Sri Lankan food is rich in flavour, healthy, spicy, and unique. Sri Lanka, the amazing little spice island also known as Ceylon in the past, has been visited by many international traders in throughout history, and they have left a little bit of their culture and cuisine which has blended in with our own. Sri Lankan food is not only the traditional Sinhalese and Tamil foods, but a blend of English, Dutch, Portuguese, Arabic, Malay, Moor and Indian gastronomies.
The Sri Lankan staple diet consists of rice and curry; rice accompanied by a red curry or white curry and the traditional pol sambol (coconut chutney) is enjoyed by all. Sri Lankan cuisine plays a vital role in an islander’s life, from the auspicious Sinhala/Tamil New Year celebrations to a normal day. Milk rice prepared with coconut milk, sweet meats (Kavum, Kokis), curd and treacle are served at cultural festivals. Some of these preparations and specialities change from region to region; in the north of Sri Lanka – Jaffna, the food has strong Indian influences. In the south of Sri Lanka – in places like Matara the dishes are extremely hot and spicy; the famous dish that originated from there is called an Ambulthiyal (spicy fish in gamboges paste). In the Western region – Colombo is famous for all multicultural dishes.
Since Sri Lanka is a tropical country, we have our own unique vegetables, fresh fruit and spices in abundance. Spices such as cloves, cardamoms, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg grow in the fertile districts of Kandy and Matale.