Rice and curry is the staple meal of Sri Lanka, and may be enjoyed no matter where you seek Sri Lanka Accommodation. A portion of rice served by your host or yourself can be accompanied by any number of side dishes, including vegetables, egg, meat, or fish cooked with peppers, spices and often with coconut milk. Other than rice, most traditional meals are composed of the ubiquitous curries and a starchy staple ranging from String Hoppers (kind of noodles made of rice or wheat flour), Hoppers, (cup-shaped pancakes of rice flour), Roti (a flat bread made of wheat and grated coconut) to Thosai (a sourdough pancake). Another unique side dish is Sambol, will definitely be present at mealtimes during your Sri Lankan holiday. Whether you stay in a Sri Lanka Resort or Sri Lanka Holiday Bungalow in the jungle, sambol will be there to tickle your tongue with its slightly hot peppery flavor. It is made of scraped coconut mixed with a tinge of salt and plenty of red pepper. It may sometimes be finely grounded into a paste, a convenient arrangement if you eat bread with it.
Apart from the staple food as described above, Sri Lankan cuisine is a colossal cohesion of influences from our South Indian neighbors, Arab and Moorish traders, and the Portuguese and Dutch settlers. The English influence however is marginal.
Biriyani is a close cousin of the Spanish dish paella and the Italian dish risotto. It is rice cooked in stock with other ingredients added to enhance the flavour of the rice. Biriyani has a distinctive aroma; when cooked it emanates a fragrance detectable from a distance. It is one of the most delicious of all Sri Lankan food preparations of rice. To the rice are added spices, stock, ghee and vegetables or meat to enhance the flavor. The beauty of biriyani comes from the technique of cooking the rice in stock with the meat and vegetables in the same pot- allowing the flavours to seep into the rice as it cooks. Biriyani may be embellished with currants, mustard seeds or coriander leaves to make it more appetizing and meat such as chicken, mutton, beef and even prawns added.
There is also ‘Lamprais’ a Sri Lankan delicacy concocted with rice boiled with in turmeric, coconut milk and spices yellow in colour topped with an onion sambol with plenty of Maldives fish chips. Another accompaniment is Brinjal Moju, a pickled salad. It is lumped with a boiled egg mildly tempered with a large chunk of breast of chicken or mutton wrapped in Banana leaf in a neat square package, which enhances the flavour.
Pittu made its way to Sri Lanka with the Malay regiments brought in by the Dutch and the English, now a staple main dish in Sri Lankan cuisine. Pittu is a mixture of fresh rice meal, lightly roasted and mixed with fresh, grated coconut steamed in a bamboo mould.
Thosai, a Tamil staple is a favourite among all Sri Lankans. It happens to be both delicious and nutritious. The base for this lentil pancake is rice flour with Urad dhal and is baked with sesame oil. Thosai resembles a tortilla, and is eaten with finely ground coconut and chili sambol. The classic accompaniment for thosai is the epitome of Tamil Cuisine – the Vadai, small savory rissoles of ground red dhal. Most Sri Lanka Beach hotels and hotels in Sri Lanka serve these dishes at buffets at least once a week. No holiday in Sri Lanka would be complete without trying these dishes at least once!