Special avurudu sweets

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Sweet meats and special dishes are an essential facet of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. While they have come to be identified with and annual festival, some of these food items are also prepared to mark special occasions. Here are some sweet meats and other foods prepared in Buddhist and Hindu households this time around

Konda Kevum

Its an oil cake that possesses an odd shape with a bun like lump in the centre, from which it derives the term Konda (hair). The preparation of the batter involves the mixing of treacle and sugar, which are cooked to boiling point. Rice flour and steamed flour is added to the cooled treacle. A spoon of the batter is poured into a pan of hot oil, with a wooden skewer inserted at the centre to create the lump, while ensuring that oil is constantly provided to the developing Konda or bun.

Kokis

Kokis is a deep-fried, crispy and sweet snack made from a mixture of rice flour and coconut milk. Although considered a traditional Sri Lankan Avurudu snack, the long held belief is that the word Kokis itself has been derived from the Dutch, which has links with the word ‘cookies’.

Mung-Kevum

Mung Kavum is a combination of rice flour and green gram flour added to warmed treacle. Diamond-shaped pieces of this mixture is soaked in a batter of rice flour and coconut milk and deep-fried. 

Asmi

Not a very easy sweet to make, but certainly a triumph of effort and skill, The batter for this sweet is unique. First, milk is added gradually to rice flour, which is constantly kneaded. A handful of cinnamon leaves are squeezed into a cup of light coconut milk, and the strained juice is added to the batter. The juice of the cinnamon leaf makes the batter thick and slimy. Once the batter reaches the required consistency, its time for frying.
A punctured coconut shell spoon is used to pour the batter to create a web like design. Asmi is kept aside for a day or two before being re-fried and decorated with thick sugary syrup.

Athirasa

Athirasa, as the term implies is an extremely tasty Avurudu sweet, which is quite rich in sweetness as well. It is an oil cake made with jaggery and rice flour rolled into a paste, flattened into circles and fried.

Bibikkan

ibikkan is a rich, dark, chewy and moist cake made of shredded coconut, jaggery and semolina. Ingredients include grated jaggery or treacle, melted in a little water, heated, then cooled and mixed into a batter with roasted semolina. Chopped dates, winter melon, ginger preserve, candied peel and cashew nuts are added, along with crushed fennel, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon and a dash of salt. A beaten egg is folded in before the mixture is popped into the oven.

Aluwa

A sweet made with just two ingredients, rice flour and coconut or palm treacle. The process begins with the roasting of rice flour on medium fire. Next, the treacle is heated to boiling point, at which stage the rice flour, a dash of cardamom and handful of chopped cashew is added. Aluwa is easily identifiable with its diamond-shaped pieces and heavy coating of rice flour. 

Unduwel

Unduwel is a very sweet food made during Avurudu, that originated from the central province. It is a deep fried coil of a mixture of Urad dhal and rice flour soaked in sugar syrup.

Kalu dodol

Dodol is believed to have been introduced to Sri Lanka by Indonesians. Kalu means “black” in the Sinhala language. Preparation of kalu dodol is time-consuming and difficult but the end result is really worth the trouble. You need coconut milk, jaggery, and rice flour to make Dodol. The dark and sticky dish consists mainly of kithul jaggery.

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