Sri Lanka has its own unique forms of fast food snacks to be had on the go. These are tasty and convenient bites which are loved by the locals and a must try for any foodie visiting the island.
One of the most iconic is the “Maalu Paan” of fish bun, which is a triangle shaped bun (always a triangle), which is stuffed with mainly potatoes, pepper and a hint of fish (despite its name, its mainly potato based). The secret to a good Maalu Paan is its correct fish to potato ratio. Too much of each might offset the balance in taste. Some of the most famous outlets where one can try ones hand at tasting these delectable baked goods is Perera & Sons (a famous bakery chain), Fab (an upmarket bakery chain), as well as any roadside bakery which will invariable have its own version of this bun, some good some bad, and some average.
One of the most iconic sounds one can hear in Colombo, its suburbs and now even in the villages is the infamous “Choon Paan” which is a tuk tuk or trishaw which has been transformed into a mobile bakery outlet which drives around the roads, stopping at certain points like an ice cream truck with the uniform tune of Beethovan’s “Fur Eliza” playing loudly in the background. This brings us to another famous baked snack which is much loved by children and adults alike, especially during tea time, the “Kimbula Banis” which is translated as Crocodile Bun. This long bun is tapered at both ends, almost like a straightened croissant and sprinkled generously with sugar is a sweet snack to be enjoyed with a nice cup of Ceylon Tea.
Another snack which is popular among Sri Lankan folks is the Chinese Roll, which is made at home and also sold in shops. Despite its name it has nothing to do with China or Chinese cuisine, but rather it’s a rolled pancake stuffed with fish or vegetables, which is deep fried and coated with breadcrumbs to produce a crunch and delicious snack.
Many of the local eateries produce a form of rotti which is generally consisting of potatoes, leeks and onions which is also triangular in shape and prepared by heating the rotti on a hot plate. This is known locally as “Elawalu Rotti”.
Come on a gastronomical journey with Classic Sri Lanka and learn about all the mouth-watering delights our island has to offer.