• Julia from Truely Life

10 Foods You Must Try in Sri Lanka

Updated: Aug 18


If there is one word that describes Sri Lanka best, then it is diversity. The island lures travelers with an incredible diversity of things to see, people to meet, and best of all an abundance of incredible dishes to feast on and drinks to sip.  

All foodies out there should add Sri Lanka to their travel bucket list to enjoy the country’s delicious cuisine that combines its island flavours with dishes and techniques imported by the Portuguese, Dutch and British during the colonial times.


Served in many shapes and sizes, hoppers are an indispensable part of people’s diet in Sri Lanka and primarily consist of rice flour. One way to eat them is in the form of a bowl-shaped pancake made from rice flour and coconut milk. You can also order them with a fried egg in the middle.


Sambal & Papadum (v)



Served in many shapes and sizes, hoppers are an indispensable part of people’s diet in Sri Lanka and primarily consist of rice flour. One way to eat them is in the form of a bowl-shaped pancake made from rice flour and coconut milk. You can also order them with a fried egg in the middle.


Hoppers or Appam (v)


Served in many shapes and sizes, hoppers are an indispensable part of people’s diets in Sri Lanka and primarily consist of rice flour. One way to eat them is in the form of a bowl-shaped pancake made from rice flour and coconut milk. You can also order them with a fried egg in the middle.


Hoppers are also often served as flat circles made up of steamed rice noodles. Relatively plain in taste they provide the perfect balance to a bowl of spicy curry, creamy Dahl, or Coconut/ Chili Sambal.


Dhal Curry (v)



This simple yet tasty lentil-based dish is not only a great source of plant-based protein and fiber, but it is also an excellent source of Vitamin B, magnesium, iron, potassium, and zinc. Mixed with coconut milk, chilis, tomato, onion, turmeric, garlic, curry leaves, and other spices, Dahl goes well with rice, roti (flatbread), or hoppers. It is mildly spiced and a great dish for all vegans and vegetarians.


Seafood



Unsurprisingly, seafood is very popular on this teardrop-shaped island. The variety of dishes seems endless. We love a good prawn dish. 


Another very popular seafood dish is Fish Ambul Thiyal, (sour fish curry). The fish is cut into pieces and blended with a variety of spices including black pepper, turmeric, garlic, pandan leaves cinnamon and curry leaves. It is then slowly cooked with water until most of the liquid disappears. 


Chicken Curry


Chicken curry is another popular dish in Sri Lanka. Just like the Fish Curry, there are many different versions being cooked across the country. Every family likes to put their own twist on this dish.


To prepare chicken curry, the chicken is mixed with many different spices including cinnamon sticks, turmeric, fennel seeds, cardamom, chili and curry powder, tomato puree, pandan leaves, lemongrass, curry leaves and coconut milk, which gives it the creamy texture.


Sri Lankan Crab Curry


Sri Lankan Crab Curry is world-famous. One bite and all seafood lovers among you will know why. Made best with Sri Lankan Mud Crab and a long list of ingredients including, coconut milk, many different spices, some curry leaves, and fresh lime juice, it is a delicious dish that is best shared with a group of friends and family. Order some roti and hoppers at the side for the sauce and your culinary experience will be ‘truely’ amazing.


Kottu (v)


Kottu is a very popular dish. Loved by Sri Lankans and travelers alike, it is served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner across the country and is made of chopped roti, egg, a long long list of spices, and fried vegetables. You can also add chopped chicken or lamb to your Kottu to round it up.


Thali Sets


Thali refers to a plate serving a selection of different curries, dahl, vegetable dishes, and roti or rice. We always enjoy a good thali set as you get to try a little bit of everything that the restaurant has to offer.

Lamprais


Lamprais is a complex dish influenced by the Dutch Burgunder Community. It is prepared with flavoured rice, different 3 types of meat such as beef, pork, and lamb or chicken as well as brinjal moju (eggplant), shrimp paste as well as beef frikkadels and cooked eggs. All ingredients are mixed, wrapped into a banana leaf packet, and then steamed.


Veggies, Veggies, Veggies


For a balanced meal, we like to pick some delicious veggie side dishes such as okra stir-fried. Another very popular dish in Sri Lanka is Wambatu Moju made up of deep-fried eggplant pickle. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, the eggplant is joined by red onions, chili, turmeric powder, mustard seeds, and some sugar. This sweet, sour combination makes this dish a must-try for us.


Let’s Talk Tea!


Now, we know that this is no food but when you are traveling around Sri Lanka, we highly recommend drinking a cup of tea or two.


Ceylon Tea is world-famous thanks to its unique flavors. Discover the subtle flavours that make Ceylon Tea so popular around the world.’ If your schedule permits it, you should even consider visiting a tea plantation to observe how the expert tea pluckers select the leaves which are later cleaned and processed to be shipped across the globe.


We are lucky that some Sri Lankans made Kuala Lumpur their home. We are even luckier that among them some decided to open restaurants serving authentic Sri Lankan food. Here are our favorite restaurants in the city:


(1) Aliyaa, No 48 G&M, Jalan Medan Setia 2, Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur


(2) Serendib, G Tower, GTower LG 07 & 08, 199, Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

What are your favorite Sri Lankan dishes? Share your tips with us. We will definitely try all your recommendations.


© 2020 by Truely I Proudly created by Navvin Kumar & Julia Christiaens 

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