leavesmin∙chi  ko∙lȧ
Spinachni∙vi∙thi

 

4. Bulb and Stem Vegetables in Sinhala

Asparagusra∙tȧ  haa∙tha∙vaa∙ri∙yȧ
Celerysæl∙dhi∙ri
Garlicsu∙dhu  loo∙nu
Knol Kohlnō kol
Leeksleeks (similar to the English word)
Lemongrasssḗ∙rȧ
Onionloo∙nu
Wild Asparagushaa∙tha∙vaa∙ri∙yȧ

 

5. Legumes and Grains in Sinhala

Beansbōn∙chi
Black Gramuňdhu
Chickpeaska∙dȧ∙lȧ
Corni∙riňgu
Drumstickmu∙run∙ga
Fenugreek Seedu∙lu haal
Green Gram / Mung Beansmung  æ∙tȧ
Green Peasra∙tȧ mǣ
Lentils / Dhalpa∙rip∙pu
Okra / Lady’s Fingersban∙dak∙ka
Semolinaru∙lang
Soybean / Soya Beansō∙ya  bōn∙chi
Wheatthi∙riňgu

 

6. Types of Gourds in Sinhala

Ash Pumpkinpu∙hul
Bitter Gourdka∙rȧ∙vi∙lȧ
Bottle Gourddhi∙yȧ  la∙bu
Brinjal / Eggplant / Auberginevam∙ba∙tu
Cucumberpi∙pin∙ya
Ridge Gourd / Luffavæ∙tȧ∙ko∙lu
Pumpkinvat∙tak∙ka
Snake Gourdpa∙thō∙lȧ
Thai Eggplanttha∙lȧ∙nȧ  ba∙tu

 

7. Types of Chilies in Sinhala

Capsicummaa∙lu  mi∙ris
Chiliesmi∙ris
Green Chiliesa∙mu  mi∙ris
Red Chiliesra∙thu  mi∙ris

 

8. Other Vegetables in Sinhala (fungi, flowers, nuts)

Artichokea∙lȧ soo∙ri∙yȧ∙kaan∙thȧ
Cashew Nutka∙ju
Cauliflowermal  gō∙va
Mushroomha∙thu
Peanutra∙tȧ  ka∙ju
Plantain Flower (Banana Blossom)ké∙hél  mu∙wȧ

 

So, what did you think? I’m guessing you’ve got loads of questions. I know I do… like why the hell does the Sinhala word for “Capsicum” translate to “Fish Chili?” (Answer – I honestly don’t know). So leave them below (and remember to also click on “notify”). I will be happy to answer them (which in reality means that I’ll be asking “Awesome Father” and replying to you as if it was my answer).

 

Want more “Lazy But Smart” Sinhala words & phrases like what you just saw?

 

Blog Post Phrasebook Promo - Lazy But Smart Sinhala-1

 

Click to see my COMPLETE collection

 

44 Responses to 62 Vegetables in Sinhala… And Why I Should Be Eating More Of Them (Hint: I’ve become a Fatty)

  1. Wee Ck December 12, 2013 at 16:47 #

    Hi Dilshan,

    Great work! You never failed to amaze me. You are keeping your followers happy….I for one is more than eager to go through your great effort to learn a new language as much as I could. To seem to make learn Sinhala so much simpler…

    Keep it up and be blessed with good health and strength to continue the journey….

    By the way…Happy Belated Birthday…..

    With Metta,

    Wee Ck

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 13, 2013 at 06:01 #

      Thanks Wee. Your comments never fail to make me feel great. You are most welcome. And thanks for the birthday wishes. Much appreciated. All the best and talk to you again soon.

  2. Tanya December 12, 2013 at 18:47 #

    Hi Dilshan,
    thanks for informed me about new blog post.This definitely would be useful during my study of Sinhala lang.At this moment i am more attach to grammar,but same time i am learning a new word.I will review it during my grammar practice.I must say that i am very thankful for audio pronunciation u did,because it is very important that we also know how to pronounce these word.

    Keep up a good work…
    Best Regards!
    Tanja

    p.s.if i have any suggestions for your blog post,i will definitely let u know….

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 13, 2013 at 06:04 #

      Hi Tanya,

      Great to hear from you again. You’re very welcome, I’m happy that you find it useful. Yes, I will start (soon hopefully) some blog posts on grammar also. I already did a couple which I guess you may have already seen. You can find them in the Sinhala Blog Post Archive.

      Thanks again for your comment and yes, please do let me know your suggestions.

  3. Julie December 12, 2013 at 21:03 #

    Hi Mr. “McFatson” :D,
    this is a great list of veggies and actually what you have promised! Thanks for that… it’ll need a little while to learn all that words. Unfortunatly I can only find English written recipies of Sri Lankan food in the net (it’s soooo yummy) … The Sinhala ones, I could find use the Sinhala alphabet. So the training of the words in a text is nearly unpossible… hehe… you realize what I am trying to lead you? That would be a good idea for your famous additional stuff for your subscribers… ;-): A transliterated great veggie recipe in Sinhala.
    And if you cook some to find out the best for us, you would loose weight immediatly :-)
    TC
    Julie

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 13, 2013 at 06:15 #

      Hi Julie,

      Yes, I remember that you voted for the veggies. Glad that this post came close to what you had in mind. Yeah, it’s not going to be easy to learn all of them and I wouldn’t even recommend it. If I were you, I’d just single out 5 vegetables that I like and remember the names for them. Only after that would I even think of learning anything more. The good news is you’re not studying Sinhala for any exam so therefore this ‘lazy but smart’ approach should be ok.

      A translated veggie recipe, and by that you don’t mean translated, right? You mean I just use my strange little characters like ȧ, ḗ, ň to re-write a recipe?

      Haha, yeah that might help with the weight loss. I’ve sort of decided that the pain of working out everyday is nothing compared to the enjoyment I get from Sri Lankan food, so the plan is “no compromise” on the food. Life’s too short for that, right? :)

      Take care.

  4. Laura December 13, 2013 at 14:07 #

    Hi Dilshan! So glad you wrote this! Interesting AND yummy (I looooooove veggies). I can assure you: your “no compromise on the food” policy can include vegetables. Have you ever tried eggplant parmigiana?
    Happy belated birthday again,
    Take care,
    Laura

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 13, 2013 at 15:31 #

      Hi Laura,

      Melanzane alla parmigiana!!! Ma certo!! Aagh.. Now you’ve got me craving it and I don’t (yet) have a clue where to find it in Colombo. Yes, I certainly have had it. Over and over again. My favorite (and VERY frequently visited) restaurant in Monaco was one called La Salière (or “La Saliera” in Italian obviously) and they included this in their mixed antipasti. Amazing.

      But I’m quite I sure I should be able to make it at home, no? Just need to find good parmigiana cheese here in Colombo. I’m sure it’s available. Will let you know how it goes.

      Ok, point taken. Let me rephrase that then: “No compromise” on food, except when vegetables are drenched in melted cheese. Better? :)

      Thanks for the birthday wishes (both in this comment and the email you sent today). I’ll reply your mail sometime during the weekend.

      • Laura December 14, 2013 at 11:56 #

        Well, of course you can! I should have my mom’s recipe somewhere if you like … you know what? It’s not really a matter of parmesan cheese rather than mozzarella. You can very easily substitute parmesan with dried, finely crushed bread (in Italy we actually call it “the parmesan of the poor”) and if you are really, really health conscious, you can grill the eggplants instead of frying them. This way you can eat a lot more feeling a lot less guilty: and it’s delicious anyway. Ok, that’s it with the Martha Stewart ramblings :)

        • Dilshan Jayasinha December 15, 2013 at 06:59 #

          I would love to have your mom’s recipe, thank you! Could you please email it to me when you find the time? That would be super nice of you.

          “Parmesan of the poor”, that’s amusing. Similar to how the name for the “puttanesca” sauce came about, I suppose. Oh, and about grilling the aubergines, screw that, if I’m going to do it, I’m going do it right. Who am I to mess up your mom’s recipe, right? :)

          Plus, for the way I’ve been killing myself on the treadmill this last week, I think can easily eat it without an ounce of guilt.

          Thanks again Laura Stewart!

  5. Mahak December 13, 2013 at 15:39 #

    Hi Dilshan,

    Happy Belated Birthday :)
    Hope you enjoyed Dubai, its such a fun place to visit.

    Great work on your post.
    Can you please make more podcasts in the future ?

    Thank you,
    Mahak

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 15, 2013 at 07:09 #

      Thanks for the birthday wishes Mahak!

      Yes, Dubai was great and it was my first time too. Plus, everywhere we went there were Sri Lankan staff so it was nice to speak to them in Sinhala although we were in a foreign land.

      Regarding podcasts, I’m still not satisfied enough with the acoustics of my new home office. There’s a terrible echo and I’ve done different things (like put in a new carpet, hanging picture frames, put in more furniture) to increase sound absorption but I could only improve it a little. Once I sort this issue out (looking into a software right now), I will recommence the podcasts. I know I’ve said I’m a “lazy but smart” guy but that doesn’t mean I can put out sh*tty quality material, right? :)

      WIll let you know how it goes.

  6. Wendy December 14, 2013 at 06:02 #

    Hi Dilshan! Happy late birthday!
    I’ve been in Sri Lanka for a month and a half now and I can’t tell you how useful this thing is. I think the sellers at Kandy Market already cringe when they see me coming because all I do is go “meka mokakda?” and then get a blank stare for all their efforts.

    Before I go again, I’ll take a look at this handy compendium and be the star of the show! Thanks!

    As an idea for a next blog post, how about doctor stuff? I feel dizzy, I feel nauseous, my tummy hurts, I have diarrhea,… Stuff like that!

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 14, 2013 at 06:44 #

      Hi Wendy,

      Thanks for the birthday wishes! I think the overused ‘cliché’ed thing to say right now is “Oh, I’m getting old” but truth be told, I feel very much the same, haha.

      1.5 months already?! Wow, based on the interest you’ve shown so far to learn this language I can imagine that your Sinhala must have improved 10 fold since you arrived? That’s so great that you’re using whatever you’ve learned. When I was learning French, I was way too self-conscious and would rarely use it. This really delayed my progress. Glad that you’re not making this silly mistake. Don’t know if the Kandy market guys would agree with me though :)

      Doctor stuff is a good idea. I think there were some related phrases in my phrasebook but perhaps I could expand on it. Will look into it. Thanks for the idea. I also had a couple of readers of mine who are studying to be doctors (and are moving to Sri Lanka) and they’ve requested something similar. So that’s 3 people that I know for sure who will find it useful. Good enough for me :)

      • Wendy December 15, 2013 at 17:21 #

        Hi Dilshan,

        yes, I’m pretty happy with my knowledge so far. I work with mentally challenged children so my vocabulary exists mostly out of verbs to give orders (indaganna, yanna, enna, epa, …) and questions about aches and hunger (ridenawada, badaginida, tibahaida, …), but it’s starting to get better! :)

        Thanks to your list, my first trip to the market was very successful. I even got a small applause from a previously completely exasperated market woman :p!

        Just remember: you are always as young as you feel! ;)

        • Dilshan Jayasinha December 21, 2013 at 10:23 #

          Hi Wendy, I didn’t know you worked with children in Sri Lanka. That’s really sweet. Glad that you’re also improving your Sinhala while working with them.

          Haha, small applause at the market place.That’s brilliant. I’ve had readers tell me many such ‘small wins’ they’ve had in their Sinhala learning journey, and this has got to be a favorite of mine. Well done!

  7. Ramu December 14, 2013 at 19:59 #

    Dear Dilshan,

    Happy birth day to you and Thank you for your useful lesson.

    keep on writing

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 15, 2013 at 07:18 #

      Hi Ramu, thank you for your kind wishes, I appreciate it. I’m also happy that you liked this blog post. You’re very welcome.

      Take care and talk to you soon.

  8. Chandra December 16, 2013 at 18:07 #

    Dilshan,
    wish you a very happy new year. it is too late for the birthday wish.
    the blog is excellent. your awesome father has done a great job
    I enjoy ed the blog with my grand children.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 21, 2013 at 10:50 #

      Hello Chandra, happy to hear from you again.

      Thanks for the wishes, very kind.

      Happy that you liked the veggies post. I shall also pass on your compliments to Awesome Father, although considering that he often visits my blog (that’s how awesome he is) I’m sure that he’s reading this right now and is blushing, haha.

      Thanks again and my best wishes to you and your grandchildren too. Talk to you soon.

  9. Luminita December 19, 2013 at 09:12 #

    Bonjour Dilshan,

    Merci pour ce nouveau chapitre, merci aussi à ton père!

    A très bientôt!

    L.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 21, 2013 at 10:56 #

      Salut Luminta, comment vas-tu?

      Merci. Je transmettrai ton message a « père génial » (ca sonne mieux que ‘Awesome Father’, non ?)

      Thanks again and speak to you soon!

  10. Sue December 21, 2013 at 17:01 #

    Hi Dilshan,
    We’ve been in Sri Lanka for nearly a week now and have had loads of delicious veggie curries. Your input has been invaluable in helping us to identify what we’re eating. For example, tonight there was breadfruit curry – although we’ve no idea what it looks like growing, we know it’s tasty – which we worked out through being given the Sinhala and then going through your/Awesome Father’s list. Are there different words for brinjal and aubergines?
    Sincere thanks for all your great efforts and help, Sue

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 22, 2013 at 09:10 #

      Hi Sue, thanks for your note. I’m thrilled that my veggies list came in handy. You’re very welcome.

      Yes, I like breadfruit too. Before you leave, in addition to the curry version, you should also try to find grilled/fried breadfruit, which is also a delicious preparation of this vegetable.

      For brinjal/aubergines, you might also hear it being called “batu” but mainly it’s “vambatu” (think ‘wombat’ and you forget it..)

      Enjoy the rest of the stay and do keep me posted.

  11. Chandra December 21, 2013 at 22:34 #

    Hi Dilshan,
    your blog is getting better and better. After reading others comments, I understand that everybody enjoys your blog. keep up with your good work. I wish you and your relatives in Sri Lanka merry Christmas and a very happy new year

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 22, 2013 at 09:19 #

      Thank you Chandra, that’s very kind of you to say.

      To be honest, I try to make each post better than the previous (although it doesn’t always turn out that way, but at least I try). I simply make sure that a) what I’m writing can be useful to someone learning Sinhala; and b) I’m having fun writing it. If one of these 2 aren’t met (and usually b) takes precedence over a)… I am very self-centered that way unfortunately, haha), then it usually doesn’t get made.

      Thanks again and best wishes to you and your family too!

  12. Haputhanthri December 11, 2014 at 09:53 #

    Very recently I was in a crucial situation as I had to submit a discription on Sinhala vegitables (say, Srilankan vegitables). And I’m here to say honestly that it was your website which was the only guide at once. Big Thank to you. Hereby I offer my gratefulness to you.

    Haputhanthri

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 11, 2014 at 18:57 #

      You’re very welcome, Haputhanthri. Thank you for letting me know. I’m very happy that I was able to help. Speak to you again soon.

  13. Red May 7, 2015 at 20:05 #

    this is so helpful. Thanx.

  14. Sally August 20, 2015 at 10:34 #

    what do u call walnuts in sinhala?

  15. Faiz October 6, 2015 at 12:14 #

    Hi…great job! Just found your blog today from my Google search of what are sweet potatoes in Sinhala. I hope your blog posts help me learn sinhala. Your write up is very amusing too and you keep your readers engaged and entertained. Wish you all the best and thanks again.

  16. Rodney Perera January 25, 2016 at 20:25 #

    What’s the sinhala name for DANDELION

  17. Mazhar February 28, 2016 at 14:34 #

    Hi

    This is very useful man…thanks to share these information, as a vegetable supplier this is very helpful to us.

  18. Nean December 5, 2016 at 06:11 #

    I was looking for a recipe using celery of Sri Lankan style and stumbled on your blog. You are very articulate and amusing. Great job educating as well (even if it’s from your dad?).

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 11, 2016 at 23:34 #

      Thanks for the kind words “articulate” and “amusing”. My huge ego and I appreciate it. Shall also show your comment to daddy boy. How did the celery dish come out?

  19. Ayesha January 12, 2017 at 03:27 #

    Hi Dilshan,

    It’s happy to see you are putting theses stuff together.. This helps not only for the people like to learn Sinhala but also for the people who are looking English word for some of our Sinhala words.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha January 18, 2017 at 14:51 #

      Hi Ayesha, always happy to get a compliment from an “apey ekkenek”. Feel free to share my website with your foreign friends interested in Sinhala.

  20. Chathurika February 4, 2017 at 19:04 #

    Google searched the Sinhala word for Amaranth leaves and came across ur blog. This is helpful! Thanks a load

    • Dilshan Jayasinha February 13, 2017 at 18:12 #

      Yeah, Google seems to send most “Sinhala” based searches to me. I’m very happy about that. Thanks for your comment, Chathurika.

  21. Susann February 22, 2017 at 12:50 #

    Hello Dilshan,

    During my holidays in Sri Lanka last year I tasted some of the “exotic” fruits and vegatables. Most of them are very delicious.
    Best of all were these yummy Jackfruit-Curries. I love it!
    But what is the difference between a tender jackfruit (polos) and a ripe jackfruit (varaku)?
    In a Sinhala book I found for beetroot the name ´rathu ala´ (=red potato) and for potato `arthapal´ (I think from `earth appel´). Are these names also used in spoken Sinhala?

    Thank you for your great work! I’ve never had so much fun learning a language. Yesterday my husband said to me “Currently you read nothing else except Sinhala.” =)

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