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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 24, 2019
Headline for Best Dishes in Sri Lanka - Tantalize your Tastebuds
Joanna James Joanna James
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Best Dishes in Sri Lanka - Tantalize your Tastebuds

Sri Lanka is a land of many amazing things and their food is one of them. Try the sweet and spicy flavours of this island haven.


Rice and Curry

Rice is the staple food of all Lankans. There is not a household in the country that will not enjoy a plate of rice and curry as its main meal. A typical rice and curry meal is usually served with plain white or red rice. The rice is usually accompanied with a curry of fish, poultry or meat as well as a minimum of two vegetables – which are in forms of curry or fried. A finely cut salad or 'mallum' as referred to in Sinhala is also part of the meal along with condiments such as chutneys, pickle, and crispy crackers otherwise known as pappadum. If you are in Sri Lanka make sure you enjoy a flavoursome meal of rice and curry – try eating with your hand to enjoy it in typical Sri Lankan style!


Hoppers and Egg Hoppers!

If there's one thing you need to taste before leaving Sri Lanka – that's hoppers! A hopper is a thin pancake with a soft spongy middle and a crispy border made of rice flour and coconut batter. The batter is poured into a small wok and then swirled around to even out and make a thin layer. The plain hopper consists only of batter but the egg hopper is usually with a sunny side up fried egg in the middle. A spicy paste called 'lunu miris' is commonly served with hoppers however; it's consumed with various curries during meal times. Hoppers are usually served for breakfast, dinner or as a snack during tea time. You get these beauties being served at the buffets at Berjaya Hotel Colombo.



Kottu Roti is the ultimate Sri Lankan street food! The most interesting thing about Kottu is the way it is prepared in which all the ingredients are chopped up together with two metal cleavers. Kottu is a distinctive dish that includes a mishmash of everything. A basic Kottu would include a mix of roti (flatbread), meat, eggs or fish, thinly chopped veggies, along with gravy or sauce. Kottu is mainly served in street-side eateries but you also get them in high-end restaurants, hotel bars Colombo and even five-star hotels - so you can take a pick on where you buy it.


String Hoppers

Aptly referred to as string hoppers and noolappam in Tamil which translates the word for string, 'nool' these flour based curled flat spirals are versatile in purpose. As with most carbohydrates string hoppers alone do not contain a strong flavour but a yielding texture that feels soft and stringy in your mouth. Generally, it is served as a main course escorted with succulent meat, fish or vegetables curry usually potatoes or even a lentil such as dhal and a fiery sambol made of coconut or onion.


Curd and Treacle

Even though there are various localized desserts – curd and kithul (palm) treacle is a local favourite. Curd is plain yoghurt made of buffalo milk; it has a thick texture and is tangy in flavour. Palm treacle is poured over the curd and savoured as a dessert after a heavy Sri Lankan meal!