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Updated by Joanna James on Nov 22, 2019
Headline for 9 Amazing Dishes in Sri Lanka- Gastronomic wonders of Ceylon
Joanna James Joanna James
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9 Amazing Dishes in Sri Lanka- Gastronomic wonders of Ceylon

This little island boasts a magnitude of spices and flavours that will leave you wanting for more. Here are some dishes that will take you on a gastronomic escapade.


Kottu Roti

Take a walk around any city or suburbs and you are bound to hear the rhythmic clash of metal. Follow the sound and you will be led into a small shop filled with aromas of the spices that are being mixed in a hot wok. It is made of chopped up roti, a flat crispy bread mixed with vegetables and your choice of protein. Some even add cheese to it making it creamier and delicious. It is a popular food among all range of people and is the go-to meal after a Friday night rave. These kottu roti shops are open way late in the night and early hours of dawn.


Hot butter cuttlefish

Also known as the HBC, is a crowd favourite dish of all Sri Lankans and tourists. Sri Lanka being an island is well known for its seafood dishes. A trip to the beautiful eastern coast like Pasikuda, restaurants and resorts are found in abundance. Head over to sunbathe and take a dip in the ocean and once you are ravenous, you'll note that The Calm Resort & Spa Pasikuda is only a short distance away.


Pol Sambol

This is a relish made out of the coconut, a common ingredient in pretty much all local cuisine.pol sambol is a simple combination of freshly grated coconut, spices, lime juice and red onions. They are either ground or diced just enough for the coconut milk to be released and blended with the spices. It is a little spicy and has just the right amount of zing that will leave you wanting for more. It can be accompanied by various main dishes as it is versatile- bread, string hoppers, roti and even rice!


Kiribath and lunumiris

Kiribath is essentially milk rice (rice cooked with, yes, you guessed it right, coconut milk!). It is considered a special dish as it makes an appearance during special occasions and celebrations. However, it can be made at any time. The consistency of the rice is quite thick enough to cut into slices. It is most commonly served with lunumiris, a very spicy relish made of onions, chilli powder and a splash of lime,
Kiribath can also be served with chicken or fish curry as well, another local favourite combination.



It is a known fact that Sri Lanka has been under the influence of many diverse cultures. However, the most apparent one is Dutch. Lamprais originates from the Dutch Burger community. It is a rice packet combined with meat, ghee rice, frikkadels, fried and boiled egg and pickled eggplant, all wrapped in a banana leaf and baked to ensure the fusion of flavours. Vegetarian options are available as well.


Dhal Curry

Locally referred to as parippu, is a lentil curry that is one of the staples of a generic Sri Lankan lunch. It can be enjoyed with rice, bread or string hoppers. A typical Lankan breakfast would include roast bread, hot parippu curry and pol sambol. Let the bread pieces soak up the curry goodness and combine it with pol sambol for an explosion of flavours.


Ambul Thiyal ( Sour fish curry)

This is one of the best seafood dishes in the island. The fish used to make this is usually a firm one, like tuna, which is chopped into cubes and sautéed with a special blend of spices including goraka which is the ingredient responsible for that distinct sour taste. This is a dry dish and is one of the ways to best preserve fish dishes.



This is the Lankan take on pancakes. The batter, which is made from fermented rice flour and coconut milk, is poured onto a rounded small wok which gives its unique dish shape. It can be had plain or with thick sweetened coconut milk centre or egg. It is served with either pol sambol or lunumiris mainly but can be had with any curries of your preference as well. Some fusion restaurants have interesting takes on the dish where it is combined with strawberries, whipped cream or even treacle, an absolute delight!


Batu Moju

This is a type of pickled eggplant made as either a dry or wet dish. Thin slices of eggplant are fried until golden and crispy and mixed with vinegar, a dash of sugar, chilli powder and onions until the mixture turns almost black. A bite of it will introduce you to a unique combination of sweet, sour and spicy. It is best eaten with rice along with other curries.

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