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Local Snacks your Kids will Love in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, you will find many unusual snacks, ranging from sweet yet spicy sesame rolls (thalaguli) to crunchy peanut brittle (pani Kaju). It’s understandably difficult to pick out snacks that are child-friendly when in a new country, especially when you don’t know what they contain or how they taste. Here’s a list of some of the delightful  Sri Lankan snacks that your child will enjoy. Most sweets and savories are made from bases of coconut, rice flour, and jaggery which is produced in Sri Lanka. However, there are some world-famous confections that Sri Lanka is known for.

1. Lemon Puff

Sri Lanka’s lemon puff biscuits have become somewhat of an international sensation lately, gaining traction amongst the ex-pat community in the country who’ve spread the word that they just can’t stop eating them. Lemon puff contains a lemon cream filling sandwiched between two light but crunchy biscuits with granulated sugar sprinkled on top. There is also a chocolate puff variety that is equally delectable.

2. Tipitip

It’s probably one of the most popular snacks amongst the local children. Found in almost all street shops or “Kades”.  “Tipitip” is the name of a brand that has three variations which are  Cheese Balls, Onion, and Spicy Paprika. The cheese and onion flavor are the most popular amongst locals.  They will be a guaranteed  hit with your kid!

3. Jujubes

Though jujubes are a type of fruit, in Sri Lanka, it’s the name given to gelatinous, sugar-dusted treats, quite like Turkish delight. They are made with gelatine and glucose syrup, with flavoring and colouring added to make them bright and delicious.

They don’t contain rose water, but they do come in a variety of colors and flavours. The most common flavours are vanilla, mango, lime, and strawberry. They are a fun treat that can be had on the go.

4. Milk Toffee

Referred to as “kiri” (milk) toffee, milk toffee is a classic Sri Lankan sweet. It’s not really a toffee, but is similar to fudge. It is made from condensed milk, sugar, cashew nuts or peanuts and cardamom spice. It is a staple in Sri Lankan homes as a sweet treat. Its made widely during Sinhala Tamil New Year in April.

It’s quite sweet and a little hard to bite into, but a fantastic accompaniment to a cup of Sri Lankan tea.

5. Chocolate Fingers

Chocolate fingers is a long, finger-like biscuit dipped in chocolate. Though versions of these are common in countries like England, the Sri Lankan version is quite different. The biscuit is harder and the chocolate coating is thicker, making it a satisfyingly crunchy treat. Chocolate fingers go great with ice cream and are special enough to be had on their own, too!


6. Kokis ( Crackers)

Kokis is a deep-fried snack made from coconut milk, eggs, and rice flour. It’s light, crispy and slightly salty. They are especially common during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. There are spicy and sweet variations to this traditional snack. Some dusted with chili powder and others glazed with sugar syrup. Though children love these, it’s a treat for people of all ages.


7. Ice cream

Sri Lankan ice cream, regardless of flavour, is distinct from ice cream around the world both in texture and taste. The texture is slightly harder, very unlike soft serve ice cream, and the flavours are more robust. For example, Sri Lankan vanilla ice cream has a stronger vanilla flavour. Highland, Elephant House and Cargills are the popular ice cream brands in the country, and all have a wide range of flavours. For a more uniquely Sri Lankan flavour, do pick up ‘kiri pani’ ice cream, which contains nuts and treacle on vanilla ice cream.

8. Lavariya

Lavariya is a Sri Lankan vegan delicacy made from rice flour dumpling which is designed in a module to form strings from rice flour and stuffed  with a variety of stuffing’s with coconut, moong dal, and jaggery syrup.  Most common is the Coconut and Jaggery stuffing found in road side shops. The dumpling is made with a combination of rice flour, water, oil, and salt, while the filling requires grated coconut, moong dal, and jaggery.

The dumpling is wrapped in  and becomes a moon shaped rice flour wrapped in banana leaves and steamed before it’s ready to be served. Lavariya is a great snack for breakfast or late afternoon, and it can be found in numerous small vans or three-wheelers throughout the country, and especially during travel of Colombo small villages tend to sell in on road side stalls. The recipe can be found here. 

9. Fish Rolls

Sri Lankan popular snack made with a spicy usually potatoes, carrots and leeks with a protein filling  either tuna, chicken and mutton filling covered with a thin pancake, breaded and deep-fried until crispy and golden. Ensure to taste test  before kids can have it as some vendors make it spicy. A much loved fried savory which locals use as a breakfast snack and also for team time. The recipe for the rolls can be found here.   Grab a few rolls as a lunch snack or treat during afternoon walks in Colombo with your kids!

10. Sri Lankan Fish Patties (Fish Empanadas)

A Sri Lankan deep fried or baked, fish empanada called “Fish Patties” here in Sri Lanka. These are treats which are made from a flakey pastry or flour dough filled with spicy mackerel, potato and seasoned with spices, then deep-fried in hot oil. The recipe can be found here.  Available all over Colombo and a good snack for kids wanting to have a snack on the go!

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