Spending even a couple of days in Sri Lanka soon spirals into a love affair that lasts a lifetime-as soon as you leave the island, you will be counting your days to return. The tongue-tinging Sri Lankan cuisine is a massive part of this island love story. While the beams of tropical sunshine greet you in a welcoming embrace, the overwhelming aromas wafting off from local kitchens tease your nostrils. Mirroring its heritage, Sri Lanka is a melting pot of flavours that never fails to appease your taste buds. Wholesome and full of flavours, each Sri Lankan dish is, in its own way, a celebration of tradition and culture. When in Sri Lanka, these dishes are a must try…they will keep you happy from taste buds down to your toes.
Rice and curry
This is the staple dish of Sri Lankan’s-either they eat rice for breakfast, lunch or dinner. A plate of steamed rice served with a range of vegetable and meat curries itself is a feast. With deep red of beetroot curry, tangy pol sambol, spicy ambulthiyal, greenish beans curry and crispy papadam, Sri Lankan rice and curry is a colorful affair. If you want to experience every aspect of local fare, eat the local way using just your right hand-it is fun!
Appa or hoppers are the local counterpart of pancakes. Yet, a hopper comes with a crispy outside and spongy on the inside. They are bowl shaped and tastes milky with a tangy twist. The egg hopper is a hopper with an egg baked into the middle of it-with sunny side up. Hoppers are usually eaten with spicy condiments such as lunumiris (a fiery concoction of onion and red chili pieces) and seenisambol (a sweet and sour mix of caramelized onion).
Kottu is the king of Sri Lankan street food and is a mouthwatering mish mash of shredded rotti, vegetables, egg and/or meat and one full plate will leave you happily overfed. When Kottu is being made, you would know it. The roadside Kottu stations make quite a racket during the shredding of the roti as two broad metal blades are used to chop and mix the ingredients.
Photo Credits : Mr Kottu , Nugegoda , Sri Lanka
This is yet another much-loved Sri Lankan dish, hailing from the south. Usually cooked in a clay pot over a wood fired stove, fish ambulthiyal tingles your nostrils with a smoky yet spicy aroma. Chunks of tuna fish are bathed in a delightful mix of spices while a tangy goraka(brindleberry) paste is added to enhance the flavours. Although there is no gravy, the dish is ideal with rice or string hoppers. The beauty of this dish is that it can be kept for weeks without refrigerating.
Photo Credits : Palmyrah Restaurant
A cute little variety of flat bread, pol rotti is sweet and milky. The dough is kneaded into flat circles and heated on a pan until both sides are crisp with golden brown patches. Pol rotti off the pan with lunumiris is a firm favourite among the locals. Get yourself a cup of steaming plain tea, tear up chunks of rotti and dip them in the lunumiris with your bare hands-it’s amazing in your mouth!