One of the best ways to get to really know a new place is through its food. If you happen to be visiting Sri Lanka, we highly recommend that you eat like the locals and sample authentic Sri Lankan dishes. It is sure to make your visit even more delightful and memorable.
Sri Lankan cuisine is a sensory delight with an explosion of wonderful spices that the country is famous for and the distinct rich flavours of each dish. There is a lot of fresh produce used in preparing local dishes, from vegetables, fruits to seafood and meat. The dishes, ingredients and style of preparation in Sri Lanka’s food culture, are a unique blend of the many foreign trader influences over the centuries and indigenous ethnic cuisine.
Today we take you on a foodie trip across Sri Lanka to get you up close and familiar with some famous Lankan food that you are sure to encounter on your trip to this beautiful island nation.
A highly popular and widely available street food and the common man’s go-to meal in Sri Lanka, you are sure to come across kottu roti wherever you travel in the country. It is a dish that comes from the Jaffna region with a strong Tamil influence.
Kottu roti is made of shredded pieces of cooked godamba roti which more like a paratha or parota, mixed with chopped onions, tomatoes, scrambled eggs and chopped bits of meat that could be mutton, chicken or beef. The entire mixture is cooked with a whole lot of spices and served hot, making it a filling, quick and super tasty one-dish meal, perfect when you are on the go and hunger strikes. If you don’t eat meat, ask for an egg or vegetarian version that is also available on order.
Fish Ambul Thiyal is a seafood lover’s delight and a must-have in Sri Lanka. This sour fish curry is originally from southern Sri Lanka. It has evolved into one of the signature dishes of Lankan cuisine that is very famous and served with rice at restaurants and eateries throughout the country.
Ambul thiyal is quite unlike most fish curries you would have tasted. Firstly this is a ‘dry’ curry. The predominant spice flavours in this dry preparation are black pepper, cinnamon, garlic, curry leaves and pandan leaves. These are made into a paste to coat the fish pieces. A dried fruit called ‘goraka’ that is similar to our tamarind, lends the sour tang to this curry.
Wambatu moju is a delicious vegetarian side dish made with the long purple-skinned brinjal. Deep fried pieces of brinjal are then stir-fried with green chillies, onions, mustard seeds, vinegar, turmeric, chilli powder and a pinch of sugar till well cooked, caramelised and turn almost black in colour. Wambatu moju or pickled brinjals is commonly served as the perfect accompaniment to add that explosive spicy, sour, salty and slightly sweet kick to a simple home-style meal of steamed rice and yellow dal or a curry.
Mangosteen is a dark purple fruit with translucent pulpy segments within and has absolutely no relation to mangoes. However it is really yumm. You will find this seasonal fruit commonly sold by the roadside in Sri Lanka, between the months of July and September. You should definitely try one, even if only to figure out whether it tastes more like strawberries, grapes or a bit of both.
Sri Lanka may be a tiny droplet-shaped island in the Indian Ocean but it is not to be underestimated in terms of the variety it offers visitors. You can trek up mountain peaks, surf the ocean waves, relax on its beautiful beaches or go wildlife spotting at national parks. All that outdoor activity is sure to help you work up a good appetite.
While planning and budgeting for your trip, don’t forget to buy Travel Insurance for Sri Lanka. It is as important as your passport and getting your visa for Sri Lanka. Travel insurance is useful to protect your finances by covering you in case your luggage gets lost or misplaced, you lose your passport in Sri Lanka or even if your trip ends up getting cancelled. Buying travel insurance to insure your overseas trip is not just necessary, it can actually save you a lot of money and hassle, leaving you free to enjoy and make the most of your holiday.