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Features of a traditional flavor in Sri Lankan Food | Ceylon Empire Travels
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Ceylon Empire Travels / Top  / Features of a traditional flavor in Sri Lankan Food
Sri Lankan Food
12 Dec

Features of a traditional flavor in Sri Lankan Food


For most of us, trying out a mouthwatering dish at a different destination is one of the major enticements that we are always looking for. In that prospect yes Sri Lanka is one of the finest destinations in the world which has lot to offer for you at its vast emporium of authentic cuisine, for a perfect degustation. Most says that dishes from a Sri Lankan traditional kitchen is nothing different to those of Indian’s. Wrong! in a way they have been influenced by the delicious Indian menus but Sri Lankan food certainly has its own unique and distinctive flavors which is must you try during your exciting journey at this splendid teardrop island.

Milk rice

Kiribath known as milk rice can be introduced as at the top dish of the Sri Lankan culinary, eaten along with many side dishes. Mostly with a chili mixture made from red chilies, onions, lemon juice, salt and dry Maldive fish or a curry. And also with jaggery or sugar. Milk rice is a special type of cooked rice with thick coconut milk is consumed often as a breakfast meal or it gives a festive touch to every auspicious occasion in Sri Lanka.


The most celebrated fast food signature dish in Sri Lanka which is bit spicier, made with a type of roti. They preparing this by clanking sliced roti, fried veg, egg, meat and spices rhythmically on metal frying surface, slicing the roti and other substance with each clank. They often served with spicy curry sauce to pour over your plate as an added flavor which  is very common at any given restaurant or a commercial kitchen and will certainly provide you an unforgettable dinner experience during your stay.

Roast Paan

Known as Roasted Bread will be served at a breakfast or a dinner menu along with a spicy chicken/ pork / prawn curry, delicious potato or dhal curry also with pol sambol. It is very thin and slice of bread rather than a bread and is so crispy as much as its baked and is much delicious to dine in hot as soon as it takes out of the ovens.

Boiled Manioc

It’s cassava as everyone else known . Manioc is a root vegetable that similar to boiled potatoes. Sri Lankan mostly use it for breakfast along with hot and spicy pol sambol or chilly mixture.   It’s a very simple delightful and delicious meal stands as a signature to Sri Lankan cuisine .

Black Chicken Curry/ Black Pork Curry

Black chicken curry and black pork curry are very common dishes in Sri Lanka those ambiences themself will evoke your appetite. There are many variations depending on regions and taste preferences.

These are the curies mix in spices and tempered in hot oil before being combined with chicken or pork. If the meat is stewed for an hour or so until the essence of the spices it will taste more with a spicy sensation and often served with rice, bread, string hoppers, roti etc.

Being a country, which is enriched with vast range of vegetation certainly the nation can claim a wide array of mouthwatering menus where numeric rice varieties alone can be found from endless paddy fields, those you’ll explore at every corner you travel in this little country.  Farms and cultivations are a very common sight in Sri Lanka so as it gives you the assurance that flavors and delights presented in your local dish are always fresh and prepared with natural ingredients coming along all parts of the island. Usage of natural products and the huge variety of spices grown in the island itself is abundant in Sri Lankan food hub. Therefore the ingredients used presents you ample of spicy explore specially if you are a spicy lover.

Usage of Coconut for the meals in Sri Lanka is really inevitable.  Coconut milk is added to majority of mouthwatering curries to create creamy gravy and the oil derived using for grilling, deep frying, and tempering.  Coconut flesh is grated to make spicy pol sambol .

Take a look at few of those delicious signature dishes in Sri Lanka made out of coconut those you can try out during your stay

Parippu (dhal curry)

Parippu, or dhal curry, is the most common curry in all of Sri Lankan cuisine, boiled with coconut milk or water until soft and turn it to a creamy texture. Mixing onions, tomatoes and fresh green chilies, and must blended with spices like cumin seeds, turmeric, fenugreek, mustard seeds and curry leave and serve as curry for rice, noodles or as a dipping gravy for bread, Roti , parata .

Polos (green jackfruit curry)

Polos is A Sri Lankan curry prepared with young green jackfruit and jackfruit is vastly consumed in Sri Lanka for their meals.

sliced boiled until soft with coconut milk and simmer to reduce most of the liquid and blended and cooked with onions, garlic, ginger and spices like mustard seeds, turmeric, chili powder, roasted curry powder, pandan leaves and curry leaf.

In the same recipe with slight changes most of tasteful veg, chicken and fish curries are made at Sri Lankan authentic Kitchens those you can experience without having any second thought of its taste.

Pol Sambol

One the Sri Lankan side dishes you may found in all the 3 main meals of a local dish, accompaniment for rice , string hoppers and bread made out of a perfectly blend of finely grated fresh coconut, red onions, dried whole chilies or chili powder, lime juice, salt and Maldives fish (if available).  The recipe is really simple unlike is great taste which you can also try out  when you are back.


As a result of Sri Lanka is being a multinational country and has been a colonial of Dutch, Portuguese and English back then, Sri Lankan cuisine has been shaped and shined by multicultural influence and cultural values. It stretches a contemporary touch to delicious Sri Lankan cuisine which make the ambience and the taste as much good as its smell to stimulate your appetite for a delicious meal. And Lumprais is a finest example coloring the Sri Lankan cuisine with Dutch influence.

Lamprais, a word that combines the two Dutch words for “lump” and “rice,” is a combination of meat, rice and chili sauce, wrapped into a banana leaf packet and steamed. The package is folded into a parcel and steamed and mostly prepared with sweet spices.

Malay Achcharu

Malay Achcharu ,  a pickle recipe  that  also a borrowing from the local Malay culture.  It is a series of veggies in a pickled sauce and blends sweet, sour and spicy flavors which is very much similar to ‘’ Kimchi’’ in Korea

Eggplant / Brinjals Pickle

An extremely caramelized deep-fried pickle with sugar, vinegar along with red onions, green chilies, mustard seeds, chili powder. It is a very common side dish for festive occasions.

If you traveling to a beach destination one of the prior lists for surely you are checking for is a delicious Seafood menu. Being a cuisine oriented from an island nation seafood plays a significant role in authentic menus with diverse cooking patterns in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankans always believe the fact that the freshness of the seafood is the number 1 should be concerned when arranging a seafood meal. Therefore, looking for a delicious seafood dish made out of a freshly caught fish won’t be a questionable at Sri Lankan context.  To elaborate the idea that Sri Lankan cuisine shaped with a vast array of foreign cultural influence sea food can be presented as the best example.  You can witness various methods they use to preserve seafood influencing by the neighboring counties at South Asia, Indonesia and also Dutch’s.

Fish ambul thiyal (sour fish curry)

Fish ambul thiyal is one of the significant and mouthwatering out of the many different fish curries. It’s an absolutely delicious curry made out of the spice mixture to fleece each cube of fish sautéed in a blend of spices mixed with black pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, garlic, and curry leaves where the ingredients are simmered and cooked until its liquid surface reduces. Dried ‘’goraka’’, is the main ingredient used in Ambul Thiyal in ample amount to make the fish sour and is best eaten with rice. The same recipe sometimes using to sautéed chicken as well which known as Chicken ambul thiyal but not common as made out of fish.

Apart from that Maldive fish” (sun-dried tuna) consumed most commonly which they blended with spice mixes and serve well.  Also certain types of fish such as  Balaya , Kelawalla are native to Southern seas those preserved as ‘’jaadi’’ (Pickled fish)

Good news for vegetarians is, Sri Lanka also delivers many vegan options as most of menus are meat free which will certainly making you stress free if you are looking for a vegan diet or also if you prefer a glutenfree meal yes Sei Lanka has a good menu for you.


Hoppers are a very common vegetarian dish can be finding at any corner in Sri Lanka Hoppers are prepared sweet or savory. Egg hoppers are much celebrated among locals those flavored with peppers on top of it. Hoppers are often garnished with chili sauce. Similar to egg hoppers egg Roti also another Sri Lankan cuisine you must try out.

Beside string hoppers also play a significant role in Sri Lankan authentic cuisines those serve along with pol sambal, hot and spicy chicken / pork fish curry or for vegetarian fans creamy dhal or potato curry also make them delicious. So certainly, if you are a vegetarian you have the option to pick a vegetarian curry.  So, don’t forget to try a bite during your stay and it will give you a different fort of sensation.

Curd & Treacle

Speaking about culinary, deserts and sweets can never be ignored. There are lists of authentic desserts and sweet recipes.  Among those many of Curd and Kithul treacle combination is one of the celebrated. Curd is not a something that can only be found in Sri Lanka, but in Sri Lanka you’ll definitely find the taste is bit more sour. Curd comes from Southern province is concerned as the best for its quality and the taste, where you can easily find it specialized shops as well as the super markets around . Sri Lankans consume curd mixing with sugar or kithul (a sweet syrup) treacle.  Keep a space for you to try out a scoop during your stay.

Thala (Sesame Seed Candies)

also can be found easily at any given super markets for a reasonable fare.  In a shape it comes as a ball or a roll. These are made out of sesame seed blended with a mixture of Jackey pieces which has a light sweetness and bit crunchy in every bite and also sometimes bit soft.  These are famous among tourists who use to take few packets along with them as souvenirs.

Then what for beverages?

In compromising the whole idea that as a result of Sri Lanka is being a country enriched with numerous vegetation; it gives ample of nutritious food and beverages options for everyone.

Herbal porridges are one of the best examples which offer so much of nutritious supplements in one pack.  It prepares with green leaves cooked with rice and coconut and serves for breakfast with a piece of jaggery.

Further Sri Lanka is celebrated worldwide for the excellent quality Tea produces at the country name Ceylon tea.  Without tasting a sip your Ceylon trip wouldn’t be completed. Sri Lanka is a country which is much consuming tea instead of coffee.


Arrak stands as the local vodka and tequila; the most popular local alcohol in Sri Lanka made out of the fermented sap of the coconut flower. It ferments naturally due to the high content of sugar and yeast in. Apart from Arrack.


is a mildly alcoholic drink made from palm tree sap which is also a famous local alcoholic drink. If you want to try out a shot of these, much advisable to check on its quality before purchase.

Sri Lankan cuisine is surely presenting an array of delicious meals with the distinctive touches and spices derived from island wide cultivation. Therefore, experiencing true authentic flavors originating from traditions of old certainly has lot to color your travel journey during your unforgettable stay. Also, you can afford a very much good meal for so much reasonable fare. Specially you can also buy a small yummy snack  for a very affordable price from a whistling tuk tuk those are always rushing in buzzing towns and sometimes in country side too , which is known as ‘’chun paan’’ for locals.

Local cuisine certainly has lot to do in your tremendous explore of this incredible nation who is possessing a rich culture and you won’t be having any second thought to try out a dish from it  as they are always  ready to serve you with the best they got ; which is their warm smiles.


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