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Updated by Joanna James on Aug 24, 2021
Headline for 5 foods you should try in Sri Lanka – an adventure for your taste buds
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 foods you should try in Sri Lanka – an adventure for your taste buds

Sri Lanka is celebrated around the world as a home of amazing cuisine. Whether you find yourself in a quaint village miles away from Colombo or amidst the hustle and bustle of the busy city, good food will only be minutes away. Here are some dishes that you must try.


Kottu Roti

The famous kottu roti is a dish that has been tried, tested and loved by people from around the world. There are a number of both street shops and fine dining restaurants that serve an incredible variety of kottu roti. It is a stir fry made of cut "roti" bread, vegetables and your choice of meat and can be made to match any level of spice. Witnessing the making of kottu roti is an experience in itself. A walk along any busy street in the country is sure to get you an encounter with a kottu roti shop where you can enjoy a freshly made, warm dish.


Rice and Curry

Second to none, rice and curry is the most beloved traditional meal in any Sri Lankan home. Hotels and restaurants along the west coast offer a variety of rice and curry menus for both vegetarians and meat lovers. It is bright, colourful, nutritious and is full of flavour. All restaurants in Wattala, big or small, would have this on their menu. The type of curries served with this dish depends on which part of Sri Lanka you're enjoying it at, the vegetables that are in season and the chef involved.


String Hoppers

Closely associated with rice noodles, this local favourite can be eaten as a humble meal with a single curry or enhanced to a restaurant quality dish. A hearty plate of string hoppers, lentil curry and coconut sambol at Pegasus Reef in the morning will set you up for a fabulous day. Unlike normal rice noodles, string hoppers are made by piping out the noodles in a disk like shape onto flat steaming plates. The craft of making string hoppers has been passed down through the generations.



Very different from string hoppers, hoppers are a local version of a pancake with a crispy outer layer and a thick and soft middle. It is enjoyed most frequently across the country with a bit of "lunu miris" which is a local onion and chilli sauce. However, a tasty curry also goes wonderfully with it. This is also offered with a fried egg in the middle as "Egg Hoppers" which is always a crowd pleaser. Modern restaurants also make different versions of the generic hopper by adding various toppings such as cheese.



This dish that has been inspired by the Dutch Burger community is a feast to say the least. It consists of spiced steamed rice served with meat, cutlets, an ash plantain or brinjal (egg plant) curry all wrapped in a fragrant banana leaf. Other additional elements also accompany the dish depending on where you get it from. This is the kind of dish that you must have on a Sunday afternoon and devour fully.

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