It was throughout a current food pageant hosted at a high-class property in Delhi that the imagined of connections in between Sri Lankan and Indian cuisine struck me. It is said that the flavours transform each individual couple of kilometres, just like the languages in India. And nicely, each location is known to have their have cuisine and even sub-cuisines, at times. Amid this variety, it doesn’t occur as a surprise that the neighbouring spots are also affected by the exact same.  

Sri Lankan Vegetable Curry

The colonisation of the Dutch and the Portuguese appeared to have the most extended-lasting impact on the culture, especially delicacies of Sri Lanka. Duminda Abeysiriwardena, a renowned Sri Lankan chef, expressed a equivalent emotion when he said that 75% of the country’s delicacies is a end result of the coastal flavours of South India – particularly Andhra, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. A identical belief also finds spot in Lathika George’s cookbook, The Kerala Kitchen area, where she highlights how the Pattini cult of Kerala brought their ruler Cheraman to Sri Lanka by means of traders in the 14th Century and that resulted in a popular affect on the country’s food items methods.  

Transcending boundaries  

The prevalence of Tamils in Sri Lanka right now is evidence of the impact South Indian culture and cuisine have on the populace. The staple food stuff of the locals – rice and curry – is one of the largest illustrations of this amalgamation. The curries in Sri Lanka are commonly produced with coconut milk, which is an important part of South Indian and lots of other Asian cooking also.  

In actuality, the spices that go into the generating of these curries are equivalent to the Indian palate much too. Nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, and inexperienced chillies etc., are frequently included to the dishes which lend them a distinct flavour. “In India, rooster , lamb, and goat are the most popular food items because pork and beef are banned. However, in Sri Lanka, these kinds of pink meat are frequently eaten. Sri Lankan curries have a larger proportion of seafood than Indian curries,” remarks Chef Anura Chandrasiri Lenora, a chef from Colombo.  

This is not to say that you would not uncover related dishes in South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine. Acquire the Kothu Roti, for instance. This is a well known road meals in Sri Lanka, in which “kothu refers to chop in Tamil”, explains Chef Anura. The dish is made by chopping the Gothambu Roti into lesser parts, together with sautéed veggies and meat curry. This finds resonance in the Tamil cuisine as the Kothu Paratha or Parotta.  

Kothu Roti

The Sri Lankan populace is a combine of Tamil and Sinhalese communities, with interlinked customs, cultures, and procedures. You’ll locate the appams from South India, steamed bowl-formed rice breads becoming named hoppers in Sri Lanka and paired with a Kerala-model ishtew, identified as Hodhi. The puttu of Kerala is referred to as pitthu in Sinhalese. These interlinkages in phrases of names and dishes are an important facet to draw connections involving the two cultures.  

Confluence of Indian and western cultures

The Tamil affect has been attributed to the businessmen who travelled to Sri Lanka from Thiruneliveli, a city in Tamil Nadu for trade reasons. Given that the scorching spices in the indigenous foodstuff of the island country did not go well with the palate of these immigrants, they imported urad dal and rice from their homeland and begun producing idlis and dosas here.  

Curiously, it is not just the food stuff but ingesting behavior that are also consonant with Indian models. Movie star chef Peter Kuruvita who specialises in Sri Lankan cooking states, “You try to eat with your hand, mixing the rice with some of the curry, forming the foodstuff into bite-sized balls and popping them into your mouth.” And the plan of taking in swathes of food stuff with your hands is however widespread in a lot of components of India much too, based on the Ayurvedic teachings which believe that that our fingers command all the 5 components and this system of ingesting keeps us in sync with them. Even the conventional Sadya meal that is served on banana leaf, is eaten by hand, with every single curry and dish cautiously put in an orderly way.  

Sri Lanka Fish Curry

Aside from the Indian link, the colonised past of Sri Lanka has also witnessed quite a few Portuguese and Dutch culinary influences. Vidya Balachander, an impartial food stuff journalist, expressed how a Sri Lankan dish termed lamprais was brought to the area about 150 years back when the island was a Dutch colony and has remained a element of the cuisine ever due to the fact then. Borrowing from its colonisers and neighbours, the fascinating record of the island country has formed its delicacies as we know it currently.