kk Banana leaf meals: Variety on a plate

Sri Lanka is a nation of foodies. We love eating, cooking and sharing our food with friends, family and strangers. And anyone who visits Sri Lanka is always gob smacked by the sheer variety of food on offer: luscious ripe fruits, abundant greens and vegetables that are not common in the UK (like gotu kola, kohila and breadfruit) and so many different sweet and savory dishes.

Our goal at K+K Street Foods is to bring some of that variety and diversity to our customers. If you can’t decide on what you want from the menu or you fancy something different, you should try our Banana Leaf Meals.

These meals are inspired by the large dinners our parents hosted for visiting family and friends. Our mothers would be in the kitchen all day preparing a feast, and when we start sitting down to eat, we would be amazed by the number of different dishes on the table. There was something for everyone. We would all wash our hands and sit down to eat as item after item was served to us on banana leaves.

In a previous post, we mentioned that banana leaves are used as plates in Sri Lanka because they are eco-friendly and naturally biodegradable and that the tradition of serving on banana leaves dates back to centuries. But there are a couple more reasons we should mention like banana leaves contain large amounts of polyphenols that are natural antioxidants. These are found in many plant-based foods and green tea. Food served on the banana leaves absorbs the polyphenols which are said to prevent many lifestyle diseases. They are also said to have anti-bacterial properties that can possibly kill the germs in food.

Make a smart move and ditch those plastic disposable utensils for banana leaves as they are much more eco-friendly. Not only do they decompose in a very short time, which we all know most types of plastic do not, but they also save the extra time and effort that would have otherwise gone in washing the dishes.

The tradition of eating food on the banana leaves is not only a treat to the eyes but to the palate as well. So the next time someone offers you a meal on a banana leaf, roll up your sleeves and dig right in!

K+K Street Food is brining you the banana leaf meals just like they would be in Sri Lanka, which is the ultimate sampler platter and includes:

Vegetarian dhal: Made with split red lentils, a traditional dhal is simple, comforting and good for you. The lentils are cooked down with several spices including mustard seeds, cumin seeds, garlic, turmeric and curry leaves as well as coconut milk. A vegetarian’s dream come true!

Two vegetables of the day: Sri Lankans food is usually seasonal. This is when the vegetables are the freshest and most nutritious and they also have a smaller carbon footprint. We like to stick to these same principles and our dishes of the day are made with seasonal produce.

Appalam: If you’ve been to an Indian restaurant before, you might remember the crispy pappadum you had before the meal started. Appalam is our Sri Lankan equivalent, but we find it to be a bit lighter and crispier than its Indian relative.

Pickle: No Sri Lankan meal is complete without some pickle or achcharu. Pickling is a tradition that started when farmers needed a way of preserving fresh vegetables and fruits so that they could be enjoyed out of season. Oil and lots of fragrant spices are added to vegetables (like carrots, onions, beans and bell peppers) and fruits (like pineapple, papaya and mango) to keep them crunchy and flavourful during those months when they aren’t available.

There are all accompanied by a carb of your choice (rice, idiyappam or puttu) with the option to include a chicken or mutton kari.

Come visit us at the BoxPark in Croydon to try one of our famous Banana Leaf Meals yourself.

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