Ciao Bellas.

Whole foods. Peaceful mind. Nature inspired creations.

why sri lanka is the perfect spot for a plant based vacation

why sri lanka is the perfect spot for a plant based vacation

I’ve written about how much I loved Sri Lanka on my website, but this post is all about the amazing food.

I’ve travelled around the world as a vegetarian, and some places are easier than others. I believe it’s important to maintain a level of respect when travelling with dietary restrictions. The reality is, if I’m in a small village where they’re living off the land and meat is the primary food, then it’s up to me to figure out a way to nourish myself, and I’m always prepared for that!

However, Sri Lanka was NEVER a challenge. One of the main dishes I saw listed on menus and scribbled onto chalk boards was “rice and curry.” This sounds simple, but it is anything but.

Rice and curry often means a pile of fluffy white or red rice accompanied by up to TEN tiny dishes. There’s usually a vegetarian or a meat option, and I found almost always the vegetarian option was vegan.

Feast your eyes on a few rice and curry examples below; and take note that some of these dishes were $2.50 CAD.

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In addition to delicious rice and curry, I also loved this pumpkin paratha. We enjoyed this dish at a place called Matey Hut in Ella, which was probably one of my all time favourite culinary experiences. The coconut water mice were a cute touch.

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Another traditional dish that I enjoyed both at Matey Hut and at a restaurant called Ella C in the town of Ella is called kotthu. This can always be ordered veggie, and is essentially a roti with veggies that is chopped up in this entertaining fashion in a large pan. It looks like so, and tastes delicious.

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Another element of Sri Lankan cuisine that impressed me was the spice. I LOVE spicy food. And I found in India, things still weren’t spicy enough for me. In Sri Lanka, when I asked for a dish to be extra spicy, it sure was spicy. If you’re not into spice don’t you worry, the restaurants were almost always accommodating when I overheard tourists asking for their dishes to made mild.

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Have you ever had fresh mango juice sourced from mere meters away? It sure beats whatever we are buying in our grocery stores. I’m not normally a juice drinker but I was hooked on mango and watermelon juice while I was walking the busy streets or lounging on the beaches. Coconut water was also delicious and refreshing.

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When it comes to dessert, the one pictured below was my favourite if I wanted something more than fresh fruit. This is chocolate banana roti topped with a palm tree syrup called ‘kithul.’

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In conclusion - whether you’re a plant based eater or not, Sri Lanka is worth the trip as a food lover. I would go back in a heartbeat, and I can honestly say I never grew tired of rice and curry.

If you take any trains, enjoy popcorn with turmeric and triangle rotis stuffed with spicy potatoes.

Here are a few restaurant recommendations if you go:

Colombo : Kombuck Cafe, Sri Vihar

Ella: Matey Hut, Ella C

Udawalawe : Master Campers Safari serves AMAZING food

Unawatuna : One Love, Gati Madara, Happy Coconut, Happy Spice (Also offers cooking classes)

Galle Fort: The Heritage Cafe 

jammin' jambalaya in the slow cooker

jammin' jambalaya in the slow cooker

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