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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for Top 6 Foods You Should Try in Sri Lanka – Delights for the Culinary Connoisseur
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 6 Foods You Should Try in Sri Lanka – Delights for the Culinary Connoisseur

The island nation of Sri Lanka is definitely an interesting country to visit. Here you will find a good selection of delicious food that you should undoubtedly sample during your visit.


Fish Ambul Thiyal

This sour fish curry is one of Sri Lanka's favourite dishes. As you might expect in a tropical island, seafood is a favoured choice in the cuisine of Sri Lanka. One of the most popular fish curries is fish ambul thiyal which is a dish that originated in the southern part of Sri Lanka. To make this dish, the fish – typically a sizable and firm variety like tuna – is sliced into cubes, before being sautéed with a mixture of spices, garlic, various leaves and goraka, a fruit that provides a sour taste to the preparation.


Kottu Roti

Your experience of Sri Lankan foods would not be complete without trying out the very popular kottu roti, or just kottu for short. In many parts of Sri Lanka, you will often hear the unmistakable clanking noise of kottu being prepared. Kottu is Sri Lanka's equivalent of the hamburger; almost everyone's choice of fast food for a greasy and tasty indulgence. Kottu is made from fried and chopped godamba roti (the local name for a flat bread), spices, vegetables and meats or fish amongst other ingredients that you can choose.



Dhal curry, called parippu in Sri Lanka may be considered to be one of the island nation's most frequently served and best-loved curries making it an essential staple in households and restaurants alike. The primary ingredient in this curry is dhal, or red lentils, which is boiled till it becomes soft; then it is cooked with onions, coconut milk, green chillies, a mixture of spices and selected curry leaves. Dhal curry is eaten with many kinds of foods and is excellent as a gravy for dipping paratha or roti.


Kukul Mas Curry

This is Sri Lanka's chicken curry, a very popular dish in the local households which is also commonly served in restaurants. However, you will find many different varieties of this curry to cater to the preferences of diners. This dish uses a selection of local spices and condiments as well as coconut milk and other ingredients to give the curry its zesty flavour. The tender chicken is allowed to stew in the mixture of ingredients for about an hour. When it comes to trying some local chicken curry, the Olu Restaurant at Anantara Kalutara Resort is amongst the restaurants in Kalutara you can head to.



This distinctive Sri Lankan dish was created by the Dutch Burghers (settlers from the Netherlands) and is a valuable contribution to the culinary traditions of the country. To make this preparation a portion of rice is ladled on to a banana leaf with a curry of mixed meats, a couple of frikkadels (Dutch beef balls) and shrimp paste as well as a vegetable or starch. This combination is then wrapped into a parcel before being steamed to create this unique dish.


Hoppers and String Hoppers

The well-known hoppers may be described as Sri Lanka's version of pancakes. To make this preparation a batter containing coconut milk, rice flour and a dash of sugar is fried in small quantities in a small griddle. A special favourite is egg hoppers which as you may imagine are cooked with an egg. On the other hand, string hoppers are created from a thicker batter that is squeezed to make thin noodle-like strands, which are then steamed. Hoppers and string hoppers are commonly consumed for breakfast as well as dinner along with a selection of curries.