Rice & curry
Samosas and other snacks
Sri lankan snacks in the train
Sri Lankan curry
Sri Lankan cuisine is tasty and deliciously spicy. If you want to eat in local places, you need to like chili cause the food is generally very spicy, even more than in India. But if this is not the case, don’t worry, there are also many dishes without chili and most tourist restaurants adapt their dishes for tourists. We even had to ask for more chili sometimes Many Sri Lankan dishes are with chicken and there is always a vegetarian option.
Sri Lankan dishes to tastE
THE traditional dish is the famous Rice & Curry, which consists, as its name indicates, of rice with various dishes of vegetables and meat. This is very different from Indian curry, it is not a dish of meat in a lot of sauce, but about 5-8 dishes, usually including a dish of Dhal Curry (lentil curry), pumpkin Curry, Bean Curry, potatoes, a Papadum (crispy fried lentils flour pancakes) or a spicy chutney called Sambal. Generally, to cook all these dishes, it takes a long time, so in some restaurants you must order 2 hours in advance.
Another typical dish that you will find really everywhere in Sri Lanka, whether on the street or in restaurants, is Roti. It is a paste, not spicy, that you can feed with something. There are also a specialty with Roti cut into small pieces, meat and vegetables called the Kottu Roti, it is delicious! A must!
A dish influenced by China but adapted to the Sri Lankan sauce that we highly recommend you : the Devilled ! There are different kinds of Devilled depending on the meat or fish you prefer : Devilled prawns, cuttlefish Devilled, Devilled chicken… These dishes are cooked with a spicy sauce in the Chinese style. Delicious!
Finally, do not miss the many street snacks if you like spicy food. They also sell them in the trains. You will find various kinds of delicious Samosas! In Colombo, peddlers along the beach also offer an interesting specialty: Isso Vadai, a kind of flour lens chips with 3 or 4 whole fried shrimps (with head)… An experience : – )
For breakfast, the Sri Lankans eat Hoppers, a thin layer of crunchy dough usually accompanied by a mix of onions and spices.
For dessert, the specialty is the Curd & Honey, a buffalo milk yogurt with honey couli. This is divine ! Do not miss the tasty mango pieces sometimes found on the street.
How to eat to the Sri Lankan way?
Eat the Sri Lankan way means using your right hand! The technique involves taking food at your fingertips and push it into your mouth with your thumb. But do not worry, cutlery is provided everywhere if you prefer not to use your hands
Where to find local and cheap food in Sri Lanka?
We strongly recommend you to try the small local “restaurants” which are also very cheap ! These local places are sometimes called “Hotels” which can be confusing. You can get a meal for one or two euros! Honestly, it may perhaps seem less clean than tourist restaurants but we never had any problems and it is 100 % authentic! In most tourist restaurants, guesthouses and hotels, prices are much higher, around 10 € for a meal. In addition, the dishes are then adapted for tourists (european style and less spicy).
What to drink in Sri Lanka?
To drink, you’ll not escape from the local beer, Lion Lager. An alternative is the Three Coins, another local beer. Other local alcohol to try : the Arrack .
Take bottled water rather than tap, it’s safer. Personally, we hated sodas and juice in bottles and cans… full of coloring agents. Prefer fresh juices ! Do not hesitate to try a fresh coconut sold on the street, its juice is delicious. You will surely be surprised by the color of the coconut , which is orange or green !