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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 3 Types of Food Dishes to Try Out in Sri Lanka - The Taste of Sri Lanka
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3 Types of Food Dishes to Try Out in Sri Lanka - The Taste of Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan food is characterised by warm spices and mouthwatering flavour. Below is a list of the 3 types of food dishes you must try during your visit to this tropical island.


Fish Ambul Thiyal

This dish translates as sour fish curry and it is an extremely popular dish in Sri Lanka. As Sri Lanka is an island, it is no surprise that some of the country's best dishes centre around seafood. The recipe is said to have originated from the fishing communities in the south of the country, but it is now served all over the island. This dish generally requires a large firm fish such is tuna which is then cut into cubes and sautéed with a heavenly blend of spices and dried goraka which gives the dish its sour taste. The mix is simmered into a dry curry until it coats each piece of fish and is best served with rice. If you are staying at a hotel in Kalutara such as AVANI Kalutara Resort, you can easily source this dish at one of the many restaurants in Kalutara.



Parippu or dhal curry is found on almost every single dining table in the country. Its constant present at meal time is understandable because it is a truly versatile dish and can be eaten with anything. It supplements other curries or can be eaten plain along with some freshly cooked roti or parathas. For this dish, split red lentils are rinsed and boiled until soft before being mixed with sautéed onions, curry leaves and spices. This mixture is then thickened and, arguably, perfected by some fresh coconut milk which gives the parippu a rich flavour and a wonderfully creamy texture. There are many variations of this dish and while this is generally a vegetarian dish, some versions may include garnishing the parippu with bits of bacon. This is an ideal dish for people who cannot handle extremely spicy Sri Lankan dishes.


Gotukola Sambol

Gotukola, which is known in English as Asiatic Pennywort, is a commonly available medicinal herb in Sri Lanka. This dish is called a sambol because the ingredients are combined and are eaten without cooking, somewhat like a salad. Gotukola sambols are often part of Sri Lankan cuisine and is normally served as a side dish to supplement rice and curries. The dish is made by finely shredding or chopping the gotukola and mixing it with onions and freshly grated coconut. The gotukola sambol is finished off with a dash of salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. This is yet another non-spicy dish and is likely to be a hit with vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. In terms of taste, its strong flavour is comparable to kale. Along with the coconut and lime, the gotukola makes for a refreshing dish.

These three dishes are just a few of the wonderful dishes Sri Lankan cuisine has to offer. If this is your first time sampling Sri Lankan cuisine, this is a great place to start!