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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 7 best food items to try around Colombo - Test your taste buds!
Joanna James Joanna James
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7 best food items to try around Colombo - Test your taste buds!

Sri Lanka is popular for its cuisine and fresh fruits and vegetables that the island cultivates. Along with its traditional rice and curries, there are plenty of incredible dishes you shouldn't miss out on.


Fish ambul thiyal (sour fish curry)

Being a paradise island in the Indian ocean, you can for sure expect the island to introduce you to some deliciously unique sea food, and the local fish ambul thiyal is the most beloved out of the many varieties of fish curries available. The fish, usual tuna, is chopped into small portions and sautéed with a mixture of local spices, the most prominent being the goraka, a local fruit, that gives the curry its characteristic sour flavour. All the ingredients are simmered in low fire, to coat each cube with a blend of spices that will leave your mouth watering for more!


Kottu (also, kottu roti)

In the streets of Sri Lanka, one may hear a distinctly familiar clanking of metal on metal, this ought to let you be aware that Kottu is not far away from you! Kottu is a popular street food that resembles fried rice, except that there is not rice in it. Instead of rice, Kottu is made of fried flat dried crispy roti that is chopped into smaller pieces along with a range of ingredients that you can choose from.


Kukul mas curry (chicken curry)

A common household favourite in Sri Lanka is the chicken curry which varies with region according to their preference. Generally, the curry is made with a blend of spices like fennel seeds, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon sticks, ginger and garlic, that is fried in hot oil, the aroma is just fantastic. The chicken is then added to the simmering spices, along with coconut milk, making the gravy just right, to be cooked and severed. You can check out the Colombo airport restaurants the likes of The Tamarind Hotel which is only 5 kilometres away from the international terminal.


Parippu (dhal curry)

Another common curry is the dhal curry, that is a staple and is served in many restaurants. Masoor dhal is cooked with quite a few ingredients and sautéed and a splash of coconut milk is added at the end to give the curry the rich flavour. Try it as a dip with freshly baked bread or roti!.



Sri Lanka has influences from a number of countries, contributing to a diverse range of food. The Lamprais is a type of food that was introduced by the Dutch Burgher community. Lamprais is a perfect marriage between rice and meat tied with the right amount of sambol chilli sauce that is packed in a banana leaf and steamed. Yum!


Hoppers (Appa or appam)

The Sri Lankan substitute for pancakes would be the Hoppers that can either be sweet or savoury depending on what you prefer. But the most popular one out of them all is the egg hoppers. Hoppers being a local favourite, you need to try them all! The sweet, savoury and the egg!


Polos (green jackfruit curry)

The Jackfruit in Sri Lanka is consumed in all stages of its ripening. When fully ripened, it is a favourite fruit, that when opened exposes fresh yellow succulent flesh that is sweet and delicious. The young green jackfruit, on the other hand, is consumed as Polos, a Sri Lanka curry. The young unripened fruit is chopped into chunks and boiled with spices. Lastly, a dash of coconut milk is added bringing it to the right temperament for a great dish.

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