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Jaffna Cuisine: Top 3 Dishes From The North Of Sri Lanka 

If you’re a food lover seeking to embark on a culinary adventure, look no further than the vibrant and diverse flavours of Jaffna cuisine. Located in the northern region of Sri Lanka, Jaffna boasts a rich culinary heritage influenced by Tamil traditions and local ingredients. From spicy curries to unique seafood preparations, here are the top 3 dishes that you must try on the Royal Code menu at Hotel MaRadha.

Jaffna Crab Curry

Northern Sri Lanka and the crystal-clear ocean are one; there’s no better place to start our list of top Jaffna dishes than with a seafood curry. The Jaffna Crab Curry, locally known as Nandu Curry, is a flavourful and aromatic curry that celebrates the bounties of the sea.

Jaffna Crab Curry is a true celebration of the natural sweetness and delicate texture of freshly caught crabs. The dish begins with the selection of the finest crabs, which are then cleaned and prepared for cooking. The crabs are gently simmered in a luscious gravy made with a medley of aromatic spices, coconut milk, and tangy tamarind, resulting in a harmonious blend of flavours.

The key to a perfect Crab Curry lies in the balance of spices. Jaffna cuisine is known for its bold use of spices, and this curry is no exception. A fragrant blend of coriander, cumin, fennel, turmeric, and black pepper creates a robust masala that infuses the crab with layers of complex tastes. The addition of curry leaves, garlic, and ginger further enhances the taste, elevating the curry to new heights.

The creamy coconut milk lends a rich and velvety texture to the Crab Curry, beautifully complementing the succulent meat of the crabs. The tangy tamarind adds a subtle tartness, balancing the flavours and creating a well-rounded taste profile.

Jaffna Crab Curry is best enjoyed with steamed rice or traditional accompaniments like string hoppers or roti. The tender crab meat soaked in the delicious gravy makes for a truly indulgent and satisfying meal.

If you find yourself dining at Royal Code, don’t miss the chance to relish the exquisite tastes of Jaffna Crab Curry. Let the tantalizing blend of spices, creamy coconut milk, and succulent crab meat transport you to the coastal paradise of Jaffna, where every bite is a celebration of the sea’s bounty.

Jaffna-Crab-Curry

Jaffna Mutton Curry

The Jaffna Mutton Curry, beloved by locals and visitors alike, showcases the blend of spices and cooking techniques that define Jaffna cuisine.

Jaffna Mutton Curry is a dish that exemplifies the vibrant taste and robust character of the region. The tender pieces of mutton are marinated with a blend of aromatic spices, including coriander, cumin, fennel, cinnamon, and cloves. These spices are meticulously roasted and ground to create a rich, fragrant masala paste that forms the foundation of the curry.

The mutton is then slow-cooked in the masala paste along with onions, tomatoes, and other seasonings, allowing the tastes to meld together and infuse the meat. The result is a succulent and deeply flavourful curry, with the mutton becoming tender and juicy, absorbing the aromatic spices with every bite. What sets Jaffna Mutton Curry apart is its characteristic spiciness. The curry is known for its generous use of red chilies, which lends a fiery kick to the dish. However, the spice level can be adjusted to suit individual preferences, ensuring that everyone can enjoy this delightful curry.

Jaffna Mutton Curry is typically served with steamed rice or traditional accompaniments such as string hoppers or dosai. The curry pairs perfectly with these staples, allowing the rich tinge to be relished to their fullest. Beyond its tantalizing taste, Jaffna Mutton Curry holds a special place in the hearts of the people of Jaffna. It is often served during festive occasions, weddings, and family gatherings, symbolizing celebration and unity. The dish brings people together, fostering a sense of togetherness and shared appreciation for the rich culinary heritage of Jaffna.

Royal Code’s Jaffna Mutton Curry’s distinctive blend of spices and bold flavors will transport you to the vibrant streets and kitchens of Jaffna, offering a truly memorable and satisfying culinary experience.

Odiyal Kool

This traditional Jaffna dish is a thick and hearty soup made with a combination of various ingredients, including a medley of vegetables, lentils, and seafood. Odiyal Kool is not just a meal, but a culinary tradition that has been passed down through generations.

The preparation of Odiyal Kool involves a meticulous process that begins with boiling a variety of ingredients such as drumstick leaves, manioc, jackfruit seeds, and various lentils, along with aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, and fenugreek. The addition of dried fish or prawns further enhances the flavors, infusing the soup with a delightful seafood essence.


What makes Odiyal Kool truly unique is the use of indigenous herbs and leaves, such as the Odiyal plant, from which the dish gets its name. The Odiyal plant is known for its medicinal properties and is believed to have cleansing and purifying effects on the body. The leaves are finely ground and added to the soup, imparting a distinct flavor and fragrance.


Traditionally, Odiyal Kool is a communal dish, often prepared during festive occasions or as a celebratory meal. Families and friends come together to enjoy this delicious soup, which is believed to bring good luck and prosperity. It is typically served hot with steamed rice or alongside crispy vadas (fried lentil fritters).


The taste of Odiyal Kool is a harmonious blend of flavours – the earthiness of the lentils, the subtle sweetness of the vegetables, and the umami notes of the seafood. The soup has a thick and hearty texture, making it a satisfying and nourishing meal.

Hotel MaRadha

With an enviable location in the heart of the financial district Hotel MaRadha – Colombo provides a comfortable stay for all business and leisure travellers, with easy access to your shopping, entertainment, and business needs. Hotel MaRadha – Colombo overlooks the Indian Ocean and is truly one of a kind, featuring 35 premium hotel rooms, suites, and apartments. We will ensure your stay in Colombo is truly perfect.