What Delicious Food to Try in Sri Lanka?

Do you love exploring new cultures through taste? If so, Sri Lanka has an amazing foodscape to discover. With its wide variety of fresh ingredients, colorful spices, and exotic flavors, there’s something for everyone.

If trying authentic local delicacies is one of your passions, look no further than Sri Lanka. Below, you can find the most delicious meals to satiate both your hunger and curiosity. Are you ready to take your tastebuds out for a spin?

How to get ready for travel to Sri Lanka?

There are many things to consider preparing for a trip to Sri Lanka. From understanding current passport requirements to deciding on accommodation that best suits your needs, getting ready for travel can be an overwhelming task. But it doesn't have to be!

Before your travel, it's a good idea to make a list of all the attractions you would like to visit. Check the opening hours of the monuments and make sure to purchase the tickets beforehand to avoid any queues.

It's also recommended to pack your luggage smartly. Don't forget the essential toiletries and medications. Pack some lightweight and breathable clothes. They will be the best for a trip to Sri Lanka - one of the hottest countries in the world.

Naturally, planning a journey abroad, you must also check the current entry requirements. While leaving for Sri Lanka, you should obtain a suitable visa. For an effortless application online, visit our website and purchase the Sri Lanka ETA.

What dishes to eat in Sri Lanka?

There is a plethora of delicious meals in Sri Lanka just waiting for you to try them out! Whether you're looking for something spicy or mild, savory or sweet, we have some suggestions on what type of local food you should taste.

Egg Hoppers - breakfast pancakes

Egg hoppers (also known as appam) are a popular Sri Lankan breakfast meal consisting of thin, crispy pancakes. Their name comes from the type of pan giving them their form. They're served both in fancy restaurants as well as street vendors.

The dish is made from fermented rice, coconut milk, and yeast. It is usually served with a soft-boiled egg, but you can also eat it with ripe tomatoes, creamy dahl, or chili sauce. Egg hoppers are a perfect combination of the crunchy and the soft.

Dhal Parippu - power of lentils

Dhal (also known as parippu) is a traditional dish of Sri Lanka made from split lentils. The lentils are cooked with a variety of aromatic spices such as cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, and curry leaves. The result is a flavorful, creamy stew with an appetizing orange hue.

Dhal is often served with rice, naan, or roti as a simple yet flavorful side dish. Since the dish is a great source of protein, it often makes an appearance in Sri Lankan households all day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Kottu Roti - stir fry delicacy

Kottu roti is a Sri Lankan dish consisting of flatbread cut into small pieces and stir-fried with eggs, bell peppers, onion, cabbage, and meat. The unique flavor is the essence of spices such as curry powder, turmeric, and chili flakes. It may be served with a spicy curry.

To make kottu roti, the ingredients must be first shredded into smaller pieces and divided. Then, they are combined in a large wok with two metal spatulas to create a cohesive dish as the flatbread absorbs all the flavors.

Fish Ambul Thiyal - sour fish curry

Fish ambul thiyal is one of the most popular dishes in Sri Lanka. This sour fish curry is usually made by simmering tuna chunks in a thick, sensational sauce made from flavorful spices, curry powder, and coconut cream. The sourness of the dish comes from the addition of the tamarind. The curry is served with a bowl of hot steamed rice.

Because of its unique taste, fish ambul thiyal is a must-try if you happen to visit Sri Lanka. It is a combination of flavors that you will find nowhere else in the world.

Polos - spicy jackfruit

Polos is a traditional Sri Lankan dish made from unripe jackfruit cooked with a variety of spices, such as black pepper, cardamom, and cinnamon. To make a perfect polos, simmer the fruit on low heat with coconut milk. It should become soft so that it can be easily mashed. 

It's often filled with different vegetables (onions, potatoes, chili peppers). The polos has a unique, spicy taste and can also be served over rice or with a side of coconut sambal. It is a great addition to complement another dish.

What are the best sweets to try in Sri Lanka?

Although Sri Lanka has much to offer regarding savory dishes, it also provides a fantastic variety of delightful sweet treats. If you would like to try the unique flavors of Sri Lanka, you'll be spoiled for choice with their vast selection of desserts.

Watalappan - sweet and creamy snack

Watalappan is a traditional Sri Lankan sweet snack made from coconut milk, eggs, cardamom, and nutmeg. It has a rich, creamy texture similar to a custard or pudding. Once the dessert is set, it's decorated with roasted cashews for extra crunch.

The dessert originates from the Muslim tradition as it is part of the Ramadan celebrations, but it may be enjoyed by everyone. It's usually prepared for special occasions and cultural festivals, but it can be a great everyday snack.

Kiribath - milk and rice dessert

Kiribath is a creamy milk-based dessert typical for Sri Lanka. Its name comes from the Sinhalese word meaning milk and rice. It's very easy to prepare a kiribath - you only need to cook rice with coconut milk. To add flavor, you can also use a few pandan leaves.

Kiribath is usually served for breakfast with sweet onion relish. However, you can also spot this dessert on the table during special occasions and religious holidays. Although the dish may seem simple, the creamy and rich flavor will linger on your tongue for a long time.

Divul Kiri - wood apple juice

Divul kiri, also known as wood apple juice, is a Sri Lankan dessert made by combining wood apples, coconut milk, white sugar, brown sugar, and cardamom. It may be thickened with ground rice or wheat flour. It has a slightly sweet and creamy taste with nutty aromas. 

It is typically served to mark special occasions, such as festivals, weddings, and birthdays. However, it can also accompany everyday meals as it is said to help with digestion. The divul kiri is sometimes topped with cashews, raisins, or sago pearls.


If you ever plan to visit Sri Lanka, be sure to try the local treats and traditional dishes. Although some flavor combinations may seem surprising and exotic, they're definitely worth a try. After all, the beauty of traveling is to open yourself up to new experiences.

Dominika Adamkowska
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