The beautiful island of Sri Lanka is home to a diverse community comprising of Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and other ethnicities. In essence, the island is truly a melting pot of cultures, traditions and of course, cuisines. While the Tamils of the North have their cuisine being influenced by South India, the Sinhalese of the South pride themselves on authentic Sinhalese cuisine that is predominantly comprised of grains and vegetables that are readily available in the island due to its climate. The cuisine has also been influenced by the nations that colonised the island as well as foreign traders.


While many of the dishes have ethnic origins, Sri Lankan cuisine has incorporated these diverse foods with gusto and many Sri Lanka restaurants will serve a variety of such dishes. Restaurants such as CASA Colombo Collection Mirissa prides themselves on delivering delicious seafood highlighting the spiciness Sri Lankan cuisine is famous for. Therefore, for tourists who cannot handle spicy food, care must be made to inform the chef in advance to use very little chilli in the preparation of authentic Sri Lankan meals. For those wishing to explore the Southern Sri Lankan cuisine, seafood is a marvellous starting point because, given that the country is surrounded by the ocean, sea food has become an integral component in many meals.


The traditional ‘rice and curry’ that is characteristic of a Sri Lankan meal comprises of steamed or boiled red rice served with an assortment of vegetable curries, lentils such as dahl, chutneys and sambals as well as with fish, chicken or any other meat. While rice and curry remain a popular favourite that can be consumed throughout the day, dinner is often hoppers which are a dish made of fried milk batter as well as string hoppers. These dishes are traditionally combined with a chutney-like onion paste, dahl and coconut sambal. A typical breakfast meal would be ‘kiribath’ or milk rice, a favourite amongst many Sri Lankans, and often, tourists and travellers.


Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.