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Sinhalese Main foods

Rice & Curry

Rice & Curry is the main food of Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans enjoy some of the spiciest foods in the world. Meat, fish and vegetables are prepared as curries. Sliced onions, green chilies, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and saffron are used to add flavors. Today, rice and curry has shifted from being the popular breakfast to the essential lunch.

A basic rice and curry requires one fish (or beef or chicken) curry, two different vegetables, one portion of fried crispy stuff like papadam, a mallum of chopped leaves and coconut, and a gravy or ?hodda? of spiced and cooked with coconut milk.

The rice is always put on to the plate first and then the curries are selected from the other dishes to mix with it so you have a collection of minor meals around the plate. You eat by mixing the rice with something forming it in to a bite-sized ball and consuming by hand.

There is vast range of flavors and different curry mixes used for different foods. There are regional differences too. even with the same base food the taste will completely be different.

Kiribath (Milk Rice)

Kiribath is a ceremonial specific and included in all special occasion menus. Kiribath is translated in to “milk rice". The rice is cooked in thick coconut cream for this un sweetened rice-pudding which is accompanied by a sharp chilly relish called, Lunumiris or with a tackey coconut and treacle confection called Panipol?

Hoppers

Hoppers are much like sour-dough pancakes or muffins. The batter is fermented in the traditional way with a little palm toddy, which gives the hoppers a delicious liquor tang. The batter is left to rise overnight, then thinned with coconut cream and baked in a round cast-iron pan. The hopper has a soft, fluffy, well-risen center, a golden brown crisp border and is lightly flavored with a hint of palm toddy and sesame oil with which the pan is greased. An egg is sometimes baked into the center, sunny-side up. Hoppers are equally good with hot sambals a hot sharp 'relish' of ground chilies, grated coconut's shallots & cured fish or curries or with jam-the one rule is to eat them hot.

String Hoppers

String hoppers are made from a hot-water dough of rice-meal pressed out in circlets from a string mould on to little wicker mats, then steamed. Light and lacy, string hoppers make a mouthwatering meal with curry and sambol.


Pittu

Pittu probably came to Sri Lanka with the Malay regiments of the Eruption colonial period. It is however completely naturalized now and is a staple of Sri Lankan cuisine. Pittu is a mixture of fresh rice meal, every lightly roasted and mixed with fresh grated coconut, then steamed in a bamboo mould. It has a soft crumbly texture and is eaten with fresh coconut 'milk' and a hot chilly relish or curry.


Kolakeda

Its a modern nutritionist dream of a perfectly balanced meal and a porridge of brown rice and coconut cream flavoured with the juice of green herbs such as Polpala (Aerva lanata) Hathawariya (Asparagus falcatus), Gotukola(Hydrocotyle asiatica) or Elabatu (Solanum xanthocarpum) Kolakanda is served steaming hot with a piece of juggery.

Tamil’s Main Foods

Thosai

The Tamils of Sri Lanka who mainly live in the northern and eastern parts of the island have preserced sone of their on distinctive ethnic breakfast. Thosai is a great favourite, delicious and nutritionally perfect. The base for this lentil pancake is oorid, (Mungoradiatys), a back-skinned pulse of delicate flavour which is soaked and ground to a smooth batter. The batter is then allowed to rise, flavoured wih fried shallouts, curry leaves, fenugreek and cummin and cooked on a hot griddle greased with sesme oil. Thosai which resembles a tortilla, is eaten with a finely ground coconut and chilly sanbal and is a delicious and satisfying meal.

Uppuma

Uppuma is another favourite meal among the tamils. This is a savoury porridge made of semolina and and flavoured with fried onion, chilly mustard and curry leaves.


Vadai

The classic partner for thosai is vadai-a triumph of Tamil cuisine. These are small savoury rissoles of ground oorid of dhal- a fine red lentil. The lentil paste is mixed with minced shallot, green chillies, curry leaves and a dash of cummin and red chilly powder, fashioned into flat cakes and deep fried in coconut oil, Oorid or ulundu vadai are always made with a hole in the center-rather like small doughnuts.


Roti

Roti is a quickie meal- a little cottagey and easy to prepare. Wheat, rice or kurakkan (Eleusine coracana, a strongly flavored brown millet)-meal is mixed with fresh grated coconut and a touch of oil and baked on a hot griddle in thin flat cakes.

Roti is equally good with chilly relish or with syrup. Shallots, green chillies, curry leaves and Maldive (cured) fish flakes are akked to ring in the changes.

 
Sri Lankan Rice
 
Sri Lankan Rice
 
Kiribath
 
Hoppers
 
String Hoppers
 
Pittu
 
Kolakeda
 
Thosai
 
Uppuma
 
Vadai
 
Roti