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Scrumptious Sri Lankan dishes available at Hilton

The Sri Lankan Embassy in Seoul will help organize a Sri Lanka Food Festival at Millennium Seoul Hilton from Feb. 1 through Feb. 10.

The event at the hotel’s Cafe 395 Buffet Restaurant will feature a variety of authentic, scrumptious dishes of the South Asian island nation, which will be prepared by two local chefs of Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts Sri Lanka flown in to Korea. The inaugural dinner will take place on Feb. 1.

Sri Lankan cuisine has been shaped by a myriad of historical, cultural and climatic factors. Centuries of contact with foreign traders brought new food items and culinary influences, among them Indian, Indonesian, Malay and Dutch cuisines. Sri Lankan staples are rice, coconut and spices. 

Traditional Sri Lankan dishes (So Hale)
Traditional Sri Lankan dishes (So Hale)

The most popular dishes are made of rice and curry, including kiribath, rice cooked in salted coconut milk; kottu, a spicy stir-fried, shredded roti bread with vegetables; hoppers based on a fermented batter, usually made of rice flour and coconut milk with spices; kool, a seafood broth from Jaffna containing crab, fish, cuttlefish, prawns and crayfish; pittu, cylinders of steamed rice mixed with grated coconut; and various foods incorporating Malay, Indonesian and Chinese cuisines.

The annual event, which enters its third year in 2018, will mark the 70th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s independence from colonial Britain.

Colombo and Seoul celebrated their 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations last year, with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena visiting Korea in late November. During the summit between Sirisena and his counterpart Moon Jae-in, Seoul agreed to increase its low-interest loans to Sri Lanka under its Economic Development Cooperation Fund from the current $300 million to $500 million for the 2017-2019 period.

By Joel Lee (