The Best Dishes of Sri Lanka To Explore it's Local Cuisine

The Sri Lankan cuisine is vibrant, delicious and packed with flavours that will soothe your taste buds. The country famous for its ancient temples and cultural milieu, the food served by them offers similar influences of the ancestors with some additions by the invaders of the past such as the Dutch and the Portuguese. Moreover, the preservation of these dishes in Sri Lanka and their impact on the visitors represents the Sri Lankan ethnicity along with delivering some fantastic meals!

The following are some favourite dishes in Sri Lanka:

1) Sri Lankan Curries

Curry, food in Sri Lanka

One of the most famous dishes in Sri Lanka, curry occupies the heart and soul of the nation. The Sri Lankan curry comes in varied ranges with amazing flavours to deliver some spice and sourness to your palette. Usually, the curry is made by simmering all the spices and proteins along with water. Curry is generally paired with rice and fish and is the topmost delicacy in the Sri Lankan cuisine. Some of the famous curries include Chilli fish curry, Devilled sweet and sour curry, fish and rice curry, Sri Lankan Dhal curry (parippu) etc.

Some fine restaurants to devour curry in:
1) The Gallery Cafe
Address: 2 Alfred House Rd, Colombo 00300, Sri Lanka
Timings: 10:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Contact: +94 11 2582162 / 2556563  

2) The Curry Leaf
Address: 2, Sir Chittampalam Gardiner Mawatha, Lotus Rd, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Timings: 7:00 PM to 11:00 PMContact: 00 94112492492

2) Kottu (Sri Lankan Hamburger)

Kottu, food in Sri Lanka

Kottu also is known as Kottu Roti is another speciality of the Sri Lankan cuisine. The dish typically is made up of rotis (bread) and is flavourful. The Kottu is prepared with the roti being fried and kept stacked up, and the chef will then again fry and begin chopping up the roti and flourishing the dish with various ingredients casually chosen by the one ordering the meal. The recipe is loved by all, as it serves several flavours packed within a single serving!

Some fine restaurants to devour Kottu in:
1) Kottu & Co.
Address: 123, 127 Vinayalankara Mawatha, Colombo 01000, Sri Lanka
Contact: +94 77 754 0048

2) Mr Kottu
Address: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte 10100, Sri Lanka
Timings: 11:00 AM – 11:30 PM
Contact: +94 112 877 947

3) Kiribath

Kiribath, food in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan cuisine is influenced by the South Indian cuisine of the Indian subcontinent, and thus it is no surprise that fish and rice are at the top of the list amidst the dishes in Sri Lanka. Kiribath is yet another special rice dish which is cooked along with coconut milk (thick). Kiribath is prepared with the typical procedure of cooking rice and further adding coconut milk and a pinch of salt. The resulting dish is a creamy and rich rice dish which explodes flavours in one's mouth!

4) Wambatu Moju (Brinjal/Eggplant pickle)

Restaurant to find the dish Wambatu Moju

Wambatu Moju is a basic eggplant pickle which usually acts as a side dish in Sri Lanka. However, the flavours that it adds to the recipe are lip-smacking! The eggplant is cut into small wedges and deep-fried. The crispy eggplant wedge is caramelized with green chillies, mustard seeds, chilli powder, a spoonful of sugar, red onions, and vinegar. This pickle will ultimately burst into flavours as it steps into your mouth!

Usually served with rice and curry, one can find Wambatu Moju in Restaurants like:

Restaurants you can find Wambatu Moju in:
Upali’s by Nawaloka
Address: 65 Dr C.W.W Kannangara Mawatha, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka.
Timings: 11:30 AM - 10:30 PM
Contact: +94 112 695 812               
             +94 710 888 666

5) Lamprais

Lamprais, food in Sri Lanka

Meat, rice, and sambal chilli sauce, these ingredients make up this dish and represent the Sri Lankan touch. These ingredients are packed in a banana leaf and steamed. The separately cooked rice along with the meat stock and finally the meat curry are served on the Banana leaf, providing a unique taste of flavours including the steamy stroke of the banana leaf.

Restaurants you can find Lamprais in:
1) VOC Cafe

Address: Dutch Burgher Union, Thunmulla, Sri Lanka.
Timings: 11:00 AM - 10:30 PM
Contact: +94 112 584 511

6) Parippu

Parippu curry, food in Sri Lanka

Parippu is another unique dish in Sri Lanka. A curry cooked with red lentils. The other essentials are curry leaves, spices, garlic, onions, and cooked within hot oil until the curry turns bright yellow. The curry tastes best with rice and Wambatu Moju. A great and simple dish to serve one’s stomach!

Restaurants you can find Parippu in:
Upali’s by Nawaloka
Address: 65 Dr C.W.W Kannangara Mawatha, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka.
Timings: 11:30 AM - 10:30 PM
Contact: +94 112 695 812               
             +94 710 888 666

7) Gotukola Sambol (Pennywort Salad)

Pennywort sald, food in Sri Lanka

Vegetarian heaven is an appropriate description of the dish. Gotukola is a green leafy vegetable found in the Southeast Asian region. The Gotukola is sliced and mixed with grated coconut, shallots, tomatoes, onions and finally garnished with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Sambol is a term used to describe a dish eaten with raw materials. A Vegetable mash, this dish will make your stomach smile.

8) Hoppers

Hoppers, food in Sri Lanka

Hoppers, also known as 'appa’ or 'appam'. This dish in Sri Lanka is usually made with a fermented batter. The recipe is processed in two ways, either steamed or pan-fried. The dough is made with rice flour and coconut milk with spices. The dish is equivalent to that of the fresh pancakes. The hoppers can either be sweet or savoury, and one of the local favourites is the egg hoppers. Egg hoppers with lemon juice, a 'sambol' of onions, and chillies & salt complete the dish. The egg hoppers are also known as ‘egg in the hole’. Overall, hoppers are a wholesome meal to fill your appetite and heart.

Restaurants you can find Hoppers in:
Palmyrah Restaurant
Address: 328 A2, Colombo 00300, Sri Lanka
Timings: 6:30 AM -10:00 AM, 12:00 PM- 2:30 PM, 7:00 PM -10:30 PM
Contact: +94 112 573 598

9) Pittu

Pittu, food in Sri Lanka

Pittu are funnel cakes with a Sri Lankan touch. The cakes made traditionally by steaming them in bamboo; however, sometimes circular metal tubes are used. The speciality of the loaves is the combination of shredded coconut and flour, which helps the texture of the cake. The steaming process furthers the taste and finally served with coconut milk (sweetened), which makes a fantastic dish altogether!

Restaurants you can find Pittu in:
Palmyrah Restaurant
Address: 328 A2, Colombo 00300, Sri Lanka
Timings: 6:30 AM -10:00 AM, 12:00 PM- 2:30 PM, 7:00 PM -10:30 PM
Contact: +94 112 573 598

10) Wood Apple

Wood Apple, food in Sri Lanka

Wood Apple is another beautiful and sweet dish available on the streets of Sri Lanka. Wood Apple has a hard shell and an almost pungent smell. The inside of a Wood Apple has a dark paste similar to fermented raisins. Wood Apple is usually combined with jaggery and water, giving it a sweet-sour taste which will be quiet unique to your palette. This exciting dish has grabbed a lot of hearts and is a must-try when in Sri Lanka! The Wood Apple dish is a famous street food of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan dishes are delicious and close to the heart. The seafood, curry, and the rice garnished with aromatic spices will leave you in awe of the food! Thus, along with the cultural influence and the pleasant tropical climate, Sri Lanka is also known for its brilliant and vibrant dishes!

This post was published by Ummema

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