The History of Short Eats In Sri Lanka

The History of Short Eats In Sri Lanka

Let Everyone know
  • 4

Whether it is a city or a small town, there will be street carts and bakeries selling short eats in Sri Lanka. Short eats are spicy baked snacks that help to take away hunger at any time without effecting your wallet. If you need a snack, then go for the glass and metal boxes filled to the top with every type of short eats in the market and sidewalks.

The idea of short eats came from Europeans. Few short eats like cutlets looks like Portuguese bolinhos. One type of short eat, the triangular-shaped pastries look like samosas and their round version resembles English pies.  So, we can conclude that short eats are a mixture of different nationalities that have influenced the Sri Lankan island. Short eats serve as a perfect lunchbox filler for school students. Before jumping into the further details about short etas, let’s see in detail what short eats are.

What are short eats?

Short eats are a big variety of snacks that are available in different food shops and restaurants. These are usually eaten at the breakfast or in the evening. Short eats have different types that are all a mixed culture of different countries. Their major types include rolls, pastries, and patties.

These are generally served to guests when they visit home or at parties. Western food like hamburgers and hot dogs reached in Sri Lanka with the spread of fast-food chains like KFC, McDonald’s, and Pizza Hut. However, foods from these categories are usually not included in short eats.

How and where short eats started?

Short eats are a mixture of many countries cultures introduced by settlers who arrived in Sri Lanka. For example, rolls came from Chinese settlers, Vadai came with Indian settlers, and cutlets and patties arrived with the British. They all immerse themselves in the history of the island. 

Rolls, roti, and patties are all standard all over Sri Lanka, but its other major districts such as Colombo, Jaffna, and Kandy differ in their choice for the snacks. Beef samosa is one type of snacks brought by Indian settlers with Arab lineage. It is very small in size enough to be capable of eating in a single bite.

Which country is most famous for short eats?

Short eats are very famous in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan short eats are normally stuffed and fried and comes in many sizes and shapes. Vadai is one of those snacks known as short eats. Short eats in Sri Lanka are almost sold every corner of the island. You will see rolls stuffed with meat, vegetables and egg, patties resembling empanadas filled with fish and potatoes, and curry roti in which meat or vegetables are tightly filled flatbread. Some sweets are also considered as the part of short eats family. The most common are Kesari, boondi ladoo, molded orange-hued cakes, and more.

Egg Rolls

What are the different types of short eats?

Depending on the recipe of short eats, there are four kinds of them. Most of the types have the same variation of mutton, chicken, fish, and vegetables.

Pastries and patties

Some of the pastries resemble little English pies while others resemble empanadas. Some bakeries prepare their pastries using little squares with puff pastry while others prepare into triangles by using a thicker pastry. Another favorite pastry is the sausage puff where a spicy hot dog is nicely wrapped in puff pastry and then baked. Most of the Sri Lankan pastries are baked but there is a fried variation as well, known as patties. Sometimes patties have similar fillings like baked pastries, all depending on taste. Each time, the fillings are flavorful curries or very thick stews with vegetables and meat cut into small pieces.


The short eats that has its section known as vadai, that is a cookie-type flattened ball made out of cooked orange lentils with chili and curry leaves. This little snack type of short eat is found almost everywhere, with vegetarian or with a prawn option. In the renowned Galle Face Green, there are almost 20 carts that sell flat vadai with about three prawns at the top.


Cutlets are either made in a round or oval shape. They are usually made of fish but can also be vegetarian. The major ingredient that holds the cutlet’s look is potato mash mixed the desired protein and spices. Economical fish cutlet uses canned mackerel, while the pricey type uses canned tuna. The oval-shaped little balls are shaped by hand, then breaded and fried. They are very famous at parties and especially when drinking alcohol. Another cool variation of these cutlets is the mutton cutlet.

Stuffed Buns

Little buns filled with sweet onion relish, seeni sambol are a mid-morning favorite food. The most usual are sausage buns and fish buns. They are a perfect combination with a milky tea and children love filling them in their lunch boxes.

Egg Rolls and Spring Rolls

Finally, the last category is egg rolls and spring rolls. Egg rolls are usually made in a roti-style flatbread rolled up style and then filled with all types of spicy fillings, just like pastries, and then they are either fried or baked. Next, the spring rolls are typical crunchy paper rolls stuffed with vegetables.

Where to get short eats in Colombo or other parts of Sri Lanka

The nice spots to go for good short eats apart from street sellers in Colombo or other areas of Sri Lanka are any Sen Saal eateries or Fab bakeries. Green Cabin and Perera and Sons have also been among favorite spots of the here to read full article on top 10 short eats in the world.

Short eats

Final Words on Short Eats

Sri Lanka is a place where street food carts are scattered throughout the island. Street food in Sri Lanka has always amongst the top foods of locals and tourists. Here you also find a lot of street vendors selling short eats or bites when we eat them with drinks. These are a kind of quick snacks that you can take when you feel puckish or you need a light eatery before having the next meal.

Short eats were introduced by immigrants who came to the island. All kinds of short eats came to the island and then reshaped to fit in better into the culture.

To read my article on Italian food culture and Italian pizza recipe

And read my article on food engineering:technology and science

To read my article on 3 types of food contamination you should know

  • 4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *