We all love a good buth packet and it doesn't even have to all fancily wrapped in a banana leaf. Dump some fluffy rice with a string of curries and you'll have half the population on their knees. And like everyone else on this tiny island, we too have a particularly soft spot for the plate that cheers, so much so that we have a blog dedicated solely for sexy rice photos we managed to come across during our time here.
That being said, as a steady eater of the buth, we're pretty sure you already have your favourite add-ons to your plate of rice that adds that extra zing to your palate, and while you may tell us what tickles your appetite in the comments, here are some of ours.
No real plate of rice and curry is ever complete without our beloved papadam. Malpapadam, slightly over-fried papadam and regular papadam, it doesn't really matter what shape or size it comes in, it'll still have most of us stealing one here and there every time you enter the kitchen and getting scolded when your mother realises that half the bag is over. Salty and crunchy, papadam is pretty much the king of all rice and curry add-ons and it doesn't matter what anyone else says.
What we turn to when the papadam has run out, Cream Crackers isn't eaten as widely as papadam but still has a place in our hearts for lending itself to be that crunchy substitute in a plate of curries. Boosting flavour whilst toning things down a notch, Cream Crackers is the perfect antidote to a lack of papadam, ask anyone.
Fried Fish/ Karawala
Adding a bit of karawala or fried fish can never take you wrong with a plate of rice and curry. With just the right amount of salty, crunchy kicks to your palate, karawala is the way to go. Even if you can't find karawala, a wee bit of haal masso (sprats) or a small fried fish or so is bound to do the trick.
I'm not the biggest fan of certain kinds of mixture mixing itself with my rice and curry, but, combine the powers of a creamy potato curry, some solid ghee rice, chicken curry and a sweep of cucumber salad on the side, an addition of homemade or store-bought (you can get your fill of murukku without having to go through the hassle of making it by purchasing it from the likes of David Gram stores or Amal Gram stores) murukku (so long as it's still crunchy) is bound to make your meal that much better.
Rice and curry is a wonderful thing and we're all aware of this very obvious fact, but one of the best parts about eating rice and curry has to be the pickle part of it. Be it Malay pickle, Polos Pickle, and Ruhunu Achcharu whatnot, it adds a zing combined with the acidic onion, tangy mustard, vinegar and maturing vegetables, which makes everything on the plate tastes so magical.
Homie Pickle does a solid jar of the stuff. They're widely available so there's no pressure in terms of finding it.
Fried Garlic & Curry Leaves
What started off as a bite is now on our list of favourite add ons to your rice and curry. One of the easiest accompaniments to whip up when you're at home, the combo of fried garlic seeping in oil, and battered in bits of chilli and salt is a combo that's definitely worth looking out for when you're trying out a new friend for your plate of rice and curry. And the addition of fried curry leaves adds an irresistible leafy aroma that one can simply say no to.
The combination of rice and curd was one that was utterly alien to me the first time I tried it and if you're someone who hasn't tried this combo before, we highly suggest you do. Red rice, curries, a bit of fish ambul thiyal and a spoonful of curd adds up to a tangy, creamy mess of rice and curry as its finest.
Wadey is one of our go-to picks when we're looking for a bit of crunch in our meal and can't get your hands on papadam. Plus, a parippu wadey from a simple cart is only Rs. 5/ Rs. 10, unless you're going to Galle Face to get them.
Onions & Chillies/Kochchi
On days when you feel like your rice packet has a level of potential, but could do with a bit more, we suggest getting yourself an onion and chopping it into bits and putting a bit of onion into your mouthful. It might not be for many, but for the few who like it will end up chopping up some onion before every rice and curry meal. The addition of raw Chillies/Kochchi here is highly recommended too, but only if you can handle the heat.
Fried Red Chillies/Mora Miris
BFF to our all-time favourite, papadum, fried red chillies in salt is the best way to go in terms of adding a bit of spice to your buth packet. One mustn't underestimate the power of single red chilli in your buth packet. It can do many things. Trust us on this.
Aye, there are songs written about his one, this legend of an accompaniment. And yet through it all, it still manages to be that one component that can take your buth packet from a zero to a straight-up hero. A combination of friends like no other on the food chain, we suggest stocking up on your dehi and salt now while its cheap and lasting you the rest of the year's supply of lunu dehi.
The concept of chutney with your rice and curry is quite easy. All you need to do is get yourself a bottle of whatever it is that ticks your boxes and keep adding it to your meal whenever and wherever you feel like it. And if by chance you're looking for a good spot to get your chutney, we suggest getting through to The Chutney Kade.
We could have made lists longer than this with a whole heap of other things, but, nothing would ever even remotely shine a light on your buth packet like a sambol of sorts. It doesn't really matter what type we're referring to. In the shape of a blossoming orange coconut sambol, a fierce tomato and onion sambol speckles with bits of chilli flakes or even any other sambol that we can't get to, sambol is the reigning champ of all friends for your buth packet, and the best part about this is, you're always guaranteed a good time with it.
Any other accompaniments that we're missing here in this list? Do let us know in the comments.