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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 10 Dishes to Try Out on Your Sri Lankan Vacation — Ten Must-Sample Dishes during a Sri Lankan Getaway
Joanna James Joanna James
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10 Dishes to Try Out on Your Sri Lankan Vacation — Ten Must-Sample Dishes during a Sri Lankan Getaway

Revered as a food lover's dream destination, there's much to experience in terms of a culinary treat when vacationing in Sri Lanka. Here are ten irresistible highlights.


Dhal Curry

As a staple in a traditional rice and curry meal, dhal curry is a comfort food that can be consumed with both rice and bread. This rich and creamy curry is the perfect accompaniment dish for a variety of meals. Made using Mysore dhal lentils, the curry is infused with spices and coconut milk to give its thick consistency. Served alongside roti, flatbreads, bread and rice, dhal curry brings together a meal like no other curry.


Jackfruit Curry

Jackfruit is not only a Sri Lankan speciality but a dish that is prepared during special occasions or the season in which the fruit is readily available in the country. Jackfruit is prepared in a variety of ways but the curry holds a special place in the hearts of locals and expats alike, for its sour and spicy flavour and is a firm favourite of vegetarian visitors sampling Sri Lankan cuisine.


Kottu Rotti

Once considered the ultimate street food, Kottu Roti is now served in resort restaurants in The Blue Water Hotel and Spa and countless other beachside hotel eateries Down South. The dish is not only part of authentic Sri Lankan cuisine in Wadduwa but elsewhere across the country as well. Made using shredded Godamba Roti, the rhythmic manner in which Kottu Rotti is shredded is synonymous with memorable dining experiences in Sri Lanka.



As a remnant of the country's colonial heritage, Lamprais is a left over from the country's Dutch occupation period; the delicious rice dish is still prepared the traditional way in many restaurants in Colombo. Wrapped and baked in a banana leaf, the rice meal includes a cutlet, chutney, meat item and a brinjal curry. Some of the best venues to enjoy lamprais in Sri Lanka is to head to the VOC Cafe in Thummula, Colombo or purchase packets from local bakeries.


Coconut Roti and Lunu Miris

"Pol" roti or coconut roti is Sri Lanka's version of chapatti but a more wholesome and filling flatbread variety which is typically consumed as a breakfast dish in the country. The pol roti is served with "Lunu Miris" which is an onion and chilli based chutney which is hot and spicy. The grated coconuts give the roti its milky texture and locals break the flatbread apart and consume it by dip it in curries and sambol as well.



This crispy waffle like pancake is not only one of the best reasons to head down to Sri Lanka for a culinary tour. Widely available street side vendors and local snack shops around the country, the circular pancake comes in two varieties, plain hoppers and egg hoppers and both are equally delectable.



This brown hued dessert is not only a beloved dish among locals but a speciality of the country's Islamic community which prepares the sweet dessert during the Eid ceremonial period each year. Made using coconut cream and condensed milk, the dessert also includes kithul jaggery and nutmeg with cardamom and other spices also lending their aroma and flavour to the dish.


Beetroot Curry

Another favourite of vegetarian diners in Sri Lanka, the beetroot curry is both sweet and spicy and stands out due to its deep red colour. A favourite accompaniment for traditional rice and curry meals, the beetroot is shredded and cooked in coconut milk and spices to create this crunchy local curry.


Short Eats

Sold by roadside food stalls and esteemed bakeries alike, short eats include a plethora of pastries, buns, cakes, pies and rolls which are consumed as snacks by locals. The perfect appetizer or pick-me-up for those on the go, the delectable treats which include fish buns, patties and egg rolls are usually deep fried and served hot.


String Hoppers

Another authentic Sri Lankan breakfast and dinner meal, string hoppers are a rice flour creation which resembles bird nest noodles in both texture and appearance. Eaten with sambol and potato curry, the healthy meal is prepared by steaming the rice flour strings in a special apparatus.