Sri Lanka, the Indian Ocean’s tear-shaped island, is a food lover’s dream. If you’re unfamiliar with Sri Lankan food, keep reading!
For many people, food and traveling are inextricably linked and trying new cuisines, and regional delicacies is a primary reason for selecting a destination. So if you’re a food lover, then Sri Lanka is a must-visit place. Famous for tons of spices and flavors, a wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, and a lot of coconuts.
Though there are certain similarities between Sri Lankan and South Indian cuisines, they are still distinct.
A few things can be asserted with certainty about Sri Lankan food: Sri Lankans adore spices, food with bursting flavors, and many people love deep-fried items and delicious snacks. Your mouth will rejoice with happiness no matter what you eat in Sri Lanka.
I am really excited to share some of the best Sri Lankan foods that you must try at least once in your lifetime!
Hoppers, or appa, are a popular Sri Lankan food. It is traditionally served for breakfast. The savory, bowl-shaped Sri Lankan pancakes are delectable at any time of day. They’re ubiquitous, from street food booths to restaurant menus. They are prepared with a batter consisting of rice flour, sugar, coconut milk, and sometimes coconut water. The unique part is that it is cooked in a small, high-sided wok-style pan. While it’s cooking, an egg is cracked into it. It’s typically served with a spicy sambol.
Sambol is a traditional side dish, which is fresh, hot, and chunky. Pol Sambol is made with finely grated coconut, red chilies, red onion, salt, lime juice, and sometimes a splash of Maldive fish or cured tuna. Pol sambol is delicious with bread, roti, rice, or curry. Indeed, it is delectable with anything or even on its own.
Wambatu moju or pickled Sri Lankan Eggplants are spicy, tangy, and delicious. Serve as a side dish with boiled rice and famous Sri Lankan dhal.
Bite-sized wedges of eggplant are deep-fried until golden brown on the outside and soft and velvety inside. After caramelizing with vinegar, sugar, green chilies, red onions, chili powder, mustard seeds, and turmeric powder, the color turns almost black.
When you take a bite of Wambatu moju, the eggplant melts with the perfect blend of sweetness, sourness, and saltiness in your mouth.
Kottu or kottu roti is a very famous Sri Lankan street food. It is similar to fried rice, except it is cooked with a sort of flatbread called godamba roti rather than rice.
Usually, the roti is fried in the morning, placed into stacks, and then served following the customer’s preferences. When you place your order, the kottu chef starts finely slicing roti flatbread, meat or veggies, garlic, and spices in a large cast-iron skillet as per your preferences. The outcome is a delectable combination of salty fried dough bits that are mildly spiced and wonderfully comforting.
Parippu (Dhal Curry)
It resembles India’s Dhal Fry but tastes WAY better. Sri Lankans add copious amounts of fresh coconuts, extra chilies, and more spices. This delectable dish is high in protein and fiber, and it’s served 2-3 times a day. Rice and bread are the most common accompaniments for it.
Kiribath is a unique rice dish made with coconut milk frequently served on auspicious or special events, such as Aluth Avurudda (Sinhalese New Year).
Although there are different ways to make kiribath, it all begins with cooking the rice. Salt and coconut milk are added to the rice before it is done cooking. Coconut milk imparts a rich, creamy texture to the rice and helps form a sticky texture. After cooking the rice, it is sliced and served as a cake.
Kiribath pairs exceptionally well with a wide array of Sri Lankan foods. It is frequently sweetened with jaggery and eaten with chili sauce or curry. lunu miris, a sambol chili sauce composed of red chilies, lemon juice, onions, salt, and sometimes dried Maldive fish, is one of the most frequently used garnishes for kiribath.
Lamprais is a Sri Lankan delicacy that has been passed down through generations of Dutch burghers. It is frequently served for Sunday lunch.
Lamprais is a dish made up of rice, meat, and sambol sauce wrapped in banana leaves and then steamed. Meat stock infused with cardamom, clove, and cinnamon is used for cooking the rice.
Originally, beef, hog, and lamb were used, but modern lamprais packets frequently include chicken and eggs.
Sri Lankan cuisine, as one might expect from an Indian Ocean island, favors seafood. One of the most popular fish curries is Ambul thiyal or sour fish curry. Cubes of firm fish, typically tuna, are cooked in a Sri Lankan spice blend that includes black pepper, cinnamon, garlic, turmeric, and curry leaves. Goraka, a dried superfruit that imparts a sour flavor to the fish, is perhaps the most important ingredient.
Polos (Young Jackfruit Curry)
Sri Lankan cuisine is known for its curries, and one of my favorites is “polos,” or young jackfruit curry. Polos (jackfruit curry) is a dish made from unripe, young jackfruit, chopped into cubes, and cooked in a rich spice blend.
Jaffna Odiyal Kool
Kool is a Jaffna seafood broth made with crab, fish, cuttlefish, prawn, and crayfish. There are also long beans, tamarind, manioc, jak seeds, and spinach in it. Palmyra root flour is used to thicken the broth.
For special occasions, Watalappan is a must-have. This Malay-inspired dessert is akin to egg custard but with coconut milk, nutmeg, cardamom, and dark kithul jaggery (or palm sugar). The air bubbles in this rich dish protect it from becoming too heavy, and the chopped nuts sprinkled on top give it a crispness that would otherwise be lacking.
Indeed, Sri Lankan cuisine is spice-filled and enticing to the palate. To uncover the unique treasures of Sri Lankan food, consider taking a tour.