Indian Food Vs. Sri Lankan Food: Is Sri Lankan Food Spicier Than Its Indian Counterpart?

If you want to spice up your meal with something more interesting and bolder, Indian food and Sri Lankan food are worth a try.

Read on to find out which cuisine you would like to try first.

What is special about Indian food?

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Thali: A Joyful Celebration of Indian Home Cooking
  • Hardcover Book
  • Gowardhan, Maunika (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

India is a large country in the south of Asia.

Its cuisine is diverse and varies between different regions across the country, from the east to the west, the north to the south, and the central inland to coastal areas.

Indian food is a perfect blend of sweet, spicy, tangy, and savory tastes.

From delicious curries to exotic spices, Indian cuisine has something that will appeal to every palate.

There are numerous types of curries that are different from their ingredients (meat, seafood, or vegetables only) to the spiciness level.

Indians tend to eat chicken, lamb, and goat because consuming pork and beef is forbidden in most parts of this country.

These red meat options are prohibited in Muslim and Hindu religions because they are considered sacred animals, so poultry and lamb consumption is very high in India.

In coastal regions, they also have a lot of seafood in their diet, especially fish, prawns, shrimp, and crab.

Rice, naan bread, and lentils are the main carbs in Indian cuisine.

Lentils are often used to make soups or stews, while naan and rice are eaten with other savory dishes.

Flatbread is also used as an edible utensil that is shredded into bite-sized pieces to scoop up other foods.

What is special about Sri Lankan food?

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Sri Lanka: The Cookbook
  • Sivanathan, Prakash K (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 05/04/2017 (Publication Date) - Frances Lincoln...

Although Sri Lankan food is not well-known as Indian food, it also shares many similarities with Indian cuisine.

One of the main reasons for this similarity in their cuisines is that Sri Lanka is located right below southeast India.

Moreover, due to colonization from other countries in the past, you can also find flavors from France and Portugal in Sri Lanka as well.

One common dish in Sri Lankan cuisine is hoppers which look like a bowl that is made from yeast, sugar, and water.

Hoppers are traditionally smooshed into curries or sambol to eat.

String hoppers, kottu roti, or curries are also some signature dishes in this country.

Since Sri Lanka is an island country, seafood, especially fish, plays an important role in their cuisine.

They also eat different kinds of meat, from poultry to red meat like pork, beef, lamb, or goat.

What are the differences between Sri Lankan food and Indian food?

Although Sri Lankan food has been strongly influenced by Indian food, the two cuisines also differ in many ways, as listed below:

Sri Lankan food is spicier than Indian food

Sri Lankan food is often spicier than Indian food because they use a lot of hot chilies in their dishes.

Although Indian food is also reputed for being spicy than other cuisines, the South Indian food is less spicy than the nearby island, Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan curries are lighter in texture

Curries are popular in both cuisines, however, Sri Lankan curries and Indian curries are slightly different in texture.

In Sri Lankan, their curries are thinner and lighter in texture, therefore, it’s quite hard to scoop up by flatbread.

They tend to smoosh the hoppers, a very thin dish, into curries and enjoy it together.

Naan bread is a staple in Indian cuisine, while Sri Lankan cuisine include hoppers and string hoppers

In Indian cuisine, naan bread is a staple throughout the country.

Naan bread is made by baking in a clay tandoori oven.

When eating, they tend to tear it into bite-sized pieces to use as an edible utensil to pick up other foods.

On the other hand, Sri Lankan cuisine features hoppers or string hoppers.

Hoppers have a bowl-like shape and are very thin.

This dish is made of rice flour, coconut milk, egg, and spices.

It can be steamed or pan-fried, with an egg inside.

String hoppers are similar to regular rice noodles, which are steamed before serving.

Pork and beef are widely consumed in Sri Lanka, but forbidden in India

Another difference between Indian cuisine and Sri Lankan cuisine is their meat option.

Indians tend to eat chicken, lamb, and goat because pork and beef are forbidden due to their diet restrictions.

Meanwhile, these red meat varieties are widely consumed in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan cuisine has more seafood than Indian cuisine

It is easy to understand why Sri Lankan people eat more seafood than Indians.

Sri Lanka is a small island country so they have great access to the sea and ocean to catch a lot of seafood, from fish to shrimp or crab.

In India, seafood is more likely to be consumed in coastal regions.

What are the similarities between Sri Lankan food and Indian food?

Sri Lankan food and Indian food are also similar in several criteria, in how they use spices as well as some staple dishes in both cuisines.

Take a look at below and figure out their similarities:

Indian food and Sri Lankan food use a lot of spices

So the reason why Indian food and Sri Lankan food can spice up your regular bland meals is that they use a lot of spices in their cooking.

Some popular spices used in both cuisines are cinnamon, pepper, fennel, cardamom, cumin, coriander, chilies, and turmeric.

All are pungent and can also add color to their dishes besides flavor.

Rice and curries are widely consumed in both cuisines

Another similarity between Indian cuisine and Sri Lankan cuisine is that rice and curries are national dishes in both countries.

These staple foods can be found in any part of India or Sri Lanka.

There might be different recipes to cook rice or curries, but after all, they play an important role in Indian and Sri Lankan cultures.

Which one is better?

Thali: A Joyful Celebration of Indian Home CookingSri Lanka: The Cookbook
Thali: A Joyful Celebration of Indian Home CookingSri Lanka: The Cookbook
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Indian food is one of the most popular cuisines in the world, but Sri Lankan cuisine can be just as interesting.

Both are well-known for being very spicy and flavorful with fresh ingredients from different groups.

If you are looking for a new flavor to try out, at least give these two types of dishes a chance.

After that, we are happy to hear from you if you have a better experiment with Indian or Sri Lankan.

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