Travelling feast

Travelling feast

By
Channa Dassanayaka
Contains
8 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781740660662
Photographer
Craig Wood

On the streets of Sri Lanka you can smell the snacks around you – the aromas of rotis stuffed with curries, hoppers, savoury doughnuts, pakhoras and deep-fried stuffed banana chillies waft from roadside shops, street vendors’ carts, markets and night carnivals.

Short eats are hawker-style food – little bites of flavour eaten on the move – and they are what Sri Lankans love to eat. In bars, beer is served with little tuna cutlets or porkies, which are tiny sausages sautéed with onion, served with a chilli and tomato sauce. At a local cinema, instead of eating popcorn patrons buy potato chips and little savoury snacks, such deep-fried tuna fish and egg balls.

At mid-afternoon, the local baker takes out his tricycle and rides around the villages selling his day’s specialties. The trike has two wheels at the front to balance a huge box with a glass front in which he stacks goods sweet and savoury – breads, savoury snacks, rolls with fish or meat fillings, little cakes with butter icing and eclairs dipped in sugar. He rings his bell as he rides and people come from everywhere for an afternoon snack – especially children or women who work in the kitchen.

Food is part of Sri Lanka’s street scene all day. Many food shops are open 24 hours and most of the vendors spend all day on the streets, starting at sunrise and ending at night markets feeding people well into the night. Some wheel their carts around different areas and only when everything is quiet on the streets, after 6 or 7 p.m., is their work done.

Recipes in this Chapter

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