Rice and Curry
Rice is considered as the staple Food of Sri Lanka while there are over 10 varieties of this cereal grain which is widely consumed on a daily basis in many households. From tiny white “Samba” rice to the long grained “Basmathi” rice, and many Red Raw Rice specialities, Sri Lankans have been dependent on this staple since the golden era of mighty kings and warriors who managed to flourish the land with crops and various commodities.
Rice and Curry which is also referred as the National Dish of the island, has a variety of mouthwatering accompaniments which will keep your taste-buds dancing to a rhythm of fiery desire. The curries usually consist of one meat or fish dish which is quite spicy, two or three different types of vegetable curries, a mallum (a mix of finely chopped green leaves mixed well with grated Coconut, lime and salt) a spicy sambal or chutney and finally a papadam (a thin fried wafer).
The curries should ideally consist of a gravy so that the rice can be well amalgamated with the rest. All of these dishes are quite spicy but there are mild yellow curries such as “Dhal” or “Potato” that are infused with Coconut Milk so that the flavours are well balanced. Sri Lankans are famous for incorporating their herbs and Spices while sliced onions, green Chillies, Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Cloves, nutmeg, Cardamom, saffron, Curry Leaves, Tamarind paste, Ginger and Garlic are used to add more punch and flavour in the cooking.
While fish and Chicken are the main types of proteins used, some prefer tempered dried fish, fish cutlets or even eggs. Vegetarians are in for a treat since the seasonal local produce offers so many mouthwatering vegetables such as Jack Fruit, bread fruit, banana flowers, beans, okra, Brinjals or even Fruits that are cooked into chutneys and curries such as mango and ambarella (June Plum).