Sri Lankan cuisine is one of the most complex cuisines of South Asia. Due to its proximity to South India, the cuisine of Sri Lanka shows some influence, yet is in many ways quite distinct. As a major trade hub, it draws influence from colonial powers that were involved in Sri Lanka and by foreign traders. Rice, which is consumed daily, can be found at any occasion, while spicy curries are favorite dishes for lunch and dinner. Some of the Sri Lankan dishes have striking resemblance to Kerala cuisine, which could be due to the similar geographic and agricultural features with Kerala.
Sri Lanka has long been renowned for its spices. Since ancient times, traders from all over the world who came to Sri Lanka brought their native cuisines to the island, resulting in a rich diversity of cooking styles and techniques. The island nation\'s cuisine mainly consists of boiled or steamed rice served with curry. This usually consists of a \"main curry\" of fish, chicken, pork or mutton (typically goat), as well as several other curries made with vegetables, lentils and even fruit curries. Side-dishes include pickles, chutneys and \"sambols\". The most famous of these is the coconut sambol, made of ground coconut mixed with chili peppers, dried Maldive fish and lime juice. This is ground to a paste and eaten with rice, as it gives zest to the meal and is believed to increase appetite.