There is no quicker way to submerse yourself in a new culture than through your stomach. As soon as I land in a new place I find something to eat, it gives me a little taste of the country I’m in, literally and figuratively. When we got to Sri Lanka the first thing I found were short eats, ready-made snacks, easy to grab on the go. These little bites were a great introduction to the country and embodied Sri Lankan culture.
Sri Lankan’s are laid back and casual, just like their food, which is unpretentious. Short eats, available at food stalls throughout the country are delicious little morsels that are easy to order and quick to disappear. Below are the top five must-try short eats for your next long train ride through Sri Lanka’s Hill Country or snacks to bring with you to the beach.
1. Banana Coconut Roti: Possibly the best short eat on offer are these sweet pancakes filled with banana, fresh coconut and palm sugar all rolled up into an amazing sweet treat.
Kottu Roti served steaming hot with curry sauce on the side
2. Kottu Roti: This tasty snack is not ready made, but can be whipped up while you wait. It consists of fried bread cut into thin strips, giving it the consistency of a noodle dish, and then fried with sauce, veggies and peppers. You have to order this once, just to watch the cook chop and fry all the ingredients together like a teppanyaki grill master.
Samosas lined up ready to serve at a street stall selling short eats
3. Samosas: These yummy little triangles are roti (fried bread) filled with veggies, egg, or meat and then fried crispy on a cook top. They’re different from those found in India because they’re not deep fried.
4. Sambal Roti: One of the easiest short eats to find, these spicy gram flour (made from chickpeas) and lentil dough balls are deep fried and served with hot chillies. A crunchy served at breakfast, lunch and dinner time.
A colorful fruit stand at the Colombo bus station
5. Fresh Fruit: While fruit isn’t technically a short eat, it’s available everywhere and just as fast to grab as any of the short eats. Who can resist purchasing something from such a beautiful display of tropical fruits?
The next time you find yourself on the small island of Sri Lanka, forget formal meals and grab a short eat.
To learn more information about this beautiful island nation and plan your trip to Sri Lanka, visit our travel guide.