Sawans are awesome. The origin of the tradition of the sawan is unknown; it's likely it goes back to some part of India. Sawans are large (often silver) plates of biriyani, from which four or five people eat together (though apparently there are sawans now for up to eight people).
Chicken biriyani sawans are the most popular though there's also beef and now vegetarian. The rice is often served with a side of mango pickle, gravy, maldive fish sambol, cutlets and/or gulab jamun. I still remember having to fight aunties off at weddings for the bigger piece of chicken – good times.
The sawan is supposed to foster community spirit, and you'll find people using sawans for servings at weddings or festival celebrations. Although Hindus and Muslims are best known for using the sawan, it's now become a general Asian thing shared by different communities.
Since Ramadan is coming to an end soon and we have Eid celebrations round the corner, we came up with a list of top places in Colombo to order your sawans from. The prices can vary a little bit depending on the portion you want – but generally these are for 4-6 people.