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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 10 food dishes you must try in Sri Lanka – Mouthwatering goodness from South Asia
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 10 food dishes you must try in Sri Lanka – Mouthwatering goodness from South Asia

Sri Lanka is a beautiful island with a cuisine to die for. Here are 10 must-try dishes you will instantly fall in love with.



'Kiri' means milk and 'bath' means rice. When you put them together, you get milk-rice. This is prepared by cooking the rice in coconut milk. It is then usually paired with a spicy onion and chilli dish called 'lunumiris'. Locals often prepare this dish for breakfast. It is also cooked for special occasions. Kiribath is one of the most popular dishes in Sri Lanka and no visit to the island would be complete without tasting this dish.



Kottu is another extremely popular street food in Sri Lanka. This is a dish prepared by chopping flatbread and vegetables together with chicken curry. You can find many varieties of kottu such as cheese kottu, beef kottu, mutton kottu, and vegetarian kottu. You can find this dish in every corner of the island. For the best kottu head over to the restaurants along Galle road. Even the best hotels in the island have a kottu corner.


Coconut Sambol

Coconut is used for almost every dish in Colombo. So far, the coconut sambol is the best fare you can find. This is finely scraped coconut mixed with chopped onions, chilli, and lime. It is often eaten with bread or rice. Have a glass of iced water with you because this is one spicy dish.


Buffalo curd

This is a sweet and sour dessert sold mainly in the southern part of the country. It is served with coconut treacle or sugar. This is something like Greek Yogurt but only a little sweeter. For the best buffalo curd, travel to the southern part of the island. Hambantota, Thissamaharama and Koggala restaurants serve the freshest curd in the whole island.



This is another street food you find in almost all parts of Sri Lanka. A hopper is shaped like a bowl and has thin and crispy walls with a soft and thick centre. There is another kind of hopper called the egg hopper. This has an egg in its centre. Try this with the onion and chilli dish.


String hoppers

This would look like a maze for anyone who hasn't tried it before. It looks like a tiny noodle cake. String hoppers are made of rice flour. Eat it with coconut sambal, milk curry, and dhal. This is served for dinner and breakfast both.


Rice and curry

Sri Lankans eat rice and curry every day. Rice is steamed or baked and is served with cooked vegetables or meat. The curries are often milky and spicy. The flavour of the curries depends on the location as well. For instance, the curries you find in Colombo are not as spicy as those in Jaffna. The flavour of curries of the southern part of the island is slightly spicier than Colombo. Many southern resorts such as South Lake Resort serve authentic southern cuisine.



Rotti is a kind of flatbread. Most Sri Lankans include grated coconut, onions, green chillies, and a few vegetables. You can ask for plain rotties with just coconut and spread butter and jam. Rotti is mostly eaten with fish curry and lunumiris.



Don't be surprised when the waiter serves a rolled up, yellow crepe after ordering pancakes. In Sri Lanka, pancakes are made using a crepe and coconut and honey filling. This is incredibly yummy, and you won't have enough of this.



This is the Sri Lankan equivalent of nachos. Papadam is usually eaten with rice and it is a favourite among locals. It is a thin sheet of flour deep fried. Once they are served you will see air bubbles through them.