Did Sri Lankan Cuisine Get 'Curried' Away By Outside influence?
Image Credit: The history of Sri Lankan cuisine is intertwined with its colonisers and neighbours like India.

It was during a recent food festival hosted at a luxurious property in Delhi that the thought of connections between Sri Lankan and Indian cuisine struck me. It is said that the flavours change every few kilometres, just like the languages in India. And well, each region is known to have their own cuisine and even sub-cuisines, at times. Amid this diversity, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the neighbouring areas are also affected by the same.  

Take Sri Lanka, for instance. The cuisine of this island nation is said to be about 2,500 years old, with the then Ceylon, serving as a trade port for several spices like cinnamon. It was only after the discovery of this island by the Portuguese that Sri Lanka found a place for itself on the world map. Gradually, the Dutch and British identified it as a lucrative spot due to its geographical location and started settling here.  

Sri Lanka Fish Curry

Apart from the Indian connection, the colonised past of Sri Lanka has also witnessed several Portuguese and Dutch culinary influences. Vidya Balachander, an independent food journalist, expressed how a Sri Lankan dish called lamprais was brought to the region about 150 years ago when the island was a Dutch colony and has remained a part of the cuisine ever since then. Borrowing from its colonisers and neighbours, the fascinating history of the island nation has shaped its cuisine as we know it today.