Food is associated with everything – birth, marriage, funeral, festival, religious observance, penance, alms giving, gift giving, traveling, health and medicine. Therefore, food and food preparation are important to these people. Depending on the context, there are permitted and unpermitted foods along with methods of preparation.
Jaffna is steeped in its origins of an ancient agricultural civilization. Agriculture permeates all aspects of the local life. Paddy, vegetables, chili, onions, tobacco, mango, plantain, grapes, Jackfruit, Palmyra and coconut are some of the agricultural produce of the region. The Fisheries industry is the second highest contributor to Jaffna’s economy. As a result, Jaffna cuisine is known for its vegetarian dishes and seafood dishes. Animal husbandry is also a common aspect of all households. May it be the owning of a single cow or chicken to having hundreds of livestock, an overwhelming percentage of the households source food from their own livestock. Cows, chickens, ducks and goats are the commonly raised animals.