Rice and curries of Sri Lanka

#FoodFriday: The many rice and curries of Sri Lanka

[I know it’s Saturday now (and probably Sunday where you live), but I had mild heatstroke on Friday so the post is only up now. Bon apetit!]

When I first heard of Sri Lanka’s rice and curry, I thought it was a plate of rice accompanied by a bowl of thick curry (like Chinese curries in Malaysia).

Even after looking at pictures of rice and curry online, I still had the same old impression.

So I was kind of surprised when I was served my first rice and curry at a hotel (a “simple restaurant” in Sri Lanka, not the usual definition of hotel) next to Colombo Fort train station. It looked very much like a regular rice and side dishes served at Chinese places back in Singapore and Malaysia.

Rice and curries of Sri Lanka
Rice and curries of Sri Lanka

The vegetarian rice and curry I had in Colombo had a huge heap of rice with four sides: chickpeas, fibrous vegetable, dhaal and another veggie.

The rice was not the usual Thai rice I have back home, but small barley-like grain that were round and fun to chew. (Later I found out that other rice were also used in different places.)

The best rice and curry I had was in Anuradhapura. It’s a small shop called “Highland Cold Spot” (or is it Cold Station) that gets its packets of rice and curry from another vendor. The best part about the place was that the rice and curry along with a glass of papaya juice cost only 160 rupees (~S$1.60).

Other rice and I curries I have cost less than 250 rupees and every one of them had too much rice. I wonder how the locals manage to keep all that rice in their stomachs. I usually can’t move after having one. (Maybe because I also drink while I eat and this expands my stomach by a lot.)

Ii’ve made it a point to have one rice and curry dish each day but I have a feeling I have had too much of it and my stomach does not want any more.

While we’re at the topic of food, I am ashamed to say that I have not tried a hopper yet. Uh oh… It’s just that I’ve only seen pre-made hoppers at a food counter and that didn’t look too appealing.

Anyone knows where I can get hoppers in Colombo or Kandy?

What other food should I eat in Sri Lanka?

More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

2 Comments

    1. You can get hoppers from roadside stalls. The best time it get them would be either in the morning or in the evening, which is when they tend to make fresh batches. You can have them plain or with egg. Also keep a lookout for kothu roti – you’ll hear a very distinct, musical banging of knives! -M.

      1. I saw kothu roti stall in Kandy but wasn’t hungry. Now I shall eat it if I find the stall, whether hungry or not

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