Top dishes you must try in Sri Lanka

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Top dishes you must try in Sri Lanka

If it is an all round kitesurfing and cultural adventure you are looking for,  Sri Lanka offers amazing kitesurfing spots in Kalpitiya and a country full of amazing cultural activities. Or if you are looking for the best way to end-off your kitesurfing holiday to the Maldives why not explore the stunning country of Sri Lanka with its incredible culture and cuisine.  Take a look at the top Sri Lankan dishes here to entice your taste-buds!

A trip to the island of Sri Lanka is an opportunity to feast on its rich, melting-pot cuisine, which is influenced by its geography. Making liberal use of local fruit, such as coconut and jackfruit, seafood and an arsenal of spices, Sri Lankan cooking delivers an abundance of incredible dishes.

Throughout years of colonization and influence from other countries, Sri Lanka has adapted its food culture into a blend of different curry concoctions and tasty dishes. A few things about Sri Lankan food can be said with certainty: Sri Lankans thoroughly love spices, they love food that explodes with flavor, and many enjoy deep fried and very tasty snacks. Whatever you choose to eat in Sri Lanka, your mouth is going to rejoice with happiness.

1. Sour Fish Curry

Most famously known on the island as “Fish Ambul Thiyal” is one of the most beloved varieties of the many different fish curries. Ambul thiyal is a dry curry dish, meaning all the ingredients are simmered with a small amount of water and cooked until the liquid reduces. This allows the spice mixture to coat each cube of fish.

2. Lamprais

Sri Lanka has been influenced by a diversity of cultures and one of the most evident is the Dutch Burgher community. Lamprais, a word that combines the two Dutch words for “lump” and “rice,” is a combination of meat, rice and sambal chili sauce, wrapped into a banana leaf packet and steamed. The rice is cooked with meat stock that has been infused with cardamom, clove and cinnamon.

3. Green Jackfruit Curry

Popularly known as “Polos” on the island, this is a Sri Lankan curry prepared with young green jackfruit. The fruit is sliced into bite-sized chunks and boiled until soft. It is then cooked with onions, garlic, ginger and spices like mustard seeds, turmeric, chili powder, roasted curry powder, pandan leaves and curry leaf sprigs. The final step is to add coconut milk and simmer to reduce most of the liquid, leaving all the beautiful flavors within the cubes of jackfruit.

4. Eggplant / Brinjal pickle

Also known as Wambatu Moju by the locals, this extremely flavorful candied eggplant (brinjals) pickle is served mostly with rice and curries. The eggplant is cut into bite-sized wedges and deep fried, giving the eggplant a crispy texture with a soft inside.

5. Pennywort Salad

One of the most readily available green vegetable dishes in Sri Lanka which is also called gotu kola sambal. Gotu kola is a medicinal herb in Asia. It is shredded into slivers then combined with shallots, tomatoes, fresh grated coconut and chili and then seasoned with a dressing of salt, pepper and lemon juice.

6. Milk Rice with Lunu Miris

This is somewhat similar to an italian risotto where it’s cooked with thick coconut milk and often served during special or auspicious occasions such as Sinhalese New Year. Kiribath can be eaten along with a number of different Sri Lankan dishes, often either sweetened with jaggery or consumed salty with chili sauce or curry. One of the most common ways to garnish kiribath is with lunu miris, a sambal chili sauce made from red chilies, onions, lemon juice, salt and sometimes dry Maldive fish.

7. Kottu

Over the traffic and noise at a Sri Lankan market you will likely hear the clanking of metal on metal and know kottu
isn’t far away. Kottu is Sri Lanka’s hamburger and everybody’s favorite go-to fast food when craving something tasty and greasy. It resembles fried rice except instead of rice it is made with a type of roti known as godamba roti (a flat, crispy bread). With the addition of cheese kottu, which is an artery-slathering invention, the hype of the kottu burger has been revived.

8. Wood apple

It wouldn’t be a Sri Lankan “must-have” food list without wood apple. The wood apple is a Southeast Asian fruit about the size of a de-husked coconut. It also has a hard shell and a pungent almost blue cheese aroma. Walking through a market in Sri Lanka your nose will detect it long before your eyes do. Inside the shell is a dark brown paste that resembles something between tamarind pulp and fermented raisins.

9. Coconut and Honey Pancake

These thinly cooked pancakes are made of just flour and water and filled with caramelized coconut and honey. They are then rolled and eaten in less than 3 bites. Some people will eat them for breakfast, as snacks or for dessert. Locally known as Pani Pol the traditional Sri Lankan recipe uses a palm treacle base but some insist that golden syrup is a great substitute and that the alarmingly large quantity of the syrup is still required.

10. Saravita and coconuts

Coconut is king in Colombo, from the bright-green balls fresh from the countryside piled up by the side of the road to saravita found on the promenade. Saravita is a street dessert that is a luminous-coloured, shredded coconut wrapped up in a betel leaf like a child’s treat. One can find many saravita sellers near Galle Face Green with trays of the snacks hanging from their necks like old school sweet sellers in the cinema.

Also, don’t miss out on some of the local Sri Lankan drinks. Among the local favourites are the King Coconut, Elephant Ginger Beer, Toddy, Lion Beer and Arrack which is made from fermented sap of coconut flowers, sugarcane, grain or fruit.

Are your taste buds ready for the adventure they deserve? Contact one of our travel experts who will tailor make the perfect Maldives and Sri Lanka combination holiday to suit your needs.