Sri Lankan Food Shops in London
When we first moved to the UK, it was near impossible to source any Sri Lankan ingredients or special cooking utensils. Ammie therefore forgo packing many of her personal items to allow space in her luggage for our precious cooking utensils and some spices.
I can't lie, since then (over twenty years ago) its still been tricky to source many authentic ingredients and utensils. My parents have had to make many from scratch where possible - such as drying our own chillies for chilli powder, making our own rice flour and blending together the right spices to make our curry powders. All the utensils we have such as earthy clay pots, well loved hoppers pans and sturdy coconut grinders are from Sri Lanka. The internet has made it much more accessible to source these things online, but as Ammie says ‘seasoned utensils are always the best to cook with’. I’m sure many of you from ethnic backgrounds can also appreciate how precious food from our home country is to us. So much so, that returning from a ‘holiday’ back to our home country we comically arrive with suitcases bursting full of packaged food. Bags of deep fried fish, curry leaves picked from gardens, coconut oil squeezed by hand - and possibly the most dubious looking fresh sea salt bagged up!
Nowadays there are South Asian supermarkets springing up like little mushrooms around London. I have lived in both North and South London, so I am going to list the shops and areas that I have come by that sell Sri Lankan food, please feel free to add any other recommendations in the comments below! I will keep updating this post to keep it most up to date as possible.
KINGSBURY, HARROW, WEMBLEY, COLINDALE
VB & Sons - Kingsbury, Harrow or Wembley
For spices there is a good chain of Indian shops called 'VB & Sons' - we usually go to the one in Kingsbury. You can buy literally any spice there!
Kingsbury Fruit & Veg
There is also an amazing vegetable shop called Kingsbury Fruit & Veg, where you can buy bags of the freshest fruit and veg for £1!! I know right!
Best Foods - Wembley, Ealing Road
The shop we visited on the BBC2 ‘Recipes that made me’ was in Wembley called Best Foods on Ealing Road.
Sri Lankan Corner shop (Name unknown!) next to ‘Sambal Express’ - Colindale
In terms of Sri Lankan shops to buy things like Sri Lankan curry powder, frozen cuttlefish/fish/prawns etc or more specific herbs like gotukola. There is one in Colindale right next to a 'Sambal Express' (which is a decent chain of Sri Lankan fast food shops, selling stringhoppers, mutton curry, literally any kind of short eat, but mostly tamil food).
Best foods - South Harrow
Shankar superstore - South Harrow
TOOTING, NEW MALDEN
Sri Lankan Corner shops - New Malden
There are also 3 Sri Lankan shops in New Malden (names unknown!), right opposite the Sambal Express.
Tooting - I confess I am not so familiar with the specific shops in Tooting, but I know for a fact the high street definitely has a few (please let me know if you know of any specific ones!)