best foodsSri Lankan cuisine

10 main dishes of Sri Lankan cuisine

Sri Lankan cuisine is dozens of variations on the theme of rice with coconut milk. But this is not a minus: the bright taste of vegetables and fruits, skillfully cooked meat, the freshest seafood, a whole bunch of mind-blowing spices, invigorating chili sharpness – local dishes are not boring at all.  Descriptions and photos of each traditional dish will help not to confuse anything.

Try the unusual fruits of Sri Lanka: mango, mangosteen, jackfruit, papaya, pomelo, rambutan, lychee, sapodilla, passion fruit, Bengal quince… It is better to buy them in the markets.


The main dish of the usual diet of the inhabitants of Sri Lanka. If you order a curry in a cafe, you will get rice and a few snacks. The main ingredient will have to be chosen: chicken, meat, fish, seafood, and for vegetarians – lentils.

They are stewed in coconut milk – from this they literally melt in your mouth. And they are fantastically spicy and incredibly spicy. In the rest of the plates served with curry, stewed vegetables, fresh salads, tropical fruits are waiting for you. Of course, also not without a spark. Snack on rice and fried flatbread – they will slightly extinguish the fire in the mouth.

String hoppers

Dining in hotels in Sri Lanka may surprise you a little. For example, string hoppers rice noodle dishes for breakfast. Local residents are happy to start the day with such a “lump”, steamed. Most often in the company with a spicy and spicy fish curry, stewed vegetables and a couple of fried flatbreads. Also in Sri Lanka, you should try sweet dishes based on string hoppers. For example, noodles in coke milk with cane sugar. Unusually, terribly sweet, but impossible to break away.

The perfect breakfast dish in Sri Lanka. Crispy edges, soft center – hoppers are great. Most often, a pancake is used as an edible plate and at the same time as a spoon. A Sri Lankan dish can be filled with fried eggs, curry, stewed vegetables. The first option is a classic, you should definitely try it. Take a couple of hoppers: one with an egg, the second with meat or vegetables – a hearty breakfast is provided..


Yes, rice again. This time milk, in the form of a pudding. Be sure to try this Sri Lankan dish – it’s at least interesting. Rice is used to make a dense pudding with coke milk. Kiribati in Sri Lanka is a very important national dish. For example, this is the first thing the locals eat on New Year’s Eve. They bless babies, newlyweds and dear guests.

You can try kiribat in Sri Lanka in 3 variations:

Without additives.
“Classic”: with traditional spicy red onion paste, chili flakes, dried fish, salt and lime.
With bananas and cane sugar.


A very popular dish in Sri Lanka that every tourist should try. It consists of chopped coconut roti tortilla mixed with fried vegetables. The filler you need to choose: chicken, meat, eggs. The last option is a win-win, almost everyone likes it. The dish is spicy – without chili it could not have done. But if you ask for “know spicy” in advance, there is a chance to get not too hot food.

In restaurants, it is not prepared as tasty as in simple eateries or markets. It is easy to recognize that cotta is being fried somewhere near you: the sound of metal blades used to chop roti is heard from afar.


Very unusual street food in Sri Lanka. Prices for it do not bite, because the locals prepare it not only for tourists. Rice is fried with onions and spices in oil and then boiled in meat broth. Curry is added to it: meat, vegetables, spices. It turns out already familiar to us curry, but in a non-standard interpretation. This dish is rarely prepared outside of Sri Lanka, so it’s definitely worth a try.


Roti in Sri Lanka is prepared according to the same recipe as in India. However, appetizers are usually served differently. If Hindus eat roti instead of bread, Sri Lankans prefer spring rolls. The cake is always baked from wholemeal flour. It must be fresh, without oil. In Sri Lanka, it is immediately stuffed, rolled, deep-fried.

It is worth trying roti with different additives:

chicken (spicy);
curry (very spicy);
seafood with rice;
fish with onions;
vegetables with tomato sauce;
beans are a very popular snack among vegetarians;
bananas with coconut flakes.

Nasi (Mee) goreng

A very popular street food in Sri Lanka, which you can try in hotels or in any eateries. Nasi goreng – rice with eggs, vegetables, seafood or meat. Mee goreng is the same but with noodles instead of rice. Both dishes are quite satisfying. It is difficult to attribute them to the national cuisine of any Asian country, since rice and noodles are fried everywhere. In Sri Lanka, rice with seafood is especially tasty. This is such a simple yet amazingly delicious dish.


A traditional Sri Lankan dessert that can be tasted even in hotels. It is so good that they were treated to Queen Elizabeth herself during her visit to the island. The most delicate custard on coconut cream, eggs, thick pandan juice, a little vanilla bean and other spices, and most importantly, no rice.

Delicious pudding served with cashew nuts. Cardamom, cloves and nutmeg give it a special piquancy, while sweet syrup makes the dessert pleasantly moist. It turns out something between a pudding and a soufflé. Well, very unusual!


For dessert in Sri Lanka, you can eat the popular traditional snack cokis. In the composition (what a surprise!) – rice flour with coconut milk. Yes, they are again. A little bit of eggs, cane sugar.

simmering coconut oil and a special mold are all it takes to make this delicate crispy pastry. Locals do not make cokis for themselves every day, they are usually eaten only on holidays. However, for tourists, of course, they are fried all year round. It tastes like our “brushwood”, which was thoroughly bathed in coconuts.

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