Sri Lankan Cuisine
Sir Lanka has an extensive number of indigenous dishes, fruits and spices. Over the last centuries Sri Lankan cuisine is complimented with Indian, Chinese, Malay, Arabian and even European taste. Despite the invasive indulgences into the island itself, rice and curry still comprises the main meal in almost every Sri Lankan household and something that every tourist seems to savour.
Rice and curry:
Boiled rice with vegetable curries, fish and/or meat laced with Sri Lankan spices is the typical Sri Lankan main meal, a gourmet's delight. It is served for both lunch and dinner and some have it for breakfast too. Curries are usually spicy but can be mellowed to suit the pallet. Boiled or steamed rice with a verity of curries, salads, chutney and other assortments form the meal. Spices are added to make the dishes more delectable. The unaccustomed visitor may sometimes find the curries too spicy but this is easily controlled by reducing the quantities of spices used, specially the chillies and pepper to suit the different taste. Everything is brought to the table once and there are no separate courses as in a western style meal. It is perfectly correct to take a little of everything and taste it against the neutral rice. On special occasions, yellow rice is cooked in coconut milk and delicately flavoured with spices. It is served garnish with cashews, raisins and hard boiled eggs.
Kiribath: Kiribath means milk rice and is a traditional dish for festive or special occasions.
Hoppers: Hoppers (egg or plain) are made of a batter containing coconut milk and palm toddy, left overnight to ferment. It is then fried in a bowl shaped metal pan which forms its shape. Simply breaking an egg into the centre of the plain hopper makes an egg hopper.
String Hoppers: String Hoppers are vermicelli made of rice flour and steamed over a low fire.
Pittu: Pittu is prepared with rice flour and shredded coconut and steamed inside a bamboo. It is eaten with a hot sambolpol hodi (coconut gravy).
Cashew Apple: The cashew apple is the yellowish orange part. It has a very thin green skin when unripe and turns to yellow, pink or rarely bright scarlet when ripe. The fruit is sweet, crisp and juicy.
Plantain: In Sri Lanka, where the word plantain is often used interchange with banana, this fruit is a general favourite, served to complete any meal. Bananas come in many sizes and can be green, or yellow or even red in colour. Some of the most popular ones are Embul - small, yellow fruit when ripe; sweet and sticky. Kolikuttu - yellow when ripe, sweet and starchy. Anamalu - long, bright green when ripe, slightly flavory. Seeni kehel- small, yellow when ripe, very sweet. Rathu kehel- thick, red when ripe.
The Passion fruit: The Passion fruit is a sought after fruit in the paradise island. The passion fruit is round, slightly oval and grows on vines. They are purple or yellow in colour and have a smooth skin that wrinkles as the fruit looses moisture (a normal process which doesn't affect its flavour). Their juicy flesh is orange and contains several soft, edible seeds. Passion fruit have a bitter sweet flavour and pungent aroma.