Anyone, as everyone should, eating at the Sri Lankan food festival at Baluchi, the personable restaurant at the Lalit, will notice that the cuisine is similar to south Indian food. Not surprising considering, well, everything about our mutual history.
Coastal south Indian food and Sri Lankan food have rice, coconut, seafood and vegetables in common. Sri Lankan cuisine has been shaped by many historical, cultural, and other factors. Foreign traders who brought new food items; influences from Indonesian cuisine and the cuisine of Southern India have all helped to shape Sri Lankan cuisine. Today, some of the staples of Sri Lankan cuisine are rice, coconut, and spices. The latter are used due to Sri Lanka's history as a spice producer and trading post over several centuries.
At the Lalit the food festival features some of the classic dishes like Kukul Mas-Chicken red curry, Elu mas-Mutton curry, Malu-Fish stew and Murunga-Drumstick white curry. There are “live stations” serving hoppers (we think they are called appams at home) and Ceylon Koththu Parota.
Kothu parotta (literally, minced parota) is a delicacy popular in Virudhunagar in Tamil Nadu. It is made using parotta, egg, meat, and salna, a spicy sauce. Kothu Muttai parota is a very famous roadside food available only in small roadside food shops. They may be available in restaurants but are usually considered better in street food shops. It is very popular in Tamil Nadu, and is also available in many other parts of India and in Sri Lanka. Kothu parota made without the meat and is called as mutai kothu parota (literally, egg minced parota). Chicken kothu parotta and mutton kothu parotta are relished. Like the parotas, it is common in roadside shops called thattu kadai. It is available in other south Indian states.
Hoppers - although exactly the same as appams - rock a more Sri Lankan vibe. Here’s a video from a lady on how to make this delicacy in the safety of your kitchen: https://youtu.be/qVOa0PfJ7mA.