Sri Lanka, Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations start on 13th of April and end in 14th of the month. The biggest celebration in Sri Lanka with so many different sweets and foods.
Food plays a major role in new year celebrations in Sri Lanka. A huge table with Kiribath, bananas, sweets like kavum, kokis, aasmi, aluwa and many other traditional sweets become the centrepiece of any house.
Below are some of the sweets which are on new year table and during the season.
Milk rice :
It is a popular traditional festive dish for any auspicious moment and the main item in new year table. This dish prepares by steaming rice and cooking with it thick coconut milk. Milk rice makes a nice combination with chili paste or lunu miris (Lunu miris made with onions and red chilies and salt) Finally, a bit of lime juice adds to enhance the taste.
Kokis is a deep-fried, crispy Sri Lankan traditional snack made from rice flour and coconut milk with beaten egges. A pinch of sugar and salt adds to the mixture as well. It allows to deep fry until golden brown. This savory & popular snack can be seen in every household.
Pani Walalu :
Pani walau (Honey rings) is the most extremely delicious sweet in new year table. It is made by deep-frying coils of Ulundu & rice flour mixture and then soaking them in honey or sugar syrup. Since it enriches with coconut milk and treacle, it brings a mellow, sweet taste. These crunchy deep-fried delicacies filled with sweet sugar syrup make kids happy during the New Year.
Kavum or oil cake is a deep-fried Sri Lankan sweet made from rice flour and Kitul treacle. It is a traditional and essential item in celebrations of the Sinhala New Year. Its inside is soft and moist, while the thin caramelized crust is crunchy. Once you bite into it, you can taste the sweet, soft feeling and oily, crunchy taste same time.
Mung Kevum :
Mung Kavum is a deep-fried Sri Lankan sweet made from a combination of Mung beans flour, rice flour, and Kitul treacle. It has a taste of Mung that comes from Mung beans flour and it is very delicious.
Athirasa is completely the same as the taste as Kavum, but it has a different shape. Unlike Kavum, it has a flat round shape. It is also a deep-fried sweet made from rice flour and Kitul treacle. This is quite easy to prepare than Kavum and it is a quite popular traditional food item in the New Year table.
Aasmi is a traditional deep-fried sweet snack, which is served specially on Sinhala New Year. It makes with a combination of rice flour and coconut milk, mixing with the juice extracted from cinnamon leaves. The addition of this particular cinnamon leaf juice is essential for Aasmi making. Then flour mixture deep-fried in coconut oil and topped with sugar syrup or treacle. Aasmi gives the taste of mild sweetness and crispiness. When Aasmi is topped with sugar syrup it gives different colors, and even more attractive for kids.
Dodol is a dark, almost gel-like candy made from jaggery, coconut milk, and rice flour. This delicious confectionary is one of the essential New year sweets in Sri Lanka. Unlike other homemade sweets, Dodol is usually bought from sweet shops. The process of Dodol making is quite strenuous and it needs the support of a few hard-working people. This is an extremely delicious sweet, which decorates Sri Lankan New Year table.
Weli thalapa :
Another popular sweet among villagers . Weli Thalapa is a combination of rice flour, coconut, and treacle. Weli thalapa is made by steaming rice flour beads and then mixing it with treacle and cutting it into small pieces. Since treacle is the binding agent of steamed flour beads, it needs to add lots of treacle to make this sweet. The pieces of Weli thalapa are filled with sweet treacle and it is a perfectly delicious sweet for the New Year celebrations.
Naran kavum :
This is a yummy sweet that mainly includes scraped coconut, sugar or jaggery, and rice flour as ingredients. Making Naran Kavum is quite easy and enjoyable. Generally, sugar is the main sweetener but jaggery can be used for sweetening too. The sweetened coconut call as ”Pani Pol” is used to making balls and deep-fried after covering them with the batter.
Another delicious sweet that can be seen on new year table. Roasted rice flour, treacle, cashew nuts, and cardamom are the main ingredients of Aluwa. This mixture is cut into diamond-shaped pieces. Sometimes, Aluwa can be made using sugar syrup instead of treacle. This sweet calls in different names in each part of the island. It may call as Kaju aluwa, Kiri aluwa or Pani aluwa. Always, Aluwa is white in color and so delicious. Aluwa making is quite easy than many other traditional Sri Lankan sweets. But it needs to bring the flour and treacle mixture to the correct consistency before shaping and cutting. If you learn this hardest part, making Aluwa at home is an enjoyable process.
These sweet treats are the major traditional food items on Sri Lankan New Year table.