Milk rice naturally becomes the main dish of our New Year table. Milk rice is a food that cools the body and gives maximum energy to the body. Instead of white rice milk rice, rice milk made from red rice is more suitable for people with diabetes and cholesterol. But in any recipe, if there is something unnecessary in the content, remember to replace it with the correct application. Instead of bread flour, when making cakes and other sweets, definitely use rice flour. If you do not suffer from obesity (cholesterol) or diabetes, it is okay to take white rice flour. If one is suffering from those diseases, use red raw rice flour for sweets.
If you can make this rice flour at home, you can get a guarantee about its quality. Or buy from a trusted dealer. Halpiti is the main ingredient used for Sinhala New Year sweets. Compared to nadu rice, although raw rice flour used for sweets has a quick digestion, it is not absorbed by the body as quickly as bread flour. Due to this, the blood sugar level of the body does not increase immediately.
Next, sugar is the main thing used to make sweets. Although white sugar is used for this today, in the past, our ancestors used Kithul or coconut nectar. It is beneficial for health if sweets are made using honey instead of white sugar which digests quickly. Next, it is important to use good quality coconut oil to fry these sweets to maintain the quality of the sweets and make them hygienic. Even Western doctors who made coconut oil a scapegoat a long time ago now say that “coconut oil” is not a monster but an innocent ingredient compared to other fat-growing oils.
Therefore, use regular coconut oil while making cakes. That coconut oil is suitable for other fryings as well. It is okay to use white coconut oil for cosmetics. In the same way, once fried with coconut oil, it is not suitable to fry again and again. If you follow these things, sweets are good for the body, not bad.
Next, after frying, in such a way that excess oil is removed from these sweets (folded from the bottom with a flat saucer) storing them in clay pots can also increase the health benefits.
If you follow this correctly, there will be no harm in eating a piece of cake that was fried three days ago. Similarly, there are several types of sweets that use green beans. For these, the body is cooled by using mung bean flour. Turmeric powder detoxifies the body. Daul cinnamon taken for asthma relieves intestinal diseases and defects and activates the intestines. Eases digestion. Increases hunger. Above all these things, a mandatory member must be added to the dining table.
It is not a piece of cake that helps to digest everything from curd rice to mung kaum. A gift of the natural environment, this is a fruit…. banana. But if that goal is to be effective, a bunch of sour bananas should be brought to the New Year’s table. Because if you add things like kolikuttu or ratkehel to the table to show your family’s wealth or pride, they don’t do the good digestion process that happens with sourdough.
Using basic ingredients, each bite is made with coconut, cashew, and plant juice. For this reason, if one is suffering from the aforementioned diseases, these should be eaten with attention to the amount taken at a time and the time span of eating. For others, there is no such limit.
If you can eat until you are full, engage in strenuous sports, and do housework, there will be no health risks. From the past, during the Sinhala new year, group competitions such as onchili, porapol, javana and pitiya were held to support the digestion of the new year food. Other things like traveling with relatives and looking for things needed for guests coming to the house also consumed energy, so this was not something that could be felt very much. In this day and age with more airplanes and electronic tools, diseases are coming to our bodies due to less physical exertion. For this reason, not only New Year’s sweets, but also any other food, you should think about the level of your effort and eat as much as you need.
Advice – Shanti Gunawardena
Community Medical Officer, Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine