April 14 will mark Sri Lankan New Year this year. Sri Lankan New Year is an important time for all Sri Lankans. Full of rituals, and the signalling of a new beginning for all involved.
There are the rituals of cleaning the house and lighting the oil lamp adorned with a proud rooster. Traditionally the hearth stove would have been cleaned and only lit at an auspicious time to make Kiribath or milk rice. Traditional gifts of new clothes and given and received and visiting family begins in earnest. Villages have carnivals with traditional games and competitions and including a beauty pageant to select the most beautiful girl in the village.
In Australia we have tried to replicate this in our own way. There are smaller oil lamps, gas stoves scrubbed to shiny perfection and phone calls in lieu of visits. There are carnivals at Sunday schools with races and challenges and children are compelled to eat donuts hanging from strings as fast as they are able. Sweet meats and treats are often store bought and celebrations postponed to weekends when people are more available.
This year I’m collating some of my recipes that can fill your Avurudu table. Some are easy, other’s complex and time consuming me. My challenge is this, make one. Just one and let me know how it turns out.
Easy vanilla marshmallows that can be made in advance. You’ll never be satisfied with store-bought again.
Sri Lanka’s favourite cake.
Crispy, deep friend “swirls” of urid dal batter dipped in hot palm treacle.
Sweet and slightly chewy condensed milk toffee
Uniquely Sri Lankan crepes filled with spiced, sweet, caramelised coconut.
Subha Aluth Avurudak Vewa!