You haven’t truly experienced the magic of Sri Lanka’s southern region, also called Down South, if you haven’t tried these delectable seafood creations. Ranging from delicate flavours to full blown spice, these foods carry the essence and spirit of the land that they come from. The dishes are often interesting fusions that are creative in execution and most importantly, extremely delicious! The places range from small shops in the likes of Galle to fine dining Hikkaduwa restaurants, and these dishes are not to be missed.
Prawn Curry with Bread
This dish is a fantastic Sri Lankan take on prawn. Featuring juicy prawns in a spicy red curry, this dish is all about hitting the right flavour notes. Zesty without being too hot, think flavoursome instead of just being loaded with chillies, this curry fills the mouth with a tangy taste that suits the pink and white flesh of the prawns very well. The curry is eaten with a special kind of bread known as roast paan, a rustic kind of loaf that requires it to be pulled apart. Crusty on the outside but yeasty and soft on the inside, the bread is the perfect accompaniment to soak up the tangy curry of the prawn. The combination is often heavenly, and fills one up after a day of adventure!
Fragrant and delicious, the baked crab available at fine dining restaurants in the region are not to be missed. Usually made with fresh crab, the dish is spiced just right – not too hot and not underwhelming in flavour either. It’s the perfect dish to end a leisurely day of luxurious lounging by the pool, and makes for an elegant dinner at some of the best restaurants in Hikkaduwa.
Hot Butter Cuttlefish
An absolute favourite of locals everywhere, but especially delectable down south, Hot Butter Cuttlefish is a great snack or accompaniment to fried rice. This is one of the most popular fusion dishes in the island, as it is purported to be a Chinese dish but in reality has a spicy Sri Lankan kick to it that makes it uniquely local. Some make it crispy, some prefer to drizzle more sauce over it, but most versions are quite yummy, featuring a generous amount of piquant sweet and sourness.
Mixing crab meat with Sri Lanka’s most beloved street food is a stroke of genius. The chopped up pieces of roti are mixed in an assortment of vegetables such as leeks and onions and of course, crab meat. The resulting mixture is great to eat right off the griddle, as the classic kotthu dish is revamped with chunks of crab meat, making for a special dish.
Spicy Fish Curry
A dish you absolutely cannot get away without tasting is the simple fish curry, a staple of many around the region. Accompanied with rice or some other form of carbohydrate, fish curries down south are usually sharp and strong, benefiting from the freshness of the catch.