Mung Kavum

Mung Kavum is another New Year delicacy. I find it similar to payatham paniyaram, a north Sri Lankan festival snack that is usually prepared at my home. The difference is that in the north, it is made a little more spicy by the addition of cumin and pepper.

Mung KavumAs I am writing this, I am listening to a new song of Bathiya & Santhush, a popular Sri Lankan band. Sharing it with you as well.

Mung Kavum

Time taken: 1 hour

Makes 25 – 30

Mung KavumIngredients:

  • Rice flour – 500g + 250g
  • Green gram flour – 1 Kg
  • Pol pani/ Coconut treacle – 3 cups (~700ml)
  • Margarine – 3 tsp
  • Cardamom powder – 1 or 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, for deep-frying


  1. Warm up the pol pani. Remove from heat.
  2. Add 500g rice flour, green gram flour, cardamom powder and margarine to the warmed up pol pani.
  3. Mix together to form a dough and roll it out. Cut into diamond shapes and keep aside.
  4. Prepare the batter by gradually adding water to 250g rice flour mixed with ½ tsp of turmeric powder and a pinch of salt.
  5. Heat the oil in a pan.
  6. Dip the diamond shapes in the batter to coat it on all sides and then deep-fry.

Recipe source: Lalitha Senadheera.



Today’s New Year traditional dish recipe is that of Kokis. It is a type of fried cookie which I used to think was typically Sri Lankan. However, during my Indian culinary journey last year, I came across Ruchik Randhap’s Mangalorean cuisine site and there was a recipe for Kokis (referred to in Mangalore as Kokkisan or Rose cookies). One of my friends from Sweden, Malin, then informed me that kokis reminded her very much of the Scandinavian traditional cookies called Rosettes. I guess the cookie found its way to India and Sri Lanka during the Dutch era here.

The only difference in Sri Lanka is that unlike in the rest of the countries where it is a very traditional Christmas cookie, in Sri Lanka it is part of the Sri Lankan New Year food (celebrated primarily by the Buddhists and Hindus in the country) and not part of the Christmas cuisine.


Time taken: 1 ½ hours

Makes 35 to 40


  • Rice flour – 500g
  • Turmeric – ½ tsp
  • Coconut milk – 1 cup
  • Water – ½ cup
  • Egg – 1 (optional)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, for deep-frying


  1. Mix all the ingredients together to make the batter.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Prepare the kokis mould by placing it in the oil until it is heated.
  4. Plunge the mould into the batter until it is coated and then place it in the oil pan.
  5. Using a skewer or pointed end of a spoon or fork, gently slide the kokis off the mould as soon as it starts to puff up and is easy to slide it off without crumbling it.
  6. Fry the kokis until golden brown and remove from pan.
  7. Repeat the process by heating the mould in the oil for a few seconds before plunging it in the batter. This allows the kokis batter to first coat the mould and then to slide off without sticking to the mould.
  8. Store in an air-tight container.

Recipe source: Lalitha Senadheera.

Konda Kavum

It’s been two weeks since the New Year celebrations. I asked a friend of my mother to share a few recipes of the traditional dishes she made during this time. She shared three of her recipes which I will be sharing this week.

The first is Konda Kavum, a snack my mother is particularly fond of since her childhood.

Konda Kavum

Time taken:  1 ½ hours

Makes 25 to 30 kavum

Konda KavumIngredients

  • Rice flour – 4 cups
  • Brown sugar – 1 cup
  • Vegetable oil margarine – ½ cup (100 g)
  • Coconut milk – 1 1/3 to 1 ½ cups (300 ml)
  • Cardamom – 2 or 3
  • Kithul pani/ palm jaggery treacle – ½ cup
  • Oil, for deep-frying


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl to make the batter. Set aside for 30 mins so that the ingredients can mix well.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan.
  3. Scoop two tablespoon of the batter into the pan.
  4. Plunge a long stick skewer in the middle of the batter holding it in place.
  5. Turn the batter with the spoon as it gets cooked while rotating the skewer rapidly, like a spinning top but keeping it in one place.
  6. The batter soon puffs out and a tiny mound forms at the center. Continue the rotation until the kavum is fully cooked.
  7. Remove the kavum and place in a tray lined with grease absorbing paper. Repeat the process until the batter is finished.
  8. Store in an air-tight container.

Recipe source: Lalitha Senadheera.


Today’s guest blogger is renowned independent film-maker Asoka Handagama. His movies have garnered much critical acclaim and have been screened at numerous major international film festivals (Toronto, Edinburgh, Tokyo etc.) around the world. His most recent movie ‘Ini, Avan’ had its world premiere at the ACID programme in the Cannes festival in 2012. Asoka is currently working on his newest film project which he plans to partially fund through crowd-funding. If you would like to participate in Sri Lanka’s first partially crowd-funded movie production, do check out the film’s Crimso page

Today, Asoka shares his favourite dish, Hathmalu – a specialty dish made during the Sri Lankan New Year/ Avurudhu/ Puthaandu.

Hath Malu ( A curry made of Seven vegetable/ingredients )

This traditional curry dish is prepared for an auspicious AVURUDU meal; popular in Sabaragamuva province in Sri Lanka. Uniqueness in this dish is that it is not prepared for any other occasion than AVURUDU.  It is so yummy that you can swallow a whole load of milk-rice in a few seconds!


Hathmalu Recipe


  • Cashew Nuts (raw un roasted)

And any six (or seven) of the following:

  • Egg plant/ aubergines
  • Jackfruit Seeds
  • Snake beans
  • Sweet potato
  • Sweet potato baby leaves or pumpkin leaves
  • Desha-ala (indigenous potato)
  • Desha-ala leaf stems
  • ‘Ambul’ banana (unripe bananas)

For the curry: 

  • Turmeric
  • Chili powder (un roasted)
  • ‘Thuna paha’ local spice mix such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves (un roasted)
  • Salt
  • Red onions
  • Green chili
  • Curry leaves
  • Coconut milk: thick cream (first squeeze) and diluted (second squeeze)

Chop aubergines and other vegetables and potatoes into 1cm x 1cm x 1cm cubes. Add the seven main ingredients along with salt, spice mix, curry leaves, chili powder, red onions, green chili, turmeric and diluted coconut milk to a (preferably) clay pot. Place on stove and allow to cook slowly on low heat until all ingredients have cooked and softened (15-20 minutes). Then add thick coconut milk and (on medium heat) allow to simmer until the curry thickens and take it off the heat.

Serve curry with milk rice.

hathmalu2Recipe source: Asoka Handagama.


Happy Sri Lankan New Year!

இனிய புத்தாண்டு நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்! සුභඅලුත්අවුරුදක්‌ වේවා! Wishing you a prosperous and happy Sri Lankan New year!

(or, more precisely as people these days tend to clarify – a Sri Lankan Buddhist and Hindu New Year)

A key dish made today is either Kiribath or Pongal. Other snacks made at my home are Paruthithurai vadai, Murukku and Seeni ariyatharam.


Paruthithurai Vadai



Seeni Ariyatharam

Seeni Ariyatharam

I have requested several friends to share the recipe of a dish that they have made for today in their homes and will be able to hopefully share them (particularly that of kavum, kokis etc) soon here.

In the meantime, I invite you to my short story collection “Waves” book promotion on the Amazon Kindle store. The book can be freely downloaded during the ongoing promotion till 15th noon (Sri Lankan time).


Rasavalli Kilangu Kool

Today is a very special day at my home. It is my mother’s birthday.

After quite some time away from the kitchen, I decided to bake something today and as my mother is a snacker, made a vegan date and walnut loaf and some granola bars.

The recipe I am sharing today is a special treat from Jaffna that my mother made earlier this week. This dish is a special breakfast or dessert dish from north Sri Lanka and made from rasavalli kilangu or purple yam (dioscorea alata).

purple yam

purple yam

 Rasavalli Kilangu Kool/ Purple Yam Porridge

Time taken: 20 mins

Serves 3

rasavalli kilanguIngredients:

  • Rasavalli kilanku/ purple yam – 1 small
  • Thin coconut milk – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 2 or 3 tbsp
  • Salt, a pinch


  1. Clean and peel the yam and then chop it up roughly.
  2. Cook the yam with 3 cups of water. Once the water dries up, lightly mash the boiled yam.
  3. Add 1 cup of thin coconut milk.
  4. Add 2-3 tbsp of sugar and a pinch of salt to the porridge.
  5. Let the porridge simmer till the liquid  thickens.
  6. Serve warm.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.