Culinary Adventures in Sri Lanka

My first visit ever to Far East Asia was back in December 2017 to Sri Lanka. I wish I had kept a travel diary back then.

Despite the lack of a travel journal, I still have vivid memories about that trip. I loved my time in Sri Lanka. It is a stunning country with something for everyone, whether you are into hiking or the beach.

Other than treating me to some of my best hiking adventures (blog post about hiking Adam’s Peak coming soon hopefully) , Sri Lanka definitely treated me to delicious food. I indulged in fresh fruits and cooling coconut drinks. I had way too many curries and rottis and the best ginger biscuits I’ve ever had to this day.

Below, are some foods, drinks and culinary adventures that I enjoyed.

TEA

Chances are if you’re visiting Sri Lanka, you are going to visit Hill Country, the land of tea plantations and scenic views.

Nuwara Eliya, known as “Little England” is home to the tea plantations.

The views are stunning, a horizon of green hills.

A sign of a tea plantation in Sri Lanka
Glenloch, one of the many tea plantations in Hill Country

There are so many tea plantations to choose from. Most offer the same experience. It is fairly a classic touristy activity but I wouldn’t qualify it as tourist trap as you get the chance to stroll in the plantations. If you are a tea lover, I’m sure you’d love to see tea plantations 🙂

In the tea factories, you get to witness the process of making tea then you’ll be treated to a tasting to try the different flavours( Black, green, white, etc.) . Of course, your visit ends in a shop where you can pick tea as a souvenir. Food souvenirs are my favourite type of souvenirs 😀

Tea tasting
Tea tasting

FRESH FRUIT

If you like fruit and you should, then you are in for a treat in Sri Lanka. I tried fruit that I never heard about before and I loved all of it.

This may be surprising for some of you. It definitely was for me but Jackfruit is often cooked in curries. The Jackfruit curry tastes amazing, the fruit has almost a meaty texture.

I’m not even sure if Jackfruit is eaten raw as fruit. If you know, please comment and educate me. I’d appreciate it.

Fresh papaya, pineapples and bananas are often served for breakfast.

Fruit
There are plenty of stalls on the side of the road selling fresh fruit, especially coconut. We stopped to get some red bananas as I never had them before. I remember the gaze of the toddler looking at this stranger buying bananas from his mum 🙂  
Red Bananas
coconut drink in the garden
This photo was taken in my last evening in Sri Lanka. It was pouring rain, I sat in the terrace of the guesthouse drinking coconut & reading a book

COCONUT PANCAKES-PANI POL

This is a favourite of mine.

Technically Pani Pol are crepes stuffed with sweet coconut filling. To be honest, it doesn’t matter if they’re pancakes or crepes, they are still delicious.

I have desiccated coconut in my cupboard, I might make Pani Pol for breakfast tomorrow!

I had these every single morning for breakfast

KOTTU ROTI

Kottu Roti is a very popular, probably the most famous Sri Lankan street food.

It’s shopped Roti bread mixed with vegetables, egg and meat or chicken.

The process of making Roti is fascinating, make sure to watch.

I had these every single morning for breakfast
Outside the guesthouse where I stayed before climbing Adam’s Peak. I met other travellers and we decided to do the night climb together.
During the day, we had Rotis and tried to rest before starting our 1 AM adventure.

Curries

Expect to eat curries for breakfast, lunch and dinner . Just embrace it. I’m aware that for a lot of us, breakfast means a sweet or light meal.

In different countries, there are different rules. In a lot of Asian countries, Breakfast is just like lunch or dinner, it is simply a meal in the morning but in no way different from a meal that you might have for dinner.

Typically, you’d be served rice, a main dish of meat of fish and 6 other curries of vegetables and fruit ( remember that Jackfruit curry I was talking about).

If you do visit Sigiriya and you should, make sure to visit Gamagedara Village food.

Gamagedara Village food is a small family run restaurant that serves an amazing selection of curries. There’s no menu really, it’s more like a buffet where you help yourself to food.

Breakfasts

I love a good feast. the breakfasts I was served in Sri Lanka were feasts.

they are typically fresh fruit, coconut pancakes, hoppers and a selection of curries and dhaal.


I hope you are not intimidated by spices or street food, it would be a shame to miss on the amazing food Sri Lanka has to offer

Jodi Ettenberg (LegalNomads) has a fantastic post on how to eat street food without getting sick.

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