As the sun goes down, the Kadala (chickpea) carts pop up in every corner of the city; mostly in front of all the liquor stores. Boiled and tempered kadala mixed with green/red chillies, chilli flakes, curry leaves, thin slices of coconut and salt to taste, most of them have a signature bhoomithel (kerosine oil) whiff to it, as they had been cooked using a bhoomithel cooker. This stuff is available even for the Rs. 20 note in your wallet. If you're lucky, you might come across a cart that adds a spoonful of shrimp paste to it; we found one such spot in Nugegoda.
Ah, wadey! Whether it be gal arakku or vodka, wadey goes with just about anything. Made with dhal and chopped up red/green chillies/kochchi to make things spicy and delicious, wadey is ideal to balance out that burning, alcoholic sensation. And things get even more interesting when some isso (prawns) or kunisso (shrimp) thrown in the fray. The latter kind is commonly found in Galle Face and priced at around Rs. 50 or so, while the plain ones are available for Rs. 5 and Rs. 10. If that's not enough, grab a masala wadey from the closest saiwar stall; it works out quite fine too.
Crunchy with a hint of fishiness, the pan-fried or batter-fried Salaya (Gold Striped Sardine Fish) is a simple, yet a brilliant item to have a drink with. Available in buth kadeys, some smother this with pepper and salt for a spiked up flavour before frying it on the pan. Garnish it with a splash of lime and you're good to go.
Most of the wadey carts have these too. Dusted with chilli powder and salt, they're quite delicious, especially with the crispy peel produced from the perfect deep frying.
Easily found at Amal and David Gram Shops, and many other random, streetside carts, mixtures and murukku give an absolute worth for the money. 100 grams of this does not cost more than Rs. 80.
Widely available for grabs at many petti kadeys and streetside kottu joints, pol roti with some lunu miris is a dynamite combo that you can opt for. You can try it with some spicy homemade curry too.
You'll find these stacked right next to the pol roti section in the kottu kadey. Elawalu Roti, rolls, samosa, and cutlets stuffed with a mixture of mashed-up potatoes, onions, chillies, pepper and if you're lucky, they'd have a tinge of sardine to support the fact that it's a maalu-based one.
Sprinkled with chilli powder and salt, the crispy Manioc Chips are something of a Godsend. Drizzle it with some mayo or ketchup if you've got any, but they're fine on its own too. There are carts dedicated for them, but you'll be able to find them at popular gram stores too.
"So, podiyata adiyak gahamuda machang?"
අපේ අම්මලාට වගේම, ආදරණීය බිරින්දෑවරුන්ට උදව්වක් වෙන්න කියල ගෙදර…
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