The rich historic heritage of Sri Lanka is reflected in its cuisine that is influenced by the Portuguese, the Dutch, the Malays, the Arabs and South Indian cultures. Sri Lankan food is generally spicy and is flavoured with lot of spices. Rice, vegetable, meat and fish are the ingredients of a staple meal in Sri Lanka.
The side dishes of a Sri Lankan meal are parripu (red lentil dhal), mullung (ripped green leaves with spices, lightly stir-fried) and sambol (a mixture of grated coconut, chilly & spice).
The meal is generally accompanied with desserts like Wattalappam and Kiri Peni. Kiribath, a dessert dish, is made of rice cooked in coconut milk, is served on ceremonies and special occasions.
Some popular dishes of Sri Lanka are Mallung, Sambol, Lamprais, Buriyani and Polos Pehi. Kavum, Halape, Thalaguli and Wattalapam are popular sweetmeats.
Curry is a staple dish in Sri Lanka. It can be prepared with fish, mutton, beef or even vegetables. Brinjals, beans, beetroot, carrot, banana flower and pumpkin are used to prepare vegetable curries.
Non-vegetarian curries are prepared by cooking chicken, beef, mutton or eggs in a thick sauce of coconut milk with all the ingredient spices. Sour fish curry of tuna, seer or para fish is a popular dish of southern Sri Lanka.
In the country, street food can be had at beaches like Hikkaduwa. Street food vendors set their stalls near the beaches and serve highly spicy and flavoured dishes. The most popular street food in the country is Kottu, which is a mix of vegetables and any other foodstuff of choice chopped together with a thin roti.
One has an option to choose from fish, beef, chicken, mutton and cheese Kottu. Hoppers or ‘Aappa,' which is made using rice flour and eaten with a ground mix of chillies, dried fish & onion, is another popular street food in Sri Lanka.
The eateries in the country range from sophisticated and expensive restaurants to roadside bistros and seaside stalls. Most of the bistros and posh restaurants are located in the prominent streets in main cities like Unawatuna in Galle. The fine dining restaurants at the 5-star hotels in the city of Colombo offer both local and international cuisine.
Tourists can also devour western food at KFC, Pizza Hut and Burger King outlets in the main cities. Some of the popular beverages of the country are Elephant House, Ginger Beer, Ceylon Tea and water of young coconut. Toddy and Arrack are intoxicating drinks.