Sri Lankan cuisine was formed by historical and cultural factors. For instance, Dutch colonialists brought much to it. As it always happens, foreign invaders bring their staples and cuisines with them. The traders start selling new foods. The cuisine of Southern India also had a big influence on Sri Lankan cuisine.
The main staple of modern Sri Lankan cuisine is rice, which is prepared in different ways. It can be steamed, boiled and served with different meats such as beef, chicken, fish, goat, mutton, with curry or vegetables.
Other staples of Sri Lankan cuisine are spices as the island has always been the producer of spices. It sold spices to many countries. Almost all Sri Lankan dishes explode with flavor thanks to spices and this is the way the local people prefer to cook. The tropical climate of the island made the coconut the staple as well. This ingredient plays a big role in the local cuisine. The combination of rice and curry is also a staple of Sri Lankan cuisine. Fish curry and mixed rice is a common dish there.
Dhal curry is a staple dish that is served in Sri Lanka almost everywhere. This is a rich stew prepared of dhal, curry, garlic, onion, chilli and curry leaves.
Jackfruit curry is a popular staple in Sri Lanka that is used to prepare different dishes. It can be cut and simmered with spices. Jackfruit resembles the juicy potato with spices. For different dishes jackfruit of different ripeness is used.
There is not as much fast food in Sri Lanka as in Western countries, but it has its “hamburger”. Kottu roti that is a large-sized paratha or parotta (flatbread fried in oil), filled with meaty or vegetarian ingredients.
Egg kottu is a version of the same dish, but it is prepared of egg. Egg is added to the mixture of cabbage, onions, leek, etc. There is also cheese kottu that you may like – a variation with yellow cheese.
Idiyappam is a popular national dish also called string hoppers. This is noodles made of rice flour. Rice flour is pressed to create noodles and then steamed. This culinary Sri Lankan staple is served as the main course together with curry.
Puttu is another dish made of rice but coarsely ground rice is used for the dish. It is made slowly by adding water to the rice till you get the right texture. Then spices are added and the stuff is steamed with grated coconut. It can be served with a banana or some side dish. This is often a breakfast item.
Kool is a broth made of seafood that can include crayfish, prawns, crab, cuttlefish and so on. Also, manioc, tamarind, long beans, jak seeds and spinach are added to it and thickened then with palmyra root flour.
Lamprais was brought to Sri Lanka by the Dutch. This is rice boiled with meatballs, mixed meat curry and other stuff, then wrapped in banana leaf to be baked in the oven.
Gotuloka Sambol (Pennywort Salad) and Beetroot Curry are wonderful dishes you may like when travelling in Sri Lanka.