10 Food Items That You Must Try While In Sri Lanka

Welcome to the teardrop-shaped island of Sri Lanka, a land where vibrant cultures, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality converge to create a unique travel experience. While exploring this enchanting destination, one aspect that stands out is its rich and diverse culinary tapestry.

In this gastronomic journey, we'll unravel the flavors of Sri Lanka through 10 must-try food items that will undoubtedly leave your taste buds tingling with delight.

Also Read: Top 15 Tourist Places in Sri Lanka You Must Visit in 2023

1. Hoppers (Appa)

Embark on your culinary adventure with a Sri Lankan breakfast staple – Hoppers. These bowl-shaped, fermented rice pancakes are crispy on the edges and soft in the center. Served with an egg nestled in the middle, you can opt for plain hoppers or spice things up with a variety of toppings like onions, chilies, and coconut sambal. Don't forget to pair it with a cup of Ceylon tea for an authentic start to your day.


2. Kottu Roti

As the sun sets, the tantalizing aroma of Kottu Roti wafts through the air, beckoning food enthusiasts to street-side stalls. This iconic dish is made by chopping up godhamba roti (flatbread) into fine pieces and stir-frying them with an assortment of ingredients like vegetables, eggs, and your choice of meat or seafood. The rhythmic clanging of metal blades against the griddle is a testament to the lively street food culture of Sri Lanka.

Kottu Roti

3. Rice and Curry

No visit to Sri Lanka is complete without savoring a traditional rice and curry meal. This quintessential dish features a fragrant plate of rice accompanied by an array of curries, including dhal (lentils), fish, chicken, and various vegetable curries. The symphony of flavors and spices in a well-prepared rice and curry reflects the essence of Sri Lankan home-cooked goodness.

Rice and Curry

4. String Hoppers (Idiyappam)

Delicate and intricate, string hoppers are another beloved breakfast dish in Sri Lanka. These thin strands of rice noodles are pressed into circular nests and steamed to perfection. Often enjoyed with a side of coconut sambal or curry, string hoppers provide a light and refreshing start to your day.


5. Fish Ambul Thiyal

For those seeking a unique culinary experience, Fish Ambul Thiyal is a must-try. Hailing from the Southern province of Sri Lanka, this sour fish curry is crafted with dried goraka (a tamarind-like fruit) and an assortment of spices, resulting in a tangy and flavorful dish that perfectly complements a mound of steaming rice.

Fish Ambul Thiyal

Also Read: Traditional Maharashtrian foods that you must try

6. Lamprais

Prepare your taste buds for Lamprais, a Dutch-influenced dish that has become a Sri Lankan delicacy. A fragrant parcel of rice, meat (usually chicken or beef), and accompaniments like eggplant, ash plantain, and sambal are wrapped in banana leaves and baked to perfection. The melding of flavors within the banana leaf infuses the dish with a distinctive taste that lingers on the palate.


7. Pol Sambol

A fiery and coconut-infused side dish, Pol Sambol adds a kick to any Sri Lankan meal. Grated coconut mixed with red onions, dried red chilies, lime juice, and salt creates a vibrant and spicy condiment that pairs exceptionally well with rice and curry or even a simple bread roll.

Pol Sambol

8. Wambatu Moju

Elevate your culinary journey with Wambatu Moju, a sweet and sour eggplant pickle that is sure to leave a lasting impression. Eggplant slices are deep-fried until golden brown and then infused with a concoction of vinegar, sugar, and spices. The result is a tantalizing dish that strikes a perfect balance between sweet and tangy flavors.

Wambatu Moju

9. Pol Roti with Katta Sambol

Take a break from the ordinary with Pol Roti, a coconut-infused flatbread that is both hearty and delicious. Paired with Katta Sambol, a spicy blend of red onions, chilies, and Maldive fish, this combination offers a taste of Sri Lanka's rustic charm. Pol Roti with Katta Sambol is often enjoyed for breakfast or as a snack, providing a satisfying culinary experience.

Pol Roti with Katta Sambol

10. Wood Apple

Round off your culinary exploration with a taste of the unique Wood Apple. This exotic fruit, with its hard and woody shell, encases a pulpy interior that strikes a balance between sweet and sour. A refreshing way to conclude your gastronomic journey in Sri Lanka, the Wood Apple is often consumed as a juice or as part of traditional desserts.

wood apple

Also Read: Things to do in Sri Lanka in the new year 2024

As you traverse the enchanting landscapes of Sri Lanka, let your taste buds be your guide. From the bustling streets of Colombo to the tranquil shores of Galle, the country's diverse culinary offerings provide a sensory journey through its rich history and culture. Whether you're indulging in the simplicity of hoppers or savoring the complexity of Fish Ambul Thiyal, each bite is a step into the heart of Sri Lankan gastronomy. So, embark on this culinary odyssey, and let the flavors of Sri Lanka leave an indelible mark on your palate and memories alike.

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