Happy Sri Lankan New Year 2018!
Happy Sri Lankan New Year 2018!! Albeit this post is a few weeks belated, but it still feels like the turning of a new leaf with some of these yummy tea time treats still knocking about in tupperwear boxes in our kitchen.
Having lived in Britain since I was a toddler, my parents made every effort to ensure that my sister and I experienced as much of Sri Lankan culture and tradition at home - often in the guise of glorious spreads of food!
Sri Lankan New Year is celebrated on the 14h April each year, and according to Sinhalese astrology the New Year occurs when the sun moves from the house of Pisces to the house of Aries which usually marks the end of harvest season.
Our first meal is a big breakfast called the 'Awurudu' table, which means 'New Year' table. Traditionally we feast over a big plate of 'kiri bath' which is rice cooked in coconut milk, served with 'seeni sambol' a spicy-sweet onion relish, 'katta sambol' a chilli, lime and dried fish sambol served with a fish or chicken curry.
Afterwards we exchange gifts and money wrapped in vibrant green bulath leaves as a blessing. Then we boil milk in a clay pot, with my adorable Ammie chanting Buddhist verse whilst it overflows as a symbol of a year abundant in health, wealth and prosperity.
In our family we use the hot milk from the clay pot in our cups of tea, which is absolutely delicious and frothy and has subtle earthy notes. We enjoy our cuppas with a tea time spread of incredible Sri Lankan sweets (kavum, kokis etc) that Ammie cleverly still makes from scratch - and when I mean from scratch I mean she will even go to the arduous effort of making her own rice flour!
I'll end on teaching you a little Sinhala so you can wish all your Sri Lankan friends a happy new year by saying "Aluth awurudduk wewa" to which they should reply "Asema wewa" which means and a prosperous new year to you too! :)