|Egg hopper from Priyani
Last night a herd of bloggers (and some diners who may have been expecting Angeli pizza but stayed even when they heard it was only Sri Lankan food) convened to try Priyani's food one last time, since no one knows where she'll pop up next. Plus, we missed Sri Lanka Day a few weeks ago, and it comes just once a year. Sri Lankan food is street-friendly, with lots of dishes that can be eaten out of hand. The dishes recalled Indonesian food, but combined with Indian influences to make an entirely distinctive cuisine.
|Fish cutlet, beef roll
String hoppers are similar to Vietnamese rice noodles, formed into a patty that can be rolled up with meats and a wonderful coconut sambal -- like a fresh salsa with chiles and chopped coconut. My hopper photo wasn't the greatest, so check out Elina Shatkin's set of Priyani pics.
The egg hopper at top is similar to an Indian dosa, made with a fermented pancake batter. But instead of being rolled, the egg nestles in the middle of the crispy pancake -- a perfect Sri Lankan street breakfast. Mutton curry hides beyond the hopper.
Lampreis is chicken curry in a banana leaf, which reminded me of the strong cooked banana leaf smell that perfumes the air all over Southeast Asia.
Chicken biryani came with a hard-boiled egg, cashews, and a deeply flavored eggplant relish that I could possibly live on for the next several weeks, the caramelized onion/eggplant flavor was so intense.
Dessert was Watalappam, a coconut custard with a possibly hallucinogenic amount of nutmeg, similar to Thai taro custard.
Even if you've had Indian and Indonesian food, Sri Lankan food is really different, and worth searching out, though there's only a few places to have it.
How's the Curry Bowl in Tarzana?