Don't Know What To Eat In Sri Lanka? Don't Fret!

Don't Know What To Eat In Sri Lanka? Don't Fret!
Sri Lankan Kottu roti and hoppers,

6 delicious food items to not miss on your next trip to Sri Lanka

OT Staff
December 27 , 2019
03 Min Read

Sri Lanka is a gorgeous island nation no doubt. Natural beauty, clear waters and sandy beaches, an abundance of wildlife, adventure, cricket, and so much more, Sri Lank offers them all to visitors who go back with a bag full of memories. However, when it comes to Sri Lankan cuisine, there is a sense of unfamiliarity which leaves first-time travellers pleasantly surprised. For repeat visitors, Sri Lankan cuisine is a massive draw—tangy, spicy and creamy curries; fresh seafood; the use of abundant spices; and breads that are made with different base ingredients that mop off the juices from the plate. The national dish of the country may very well be rice and curries but we tell you of some of the specific food items you shouldn’t miss on your next trip to Sri Lanka. 

Malu Ambul Thiyal

This sour fish curry is best paired with steaming hot rice. It was initially made in Ambalangoda, the south coast, and is today a signature dish in Sri Lanka. It sourness and tanginess comes from the abundant use of tamarind and, did you know that it acts as a preservative and keeps the dish uniquely well preserved for at least a week.

The fish curry in Sri Lanka is absolutely lip smacking

Parippu Curry

Better known as dhal curry, it is made with boiled red lentils and creamy coconut milk with mustard seeds, fenugreek, cumin and turmeric among other spices to build flavours. Parippu curry is best eaten with rice and is a standard meal across the nation during lunch or dinner. It’s easy to make and super tasty!  

Kottu Roti

How about giving Sri Lanka’s most famous street food a try? Legend goes that a roti seller had only scraps remaining at the end of the day when suddenly some hungry travellers came. Instead of saying he was out of stock, the seller mixed bits of roti, vegetables and chicken curry to make a mish-mash and served it. It became an instant hit. 

Hoppers & String Hoppers

Think appam, the bowl-shaped pancake made with rice flour and coconut milk, and that’s a hopper. In Sri Lanka, they form an integral part of breakfast with a soft boiled egg in the middle. Similar to this are string hoppers where rice flour is squeezed into a press to make thin noodles, and then steamed as small matted nests. They go best with curries.

String hoppers and egg curry is a staple

Pol Sambol

A visit to Sri Lanka cannot to complete without eating Pol Sambol. Made with freshly grated coconut, red onions, chillies, lime juice, Maldive fish and salt; this coconut relish is an accompaniment to most dishes and can be found across the nation. 


Oh crabs. Sri Lanka is famed for its many, many crab dishes. Cooked with pepper, with spices, with red chilli, with coconut milk, in a shell, with just the meat, with vegetables: the crustacean is cooked in various different ways across the nation. And trust us when we say that it tastes good every single time!

Fried crabs on Sri Lankan streets

For more info, see

This is a sponsored article

Related Articles

Tracing the Roots of Sri...

Peter Kuruvita November 29 , 2020

What’s Happening in...

Simrran Gill August 29 , 2020

Our Other Editions

Outlook’ is India’s most vibrant weekly news magazine with critically and globally acclaimed print and digital editions. Now in its 23rd year...

Explore All
  • Check out our Magazine of the month
  • Offbeat destinations
  • In-depth storytelling
  • Stunning pictures
  • Subscribe