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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 28, 2019
Headline for List of best Sri Lankan Dishes You Must Try – How to get a taste of Sri Lanka
Joanna James Joanna James
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List of best Sri Lankan Dishes You Must Try – How to get a taste of Sri Lanka

The culinary scene of Sri Lanka is full of flavourful dishes that are cooked using various spices and ingredients. Here are some of the best dishes to try out while visiting Sri Lanka.


Rice and curry

Rice is one of Sri Lanka's staple food that can be consumed for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can find Rice and curry where ever you go across the island. A dish of rice and curry would typically include a meat option like chicken, fish or beef accompanied by 3 vegetables.


Dhal Curry

Lentil curry or parippu as referred to the locals is another staple Sri Lankan dishes that can act as a side dish for a large number of main dishes like rice, bread, string hoppers and rotti. It is cooked in various styles based on the size of the lentil seeds used. The spicy dhal curry that can be found at eateries across the country that is cooked with coconut milk is one of the most popular renditions of this dish..


Fried Rice

This is a popular choice of food that is most commonly consumed for either lunch or dinner. Cooked rice is flash fried along with chopped up vegetables, pepper powder, salt and pepper to create this dish. It is accompanied with a vegetable chop suey and a spicy chilli paste.


Kottu Roti

Made using chopped up Roti mixed with vegetables, spices, egg and a meat option and most commonly referred to as Kottu, this dish is one of Sri Lanka's most popular choices when it comes to fast food. It can be found at some of the top hotels in Colombo in the league of Residence by Uga Escapes also and at small eateries across the whole island. The ingredients and the level of spiciness depending on where you try the dish. While the recipe used to cook this dish is pretty much the same where ever it's cooked, the measurements of the ingredients and the level of spiciness depending on the chef who cooks the dish. Some of the restaurants even mix in fresh milk and cheese to create a thick and gooey rendition of this dish called "Chicken Cheese Kottu".


Coconut roti

Commonly known as roti, this dish is made using flour, salt and coconut shavings. It is a dish that is commonly consumed for either breakfast or dinner. When consumed for breakfast this delicacy can be accompanied by a sweet side dish such as honey or jam. When consumed for dinner it can be accompanied by spicy chilli sambal, butter or meat curry.



Also known as sweet rice, Kiribath is rice cooked using milk instead of water. This dish is cooked for special occasions like weddings, the Sinhala and Tamil New year and for birthdays but can be found at eateries across the country during breakfast. It is accompanied by a side dish of curry and a spicy onion and chilli dish called katta sambal to add flavour.


Pol sambol

Similar to Dhal Curry, Pol sambol or chilli coconut sambal is a side dish that is served with a variety of main dishes. Pol Sambol, Dhal curry and bread is a popular choice of breakfast that can be found at many small eateries across the country. This spicy side dish can also be consumed for all 3 meals of the day to add extra spice to the main dish.

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