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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 11, 2018
Headline for Must try food when in Sri Lanka – Delectable, Unique and Unforgettable
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Must try food when in Sri Lanka – Delectable, Unique and Unforgettable

Sri Lankan cuisine employs fresh ingredients, a variety of aromatic spices and age-old cooking methods. Here is a selection of dishes that you simply cannot miss out on, if you are in Sri Lanka.

1

Wambatu Moju

Wambatu Moju

Translating to brinjal or eggplant pickle, wambatu moju is a staple at pretty much any special Sri Lankan style lunch or dinner. The dish is prepared by cutting the eggplants into bite sized pieces and deep frying. Then, the dish is caramelized with red onions, green chilies, vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, chili powder and a bit of turmeric powder. The end result is a delicious sweet, sour, salty and spicy dish. Wambatu moju is the perfect accompaniment to rice with a variety of curries. If you are on the lookout for great Sigiriya restaurants to try out some wambatu moju, consider the famous Heritance Kandalama for authentic Sri Lankan cuisine prepared lovingly with the freshest ingredients.

2

Hoppers

Hoppers

If you love pancakes and crepes, try hoppers or appa, the Sri Lankan version of a pancake/crepe hybrid. The batter for hoppers is a concoction of rice flour, coconut milk, a bit of sugar and coconut water. This mixture is allowed to ferment a bit and cooked in a small wok to create a gorgeous, crispy, bowl shaped crepe with a soft centre. Egg hoppers are made by cracking an egg into the middle of the 'bowl' while it is cooking. For the best results, request your egg hoppers to be 'half boiled' so that you can break off the crispy edges and dip into the soft, golden egg yolk. Hoppers are a popular choice for breakfast, dinner and as an evening snack.

3

Fish ambul thiyal

Fish ambul thiyal

Seafood is an important part of Sri Lankan cuisine. Fish ambul thiyal, or sour fish curry is a delicious staple in the average Sri Lankan's diet. Large and firm fish, such as tuna, is chosen for this dish. The fish is cut into cubes and then mixed with a spice blend made from black pepper, cinnamon, pandan leaves, curry leaves, turmeric and garlic. The distinct sour flavour comes from goraka, a small fried fruit. Although it is referred to as a curry, ambul thiyal is a dry dish and cooked in a clay pot with a small amount of water until the spices coat each individual piece of fish. Enjoy with rice.

4

Kottu Roti

Kottu Roti

Kottu is a vastly popular favourite among locals and travellers. This is Sri Lanka's favourite junk food when you are in the mood for something spicy and satisfying. The dish resembles fried rice with bits of vegetable, meat and eggs are stir fried with a flat roti known as godamba roti. When on place an order for kottu, the cook gets to work by adding a handful of sliced roti on to a searing hot plate, an egg, a curry of your choice and vegetables. Then, he starts pounding on the cook surface with two spatulas (resembling cleavers without handles), simultaneously chopping up the roti, scrambling the eggs and making the distinct 'kottu music'. Some cooks even play their own signature beats with the spatulas. Kottu is best enjoyed from street side stalls. Cheese kottu is a recent variety that is highly popular among locals.

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