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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Most Popular Authentic Sri Lankan Dishes – Enjoy Traditional Tastes
Joanna James Joanna James
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Most Popular Authentic Sri Lankan Dishes – Enjoy Traditional Tastes

Just as exotic as tropical Sri Lanka is the food. Traditional dishes that have been prepared over the ages are still firm favourites and for very good reason too. Read on and learn.


Good Old Rice and Curry

No Sri Lankan can go without his daily fix of rice and curry and for good reason too! Rice and curry is a lunchtime staple that is dominated by a good serving of rice which can be either the healthy country varieties or polished white rice. Around the rice a number of curries are served, these consist of a fish or meat, two or three vegetables and green salad or mallung as known locally. There are also some additional trims such as chutney, crispy papadam or pickle that accompany the rice and curry.


Milk Rice Paired with Onion Sambol

Milk Rice is a favoured breakfast that is also prepared as a traditional symbol of good luck on any special occasion or the first of every month. The rice is prepared by double boiling red or white raw rice in thick coconut milk to form a thick paste. This is then dished out heaped into a square or round mound that's flat on the surface and cut into portions. The savoury tasting rice is eaten with a raw onion sambol called lunu miris and is quite delicious when paired with a good spicy fish or chicken curry. Many children and enthusiastic adults too, love eating the milk rice with a dollop of sugar.


The Delicious Sweetmeats

The traditional sweetmeats prepared during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year Season is quite popular. You will come across the likes of kavum, kokis, asme, athirasa, thalaguli and halape. The sweets are prepared with local ingredients such as rice flour, honey, sweet jaggery and other exotic spices that bring out the authentic tastes of Sri Lankan sweets.


Kottu Roti

The popular night food served at just about any night food kiosk, the kottu roti is a popular favourite amongst locals and foreigners. Available in a variety of flavours the dish is made with vegetables, egg, meat or fish and a good serving of diced godamba roti. Godamba roti is an oily roti made with a combination of flour and oil stretched and cooked on a hot skillet. The style of chopping up the roti is quite a treat to observe as skilled chefs using two sharp blades chop and pound all ingredients on a metal sheet. This chopping process is often done to a specific rhythmic noise which signifies to all passers-by that a kottu roti is being prepared.


Pol Sambol

Pol sambol is a delicious relish that accompanies many meals such as roti, string-hoppers, rice or hoppers. It is made by scraping the kernel of a milky coconut which is then mixed with chilli powder, onions, Maldive fish, lime juice and salt to taste. If you are now hankering for a taste of local food look for a restaurant Colombo has to offer that serves Sri Lankan cuisine; these are varied in menu choice and ambience. There is the rustic roadside kiosk or elegant confines of fine dining restaurants such as rare at Residence. These dining venues specialise in many types of local food; look forward to traditional dishes that have been given a modern twist using local ingredients that promise an exotic journey into the culinary delights of Sri Lankan cookery.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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