Rice and Curry

Rice & Curry is the main food of Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans enjoy some of the spiciest foods in the world. Meat, fish and vegetables are prepared as curries. Sliced onions, green chilies, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and saffron are used to add flavors. Today, rice and curry has shifted from being the popular breakfast to the essential lunch.

A basic rice and curry requires one fish (or beef or chicken) curry, two different vegetables, one portion of fried crispy stuff like papadam, a mallum of chopped leaves and coconut, and a gravy or hodda of spiced and cooked with coconut milk.

The rice is always put on to the plate first and then the curries are selected from the other dishes to mix with it so you have a collection of minor meals around the plate. You eat by mixing the rice with something forming it in to a bite-sized ball and consuming by hand.

There is vast range of flavors and different curry mixes used for different foods. There are regional differences too. even with the same base food the taste will completely be different.


The Tamils of Sri Lanka who mainly live in the northern and eastern parts of the island have preserved some of their distinctive ethnic breakfast foods. Thosai is a great favorite among many Sri Lankans, it is delicious and nutritionally rich. The base for this lentil pancake is oorid,

(Mungoradiatys), A back-skinned pulse of delicate flavor which is soaked and ground to a smooth batter. is then allowed to rise, flavored with fried shallots, curry leaves, fenugreek and cumin and cooked on a hot griddle greased with sesame oil. Thosai which resembles a tortilla, is eaten with a finely ground coconut and chilly sanbal and is a delicious and satisfying meal.


Pittu probably came to Sri Lanka with the Malay regiments of the Eruption colonial period. It is however completely naturalized now and is a staple of Sri Lankan cuisine. Pittu is a mixture of fresh rice meal, every lightly roasted and mixed with fresh grated coconut, then steamed in a bamboo mould. It has a soft crumbly texture and is eaten with fresh coconut 'milk' and a hot chilli relish or curry.


Sri Lanka Guide Map
Zoom It !


What’s on ? in Sri Lanka
Holiday Calendar


Golden Book
Going down memory lane


Overseas Representation
Check our REP in your Region