Let’s admit it guys, food is just about the only thing that makes us wake up in the morning and face a busy day full of hustling around and we Sri Lankans love our food. Culinary art in Sri Lankan food has taken many forms over the years giving us locals a plethora of go-to comfort food that just hit the right spot on our taste buds and give that burst of energy we need. Here are a few of our favorite culinary masterpieces that feel like a giant hug.
Another original Sri Lankan food, originating from the Northern Province of Jaffna this miracle dish slowly made its way south and all over the island securing a special place in our hearts. This spicy and flavorsome combination of shredded wheat bread (roti) mixed with vegetables and gravy, tossed in the wok, is the most sought after food at any given party or gathering. It has evolved over time enabling us to add cheese kothu and Dolphin kothu to the Kothu Family tree.
An iconic Sri Lankan food, Hoppers are the next best thing to Kothu. The thin crust bowl-shaped goodness with a thick center that is made of rice flour, cooked to perfection on a hopper work. We, locals, know that there is no end to the capacity of our tummies when it comes to gulping down these fellows. Combine it with spicy seeni sambol, chicken, fish, pol sambol and maybe add an egg to the hopper batter and it drives the crowd wild.
Although it is an Indian dish we have come to love it as our own, reminiscing school days when our Tamil friends bring dosa to school and how we fell for the crepe-like food item that goes so well with chutney and sambar. You get so many forms of dosas in all saivar kades across the country. There’s onion oothappam, ghee roast, paper roast, and the list goes on. Dosa with a good cup of steaming tea and some wade on the side, it touches and replenishes the soul.
Everyone, absolutely everyone drools at the sight of a large biryani Sawan topped with roast chicken, cucumber salad, boiled eggs, brinjal sambal and pineapple jam on top of saffron-infused mouthwatering biryani rice. Even though it’s not originally a Sri Lankan food. This is more or less the only reason non-Muslims eagerly await Ramazan or Eid as we all remember getting a large biryani Sawan and a hot pot of freshly made wattalappan for dessert. I’m sure you remember the aroma that wafts in the air when you open the wrap on top. Simply delish.
String hoppers (Idiyappa)
It may look all messed up and tangled like the confused soul you are and that is exactly why it’s so comforting to have after a long day. Another original Sri Lankan food which are idiyappa kothu or idiyappa biryani can be adapt to any shape and form you want to give you peace.
Bread and sambal (Paan parippu and pol sambol)
You know what I’m talking about, that roast or theta paan your dad used to bring home after work and whacks it together with freshly made pol sambol by mum and parippu to go with it. And when you really need it a bulls-eye is added to combo and it is just heaven on a plate. Thas right, bread, and parippu is a sentence but paan parippu and pol sambol is an emotion which is an important part of Sri Lankan food culture.
We all know our favorites growing up, isponge cake, gnaana katha, kimbula banis, malu banis, tea banis, and elavalu roti. Need as instant boost, head to any given bakery in the neighborhood and have one of these bad boys with a hot cup of plain tea or milk tea. Trust me!