The Sawan List (Top 5 Sawan Places for 2014).

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.

Galle Caterers

Visit: 122, Kalubowila Road
Call: 0114200926
Rupees: 3100 for meat biriyani, Rs. 1650 for veg biriyani

Malay Restaurant

Visit: 115, Hill Street, Dehiwela
Call: 0114205333
Rupees: 3700 for meat biriyani, 2500 for veg

Pot Biriyani

Visit: 21A, 1st lane, Kirulapone
Call: 0777330938
Rupees: 2000 for meat biriyani, 1500 for veg

Big Bite

Visit: 124/B, S De S Jayasinghe Mawatha, Kohuwela
Call: 0750222777
Rupees: 2500 for meat biriyani, no veg

Al Maas

Visit: 56, WA Silva Mawatha, Wellawatte
Call: 0115234988
Rupees: 2500 for meat biriyani, Rs. 2200 for veg biriyani
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