Vegan Lunches and Dinners in Sri Lanka

By Ama H.Vanniarachchy

Last week, in our article about vegan food in Sri Lanka we presented to you a list of breakfast recipes that are purely vegan. Today we will take a look at vegan lunches and dinners that are commonly eaten in Sri Lanka. These recipes are delicious and nutritious and need some careful preparation. I wouldn’t say they are easy to prepare as it will take some time and attention to prepare these dishes. But they are worth it. Most of these dishes are made of vegetables, greens, and fruits that are commonly available in the village home gardens or local markets. To those who live in urban areas today, preparing these dishes are not impossible as you can grow some of these vegetables, greens, or fruits in urban gardens or they might be available in the local market. Investing a little extra money and time to prepare these dishes are not a waste as they are precious. 

Joining us today to enlighten us about the traditional vegan lunches and dinners of Southern Sri Lanka is Nimala Wickramasinghe who is originally from Matara. As she would say, red kakulu rice is the most widely consumed rice in the region. It is heavy with nutrition and is filling. Usually, a large number of dishes are not consumed for each meal. It consists of a vegetable or two, with a sombol, a salad, and deep-fried papdams. 

Kos ata kalu pol maluwa (cooked Jackfruit seeds) – 

This is one of the most eaten vegan curries in the Southern part of Sri Lanka. This is prepared by mixing cooked Jackfruit seeds. First scraped coconut is fried and mixed with garlic, mustard, pepper, and chili powder and made into a paste. 

Then the jackfruit seeds are boiled and slightly cracked open in the miris gala (grinding stone), but the skin is not peeled off. The seeds are cooked along with the skin. The seeds are tempered and mixed with curry leaves, and the paste. Once you wash the grinding stone the water is mixed into the curry and once it is boiling, coconut milk is added.

Kos malluma is also another popular way of cooking jackfruit. 

Lunu bilimbi mojuwa (sour bilimbi fruit moju) – Bilimbi, pronounced as bilin is also known as the cucumber tree or tree sorrel. The bilimbi fruits are mixed with salt and sun-dried. Once it is well dried, you keep it in the duma (the upper part of a traditional Sri Lankan hearth). After some time it can be prepared into various recipes. The moju can be kept for about three months without keeping it in a refrigerator. Fried onions and a handsome amount of lime juice are added to the fried bilimbi. 

Lunu amba maluwa (sour mango curry) – Mango is cooked into a delicious curry and eaten with red kakulu rice. The mango is mixed with salt and left to dry out for some time. Then it is cooked. 

A Dhal curry, Gotukola sambol (Indian Pennywort) and Papdam is a nice combination with the lunu amba maluwa and red kakulu rice. 

Innala yam curry – this is another popular curry. The yams are boiled and cooked into a curry. 

Pumpkin leaves, Ala kola leaves are among the widely eaten leaves in the Southern region. 

Kesel bada curry (banana stem curry) – The inner part of the banana trunk is cut into small pieces and cooked into a curry. This is rich in fiber. 

For dinner, people usually eat the same curries prepared for lunch and prepare a Watakolu curry (ridged gourd) or Pathola curry (snake gourd) in addition. 

Tomato sambol – This is one of the most famous salads they eat. Raw tomatoes, onions, line, and green chilies are mixed together.

Kalawam malluma – this is a mixture of many greens. Thumba plant leaves, mukunuwenna, diya beriya, gira pala, manioc leaves are used for this. 

Cucumber curry – this is a delicious curry that is eaten for both lunch and dinner.

For the evening lots of people drink the venivelgeta drink as it is a very good herbal drink. 

Some people may eat hoppers, string hoppers or pittu for dinner instead of rice. 

In traditional Sri Lankan cooking, most of these foods are prepared in clay utensils, and grinding stones and the mortar and pestle are made of stone. Most of the spoons were made of wood. 

Uncategorized, Sri Lanka food, Sri Lankan culture, Vegan food