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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 4 Top Food Dishes you must Try in Sri Lanka – Culinary Delights in the Pearl of the Indian Ocean
Joanna James Joanna James
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4 Top Food Dishes you must Try in Sri Lanka – Culinary Delights in the Pearl of the Indian Ocean

Sri Lankan cuisine is well known for its inclusion of spice and the rich flavour and texture it delivers. Read on as we narrow down the list to the top few dishes.


Rice & Curry

A quintessential dish in this island nation, this dish is high in nutritional value as well as flavour. If you wish to indulge in the most authentic of Sri Lankan dishes, a plate of rice and curry is the path to go. Sometimes as cheap as $1.5, you can find it anywhere, be it a roadside store or restaurants in Kalutara and other areas. As with the majority of Sri Lankan dishes, expect to find a healthy amount of spice such as cinnamon, chilli and saffron. The vegetables and curries used vary but dhal, pumpkins and eggplants are some of the few curries you will be served. The meat used in a plate of rice and curry vary too. Most of the time the restaurant will offer it in three varieties; vegetable, chicken and fish.



A Sri Lankan form of pancakes, these are not only much thinner than your average pancakes but are also crispy on the ends. Made of rice flour and coconut milk, it is made using a small wok after which the hoppers take the shape of the wok. This dish is then consumed with coconut sambol (more on this at our next point) or chili paste. A tastier variation of hoppers is the egg hopper. The egg hopper follows the same technique and recipe but it has a fried egg in the middle of it. One can easily find this dish, not only at roadside stalls but also hotels such as AVANI Kalutara Resort.


Coconut Sambol

While this is technically not a dish, sambol is a delicious side dish that deserves a mention. The main ingredient is finely grated coconuts while onion, chilli and salt are added to give the heavenly flavour to the dish. This versatile condiment can be used with a multitude of dishes. You can see it served with rice, bread or roti to name a few. It is a staple addition to rice and curry.



A traditional dish that is simply adored by the locals in the country, you can hear the preparation of this dish from miles away! Roti is the main ingredient and it is chopped into pieces and mixed with numerous vegetables, spice, meat and oil. The roti is cut on a cooking plate with two blades which cause a raucous clanking that is easily audible. Walk down any street in Colombo after sunset and you can hear the clanking. Kottu is quickly made too, which adds to the popularity. Basically put, kottu is the equivalent of a burger in the US. A popular variation of the dish is where cheese is added to the mix. If you are dropping by to Sri Lanka, Kottu totally deserves a try. The blend of spices and the unorthodox cooking manner is bound to be an experience you won't forget.