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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for 5 Foods You Should Try When in Sri Lanka – Delectable Dishes for the Food Lover
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Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Foods You Should Try When in Sri Lanka – Delectable Dishes for the Food Lover

The island nation of Sri Lanka boasts a distinctive cuisine and amongst the dishes, you should try would be chicken curry, kottu roti, sour fish curry, dhal curry and lamprais. Since the country is now reopened for tourists, you can visit once more and enjoy such flavour-filled delights.

1

Chicken curry

Known locally as kukul mas curry, chicken curry is a very popular dish consumed by many in Sri Lanka. Numerous variations of this dish may be enjoyed conforming to local preferences in the different regions of the island. To make this dish, spices such as cardamom, fennel seeds, cinnamon and cloves are tempered in heated oil; this is then added to the chicken along with curry powder, chilli powder, pandan leaves, turmeric, curry leaves and lemongrass. Coconut milk is added to the curry and the mixture is stewed until the chicken has absorbed the flavours of the different spices.

2

Kottu roti

Kottu roti, often referred to as simply kottu is Sri Lanka's preferred fast food. At many markets and other venues in the island nation, you will hear the distinctive clanking sounds of kottu being prepared. The main ingredient is godamba roti, a flatbread commonly found in Sri Lanka. To make the kottu, the pre-cooked roti is chopped and fried with several ingredients such as egg, vegetables and meats. You will find that the prepared kottu is tasty and flavourful with a unique texture. It is typically served along with a spicy sauce or curry gravy which may be poured over the kottu.

3

Sour fish curry

Since Sri Lanka is a tropical island, it is not surprising that seafood is commonly featured in the local cuisine. Amongst the most popular of the local fish dishes would be the sour fish curry or fish ambul thiyal. To make this dish, the fish – typically a large firm variety like tuna – is cubed, after which it is sautéed with a combination of spices; these would include cinnamon, black pepper, garlic, turmeric, curry leaves and pandan leaves. However, probably the most vital ingredient would be dried goraka, which happens to be a special fruit that provides the dish's distinctive sour taste. An accommodation choice to consider that also offers restaurants in Kalutara that serve up such Sri Lankan food would be Avani Kalutara Resort, a 'Safe and Secure' Level 1 property.

4

Dhal curry

Your experience of Sri Lankan foods would not be complete without trying the well-known dhal ('parippu') curry. In fact, dhal curry would probably be the most commonly consumed curry of all in Sri Lanka, very popular in local households as well as restaurants. When preparing this curry, masoor dhal (red split lentils) is first boiled till it becomes soft. Separately, ingredients like onions and green chillies are cooked with spices such as turmeric, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and fenugreek; all these ingredients are then combined, with coconut milk being added to create the special flavour and texture.

5

Lamprais

This unique dish is a creation of Sri Lanka's community of Dutch Burghers, the descendants of settlers from the Netherlands. To prepare lamprais, a portion of rice as well as a curry of mixed meat, two Dutch-style frikkadels (beef balls), a vegetable or starch and shrimp paste is placed onto a banana leaf. This package is then folded up and steamed, creating an inimitable and delicious dish.