In addition to the multitude of places to visit, things to do and memories to create, Sri Lanka is also home to a mouth-watering number of dishes to savour. And topping the list of famous Sri Lankan food to experience is none other than a hearty plate of rice and curry.
A full plate
A heartwarming and tummy pleasing meal, Sri Lankan rice and curry is art on a plate. A staple Sri Lankan go to meal consists of a portion of red or white rice, a fiery meat or fish curry and some tantalising vegetable curries – not forgetting the beloved dhal curry – along with a handful of healthy green mallung, a sweet and sour pickle, and a crunchy accompaniment on the side.
A bowlful of curry
The essential part of a plate of rice and curry is the protein component. A spicy fish or chicken curry, peppery black pork curry, heat inducing seafood curry, or succulent mutton or beef curry adds spice and cheer to this delicious meal.
To the vegans out there, worry not as veggie options are also available in plenty. Rice and curry is always accompanied by a few coconut milk based sides of vegetable or gram curries to balance the spiciness on the plate. Local curry favourites include dhal, jak fruit, beetroot, ash plantain, chickpea, okra, cashew, potato, green beans and carrot to name a few.
Next come the side dishes, adding a sweet, spicy and sour twist to the meal. These include sambols such as the good ol’ pol sambol (coconut sambol), lunu miris (chilli and onion paste), seeni sambol (sweet onion sambol), katta sambol (Maldive fish sambol), brinjal moju (sweet and sour mix), Malay pickle, lime pickle and mango chutney.
Let’s not forget the greens amidst all this excitement. Mallung (green salad) plays the ‘vitamin’ role in the wholesome meal. Mothers tend to create mallung from anything that grows in their gardens. Must try dishes include gotu kola (Pennywort), kathurumurunga (Hummingbird tree), mukunuwenna (sessile joyweed) and kalawang mallung (mixed green salad).
Vegetables such as snake gourd, cabbage and jak fruit also make for good mallung options every once in a while. Pol mallung (coconut tempered sambol) is a treat as well.
Popadum (fried crisps), fried fish and fried chilli are accompaniments that give the (almost) necessary crunchy bite to complete the meal.
|Lunu Ambula||Colombo 5||$|
|Udumbara JU Caterers||Colombo 5||$|
|Lantheruma (The Lantern)||Colombo 5||$$|
|Raja Bojun||Colombo 3||$$|
|Curry Leaf (Hilton Colombo)||Colombo 1||$$$|
|Upali’s by Nawaloka||Colombo 7||$$$|
|Kaema Sutra||Colombo 1||$$$$|