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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 10 foods to try in Sri Lanka – A country bursting at the seams with flavour
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 10 foods to try in Sri Lanka – A country bursting at the seams with flavour

Sri Lanka offers a wide variety of foods which are rich in flavour and will delight your taste buds. Here are 10 of the best dishes you should try out while visiting Sri Lanka.


Rice & curry

Rice is the cornerstone of Sri Lankan food that is eaten for all three meals by some its residents. You have the option of choosing from a wide variety of meat or vegetable curries such as pumpkin, potato, jackfruit, eggplant, chicken, pork and fish to accompany your rice. Rice and curry can be ordered at almost all the restaurant located at any part of the country but nothing beats the taste of a home cooked meal of rice and curry which tastes even better with the signature hospitality that Sri Lankans are known for.


String Hoppers

String hoppers are essentially a rice flour-based dish that is pressed into a noodle shape and steamed. It is often consumed for breakfast and dinner. String hoppers are accompanied with a choice of dhal, fish, chicken or egg curries with coconut sambal.


Coconut sambal

This is a popular side dish which can be eaten with either rice, bread, string hoppers or roti. The dish is made from freshly grated coconut that is mixed with chilli powder, salt, lime juice and fresh chillies.


BBQ Seafood

This delicacy can be found at most of the cities located in the coastal regions and less frequently as you head into the country. The food selection includes barbequed prawns, crabs, lobsters served with a side dish of vegetable salad or potato chips.


Coconut Roti

Coconut roti is very similar to "Chapathi" that are popular among Indian eateries. This circularly shaped food item is made using flour, coconut, salt and often with thinly sliced bits of chilli and onion. Coconut roti is often served with "Katta sambal", a spicy sambal made up of chilli, onion and lime and a variety of curries such as fish, chicken or dhal curry.


Buffalo Curd

Buffalo curd is a popular dessert option which is very much similar to yoghurt. What makes it different is the fact that it is made from buffalo milk. The curd tastes best with honey or "kithul" treacle.


Chicken/Vegetable/Beef/Egg Roti

The shape of this food item varies depending on what's inside. The shell of the dish is made up of a flour-based dough roti that is heated on a hot pan with the filling added on top while the roti is being cooked. While the egg roti which is square in shape will only contain the egg added on top, Chicken and beef roti, which in most cases are rectangular in shape, will have hot vegetables added in with them. If you're vegetarian don't fret, you can also order the triangular vegetable roti.


Kottu roti

Kottu roti is one of Sri Lanka's most popular fast food options which are most often consumed for dinner but can also be eaten for breakfast and lunch. This dish is made up the same flour-based dough used to make vegetable roti cut into small chunks using 2 blunt blades and then mixed with chopped up vegetables, vegetable oil, eggs and a choice of chicken, beef or fish. This dish can be found at your street corner diners and at most of the hotel restaurants in Colombo the likes of to the restaurant at Mandarina Colombo.


Devilled dishes

Originally invented in China these dishes have become very popular amongst the Sri Lankans. This dish is made using fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, bell pepper and a meat of your choices, such as chicken, calamari, fish, beef or pork. They make vegetarian options too using mushroom which tastes as good the meat options!


Honey Pancake

The Sri Lankan pancakes are made up flour, caramelised coconut with a jam filling. This sweet dish is served for breakfast and sometimes dessert.

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