Love Sri Lanka Explore

Exotic Street Food To Try In Colombo During Your Solo Adventure

The great thing about Sri Lankan food is that it’s so diverse. All the various influences from its multi-ethnic population intertwine as they create a unique cuisine that has something for everyone. Yet few things are as interesting as Sri Lanka’s street food, which are relatively tame compared to some from around the world but remain timeless delicacies that shouldn’t be ignored.

Here are a few you should try during your trip to the island nation.

1. Bombai muttai

This is a type of Sri Lankan homemade candy floss. Though it resembles traditional candy floss in terms of colour, the texture is more thready rather than like cotton. It’s a sweet, melt-in-the-mouth candy which can only be bought from the ‘bombai muttai man’, who wonders the streets carrying a metal box full of this floss and ringing a bell. Bombai muttai is usually served either in a paper cone or on a type of cracker.

2. Achcharu

Achcharu is traditionally a Malay pickle made with various fruits and vegetables. There are many types of achcharu, some with mango whereas others have guava. It’s a tart but sweet and spicy treat.

Onion pickle is mostly eaten with rice whereas fruit-based achcharu is mostly eaten on its own. This is a great pick for those with a slightly more adventurous palate.

3. Cutlets

Cutlets are part of a group of snack foods Sri Lankans call “short eats”. Sri Lankan cutlets are not like the ones found in other countries, mainly due to the filling used and the shape. In fact, these cutlets are similar to croquettes. A mixture of sardines, onions, chilies, potatoes and spices constitute the most common type of filling. This is wrapped in a sheet of dough, rolled in breadcrumbs, and fried.

4. Fish bun

Most Sri Lankans could easily reminisce about this particular bun, which was basically breakfast for so many of us growing up. Fish bun is a Sri Lankan baked good that’s shaped like a triangle. It contains a paste made of fish and potatoes.

Though there are chicken and vegetable variations of this particular snack, fish buns are by far the most popular. They could be found in any local bakery. Try having a fish bun with a packet of Milo; a favourite local breakfast option at the start of your trip!

5. Pani kaju

Pani kaju is the Sri Lankan equivalent to peanut brittle. It’s made with cashew nuts and honey, but sometimes with peanuts. Despite their rather high calorie content, they are great for instant energy, especially if you’re on a mission to explore the city by sundown. These sugary sweets are usually sold in small squares by little shops, but blocks of pani kaju can be acquired from any local supermarket.

6. Faluda

Rather than a food, faluda is a drink with lots of delicious chewable constituents. The drink is made with milk, rose syrup, basil or poppy seeds, vermicelli, jelly and ice cream. The variety of faluda with all of these ingredients is usually found at a string of outlets called ‘Bombay Sweets’ all around Colombo. If you’re feeling a little health conscious, you could ask them to exclude the ice cream, jelly and vermicelli, which will leave you with a basic faluda that’s just as delicious.

7. Kolla kanda

Like faluda, kolla kanda isn’t exactly a food but a drink. Kolla kanda is a type of smooth soup made with various green leaves. Gotukola kanda is the most common version that you can find, whereas there are many other varieties on sale.

It’s a healthy, low-calorie drink that could be found at little restaurants anywhere in the country, but only in the morning. You may come across pop-up stalls by the roadside where people sell kolla kanda they’d made from a pot.