Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Recommended Posts

Yes @KennethT, there’s many different types of roti. Some in Sri Lanka have an egg, green onion and chilli in the dough, others are flaky with layers of ghee - they’re my favourite. I made some at home on the weekend, rice flour, desiccated coconut, salt and water were the only ingredients. They turned out okay, but the dough was a bit too wet and therefore difficult to handle.

Practise needed !

 

On to Kandy, the second largest city in Sri Lanka, placed amongst towering mountains with pretty lakes and large trees providing a green backdrop. Our accommodation is at a homestay high in the hills where we enjoyed magnificent views over lush slopes and a very good rice and curry dinner. Here’s chicken curry (hiding under slices of fresh tomato),  potato curry, pappads, rice, stir fried kancun (water spinach), green beans curry, snake gourd curry and dal. 

E4EACC0E-5D0C-444F-AE51-B180391074BF.thumb.jpeg.956b32c3355665bdc5d77131b14f04d5.jpeg

 

Breakfast here was a masala omelette with toast and jam, fresh fruit and coffee. It was okay and hit the spot, but I missed string hoppers, no photos.

 

There’s a well known restaurant in town Balaji Dosai, we sought it out for the famous dosa of southern India and weren’t disappointed. It’s a small high turnover place with queues waiting for seats, shared tables, wash basin in the corner and no cutlery. The masala dosa was delicious, served with coconut chutney and dal. This photo taken before the man opposite me motioned I should turn the plate around. Ok, that makes sense.

7F212536-ACB7-406D-BAD3-565803A84BF1.thumb.jpeg.62ad52ccd647056a6154ea5081d19c57.jpeg

 

D lives in Kandy and tonight was to be our last night with him. He invited us to share a meal at his home and sample his wife’s cooking, what a treat. Seen below, black pork curry, devilled chicken, string hopper kottu, salad like coleslaw but better and vegetable curry. Traditionally in Sri Lanka guests and older people eat first, so the table is set for three, being me, M and his mother in law. We goaded him into joining us which he eventually did, fingers balling up a tasty mix of kottu with some pork and veggies and then offering it to his wife. So sweet.

4C546303-F9F5-4E17-80C4-11EA87A53B0D.thumb.jpeg.f429c2f504e725e72f7fb1ffaff16a0f.jpeg

 

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes @kayb, very fancy for Sri Lanka. The house belonged to D’s MIL, the FIL was a famous musician and artist, he passed away 15 years ago, but left an interesting legacy of artwork and old photographs in the bungalow that he designed. 

 

From Kandy we head further into hill country to Nuwara Eliya. Sitting at 2000 m above sea level it’s cooler and therefore was a favourite haunt of the British during colonial times wanting to escape the heat and humidity of the plains. There’s many fine examples of colonial architecture with stately hotels, a pink post office and one of the worlds oldest golf courses. 

 

Lunch was rice and curry at Milano’s, a local joint in town. I had vegetarian, the guys each had the same with a bright red piece of chicken on top, plus a bowl of coconut gravy to share. Here there was manioc (a tuber like sweet potato), okra, mallum of the day, dal, pappads and the ubiquitous rice. 

98F8B1D3-0A1A-4F84-8EFF-9DBE3AF7603C.thumb.jpeg.5abbcf46f9345fda5937afec035a1c4a.jpeg

 

Our next destination was Ella, we had tickets for the 3 pm train to get there.  D drove us to the station, but the train had other plans, and was delayed. Instead, D drove us to Ella through the misty mountain scenery complete with tea pickers carrying their harvest via a headband supporting the bundle on their backs. Hard work for what we would consider very little money, but with cheerful women making the best of it. 

 

Ella is gorgeous, with an easy to navigate small town surrounded by lush mountains. Chill cafe was our dinner venue, for a wood fired pizza ! The margherita pizza was good, a thin crust as we like it, plus a scattering of basil and mozzarella. 

 

There’s several  hikes in the area. We huffed and puffed our way up to Little Adams peak. Three kms of wide, gently climbing trail through tea plantations, 350 odd steps and several sections of scrambling goat track later, we made it. The 360 degree views are a fitting reward. Chill cafe beckoned us for further reward - beer and snacks, fried cashews with chilli and garlic, plus pappads with homemade mango chutney.

607932C7-0B2A-409D-BDB6-72BBD998D9D6.thumb.jpeg.b47aa4426bbe4a91a5774dbdc1fca680.jpeg

 

We made it back to our guesthouse just before the rain started, and then clouds rolled up the valley and turned our picture perfect view into a whiteout. A total rest afternoon ensued.

Dinner down the road at Zion View guesthouse was more rice and curry (chicken) to share, plus homemade samosas with chips and salad. I like the way they mixed the chips into the salad. All very tasty.

9E391DDA-F7D8-46E1-BBD3-106E9C517577.thumb.jpeg.0ba54e955cec151487230b6ac103e825.jpegE728F0CA-C0E5-4A8E-943D-CDFBF728EF0B.thumb.jpeg.cd554e3acaf123d670d2525c952bb505.jpeg

 

Two very large longhaired German shepherds roamed this open air restaurant. They were skin and bone underneath all that hair, though clearly loved and prized possessions. I’m convinced there is not one fat dog in Sri Lanka.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The cashews are the only thing I'm going to actually cook from all this. Lovely food! I like the look of the meal at the Driver's house. Proper home cooking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Kerala, the cashews are delicious, we saw them growing too. 

 

It was a long drive to Galle, the arrival made even more sweet by the city itself.

With a lively food scene,, buildings from the 16th century onwards, stunning sea views from high up on the ramparts, sun sinking into ocean, eclectic shops, and friendly people, this was our kinda town. We stayed in the old fort area, a collection of easy to navigate streets with an interesting something around every corner.

 

Our front porch was across the road from Serendipity Arts Café, a great spot for dinner on our first night. The chef here is affectionately known as Babi. He accompanied the well know Australian chef and television personality Peter Kuruvita on his around island filming of the series My Sri Lanka (worth a watch). Babi also owns two other cafes, Spoon’s and The Stairway (Keep Calm and Climb the...), a busy guy, but not too busy to cook food for us. M ordered chicken kebabs with chips and salad. The chicken was spicy, moist and tender, the chips fried with curry leaves and garlic to be squeezed over, the salad a perfect foil. I had rice and curry and took the only blurry photo of the trip. My curries were pumpkin, okra, cucumber, pineapple and dal, all surrounding a mound of rice. Delicious meals.76877907-EDFF-425F-B708-0F83F90D052F.thumb.jpeg.12034bd31e27c4f0ad77d2981dc98568.jpeg

 

Breakfast at our guesthouse was the best of the trip both days. String hoppers made with millet flour, egg hoppers, roti, milk rice, and sweet filled coconut pancakes. To go with coconut sambal, chilli sambal, fish curry and dal. Plus fruit and good coffee.

0915C1FE-4859-4C2E-BB9F-113DB24217A8.thumb.jpeg.4323aedad13e45f3d0fb05f69ac828e5.jpeg

D30B7734-A774-4C78-BD4E-4A93B60EA490.thumb.jpeg.f82fe1cf4909416b57a86d3d0c6df061.jpeg

Interesting that avocado is seen here more often as a sweet rather than savoury food. It’s in many desserts and better known as butter fruit. 

 

This spice shop was also across the road, quaint with its large jars of spice displayed like an old fashioned lolly shop.  It’s owned by a friendly man wearing traditional Muslim dress, happy to talk about spice and recommend his best roasted curry powder. 

0620C03E-203A-49F6-9796-48BE180BCC2A.thumb.jpeg.f007e5a3b149e22b11a679932c21e2bd.jpeg

 

The Dutch Hospital is beautifully renovated and repurposed with upmarket restaurants, bars, and shops. 

Partially obscured by the tree is A Minute by Tuk Tuk, another great dinner recommendation. 22448888-333D-4979-ADD6-AF4906B72269.thumb.jpeg.ae524132c358998722c3b09fe56f824f.jpeg

 

So pleasant to sit on the balcony with a slight sea breeze and a gin & tonic. M ordered roast chicken with godhambra roti (paper thin stretchy bread), it came with dal and curry sauce. I ordered eggplant godhambra which came with dal, and we shared nutty prawns. This meal was delicious and not expensive at 4300 rupees including two drinks.

B5DA25A8-ACB3-465B-BA9F-C951FD8D2074.thumb.jpeg.76c6b5bca60437329a7c20aeb478562a.jpegA4DB635F-B75B-4630-885B-4FCB9F6782DD.thumb.jpeg.29ae3d5b1d6a77e0773910ba2b50ea75.jpeg701C9FDA-2531-4714-9446-5641BDAF6995.thumb.jpeg.b63108f691365c4914a363723b8a1633.jpeg

 

The food would get even better for our last few days in Sri Lanka.  Next up, Colombo !

 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every single thing looks fabulous. I think that plate in the first picture in the post above, the chicken and chips, needs to be re-created here in the frozen north this Christmas.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

9 hours ago, sartoric said:

D30B7734-A774-4C78-BD4E-4A93B60EA490.thumb.jpeg.f82fe1cf4909416b57a86d3d0c6df061.jpeg

Interesting that avocado is seen here more often as a sweet rather than savoury food. It’s in many desserts and better known as butter fruit.

I'm totally intrigued by the idea of "butter fruit" in desserts. My only experience with it, as such, is hearsay: a friend was told by a woman from Brazil about a blended drink made from avocado, Maria cookies, milk, and ice.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Colombo, steamy capital of Sri Lanka.

 

Our homestay is a charming 170 year old house set in lush gardens with beautifully detailed fretwork above the doors, interesting art and comfy lounges on the porch.

8217C712-683E-4D45-B2DA-5EA977536694.thumb.jpeg.dc4e615d5bc98eb4d4c24f6f770c7389.jpeg

 

Breakfast was simple but tasty, milk rice, dal and coconut sambal. I got to help in the very basic kitchen, and so wish I could pop out to the shop at home for a bag of freshly grated coconut.

FD86E1D8-0C86-4184-BE87-76B05B6C191B.thumb.jpeg.15dbd2dc083f83cfaf074deb62738b42.jpeg93F96933-1D1E-45AC-BE05-30E65523D1C2.thumb.jpeg.c5b697a492b7c6b4bc21b90b3d93d5dc.jpeg

 

 

We were fortune to become friends with the extended family of our homestay host from our first night in Negombo. Today we would spend the day together sight seeing and enjoying a fantastic lunch at Kaema Sutra. The restaurant is owned by a Bollywood star (idolised by the younger daughter of our family friends) is upmarket and inventive in it’s modern take on Sri Lankan cuisine. It’s located in Independence Square a huge colonnaded collection of buildings, and another example of thoughtful renovation. 

We shared a few godhambra roti crisps to start, then Australian mutton curry, steamed barramundi, kottu with roast chicken, baby potato curry, okra curry, dal and yellow rice.

29EC2365-DD3B-4502-8A39-5E57014F5D0D.thumb.jpeg.bfbd3d34b262941362c85d12b7910cf5.jpeg50B976C0-A1D5-4E5A-9283-38DDFCF0BDB1.thumb.jpeg.3b28d7a865bfb2d3f41e23e4fdbcad07.jpeg7177C273-EF4E-451A-8B72-594613133B0A.thumb.jpeg.25a62e76466f4ea1cb1857f6ed353d36.jpeg

That’s a lime for squeezing on the kottu (in the muslin bag, foreground plate).

 

I finally got a shot of the kottu cooking.

9A2BD7D6-8A64-4538-91CA-B1CD8FBDD19A.thumb.jpeg.de9fe50fe08a25a924c388f04fdf2c8f.jpeg

 

We shared a dessert of “What the hopper” a honey hopper filled with whipped curd, fresh strawberries and drizzled with treacle.

7DF94B99-C619-4C79-8B41-1FD8DC6C348F.thumb.jpeg.429abbb520d8f57abd45fe260956351a.jpeg

 

This restaurant was a great recommendation, delicious food, fabulous staff who made a fuss of younger daughters obsession, and not expensive, 10,000 rupees for six people including drinks.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tea and a banana would do for breakfast on our last day in Sri Lanka, as we had a big day of eating lined up.

We grabbed a tuk tuk to the Pettah, a fascinating market district and bustling even on a Sunday. Determined to find another recommendation, (the hole in the wall Mayura), google maps did a sterling job of leading us here through the rainy chaotic laneways.

4158EF0F-DAC3-4F30-9C70-E8EAB5D52779.thumb.jpeg.d1256633f255b8197264bfe4742bcec3.jpeg

 

M ordered chicken with white rice, I ordered crabs with red rice, each came with a mixed veggie curry, dal, pickle and an omelette. We clumsily ate with our fingers, under the amused stares of the other patrons. The chicken curry included all parts of the bird - liver, heart and unmentionables, thankfully no feathers. This meal was delicious, authentic and very cheap at 920 rupees.

D4650FDC-9BB3-4A91-ADEE-345071438BC1.thumb.jpeg.819ebfef07e1f73f24c017f612a89897.jpeg

AD319110-18E8-4D51-920C-3DAF2D1FA76A.thumb.jpeg.612336a5997d49abaab17bd6be55b49d.jpeg

 

Mayura is popular and very busy with takeaways, see all the green bags lined up on the counter.

54A1D2F9-E93F-4575-810A-5A5B3F7FF5D0.thumb.jpeg.ca616800fd23cac024a3d01b098b59fc.jpeg

 

We waddled to the train station and rode the rails to Mt Lavinia about 30 minutes away. There lies the historic Mt Lavinia Hotel, a gracious colonial building overlooking the ocean. So pleasant to relax on the veranda with a beer, while listening to a cool jazz band and people watching. 

 

I had made reservations (imperative) for dinner at the Ministry of Crab. Started by two Sri Lankan international cricket stars, and run on eco friendly principles, it’s located in the Old Dutch Hospital, yet another gorgeous colonial building tastefully renovated and filled with upmarket shops and restaurants. We shared a baked crab starter...not really necessary.0195B21B-2414-429A-937C-792E8FF2DEE7.thumb.jpeg.8ca1b24358f002c8f0202c224179b752.jpeg

 

Then, this jumbo chilli crab....

174DC8A8-6113-443D-82B8-768508F71035.thumb.jpeg.4c2fb034037ca59677886a3f8ff0c11f.jpeg

 

With mixed veggies and garlic rice, also not necessary. I could have easily skipped all of this to focus purely on the crab.

84CF6526-FD79-48FA-9B3A-A5DEFF45325F.thumb.jpeg.4c687dac3c4e40f8f6f77882d8998222.jpeg

 

A fantastic (if expensive) meal, and a fitting end to our trip tasting Sri Lanka.

 

FF8A4C7D-E340-4B20-9028-8A802CF38B1A.thumb.jpeg.c2f41151778e263b1eeb3b58e239fc78.jpeg

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wonderful travelogue, and the food looked marvelous! That crab looks like an alien being -- and I bet it was marvelous!

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nooooooo, it can't be over!!!

 

Thank you so much for taking time to show us everything.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Shelby said:

Nooooooo, it can't be over!!!

 

Thank you so much for taking time to show us everything.

Seconded.... Wish this could go on and on!!! Thank you!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for taking time to show us everything. Really enjoyed this. D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just now came across this.  I had wondered where you were.  I loved reading it and seeing pictures of all the food.  I'm only sorry I didn't get to interact with you during the course of your writing the blog.  To me, it is always interesting to see what people eat in cultures so different from my own.  Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know when I have read a food blog that made me so eager to try almost everything.  Usually two or three things jump out but each meal yelled "taste me" , "taste me"!  Oh how I would if I could.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just waiting for any more little tidbits, but I guess that's it! Thanks so much. I don't know when or if I'll ever get back to Sri Lanka. It's almost too close to home for me to get to, but there look to be a few interesting variations worth making the effort for. Anyway, cashews for Christmas for sure!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watching the horrible news this morning and I immediately thought of this travel blog.  I hope all EG friends are safe.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Shelby said:

Watching the horrible news this morning and I immediately thought of this travel blog.  I hope all EG friends are safe.

 

Me too.  @Duvel is there and I went over some posts to see if he was anywhere near those places.  The only place he referenced was somewhat in from the coast.  

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thank you both for your concerns 🤗

 

We are travelling Sri Lanka and are currently in Kandy, well away from the places of these terrible incidents. Everyone in the country is in shock, especially since the memories of the civil war, that just ended 10 years ago are still present. Our and everyone’s thought are with the victims and their relatives and friends.

In Kandy security has already been exponentially increased over the course of the day and since a few hours there has been a curfew imposed. We do not know how long it will last but it seems we’ll get permission to travel to the airport tomorrow to fly out to Hong Kong ... 


Edited by Duvel (log)
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Duvel said:

We are currently travelling Sri Lanka and are currently in Kandy, well away from the places of these terrible incidents. Everyone in the country is in shock, especially since the memories of the civil war, that just ended 10 years ago are still present. Our and everyone’s thought are with the victims and their relatives and friends.

In Kandy security has already been exponentially increased over the course of the day and since a few hours there has been a curfew imposed. We do not know how long it will last but it seems we’ll get permission to travel to the airport tomorrow to fly out to Hong Kong ... 

Good to know you guys are ok!  So very sad and scary.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By sartoric
      We love Japan ! 
      I don’t know why it hasn’t been on my travel radar until recently. The people, the places, the culture and history, and especially the FOOD.
      There will be no Michelin stars in this report, nor will there be names of restaurants. We ate mainly at isakaya, (local restaurants where there were often only four or five seats), markets (including supermarkets) with a few larger restaurants for balance. There is food available anywhere and anytime if you know where to look. Rather than large meals we tended to snack our way through the day. Some of the best things we ate at “standing bars” no chairs provided. 
      Karaage chicken with salad and miso was first up.

       
      The window displays are amazing, you can walk many city blocks underground through various shopping malls, handy when it rained our first day.

       
      At a local place. Chicken teriyaki, grilled peppers, potato salad, pickles.

       
      Charcoal hibachi.

       
      Grew to love sake.

       
       
    • By Mullinix18
      I'm thinking about starting a blog featuring the recipes of antoine Carême that I've translated from 1700s French? No English versions of his works exist and his work is hard to find, even though he is the greatest chef who ever lived. After I get through his works I'd add menon, la Varenne, and other hard to find, but historically important masters of French cuisine. 
    • By Duvel
      Prologue:
       
      Originally, we intended to spend this Chinese New Year in Hong Kong. We have travelled a lot last year and will need to attend a wedding already next month in Germany, so I was happy to spend some quiet days at home (and keep the spendings a bit under control as well). As a consequence, we had not booked any flights in the busiest travel time of the year in this region …
       
      But – despite all good intentions – I found myself two weeks ago calling the hotline of my favourite airline in the region, essentially cashing in on three years of extensive business travel and checking where I could get on short notice over CNY on miles. I was expecting a laughter on the other side of the line but this is the one time my status in their loyalty reward program paid out big time: three seats for either Seoul or Kansai International (earliest morning flights, of course). No need to choose, really – Kyoto, here we come !
       

    • By Tara Middleton
      Alright so as of a few months ago, I decided to take an impromptu trip to Europe--mostly unplanned but with several priorities set in mind: find the best food and locate the most game-changing ice cream spots on the grounds of each city I sought out for. One of the greatest, most architecturally unique and divine cities I have visited thus far has gotta be Vienna, Austria. But what in the heck is there to eat over there?! (you might ask). 'Cause I sure as hell didn't know. So, I desperately reached out to a local Viennese friend of mine, who knows and understands my avid passion for all things edible, and she immediately shot back some must-have food dishes. Doing a bit of research beforehand, I knew I had to try the classic "Kasekreiner". Please forgive my German if I spelled that wrong. But no matter how you say it- say it with passion, because passion is just about all I felt when I ate it. Translated: it basically means cheese sausage. Honestly, what is there not to love about those two words. Even if that's not necessarily your go-to, do me a favor and give it a shot. Trust me, you won't regret it. A classic Austrian pork sausage with pockets of melty cheese, stuffed into a crisp French Baguette. No ketchup necessary (...and as an American, that's saying a lot). YUM. Best spot to try out this one-of-a-kind treat?! Bitzinger bei der Albertina – Würstelstand. Now here's a shot of me with my one true love in front of this classic Viennese green-domed building-- Karlskirche. Now, go check it.
       
       

    • By KennethT
      OK, I'm back, by popular demand! hehe....  After being back for 2 days, I'm still struggling with crazy jetlag and exhaustion - so please bear with me!
       
      This year, for our Asian adventure, we went to Bali, which for those who don't know, is one of the islands in Indonesia.  Bali is a very unique place - from its topology, to the people, language, customs, religion and food.  Whereas the majority of people in Indonesia are Muslim, most people in Bali are Balinese Hindu, which from what I understand is a little like Indian Hinduism, but has more ancestor worship.  Religion is very important to many people in Bali - there are temples everywhere, and at least in one area, there are religious processions through the street practically every day - but we'll get to that later.
       
      Bali has some food unique to it among its Indonesian neighbors, but like everywhere, has seen quite a bit of immigration from other Indonesian islands (many from Java, just to the west) who have brought their classic dishes with them.
       
      Basically all Indonesians speak Indonesian, or what they call Bahasa Indonesia, or just Bahasa, which, anyone who has read my prior foodblogs wouldn't be surprised to hear that I learned a little bit just before the trip.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to use any of it, except a couple times which were totally unnecessary.  When speaking with each other, most people in Bali speak Balinese (totally different from bahasa) - many times when I tried using my bahasa, they smiled and replied, and then tried to teach me the same phrase in Balinese!  As time went on, and I used some of the Balinese, I got lots of surprised smiles and laughs - who is this white guy speaking Balinese?!?  Seriously though, tourism has been in Bali for a very long time, so just about everyone we encountered spoke English to some degree.  Some people spoke German as well, as they supposedly get lots of tourists from Germany.  As one of our drivers was telling us, Bali is heavily dependent on tourism as they have no real industry other than agriculture, which doesn't pay nearly as well as tourism does.
       
      While there are beaches all around the island, most of the popular beach areas are in the south of the island, and those areas are the most highly touristed.  We spent very little time in the south as we are not really beach people (we get really bored) and during planning, decided to stay in less touristed areas so we'd have more opportunities for local food... this didn't work out, as you'll see later.
       
      So, it wouldn't be a KennethT foodblog without photos in the Taipei airport and I-Mei Dim Sum, which we called home for about 4 hours before our connection to Bali...
       
      Beef noodle soup:

       
      The interior:

       
      This was the same as always - huge pieces of beef were meltingly tender.  Good bite to the thick chewy noodles.
       
      Xie long bao (soup dumplings) and char siu bao (fluffy barbeque pork buns):

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×