Born out of a shared love of Sri Lankan cuisine, Sri-Licious is the creation of close friends Mary and Callie. Based in Gloucestershire, we serve up fresh, tasty Sri Lankan food from a converted catering transit van at street food fairs and festivals in the South West and Midlands.
Having grown up in Sri Lanka, the cuisine had been Mary’s favourite food since an early age. When Mary suggested Callie visit the country it quickly became hers too!
You can hear the clanging of blades coming from the Sri-Licious van as homemade roti, fresh vegetables and spices are chopped on the griddle while the popular street food dish Kottu Roti is prepared to order. Vegan at base, there are several different toppings on offer, such as devilled paneer, devilled tofu or pineapple.
The pair serve various Sri Lankan specialities including egg hoppers and ‘short eats’ – Sri Lankan snacks, such as vegetable roti parcels, or Seeni buns, bread rolls stuffed with sweet and spicy onion sambol. We caught up with Mary and Callie to find out a bit more about their Sri-lankan street food. The
- How did the idea of Sri-licious come about? Did you cook lots of Sri-Lankan cuisine at home already, or was it a completely ‘from scratch’ endeavour?
As well as constantly cooking Sri Lankan food at home, we kept traveling to London to get our Sri Lankan food fix as there were no restaurants nearby us! We had also always loved the street food scene, going to markets in Birmingham and Bristol regularly and wanted to get involved!
- What was the first Sri Lankan dish you fell in love with?
Egg hoppers, they are so different to anything else we have ever tried and you can cater them to your palette with a variety of tasty sambols! are made with a batter of rice flour and coconut milk, cooked in a bowl shaped pan with an egg poached inside, and they then add different sambols and chutneys; from fiery chili and onion to fragrant coconut and lime.
- Who are your customers?
Our customers are the best! Adventurous foodies who are happy to try something different, or fellow Sri Lanka lovers who have visited the country on holiday and want to reminisce about the island’s culinary delights.
- For anyone who hasn’t tried Sri-Lankan food before, what would you recommend to try first?
‘Short Eats’ are a great introduction as they sum up the combination of Sri Lankan spices and European influences that make the cuisine so unique, and as they’re only small, you can try lots!
- What is your favourite dish and why?
It’s so hard to choose just one! It would probably have to be Kottu Roti as we find it is the perfect comfort food!
- Do you have a nice simple recipe our readers can try at home themselves?
Kottu Roti Recipe (serves 4)
This is a simplified version of the Kottu Roti we serve up from our trusty van!
1kg spring greens
3 bell peppers
1 green chili (or more if you like it hot!)
2 tsp garam masala
1 large white onion
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Sprig of fresh curry leaves (optional)
2 eggs (optional)
Salt to taste
Finely chop the onion and set aside. Coarsely chop the roti bread, peppers and spring greens so they are slightly smaller than bite size. Either use a julienne slicer to shred the carrots, or use a grater to grate them. Use a garlic press to crush the garlic, or finely chop it. Finely chop the green chili and ginger.
Heat the oil on a griddle, or if you don’t have a griddle you can use a large pan (such as a wok) to a hot heat, this is sort of like a Sri Lankan stir fry so everything will be cooked quickly!
Add the chopped onion and let cook for a minute or so, add the garam masala and curry leaves (if using).
Add the chopped peppers, spring greens, crushed garlic, ginger, chili and let cook for a few minutes. If at any point it starts sticking, just add a little bit of water.
Add the chopped roti and julienned carrots, heat for a few more minutes until the vegetables are all cooked.
If using eggs, crack them into a small bowl and whisk, adding to the kottu mixture at the last minute, constantly stirring to make sure it coats the ingredients equally. Continue to stir for a minute or so until the egg is cooked through.
Salt to taste and serve up on four plates!
- Finally, where can we find you?!
We pop up all around the South West and Midlands – just keep an eye on our website and social media pages. We’re also available for private events so do get in touch if you would like something deliciously different at your wedding or birthday party!
CHAAT ISSUE 29