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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for Best Dishes You Should Try in Sri Lanka - A Flavourful Adventure
Joanna James Joanna James
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Best Dishes You Should Try in Sri Lanka - A Flavourful Adventure

If ever there were a country with so much diversity in nature, culture, cuisine and history it would only exist in a fairytale. The flavours are inspired by the local lifestyles and vary greatly.


The Irresistible Side Dish – Pol Sambol

Anyone who has had coconut sambol or pol sambol in Sri Lanka will be highly taken up by how versatile and flavourful the dish is. It is eaten with rice, string hoppers, different types of flatbreads, roast crusted bread and even boiled yams. Chillie flakes, onions, at times tomatoes and occasionally Maldives fish flakes are pounded together and added in to scraped coconut. A fresh lime is squeezed into the sambol just before it is served. This side dish makes meals more exciting for the locals who believe in the great nutritional contents courtesy of the coconut. While many would think that this local food item can only be found in corner shops, one should not be surprised to see it at the buffet of Amaya Resorts and Spas since it is a staple side.


The All-Time Favourite – Koththu Roti

You know that koththu roti is on the cards when you are a mile away thanks to the giveaway noise created by the koththu roti chefs. Though many know and confirm that this meal can be made noiselessly, the locals seem to have more faith in the taste of the ones that come from the places where the chef slams his utensils hard on the hot plate to chop the roti. At Sri Lanka resorts a delicious version of the koththu roti is made and served straight from the kitchen where the chopped godamba roti is mixed well with vegetables and meat. A dash of oil, some chilli and local spices and a dab of curry go into making the koththu mouth-watering.


The Finger Food Known as Short Eats

There is almost no other place on earth that has mastered short eats as the Sri Lankans. From breadcrumbed and deep-fried rolls to baked patties and buttery puff pastries, these food items are eaten throughout the day. Kids love getting short eats for breakfast and during tea time, adults who are on the go substitute short eats for rice during lunch and parties are never complete without at least some cutlets. Vegetables, fish, chicken and cheese and onion are the most popular fillings that go into these short eats and there isn't a single town where these cannot be found.


From the Clay Pot – Polos and Ambarella

Sri Lankans are serious about their rice intake; some people even have it thrice a day. Among the hundreds of curries that they choose to have, polos or tender jak cooked in a clay pot deserves special mentioning. It acts as a substitute for meat and is a wholesome and filling curry that can keep you energized an entire day.



Ambarella is a tropical fruit but is delicious when cooked before completely ripening in a thick, brown gravy. It achieves its best taste when cooked in a clay pot and steel pots are not used to cook ambarella as it has a natural tangy twist to it.