Food in Sri Lanka That Are The Country's Best Local Delicacies

The food in Sri Lanka is one combined with many different cultures and history. It borrows its palette from its neighbouring countries like India, Bangladesh and Malaysia. Vegetables are a staple food for Sri Lankans due to agriculture being a dominant profession. Rice and curry is a staple meal in Sri Lanka with curries cooked in hot spicy flavours and coconut milk.

Local Food in Sri Lanka

1. Fish Ambul Thiyal

Fish Ambul Thiyal

Fish ambul thiyal is a dry curry dish; it is made by mixing spices and coating the fish with it. It is generally savoured with mixed rice or steamed rice in Sri Lanka. It is one of their staple food of Sri Lanka since it is a coastal country.

2. Kukul Mas Curry

Kukul Mas Curry

Kukul mas curry is an authentic chicken curry that is common among households. The dish has fresh ingredients and tempered spices. Once the ingredients are mixed, they are combined with coconut milk to give it a rich and creamy texture. Generally served with rice, one may genuinely experience its taste with roti or paratha (bread).

3. Lamprais


Lamprais is a combination of meat, rice and sambol chilli sauce which is then wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. Dutch cuisine influenced this dish where the meat blends with sweet spices such as clove or cinnamon.

4. Hoppers or Appam

Hoppers in Sri Lanka

Hoppers or Appam are Sri Lanka's breakfast food as it is eaten for breakfast and at night with a curry. The appam's prep starts from fermented rice flour, coconut milk and a hint of sugar which is then fried out on a small pan evenly. Hoppers can be sweet and savoury, a local delight there is an egg hopper. Another form of this recipe is called the string hopper which is a much thicker form of the batter and is generally strung out from a pasta presser.

5. Polos

Polos Jackfruit curry Sri Lanka

Polos is a green jackfruit curry. The fruit is sliced and boiled until it turns soft. It is made by then adding it to a mixture of onions, ginger, garlic and a few spices. The final step is to add some coconut milk to it. This dish is typical in most restaurants and hotels around Sri Lanka.

6. Wambatu Moju 

Wambatu Moju, Eggplant Pickle, Sri Lanka

Wambatu Moju is nothing but eggplant pickle. It is a side dish eaten with rice and curries. The eggplant is cut and deep-fried, with additional spices, vinegar and coconut milk. The eggplant pickle tastes sweet, sour and spicy all in one.

7. Kiribath

Kiribath Sri Lanka

Kiribath with lunu miris is mixed rice which served on special occasions such as the Sinhalese New Year. Kiribath recipe includes rice, coconut milk and salt. Rice and coconut milk are combined to make it rich and creamy in taste. Kiribath is best with curry, chilli sauce or a sweetened pickle. 

8. Gotu Kola Mallum Sambola 


Gotu Kola Mallum Sambola is a healthy green salad prepared by combining shredded green vegetables, basic spices, coconut pieces and milk, sliced chilli and onion but if you would want meat, you may add Umbalakada fish as it is considered very healthy. This dish is best for lunch with some steamed rice and curry dishes.

9. Parippu

Parippu Sri Lanka
Parippu is also called spicy lentils curry. It is a very flavoursome curry made with red and yellow lentils, onions, spices, coconut milk, curry leaves and garlic. This curry is mostly eaten with steamed rice but tastes best with roti (bread)!

10. Wattapalam

Wattapalam sri lanka coconut pudding

Wattapalam is a delicious coconut pudding which made during special occasions. It is made out of coconut milk, jaggery, eggs, and cashew nuts and flavoured with spices such as cardamom, cloves and nutmeg. Wattapalam is a steamed dessert, so it is a healthy option as well. 

11. Curd and Treacle

Curd and Treacle

Curd and Treacle is famous for its simplicity, freshness and authenticity it leaves behind. Created out of buffalo milk; it is creamy, thick and served in terracotta bowls. Kithul treacle, which is also known as Palm Treacle, is made from the boiled sap of the Kithul palm. It is a healthy and great dessert to beat the heat.

12. Bibbikan

Bibbikan Cake Sri Lanka

Bibbikan is a coconut cake which is dark in colour; it consists of semolina, raisins, jaggery, cashews and shredded coconut. The cake is known for being incredibly moist and soft as it melts in your mouth.

13. Avocado Crazy

Avocado crazy Sri Lanka
Avocado Crazy is also known as avocado pudding. This dessert has cream and lots of sugar-infused into it. It is then frozen, with nuts added on top and in some places they add rum to the pudding as well!

The Best Restaurants In Sri Lanka For Local Delicacies

1. Chutneys

Chutneys Sri Lanka
Chutneys Restaurant in Colombo is an authentic South Indian restaurant. The restaurant caters dishes from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. However, there is a dress code for men as they have to wear long pants.                                                                                                                               
Prices: The meals start from LKR 500 and average up to LKR 4000 for two.
Timings: Lunch: noon–2:30 PM and dinner: Daily 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM

2. The Lagoon

Oysters at the lagoon in sri lanka

The Lagoon is considered to be one of the best places in Colombo for sea food even though it is a bit costly. The restaurant is famous for offering more than 150 types of seafood to its customers. Their speciality dish is the Singaporean chilli crab meat.                                                
Price: It costs approximately LKR 6000 for two.
Timings: The place opens from 12:00 PM to 2.30 pm in the afternoons and from 7 PM to 12.00AM in the night.

3. Bedspace Kitchen  

Bedspace restaurant <a href=Unawatuna" width="700" caption="true">
Bedspace Kitchen in Unawatuna has an open kitchen which operates by serving both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes and changes its menu almost every day. However, burgers, salads, wraps and peri chicken are the specialities here. It offers a large variety of cuisines. The restaurant also offers such as special nights on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday which have special menus. 
Price: The price ranges from LKR 2000 to LKR 5000 average for two people.
Timing: Monday to Sunday, 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM

4. Ministry of Crab

Ministry of Crab Sri Lanka
Ministry of Crab in Colombo is the place to be if you are a crab lover as the ministry of crab is the best place to try out different types of crab meat. The restaurant is also famously co-owned by legendary cricketers Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.  The Singapore style crab meat in chilli-sauce, clay pot prawn curry and fish cooked in creamy butter sauce are some of the must-try dishes here.                                                      
Price for two: Approximately LKR 6000
Timing: lunch is from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM and dinner are from 6:00 PM to 10:30 PM. 

Sri Lanka is one of the best places for people from across the world to come experience a cuisine that is so unique that it is a mixture of multiple cuisines from its neighbours and it really is an unforgettable experience.

This post was published by Subhash Movva

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