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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for 6 Foods You Should Try in Sri Lanka – Tantalising Treats for the Food Lover
Joanna James Joanna James
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6 Foods You Should Try in Sri Lanka – Tantalising Treats for the Food Lover

If you visit the charming nation of Sri Lanka, you will have the opportunity to enjoy some delicious dishes, such as sour fish curry (fish ambul thiyal), kottu roti, chicken curry, lamprais and so on.


Sour fish curry (fish ambul thiyal)

As Sri Lanka happens to be a tropical island, it will not be surprising that seafood features prominently in the nation's cuisine. Of the various fish curries enjoyed here, a special place goes to fish ambul thiyal or sour fish curry. To make this dish, the fish – typically a large firm one, like tuna – will be diced into cubes, and then cooked with a combination of spices and condiments; a vital ingredient would be dried goraka, which happens to be a small sour fruit.


Kottu roti

Kottu roti, or simply kottu is a very popular street food in Sri Lanka that will also appeal to foreign visitors. The main ingredient in kottu would be godamba roti, which happens to be a crispy flatbread. After a serving of kottu is ordered, the chef will chop and fry the pre-cooked pieces of roti with spices, vegetables, eggs, meats and possibly other ingredients according to the instructions of the customer. The result will be a tasty dish with irresistible flavours.


Chicken curry (kukul mas curry)

The much-loved Sri Lankan chicken curry which comes in numerous variations is frequently prepared in local households and restaurants. To make this dish, spices such as cardamom, fennel seeds, cinnamon and cloves are cooked in oil, after which they are added to the chicken and allowed to stew along with coconut milk and another selection of spices; curry powder, chilli powder, lemongrass, pandan leaves, curry leaves and turmeric. An accommodation choice to consider that also features Kalutara restaurants where you could enjoy Sri Lankan foods would be Turyaa Kalutara.



Lamprais happens to be a distinctive dish that was invented by Sri Lanka's Dutch Burgher community. To prepare lamprais, a portion of rice is first placed on a banana leaf, after which a curry of mixed meat, a couple of frikkadels (Dutch-style beef balls), shrimp paste (known as blachan) and a vegetable or starch (typically brinjals / eggplant or ash plantain) are added. The whole package is then folded up and steamed which offers a heavenly flavour and aroma.


Green jackfruit curry (polos)

You will find that jackfruit is a popular food item in Sri Lanka, consumed at various levels of ripeness. Polos happens to be a dish made with green young jackfruit. To prepare this dish, the jackfruit is first diced into pieces and boiled till tender. Then it is cooked along with garlic, onions, ginger and a selection of spices including mustard seeds, chilli powder, turmeric, pandan leaves, roasted curry powder and sprigs of curry leaves. Finally, coconut milk is added and the dish is allowed to simmer.


Coconut relish (pol sambol)

There is no doubt that coconut is a vital ingredient in Sri Lankan cuisine and there will be no finer example of this than pol sambol or coconut relish. To make this dish, grated coconut is mixed with chilli powder or whole dried chillies, red onions, salt, lime juice and if available, Maldive fish. All that needs to be done will be to dice and grind the ingredients, and then combine them in a bowl. Pol sambol is typically enjoyed as a side dish or garnish with any main meal.