Touring in Sri Lankan becomes more interesting and adventurous only when you take a train ride. With just 02 dollars’ worth train journey from Kandy to Colombo or Colombo to Kandy, anyone can explore more than 50 recipes in Sri Lankan cuisine. The yummy kurakkan or finger millet halapa is one of the yummiest snack food sold by the vendors in the train pantry.
Halapa is one of popular anytime Sri Lankan snack made with jaggery. Usually, all these are severed with hot black tea or black kopi (Not the instant coffee, something like a filter coffee severed in South India). Halapa recipe is very similar to the ilayappam recipe of Kerala cuisine.
Halapa is usually made with Steamed All-Purpose Flour, Kurakkan/Finger Millet Flour, Coconut, and Jaggery Syrup. Initially, soft dough is made with all the ingredients here and as a tradition, it is placed in a leaf called ‘Kenda/Vattakanni’ and cooked on steam. The steamed halapa stays good for three days. I have prepared it just with kurkkan flour as we have reduced using all-purpose flour at our home. Here is the recipe for making it.
- Finger Millet Flour - 300 gm
- Jaggery Syrup - 150 ml
- Sugar - 100 gm
- Grated Coconut - 150 gm
- Cardamom Powder - 0.5 tablespoon
- Coconut Oil - A Little
- Salt - 01 tablespoon
- Water - 100 ml
- Large Banana Leaves - 06 Nos
- In a large pan add jaggery syrup, sugar, & water and cook it on low flame until sugar dissolves.
- Add salt & grated coconut to it and cook it until the mix becomes thick & dry.
- Turn off the stove and add cardamom powder & finger millet flour little by little to the mix. Mix it well.
- Let it cool for a while and knead it well until the dough becomes easy to handle. If required add little flour to it.
- Cut the banana leaves into large circles/squares and wash it. Gently warm the banana leaves over an open flame for few seconds.
- Apply little coconut oil on the banana leaves. Take a small lemon ball and roll it on a banana leaf.
- Fold the leaf in half. Repeat the same for the remaining dough.
- Steam the halapa in a steamer for about 10 minutes.
- Let the halapa cool for a while and serve them with hot tea.