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Updated by Joanna James on May 27, 2020
Headline for 05 Must-try Dishes in Kalpitiya, Sri Lanka – Yummy Culinary Discoveries!
Joanna James Joanna James
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05 Must-try Dishes in Kalpitiya, Sri Lanka – Yummy Culinary Discoveries!

Located along the island's North Western coast, Kalpitiya is a popular destination for dolphin watching and kitesurfing in Sri Lanka. However, those heading here have many foodie adventures to look forward to as well!


Rice & Curry

This is a staple throughout Sri Lanka and is not to be missed in Kalpitiya. Traditionally, the rice and curries are made in clay pots on firewood stoves; this provides a distinctive flavour as well. While you get both red and white rice, curries can include dhal / lentil, various vegetables and meats such as chicken, beef and not forgetting seafood (more on that coming up!). Some Kalpitiya hotels give you a chance to visit nearby night markets with a chef to choose veggies and have them freshly prepared to a manner of your liking; consider choosing a vegetable curry!


Devilled Dishes

When it comes to dining in Sri Lanka including at Kalpitiya restaurants, one may come across dishes which are labelled as "devilled"; this was originally a Chinese dish but now, has been adapted to suit the local palate. It features a choice of meats including seafood that have been stir-fried with ingredients like onions, fresh chillies, tomatoes, capsicum and sauce that is both sweet and sour. From meats like chicken, pork or beef to seafood the likes of prawns, cuttlefish or fish, devilled dishes make for a spicy treat that's not to be missed.


Seafood Specialities

Due to its coastal location, Kalpitiya is an ideal place in which to savour scintillating seafood dishes in Sri Lanka. As mentioned above, seafood-based curries and devilled dishes are amongst the options worth trying. But wait, there's more! Kalpitiya is one of the best spots to try crab dishes too especially crabs from the close by Puttalam Lagoon which can be enjoyed at places like Dolphin Beach Resort. Spicy crab and prawn curries are delectable indeed, while grilled yellowfin tuna is another dish worth trying. Grilled and BBQ dishes featuring various fresh fish, lobster and prawns are amongst the other foodie favourites.


Karawala Dishes

Keeping to the seafood theme is karawala, the name given to fish that is dried in the sun and well salted. Popular amongst many homes in the country as well as at local eateries, the fish has quite a strong salty taste due to the preservation methods. Made in the form of a curry or even devilled with chillies and other ingredients, karawala makes a great accompaniment to your meal.


Ambul Thiyal

Last but by no means least is the local dish called ambul thiyal; this fish dish features blackened tuna that has been made using specific spices and condiments. One of the key ingredients for this dish is what is called "goraka" which is also known as Indian tamarind or brindleberry. The dish originated in the south coast as a means in which to preserve fish; it subsequently became popular throughout the island and its sour, peppery and spicy flavour combination is much loved.

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