Top 10 Short Eats in the World and Their Origin

Top 10 Short Eats in the World and Their Origin

Let Everyone know

Short eats are a variety of snacks available in different restaurants and food shops in Sri Lanka. They are mainly eaten at breakfast or between meals. They have a range of varieties that all came from immigrants from other countries to the island.

The Europeans brought their idea. However, some short eats resemble Asian food. Short eats are the perfect lunch box filler for students. Let us jump into the top 10 popular short eats in the world and their origin.

1. Vada


This is a type of savory fried snacks introduced from India. Some other types of vadas are cutlets, doughnuts, fritters, and dumplings. The alternative names for vadas are vade, wada, vadia, bara, wadeh.

The different types of vadas are usually made from various ingredients such as potatoes and legumes. They are mainly served as snacks in breakfast and also used in other food preparations as well. 

This food was famous among ancient Tamils. In its recipe, green beans are mainly used as the main ingredient. They are first soaked, de-skinned, and then ground to a paste. This paste is then used and shaped into balls and deep-fried.

Many immigrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh migrated to places like Sri Lanka, South Africa, Fiji, and other areas. In the mid-nineteenth century to the early 20th century, vadai became the most important Indian cuisine in these countries.

Vadai is present almost everywhere with prawns and a vegetarian option. In the famous Galle Face Green, there are about 20 little carts that sell flat vadai with three prawns on top.  These cookies type flattened ball consist of cooked orange lentils with the addition of chili and curry leaves.

2. Chinese Rolls or Egg Rolls

Chinese rolls or Egg rolls

These rolls or egg rolls are savory snacks known as short eats in Sri Lanka. These are pancakes/thin crepes filled with cooked stuffing. Mostly mutton and fish filling used.

Chinese immigrants introduced Chinese rolls to areas like Sri Lanka and other countries. They have different varieties depending on the type of filling used. The most famous Chinese rolls are Chinese fish rolls, Chinese egg rolls, and mutton rolls. The recipe for each type varies according to the type of filling used.

You will find these Chinese rolls parties, family functions, bakeries, and roadside restaurants. The reason why they are so famous among locals of Sri Lanka is that they can be easily prepped early and freeze. These rolls are mainly served as a side for high tea, quick brunch, and parties but they are more popular as breakfast items or on the go snacks. 

3. Vegetable/Fish Roti

Vegetable Roti or Fish Roti

The easy to make Sri Lankan fish rotis are mainly loaded with fish sambal fillings. These are the kind of tasty snacks to satisfy your needs. The Fish roti or vegetable roti are amongst the popular street foods of Sri Lanka.

Fish or vegetable roti originates its history from the Indian sub-continent. Fish rotis used as a snack, meal, or even as an appetizer. You can eat these rolls with a combination of strong Sri Lankan tea. 

The triangular-shaped Rotis will be usually vegetarian while other variants will usually have fish or beef. You can use vegetable or fish roti’s in breakfast, lunch, or on your road trip around the country.

4. Fish/ Vegetable Patties


Fish or vegetable patties are Sri Lankan favorite snacks. Fish patties are slightly spicy, savory, and delicious filling enclosed in a buttery and flaky crust. These are perfect for high-tea, breakfast, for game day snacking. 

You can make your choice of filling vegetables or fish. The amazing thing is that you can make and freeze them for later use.

Empanadas are famous in the whole world. Every continent and food culture has its own variation of the empanada. On the island of Sri Lanka, these savory, spicy, and delicious pastry snacks known as patties and usually fish patties when fish used as the filling.

5. Pastries


These are also a kind of patties with the only difference that they are usually baked instead of being fried. They sometimes have the same stuffing as fried patties all depending on the taste. The fillings are often vegetables and flavorful curries cut into small pieces.

Some pastries resemble English pies while some look like empanadas. The Bakeries also make their pastries in the form of little squares with puff pastry and some make in triangular shapes using a thicker pastry.

6. Cutlets


The name cutlet originated from the French word côtelette and was first known to be used in 1682.  The Sri Lankan cutlets are either an oval or round shape. They are mostly made of fish, but some variations also include vegetables. The main ingredient in cutlets is the potato mixed with other spices and desired protein. Some cutlets are usually made from canned mackerel while some are usually made of canned tuna.

The little balls of cutlets are molded by hands and then breaded and fried. They are very famous at parties and especially when drinking alcohol. Another famous type of cutlet is the mutton cutlet.

7. Stuffed buns

Stuffed buns with Seeni Sambol filling

The stuffed buns mainly stuffed with Seeni Sambol, a sweet onion relish. They have many variations like fish buns, beef buns, and sausage buns. The little buns are a perfect meal for breakfast and to pack in the lunchbox of school kids.

8. Finger Sandwiches


The finger sandwiches also known as tea sandwiches and originated in the United Kingdom. In Sri Lanka, Finger sandwiches are among the list of short eats mostly known with the name of ribbon sandwiches.

These sandwiches are usually eaten as an afternoon tea time or to reduce hunger. The finger sandwiches have many forms. But they should be capable of being eaten in two to three bites and should be easy to handle.

9. Fish Balls

Fish balls

Sri Lankan fish balls are a perfect spicy and savory bite for any time of the day. Your party spread can never be the same without such appetizers. These are commonly famous as fish cutlets in Sri Lanka and among the best Sri Lankan short eats that you can serve at any occasion. While being delicious, these are also budget-friendly at the same time.

10. Chicken Wings

Chicken wings

The Chicken wings have long been an essential of Southern cooking. Pan-fried spicy chicken wings in Sri Lanka also known as devil wings. The reason why they are mostly called devil wings is because of their super spiciness. It is a perfect appetizer to put together with few appetizers for game nights and parties.

Read my article on china food culture and tastiest dumplings.

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

Read my article on how kitchen working person contaminate food.

Read my article on Italian food culture and yummy Italian pizza recipe.


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