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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 12 Foods you should try in Sri Lanka – Hungry or not, you must try this lot!
Joanna James Joanna James
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12 Foods you should try in Sri Lanka – Hungry or not, you must try this lot!

Apart from the natural beauty of the country, Sri Lanka is famous for its delicious local cuisine. Here are some of the foods you must try out.


Kiribath with lunumiris (Milk rice with spicy onion sambol)

This is a special kind of rice cooked with coconut milk and a little bit of salt in it. Kiribath is prepared to celebrate every auspicious moment. Lunumiris is prepared with chopped onion, maldive fish, a generous amount of chilli powder, and a little bit of salt and lime.


Fish ambul thiyal (sour fish curry)

Seafood is a specialty of tropical Asian countries, but you cannot find this dry curry fish with a slight refreshing sour taste anywhere but in Sri Lanka, especially in down south areas. The fish is cooked on low heat with a mix of local spices including pepper, salt, goraka, garlic, turmeric, and curry leaves. If you are staying in the southern part of the country, search through Weligama hotel accommodations where this dish can be prepared such as in Weligama Bay Marriott Resort & Spa.


Pol sambol (coconut sambol)

This is a side dish prepared with scraped coconut, chilli powder, chopped onion, maldive fish, salt, and lime. All the ingredients are mixed together by grinding on a grinding stone or with a small kitchen mortar and pestle.


Polos ambul thiyal (young jack fruit curry)

Polos or young jackfruit is a highly regarded dish on the local lunch table. The curry is prepared similarly to the fish ambul thiyal and even tastes like soft meat when cooked properly. A lot of spices are included, but the secret is cooking slowly on low heat.


Wambatu Moju (pickled eggplant)

The pickled eggplant or brinjal is prepared by deep-frying thinly sliced eggplant until crispy and tempering with vinegar, sugar, green chilli, and onion. It is served with rice as a side dish and has a rich flavour that is unique.


Aappa (hoppers)

Hoppers are a famous street food in Sri Lanka, prepared by pouring a spoonful of batter made of slightly fermented rice flour and coconut water or coconut milk mix on a small round pan and frying until the edges are crispy. There are different varieties like egg hoppers, plain hoppers, and sweet hoppers.


Idi appa (string hoppers)

A famous breakfast or light dinner choice in Sri Lanka, the string hoppers are made from squeezing a rice flour or wheat flour dough on to hopper mats and steaming it until soft. This is served with pol sambol and a curry with enough gravy in it like dhal curry or fish curry.


Parippu (dhal curry)

The parippu or dhal curry is a must in all the buffet tables in Sri Lanka, whether it is in a house or a restaurant. This is a thick curry prepared with enough coconut milk.



Lamprais is a pack of rice and few curries wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed together. This is a variant of Burgher food in Sri Lankan cuisine.



Kottu is an all-time favourite street food specialty in Sri Lanka. This is made by chopping together small pieces of godhamba roti with chicken or egg and a mix of vegetables.



A strong smelling and sweet tasting South Asian fruit, the wood apple is nice to eat straight with a spoon or to make a refreshing smoothie or thick juice.



This is a special Sri Lankan sweet made with rice flour and honey and deep-fried in coconut oil. It is usually common in the Sinhala Hindu New Year season that falls in April but can be also found in supermarkets all the times of the year.

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