About Kithul Industry
Kitul is a palm endemic to Sri Lanka's rain forests. The tree is called fish-tail palm or toddy palm in English and Kithul in Sinhala. Botanically it is known as "Caryota Urens" This medium sized,straight and un-branched palm grows up to 20 m height.
kitul tree has been providing several uses and thus a multipurpose tree. The tree provides both edible and non-edible products. The sap obtained by tapping the inflorescence is used to make various edible products including sweet toddy. kitul treacle, kitul toddy and kitul jaggery. Other edible kitul products include the kitul flour. There are non-edible products such as furniture made from the timber etc.
Kitul treacle (Peni):
This is the honey made from the sap or the juice from the flowers. This is boiled to make it more concentrate. This treacle is bottled and marketed. Treacle is used to make a number of sweets and also a major component of traditional delicacy, curd & honey. There is high demand for the treacle.
To make jaggery, the kitul sap needs to be boiled passing the point which produces treacle. Then the sap is put in to coconut shells to make the unique shape. jaggary is a type of candy.
The flour is the pith of the trunk. it is obtained from the pith of the tree obtained from a tree cut down. Then the pith is cut into small pieces and powdered using a mortar. It is then mixed with water and allowed to strain through the cloth to the pot. After the flour settles down in the pot, it's sun dried to make kitul flour.
The sap collected from the inflorescence is sweet and can be used as a drink.
This is an alcoholic beverage made from fermenting the kitul sap with a mixed inoculum of yeast.