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A Bite To Your Podi Adiya; Popular Sri Lankan Style Bites Under Rs. 100

Get your Friday drink on - streetside style.

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It's the first week of the month and some of us are already broke. But then comes the Friday that y'all need to drown your sorrows in a shot of (any) booze you could find. Unfortunately, when it comes to drinking in Colombo, the odds are not in your poor wallet's favour, my friend. From bottles to bites, getting your drink on at a local pub/bar is quite expensive.
So you're left with no choice but grabbing the cheapest can of beer off the shelves in the supermarket and settle for a simple roadside bite to chug it down. Luckily for us, we've got a whole bunch of interesting stuff that works out well in this arena, and they're perfect in their own way. 


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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. 

Fried Fish

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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. 

Fried Garlic

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. 

Mixtures & Murukku

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. 

Pol Roti

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. 

Short Eats

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. 

Manioc Chips

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?"

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