10 Must Try Eats & Drinks in Sri Lanka

A colourful country in everything from their national flag, local dress, right down to their cuisine, Sri Lanka is a vibrant country offering some truly delectable culinary delights.

Experiencing the best in Sri Lankan cuisine means eating the same as the locals, where they eat it! Think street vendors, fresh food markets and literally in their homes.

To get a true taste of Sri Lanka, here at the ten things you have to try!

1. Curry 

(Obviously!) Almost always spicy and with everything from vegetables through to goat, served in a ridiculously generous portion with fresh pampadams, this is the national dish of Sri Lanka and damn do they know how to make it. Spice haters beware, mild DOES NOT mean the same thing to the Sri Lankans as it does the western world - I would advise ordering a Lassi on the side to help you through!

2. Rotti

Rotti is the staple to all meals in Sri Lanka, in it's simplest form, it is a fried flat bread. Rotti can also come as a folded crepe style savoury dish, or in a triangle shape at the street vendors, mostly filled with ingredients such as vegetables, cheese, onions and sambal. Rotti is commonly eaten with a variation of different curries and is eaten using your bare hands.

Why not go all out and have a savoury rotti for dinner and a banana Nutella rotti for dessert, you can't go wrong!

3. Tea

In almost any fragrant flavour you can imagine, after being introduced by the British in the early 1900's, Sri Lanka is now one of the worlds capital tea producers. Black tea is the standard, and it's delicious and strong, served with only a little, or no milk. Travel into the mountainous tea regions and the flavours are limitless, and delicious!

4. Street Vendor Food

Extremely cheap, extremely delicious and available everywhere, Sri Lankan street vendor food is an absolute must try.

Listen out for the nursery time tunes playing out of the speakers as the bakery truck goes by and chase it down to get some delicious sugar buns, warm donuts, fresh bread, egg and spice savoury buns and cupcakes.

On almost every corner you'll be sure to see a two wheeled street vendor selling everything from vegetable samosas, coconut fried chickpeas, fresh rotti bread, dal and home made potato chips - these delicious snacks will cost you next to nothing and most likely be served in yesterdays newspaper. 

5. Buffalo Curd

Sri Lanka's answer to the western world's yoghurt is Buffalo Curd.

The Buffalo Curd is not as sweet as it's over processed western world counterparts and is often served with fruits and cake to give it more flavour. Try a local 'Lassi' which is a curd and fruit blended milkshake style drink to really understand why the locals love this stuff.

6. Hoppers

Made predominately of rice flour there are two main types of hoppers - both delicious. The fist are string hoppers and these are a thin and noodle like but are often stuck together with a filling like desiccated coconut and palm sugar. 

Then theres the normal hoppers that look like a little pancake bowl and often have a fried egg, some curry or a sweet filling such as banana and nutella

Both equally delicious and both certainly need to be tried!

7. Lion Lager

The national lager of Sri Lanka, this heavy beer is everything you'd expect from a lager and goes down a treat on a hot and humid typical Sri Lanka day!

8. Anything Coconut

Tropical fruit grows in abundance in Sri Lanka thanks to it's heavy rainfall, and coconuts are a dietary staple.

Served in almost every-way imaginable, sip on a fresh King Coconut straight from the palm tree, enjoy a frozen coconut ice cream, indulge in a sweet desert rotti or string hopper packed with shredded coconut or try some of the delicious chocolate coconut bars available from local supermarkets.

 9. Kottu

Essentially containing the same essential ingredients at Rotti, Kottu is basically a shredded and stirfried Rotti copped up finely to resemble more of a fried rice. 

It generally contains spices, vegetables, egg and can be spicy.

10. Dal

A staple in any street vendors offering, dal is essentially lentils and come most often pulsed and served in an orange biscuit like shape, don't be fooled however this is definitely a savoury snack. These are generally extremely cheap and you can get a small bag full to snack on for less than a dollar.

 

 

Alexis ZahnerComment