Sri Lanka offers a diverse cuisine full of spice, flavour and colour. The national dish is rice and curry, which is even served at breakfast! A typical Sri Lankan meal consists of a main curry that could be fish, meat or just vegetables with several side dishes including vegetables, chutneys and sambol. Made of ground coconut, onion, chilli, dried fish and lime, sambol is fiendishly hot.
Excellent seafood can be found along the coast, including local crab, prawns and tuna. Local specialities include appa or hoppers which are small rice-batter pancakes eaten with palm treacle and yogurt. Roti stuffed with fresh chilli, onions and cooked eggs, griddled meats or fish are also popular. Kotu roti is chopped roti with onions, vegetables and meat.
Colonialism left an indelible stamp on the local cuisine. A popular Dutch-Portuguese dish is Lamprais (rice steeped in stock with a special curry), accompanied by frikkadels (meatballs), baked and served in banana leaves.
Sri Lanka grows some of the finest tea in the world for export. Your best chance for a good cuppa is in the hill country, where tea plantations and hotels serve the pick of the locally harvested crop.
Safe eating while travelling in Sri Lanka
The food hygiene standards in Sri Lanka might be different to what you are used to back home so be sure to take care when eating out, especially when it comes to meat and fish, which should be thoroughly cooked through. Avoid anything that might have come into contact with water and anything that looks old or left outside for a long time.