Sri Lanka is diverse in many different ways and cuisine is one such area where each area of the island makes their own traditional dish that interestingly, no matter how hard you try, another cannot duplicate. The secret is years and years of recipes passed down from mother to daughter and sustained with almost religious accuracy. You need not necessarily travel into the rural villages in order to experience a taste of authentically delicious Sri Lankan food. For foreigners who are travelling to Colombo from the Katunayake International Airport, there are many eateries on the way such as numerous restaurants in Wattala such as the Pegasus Reef Hotel and many others all along the road to the capital city. You could ask for a good plate of rice and curry a staple in the island which will come served on a lotus or banana leaf most of the time. The meals will consist of rice which is the staple food of the country together with about five or six curries that will consist of a few vegetables, yams and lentils. There would also be a meat, fish or egg to accompany the meal if requested. Poppadams and fried chilies or a spoonful of pickle add that final finish to this culinary commoner which is tasty, filling and cheap.


Stringhoppers, hoppers and pittu make up for dinner staples accompanied with a chili and coconut sambol or chutney and a couple of curries which have a gravy-like, thick consistency. If you happen to be walking along the streets at night after a good day out, try and order some kottu which is the “darling night time food” of the city. Alternatively, milkrice with a fish curry and chili sambol as well as jaggery and bananas, boiled chick peas tempered and served with fresh coconut or boiled sweet potatoes served with coconut and chili sambol, will give a great start to your morning.


Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.