Two-day Sri Lankan Food Festival kicks off in Islamabad


Ambassador of Sri Lanka Noordeen Mohamed Shaheid on Tuesday opened the Sri Lankan Food Festival with an invitation to local residents to experience the diversity of Sri Lankan culture.

At a press conference to announce that the food festival was open, Ambassador Shaheid said: “The best way to learn about another culture is through their food.”

According to the organisers, the food festival offers a slice of Sri Lankan cuisine, which combines traditional flavours with unique flair.

Chef Nadun Ishra Hettiarachchi has left his country for the first time and is on a mission to wow guests with specially prepared delicacies at the festival.

“I’m really happy to prepare special dishes for guests outside Sri Lanka, with special indigenous ingredients and spices that we will create here for this food festival,” Mr Hettiarachchi told Dawn.

The chef will prepare an array of fiery and exotic dishes originating from the rich heritage of Sri Lankan cuisine.

Among the delicacies to be served at the festival are Pol Sambol (coconut relish), Fish Ambul Thiyal (sour fish curry) and Kiribath with Lunu Miris (rice with coconut milk).

Ingredients for the dishes were brought in from Sri Lanka.

Adding to the ambiance, a Sri Lankan cultural navy performance troupe will entertain guests with Kandyan dance, an ancient national tradition. A demo performance was also given at the press briefing.

“I understand Pakistani and Sri Lankan food can be similar in being spicy, but I know for a fact that preparation and taste differ. Sri Lankan food is healthy also,” Ambassador Shaheid said.

He particularly recommended the spicy egg hoppers and kottu roti – chopped flatbread mixed with chicken and vegetables and aromatic spices. The food festival will run for two days.