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Five foods you must try in Sri Lanka

| Words by Ashley Diterlizzi |

Pack your appetite

Sri Lanka isn’t known as the Spice Island for nothing! Also known as the pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka has a rich history and culture when it comes to culinary delights. Using fresh and local ingredients, Sri Lankan cuisine is likely to be the highlight of your trip. Here are the five dishes you’ll go hungry without:

milk rice

1. Milk Rice

It wouldn’t be Asia without a delicious rice dish! Milk rice is cooked with a thick and creamy coconut milk. Traditionally the rice is pressed and cut into diamond shaped pieces and served with chili paste. Yum!


2. Kottu

Kottu (also known as roti) is Sri Lanka’s answer to the hamburger – it’s fast, it’s greasy and it’s delicious. It might resemble fried rice but it’s actually made from a type of crispy flat bread. The kottu is fried at the beginning of the day and stacked to serve as ordered.


3. Hoppers

Much like pancakes, hoppers are a flat bread-like dish served both sweet and savoury. The batter is made from a mixture of rice flour, coconut milk, coconut water and a hint of sugar. Most popular among the locals is egg hoppers – an egg cracked into the bowl-shaped pancake.


4. Curry

It wouldn’t be a list on foods in Sri Lanka without a curry! From dhal and chicken to sour fish and jackfruit, curries are a staple in Sri Lankan households. Dhal curry is the most common, made from split red lentils which have been rinsed and boiled until soft. Most curries are thickened with coconut milk which makes them a creamy dish, perfect when enjoyed with a fresh kottu.


5. Gotu kola sambol

Also known as pennywort salad, this is one of the most readily available green vegetable dishes in Sri Lanka. Gotu kola is a medicinal herb in Asia which is shredded and combined with shallots, tomatoes, coconut and chilli. The dish is often enjoyed raw as a salad or side dish with rice and curry.

Treat your tastebuds to the flavours of Sri Lanka and check out our full range of small group tours and private travel itineraries.