Fiery Masks, fragrant tea, airy lemon puffs, stringy hoppers — few things define Sri Lanka like its food. Very similar yet completely different from Indian, the culinary gems of the island nation are hard to describe, even for a food writer. One reason, I have not yet written much about the food from the nation from my visit.
Memories of the experience came flashing by recently though, at the inauguration of the week long Sri Lankan food festival at ITC Maurya.
As an extension of the 71st independence day celebration of Sri Lanka, the Sri lankan food festival was formally inaugurated by the High Commissioner, His Excellency, Mr. Austin Fernando and Mr. Zubin Songadwala, the General Manager, ITC Maurya.
“We want to bring to India, the flavours of Sri Lanka, some of which are very similar to Indian food, some are very different,” said the High Commissioner while opening the festival.
The event opened with the lighting of a lamp — auspicious in both countries, and high tea with some of the finest small eats from both countries, tea from Ceylon and Sri Lankan music in the background.
Lavaria, steamed string hoppers stuffed with coconut and jaggery, pudding made with coconut milk, jaggery, and eggs; Pol, a stuffed roti with onions, and of course Dilmah Tea made sure we had a taste of Sri Lanka right in the heart of India. The dinner spread promises to be bigger with an array of Sri lankan delicacies like hoppers and sambol, lamprais and rotis, curries and crabs.
The festival is open until 10th February for dinner at The Pavilion at ITC Maurya.