The Sri Lankan cuisine: food, food, drinks, prices
Kitchen Of Sri Lanka
Taste traditional Sri Lankan cuisine is quite spicy and very spicy, it is inherent in the sharpness of the cuisines of Southeast Asia, as in Thailand, for example. However, refined and varied, it cannot be called (rice, fish, vegetables with different spices and different versions).
The combination of spices and spice Sri Lankan cuisine owes Indian cuisine, who made a huge contribution to the culinary preferences of Sri Lankans. First and foremost, using large amounts of curry – spice mixtures (main: black pepper, chilies, mustard seeds, ginger, turmeric, garlic, coriander, cinnamon), crushed into powder. This mixture is made in different ways, and its composition may vary from the amount included in her spice blends to dosage of each mixture, from which depends the aroma and the sharpness of the finished curry. To give the dish a more exquisite aroma, Sri Lanka decided to pre-fry spices in oil and then add other ingredients. The options for cooking are many, but here I prefer not to overcook the food, and extinguishing, in order to preserve their taste and value. Also on the national cuisine was influenced by the Portuguese, the Dutch, the British, prevailed here, and the descendants of the Arabs.
Cuisine of Sri Lanka focused more on vegetarians. After all, in ordinary life, the Sri Lankans eat meat not often, mainly chicken. However, it is here (lamb, beef, pork, chicken). Beef is banned because cow is considered a sacred animal. But, for the sake of tourists will prepare any type of meat, the truth is to say that the meat dishes here can't cook (well, at least local chefs), because almost never use it, an exception may be the cafe with "Muslim bias" or Halal food.
If possible, is to visit the morning fish market opening in coastal villages at dawn (about 4 a.m.) and close to 8-9 o'clock in the morning. Here the owners of restaurants, cafes and eateries "zatarivatsya" fresh catch different types of fish and seafood. Their number and variety depends on the season. And if you will have the opportunity to cook something yourself (e.g., place of residence have a kitchen), be sure to use it. So you will be able to try a variety of dishes from fish is relatively inexpensive and eat as many as you want.
As for fish and seafood, here is this "good" enough, especially in coastal areas. Among the variety of tuna is the main fish in the diet of the local people, it is very fleshy, it is a lot inexpensive. Tuna is better to order a stew, the meat more tender and juicy. For example, a dinner of whole fish for two, with French fries and salad, excluding drinks, will cost around$ 15. The menu offers Jumbo shrimp Jumbo, crabs and lobsters. These dishes are quite expensive, for example, the lobster of a medium size about$ 10, Jumbo - $ 5 per shrimp, to eat there and there is nothing, and therefore focused more on the true gourmets. Portion of cooked prawns (6-7 pieces) the café will be 9$, includes rice and salad. There are sharks (has a sour taste and a little harsh), Barracuda tastes like perch, squid (called here the menu cuttle fish, so don't be confused when ordering this fish), small shrimp.
Try also tuna fillet braised in coconut sauce grilled shrimp Jumbo, crab or lobster with sweet and sour or garlic sauce, different types of dried and smoked fish, fried fish one large piece (steak), fried fish in small pieces, and then braised in a mixture of curry ("curry"), braised in sweet and spicy sauce pieces of fish with vegetables ("devil") as well as sauteed squid, etc To any fish dish, mandatory served the garnish: rice or French fries and vegetable salad.
The basis of any Sri Lankan Wallpapers – rice with curry. Without him, none of the daily meal. Besides, curry is a spice mixture, added to almost any dish, whether meat, fish, vegetables and even fruits, and gives a special aroma, flavor and pungency. And because the phrase "curry" is added to the name of respective dishes: fish curry (fish), shrimp curry (shrimp), curry, dal (beans). "Rice and curry" is the most popular dish in Sri Lanka and is a big plate of rice, which are served separately a few small bowls with different sauces, spices, vegetables, meat or fish. Moreover, the rice and curry in the tourist restaurants is positioned as a special signature dish, it is extremely enterprising Sri Lankans on this rather unceremonious speculate. So, in addition to payment for the dish (actually, a blank figure) in some places, for every additional bowl with seasoning you will have to pay extra. In the end, the cost of rice with curry can reach up to 800 rupees (refer to the currency of Sri Lanka, the exchange rate), while in a local eatery you can find similar food for 100 rupees.
Rice is the main grain crop of the island, it is grown everywhere, but because in cooking is widely used rice flour. Rice flour cook a variety of dishes: rice vermicelli, twisted in the form of a nest and steamed - hoppers (string hoppers); cake made of rice flour coconut milk – APPA (APPA hoppers), consumed as bread, and if in the process of cooking APPA. gently lift the edge of the cake and pour in the middle of the egg, the result is a dish called Egg hoppers or bitter (Bittara APPA). By the way, these scones, good for Breakfast or just a snack, the price of them from 30 to 60 rupees. One of the varieties of rice cakes - roti (rotti) that are prepared with curry, cheese, bananas, and other fillers may be used and empty instead of bread (plain rotti). A mixture of rice flour and shredded coconut in a stalk of bamboo – Pete (pittu) steamed and served with curry or sauce with spices, chopped hot red pepper, onion, lemon, fish of sambol Katta (Katta sambola).
You should definitely try rice cooked in coconut milk and cut in the shape of rhombuses, Kiribati (kiribath). This dish can be used as a standalone or together with a sauce of sambol Katta (Katta sambola). When you add kiribath coconut palm nectar and it turns into a dessert - Imbul kiribath. Rice with meat or vegetables, baked in banana leaves – lamprais (Lamprais).
Second "bread" after rice in Sri Lanka is considered to be a coconut. Depending on the ripening of the nut and its processing in cooking, use coconut, Kosovo, the milk, the coconut (coconut chips), coconut oil and coconut palm nectar. Coconut juice quenches thirst and it is recommended to drink orange juice of coconuts, according to locals, it is more useful than green coconut. Coconut milk is added to sauces and as a thickener for them, this milk is boiled rice, it softens the sharpness of the dish. Coconut pulp in the form of chips are added in the main and dessert dishes, and salads.
As vegetable food prevails in the diet of Sri Lankans, there are plenty of used a lot of greens (dill, lettuce, cilantro, etc.), various spices (curry, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper, ginger, cardamom, vanilla), vegetables (tomatoes, onions, carrots, cabbage, pepper, eggplant), bamboo shoots, flowers, coconut palm, algae. Also in Sri Lanka are grown millet, maize, different types of legumes (peas, lentils, beans).
Bakery products are popular. Fresh local bread is very tasty. Quite often the "Bakery", including on the wheels, where a wide assortment of different pastries: Specially Sri Lankans love scones and cakes with a spicy stuffing. They are eaten for Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Delicious scones pastry of Parota (parotta). They can also be eaten as a separate dish (though it's pretty fresh) and finely chopped vegetables, eggs and meat, the result is called a new dish cotta (kottu).
Have milk and dairy products. For example, 200 ml of milk with different additives (chocolate, vanilla or strawberry), a marching variant, costs about 9 rubles. There is cheese, but it is expensive, yogurts. Of particular interest may be a fermented milk product similar to yogurt, and very thick - Kurd made from soured Buffalo milk (400 ml Bank - about 40 rubles).
Fruits Of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka can even be called a fruit Paradise, as there are a large variety of exotic fruits: mango, pineapple, bananas, papaya, apples, Sapodilla, mangosteen, rambutan, woodapple (or wood Apple), durian, passion fruit, avocado, carambola, pomelo, longan, tamarind, Soursop, guava, noina, etc.
First place in the ranking of fruit Sri Lanka is coconut. Coconut palm trees grow throughout the island and are the "caretakers" of the local population. Coconut is widely used in cooking in coconut milk, butter, coconut, and palm nectar.The Sri Lankans prefer the juice of the orange (Royal) coconut. Sell coconuts everywhere, are from 10 to 40 rupees. When you will open and give you a straw. But chilled coconuts almost impossible to find. Bananas found several types: ordinary yellow-to red mini (which grows only here), melting in the mouth, sweet and even sour. However, the presence of those or other fruits depending on the season of their growth, and it is not always possible to find all the fruits in the market. Read more about exotic fruit can be found here.
Cheaper to buy fruit from prirodnyh trays away from the settlements. For example, buy a mango there for the price of 10 rupees apiece. The price of the fruit in the tourist areas of Sri Lanka are sometimes too high (sometimes even higher than in our supermarkets), but you can and should haggle. For example, a kilogram mini-bananas in Unawatuna offer for 175 rupees, and on the tray along the route - 60 rupees. But if you start to bargain, to really bring down the price to 100 rupees.
The basis of sweets and desserts Sri-Lankan - coconut milk, coconut, palm nectar, and nuts.
The most common sweets of Sri Lanka: cavum or cavum (kavum) – deep fried pieces of dough made from rice flour; hakuro APPA (hakuru ARRA) – rice cake, on top of which put butter, coconut and sugar; imbul kiribath – rice cooked in coconut milk (Kiribati) add shredded coconut and palm nectar. And aluva, halva, kokis – brushwood, a sort of marmalade. Dessert much like ice cream.
Drinks in Sri Lanka
Soft drinks, tea, coffee
Until 1972 Sri Lanka was called Ceylon, and therefore still the tea that is collected here, called Ceylon. Today Sri Lanka is world famous for its tea and it is the largest manufacturer. To distinguish the true Ceylon can the image on the box: the symbol "lion with Sword", which means that the tea is grown and packaged on the island of Sri Lanka.
Tap water you can use, but not recommended. Stock up on bottles, a half liter of which costs 70 rupees.
As already mentioned, coconut water is a great way to quench your thirst, but still useful. Besides coconut "failed state," there are quite a lot. Right in front of you coconut will open and will give it to you to drink.
Due to the fact that in Sri Lanka there is a great number of fruits, and the café menu is always a selection of fresh juices such as mango, papaya juice, orange, etc., they are thick, and the taste is very rich. It should be "fresh" from 50 rupees. Became popular smoothies (smoothie) based on seasonal local fruits with milk and ice. Very interesting drink Lassi with Indian origin, and consists of fruit, sugar and yogurt or curd, ice. It has a slightly sour dairy flavor, thirst quenching, costs 150 rupees.
Try the drink with the ginger – "ginger beer" in the title, though he used the word "beer" but alcohol in it and it tastes like a lemonade, with a sharp taste and smell of ginger (0.5 bottle (Plast.) costs 0.8$).
Tea deserves special attention. It is known worldwide and has a special flavor and tart taste. In Sri Lanka it is customary to drink tea with milk and sugar, and jam cakes. Despite the popularity of tea in the country there are no tea ceremonies, and the local population consume tea just out of the box supermarket in the same way as we do.
In the market you can find local coffee, but he refinement of taste.
Alcoholic beverages in Sri Lanka
With alcoholic beverages in Sri Lanka the problem because the government severely restricts the consumption of alcohol by the local population. Buy alcohol only in special stores under the names "Wine Stores" etc. These stores quite a bit, and sometimes, to buy a bottle of beer, you have to go even to a nearby city. Not even in all tourist areas you can find such shops. They work Maxim to 9 PM and public holidays and is closed. So you should stock up on alcohol at the first opportunity. To buy cold beer is also a problem, because although the refrigerators in the stores and there's beer in them no time to cool off.
To buy alcohol at most of these stores not just. There is always a queue of locals, and many of them, incidentally, unceremoniously climb before the tourists queue. And these stores are not allowed (sale is conducted through a small window), no price tags, and therefore, in order to choose something, you have to ask the seller what is what.
Fortunately for tourists, the sale of alcohol in cafes and restaurants is not restricted. However for a bottle of beer, for example, will have to pay 160 rupees and 300.
Stock up on cheap alcohol on arrival at Colombo airport, where there is a shop duty-free.
Among the local spirits popular coconut Arak – vodka (moonshine) fortress around 38 degrees (375 ml. bottle costs around RS 700); local beer "Lion", "Anchor", etc (from 180 rupees for the Bank); gin; whiskey, toddy (a brew). Local drink "Ginger Beeer" is not alcoholic, it's just a fizzy drink. Imported liquor, including Russian, a wide range, however, the prices are high.
Specialized shops selling alcohol under the guise of "Wine Stores" located usually on the outskirts of town and up from 9.00 to 21.00. Sometimes they are closed on public holidays, even, for example, Christmas on December 25. These stores are small, and are covered with a metal grille on the outside, although in recent years not everywhere. Storefronts with all your products and prices here no need to contact sellers. There are refrigerators, but in the late afternoon to by something cold quite problematic.
And yet, in Sri Lanka, welcomed the delivery of empty glass containers. Sometimes in the store, buying glass bottles of lemonade, beer and even spirits, you can offer to the cashier to return the empty bottle immediately, in this case the payment will refund the cost of the bottle. And yet, it is unclear why, but the drinks in glass containers are cheaper than plastic or tin. For example, a plastic bottle of 0.5 of Coke costs 100 rupees, and the glass is 0.3 – 45 rupees.
Where to eat in Sri Lanka?
In the tourist areas everywhere there are small cafes, restaurants, but local eateries a little cheap, the locals still prefer to eat at home. Spread trading with trays of food here already Packed in paper, banana leaves or bags. Food stalls will help you to save a little money, but always stalls to eat will not work.
In resort areas there are small cafes under the guise of "Rotti shop", offering many types of Rotti for a reasonable price (150 rupees), these places are popular among tourists. Of course, presented in international cuisine including can meet KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonalds etc.
In tourist orientated establishments you will have to pay 5-10 times more than for local school over the same dish. In the restaurants at the hotels cheat even more. However, the quality of food and cleanliness in tourist establishments is much higher than in "cafes, restaurants," local where never offer napkins, no spice rack, and very long to cook.
Food & cuisine in Sri Lanka have become one of my biggest disappointments in getting acquainted with the country. The disappointment affected both the quality of food and prices. Of course, if you eat every time in an expensive restaurant, perhaps such a disappointment to you and will not touch, but during a long stay needs to eat more sparingly, and not leave every time like $ 20 for one dish. Here then there is frustration, and complete. Somehow, in the tourist areas in Sri Lanka it is very difficult to find establishments of an average price category, where you can have a cheap and tasty meal. You can either leave a lot of money in expensive restaurants, or to eat at a local eatery in absolutely unsanitary conditions in the cafeteria, which at the threshold of the rats running around, and inside the insects. Sometimes I barely restrained nausea when eating already ordered "the dish" (dish is in quotes, because what they serve, dish it is difficult to call) notice the conditions in which it was prepared. No napkins in principle no, except what you can put sliced Newspapers. And not a particularly popular tourist areas, for example in Anuradhapura Dambulla or to find the evening something to eat at a real problem. And a few nights when we visited local small towns for the night, we remained hungry.
Yes, and in expensive places with food were also lucky not always. Out of about 50 to 50: once managed to eat, other times lame. Even in an expensive tourist destination can easily overdo or insufficient salting, perepechai, to overcook the fish to the bitter taste, and the shrimp to the coals so that there's just nothing left to eat. Serving in such places is also not always on top. Accustomed to the fact that in Thailand, and indeed everywhere, even with plain rice serves another bunch of all sorts of jars with spices and sauces, there is nothing we did not wait once. Had to ask, and in addition to ketchup, pepper and salt there is nothing we did not wait once.
Not pleased with the prices for breakfasts or dinners in hotels, even in the cheapest guesthouses. For example, for a completely unappetizing Breakfast of eggs, tea and toast masters remorselessly "cut down" with us for 400 rupees per person, and it is very expensive.
The only two places where for almost a full month stay on the island I liked to eat was McDonald's (the prices are even slightly smaller than ours), as well as a food court in a shopping Mall Majestic City in Colombo.
A little more about how to eat by buying food at the supermarket. Here is also not an option. First, supermarkets are very small and no choice read; and secondly, the prices are not so low.
So all in all, I have the firm conviction that cheap and delicious food, and Sri Lanka – are incompatible. Therefore, when planning the budget for the trip, I recommend you all to put on food two more times, for example, than in Thailand.