The Sinhala and Tamil New Year or “Avurudu” is celebrated by all demographic groups of Sri Lanka either directly or indirectly.
When the firecrackers go off, they queue by the doors anxiously waiting for the doorbell to ring. The Buddhist and Hindu Sri Lankans – who celebrate this festival more actively, will most probably pay a visit to their neighbours of other faiths bearing large plates ladened with sweet meats and bananas.
Avurudu Kewili – Food for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year Festival
The Sinhala and Tamil New Year festival is definitely a time to put on some kilos!
The milkiness of the kiribath (milk rice) is contrasted with the tangy and spicy lunu miris (onions chopped and mixed with chilli). And to drown out the spice they reach for the Peni Walalu (the literal translation being honey bangles is a rice flour mixture that is first deep fried and then soaked in sugar syrup). The kokis (Sri Lankan cookies) is a noisy mouthful as it cracks in the mouth while the Aluwa (made with rice flour and coconut treacle) and the Mung Kevum (made with green gram flour and honey with clarified butter) melts in your mouth.
A popular favourite is the Konda Kavum (a sweet made from rice flour and treacle and shaped like a hair bun; and hence the name) oozing with sweetness especially when eaten hot. No Aluth Avurudu (New Year) plate is complete without Asmi, it looks like a lump of string, which is made from rice flour and coconut milk and then drizzled with a sweet sauce. An Avurudu favourite available all year round, especially in the Ratnapura region, is Kalu Dodol. This is a rich sweet that is made with coconut milk, jaggery and cashew nuts.