Tasty Cuisine of Sri Lanka

Must-Try Sri Lankan Food and Fruits During Your Trip

Two things I loved about the island country Sri Lanka, one is the friendly locals, and another is the tasty food. During my seven days solo trip to Sri Lanka, I enjoyed trying different Sri Lankan cuisines. Here are the top 6 Sri Lankan food list and some tropical fruits to taste for all food and fruit lovers around. If you’re a lover of spicy food, then you should not miss eating those for the first time in Sri Lanka.

I love trying local food. I found Sri Lankans love spicy food and tropical fruits and this is also my top choice. My favorite tasty food in Sri Lanka is Kiribath with Lunumiris or Katta Sambal. And nothing to say more about King Coconut Water and a cup of Ceylon Tea in the Land of Wonder, Sri Lanka. You might find Sri Lankan Cooking is a useful read to know all about Sri Lankan food.

Top 6 Sri Lankan Food To Taste [Spicy]

Is Sri Lankan food healthy? Yes, healthy and also tasty though bit spicy. Three most used and common ingredients of Sri Lankan cuisine are rice, coconut, and various spices (the common one is red chili). You’ll find the similarity of Sri Lankan food with Keralan food in South India. However, check out the top 6 delicious food in Sri Lanka to eat for first-time.

Traditional Red Rice with Fish/Meat & Veg Curry

How about a typical lunch in Sri Lanka with the staple food? There are many varieties of Sri Lankan rice dishes. Yes, rice and a mix of any fish or meat curry along with vegetables is the national food of Sri Lanka. Steamed or boiled rice (white/brown/red) served with fish or any meat (chicken/beef/mutton) curry and different vegetables, pulses, spicy sambal or tomato chutney. 

I had my first Sri Lankan rice dish from Indian Dosai Restaurant on Peradeniya Road in Kandy and also at De Silva Food Center in Nuwara Eliya. Both are Tamil restaurants. In Kandy, and Nuwara Eliya there are many Tamil restaurants.

Sri Lankan Staple Food Rice with CurryRice with Mixed Curry [Tamil Style]

In Tamil restaurant, you’ll find the touch of Indian food taste with local flavor, and any dessert will also provide you with the main dish.

But the most authentic, spicy, and local taste you’ll get from any Sinhalese restaurant. And for that, I tried at Walawa Inn on Tissamaharama Road. I loved both food styles and as well as taste.

Sri Lankan Food to Taste BudsRice with Sour Fish & Mixed Curry [Sinhalese Style]

However, in less than $1 you can have a good lunch with delicious Sri Lankan food from any budget restaurant in Sri Lanka.

Kiribath with Lunumiris

Kiribath or Milk Rice is one of the famous and popular cuisines of Sri Lanka. This delicious and tasty Sri Lankan breakfast prepared with rice (white/brown) and coconut milk. It can be eaten either as a spicy dish with Lunumiris or sweet Sri Lankan dish with banana and jaggery.

I truly loved the taste of this sticky Milk Rice with Lunumiris at Fujisan Restaurant in Latheena Resort, Mirissa. It was nice to see how they served this food like diamond-shaped slices of cake. And I took every slice. It was too yummiest!

Kiribath is also the leading Sri Lankan food which must be eaten to celebrate the first day of Sinhalese New Year.

Kiribath with LunumirisSri Lankan Breakfast: Kiribath with Lunumiris

Undoubtedly the food of Sri Lanka is yummy for the additional use of spicy Sambol or Sambal (kind of chili sauce) in almost every dish. I’ve also loved the not so spicy taste of Sambal while trying many rice dishes in Bali.

Lunumiris or Katta Sambal is the paste of red chiles, salt/sea salt, lemon juice, onions, and dry Maldive fish. And Pol Sambal is nothing but a coconut sauce where instead of chili, the paste of grated coconut used as the common ingredient.

Hoppers with Katta Sambal

I can say a pile of Hoppers (Appa/ Appam) are another popular must try Sri Lankan cuisine for dinner. Hoppers are also known as Sri Lankan Pancake.

There are many varieties of Hoppers like Egg Hoppers, String Hoppers, Milk Hoppers or just Savory Hoppers. Coconut milk or water and spices mixed with rice flour to prepare Hoppers. The taste can be sweet or spicy.

Hoppers for dinner in Sri LankaHoppers

Savory Hoppers and Egg Hoppers was the first Sri Lankan food I liked to try at Jinadasa Thala Guli Restaurant on Kandy Road. It was too tasty with Katta Sambal or Lunumiris.

But my favorite is Egg Hoppers where you will find one poached egg in the top of each Hopper. String Hoppers served for breakfast.

Hoppers with Katta SambalSri Lankan Dinner: Hoppers with Katta Sambal

If you’re at this restaurant then must try Thala Guli, one of the favorite Sri Lankan sweets which made with grated coconut, jaggery, and sesame.

Pol Roti with Lunumiris

Pol Roti is nothing but a Coconut Bread and worth to try for breakfast with Lunumiris. My another favorite Sri Lankan breakfast. The main ingredient of this flatbread is coconut which mixed with red chilis, onions to prepare a dough of wheat flour. It served with Pol Sambola or Coconut Sambol.

I can’t describe how yummy this Sri Lankan food was to me! For the first time, I ate this food from one local restaurant at Adam’s Peak while coming back to Slightly Chilled Hotel in Nallathanniya.

Pol Roti with LunumirisPol Roti with Lunumiris [Photo Source: The Internet]

Two or three bread I took and forgot to capture photos of eating. 😀 I was too tired and hungry after almost 8 hours most robust adventure at Adam’s Peak. But I must say this spicy and sweet bread is must try for all Roti lovers around.

YOU MIGHT LIKE TO READ: Best Restaurants in Kolkata Worth To Try

Pittu with Sour Fish Curry

The cylinder shape of steamed rice is known as Pittu or Puttu in Sri Lanka and also a favorite dish in Kerala, India. Here too the main ingredient is the grated coconut which mixed with rice and served with curry for breakfast.

Breakfast at Ceylon City Hotel in ColomboOne Slice of Pittu [Look at the Plate 😉 ]

I liked to eat one slice of Pittu with spicy and sour fish curry at Ceylon City Hotel Restaurant in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It was yummy for the sour taste of fish curry. The common ingredient is one dry fruit which known as Goraka, which gives the bitter flavor to any curry in Sri Lanka.

Spicy & Mixed Kottu Roti

Kottu Roti or Kothu Roti is a famous cuisine of Sri Lanka for dinner. Kottu Roti is nothing but Sri Lankan fried rice where instead of rice they use the slices of flat Godhamba Roti. Then mix with cheese and egg/meat/vegetables, or it can be the combination of all as Mixed Kottu or Kottu Roti.

Kottu is a fatty and favorite Sri Lankan street food. The quantity of one plate Kottu is more to take all alone. It took me almost $2 (300 LKR) for one dish, and two persons can comfortably eat.

Sri Lankan Food Kottu RotiKottu Roti with Hot Sauce [Photo Source: The Internet]

I had eaten Mixed Kottu with spicy chutney from Ananda Bake House & Restaurant in Tissamaharama. The taste was ok as always the fatty food is not my favorite.

Hence better to know, this particular Lunumiris or Katta Sambal is not that spicy and hot as it sounds. So don’t be afraid to have it at least once or more times if you’re in Sri Lanka. 😉

Tropical Fruits in Sri Lanka

A full plate of the slices of many Sri Lankan fruits you should not skip before having any Sri Lankan breakfast. Hmm, sounds not only tasty and spicy but healthy as well! To beat the extreme summer heat of Sri Lanka don’t miss to try some tropical fruits during your trip to Sri Lanka. Some Sri Lankan fruits are seasonal. There are many health benefits to consuming fruits. I enjoyed tasting king coconut, red banana, avocado, strawberry, and ripe mango from the roadside local fruit sellers. Here you’ll find the fresh and organic local fruits than big wholesale markets.

Tropical Fruits in Sri LankaTropical Fruits

King Coconut

Coconut is one of the most popular refreshing drinks for the tropical climate in Sri Lanka. How about king coconut? It is more common in Sri Lanka than regular green coconut. The orange colored king coconut is locally known as Thambili. This coconut use to prepare ayurvedic medicine and oil is good for healthy hair. It contains carbohydrates, vitamin E, calcium, and iron.

King Coconuts in Local Market of Sri Lanka

Red Banana

The health benefits of red banana are more than the regular small sized banana. But the price is more, and so it is not a standard and favorite fruit. I loved to try first-time as it was kind of new to me. It is delicious and good for heart disease and diabetes. Red banana is locally known as Rath Kesel and contains fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin D.

Red Banana from Sri Lanka is locally as Rath Kesel. The health benefits are more than the regular banana

Avocado

The taste of avocado you definitely should take from Sri Lanka. I loved to have the ripe avocado with honey, and it was super yummy. This tropical fruit is prevalent among locals and contains carbohydrate, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

The tropical fruit avocado is one of the popular fruits in Sri Lanka

And if you’re visiting Nuwara Eliya don’t forget to drink fresh strawberry juice from strawberry farm. Sri Lankan rambutan is also very tasty, but it is a seasonal fruit. Mangosteen fruit in Sri Lanka is also favorite though originally from Indonesia. Mangosteen is one of the favorite fruits in Bali. Sri Lankan purple mangosteen locally known as Mangus. Some other must-try local fruits are pineapple, mango, regular banana, dragon fruit, wood apple, papaya, and watermelon.

Fresh Strawberries To Taste From Nuwara Eliya Hill Station of Sri Lanka

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Top 6 Sri Lankan Food To Taste - Do you love trying #localfood? If you're in Sri Lanka for first-time then the listed top 6 spicy Sri Lankan food are must-try for you! #srilankanfood #srilankancuisines #travelfood #srilanka #visitsrilanka #foodlovers

To beat the extreme summer heat of #SriLanka don't miss to try some #tropicalfruits during your trip to Sri Lanka. Some #SriLankanfruits are seasonal. There are many health benefits to consuming fruits. I enjoyed tasting many delicious #fruits from the roadside local fruit sellers. Here you'll find the fresh and organic #localfruits than big wholesale markets. #seasonalfruits #healthyeating #travelfood

Enjoy sharing! I’ll love to know about your favorite cuisines and fruits of Sri Lanka. Any particular choice of Sri Lankan food to taste?

Nafisa Habib loves nature and often got fascinated by old beautiful architecture. Here she is with My Own Way To Travel to share her adventures on the road. To her nothing is so interesting than exploring new destinations around. And knowing a new culture and meeting new peoples on the road? Oh, yeah she just loves that too.

12 replies
  1. Janine
    Janine says:

    Oh my! I need to try Sri Lankan food — tropical fruits and spicy food are my favorites. I bet all of the curries are just delicious! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  2. Carly
    Carly says:

    I tried Kottu Roti at a Sri Lankan restaurant in Ulaaanbaatar (yeah, I know!) and loved it – I am so excited to spend some time in Sri Lanka next year sampling the food in a more authentic environment!

    Reply

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