Sweet treats

Sweet treats

By
Channa Dassanayaka
Contains
13 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781740660662
Photographer
Craig Wood

Sri Lankan cuisine is not known for its desserts, and a traditional Sri Lankan family dinner does not follow the same pattern as a Western meal, which usually ends with a pudding or sweet dessert of some sort.

Sweet meats, as the little Sri Lankan desserts are called, are in fact sometimes served before the meal. For instance, little oil cakes may be presented to dinner guests with a cup of tea before the main meal. That said, traditions change and these days in Sri Lanka you may be served a small piece of wattalappan or bread and butter pudding following the main meal.

Sweet meats are more commonly enjoyed for morning or afternoon tea, when you then might eat pol pani pancakes and delicious love cakes. And at almost any time of the day, Sri Lankans eat curd, which is produced from the roaming buffalo herds, and sold in little clay pots drizzled with treacle.

While Sri Lankans may not be big dessert eaters, drinking tea is a national pastime. Tea is one of Sri Lanka’s two main export crops, the other being coconut products. Most of the tea is grown in the hill country with its warm climate, perfect altitude and sloping terrain.

Tea is served in many forms, either as simple black leaf tea with milk and jaggary – palm sugar – or spiced with herbs, cinnamon, ginger or lemon. Tea is constantly available in every home and sold by roadside cafés and street vendors. It is rare to have a social gathering without it.

Featured Recipes in this Chapter

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