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Exploring Food Culture Of Sri Lanka



If you are planning a trip to Sri Lanka with your family or just a couple trip with your better half, Sri Lanka will amaze you with the variety it offers visitors. This small droplet-shaped island nation in the Indian Ocean abounds in natural beauty and wildlife. You will have loads of outdoor activities to choose from – be it a wildlife safari in Yala National Park to visiting tea plantations in Central Province, trekking to the famous Adams Peak, surfing the ocean waves or taking a stroll along one of the many beaches.  

All that activity is sure to help you work up a good appetite. Time to check out the food scene in Sri Lanka!  

Sri Lankan cuisine is a sensory delight with an explosion of wonderful aromas and delicate flavours. There is a lot of fresh produce used in preparing local dishes, from seafood to fruits and vegetables. If you are visiting the country, you should make it a point to sample an authentic Sri Lankan meal.

Here are some of the dishes that we believe are definitely worth a try when you are in Sri Lanka.

Ambul Thiyal

For all you seafood lovers, Ambul Thiyal is a must have in Sri Lanka. Ambul Thiyal is a sour fish curry that is very unlike most fish curries you would have tasted. The predominant spice flavours in this dry preparation are black pepper, cinnamon, garlic, curry leave and pandan leaves. These are made into a paste and used to coat the fish pieces. The sourness comes from a fruit called ‘goraka’ similar to tamarind.


Mangosteen is a dark purple fruit with translucent pulpy segments within and absolutely no relation to mangoes. It’s delicious though. You will find this seasonal fruit commonly sold by the roadside in Sri Lanka, between the months of July and September. Try one and figure out if it tastes more like strawberries, grapes or a bit of both!

Batu Moju

Batu Moju is a delicious spicy, sour, and slightly sweet vegetarian side dish made with brinjal. Deep fried pieces of brinjal are stir fried with green chillies, onions, mustard seeds, vinegar, turmeric, chilli powder, and a pinch of sugar till well cooked and almost black. Think of Batu Moju as pickled brinjals, which you can best enjoy for lunch along with plain steamed rice.  


To satisfy your sweet cravings, dig in into the delightful Lavariya. Lavariya is a sweet version of string hoppers – thin strings of steamed rice flour. A mixture of grated coconut with kithul syrup (a honey-like natural plant-based sweetener), flavoured with cardamom is prepared and filled into string hoppers and rolled to form this delicious dessert. 

You can also get hold of a Sri Lanka Travel Guide for tips on the best places to try some authentic Sri Lankan food or to know where the local prefer to eat. It must be tempting to start planning your trip to Sri Lanka right away. Just make sure that before you travel you have all your important travel documents in place such as your passport, Visa for Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka Travel Insurance. Travelling abroad without travel insurance is a big risk so ensure you buy international travel insurance as it is extremely useful in protecting you from any loss or mishap such as trip cancellation, baggage loss or medical emergency that may occur during your overseas travel.

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