What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about Sri Lankan food? Let me guess, Kottu? Pol Roti? Rice & Curry? What other food have you tried out during your stay here in this beautiful Island? Let us guide you through a few dishes that you definitely shouldn’t miss during your vacation?
First, let’s take a look at history and how the food culture has progressed through the years. The biggest influence has been from none other than the neighbouring Indians. Other than India, there is a touch of Portuguese, British and due Dutch Colonization. However, there is a unique touch which is influenced by the Sri Lankan culture, which makes it different from other Asian cuisines.
Back in the day, Sri Lanka used as a hub by the Portuguese who introduces all sorts of spices in return to our Tea which they sent back to the southern hemisphere. Ceylon Tea still considered as one of the finest tea in the world, and tea business plays a big role in country’s economy.
Let’s now take a look at some unique and definite tryouts in the Sri Lankan Cuisine.
Rice & Curry
The most consumed and the most famous dish in Sri Lanka. You could say it’s the staple food on the Island. Rice takes center stage in almost all the meals that the locals take. But that is not the reason why you should try out this. The uniqueness comes from the curries and the from which those curries are made from. Sri Lankan’s use a heavy blend of spices, and it gives a very special heart-warming taste to the curries.
Most commonly used spices are Cinnamon, Pepper, Turmeric, Cardamom, Clove, Citronella, Nutmeg, Curry Leaves, Lemon Grass, Maldives Fish, Pandan Leaves and Goraka. Many home cooks would have their recipes and ways of blending these spices, but we can assure that each one of them will give you a different flavour. A flavour which will filled with colour, aroma and richness.
There are a few main side dishes that you should try out. Polos Mallum, Pol Sambol, Jaffna Crab Curry, Malu Abul Thiyal. Jaffna Crab Curry is quite popular amongst the tourist. You don’t have to go all the way up north to try out, if you go to any authentic Sri Lankan restaurant, they will serve you.
“Nelum Kole Bath” is also something you should try out. It is Rice & Curry served in huge leaf.
Probably the most used junk food in Sri Lanka. Filled with starch, oil and more oil, Kottu is probably the most famous food amongst the young crowd in the Island. Its basically Roti, mixed with vegetables, meat. You get various types of Kottu right around the country but, the most famous one is the Cheese kottu.
Pol Roti with Lunu Miris
“Pol” means Coconut in Sinhalese, is one of main ingredients in the Sri Lankan Cuisine. Coconut is used in various forms. Pol Roti is made from fresh shredded coconut mixed with flour. Pol roti is very popular amongst the tourist who specially travel towards the central areas of the countries. You could find a lot of small joints where you can get home made hot-hot Pol Roti served with Lunu Miris.
Lunu Miris is a combination of chilies, onions, salt, lime and few bits of maldive fish which adds more flavor. All these are ground into a chunky paste using Sri Lanka’s very own Mortar and Pestle. If you can’t handle chilies, you might as well have bottle of water while having this.
Another must-try junk food. Easy to find, easy to bite, crunchy, and it has prawns. What more do you want in a quick bite in the evening while you watch the sunset by the beach? “Isso” means prawns in Sinhala and “Wadai” is a south Indian delicacy which served as an appetizer. It is a mixture of Indian and Sri Lankan culture.
Sri Lankan Pittu is a combination of flour, Shredded fresh coconut and a hand full of desiccated coconut served with coconut milk. You can see why how dependent the locals are on coconuts. It’s a heavy meal, and you can also add Lunu Miris to the blend. Also, a good spicy curry would go well with Pittu.
Another food that made using coconut milk. it made with Rice Flour mixed with coconut milk. It is a highly consumed right around the country. It also can be served with an egg on it, and it goes well with the Lunu Miris.