Who says Jaffna is only about the spices? There’s no better place to indulge that sweet tooth, other than Jaffna at the northern end of Sri Lanka. The desserts of Jaffna combine the sweetest of flavors mixing milk, coconut, honey, and a host of tastes that send your palate to seventh heaven!
When visiting this lovely city, you may find the food to be quite spicy- the Jaffna Tamils love their crab curries, mutton curries and so on, so their super sweet desserts are the best way to douse that fire on your tongue.
Try the warm and syrupy Gulab Jamun, a South Indian dish which is a local favorite. It is a spongy milk ball soaked in rose-scented syrup. Delicious, mouthwatering decadence….Another sweet delight to enjoy is Kesari Bhat. Made with semolina, sugar, ghee, water and milk, the dish is sticky in texture and is topped with almonds or cashew nuts and is served hot. A tasty treat to end a good meal!
You’ll also find an abundance of beverages that soothe the palate on a warm day. Try their flavored lassis – the tastes range from mango, to strawberry and papaya. While lassis are traditionally savory (the usually contain spices), the sweet lassis are much more in demand as an accompaniment for meals. The drink is made with milk, yoghurt and fruit and is quite like a milkshake, but with a lovely twist.
Then there’s also Jaffna’s signature green color Nelli drink, which can be found in shops lining the streets and at any and every restaurant in Jaffna. Nelli is a small, green color fruit found in Sri Lanka, very much like lime but not as tangy. The wonderful people of Jaffna love their Nelli drink and it has become a symbol of their welcome to any outsiders. In fact, I first tasted it on arrival at a new hotel in Jaffna – The Thinnai, which is an All Suite Boutique Hotel that just began operating since August last year. The Nelli drink was served as a welcome beverage and it really did cool my parched throat that was struggling to beat the Jaffna heat!
In fact, my stay at the hotel opened the doors to many adventures in tastes, such as the dishes mentioned above. My favourite was a Payassum dish, which was vermicelli boiled and sweetened with sugar and a sprinkling of nuts. Oh, and do try the varieties of ice cream on offer too; they have a distinct creaminess that you won’t find on your travels anywhere else.
So now you have many sweet reasons to visit Jaffna. Top off the spice of life with some sugar indulgence- you know you want to!