The Essential Sri Lankan Wedding Guide: Food & Desserts

2015 Jul 14 - by Nadya
The food of Sri Lanka is heavily spiced, flavorful, and creamy. With seafood, chicken, and a variety of veggie dishes, every taste and diet is satisfied with the typical Sri Lankan wedding feast.

Photo Courtesy of Shehal

Sri Lankan Wedding: Introduction

Sri Lankan Wedding Engagement and Pre-Wedding Traditions

Sri Lankan Wedding Traditions

Sri Lankan Bridal Attire and Jewelry

Sri Lankan Groom’s Attire

Sri Lankan Wedding Food and Desserts - You're here!

The main foods you'll find at a Sri Lankan wedding spread is a variety of rice dishes, like rice fried with seafood or chicken and cashews, curries, and egg dishes. Since the typical Sri Lankan meal is a bowl of Basmati rice with up to twelve different sides of eggs, vegetables, and meat, the Sri Lankan wedding meal, by extension, is host to as many varieties of food as the couple's families can find.

With seafood being plentiful in the island country for centuries, fish and seafood curries are especially key to Sri Lankan cuisine. While Hindus and Buddhists in Sri Lanka do not usually partake in meat dishes as a rule, non-Hindu or Buddhist Tamils, Sinhala, and Muslim folk enjoy spicy fish curries and baked fish. Chicken is also very common in Sri Lankan dishes.

Muslims in the country have made other South Asian dishes like biriyani extremely popular in Sri Lanka and this rice dish, alongside other dishes from India and Pakistan, are sometimes included in the wedding spread. Sinhala and Tamil Sri Lankans also like to create a mix of hot and cold energies in their meals and will often pair spicy dishes with cooling, coconut cream-based ones.

Photo Courtesy of Serious Eats

Sri Lankans also love their sweets. Watalappan, a cardamom-spiced coconut custard dish, and kavum, a sort of fried doughnut, are always present at weddings. Kavum, also known as 'oil cake,' is also part of the wedding ceremony, as we saw before.

Descendants of the Dutch and Portuguese colonizers and traders who came to Sri Lanka have also popularized European-style cakes and candies, meaning a massive dessert table is a must at Sri Lankan weddings.

Photo Courtesy of iSriLankan

While alcohol is generally forbidden within the Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist communities, local drinks like toddy (fermented palm nectar), arrack (distilled palm nectar), and kassipu (moonshine), in addition to beer, are common at all-male gatherings. Alcohol may be served at a Sri Lankan wedding depending on the feelings of the couples but is still generally a rare sight at the main events.

That wraps up our wedding guide for Sri Lankan weddings! We hope you enjoyed learning all about Sinhala and Kanyada weddings with us. Be sure to go back and re-read any parts you may have missed.

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