27 Apr Sri Lanka For Foodies: Must Try Foods When Travelling Sri Lanka
To get to know a country, you must get to know its food, and Sri Lanka definitely adds credence to the adage. Many people assume the country is primarily influenced by neighbouring India, but on closer examination you’ll find that its distinctive culture is made up of South Indian, Dutch and Indonesian influences. Here are a few foods to try when exploring the country. You’ll find some familiar and others unusual – but all are guaranteed to be unforgettable.
Breakfast isn’t a major meal for Sri Lankans, and like many eastern countries, the meal is built around savoury flavours. A tasty breakfast is a hopper, which is a thin, bowl-shaped rice and coconut-based pancake which is filled with a fried egg and anything else you see fit. Feeling more adventurous? Then try get your hands on a wood apple. If you can get past its pungent odour and mouldy appearance, you’ll find it a pudding-like treat that can be eaten straight from the shell with a spoon or sweetened and blended into a smoothie.
Lunch is considered to be the main meal of the day for Sri Lankans. As you’re likely to be out and about exploring the region at this time, you’ll be in easy reach of a reputable street food vendor. You’ll find lamprais (also called lump rice) on every corner and it’s the perfect, plate free meal. A selection of meat, rice and vegetables are stuffed into a sturdy banana leaf and topped with sambal chili. You’ll be offered this condiment wherever you go, and its combination of coconut, chilli and onion is addictive.
You can’t leave Sri Lanka without sampling their unique curries, and both vegetarians and meat lovers will be spoilt for choice. Try the polos, which is a curry made from the tropical starchy jackfruit that’s curried with mustard seeds, turmeric and pandan leaves.
You can also try the fish ambul thiyal, which is a sour fish curry with a dry and tangy seasoning that’s served with rice. Wondering what to wash your meals down with? Well it wouldn’t be trip to Sri Lanka if you didn’t sample some of the Ceylon tea the country is so famous for. Other popular drinks include refreshing coconut water and arrack, which is an alcoholic drink made from fermented coconut flowers and enjoyed with ginger beer.