Sri Lankan Food

It's simply outstanding

Sri Lanka is quickly becoming a hot spot for food lovers due to it's diverse curries and tasty classics. We get amazing feedback from our customers, so many come back to us afterwards just to say how surprised they were by how much they loved the food and drink in Sri Lanka. It's relatively unknown as a nation for food, except for those in the know.

Food quality and service standards in the hotels we use is generally outstanding. We have tested out the food and drink in all our amazing hotels for you over many years (having forced ourselves :) Please ask us if you have any specific questions regarding certain food or certain places as we are only too happy help. Incase you haven't guessed already, food is a big passion for the whole team at Invite to Paradise and we take pride in knowing what we're talking about!

Don't just take our word for it though. People like Rick Stein, the famous English chef from Cornwall, absolutely loves it and stayed in Sri Lanka as part of his book and TV program Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey, where he dived with fished with local fisherman and discovered the complexities and brilliance of fine Sri Lankan curries.

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foods for every taste

It's not all about Sri Lankan curries though, the majority of our hotels all do western food brilliantly too. Whether it's delicious sandwiches and wraps, a gourmet beef burger and chips or fresh Italian pizza or spaghetti bolognese. The Sri Lankan establishments that we recommend ensure that you leave with full tummies and happy hearts. The only down side is that Sri Lankan food and service spoils you for when you return home, as you can’t help but think how much less it would be costing in Sri Lanka (and usually how much ridiculously better the quality and service would be too!)

Here are some of the favourite Sri Lankan food and drinks from the Invite to Paradise team:

Food:

  • Rice (it’s everywhere!) and milk rice
  • Dhal
  • Beetroot curry
  • Cashew nut curry
  • Chicken curry
  • Egg hoppers
  • String hoppers
  • Spicy sambols
  • Runner bean curry
  • Chicken Kottu roti (amazing street food)
  • Lamb biriani
  • Fish curry
  • Cuttle fish
  • Freshly caught yellow fin tuna (raw for lunch and cooked for dinner)
  • Local crab with spices (closer to the sea the better)
  • Giant tempura prawns
  • Devilled beef (amazing on the south coast in particular)
  • And last but not least the deep flavoured beef curry, best served in the hill country.

Drinks:

  • Lion lager
  • Ginger beer
  • Fresh lime juice with sugar syrup
  • King Coconut, (naturally the best drink for re-hydrating if you're dehydrated. Really cheap and sold by the roadside island wide and also at all hotels).
  • Old Arrack (local liquor)
  • White rum (local)

Here's some photographs of lovely Sri Lanka food from the talented celebrity Sri Lankan chef Peter Kuruvita!

Local Sri Lankan Food & Street Food

Some may say of traditional Sri Lankan food that there are 2 types: curry and rice or rice and curry! Curry is definitely the choice of the masses and it comes in so many different varieties, whether it be meat, vegetable or fish most are very spicy. Incase it’s not quite hot enough there will usually be several accompanying chilli side kicks to add even more heat, such as dried or fresh chilli. Also look out for the variety of tasty accompaniments known as sambols. Alongside the plethora of curries available country wide there are of course other dishes such as savoury Dosa & Chutneys (crispy pancakes with assorted fillings - see pic) or Kottu Roti (vegetables, egg, meat, spices and sauce all chopped up together with a thin tortilla-like bread- see pic) or Lamprais (assorted curry and rice steamed in a massive banana leaf - see pic).

Food & hygiene standards for street food can vary as with any country so do be mindful of the cleanliness etc. These are just examples of some local Sri Lankan cuisine but there are many different foods to be found island wide. Prices range from a few pence to a few pounds. Enjoy!

Here's some more photographs of yummy Sri Lankan food - the below photos show mainly local vegetarian and vegan curries.


Here's a Cheeky little recipe for you

Sri Lankan runner bean curry (vegan)

This vegan spice pot is cooled down with coconut milk- ginger, cinnamon, cloves, mustard seeds and garam masala are all key flavours.

Preparation time = 10 mins

Cooking time = 20 mins


Ingredients:

Method

In a blender, combine the onion, turmeric, ginger, garlic and 1 tbsp of the oil together with a large pinch of salt. Heat the remaining oil in a shallow pan. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves, and cook until they crackle, then add the onion paste and cook until sticky.

 

Stir through the curry powder, then pour in the coconut milk. Add the cloves, cinnamon and the chilli, and bring to a simmer. Tip in the beans and simmer for 15 mins or until the beans are tender. Squeeze in the lime juice, add the garam masala, take the pan off the heat and stir through the coriander. Serve with rice and rotis, if you like.

 

 

  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • large piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 5 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 400g can coconut milk
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole dried red chilli
  • 300g runner beans, stringed and sliced
  • juice 1 lime
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • handful fresh coriander
  • rice and rotis, to serve (optional)