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Updated by Joanna James on Apr 23, 2021
Headline for 5 Types of food you should try in Sri Lanka - The hit list for the best food journey
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Types of food you should try in Sri Lanka - The hit list for the best food journey

Sri Lanka is known to be an amazing holiday destination and we all know, no trip is complete without trying the authentic food in that place. If you want to know what you must try when on this island, read on.


Sour fish curry - Fish ambul thiyal

This is something you would definitely expect to find on an island that is located in the Indian Ocean. Seafood is one of the most loved cuisines in the country and this sour fish curry is also the most popular variety of the many fish curries available on the island. This fish is usually large and firm, similar to tuna. They cut this fish into cubes and then make a blend of spices including cinnamon, black pepper, garlic, turmeric, curry leaves, and more. The most important ingredient in this curry is dried goraka which is a local fruit. This is what gives the fish curry the sour flavour in the end. Ambul thiyal is a dry curry dish meaning, most of these ingredients are simmered with a little bit of water and cooked until the liquid evaporates. You must try this gravy in some of the best hotels in Sri Lanka the likes of Araliya Hotels & Resorts.


Kottu roti

No one can visit Sri Lanka and not try kottu. If you do so and fly out without trying you definitely missed a big chunk of the local experience. You will find kottu in every single part of Sri Lanka, whether it be in Colombo or in the most rural parts of Southern or northern Sri Lanka. This is like the American hamburger to Sri Lankan. Every Sri Lankan's go too fast food when they are hungry. It is quite similar to fried rice but this dish is made with a type of roti. Normally the roti is made at the beginning of the day and piled into stacks when you place an order the chef will chop up the roti into small pieces and then fry and blend it up with a selection of ingredients.


Chicken curry

This local chicken curry is a simple recipe and can be homemade when you go back to your own country. This is easy to learn and there are many variations depending on which part of Sri Lanka you are in. The main spices used are cardamom, fennel seeds, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Quite similar to the Indian chicken curry the Sri Lankan one is yummy and has flavours of rich coconut milk to be the base of the curry. Depending on where you are eating, again, there may or may not be tomato included. This curry is best eaten with a bowl of hot rice or even roti.


Dhal curry

Dhal curry is the most common side in all of Sri Lankan food. This is a staple in all households regardless of which day of the week you are going to eat. Using ingredients like tomatoes, onions, green chillies and cumin seeds, dhall is then added with a bit of fresh coconut milk. You can basically eat dhal curry with anything; with roti, rice or even just spoon it up like some soup too.



Sri Lanka has an influence on a variety of cultures especially in its cuisine and one of the most popular such influencers is the Dutch burger community. Lamprais is a combination of two words lump and rice. You will usually find it in a banana leaf packet which is wrapped around meat, rice and some chilli sauce. This packet is then steamed to infuse amazing flavours. You definitely must try this.