One of the best Asian cuisines I’ve tried is from Sri Lanka. Early in 2020, I visited this beautiful country hosted by Sri Lanka Travel, and believe me, they know how to use everything in their cuisine. They use a wide variety of ingredients in their delectable dishes, including spices, fruits, and vegetables of every kind. So, here are some Sri Lankan dishes you should try!
Rice and Curry
Rice and curry is a traditional Sri Lankan staple dish. Almost everyone eats it twice a day. It has a variety of delicious curries, including chicken, fish, and vegetarian options like lentils curry, pumpkin curry, brinjal curry, pineapple curry, and green bean curry that are being served with white/red rice. They’re all very tasty!
Hoppers is a pancake-like dish from Sri Lanka, and are made from fermented rice flour and coconut milk. The dough is cooked in a tiny wok-like pan until it is thick and soft on the inside and thin and crunchy on the outside. A fried egg is then placed in the thick center. It is usually served with Lunu miris, a type of sambol made with onions, chilies, lemon juice, and salt.
Kottu is known as the Sri Lankan version of a hamburger. Late-night cravings of most Sri Lankans are satisfied with a kottu dish. It is made from godamba roti, a plain perfectly cooked bread that is later deep fried and chopped into tiny pieces with two metal blades. This is also combined with vegetables like carrots and leeks. Chicken, cheese, pork, and a spicy sauce can also be added depending on your cravings!
The other type of hopper you will see in Sri Lanka is called a string hopper, and it is made of rice flour. The batter is squeezed out with a string hopper maker and is steamed for a while. They are usually served at breakfast or dinner, along with coconut sambol and potato curry. You can also add chicken or fish curry for this.
Lamprais is not really a Sri Lanka dish, rather it was introduced to the country by the Dutch during colonial times. It is derived from the Dutch word lomprijst, which essentially means a food packet. As the name suggests, rice is put in a banana leaf along with chicken, egg, brinjal moju, and a cutlet along with spices, and is wrapped together. It is steamed for about one hour before being served. So, it is generally saved for special occasions because it requires a bit of time to prepare.
Making kiribath or milk rice is quite simple. All you have to do is cook the rice in coconut milk until it is absorbed, then form it into a large block and cut it like cake slices after being cooled at room temperature. It’s commonly served with lunu miris, fish ambul-thiyal, or sometimes with jaggery. Kiribath is typically made for special occasions, such as for the Sinhala Tamil New Year or to celebrate birthdays.
Don’t forget to enjoy a cup of Ceylon tea.