Taste of Yal: Odiyal Pittu & Pongal Rice

Mar 01 2017.

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When it comes to traditional cuisine, Jaffna stands out as a popular destination that has its own unique range of different specialties. While on our visit to Jaffna we discovered how to prepare a few of these varieties. 

Pongal Rice 

Pongal or Pongal rice as the name suggests is a popular meal prepared during religious celebrations such as Thai Pongal and the Sinhala and Hindu New Year. 

Ingredients 

Red rice 
Coconut milk 
Jaggery 
Cashew nuts 
Raisins 
Cardamom 

Method 

Boil the rice in water. 

Add milk to the boiled rice and make a similar preparation like ‘Kiribath’. 

Once the rice is boiled add diluted jaggery. 

After some time add cashew nuts, raisins and cardamom to this preparation and let it heat for a while and then serve. 

Odiyal Pittu 

Odiyal or Palmyrah is a yam which grows in Jaffna and many varieties of food are prepared from it. Odiyal pittu is one of them. 

Ingredients 

1/2 cup odiyal flour 
Ash plantain 
A handful of Jackfruit seeds, chopped and boiled 
Spinach 
2 or 3 small onions 
1 or 2 green chillies 
A small piece of carrot 
Chopped mango, 1 or 2 tbsp 
Salt and pepper, to taste 

Method 

Mix the odiyal flour with a little water and make the raw pittu. 

Add a little salt and all the chopped vegetables to the flour and mix well. 

Steam the pittu. 

Once the steaming is finished, just sprinkle with pepper when you remove the pittu from heat. 

Serve warm. 


VIDEO & PHOTOGRAPHS by Zeeshan Akram Jabeer


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamanthi Wickramasinghe

A psychology graduate who eventually became a journalist to be a voice for unheard voices. A proud Sri Lankan - Thalassophile - Travel fan - Nature lover - Chocoholic - Extraordinarily loud - Frequent laughaholic. Follow me on Instagram - @kamzylifeTM or FB – Kamanthi Wickramasinghe


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