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The fascinating colonial and religious history of Sri Lanka is revealed in the menu of Nirvana, where a meal begins with the selection of an exotic starch. The choices include hoppers (bowl-shaped breads), string hoppers (rice-noodle wads), pittu (a flaky loaf of beaten rice and shredded coconut), and kottu roti (shredded flatbread). Add a curry to go with it;they tend to be bland (with the exception of black curry pork), but that's OK, because the relishes that go with them, many of which are Indonesian in origin, amp the flavor. There are lots and lots of vegetarian options, partly due to the island's Hindu and Buddhist sensibilities. For dessert, don't miss the cakey pudding called wattalapan.
If it weren't for almost perpetual civil war, Sri Lanka would be a model of ethnic and religious diversity. Four of the world's chief faithsIslam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianitylive side-by-side on the teardrop-shaped island once known as... More »
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