Discovering Sri Lanka’s Staple Dish

Find out all about rice and curry, a delectable Sri Lankan staple!

Sri Lankan Curry

Step foot into a Sri Lankan eatery, and you will find a majority of customers tucking delightedly into generous servings of the well-loved national dish, rice and curry.

What’s on the Plate (other than Rice and Curry)?

Their plates, heaped with a large mound of rice, also comes laden with a selection of meat and vegetable curries, pickles, and pappadums – thin, crackly layers of lentil crisps. Servings of sambols will also be dished out on the side. These sambols are a type of relish used to add a spicy kick and flavour to dishes and curries. We caution that these relishes be sampled with caution, for they can sure pack a fiery punch!

A variety of meats are used in the preparation of Sri Lankan curry dishes, depending on the geographical location in which the curries are cooked in. Curries containing seafood, such as fish, shrimp or crab are often found at eateries and homes along the coastal towns, while locals residing at the central Hill Country of Sri Lanka cook their curries with pork. Chicken, beef and lamb curries are common to all regions in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan Curry

Sri Lankan Curries: A Diversity of Flavours

A diverse range of spices are used to prepare the curries, giving rise to a variation in the appearance and flavours of different curry dishes.

Take the pork curry dish as an example. The colour of the broth of this dish has a large variation, changing from a pale, light yellow shade to a dark brown hue depending on the ingredients used. Golaka, a type of dried fruit, it often used in the preparation of the pork curry, and lends a sour, tangy note to balance out the richness of the pork fat in the dish.

Sri Lankan Curry

Seafood and goat curries often have a rich, fiery red colour. Sample these two curries, and you will discern distinct differences in their flavours. The seafood curry has a thicker consistency, and contains a fragrant, nutty flavour. This aroma can be attributed to the use of a secret ingredient – the stalk of dried palm fruit.

On the other hand, the goat curry boasts stronger, spicier flavours. Additional peppers are thrown into the curry mix to balance out the strong taste of the meat.

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