Monthly Archives: February 2016

Breakfast in Kandy


From our bedroom on the hillside of Kandy town we were woken each morning with the melodious chanting coming from the Buddhist temple. This was followed shortly after by the call to prayer at the mosque. We were staying with Bernard and Uma at their airbnb a short walk from the centre of town.

It had everything we needed. A comfortable bed with a mosquito net, a fridge to chill drinks and wonderful breakfasts. Each morning our hosts prepared ‘sri lankan’ breakfast which have infinite variations.

The first morning we were served pittu, which looks  for all the world like a large sausage but there was no meat in sight.


Pittu is made with a paste of ground red rice, coconut, a little wheat flour and salt. This paste is jammed into a tube that has a perforated end and sits atop a steamer.


When cooked the pittu slides out of the tube and can be sliced. It’s served with dal spooned on top and leeks and potato on the side. All washed down with Ceylon tea.


Our second breakfast was the famous string hoppers. String hoppers are a noodle cake made with toasted brown rice flour mixed with water and salt. This paste is then extruded from an intriguing press onto little bamboo mats to make slim little noodle cakes which are then put into a steamer.


The string hoppers were served with kiri hudu, a coconut sauce made with saffron,cinnamon, ground dill seeds, onion and chilli which we spooned on top.

All accompanied coconut sambal and a dish of leeks, peppers, tomatoes and onions fried in coconut oil and  washed down with Ceylon tea


Our third breakfast was coconut roti served with a dal with curry leaves, spicy potatoes and  green beans in a coconut, onion and saffron sauce. And of course Ceylon tea


Each day there was also plate of banana, papaya and pineapple and a large stack of toast with an option of eggs. The toast was hardly needed and for me the eggs were a step to far. I was happily stuffed without them.

If you’re ever in Kandy do seek them out. You won’t be disappointed!


Cold Beer in Colombo

Someone told us that Sri Lanka is like ‘Asia Light’  We arrived here yesterday, stepped into the heat and immersed ourselves in the city.

For sure it’s not as crazy as Bangkok, Saigon nor Delhi. The crowds are not as dense and the traffic isn’t driving on the pavements but it’s Asia all the same with the usual mish mash of colonial and more recent buildings and plenty of traffic..

The traffic has it’s own logic. There are zebra crossings, they have yellow stripes, which are really a suggestion of where to cross. We met a dapper old man yesterday who told us there was only a 4% chance of being knocked down on a crossing!  There are tuk tuks aplenty, mostly with metres which takes the headache out of negotiating a price to get somewhere that you don’t know. We’re not accosted with beggars and the tea is very good. Finding a cold beer is the most difficult  thing that we have encountered.

Apparently it’s illegal to sell alcohol within 500 metres of a school or a place of worship which in a city populated by Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians means there are plenty of temples, churches and Mosques not to mention schools and the heat makes a cold beer quite enticing.

Last night it actually became our mission to find a cold beer. Funny how something like that can become  obsessive especially as I never drink beer at home. We had walked for miles and miles and eventually all we could think of was how nice a cold beer would be but we couldn’t find one. Lots of tea rooms and plenty of soft drinks, we even found a jar of Marmite, but no beer.


Thats something we didn’t research before we came here. The man that runs our b and b explained the 500 metre clause and told us we might be able to buy a beer in the supermarket although he thought we might be out of luck as cold beers are in high demand with commuters on their way home and we’d left it a a bit late because the beer sells out. He then pointed us in the direction of a discreet cocktail bar. So off we set, visions of  beer with icy frosting on the bottle. The bar was well hidden alright, on top of a cake shop. The doorman took us to the side entrance and escorted us upstairs where we found a fancy pants bar with pink flamingos on the walls and deep velvet chairs.

And cold beer. Cold glasses. A twist of lime on top. Delicious.


Never mind that it cost more than our dinner! Guess we’ll have to change our habits. This holiday looks like it will be more than a little R and R.  It’s also going to be good for our livers!!


Here’s am empty bottle!