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The Sri Lankan Top 5 Fast Food

Updated on January 29, 2012


Kotthu is not a traditional Sri Lankan dish, but is an exquisite dish which gained accelerated popularity during the past ten to fifteen years. It is not known who introduced Kotthu first. But it is being made from the roadside snack-spot to to the star-class hotel everyday in Sri Lanka. The largest Kotthu ever was made by Chef Pabilis Silva of Mount Lavinia Hotel in an exhibition held in Kandy City Center in 2010.

The main ingredient of Kotthu is a kind of local bread called Godamba Roti. This paper-like roti is cut into small pieces during the preparation. Big onions, carrot, leeks, tomatoes, green pepper and cabbage is also chopped and mixed with Godamba roti pieces on an oiled thick, hot metal sheet dedicated for the work. Ginger, garlic, curry leaves, soy sauce, tomato sauce, and a little green chilli too are used to add flavour and aroma to Kotthu. This is mainly the vegetable Kotthu, but according to your choice, chicken, beef, mutton, fish, egg or cheese can be added. The uniqueness of Kotthu preparation is that, all the ingredients are spread on the hot metal sheet and chopped and mixed vigorously with two metal choppers making a rhythmic noise.

Kotthu is served as a dinner dish. Its price ranges from Rs.150-300 based on the type of Kotthu (vege, meat, or cheese) at roadside snack-spots. Best Kotthu is not made at every place. The best I tasted was from Perera & Sons restaurants, but there are other good places that offer quality Kotthu for a good price. Kotthu tastes better with a cola drink.

Fried Rice

Fried Rice is another popular dish made of Samba or Basmati rice. It is not a traditional dish of Sri Lanka, but has extreme popularity as a lunch or dinner dish. A little grated carrot, and scrambled egg is mixed with the basic Fried Rice. A seafood fried rice contains pieces of prawn and cuttlefish. Mixed Fried Rice will have egg, seafood, and all kinds of small meat pieces mixed with the rice.

Fried Rice is usually offered with a deviled meat or seafood dish. A vegetarian can choose a Vegetable Chopsuey instead. Some restaurants offer their chef's special fried rice dish. Most of the time this is a very meaty, juicy, and tasty dish that will fill you to the top. Price of a god Fried Rice ranges from Rs.250-400 based on the ingredients and presentation. Devon Restaurant and Royal Garden Mall in Kandy offer some good quality Fried Rice that I have tasted.


Hoppers (or Âppà as locally called) are a traditional Sri Lankan food. It is a sort of local fried-bread made of a mixture of rice flour, wheat flour, water, coconut milk, and a little baking powder. This mixture is made and kept for fermentation a few hours before frying.

Hoppers are fried in a hot metal bowl with a handle. Hopper makers in roadside snack-spots use multiple gas burners to fry many hoppers at once, to cater the high demand, usually after 4pm everyday. Hoppers are offered with a very hot chilli sauce called 'Katta Sambol'. Egg Hoppers and Honey Hoppers are two popular variations of Hoppers, which can be eaten without the hot chilli sauce. Traditionally, Hoppers are a breakfast item. Today however, Hoppers are available commercially as an evening snack or a dinner. Hoppers are offered traditionally with bananas or Katta Sambol. A normal Hopper meal would not cost you more than Rs.250.

String Hoppers

String Hoppers (or Idiâppà as locally called) are different from Hoppers in appearance and the way it is made. String Hoppers too is a traditional food made of rice four, wheat flour, or a mixture of both flours. Brown rice flour String Hoppers are popular because it helps prevent diabetes.

String Hopper looks like a circular mesh made of noodle-like strings. A traditional hand utensil is there to squeeze out noodle-like strings to make String Hoppers. Machines to make a high volume of String Hoppers are used in restaurants.

About 15 to 20 String Hoppers are enough for a meal. But if you are hungry, you can have more. String Hoppers are tasty when served with coconut sambol and coconut milk soup. Some prefer it with fish or meat curry as well. It would cost you about Rs.150-200 for a good Sting Hopper meal. Price of the meal greatly depends on the curry you choose.


Parata is of Indian origin. But a different version of Indian Parata is prepared in Sri Lanka. However, it is a popular breakfast and dinner food in Sri Lanka. Parata is a sort of oil-bread. It is best with Indian chicken masala, chicken curry, or fish curry. Price of a Parata meal also depends on the accompanying curry. Parata is a little too oily, and therefore not suitable for those who need to maintain their blood-cholesterol level. Consumption of Parata daily for extended periods may make you fat, with a bulging abdomen. However, Parata is good for postponing hunger for quite a long time for a few rupees.


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    • profile image

      w.sujitha 5 years ago tasty our food.we feel it when we out of our country.

    • vasmenon profile image

      vasmenon 6 years ago from India

      The "appam"(Hopper)& "Idi appam"(String hopper)are so much a part of our breakfast menu that I never imagined that they were from any place outside Kerala....Yummy stuff, especially if taken with chicken stew or potato stew!!!! :)

    • thesingernurse profile image

      thesingernurse 6 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

      I would love to try the fried hoppers and parata. A yummy hub! :)