Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with a vibrant culture. There is an abundance of natural beauty to explore. No matter where you turn, Sri Lanka has dense forests, mesmerizing architectural structures, gorgeous properties for a luxurious stay, and delicious food.
From the sour fish Ambul Thiyal to the Kottu roti. The simplicity of hoppers (Appa) to the deliciousness of Polos. Let’s not forget that the Sri Lankan locals make stellar curries with a variety of meats and fishes. Kukul Maas Curry will make your mouth water, and the spiciness and sourness in the fish curry shall melt your heart. That been said, Let’s see “What food to avoid in Sri Lanka?”
- Dolphin Kottu
- Sprats and Seeni Sambol Ice Cream
- Deep-fried foods
- Overdose of rice
Everyone tells you about the best foods to eat in Sri Lanka, but nobody would ever tell you about the bad dishes! While Sri Lankan cuisine focuses on fresh ingredients and flavourful curries, there are certain foods you must avoid. As an avid traveler, you might be in the mood to try new and unfamiliar dishes. Everything in the market or restaurants would entice you, but certain adventures should be avoided.
Here’s an elaborate post about the avoidable foods in Sri Lanka. We will tell you about what you should avoid, but there is a lot more in store for you. Let get into details of each
- Dolphin Kottu – This is a dolphin-friendly dish! The name is misleading, but none of the dolphins in Kalpitiya were harmed during the process. Dolphin Kottu is just chicken and pieces of parotta. It is dangerously spicy and anyone with a sensitive stomach should not try it.
- Sprats and Seeni Sambol Ice Cream- A sweet and spicy condiment mixed with dried fish will make you wonder why you are here! Why would anyone mix smelly dried fish with an onion-flavor condiment? It is uncanny, but some people actually enjoy eating this ice cream. The pricing says it all! In Colombo, it sells like hot pancakes. But anyone who has not developed the taste should avoid eating this type of ice cream with smelly fish!
- Coffee – Sri Lankan locals are excellent at making tea, but they are not big coffee-drinkers. You will find some fancy places that make delicious coffee, but it comes with a hefty price tag. Would you want to pay a heavy price for a simple coffee? Maybe you could wait till you get back to your homeland!
Don’t get me wrong. They do have pretty good coffees, but small restaurants are way better with making tea.
- Deep-fried foods – Although there is nothing wrong with the deep-fried foods in Sri Lanka, but the locals have a habit of deep frying everything. They enjoy deep-fried snacks and even the fish is fried to a point of no return. Weight-watchers or someone with a heart condition must avoid deep-fried foods. It stacks up the calories and makes you feel sick!
- Overdose of rice – You may run out of curry because the rice on the plate will be too much. Rice is the staple food and people may have trouble going without their regular breads, pastas, and other healthy alternatives. Locals in Sri Lanka can eat rice three meals a day. If you are eating it in moderation then there is no harm. However, eating too much of rice all three meals is an unhealthy habit. That’s probably the reason why most people have pot bellies.
Please note that rice and curry is highly delectable, but sometimes the fish will have their bones on. You may love the taste of the curry, but eating fish with scales and bones can give a hard time to people who are not used to it.
Be careful with the fish bones as it could get stuck in your throat.
No matter where you go on this planet, there will be a list of avoidable foods at every place. In Sri Lanka, you must only eat freshly-prepared foods. Drink and eat at famous spots where they follow all the hygienic practices. It is tough to say what you would dislike or like because everyone has a different taste bud.
Everyone comes from a different culture, and the flavors may not be as per your palate. Some local eateries might fry the food in refined and low-quality coconut oil. This is quite unhealthy for people with a heart condition or those who want to lose weight.
Although the food is excellent, but there are some dishes that you may not be able to eat consistently.
The Land of Stellar Seafood Dishes
If you are a vegetarian, there will be a lack of flavorsome dishes to try. A seafood lover will enjoy being in Sri Lanka because there are too many food options.
Anyone with dietary restrictions will find a different menu that offers Indian food or some international options.
In Sri Lanka, the dishes are spicy and are made with fresh ingredients. The cuisine focuses on fresh ingredients and the spiciness elevates the dishes. Also, seafood is easily accessible. You can get fresh crabs, prawns, lobsters, and a variety of fishes in Sri Lanka.
While Kottu Rotis, Gotu Kola Salad and Idiyappam is available for vegetarians, this land is all about fresh seafood. Locals on this land enjoy eating curry with rice. That’s their staple food. If you are open to eat anything on the menu, we can promise you that you will have a gala time!
Sri Lankan cuisine is packed with flavors and the spiciness is wonderful. However, a person with restrictions or a vegetarian may not enjoy the food. Well, you can at least enjoy the view and the culture.
The food in Sri Lanka is addictive (at least for people who crave for pol sambol) and quite healthy. There are exotic fruits and vegetables to try. The curry leaves in the flavorsome curries have the power to elevate the dish. It is hard to pinpoint what foods you can avoid, but we can tell you what you might not like. Experimentation is great – especially when you are trying to survive.
When you go to China, you would not want to feast on snakes and monkey brain. Similarly, there are some uncanny foods in Sri Lanka that you must avoid! Although it is not that weird as in china.
Different Strokes For Different Folks
When we talk about avoidable food options in Sri Lanka, it all boils down to personal preferences. Some travelers want to experiment and try different dishes. Some travelers love spicy food and can tolerate any level of spicy! There are some travelers who would be happy to eat rice three meals a day. Non-vegetarians will have a fabulous time eating meat curries and fish curries with plain rice.
For anyone who does not like rice, meats, fish, or spicy food, they will have problems in Sri Lanka. Although it will depend on the property, you are staying in. Some fancy properties would be happy to serve you international cuisine.
Some people are allergic to seafood options such as prawn and crab. Jaffna Crab may be delectable to one traveler, but the other might face issues because they are allergic to crab meat
Sri Lankans love to add coconut milk to their dishes. Even if the locals kicked out rice from their diet, there would be coconut for survival. The island is filled with coconut trees! You will find that most of the dishes would have some form of coconut.
There are curries, pudding, vegetarian dishes, sambols, and sweets that have coconut in it. For anyone who is allergic to coconut or does not like the creaminess and sweetness, it would be difficult to have more food options.
Coconut is supposed to be high in calories. While Indians would make peace with coconut curries, there are people from other countries who would not enjoy it. Indonesian and Indian cuisine is quite similar to Sri Lankan cuisine. Anyone who grew up eating healthy foods will be surprised to see the level of spiciness and creaminess of the Sri Lankan local dishes.
At the end of the day, you would be surprised that many international guests are blown away by the spiciness and sourness of the curries. They truly enjoy the freshness of the dishes!
However, make up your mind that there will be certain dishes that may have some bit of sweetness. You may not like the idea of eating foods cooked in coconut oil. There will be times when you will get bored with eating rice whole day.
However, you can enjoy hoppers, Idiyappams, lentil curry, Kothus, Lamprais, eggplant pickle, sour fish curry, Kukul maas curry, Gotu Kala Sambol, and Polos. There is always a chance to learn Sri Lankan cooking from a local.
In case you have the luxury of cooking your own meals, you can do so. But, do try out the seafood options, appams with curries, famous puddings and sweets made of coconut. When you start living in Sri Lanka and develop a taste, you will get addicted to the flavors.