Global Palates: Ambul Thiyal

Global Palates: Ambul Thiyal


“Exploring Global Palates: Ambul Thiyal Finds New Fans Beyond Sri Lankan Diaspora”

Sri Lankan canneries exporting Ambul Thiyal to the Sri Lankan Diaspora in the UK and USA are now exploring a wider market share that includes other nationalities. This is mainly being done through social marketing networks such as Amazon, eBay, and the network of Sri Lankan shops.

Spicy Tuna (Ambulthiyal), Tuna fish curry has been on the shelves of Sri Lankan shops for some time.

Sarwanan Thangawelu, a shopkeeper in Harrow, London, said that many Thai, Burmese, and Polish customers have been picking up canned Ambul Thiyal recently. “Fortunately, we have a number of Sri Lankan suppliers who provide us with tinned and bottled Ambul Thial,” said Sarwanan Thangawelu. He added that many of the new customers say that Ambul Thiyal goes well with beer, and Sarwanan Thangawelu is looking forward to an increase in sales in the summer with garden beer parties taking place.


He added that a medium-spicy Ambul Thiyal preparation for the western market is food for thought.

Spice Cocktail


The maintenance of European Union and Food and Drug Administration (USA) standards together with HACCP, ISO 22000, and SLS certification has enabled many producers to explore wider markets. On average, Sri Lankan Ambul Thiyal has a shelf life that goes beyond a year. Ambul Thiyal directly translates to “Sour Fish.” It is made with a blend of whole spices and ingredients like goraka (brindle berry) that not only gives the dish a unique blackened color & sour flavor but also includes pepper, green chili, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, and curry leaves. In the Ayurvedic medicinal system, all these herbs have medicinal properties that lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol levels.

This method works out to be one of the healthiest ways to prepare fish, as the dish does not require any oil or coconut milk. The condiments used are packed with phytonutrients, including flavonoids that are powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents. The goraka too has many anti-disease properties.

The spice blend preserves the cooked dish for a longer period of time with no refrigeration required. Yellow Fin Tuna or Sail Fish is used for Ambul Thiyal.

Tuna Fish muscle consists of light and dark muscle, and the dark portion is actually a muscle type that is rich in myoglobin, a blood pigment that has a very high iron content, an essential mineral, compared to that of white flesh in fish. The dark muscle also contains many n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA), which are heart-healthy fats.



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