Sample Fantastic Food on a Holiday to Sri Lanka

A holiday to Sri Lanka gives you the chance to sample a wide range of food, not least of all because the country’s cuisine draws on influences from all over the world.

Not only was the island a popular destination for traders in the 15th and 16th centuries, but its period of being a colony under British, Portuguese and Dutch rule has resulted in various European, Indian and Chinese cooking practices having a significant impact on the dishes available in the country.

With such a rich culinary history to explore, you are bound to find something to tickle your taste buds and for a tasty way to start your day, why not try indiappa?

Consisting of steamed noodle-like strings of rice-flour dough, indiappa, also known as string hoppers, are a popular breakfast and lunch dish among Sri Lankans. These can be eaten plain although if you are going to have them for your midday meal, you may want to try indiappa with maalu ambulthiyal, a kind of fish curry.

Hoppers, or appa, are another popular Sri Lankan dish and can also be eaten for either breakfast or lunch. These bowl-shaped pancakes are made from a fermented batter of rice flour and coconut milk, one of the country’s most used cooking ingredients, and are crispy around the edges yet soft in the middle.

You can eat these by themselves, although many people like to add a poached egg to their hoppers. If you have a sweet tooth, you can drizzle your pancakes with honey, although lunu miris, a side-dish made from red onions and dried chilli flakes, may be a better accompaniment if you like your food to have a kick to it!

If you’re feeling peckish between breakfast and dinner, stop by one of the country’s Short Eat stores and restaurants. These specialise in ‘short eats’, the name given to a wide range of bite-sized snacks that include pastries and mutton rolls – the latter of which sees potato and tenderised pieces of lamb seasoned and placed in a wrap.

Curries are a large part of cuisine in Sri Lanka, as is the case in many other parts of south Asia. However you should be aware that the food here tends to be much spicier than in neighbouring countries, something which you may find to be the case when having kottu.

This curried dish originates from the eastern city of Trincomalee and can be made with a range of meats, including beef and chicken, served with godamba roti bread.

Alternatively, why not try lamprais? This unique dish is influenced by Dutch cuisine and consists of rice – which has been pre-boiled in beef stock – vegetables and meat being wrapped in a banana leaf and baked at a low temperature.

Wash your food down with a refreshing cup of tea. Sri Lanka is one of the world’s biggest tea producers, with black Ceylon among the many varieties you can sample.

But if you want something a little stronger, you may like to try toddy. This type of wine is made from the sap of palm trees, although if distilled it can create arrack, a spirit that has a much higher concentration of alcohol.

With so much great food and drink to try, you can enjoy Sri Lankan cuisine from dawn right through to dusk!
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