Here are the best dishes of Sri Lanka!
Sri Lanka, also known as the Pearl of Indian Ocean, is a popular tourist destination. But its culture and cuisine are not as famous as they could’ve been despite being very interesting. Sri Lanka’s dishes are especially exciting and diverse with all the local tropical fruit, seafood and rice. So check out some of their most popular recipes for yourself!
Fish ambul thiyal or sour fish curry is one of the most known and loved seafood curries. It combines the best ingredients that this island possesses: fresh tuna, various spices like turmeric, cinnamon and garlic, as well as dried goraka – a fruit that brings out the rich flavor of the fish. Ambul thiyal is a dry curry dish so there’s not much liquid in it and the aromatic spices coat the whole dish. It’s best served over freshly cooked rice but you can also add sauces to it for a more interesting experience. While mixing Szechuan sauce with it may seem unorthodox, you never know if it’s good or bad until you try!
When in Sri Lanka make sure to check out local’s favorite fast food – kottu. The texture and cooking method of it resemble fried rice; only the main ingredient there is roti which is a crisp flatbread. It’s mixed with different ingredients of your choice and usually served with a delicious curry sauce. For a real experiment of flavors try making rotis at home and mixing them with a Western favorite – Alfredo sauce. This luscious mixture of butter, heavy cream, cheese and seasonings can make any pasta dish a restaurant course. And what is flatbread other than pasta cooked in a different way?
Chicken curry is a common homemade meal in Sri Lanka. There’re many versions of it depending on the area or personal preferences so it’s never really the same dish. Just like any curry it has an abundance of spices such as cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. And both tomato puree and coconut contribute to its lush creamy texture. It’s best served with hot rice and flatbread.
A great vegetarian meal is parippu or dhal curry. It’s made with split red lentils boiled in one pan and other ingredients like onions, tomatoes, chilies, cumin seeds and curry leaves cooked in another. When combined, coconut milk is usually added for a rich creamy texture. It goes best with various kinds of flatbread such as paratha which is popular in this region. Have a try on making them at home and taste with different dips. Tzatziki sauce, for example, is quite a refreshing mix of yogurt, garlic and cucumbers that will go well with plain flatbread.
Sri Lanka’s cuisine has many influences from a variety of cultures and the most evident is Lamprais. This complex dish is a mix of rice, meat, shrimp paste, vegetables and chili sauce is steamed in banana leaf packets. All the ingredients have the sweet flavors of cardamom, cinnamon and cloves that were the favorite of the Dutch.