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Visit Sri Lanka in 7 Bites

The ingredients in Sri Lankan cuisine are very similar to those in South Indian Cuisine. There is a little bit for everyone in the vast ocean of Sri Lankan cuisine, particularly for people who love spicy food! Fiery curries, spicy chutneys and sour pickles are dominant flavours of island country.

We tell you about 7 things that are the essentials in a Sri Lankan menu!

Coconut Roti and pittuCoconut is found in abundance in this tropical country and it reflects well in the food. Coconut roti is a pancake made with flour and coconut and is as popular in five stars as in street stalls. Served with a spicy side which could be anything ranging from a hot sauce to a coconut chutney, lunumiris or a fiery meat or vegetable curry. Pittu/puttu is another really popular Sri Lankan bread recipe. Steamed rice and coconut cylinders, much like modified idlis go perfectly with sizzling Sri Lankan staples. 

Kiri BathShort grain rice infused with coconut milk and served in cut squares just like milk cakes. Literally meaning milk rice, kiri bath is a traditional Sri Lankan dish, similar to Tamil paalchoru. One of the popular breakfasts, it is also a must to celebrate any auspicious occasion. Moreover, Sri Lankans bring in the Sinhalese New Year with this conventional dish! It tastes just as delicious sweet when served with jaggery and coconut as it does savory with a sambal.

Sambal –Sambal is basically Indonesian chutney made with chillies and salt. Srilanka has several recipes for sambals. Lunumiri, the most basic and popular of this is traditionally made and eaten everywhere in Srilanka. Besides the basic lunumiri, sambals are made using pickled onions, fried garlic, dried fish, grated coconut, tomatoes and even roasted brinjal these days. Try these with traditional Sri Lankan breads, rice or in a street food favourite, kottu which is lunumiri scrambled with eggs and veggies. Sri Lankan pickles or acharu are also definitely worth giving a try, especially the lunu dehi or sour lime pickle!

Hoppers Hoppers are the Sri Lankan version of our very own Kerala appams. Soft and doughy in the center and thin and crisp on the edges these hoppers can be sweet or savoury. Egg hoppers have a broken egg in between and are topped with some lunumiri onion sambal or fried garlic. String hoppers are tangled nests of rice vermicelli noodles which are eaten with a thick dhal or curry, mostly for breakfast.

Kukul maas Curry – A kukul mass curry is a spicy chicken curry, slightly toned down with coconut milk. The flavour of rustic spices marries perfectly well with the succulently cooked meat. These spicy creamy curries are the soul of Sri Lankan food. They are made with goat, pork, lamb and seafood, besides chicken. Relish these with rice, bread and rotis or use traditional appams to scoop up these delicious curries which every Sri Lankan household has their own unique recipe for. Kukul maas curry and a sweet and sour fish curry are particular favourites.

Kiri Aluwa Like you must rightly guessed here is another Sri Lankan staple that is made with coconut. This time it’s a dessert. This sticky coconut toffee is one amongst the many Sri Lankan desserts that will give you a refreshing change from the usual cheesecakes and ice creams. Sweetmeats made with rice flour, jaggery, fresh fruits and palm treacle are very popoular. Add sweetness with a difference to any occasion with these unusual Sri Lankan desserts like kevam or rice cakes, sago pudding or wattalappam and their fruit cakes.

Fruit Paradise - While in Sri Lanka you must try some of the fruits that are native to these parts of the world. While most people shy away from durians, the Sri Lankans have embraced it. Wood apple juice is another one of those popular Sri Lankan items that have an acquired taste. Wood apples are loaded with vitamins and minerals and the not so good taste is completely worth it! Besides these coconut and tender coconut is part of the fabulous produce from Srilanka and are used in all types of courses.

Try out a few of these lip smacking Sri Lankan recipes at

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.