Eccentrips blogger Sachin Bhandary says that “there are some real reasons why Sri Lanka is such an addictive place. One of the BIG reasons is Sri Lankan food. Their curries, sambols and hoppers can make you yearn for them long after you have left the island”.
“Here, I introduce you to seven dishes that are bound to leave a lingering taste in your mouth. They are in no particular order, nor do they necessarily represent most dishes from their cuisine.”
String hoppers, the king of breakfasts
String hoppers (pictured above) are famous as Idiyappams in India, most Sri Lankans call them by their anglicised name. The name not withstanding, this is a lovely way to start your day.
Rice and curry, fiery and satisfying
You may hear a couple of travelers crib sometimes, ‘Man, all you get for lunch in Sri Lanka is rice and curry!’. Now, before you think that Sri Lankan food must be boring, wait! The name ‘rice and curry’ does not do justice to the range of dishes that you get to taste on a daily basis.
Pittu and Jaffna crab curry
Jaffna, the capital of the northern province of Sri Lanka has a distinct food culture. Authentic Jaffna dishes aren’t available anywhere else. What stands out in Jaffna cuisine is the spice, and I mean super hot spiciness.
Meat cooked in devilled sauce (caramelised sweet and spicy sauce) is famous all across the island, and why not? It is tasty. But the best Crabs we had were claimed to be cooked in this preparation in an unknown restaurant in Batticoloa.
Short eats, the best!
Snacks or short eats are available almost all the time. But the perfect time to have them is in the evening, with hot cups of sweet Ceylon tea. If you enter a restaurant during tea time, the waiter will leave a tray full of goodies in front of you. You now have to pick and eat whatever you like, worry about the bill later.
Halapa is a tasty, vegetarian snack which I had the chance to try at my friend Sidath Sameera’s house in Kurunegala. It uses leaves to steam, and is really tasty, that’s all I can say. I will let Peckish me explain what this exactly is to you. Bonus is, she also has the recipe along with beautiful pictures.
Ginger cookies, tea-time favourites
Coconut and ginger-flavoured biscuits (as cookies are known on the Indian sub-continent) went on to become my favourites. They aren’t too sweet, and the ginger lends some spice making it a great combination.
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