The Thambili Vendor
A familiar sight around the country are the bunches of King Coconuts (Thambili) displayed for sale in many wayside kiosks. With a few well placed whacks with his machete, the vendor will open a square hole in the top of the coconut for you to drink from directly or with a straw. When you are finished, he will split it open for you to scoop out the gelatinous flesh with a scoop made from a wedge of outer shell cut away during opening.
In many Sri Lankan ayurvedic remedies the King Coconut has been prescribed to cure ailments related to impurities in the system. The King Coconut is a source of carbohydrates, vitamin E, iron, calcium, and phosphorous.
The water of the King Coconut is thought to be naturally sterile and a substitute for saline. There are reports that in World War 2 both American and Japanese military doctors injected king coconut water into patients' veins instead of sterile glucose solutions.
In the rural areas they can be purchased for about USD 0.40 each. Cheaper than bottled water and better for you!