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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for Top Mouth-watering Dishes in Sri Lanka – Many Treats for Your Taste Buds!
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top Mouth-watering Dishes in Sri Lanka – Many Treats for Your Taste Buds!

Sri Lanka is a dream destination for foodies with an eclectic array of dishes on offer be it spicy, sweet, savoury or sour! This guide provides insights into some of the must-try dishes on the island, each with a unique flavour.


Kottu Roti

Starting things off is kottu roti, one of the most beloved dishes when it comes to street food in Sri Lanka. Generally eaten at nights, this usually spicy dish is made with godamba roti, a kind of flatbread that has been sliced and stir-fried with several other ingredients including veggies, spices and various meats. When it comes to meat versions, chicken, beef or mutton are amongst the popular choices while and vegetarian versions with egg or vegetables alone are available too. Tip; for a heavenly combo, look to get kottu roti dishes that have cheese added in!



Sri Lankans love their curries which are the perfect accompaniment to rice. The great thing is, there is a huge range of curry dishes and it is not just limited to meats but vegetables too. The curries are usually made with spices such as turmeric, chilli powder, cloves, curry leaves, curry powder, pandan leaves and lemongrass. Coconut milk is also used to make a thick gravy which is perfect for eating with rice, bread or roti. Chicken, beef and fish curry dishes are perennial favourites, while dhal (lentil), pumpkin, potato, beans, beetroot and brinjal (eggplant) curries are popular too.


Seafood Dishes

For seafood, it's hard to highlight just one dish since there is such a diverse variety! Apart from making use of the bounties of the ocean, Sri Lanka also has lagoons and freshwater lakes with fish, too. Be it at eateries down south in Galle to restaurants in Wattala at hotels the likes of Pegasus Reef, seafood is a popular choice including fish and crab curries. Of course, you get dishes featuring prawns, cuttlefish and lobster too. Apart from curries, such seafood is served grilled as well as in a "devilled" form which is a tempered and super spicy version that is both sweet and sour.



Shaped like a bowl, hoppers is another foodie delight to try while enjoying the cuisine of Sri Lanka. This rice flour-based dish also has coconut milk as part of its key ingredients; the batter is fried in a bowl-shaped wok and the result is a distinctive culinary creation. The base of hoppers is soft and fluffy like a pancake while the edges that make up the sides of its bowl shape are light and crispy. One variation is called egg hoppers and features a fried egg in the middle.


Curd & Treacle

Made from buffalo milk, curd ("kiri") is a well-known dessert dish in Sri Lanka which is typically eaten with a sweet palm treacle ("kithul pani"). The curd generally has a slightly sour taste to it and features a smooth and light texture. It is best eaten fresh since the longer it is kept, the sourer it tends to become. Traditionally, this dish is sold in a large clay pot though you get mini versions too. Generally, the southern part of the island is popular for this dish, though it is now available around the country.