Sri Lankan food is the amalgamation of the dishes influenced by the foreign traders and the colonial people involed within the country. Sri Lankan cuisine is recognized for the liberal use of native spices and hot curries.
Rice is the staple Sri Lankan food that is evident by its use in almost all traditional as well as everyday meals. The culinary heritage of Sri Lanka is quiet deep-rooted and owing to its characteristic of having veg and non-veg dishes, Sri Lankan cuisine is popular throughout the world.
Coconut milk as the base of almost all curry dishes is highly favorable in making Sri Lankan food with convincing taste. Mullung, Polos Pehi (dish made of fruit from jak tree), Buriyani (a variation of ‘biryani’) and kavum (dish of ground rice and treacle) are some of the popular Sri Lankan recipes that have gained immense popularity in the global food world.
Sri Lankan food is characterized by hot and spicy dishes. Usually, Sri Lankan people do not follow the real recipe and add excess of spices according to the taste. Different regions have different recipes and styles of cooking, but the ingredients used in whole Sri Lankan cuisine are quite similar. Curries, rice dishes, fish and meat dishes are widely eaten at this place. Pickles, chutneys and many other side dishes are also added to provide zest to the Sri Lankan food.
Coconut milk and banana leaves are having a great importance in Sri Lankan food. Banana leaves are typically used to wrap the food stuffs for baking or steaming. Coconut milk is incorporated for a typical Sri Lankan taste.
Dutch, Portuguese and even British food cultures are said to be influential on Sri Lankan food. Sweets, drinks and roasted meat dishes are largely swayed by the foreign cuisines and widely served in the local meals.
Another striking feature in the food culture of Sri Lanka is ‘Short eats’. By the name itself it is evident that ‘Short eats’ are the typical snack items that are eaten on the go. People in Sri Lanka are fond of these eats and many shops and restaurants are famous for selling these types of foods. They mainly include rolls, pastries and patties. ‘Mutton roll’ is the most famous short eat in Sri Lankan cuisine.
Fruits and vegetables are also popular for making curry dishes in Sri Lankan food.
Popular Dishes in Sri Lankan Cuisine
- Lamprais – It is a very popular dish in Sri Lankan food. Dutch influence can be clearly seen in this recipe. This dish is prepared by baking the mixture of steamed rice and meatballs.
- Hoppers – The dish is also known as ‘appa’ and it is basically eaten in breakfast and dinner. Fermented rice flour batter and coconut milk is used to prepare this traditional dish in Sri Lankan cuisine. A splash of Palm Toddy or palm wine is added to make the dish more interesting.
- Sambol – It is a kind of side dish that is typically prepared like thin curry.
- Bibikkan – It is a sweet dish made with grated coconut and coconut flour.
Sri Lankan food is also famous for making fruit curries that are pretty unique and flavorful.
Sri Lankan Food is undoubtedly healthy as it doest not involve huge amount of fats. Fish and other sea foods are used abundantly in making the non-veg dishes; hence protein and omega-3 fatty acids are highly present in Sri Lankan dishes. Other recipes such as vegetable curries and fruit curries are also very beneficial. Being a staple in Sri Lankan food, rice also adds health to the cuisine.