This post is brought to you by Coca-Cola.
Sri Lanka is home to a wide range of spices. The fragrance, color and most of all, the exploding flavors that they bring to our plate are seriously brag-worthy. Each and every spice produces a distinct flavor, and we use them as blends as well for better taste. Basically, spices are culinary 101 in Sri Lankan cookbook – which is why spicy food is no stranger to our Lankan palates. In fact, it doesn't matter what time of the day it is, or even the weather, we're pretty good at handling the heat at any time.
Throughout this year, we folks at YAMU tried a whole bunch of new dishes, and here's five of them that stood out from the lot, for being spicy. They might not be the spiciest dishes in town, but definitely on the spicier side in comparison to all the other ones we had this year. Therefore, make sure you pair it with a glass of iced Coca-Cola on the side, because why not? – spicy food and Coca-Cola is always a good combo!
Hot Butter Cuttlefish – JoJo's Place
To any sensible Sri Lankan, discovering a good HBC causes great happiness, which is exactly what we felt after having a taste of this. JoJo's Place's HBC (Rs. 850) was sharp, piping hot, with the perfect crisp of the batter, and had an incredible flavor. The pieces were just the right size, and they weren’t dripping with oil, which is another good thing. While enhancing the flavor, the caramelized onions and the greens added color to the whole dish.
Thunder Voltage Burger – Street Burger
Talk about being hit over the head with a load of flavors – this burger right here is one of THE BEST burgers we've come across this year. Known as the Thunder – Voltage (Rs. 790), it's a burger that well lives up to its name.
Sporting a massive piece of char-grilled chicken breast, melted cheddar cheese, a heap of pickled jalapenos, sliced habaneros, lettuce, and tomato, along with a good drizzle of homemade specialty sauces, it was the bomb! Idk how they did that, but even with lots and lots of components in it, we could taste every flavor of all the ingredients.
It was all about being an explosion of flavors, and also about balancing them out so well. The chicken breast was grilled well and had a smokey flavor boosted by a few charcoal bits here and there, while the pickled jalapenos and tomatoes added a bit of tartness to it. The heat that comes from the habaneros is no ordinary spiciness that stays on your tongue and burns it. It's a heat that goes through your nasal cavities and spreads, and it can make you tear up if you eat more of this. Unlike the regular chilis, this spiciness comes and goes but beware, this burger has plenty of sliced habaneros in it. An ice-cold Coca-Cola would certainly help you to gulp this down smoothly.
Chicken Curry – Arcadia Cafe & Restaurant
Arcadia's spicy chicken curry comes with three naan rotis, and a side salad, all clocking in at Rs. 590, which is quite the steal. Soaked in a gravy that's loaded with a ton of curry flavors in it, the chicken pieces are cooked so well, cooked through, and the meat slides right off the bone. With quite a bit of peppery flavor nicely emerging through, it was hella spicy, which is all the more reasons for you to have a glass of Coca-Cola with this.
Nai Miris Chicken Kottu – The RoadHouse
Apologies for the bad photo – we blame the lighting, and for being a little bit careless because we were in a hurry to gobble down this delicacy. The killer Nai Miris Chicken Kottu (Rs.430) really kicks in with its spicy punch from the first bite. As you swallow it, that pain (or ecstatic feeling for some) starts at the back of your throat and ends up like a spark in your head.
The gravy that comes along with this tastes a bit like the gravy given with the biriyani at KFC, which is a non-spicy counterpart and it balances out the flavors of the dish. We were oohing and aahing the whole time we ate this.
Pork Belly Wrap – Big Bad Wolf
Ah, Big Bad Wolf. Colombo's only pork-centric spot does something amazing called Pork Belly Wrap (Rs. 750). It comes with an abundance of capsicum and chilies, which might overpower the meat taste at times, but it's all good. Flavorwise, it's more on the tangy side of things, but goes down really well with a sip of chilled Coca-Cola.
So, what's your go-to spicy dish with Coca-Cola? Please do let us know in the comments.