Culinary Snapshots of Sri Lanka

One of the best ways to experience the culture of a foreign country is through its food. My visit to Sri Lanka would not have been complete without sampling some of the local fare, which seemed to consistently feature curries, full of colour and spices. Here is my quick guide on what to expect.

1.  String Hoppers

A classic breakfast dish, these "cakes" of steamed rice noodles (similar to bee hoon) are served with curry and a spicy coconut sambal. It is definitely a "must try" dish when in Sri Lanka - a very filling but satisfying start to the day.

If you are staying at the Ceylon Tea Trails (see our review here) or at Cape Weligama (see our review here), make sure you order these for breakfast the night before, as the chef will need time to prepare all the condiments! 

2.  Coconut Roti

I am a huge fan of Malaysian-style roti, so when I saw this on the menu I couldn't help but order it. I was expecting a familiar dish, however, the Sri Lankan roti has a very different texture. Made of coconut flour, these "pancakes" are smaller in diameter but thicker than your Malaysian roti and much denser.

The roti was paired with the same mixture of curries and sambal as the string hoppers - great for mopping up the spicy sauces, although I must say I preferred the string hoppers!
3.  Pittu

Another unique breakfast dish I tried was "pittu", cylinders of steamed ground rice layered with shredded coconut. It was accompanied by side dishes of curries and spicy relishes, and was something unlike anything I had ever had before.

4.  Rice and Curries

I was expecting Sri Lanka to be big on curries, but I was still amazed by the wide spread and variety of meat, seafood and vegetable curries and dhals that we were served at dinner. Truly a meal fit for a king (or queen)!

The flavours were more intense than I expected, and everything we sampled was delicious. Similar to the Sri Lankan breakfast at Ceylon Tea Trails and Cape Weligama, if you want to eat the local food for dinner, make sure to inform the kitchen by lunch time (think about the amount of food prep involved with the number of dishes served).

5.  Papadums

Papadums are fried thin crisps (usually from lentils or chick peas) and I noticed these were often served together with rice and roti during dinner. I would dip them in the curries, dhals and spicy chutney accompaniment, but they taste just as good plain!

Happy salivating!

xx Amanda


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