Hoppers: A typical snack
These are sri lanka’s answer to pancakes made from a fermented batter of rice flour and coconut milk and a touch of palm toddy except these days you can buy the ready mix. Hoppers are crisp on the outside and soft and spongy on the inside.
You can eat them savoury with an egg cracked in the middle and served with hot spicy chilli sambol or spread jam on them and eat sweet. You can buy honey hoppers and milk hoppers but I tend not to fancy these.
The sri Lankan word is Appa they are bowl shaped moulds, do bear in mind that if you ask for appa as a foreigner the men may snigger as it is the term they use for lesbians.
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Various Hotels (cafes): Typical Sri Lankan Breakfast
What to expect on your plate I suppose depends on the area you are in so I want to give you an idea of the staples and then what could be served where in the country you are (but not exclusively)
Dahl curry (lentils) (parippu) yummy sometimes a little oversalted can be spicy or mild
Pol Sambal (coconut shavings, lime, chilli)
Potato Curry (ala kiritahodi) normally mild
Fish curry (malu hodi)
Egg Curry (bittera hodi same milky curry with boiled egg)
You may also get to try
Mungattu – black lentils
Bread (paan) is delicious but that’s because there is fat & sugar added, sometimes you may like to try Roast paan it is sort of dried rusk bread quite tasty normally Rs25 a slice
String hoppers these can be white or red rice flour (which are healthier)
Hoppers are bowl shaped and the outside is thin and crispy like a pancake sometimes they break in an egg (make sure the white is cooked the locals like it super runny) others eat them with banana or jam / honey (normally kithul treacle as bees honey is expensive)
Thossai are like sourish pancakes one of my faourites & served with white sambal or onion sambol.
Masala Dossai is normally potato or veg stuffed Thossai
Idli are steamed dumplings of lentils and rice found more up north in Tamal areas
Pittu is more found in Tamil regions it is steamed ground rice rolled in coconut
Milk Rice (Kirri bath) is usually yesterdays rice mixed with cocnut milk and served in squares it is the traditional foods before weddings, shop openings, new year etc served on a banana leaf with red hot sambol
Coconut Roti is much like levened flat bread can be eaten sweet or savoury
Paratha – more found in tamil areas is like a fried flatbread
Roti – made out of atta flour
I have tried everything with the exception of fish curry I'm not partial to fish
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Rice and Curry: Rice and Curry
Favorite Dish: When ordering a rice and curry at a café (called hotels) you would usually expect to be served as a lunch packet which means it’s all on one plate. The plate is covered in lunch wrap and a mound of rice is placed in the middle with a selection around it. The other alternative is your rice and curry is self-service and this means it’s often enough for two persons as sri lankans a lot at lunchtime. So you get your steamed rice, red rice is far healthier, dahl curry, 2 vegetable curry at least this could be aubergine, pumpkin, ladies fingers, jack fruit, beans, carrots, beetroot, cassava, drumsticks you may be lucky to have mango curry and a few other specialties. Then of course if you order meat dish you will have a small portion of chicken often a thigh or drumstick in gravy. A sambol which is made with coconut shavings my favourite is passion fruit leaves but not common and topped with a crispy poppadum
Even though its enough food for 2 it is not polite to ask and pay for one and share. Sometimes the other party order an alternate small dish and share the rice and curry. Its normally so cheap so don't be tight.
Some of the more popular spots for tourists to visit offer a rice & curry buffet which can be hit or miss in terms of how long food has been standing, quality etc. I can highly recommend Ariya Rest House in Polonaruwa say Jo sent you. The accompaniments are coconut roti, rice and noodles then about 7 or sometimes more vegetable dishes and a chicken dish. Tea, coffee and fruit dessert all for rs800 at time of writing Jan 2014.
Durian: Unusual fruit
Yuck the smell makes me sick but hey don't let that put you off. Apparently the smellier the better the taste it gives off strong sulphates. When my boyfriend eats this he has to be in a different room and brush the teeth really well afterwards.
The fruit is green in appearance and I have been told it has a sweet custard like taste. It contains high amounts of sugar, vitC, potassium and amino acid tryptophan it also is a good source of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
It's said to warm the body so have some water on hand and not to be eaten by pregnant women or those with high blood pressure. Gentlemen durian is said to have aphrodisiac qualities and is like a natural Viagra so perhaps worth a try.
MINISTRY OF CRAB: Celebrity-Style Seafood in Colombo
* TIP UNDER CONSTRUCTION *
In December 2011, this restaurant was created by Sri Lanka's cricketing legends Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, together with Dharshan Munidasa of Nihonbashi fame, to celebrate Sri Lanka's seafood, particularly its wonderfully sweet and succulent crabs.
Favorite Dish: Opening Hours: daily 6pm-11pm.
Prices (our bill from May 2012):
Appetizer Clay Pot Prawn Curry = 1,980 LKR (1 portion is for 2 people)
2 large crabs = 8,000 LKR.
Garlic rice = 680 LKR.
Kankun Garlic (vegetable side dish) = 380 LKR.
large bottle of still water = 140 LKR.
1 bottle of Pinot Grigio = 4,600 LKR.
2 chocolate biscuit desserts = 960 LKR.
TOTAL BILL incl. tax = 21,176 LKR.
(USD 160 / EUR 127)
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Rambutan: Unusual exotic fruit 2
In Sri Lanka they are red and hairy and grow in clusters. This exotic fruit is high in vit C, magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron.
Ripe rambutan scan be twisted and the fruit pops out. The fruit resembles a translucent egg and it has a hard seed in the middle. In my opinion the taste is not unlike lychee.
Apparently it is better to purchase it still attached to the branch. It's sold in Sri Lanka in May, June & July but I have seen it on sale in March
Mangosteen: Unusual exotic fruit 3
This to me is a really unusual fruit with a deep purple outside appearance. The white fleshy part is what's eaten. To open it you twist or press it firmly and it breaks apart. It taste is both sweet and tart (sour) at the same time. It is said to have a cooling effect on the body.
The fruit is low in calories, high in fibre and rich in vit C. This fruit is now being linked with treatment for cancer, Alzheimer's and acne. It is rumored to contain anti inflammatory properties, protect against heart disease by lowering blood pressure.
Apparently it is hard to tell if the fruit is good or not only eat the white segment fruit
The remainder of these benefits can be found at www.stylecraze.com/articles/amazing-health-benefits-of-mangosteen
old empire hotel, kandy: good curry
clean surroundings, good service, water thats drinakbale. tasty curries 5/6 dishes for around 300 rps with refills of the bowls if they empty. avoid loo tho!
Favorite Dish: curry curry curry
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