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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 4 Food Dishes to Try out in Sri Lanka – Indulge in the Finest of South Asian Cuisine
Joanna James Joanna James
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4 Food Dishes to Try out in Sri Lanka – Indulge in the Finest of South Asian Cuisine

A nation where rice and curry is a staple meal, Sri Lanka is well known for her tantalizing dishes rich with a number of exotic spices. Here we take a look at the must try dishes.


Fish ambul thiyal (sour fish curry)

Surrounded by water on all sides, it was quite obvious that sea food would play a key role in the country's dishes. While there a number of variations when it comes to fish curries, the sour fish curry is probably the most adored of them all. In the majority of cases, the fish used is tuna, which is then cooked with a number of spices like pepper and cinnamon. Dried goraka is made use of in order to obtain the sour flavour. This is a dry dish which means the dish is prepared with little water and set on the cooker until the water evaporates. This enables the mixture of spices to cover every part of the fish. This popular dish is best consumed with rice and is available at most resorts on the island such as the AVANI Kalutara Resort.



A list of must try dishes in Sri Lanka is not complete without a mention of this dish. Kottu looks something like fried rice but rather than rice, the main ingredient is roti. The roti is commonly fried beforehand and when ordered, the chef chops it and mixes it with ingredients such as meat, vegetables and other spices. This preparation creates an iconic clanking noise as the knife hits against the metal; you can hear this over the traffic wherever you are; be it restaurants in Kalutara or a restaurant in Colombo. It is even served in a vegetarian form should you wish for that option.


Kukul mas curry (chicken curry)

This is a dish that is popular in most households in the country. It also comes in a large number of varieties which differ from area to area. Spices such as curry leaves and cinnamon are cooked in oil and more spices such as chilli powder are added later. Coconut milk is then made use of to add to the taste and in certain recipes; tomatoes are made use of too. The meat is slowly cooked for around sixty minutes which helps blend the chicken with the spice mixture. For the best results, have the dish with warm rice or roti.



Sri Lanka has heavy influences from a multitude of cultures which has resulted in a number of unique dishes. Lamprais is one such outcome. With roots in the Dutch Burger community, Lamprais is a meal of rice and other curries that are encased in banana leaves and then steamed. After that process, you are served the meal with the banana leaf. The meat used in the dish is either beef, chicken or pork and in rare cases lamb. It also contains a heavy dose of spices like cardamom and cinnamon. Other curries include vegetables such as eggplant, frikkadels and a spicy shrimp paste. Adhering to Burgher traditions, the meat is cooked with a sweet flavour.