Street Food In Sri Lanka – By Rajiv Welikala
Sri Lanka’s food culture is something unique and vibrant, with regional specialties and delicious fresh produce.
One of the most intriguing and yet seldom explored areas of food in our island is street food. Most Sri Lankans enjoy quick snacks during the day and even at night which are delicious, quirky at times and definitely original.
One of the best places to try out different types of street food, is Galle Face Green, in the heart of Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo. Hence we went on a mission to try out some of the popular mouthwatering delicacies found here.
The edge of the green is lined up with many stalls, selling a variety of street food.
The first to try out was the vadey which is a deep-fried lentil based patty. What’s special about the vadey here, is the different toppings they use. There is the variant with prawns, and even a small crab, deep fried to perfection, topped up with onions, carrots and a secret homemade sauce. The taste is delicious and it’s served in a convenient way that one can enjoy this even while on the go.
Next we visited a fruit vendor who was selling forms of pickled fruit, from young unripen mango which is mixed with vinegar, salt and chili powder, to pineapples with salt, pepper and chili, and even a specially prepared pickle of wood apple.
The highlight of the visit was visiting Rauf Nana’s stall. This is the oldest and most original of the Galle Face food stalls. Selling a vast variety of dishes, from prawns, chicken, beef and mutton, these meats are prepared fresh in various forms. We wanted to try two of the most popular dishes here, the Chicken Palandi and the Cheese Kottu.
The Palandi utilizes chopped chicken mixed with onions, tomatoes and green chillies, with a generous portion of buffalo curd to make a creamy spicy concoction, which is enjoyed with some fresh naan. The mouthwatering aromas were justified by the equally exceptional taste of this dish.
Next is the famous Cheese Kottu, which is synonymous with Sri Lankan street food, and often the most popular dinner which is ordered for take away or to have on the go. Made using chopped up rotti, which is mixed along with eggs, onions, and your preferred choice of meat, on a hot pan. The iconic bit of the kottu comes with the blending and mixing up of all these ingredients, which is carried out with two metal blades, used by the chef in a rhythmic “tak tak” beat often to a tune, to finely mix and chop up the dish. A generous portion of cheese and milk is added to give a creamy finish to the dish. This is often compared to a spicy pasta or macaroni. The state varies from place to place depending on the mix of spices and ingredients used. Our version at Rauf Nana was exceptional as they added some pineapple, and tomatoes as garnish. It was a mouthwatering dish with every bite giving a rich creamy and yet spicy flavor.
This was a very satisfying and fun adventure into the world of Street food at Galle Face Green. However Galle Face Green is just one place of such foodie adventures. One would find different cultural authenticities and gastronomical delights across the country and something which we highly recommend you to explore during your next visit to beautiful Sri Lanka.
Convinced to set off on a Foodie Adventure? Consider Sri Lanka your next holiday hotspot!
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