Tag Archives: Recipes in Sri Lanka

Discover the Many Flavours of Sri Lanka

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Just Rice and Curry may sound really plain and mundane but when it means the Sri Lankan version, it is sublime. It’s a medley of amazing flavors and dishes that offers a constantly changing array of tastes that reflects the skills of the cook and the bounty of the markets.

Although Sri Lankan recipes may look very similar to South Indian cuisine, it is uniquely different in taste, texture as well as preparation, echoing the indelible cultures left by the tiny island’s traders, immigrants, neighbours and colonisers. Home to some of the most exotic fruits and vegetables as well as amazing spices and seafood, it’s no wonder that Sri Lankan recipes has garnered so much attention by food lovers.

Though Sri Lanka may be a pint-sized island, each region of the country has its own signature dishes which have become part of the staple diet and some recipes in Sri Lanka have even gone on to reach global recognition as a comfort food and island delicacy.

When it comes to the most popular comfort food, there’s nothing quite like the Sri Lankan dhal curry. It’s a permanent fixture of the local staple and a tempered dhal or Red Lentil curry makes a satisfying accompaniment to any carb dish, be it rice, string hoppers, bread or roti; Sri Lankans cannot do without dhal in their food in the food.

When talking about comfort food, we cannot ignore street food and as far as street food in Sri Lanka goes, the undisputed leader is the hugely popular Kottu. Found nowhere else in the world, kottu is prepared with much ado and noise with shredded roti tossed with a colorful assortment of tempered vegetables, spices, meat and eggs. Sri Lankan recipes for kottu come in numerous variations including  just plain eggs, fish, chicken or all of these together with a healthy helping of cheese. Kottu is typically served with a side dish of hot, spicy gravy to add extra flavor to the dish.

Then there is the seafood and as islanders, Sri Lankans have a great love for their seafood dishes. Using a variety of cooking techniques – from tempering and frying to baking and steaming, seafood in Sri Lanka is enjoyed in  numerous ways. This is evident in the way seafood is prepared in different parts of the island. The northern region likes to incorporate seafood as an all-rounder with leafy greens, jackfruit seeds and a melange of seafood in their seafood curry. The western region likes to have their seafood dishes slow cooked to perfection and smothered in a spicy gravy. These variety of seafood dishes stand as a testimony to how much Sri Lankans cherish the bounties of the ocean.

Chicken dishes feature prominently in Sri Lankan recipes in an assortment of delightful curries and is a firm dinner favorite with many Lankans. Owing to its ease of cooking and delectable taste, chicken recipes are seeing a new high in Sri Lanka, thanks to the variety of exciting chicken products in the market today.

And finally, as far as desserts and sweets are concerned, Sri Lanka has a fantastic selection that can permanently cure anyone’s sweet addiction. Form tangy curd and treacle and creamy wattalapam to traditional sweetmeats like Kavvum or sweet oil cakes and deep-fried, crispy sweets called Kokis, sweets and desserts in Sri Lanka are by no means lacking, making Sri Lankan a well rounded in the culinary department.

Exploring Sri Lankan Cooking

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When it comes to Sri Lankan food, spices and coconut are featured heavily, making Sri Lankan recipes wholly unique. Most of the Sri Lankan recipes took its roots in India where curries took its influences to the wide reaches of the globe – to Africa, Indonesia and beyond.

Main courses in Sri Lanka are almost always rice with a dizzying array of colourful curries that come in every imaginable combination – from fish, shellfish and vegetables to meat and chicken and much more. Chicken dishes are gaining popularity with quality chicken products like Bairaha making cooking chicken dishes all the more easy and flavorful. While recipes in Sri Lanka call for a long list of ingredients, the recipes are very simple and goes together fairly quickly.

At its most extravagant, a rice and curry affair can include half a dozen vegetarian curries, a couple of delicious meat curries, sambols, mallums and papadum. Any lunch without three or four of these components is considered incomplete anywhere in Sri Lanka. While a meal with so many elements can seem a little overwhelming, its colors, textures and flavours are a true representation of the complexity of Sri Lankan food.

Sri Lankan food is, in many ways, similar to that of Southern India, its closest neighbour. But there have been lots of other culinary influences too throughout the island’s long, eventful history. Early Portuguese and Dutch occupation left their mark on certain rice dishes and the British left they’re love for tea with the islanders.
Based on a bedrock of vibrant spices masterfully blended in roasted and unroasted curry powders, Sri Lankan recipes a perfect balance and it does so with exceptional finesses and flair.