Scientific energy saving cooking can be applied even in Sinhalese and Tamil New Year cooking.
Posted on April 3rd, 2015

Dr Hector Perera        London

Sinhalese New Year also known as Aluth Avurudda in Sri Lanka. This is the New Year for the Sinhalese and Tamil people in Sri Lanka. It is a major anniversary celebrated by not only the Sinhalese people but by most Sri Lankans. The month of April dawns with the enthusiastic singing of the Koel birds signifying the arrival of New Year season and festivities for Sri Lankans. The month of April, known as Bak to the Sinhalese, means the end of harvesting, a time of abundance and the commencement of a new solar year. The Sinhalese Buddhist and Tamil Hindu New Year falls on 13th and 14th of April, and as such holds a deep cultural importance for both communities. The traditional Sinhala New Year is an occasion bound by religious and astrological elements. Astrologically, 14th of April implies the advent of summer and the period in which the sun aligns itself with the constellation of Pisces to Taurus, completing one solar year. The timing of the Sinhala New Year coincides with the New Year celebrations of many traditional calendars of South and Southeast Asia.

The New Year celebrations are set strictly according to astrological beliefs as well as a fusion of Hinduism and Buddhism. Auspicious times are calculated for lighting the first fire of the New Year and consuming New Year food. In addition, applying hair oil and leaving home for official matters also require auspicious times set by astrologers. Visiting the Buddhist and Hindu temples is advised to invoke the blessing of the Buddha and the Gods of both religions. Places of religious practice and pilgrimage have always played an influential role in these New Year celebrations.

The preparation of specific traditional foods such as oil cakes and milk rice are vital for the festivities. The much familiar names are Konda kaum, athirasa, assmi, kokis, aggala, sauw-dodol and aluwa are just a few names. The milk rice is considered mandatory in every household and its preparation is completed meticulously according to the times announced by the astrologers. The housewives first light the fire and boil a pot of milk while the family members gather around the fire to witness the blessing of milk being boiled. Subsequently, the family members greet each other in the traditional manner prior to the New Year feast. The boiling of milk and they expect it to boil and over flow the vessel, they call it Kiri Uthuranawa”, it’s a sign of prosperity.  Subsequently, people used to prepare milk rice (Kiri Bath) from the harvest obtained from their paddy fields.  Through these rituals, people believe that there won’t be a food shortage in their houses throughout the year.

Just like back home, the Sinhalese people in England celebrate this occasion and the occasion is backed up by the Buddhist temples. These are the places where hundreds of Sinhala Buddhist people gather to celebrate this special occasion. I have been to a few of these gatherings, honestly when they are together it is just like a small Sri Lanka. There are lots of activates and few are Kotta Pora or traditional pillow fights, tug of war, grease-tree climbing and sack races are all time-honored favorites enjoyed by young and old alike. Then scraping coconuts competition, weaving coconut leaves that used to shelter the roof are a few more competitions. The present generations hardly unaware of this HIRAMONAE, to scrape coconuts because all done by machines. Back home even in some supermarkets you can pick up freshly scraped coconuts so who would be bothered to use that hiramonae? In a way that makes cooking much easier than long time ago. Spices for the curries were freshly ground on mirisgala” by kussi ammas” but now they are all done by little machines. Firewood kitchens have disappeared even in some villages so no place for those kussi ammas”.  To have one or two servants at any home is not very unusual but the time has changed and those kussi ammas” have left the motherland for better paid foreign employment.

Energy saving cooking demonstration in TV

A few years ago, I had the invitation to ITN TV for a chat show on a Sinhalese New Year day to talk about my scientific energy saving cooking. Then I saw a whole host of Awrudu Kumari beauties also came to the studio.

The time was too tight to have a real cooking demonstration because without a real demonstration the method is not quite complete. I must say at a later date, my work was filmed then shown in the ITN for the benefit of the general public. One of the programmes was called Venessa” where two presenters asked me lots questions to make the public be aware of this scientific energy saving cooking. If the method was properly followed by the public a considerable amount of energy could be saved even in this coming Sinhala and Tamil New year in cooking rice, milk rice and a few Asian style curries. The method is not applicable for firewood kitchens because the control of fire is not quite easy as in gas or electricity cookers but even now I have my great respect to our good old traditional type of firewood cooking. Even now the smoky firewood kitchens bring back a lot of good memories and feels like real home cooking.

 My work is based on science

Many years ago we never had gas or electric cookers and I never knew about scientific energy saving cooking. This was only discovered when I was attending Kingston University in England. It took years to improve the technique to explain in simple manner. All my work is backed up by scientific laws and terms which are established a few centuries ago. I thought if those laws are accepted even now by any leading Universities such as Oxford in England and Hayward in America then my work should be accepted, that is how I got the confidence of my scientific energy saving cooking. I challenged the energy giants in England to come forward and either accept or disprove my technique. Unlike in the past I put forward a substantial sum of money that is £50,000/00 fifty thousand sterling. If I was disproved I would hand over the money but what would I get if I was right?

Now there is no questions with any Sri Lanka energy authority, I am so glad they accepted that my method saves a substantial amount of energy. Now the question is with any energy giants in England, perhaps they are unaware of my method. 

Sri Lanka Energy Minister

Sri Lanka’s Minister of power and energy, Rt Honourable Patali Champika Ranawaka says energy has become a powerful political tool not only in the island but internationally also as it plays a major role in the economy. He further added, The energy sector not only effects the economy of the country it has an impact on the day to day activates of the people and society and their culture and most importantly the politics,” Right honourable minister Ranawaka said. I wonder is this the reason why my method is still not recognised by any energy giants in England. If I am not confident of my technique would I put that much money as a challenge? Why not I had a chance to demonstrate my scientific energy saving technique in any TV show in England? May be I haven’t contacted the right people. Honestly I still do not know the answer to whom to be contacted?

In the month of Vesak 2014

In May 2014 my method was approved by The Sustainable Energy Authority in Sri Lanka and awarded me a certificate. The Sri Lanka Invention Commission has filmed the work separately and added to their official web site. Then a few days later thanks to the producer Mr Varadatte, I had the rare chance and demonstrated my scientific energy saving cooking at Sirasa TV for the benefit of the general public. Two genius presenters, Miss Juliet and Mr Sameera and the chef Duminda also raised questions in order to make the public be more aware of the method in simple way. Then answered a few telephone calls as well from the public for further clarification. If anyone is interested to find out what is scientific energy saving cooking, the work is still available in the web site. As I mentioned my method can be applied in preparation of rice, milk rice or kiribath”, pasta and any curries during this Sinhalese and Tamil New year then save a substantial amount of energy that would have wasted in cooking. One thing, the ladies who used to cook and get curry cologne and chicken cologne then eventually have a secret aroma herbal beauty therapy would be disappointed. Further no burnt rice or dankuda” for them when rice and milk rice are prepared according my technique. Your comments are welcomed

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