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Hoppers to Wattalappam: 7 special Sri Lankan dishes

Discover the vibrant flavors of Sri Lankan cuisine, from the iconic Rice and Curry to unique delicacies like Hoppers and Wattalappam

Hoppers to Wattalappam: 7 special Sri Lankan dishes ATG EAI
First Published Sep 15, 2023, 7:05 PM IST

Sri Lankan cuisine is a mesmerizing fusion of flavors, fragrances, and cultural influences that beckon food enthusiasts from around the world. Nestled in the heart of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka boasts a culinary heritage as diverse as its landscape, featuring an array of mouthwatering dishes that reflect the island nation's history and multicultural heritage. From spicy curries to sweet treats, Sri Lankan delicacies promise a gastronomic journey like no other.

  1. Rice and Curry At the core of Sri Lankan dining culture lies the ubiquitous "Rice and Curry." This dish exemplifies the nation's love affair with spices. A platter of aromatic rice served with an assortment of curries, sambols, and chutneys, it showcases a spectrum of flavors and textures. The curries vary from fiery-hot to mild, featuring ingredients like coconut milk, turmeric, and tamarind, creating a symphony of tastes that dance on the palate.

  2. Hoppers Hoppers, or "appa," are a unique Sri Lankan breakfast specialty. These bowl-shaped pancakes are made from fermented rice flour and coconut milk, creating a slightly tangy and crispy edge. They come in various forms, from plain hoppers to egg hoppers, where an egg is cracked into the center, creating a delightful combination of textures and flavors.

  3. Kottu Roti Kottu Roti is Sri Lanka's answer to street food cravings. This flavorful dish consists of chopped-up godhamba roti (flatbread) stir-fried with an assortment of ingredients like vegetables, meat, or seafood. The rhythmic clanging of metal spatulas against the griddle is a familiar sound in Sri Lankan towns, as chefs expertly prepare this satisfying and hearty delicacy.

  4. Lamprais  Lamprais is a Dutch-influenced Sri Lankan dish that showcases a marriage of flavors and textures. It consists of rice cooked in a fragrant, spiced meat or fish curry, accompanied by accompaniments like ash plantain, eggplant, and blachan (a shrimp paste). Everything is wrapped in a banana leaf and baked, allowing the flavors to meld into a harmonious symphony of taste.

  5. String Hoppers String hoppers are delicate, steamed rice noodle nests that are a staple in Sri Lankan cuisine. These thin strands of rice flour are served with an array of accompaniments such as kiri hodi (coconut milk gravy) and seeni sambol (caramelized onion relish). They provide a light and wholesome eating experience.

  6. Pol Sambol Pol Sambol is a quintessential Sri Lankan condiment that adds a fiery kick to any meal. Made from freshly grated coconut, red chili powder, lime juice, and spices, it's the perfect accompaniment to rice and curry, hoppers, or even sandwiches. The combination of heat, tanginess, and creaminess makes it an addictive addition to the Sri Lankan dining table.

  7. Wattalappam To conclude your culinary journey in Sri Lanka, indulge in the sweet delight of Wattalappam. This decadent dessert is a custard infused with jaggery, cardamom, cashews, and a hint of nutmeg. Baked to perfection, it offers a sweet and velvety end to your Sri Lankan feast.

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Sri Lankan cuisine is a treasure trove of flavors and traditions waiting to be explored. From the fiery spices of curries to the subtle sweetness of desserts, each delicacy is a testament to the island's rich history and cultural diversity. So, the next time you find yourself in Sri Lanka or at a Sri Lankan restaurant, be sure to savor these seven exquisite dishes that embody the essence of this captivating culinary culture.

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