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Jun 11, 2007 12:42 PM

Sri Lankan groceries/restaurants

I'm looking for Sri Lankan food. Where can I go to get authentic meals, and then where can I go to get the groceries to make these meals at home? Specifically I'm looking for a place to buy Sri Lankan Sambhol (which seems to me to be quite different than Thai sambol), and a place to get Coconut and Kithul treacle. I have no idea what Kithul is. Please educate me.

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  1. Rashna and Saavunth (both within 2 minutes walking distance of each other) do pretty authentic Sri Lankan...several good quality Sri Lankan Grocers on the same block

    3 Replies
    1. re: Finnegan

      I too was going to say Rashnaa. They're at Parliament and Wellesley and deliver to a huge area. I've eaten their stuff maybe 20 times and all but one was great, so they're quite consistent as well.

      They don't have coconut and kithul treacle (never heard of it before), so you're out of luck for that one with them!

      1. re: Finnegan

        There are a bunch of places along Lawrence and Eglinton in Scarborough - mainly in strip malls. I don't know the names but I often stop in at these places to buy bags of 'short eats' when heading out of town. You would be able to get Watalappan (treacle) there. (I've only eaten it in Sri Lanka and it's incredible.)

        1. re: koknia

          There is a small shop on Bloor west of Dufferin (sorry don't know name but on the North side before Brock) that sells Sri Lankan ingredients including Kithul treacle.

      2. What area are you looking in? There's a really good Sri Lankan takeout place at McCowan and Lawrence called Babu Catering (it's a little hidden, in the back of a business park) but it's incredibly popular.

        Sri Lankan sambol is easy to make at home - all you need is a blender and the following:
        -couple handfuls fresh grated coconut (you can also buy it frozen and just thaw it out, but don't use the dessicated kind!)
        -3-4 fresh green or dried red chillies
        -a small red onion
        -6-7 curry leaves (you can leave this one out if you don't have it)
        -small spoonful of dried fish (this is a traditional ingredient but one that many Sri Lankans will exclude, but I'm pretty sure you can substitute sardines if you'd like?)

        That should make enough for about 2 people and I think most of the ingredients are available at any Asian grocer.

        Just grind everything up to a fine consistency in the blender and then add a little water if you'd like it to be more runny/moist, and there you go!

        4 Replies
        1. re: greenduck

          There is a Babu Catering at 4800 Sheppard Avenue East in Scarborough about a km from the corner of Sheppard and McCowan. It's also a little hidden at the back of this strip mall. Has awesome Sri Lankan takeouts - hot food, snacks, appetizers, etc. Always packed so must be good !

          1. re: fogducker

            Do you know a place where you could get Jaffna "Kool?" Some one said a take out called "Amma" but could not find the address.

            1. re: Gol4Ram

              Amma's is located at the corner of Markham & Steeles on the south east corner.

          2. re: greenduck

            Babu's also will give you the sambal along with his round parrota or the hopper .Also if you are in the area ,there is a srilankan grocer in the same mall as Bamiyan Kabab on 14th and Markham Rd, next to the tikka place . They have bottles of sambal for about 5-6 bucks.

          3. Not certain if it still bears the same name, but I think that it's Ambal Trading Company, east side of Parliament St just south of Wellesley. Interestingly, they carry diabetic-friendly preserves. I guess that diabetes is a problem in the Sri Lankan community.

            1. The original comment has been removed
              1. Hopper Hut. Excellent, though kind of divey and hidden.
                880 Ellesmere Road, (416) 299-4311

                Hopper Hut
                880 Ellesmere Rd, Toronto, ON M1P2W6, CA

                1 Reply
                1. re: meatnveg

                  I just tried Hopper Hut for the first time. I was stuffed silly by the mutton lamprie for $8.00. Great value for 5 different dishes, plus a boiled egg, on a pile of rice and wrapped in a banana leaf. It was messy eating, but I loved the texture of the short grain rice they used.

                  Hopper Hut
                  880 Ellesmere Rd, Toronto, ON M1P2W6, CA