If you’re Sri Lankan this treat needs no introduction. Halapa is made of Ragi Flour (kurakkan flour), grated coconuts mixed with honey or sugar. Halapa, goes as a snack with a cup of tea or a treat to keep your energy levels up. I’ve not met a Sri Lankan who’s said no to one of these and of course it’s a favorite of mine. Since this sweet treat uses Ragi flour which is low in GI and kithul treacle, this is great after a quick workout to boost your energy levels for the remainder of the day. A sweet treat, energy source, a marriage made in heaven. Errrmmm, a marriage made in the kitchen? Okay, some sort of marriage made somewhere but the result is ohhh so good.
I remember my mom used to send me and my sister to the neighbors to pluck kenda leaves because we didn’t have a kanda tree in our yard. The mission is to source leaves but it didn’t stop us from mingling with the kids in our neighborhood and also creating some chaos while were on this errand. Oh right, who is this kanda fellow? This happens to be the mold used to hold and press the raw halapa mix together. The leaves pass on the leaf impression onto the treat and mildly adds to the flavor profile. There is a satisfying moment when you unwrap the leaf before eating. A feeling of suspense trying not to tear the leaf and also dig your teeth into the treat. Caution: drooling in progress approach subject with caution!!!
There are two different ways of making Halapa, one with the sweet coconut filling and one without, the latter is my favorite. This recipe is also very customizable, as an example, some people use kithul treacle as the liquid sweetener and some use sugar or sugar syrup. Well, you can use either one depending on availability. Did you know if you don’t have any of the said sweeteners you can use date paste too?
I have tried this same recipe with date paste as well as kithul treacle, both outcomes were yum yum. In today’s recipe, I’ve used pure kithul pain from Raga Kithul, which is virgin kithul syrup, and its 100% natural and At Raga, they don’t compromise on quality and maintain the ✔️ natural composition and ✔️sweet, smoky, rich flavor of the Kithul that has been enjoyed through centuries of Sri Lankan heritage.
- 01 cup of kurakkan flour
- 01 cup of finely scraped coconuts
- 3/4 cups of Raga kithul treacle – Shop Now
- 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp of salt – adjust to your preference
- 02 tbsp of sugar – adjust to your preference
- 1 pod of cardamom – crushed
- 5-7 fresh kenda leafs
- about 1/4 to 1/2 cups of water
- If you cannot find kithul treacle to make this recipe then you can always use sugar syrup, coconut syrup, or even date paste.
- Hard to find kenda leaves? then use banana leaves
- If you want a firm and soft halapa them make sure to add more coconuts and all-purpose flour as kurakkan flour tends to absorb most of the moisture and tends to get hard when cooked.
- Using a medium-sized bowl, add kurakkan flour, coconuts, kithul treacle, all-purpose flour, sugar, crushed cardamom, and salt, and give it a good mix while adding water a little by little until a smooth dough forms.
- The dough should be a little wet and sticky, if the dough is too dry make sure to add a bit more honey or water or if it’s too wet more flour.
- Separate the dough into small-sized bowls – about 6-7 small bowls.
- Wash and dry the Kanda leaves and place one small dough ball on the leaves and flatten in (only on one side)
- Fold the leaf in half and press it down to seal it. Make sure to remove anything coming out of the leaf.
- Repeat the process for all the dough balls.
- Once done place the Kenda leaves in a steamer and steam for 15-20 minutes.
- Leave it to cool down to room temperature, unwrap it and enjoy with a nice cup of tea or pain tea.
Please let me know how this recipe turns out for you in the comments! You can also share your results with me on Instagram with the hashtag #thefoodsnapsrecipes.
Can’t wait to see your re-creations