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Gastronomy 101: Spices of Sri Lanka

Engorge yourself on our Gastronomy 101 series & discover the most delectable, most fragrant and most mouthwatering treats that Sri Lanka has to offer. Fresh fish, coconut and fragrant tea await...

Sri Lankan cuisine is exciting, interesting and varied, being heavily influenced by many different flavours. Always an important port for British and Dutch colonialists, Sri Lanka has known many foreign traders, bringing with them spices and techniques that have been integrated into local cuisine.

Fragrantly spiced dishes abound with fresh flavours to balance out the pungent spices. If you are looking for a foodie escape that combines local home-cookery with restaurant quality meals, look no further than one of our Sri Lankan food experiences.

Traditional cuisine with local flare

Typically Sri Lankan cuisine heavily features rice, coconut and spices. Curries predominate, made with fish, beef, chicken or mutton accompanied by lentils, vegetables or fruit. Dishes are usually served with pickled fruit or vegetables, and sambols such as coconut sambol (coconut, chili, dried fish & lime juice). Many dishes are also accompanied by roti, wheat flatbread.

Our Sri Lanka for Foodies tour is the ultimate food adventure over 12 days, taking you from markets to the kitchen to amazing natural sites of the island. In Negombo, you will explore the fish market on a guided tour and select your lunch - to be cooked by you in a Sri Lankan home cookery lesson. Dambulla will allow you a peek into traditional village life, with lunch flavours inspired by Chena or rotational cropping.

In Matale you will visit a spice garden where you can learn of Sri Lanka's important place in the world as a purveyor of fine spices. Kandy you will enjoy another home cookery demonstration and then feast of a typical menu including fish, prawns, lentils, vegetables, curried, sambols and rice. Nuwara Eliya you can indulge in the English tradition of High Tea, set amongst the beautiful mountains and tea plantations. Finally the tour will take you to Colombo, the Sri Lankan street food capital where you will enjoy a walking tour and sample many delicacies along the way.

Short Gastronomy Experiences

For those who don't have the time for the extended food tour, we also offer a number of shorter foodie experiences, ranging from four hours to three days.

From Colombo you can enjoy a Cooking by Colours lesson and feast or a Mirissa Lagoon Fishing Experience. Relax on a sunset cruise on Mirissa Langoon and Mangrove Sanctuary where you can fish for your dinner. Return to shore and enjoy a beachside BBQ featuring your freshly caught seafood and delicious accompaniments.

For the tea lovers among us, we also offer a three day Kandy Tea for Two experience including a visit to the elephant orphanage. During this tour you will not only pet baby elephants, but you will learn all about the process of tea manufacture, as well as how tea is graded then distributed. And you will drink many different types of tea of course!

Galle Fort Culinary Tour lasts for two days and includes a wonderful tour of the Galle Fort, built in 1588 by the Portuguese and now so much more than just a fort. Many of the properties inside the fort are full of delicious aromas of spices and cooking meals and it is a wonderful place to let yourself be swept up in the colourful history. You will purchase ingredients at the Galle market and then in Sonja's Cooking Class learn about spices and Sri Lankan cooking techniques. Then all that is left to do will be to enjoy your mouthwatering creations!


Explore the flavours of Sri Lanka by contacting one of our agents today.