9 Most Popular Sri Lankan Vegetable Dishes

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Sri Lanka is a country that is abundant in vegetables, fresh fruits, herbs and spices. That is why Sri Lanka is one of Vegan’s destination of choice. Rice and Curry is a staple food in Sri Lanka. The curries in Sri Lanka is similar to that of its neighboring country, India that is why Sinhalese love curry so much. In today’s guide, we will go through the most popular Sri Lankan Vegetable dishes that vegans will surely love the next time they visit Sri Lanka.

Popular Sri Lankan Vegetable Dishes

The flesh and the seeds of the Jackfruit are used in Sri Lanka to make their famous curry dishes such as Kos Ata Kalu Pol, Polo and Kiri Kos. As a matter of fact, perhaps every part of the Jackfruit tree are used in so many ways. Waraka is the term used to described the ripened flesh of the Jackfruit that is most of the time sweet and delicious. The bark of the Jackfruit tree is used as timber, while the bark skin of the tree is used in dyeing clothes and lastly its leaves are used to feed the cattle. The seeds on the other hand is used to making another variety of Sri Lankan dishes.

Listed below are some of the popular Vegetable dishes in Sri Lanka and the different types of Sri Lankan curries.

Vegetable Curry

As mentioned, Sri Lankan curries are a staple food in Sri Lanka. Its distinctive feature can be seen on how the flavors are added on each of the layers in the cooking process of Sri Lankan Curry.

The vegetables that are included in Sri Lankan Vegetable curry are onions, garlic and ginger. The vegetables goes through sautéing combined with herbs, spices and Jalapeño (sliced). The base of the curry is being prepared at this time. Then, cauliflowers, potatoes and green beans are mixed inside the pot. Coconut milk and water are then added. Allow the mixture to simmer to a few minutes (about 10 minutes) or until the vegetables are tender enough. Next, the already sauté vegetables are then added to the mixture in the pot. Stir to mix thoroughly.

When serving the Sri Lankan vegetable curry, garnish it with cilantro leaves and toasted cashew nuts. Best paired with Naan (flat bread), steamed rice or Roti.

Kos Ata Kalu Pol Maluwa (Jack Fruit seed curry)

Kos Ata Kalu Pol Maluwa is a variety of Sri Lankan curry that is made of Jack fruit seeds. It is mixed with spices, rice and toasted coconut.

Polos (Green Jack Fruit Curry)

Another Jack fruit curry variety that is also known as Ambul Polo. The dish is made by using green jackfruit or raw jackfruit. A vegetable dish in Sri Lanka that does not include meat as an ingredient.

Kiri Kos (Jack Fruit Curry in Coconut milk)

Kiri Kos is made by using cream coconut milk. This is definitely a must try vegetable curry recipe that you might want to try when in Sri Lanka. Aside from being Gluten free, it is also considered to be the perfect food for new mother as it can help increase its lactation.


Parippu is a Dhal Curry in Sri Lanka. It is made of red lentils. The cooking process of making this dish is similar to that of Indian Dhal but the flavors of each dish is different. Ingredients used are coconut milk, curry leaves and different herbs and spices.

Considered to be a gluten-free vegan dish. It is best paired with rice, naan or flat bread and or paired it with Roti.

Gowa Mallum

Gowa Mallum is also known as Cabbage Mallum. It is a stir fry cabbage that is made using aromatic vegetables. These aromatic vegetables includes onions and garlic. Turmeric, cinnamon, mustard seeds and combined with different herbs and spices.

Cashew Nut Curry

Cashew Nut curry is another vegetable dish in Sri Lanka. It is made from cashew nuts. The raw nuts are cooked until its texture becomes buttery soft. Onions, ginger, garlic and coconut milk as well as different varieties of herbs and spices are added.

If you are wondering if the nuts can be easily chewed despite its whole appearance, yes the cashew nuts are soft enough to be eaten.

Kadala Curry

Kadala is a vegetable dish in Sri Lanka. It is made of Kadala or Chickpeas. The Chickpeas are cooked using coconut milk and mixed with different aromatic vegetables that were stir fried. Tomatoes, herbs and spices are added too.

Pol Sambol

Pol Sambol is also known as Thenkai Sambol. It is a traditional Sri Lankan dish that is made from coconuts. It is actually a coconut relish that typically consists of shallots, chillies (dried and whole) grated coconuts and lime juice.

If at some point coconut is not available, you ca use desiccated coconut instead as a substitute.

Seeni Sambol

Seeni Sambol is made using caramelized onions then cook it with tamarind juice, chillies and spices.

A sweet and spicy onion relish that is best served with different Sri Lankan dishes. It can also be served and paired with naan.


Is Sri Lankan food good for vegetarians?

Sri Lanka is one of the most vegan and most vegetarian friendly country. Sri Lankan food typically consists of fresh fruits and vegetables.

What is the most popular dish in Sri Lanka?

The most popular dish and most consumed food in Sri Lanka is Dhal Curry. Aside from rice, as mentioned curry is also a staple dish in the country. Dhal Curry is made with red lentils and are cooked with different herbs and spices using coconut milk.

How many Sri Lankans are vegetarian?

In Sri Lanka, almost 75% of the Sinhalese population are vegetarians.

What are the spices commonly used in Sri Lankan Dishes

The most commonly used spices in Sri Lanka cuisines includes cinnamon, Ceylon Cardamom, Ceylon pepper, Ceylon cloves and Ceylon nutmeg.


Dishes in Sri Lanka are mostly vegan friendly and the most common dish are the famous Sri Lankan curry. Curries in Sri Lanka are both vegan and are vegetable-based dishes. The ingredients used are mostly vegetables along with different spices and coconut milk.

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