Eating & Drinking In Sinhala – Part 2: Main Food Items

eating drinking in sinhala P2 - lazy but smart sinhala1

Photo Credit: Mrs. Smart

Quick. Name a movie trilogy that immediately comes to mind?

Woahhh! Even I was thinking of The Godfather. That’s freaky deaky!!!

And without a doubt, in that trilogy Part 2 was the best, right? If you disagree with me I will fight you tooth, nail, and and body hair on this.

This is Part 2 of the trilogy of “Eating & Drinking In Sinhala” (as if the title didn’t give it away already) and with the above logic, you’re in for a MEGA TREAT, since this is obviously going to be the BEST one!

If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that even if you write a great blog post, you could still ruin it by setting your readers up for massive disappointment thanks to your big fat obnoxious mouth.

– Michael Corleone, “The Godfather, Part 2”

(I’m paraphrasing of course…)


What We’ll Do In Part 2


  1. Main food items: Start by immediately learning some new words that you can use.
  2. All you need to remember from Part 1: Revisit some of the old phrases we saw
  3. Using them in the phrases we saw: This will show you that what we’re doing is not ‘roquette’ science (i.e. the study of salads – if you don’t speak french, then you just missed out on an phenomenally bad pun)
  4. Combining phrases: Finally, combine some of the old sentences to form new ones.

On y va, mes amis?

(That’s French for “Who knew Dilshan was in the mood to start throwing around French words today”)


1. Main Food Items

rice bath       
bread paan       
fruits pa∙lȧ∙thu∙ru       
vegetables e∙lȧ∙vȧ∙lu       
grains / legumes / pulses dhaan∙yȧ   var∙gȧ       
meat mas       
beef ha∙rak   mas1
chicken ku∙kul   mas2
pork oo∙ru   mas3
mutton (goat meat) é∙lu   mas4
fish maa∙lu       
seafood mu∙hu∙dhu   kǣ∙mȧ5
eggs bith∙thȧ∙rȧ       


1 ‘ha∙rȧ∙ka’ = “bull”;   ‘ha∙rak’ = “of the bull”;   ‘mas’ = “meat”

2 ‘ku∙ku∙la’ = “chicken”;   ‘ku∙kul’ = “of the chicken”;   ‘mas’ = “meat”

3 ‘oo∙ra’ = “pig”;   ‘oo∙ru’ = “of the pig”;   ‘mas’ = “meat”

4 ‘é∙lu∙wa’ = “goat”;   ‘é∙lu’ = “of the goat”. Note that in Sri Lanka “mutton” generally refers to goat meat (and not sheep meat)

5 ‘mu∙hu∙dhȧ’ = “the sea”;   ‘mu∙hu∙dhu’ = “of the sea”;   ‘kǣ∙mȧ’ = “food”


2. All You Need To Remember From Part 1

  • ma∙mȧ  ka∙nȧ∙va   =   “I eat”
  • ma∙mȧ  kan∙né  nǣ   =   “I don’t eat”
  • ma∙tȧ  kǣ∙mȧ  ō∙né   =   “I want food”
  • ma∙tȧ  kǣ∙mȧ  ō∙né  nǣ   =   “I don’t want food”
  • ma∙tȧ  tha∙wȧ  kǣ∙mȧ  ō∙né   =   “I want food”
  • ma∙tȧ  tha∙wȧ  kǣ∙mȧ  ō∙né  nǣ   =   “I don’t want food”
  • ma∙tȧ  ba∙dȧ∙gi∙niyi   =   “I’m hungry”
  • ma∙tȧ  ba∙dȧ∙gi∙niyi  nǣ   =   “I’m not hungry”



2. Using Them In Phrases We Already Saw

I eat rice ma∙mȧ   bath   ka∙nȧ∙va       
I don’t eat rice ma∙mȧ   bath   kan∙né   nǣ       
I want rice ma∙tȧ   bath   ō∙né       
I don’t want rice ma∙tȧ   bath   ō∙né   nǣ6       
I want more rice ma∙tȧ   tha∙wȧ   bath   ō∙né       
I don’t want more rice ma∙tȧ   tha∙wȧ   bath   ō∙né   nǣ6       


6 You can replace ‘ō∙né nǣ’ with ‘é∙paa’



3. Combining Phrases

I’m hungry, I want more rice ma∙tȧ   ba∙dȧ∙gi∙niyi,   ma∙tȧ   tha∙wȧ   bath   ō∙né       
I’m not hungry, I don’t want more rice ma∙tȧ   ba∙dȧ∙gi∙ni   nǣ,   ma∙tȧ   tha∙wȧ   bath   ō∙né   nǣ6       


6 You can replace ‘ō∙né nǣ’ with ‘é∙paa’



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59 Responses to Eating & Drinking In Sinhala – Part 2: Main Food Items

  1. Supriya November 28, 2015 at 14:40 #


    I wanted to ask, dat if I wanna ask sum1 dat “don’t u want to eat rice”; den shld I say
    “Oyath bath kanna de”
    “Oyath bath kannave nae”

    Which is correct.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 28, 2015 at 15:48 #

      Hi Supriya,

      “Don’t you want to eat rice?” = o∙yaa∙tȧ bath kan∙nȧ ō∙né nædh∙dhȧ?

  2. Jose Mammen November 28, 2015 at 15:17 #

    Yes, I went through the 2nd part of “eating and drinking”. Very useful. Thanks. Please, if possible, send a printable (PDF) version.
    Once again, wishing you a happy married life!
    Your wedding was in India? Where?
    Have you come to Kerala?

    Dr, Jose Mammen

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 28, 2015 at 15:49 #

      Thanks Jose. Will send the PDF as soon as I get home. The wedding was in Agra. Never been to Kerala but would definitely like to do it someday.

  3. Clarissa November 28, 2015 at 15:31 #

    I do love this post even more than part 1. Tying the two together is great! Being able to make phrases is super helpful! Thanks again for the effort you explain things brilliantly! I would love the PDF when you have time. Looking forward to part 3! Is that the standard rule on verbs like kanava changed to kanne nae? Would that apply most other times? Hope married life is fabulous!

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 28, 2015 at 15:50 #

      Thanks Clarissa, glad you liked it. To answer your question, without thinking too much (since I’m not home right now), I would say, yes, that is the general rule for verbs like kanava. For example “going” = yanava; “not going” = yanné nae.

      Does that make sense?

  4. Stephanie November 28, 2015 at 16:06 #

    Hi Dilshan, very useful post again. Thank you very much. I would love to get the PDF when you get a chance to send it.

  5. Helga November 28, 2015 at 16:33 #

    Dear Dilshan,
    how nice of you not even forget us during your honey moon. Thanks for the explanation, that epaa can be used as well, which I remembered. Thanks for the pdf.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 30, 2015 at 06:58 #

      Thanks Helga, we’ve not really gone on honeymoon unfortunately. Had too many other things to get done first. Just sent you the PDF, enjoy!

  6. Laura November 28, 2015 at 17:03 #

    Hi Dilshan! Congrats again on your marriage and thank you for finding the time to think about us!
    I really like posts about food and cooking…you made me want to try an harak mas curry recipe that I saw a couple of weeks ago :)
    I’d love to get the PDF whenever you can :)

    Take care :)

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 30, 2015 at 06:59 #

      Awesome, enjoy the harak mas curry (in Sinhala, even if you just say ‘mas curry’ it is generally understood to be beef curry). Just sent you the PDF. Sorry for the delay. Been recovering from a hangover.

  7. Elizabeth November 28, 2015 at 17:48 #

    Hello Dilshan

    I love rice & curry & do eat everyday for lunch. I cook the Sri Lankan style & buy spices from a Sri Lankan store in North East when I visit my Sri Lankan friend. Actually, she is visiting Sri Lanka, to see her dad as we speak.

    I expected you to dress up as a typical Sinhala Bridegroom, with a `Nilame` costume.
    You would have looked dashing. As an Indian BG you look even handsomer. Good for you.

    Take good care & of your better half.
    Bless you two.
    Elizabeth T.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 30, 2015 at 07:06 #

      Thanks for the kind words, Elizabeth. Well, while I agree that the nilamé outfit is very smart, even if I did the wedding in Sri Lanka, I would’ve not worn one since I’m not from Kandy. I know that nowadays even those not from the hill country wear it for the weddings, but I don’t think I would’ve done it. I don’t feel like I am entitled to it, know what I mean?

      • Elizabeth November 30, 2015 at 15:57 #

        Hello Dilshan

        Thanks for your explanation on the ‘nilame’ costume. In case a guy from the City wears a ‘N’ costume on his wedding day, is it a disrespect? I would like a
        response for that, because I am from the city & a catholic & in the dark about these things. No hurry. thanks.

        Elizabeth T

        • Dilshan Jayasinha December 2, 2015 at 11:57 #

          Hi again Elizabeth, unfortunately, I can’t really guess as to what others would think. I wore Indian outfits for my wedding although I’m not from here and no one had an issue about it (at least, I don’t think, haha).

          • Elizabeth December 3, 2015 at 16:40 #

            Hello Dilshan

            Thanks for the explanation.

            Elizabeth T

  8. Suthan joshua November 28, 2015 at 18:45 #

    Hi dilshan, Thanks… It’s useful…

  9. Niranjan November 29, 2015 at 00:47 #

    Very useful post for a learner.Let me please have the PDF as a bonus.

  10. Niranjan November 29, 2015 at 00:49 #

    Very useful for a learner. Admire your great efforts

  11. Tracey November 29, 2015 at 01:06 #

    Yes I would love the PDF file.
    Enjoy your honeymoon with your beautiful bride.


  12. Joshua November 29, 2015 at 03:30 #

    Subha udeysanak, Dilshan. Hook me up with that PDF, please sir.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 30, 2015 at 07:12 #

      Suba udaesanak to you too Joshua, you have just been hooked up.

  13. Patty November 29, 2015 at 04:29 #

    Hi Dilshan,

    Thank you for sending that. Yes please, I would like the PDF when you have the time. You must have been so busy over the last few months but still had time for us. Many thanks.
    I have classes today (podi lamai). Ooops, that’s probably spelt incorrectly. My other half is competing in a cycle race in Colombo today.
    Enjoy your day( both of you).


    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 30, 2015 at 07:14 #

      Hi Patty, the great thing about writing Sinhala words in English letters is that there is no standard rule… yet… Who knows, maybe someday there’ll be an official “Lazy But Smart Sinhala Standard Spellings” but for now write it exactly how it sounds to you. How did the cycle race go? Just sent you the PDF.

  14. Bruce November 29, 2015 at 07:35 #

    This is so good! For a lazy man …. perfect! Would love the one-page item! Thank you again Dishan

  15. Mohib November 29, 2015 at 12:36 #

    Hi DIlshan,

    Remember me? Having a great time reading these.

  16. jheng November 29, 2015 at 16:37 #

    Hello sir,

    Thanks, it’s very useful.
    Congratulations and have a blessed married life.
    Budu saranai!

  17. Arielle November 30, 2015 at 17:40 #

    I would love a pdf of this. It makes it a lot easier to study.

  18. Katharina December 1, 2015 at 14:02 #

    Dear Dilshan, thanks for this post, just back from Sri Lanka today. We completed our first little holiday beach bungalow away from the busy tourist areas and I love to interact more with the people in the village, none of them speaks English. My smart but lazy husband does not teach me Sinhala fast enough :-) So your blog and videos are my only hope to become more independent and feeling truly at home when we are there. Please send me the PDF, so I can add it to my notes and have it handy. Thanks, Kat

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 2, 2015 at 12:04 #

      “Smart but lazy husband doesn’t teach me”, haha. Glad to hear you had a good time. Also happy to hear that you find my material useful. Just sent you the PDF. By the way, which beach area were you in?

  19. Johanna December 1, 2015 at 17:20 #

    Congratulations on your wedding! Wishing you all the best. I would love a PDF to have on hand. Thanks!

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 2, 2015 at 13:13 #

      Hi Johanna, thanks for the thoughtful wishes. I just sent you the PDF. Enjoy!

  20. Abdur Rahman December 3, 2015 at 09:03 #

    Dear sir,
    Thank u so much for taking care about us even in ur wedding period…
    U r really great ever (y)
    a small request : It will more helpful if u give us a pdf file
    Thank you sir…!

  21. Julie December 3, 2015 at 16:48 #

    Hi Dilshan,
    spending time on your food blogs and the book parts is not only a language matter but makes hungry even if you make your examples only with simple rice ;-)…
    My inner voice shouts to go to the next SriLankan Restaurant here.
    As soon as u be so kind and give me ur always great pdf I can start to go and try to order there in Sinhala.
    Hehe, for sure the waiter will see the complete idiot in me then ;-) and tells me to be from India or so ;-)…

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 17, 2015 at 07:33 #

      So sorry Julie!!! I don’t know how I missed your comment. Shall send you the PDF now. And please remember to tell me how the waiter reacts.

  22. Helena December 6, 2015 at 15:48 #

    Hi dilshan, so lovely work. If I want to say-I don’t want rice. Mata bath epalu????? Thank you ps:I am little sad, that you got mArried, you don’t just think about your girl fans enough!!!!!!! :D :D :D neheee, boru boru…have wonderful happy life with your beautiful wife :)

    • Dilshan Jayasinha December 7, 2015 at 07:36 #

      Haha, dear Number one “girl fan”, thanks for the wedding wishes. And to answer your question…

      You saw in Part 1 that “I don’t want food” is ‘ma∙tȧ kǣ∙mȧ ō∙né nǣ’ or ‘ma∙tȧ kǣ∙mȧ é∙paa’

      Similarly, “I don’t want rice” would be: ‘ma∙tȧ bath ō∙né nǣ’ or ‘ma∙tȧ bath é∙paa’

      Is that clear?

  23. Little Sue December 7, 2015 at 00:01 #

    This is fabulous! I just wish I had better memory to retain all of these things! But I am finding it much easier to follow some lines of conversation around me.
    Please can I have the .pdf?

    Sending you many blessings for your married life.

  24. Gaya December 14, 2015 at 06:28 #

    Hi Itz very useful. Thanx a lot….I’m expecting more

  25. Ana May 4, 2016 at 03:40 #

    Hello, Dilshan

    May I have the PDF? This summer we´re going back to Sri Lanka after 3 years, so as I have a terrible memory, I need as much printed help as possible! Thank you again!

  26. Ana May 4, 2016 at 04:04 #

    And PDF of Part 3 also, please…

  27. Susann January 28, 2017 at 23:13 #

    Hi Dilshan,
    Just yesterday I discovered your website. I have so much fun learning Sinhala and learned many, many new things. I love your site.
    Bohoma isthoothi!

    • Dilshan Jayasinha January 30, 2017 at 11:06 #

      Awesome! Welcome to the my little blog, Susann. I also see that you’ve subscribed. Enjoy the ebook and do email me and tell me all about yourself.

  28. Susann January 28, 2017 at 23:41 #

    It´s me again…
    I forgot to ask, if I can get the one-page summary.
    So, pleeease.

  29. Indrani Perera January 31, 2021 at 04:14 #

    more brilliance. You’re the best. I’ll be chatting to my Thaathi in Sinhala in no time. Please send the PDF.

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