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Sri Lankan Food – Divine Cuisines

Why should you taste Sri Lankan Food at least once in your lifetime?

Most of you might not know what Sri Lankan Food might taste like. Well, let me just show you a small video from; 

Masterchef Australia 2020.


Wow. ❤️

Posted by Sahan Atulugama on Tuesday, April 14, 2020

I hope you watched the short video. That’s how it tastes like!

This was on facebook and I wanted to show this video to you to give you a hint of what Sri Lankan food is.

Since it is coming from four great chefs in the world, you know it is great.

Well, in this article, rather than telling how great Sri Lankan food is, I’m going to give you 5 types of food that tourists love out of all Sri Lankan food. Which means, you definitely have to give it a go when you are in Sri Lanka.

But before that, let talk a little about the history.

Food and Sri Lankan Culture

What makes a country unique? You know the answer.

It is culture.

Culture makes a nation unique from another. The way people dress, way they walk and talk, way the interact with each other, the food, all of these things build up a unique culture.

Sri Lanka is also such a unique culture that has been developing for over 2500 years of history. One of the main ingredients of Sri Lankan culture is Sri Lankan Food.

Crab Dish
This is a popular crab dish at the famous restaurant "Ministry of Crab" at Dutch Hospital Complex in Colombo. It's delicious!. Try it out when you visit Sri Lanka.​
Click Here to go to Ministry of Crab

From ancient times, Sri Lankan was popular for the best spices. There is evidence that Sri Lanka exported spices like cinnamon to Egypt 5000 years ago. That is when pharaohs were ruling Egypt.

Sri Lanka is also a part of the spice trail that spanned from China to middle east through the indian ocean.  

pharaohs cinnamon

Sri Lanka is a country known for spices. I mentioned that in my previous article (Spice Garden Sri Lanka) as well.

Sri Lankan Food is shaped up by the right proportions of spices used in them.

I am no chef. So, I am not going to talk about the details of taste and the proportions of spices you must add to make a Sri Lankan dish.

Therefore, this article is not for the readers who are food specialists. This article is for the average travelers who are food lovers and who love to try out some amazing Sri Lankan Food.

I have selected 5 most popular cuisines among tourists in Sri Lanka.

5 Most Popular Sri Lankan Food


Hoppers in Sri Lanka is almost like a sub brand under Sri Lankan Food. It is so popular among tourists who are visiting Sri Lanka. Unlike other curries and rotis, hoppers have a very different shape. Almost like a hollow dome turned upside down.

sri lankan food hoppers
sri lankan food hoppers

The taste is something like you’ve never tasted before. Its really unique. Almost like a milky taste. Edges of the dome are crispy and tastes milky. The center is of a different taste.

The “Katta Sambol” takes you to a whole new level and it is just amazing.

No wonder it is very popular among tourists. You can find hoppers in almost all the hotels and also in the normal restaurants you find by the road. Hoppers are usually taken by the locals for breakfast or dinner.

They also try to enhance the sweet taste by introducing honey to it. Locals call it “Pani appa”. “Pani” means honey and “Appa” means hoppers making it honey hoppers in English.

In addition to that, they also put sugar and coconut milk blend in the middle of normal hoppers to give that sweet taste. It is called as “Kiri Appa” by locals. “Kiri” means milk making it milk hoppers.

“Appa” of hoppers is something that you definitely should try out when you visit Sri lanka.


Kottu Roti is a very unique Sri Lankan Food. You can find “Kottu Roti” only in Sri Lanka. This is taken mostly for dinner by the locals. The way this is made is very interesting.

I’m going to be your Chef for the day now. Let me explain you how to make a delicious kottu.  :D

First you got to heat the Kottu plate. There are two steel plates for chopping everything together.

Then, get the roti pieces and put it on the hot steel surface. Then you should add all the other ingredients like egg, chicken curry, vegetables and other spices and chop everything together.

The chopping part is done with the steel plates. When it is being made it gives a louder sound. This is one unique feature in making Kottu Roti.

Check this video below showing you how it is done.

The taste of Kottu Roti is exquisite. I do not know how to explain you the taste of it. But I should say, when you visit Sri Lanka, one thing you need to do is you have to go to one of the restaurants and you got to try the Kottu Roti. The blend of spices with the roti is just awesome.

superb chef

You can also have different variations of Kottu Roti like,

Milk Rice

Milk rice is usually made to celebrate important occasions by the locals. This is more like an auspicious meal for them.

Milk rice is made by mixing coconut milk with rice and boiling until the coconut milk is absorbed into rice. Milk rice looks more like the Chinese rice but taste is very different.

As the name implies, Milk rice tastes milky. Usually served with “Katta Sambol” which I mentioned to you before in “Hopper Sri Lanka” section written above. “Katta Sambol” goes well with Milk Rice. This is the third Sri Lankan Food you got to try when you visit Sri lanka.

milk rice sri lanka
milk rice sri lanka

After eating it you will feel a little sleepy because of the coconut milk. This is very good natural sleep inducer as well. Very nutritious.

Pol Sambol (Coconut Sambol)

The fourth most popular Sri Lankan Food is Pol Sambol. This is another unique Sambol which you will find nowhere other than Sri Lanka.

To make this, locals use grated coconut and all other ingredients are spices. Chili powder brings the orange color to it while salt, lime, green chilis and pepper used in balanced proportions to get it up to required taste.

coconut sambol sri lanka
coconut sambol sri lanka

Pol Sambol is considered as a universal food in Sri Lanka. The reason being, Pol Sambol can be taken with any type of Sri Lankan Food. For example. Pol Sambol can be taken with roti, rice and curry, milk rice, hoppers, string hoppers, bread and any Sri Lankan Food you might know of.

You can prepare easily for either breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

Last but not least, the Sri Lankan Chicken curry. This is a nothing but a game of spices. Like I told you before, Sri Lankan Food is all about spices. Similarly, chicken is seasoned with the right amount of spices and seasoned and cooked. Tastes marvelous!

Unlike what I told you before this is a curry and the most important thing in a curry is you not just get the chicken; you get the gravy along with it as well. Gravy is tastier than the chicken let me tell you. Its mouthwatering.

Sri Lankan Food chicken curry
Black Chicken Curry

This can also be considered as a universal food although it is not prepared for all the occasions. Usually chicken curry comes with Kottu as well. This is the fifth most popular Sri Lankan Food among hundreds of others.

The marvel of Sri Lankan Food is that there is a special blend of spices for each and every food. There are specific ratios and proportions for each food type and when you change those ratios of the spice blend, the taste changes into something very different.

Sri Lankan Food addresses all types of taste buds on our tongue. Sweetness, sourness, saltiness, hotness everything. All these are in all food types unlike European food, Indian food or Chinese food.

At the same time locals are very concerned about the nutrients in the food they have. They are concerned about taking a balanced meal where there should be all the nutrients in respective proportions which is very meaningful.

Ok guys, I hope you found some food types that you got to try when you visit Sri Lanka. I can talk about hundreds of Sri Lankan Food I’ve tried and there is a distinct difference between each of those food which makes it marvelous. Most of all, locals keep all these ratios in mind when they make these things. They all are not chefs but most of the locals know a thing or two about how to prepare a dish.

So, I hope you liked the article. If you need more information about any other Sri Lankan Food, please drop a comment or write to us. Let us know your thoughts.

Also, if you are going to visit Sri Lanka, there are some other important facts you need to know before going there for you to fully enjoy the visit. 

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