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Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Me Some Kottu

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One of Sri Lanka’s most typical dishes, and perhaps my favorite, is kottu. Combining rotti bread, veggies, a variety of spices and (optionally) egg, cheese or chicken, it’s one of the country’s few specialties in which rice plays no role. And the best part is, you don’t ever have to look for a restaurant which serves kottu … just listen.

Kottu-Cook

The first time I heard the sounds of Kottu being prepared, I instantly thought “flamenco”. Perhaps it’s the result of too much time in Spain, but I had the faint hope that upon turning the corner, I’d see a flamboyantly-dressed gypsy dancer stomping his staccato rhythm out onto the pavement. But it was nothing like that. Just a dude chopping up bread and veggies. Still, it’s a great beat, and I found myself unconsciously tocando las palmas and occasionally muttering “¡Vale!

The preparation of kottu is quite a spectacle, and the resulting creation is invariably delicious. Well, I suppose not invariably: please, don’t ever order chicken kottu. For reasons that elude the most basic understanding of human logic, many restaurants don’t bother to debone the chicken before sending it to the cleaver-weilding chopper. Resulting in a meal full of thousands of chicken-bone shards. Yum!

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April 23, 2012 at 4:15 am Comments (3)

Sri Lankan Cuisine: Hoppers

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Sri Lankan Hoppers Recipe Here

Hoppers, or appa in Sinhala, are one of Sri Lanka’s most popular snacks, available at nearly every shop across the country for breakfast or dinner. They’re good for a quick bite, and their preparation makes for fun spectating.

Sri Lankan Hoppers

A thin layer of batter, containing coconut milk and a bit of toddy, is fried up in a bowl-shaped pan. This is the basic hopper, and it’s best eaten fresh. Because of the wok-shape, the batter at the bottom of the hopper is thicker and softer, and the edges turn crispy brown. Plain hoppers are served with spices or curry, as they’re a bit bland by themselves. Better, in my opinion, are egg hoppers — an egg is opened into the hopper and cooked along with it. Hoppers can also be made with sweet ingredients like jaggery, which is a sugar from the date palm tree.

String hoppers (or indiapa) are another popular Sri Lankan snack, which actually have very little to do with regular hoppers. Rice flour is mixed with water and salt, and then forced through a press to make long noodles. These are formed into balls and steamed until ready. String hoppers are a popular breakfast, and again served with curry. They’re not my favorite, because of the pale, wormy appearance, but Jürgen can’t get enough of them.

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March 10, 2012 at 10:54 am Comments (0)
Chop Chop Chop Chop Chop Me Some Kottu One of Sri Lanka's most typical dishes, and perhaps my favorite, is kottu. Combining rotti bread, veggies, a variety of spices and (optionally) egg, cheese or chicken, it's one of the country's few specialties in which rice plays no role. And the best part is, you don't ever have to look for a restaurant which serves kottu ... just listen.
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