Were you Googling authentic Sri Lankan food but didn't know where to start? Even for someone who has grown up in Sri Lanka, it's easy to get lost in the vast array of unfamiliar names, ingredients and spices. 

So here's a list of five dishes that frequently visit every Sri Lankan household. Not only are they guaranteed mouth-water-ers, but also form the perfect cheat sheet to get you started off with Sri Lankan cuisine.

1. Sri Lankan Rice-And-Curry

True to its name, Sri Lankan rice and curry is either white rice or the healthier alternative of red rice (rathu bath) served with an assortment of five to six curries/sambols. While the cuisine boasts of countless tantalizing curries, the following are essential to a truly Sri Lankan food experience: 

i. Parippu – red lentils cooked in spices with a splash of coconut milk

ii. Polos (green jackfruit curry) – pieces of young jackfruit are boiled and cooked with an array of spices in coconut milk.

iii. Wambatu Moju – pickled eggplant.

iv. Gotukola Sambol – a sour and spicy concoction of grated coconut and Asiatic pennywort.

v. Maalu Ambul Thiyal – sour fish curry which garners its distinct flavor from goraka (a fruit similar to tamarind).

vi. Kukul Mas – a chicken curry which has slight variations in taste depending on the hand that cooks it.

#Spoon-Tip: Almost all restaurants in Sri Lanka serve “lunch packets” starting at LKR 250. A packet usually consists of five curries, rice and dried chilies – serving as a perfect and wholesome on-the-go meal.

2. Kottu

The ultimate comfort food. 

Think paratha, egg/chicken/beef, spices, cheese, some veggies and a blast of flavor. All delivered to you in one delicious morsel.  

Kottu is the king of Sri Lankan street food, and if you don't try it while in Lanka, you're seriously missing out.

3. Hoppers (and not the grass kind)

Hopper - known as appam in India, is a hemispherical pancake made from rice and coconut milk.

They're often eaten with katta sambol - a paste made of chilies, onions, fish and lime. A soft center and crispy edge, give the hopper a perfectly balanced texture that leaves you wanting more.

 #Spoon-Tip: Egg hoppers are a must-try for all the protein addicts out there. They are simply hoppers with an egg cooked in it's center. 

4. String Hoppers 

Jumana Ibrahim

Do not be misled. String hoppers (iddyappam in India) do not look, taste or even feel the same as hoppers.

 A dough made of rice flour and water is pushed through a mould to produce thin "strings" of dough. These are shaped into circular disks and steamed.

String hoppers are traditionally served with kiri hodi (coconut milk gravy) and pol sambol (a mixture of grated coconut, chilies, red onion and lime).

 #Spoon-Tip: You don't need to stick to tradition - mix and match your favorite curries with them

5. Pol Roti

A roti (flatbread) made from grated coconut, onions, chilies and flour. Given its coconut-y flavor, one can eat this by itself or with various condiments.

It is usually served with lunu miris (a paste made of red chilies, Maldive fish and onions)