Popular Dishes of Sri Lankan Cuisine

sri lankan meal with a bowl of rice and vegetables

Sri Lanka is a tropical paradise renowned for its stunning landscapes, rich history, and unique cuisine. With a history spanning over 2,500 years, Sri Lankan cuisine is a delicious blend of flavours and influences from Indian, Dutch, Portuguese, and British cultures. From fiery curries to exotic street snacks, Sri Lankan food is a sensory delight that offers an explosion of flavours and textures. Join us on this culinary journey as we explore some of the famous local dishes of Sri Lankan cuisine, discovering the cultural significance and special ingredients that make them so unique. Whether you're a food lover or simply curious about different cultures, come along and discover the secrets of Sri Lankan food.

Kottu Roti

Preparation of Kottu Roti is nothing but a performance. As dusk falls, the sizzle of hot metal blades chopping the ingredients on a griddle echoes through Sri Lankan streets. The rhythmic clanging of the blades creates a beat that draws crowds to watch the skilled cooks in action. It is made by stir-frying chopped flatbread, vegetables, egg, and meat (usually chicken or beef) with a variety of spices. This Sri Lankan local food is often accompanied by a spicy sauce or curry. The skillful blend of flavours, textures, and sounds make Kottu Roti a culinary experience that's popular in Sri Lanka.

preparation of kottu roti
delicious fish ambul thiyal served in a bowl

Fish Ambul Thiyal

Fish Ambul Thiyal is a dish that is meant to tantalize your taste buds with its bold, tangy flavours. This signature dish from the southern part of Sri Lanka is made with chunks of succulent fish, usually tuna, marinated in a blend of spices that include turmeric, pepper, and fennel seeds. The marinated fish is then slowly simmered in a sauce made with tamarind, garlic, and curry leaves until it's infused with the tangy sourness of tamarind. The resulting dish is a perfect balance of flavours - the rich, buttery texture of the fish is balanced by the sharp, citrusy notes of the tamarind. Served alongside a steaming bowl of rice, Fish Ambul Thiyal is a must-try dish that's unique to Southern Sri Lankan cuisine.

Kukul Mas Curry

Kukul Mas Curry is a dish that exemplifies the bold and complex flavours of Sri Lankan cuisine. This spicy chicken curry is a staple dish that's loved by locals and tourists alike. The dish features tender pieces of chicken cooked in a creamy sauce made with coconut milk, onions, garlic, and a blend of aromatic spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. The coconut milk adds a rich and velvety texture to the dish, while the spices give it a depth of flavour that's both bold and nuanced. Enjoy it with steamed rice or fresh roti. If you're a fan of spicy curries or simply looking to experience the flavours of Sri Lankan food, Kukul Mas Curry is a must-try.

Tasty kukul mas curry served in a bowl
idiyappam served on a plate

Appam & Idiyappam

Appam and Idiyappam are two beloved essentials to Sri Lankan local food that are enjoyed throughout the day. Appam or Hopper, a traditional dish that has been around for centuries, originated in the coastal regions of Sri Lanka and was a popular food among fishermen. The fermentation gives Appam its unique spongy texture and mildly sour flavour. Idiyappam or String Hopper, a steamed rice noodle, is made by squeezing rice flour dough through a special press to create thin, vermicelli-like strands. The noodles are then steamed, creating a light and fluffy texture. Both dishes are commonly served with a variety of accompaniments such as coconut milk gravy, egg curry, or vegetable stew.

Uniqueness of Sri Lankan Food

Sri Lankan food is unique and distinct from other South Asian cuisines due to its use of special ingredients and cooking techniques. It usually contain a variety of spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves, which are used to create a blend of sweet and savoury flavours. To enjoy the dishes mentioned above, Botanik Restaurant & Bar in Galle is a must-visit location. It offers a range of traditional dishes made with fresh ingredients and served in a picturesque setting. The restaurant also features a bar with a range of signature cocktails that complement the flavours of the food.

spoons with herbs

From the sour fish curry to the spicy chicken curry and the light and fluffy appam and idiyappam, Sri Lankan food has something to offer for everyone. For a truly immersive experience of Sri Lankan cuisine, make sure to book a stay at the Owl and the Pussycat Hotel in Galle which offers easy access to the country's diverse culinary offerings and cultural attractions. Our hotel offers a range of amenities and services to make your stay as comfortable as possible, including spacious rooms, and friendly staff who are happy to help with anything you need. Book your stay with us today and discover the vibrant flavours and rich history of Sri Lankan cuisine!