Avurudu Rasa Kavili | Sunday Observer

Avurudu Rasa Kavili

4 April, 2021

What are rasa kavili? They are traditional Sri Lankan sweetmeats enjoyed by all of us during festive occasions especially during the Sinhala and Hindu New Year celebrated in mid April annually. Also known as the Festival of the Sun God this is a tme when rasa kavili forms a major part of the cuisine along with the traditional kiri bath (milk rice). Today, the Junior Observer tells you about some of these delicious rasa kavili and brings you a delicious and easy to make recipe for aluwa.

 Sources| The Festival of the Sun God by Prof. J. B. Disanayaka , Daily News Cookery Book. Internet



Kavum or oil cakes are very traditional Sri Lankan sweetmeats without which no festive table will be complete. There are several varieties of kavum. The basic ingredients are rice flour, treacle and coconut milk. Kavums are deep fried in coconut oil in thatchchiyas.
These are deep, wok like utensils made of copper or other metals . Athirasa is a flat kavum. The unique konda kavum is an oil cake which has a knot on top. This knot looks like the konde or hair tied into a knot worn by women.
The name konda kavum is derived from the word konde. You have to be trained and skillful to make konda kavum.
The konde is shaped by using an ekel or similar implement. The mung kavum is made by adding mung flour (green gram) to the other ingredients. Mung kavums are generally diamond shaped. Narang kavums are shaped like balls and have a filling of spiced coconut and treacle. Pana kavum is another variety of oil cakes.


As a traditional Sri Lankan sweetmeat kokis is supposed to be of Dutch origin and is believed to have been introduced to Sri Lanka during the time of the Dutch Colonial rule. Rice or wheat flour and coconut milk are the major ingredients.
Salt and sugar and eggs are also part of the ingredients. A special decorative mould called the kokis achchuwa is used to make kokis. These moulds can take the shape of butterflies or flowers as well as other decorative shapes.
A thick batter is made and the mould is coated in thick batter and dipped in the coconut oil boiling in a thatchchiya. When it is half cooked the kokis will be shaken off the mould and dropped into the oil and deep fried till it is well fried. Kokis is crispy.

Aasmi is a Sri Lankan sweet made with rice flour, coconut milk and the juice of a leaf named dawul kurundu. It is deep fried and topped with treacle. In the North Western province aasmi is known as puluboddana

Aggala is another traditional Sri Lankan sweet which takes the form of sweet roasted rice balls, They can be made with rice or rice flour, coconut, jaggery or treacle and pepper. Traditionally, rice or left over rice was sun dried and pounded into flour to make aggala. Now, the use of rice flour is very popular. It is another must for festive tables Aggala is also a must to take for kodu karayas (first timers) trekking to the holy mountain of Sri Pada.

Aluwa is a traditional Sri Lankan dessert made with roasted rice flour, sugar cashew nuts, and spices such as cardamom or cloves. Some recipes use treacle instead of sugar.
The mixture is spread into pans and sliced, usually into diamond-shaped pieces. Aluwa is a staple dessert served at the Sinhala and Hindu New Year.

Weli thalapa

Weli thalapa is made with rice flour, thick cocnut milk and treacle among other ingredients such as spices and coconut It is a firm favourite at festive tables.