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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for 8 Foods you should try in Sri Lanka - Culinary delights in Sri Lanka
Joanna James Joanna James
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8 Foods you should try in Sri Lanka - Culinary delights in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a beautiful little island that is popular for its golden sandy beaches and the mountains spread far and wide, but another thing the island is famous for is its delightful local cuisine.



Kiribath which is known as 'milk rice' is the national dish of Sri Lanka and it can be seen on many occasions where celebrations are involved. Rice is kept to boil in a pan and then coconut milk is added to it and then served warm on a plate.


Pol Roti

Pol roti is one of the most common street foods in Sri Lanka and it is generally eaten with lunu miris which is a spicy onion dish that has Maldive fish, lemon, salt, and spices – all combined in one. Pol Rotti can be made with wheat flour as well as rice flour and mixed with freshly scraped coconut.



Aappa which is known as hoppers is a common street food now due to the fast-paced life that is taking up the lifestyles of the Sri Lankans. This is a food item that is made with ground rice flour and coconut milk which is then put onto a boiling hot pan. Another variation of this is egg hoppers where they break an egg to the centre of the hopper while it is being cooked in the pan.


Indi Aappa

Indi Aappa which is also known as String Hoppers is also a common food item around the island. String Hoppers need a curry that has a lot of gravy and generally it is paired with ala hodi which is a potato curry or parippu which is dhal prepared with plenty of coconut milk.


Rice and Curry

Rice and curry is the most common food on the island and you can find this at every single restaurant which includes even the street side shops and luxury hotels such as Anantara Kalutara Resort. Red rice or white rice is served with about four to five different curries which may or may not include meat, fish, egg. dhal, mallum (green leaf mix), potatoes, and a variety of other vegetables that can be found prepared in so many different ways.



Kottu is the most popular Sri Lankan street food and is undoubtedly loved by locals and tourists alike. It is cut-up pieces of roti that is infused with a plethora of vegetables and some kind of meat (chicken/fish/beef or pork). Since this has become a popular food this can now be found in the menu of a Sri Lanka luxury resort that you might visit.


Fish Ambul Thiyal

Ambul Thiyal is a specific preparation that is used in Sri Lanka and this is made into a black curry that is slow-cooked for many hours on the stove. Traditionally this dish is cooked in firewood, outside the house as it needs to be cooked for about 6-7 hours in order to be able to achieve the flavours.


Wambatu Moju

Wambatu Moju is made with aubergines and it is a delightful dish that you can enjoy with rice, pittu, or even string hoppers. Apart from aubergines, you will also find tomatoes, onions, Maldive fish, and a variety of spices that go into the dish before it is fried in coconut oil.