Bread Kottu

In my mother’s kottu series, I am including one of her dishes she calls the ‘bread kottu.’ Home-baked bread, when leftover the next day or two, never tastes as good as it does fresh. So, when we do end up with a few slices of such bread, my mother makes this kottu dish. I am sharing this at the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck #8 as well as bringing a second kottu dish late to Fiesta Friday #29.

I received an interesting email a couple of days ago from Ellie Priestman, a researcher at Studio Lambert. After reading the email, I agreed to share the gist of it here on my blog. According to Ellie, Studio Lambert is an independent television production company based in London and “have produced a number of observational documentary and factual entertainment series including Undercover Boss, The Great Interior Design Challenge and the BAFTA award winning series Gogglebox. (More information about the company can be found at www.studiolambert.com).” They are currently planning a production for BBC2 and are “looking for lively and outgoing couples and families who will be happy to show us what happens in their kitchens and around their dinner tables. The series will very much be a celebration of food and family – so we’re looking for people who are passionate about cooking (and eating!) together.” So, if anyone reading this and living in the UK is interested, please get in touch with Ellie via email:  getintouch@studiolambert.com or phone on 0203 040 6875.

DSC01255For today’s music as part of the A.R.Rahman series, I decided to select a few of his collaborative work with other international musicians to share here.

The first song is an excerpt from the self-titled album SuperHeavy (2011) of the five member group of Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart, A.R.Rahman, Damian Marley and Joss Stone.

The second song is a collaborative work with Persian American music group, Niyaz, from their album Sumud (2012). This song is their interpretation of an Afghan folk song.

The last song for today is an interesting one from MTV’s Coke Studio (2013), fusing Buddhist chants with traditional Arabic tunes and Indian music. A fan of Ani Choying, I love it the way she calmly sits in the midst of all the sounds breaking out wildly around her and continues her chant.

Hope you enjoyed the collaborative music of A.R.Rahman and the other musicians today as much as I did! Let me know if you try out this bread kottu recipe.
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Bread Kottu

  • Servings: 5
  • Time: 20 - 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • Bread – 2 cups, chopped
  • Green peas – ½ cup
  • Carrots – ½ cup, chopped
  • Cabbage – ½ cup, chopped
  • Olive oil – 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric – ½ tsp
  • Pepper and salt, to taste
  • Tamarind juice – ¼ cup
  • Coconut milk – ¼ cup
  • Curry powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Chopped coriander leaves, for garnish

Method:

  1. Make the sauce first by cooking the tamarind juice, coconut milk, curry powder and salt to taste for about five minutes till the gravy thickens. Remove from heat and keep aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the vegetables and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
  3. Season with turmeric powder, pepper and salt.
  4. Add the chopped bread to the pan and continue to stir-fry.
  5. Just before removing from heat, add the sauce to the pan and mix well.
  6. Sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve warm.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Bean Curd Kottu

In this month’s Kottu series of my mother, I am sharing her bean curd kottu at both the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck and Fiesta Friday.
DSC01280For the third week of the A.R.Rahman month, I wish to share three beautiful Hindi songs from movies. The first two movies are among my all-time favourites.

The first clip is from Deepa Mehta’s acclaimed movie Water (2005) starring Sarala Kariyawasam, Lisa Ray and John Abraham. The movie was filmed in Sri Lanka and the cast includes Sri Lankan child actress Sarala.

The second song is from Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s movie Rang De Basanti (translation: Colour it saffron, 2006) starring Aamir Khan, Siddharth Narayan, Soha Ali Khan, Kunal Kapoor, Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Atul Kulkarni and Alice Patten. This song is sung by Naresh Iyer (who won the national award for best male playback singer that year for this song) and A.R.Rahman.

The last song clip is from the movie Rockstar (2011) starring Ranbir Kapoor. This clip is a lovely qawwali song filmed at Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, one of the most venerated Sufi shrines in Delhi. The singers are A.R.Rahman, Javed Ali, Mohit Chauhan and the Nizami brothers (whose family traditionally has sung at the Dargah for centuries).

Hope you enjoyed today’s music choice of A.R.Rahman and the bean curd kottu!
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Bean Curd Kottu

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 15mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Coconut Roti – 1 cup, chopped
  • Bean curd – ½ cup, lightly fried cubes
  • Onion – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Ginger – ½ tsp, finely chopped
  • Garlic – 1 tsp, chopped, finely chopped
  • Fennel – pinch
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Soya sauce – 1 tbsp
  • Tomato sauce – 1 tbsp
  • Crushed chillies – 1 tsp or Pepper – ¼ tsp
  • Sliced tomato and chopped coriander, for garnish (optional)

Method:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Fry the onion, ginger, fennel and curry leaves.
  2. Mix in chopped bean curd.
  3. Add the soya and tomato sauce to the pan as well as the crushed chillies or pepper. Stir-fry for about 2 mins.
  4. Add the chopped roti and salt to taste and continue to stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
  5. Transfer to serving plate and garnish with sliced tomato and chopped coriander.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Egg Kottu

Today’s kottu recipe is Egg Kottu, which I am bringing to Fiesta Friday#28.
DSC01269This week’s A.R.Rahman feature starts with Rajiv Menon’s movie Kandu Kondain Kandu Kondain (translation: I have seen, 2000) based on the Jane Austen novel ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and starring Tabu, Aishwarya Rai, Ajith Kumar, Mammooty and Abbas. The playback singer is Shankar Mahadevan who won a national award for this song.

The second song is from Ashutosh Gowariker’s acclaimed movie Lagaan (translation: Land tax, 2001) starring Aamir Khan. This song is sung by playback singers Asha Bhosle, Udit Narayan and Vaishali Samant.

The last song clip is from K.Balachander’s movie Paarthale Paravasam (translation: Ecstatic over a glance, 2001) starring Madhavan and Simran. The playback singers are Srinivas and Sadhana Sargam.

Hope you enjoy the music as well as the kottu!
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Egg Kottu

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Atta roti/paratha – 1 or 2, chopped
  • Mysore dhal – 4 tbsp
  • Egg – 1
  • Green peas – 3 tbsp
  • Carrot – 3 tbsp, chopped
  • Onion – 1 tbsp, chopped
  • Potato – 2 tbsp, chopped
  • Gingelly oil – 1 tbsp
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Crushed chillies – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig (optional)

Method:

  1. Mix a little salt to the finely chopped carrot, onion, potato and green peas.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and lightly fry chopped and salted vegetables for 2-3 mins.
  3. Whisk egg and add it to the pan. Cook it before removing it from heat and keep aside.
  4. Cook 4 tbsp mysore dhal with water. Add 1 tsp crushed chillies, salt, ½ tsp pepper to the dhal.
  5. While the dhal cooks, chop up the paratha and the vegetable omelette.
  6. Once dhal is cooked, add the chopped roti/ paratha and the omelette to the pan and mix it well.
  7. Serve warm.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Vegetable Kottu Roti

Kottu roti is a street food that has its origins in Batticaloa, in the east of Sri Lanka. It quickly became a very popular street food across the country. While there are many popular Sri Lankan dishes that have its origins in South India, this meal  is one of the rare Sri Lankan meals that has become popular and localized in South India. If you walk around Colombo in the evenings, you are bound to hear a kottu vendor at some point or other. The noisy clang of the double cleavers that the kottu maker wields on a large roti pan and the smell and sight of the roti/ paratha and vegetables being chopped and cooked right in front of you is a treat. Check out this video clip of Mark Wiens for a visual of what I described above – the making of a kottu roti on the street.

When my mother has leftover roti or other dishes from the previous day, she sometimes attempts to recreate this popular Sri Lankan street food at home. While she does not chop the roti up with a cleaver nor is the mixing and cooking all simultaneously done on the pan, I do like the results. My mother wished to share her kottu series on this blog this month so I will be celebrating this blog’s first anniversary by bringing her vegetable kottu roti to my favourite weekly party over at The Novice Gardener‘s space.

DSC01265I have enjoyed sharing music clips together with the recipes on this blog. As I started featuring Indian movie songs with the music of one of south India’s influential music composers, Ilayaraja, I wanted to wrap up the playback singers and composers theme by featuring the other most influential composer of South India and beyond. This August, I will share the music of A.R.Rahman that I have enjoyed over the years. To kick-off the A.R.Rahman month, I would like to share today three songs that moved me and made me a fan from his early years as a music composer. The beautiful lyrics of all three were written by Vairamuthu.

The first song is from Mani Ratnam’s movie Thiruda Thiruda (translation: Thief Thief, 1993). The playback singers are K.S.Chitra and Mano. I remember enjoying watching this fun movie and this is one of the few songs for which I remember most of the lyrics.

The second song is from Bharathiraja’s movie Karuthamma (1994). The playback singer, Swarnalatha, won a national award for this sad song at the age of 21. There is an old youtube clip of an interview with the late singer where she talks of having been very much moved by the song that she was crying by the time she had finished the recording. Swarnalatha was particularly good at conveying emotions in folk tunes and won several state awards in her short career and life.

The last clip is from Suhasini Mani Ratnam’s movie Indira (1995). The playback singers are Anuradha Sriram, Sujatha Mohan, Shweta Mohan, G.V. Prakash Kumar, Esther and Sha. I get goose bumps each time I listen towards the end of the song, approximately the last 75 seconds of this meaningful song.

Hope you enjoy these special songs as you try out your own version of kottu roti!

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Vegetable Kottu Roti

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 30mins+ 1 hour dough resting time
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour – ½ cup
  • Warm water and salt, to taste
  • Onion – ½, chopped
  • Garlic – 1 tsp, chopped
  • Ginger – chopped
  • Tomato – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Crushed chillies – 1 tsp
  • Kesari or turmeric
  • Potato – 2 tbsp, chopped
  • Carrot – 2 tbsp
  • Beans – 2 tbsp
  • Leeks – 1 tbsp
  • Oil – 1 tbsp (for dough) + 1 tsp + 1 tbsp

Method:

  1. You can either use leftover roti or prepare fresh ones.
  2. For fresh roti, prepare the dough by mixing the flour, warm water and salt. Let it rest for an hour.
  3. Roll out the dough into one or two roti. Cook the roti until browned on both sides.
  4. Chop the roti up into thin strips.
  5. Heat 1 tsp oil in pan and fry the ginger, garlic and onion.
  6. Add chopped tomato, crushed chillies, turmeric and salt to the pan and continue to lightly fry for 2 – 3 mins.
  7. Transfer the pan contents to a blender, add a little water and puree it so that it makes ¼ cup.
  8. In a pan, fry 1 tbsp oil and add the chopped potato, carrot, beans and leeks. Mix in the puree.
  9. Add the chopped roti.
  10. Stir fry for a couple of minutes and transfer to serving dish.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Wattalapam Jelly Pudding

I am sharing a pudding recipe that I first shared during last Eid. Wattalapam is originally a part of the Sri Lankan Malay cuisine but has become the most popular Sri Lankan dessert.  This recipe of my mother is an adaptation of the traditional wattalapam into a jelly pudding. I would like to share it at Eid Eats 2014, which I learnt about from Jhuls, an Eid event hosted by Sarah and Asiyah.
Wattalapam jelly puddingI also wanted to share two music clips from MTV Coke Studio’s youTube channel. The first clip is of a Sufi music duo that I enjoy listening to – the Wadali brothers, Puranchand and Pyarelal Wadali, from Amritsar.

The second clip is a song I listened to for the first time last week when I was searching for youTube clips of the Wadali brothers. Composed by Salim and Sulaiman Merchant, the song is sung by Munawar Masoom and Kailash Kher.

Eid Mubarak to everyone celebrating this day!
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Wattalapam Jelly Pudding

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1 - 2 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Thick coconut milk – 1 cup (this can be obtained by blending ¼ cup freshly scraped coconut with 1 cup of water)
  • Egg – 1 (can use 2 tbsp corn starch as a substitute)
  • Jaggery – ½ to 1 cup, depending on taste
  • Cardamom – 3 or 4, crushed
  • Vanilla extract – 2 tsp
  • Agar agar – 2 tbsp
  • Hot water – 6 tbsp

Method:

  1. Mix the coconut milk and jaggery.
  2. Lightly whisk the egg before adding the jaggery-milk mixture. Blend the mixture well.
  3. Add the crushed cardamom and vanilla extract to the mixture.
  4. Cook the pudding mixture on low heat, stirring continuously, for about 10 mins.
  5. Remove the thickened mixture from the heat and keep aside to cool.
  6. Take 2 tsp agar agar powder and mix with 6 tbsp hot water.
  7. Beat the agar agar mix into the slightly cooled pudding mixture.
  8. Cool and refrigerate.

Recipe Source: Raji Thillainathan.

Mango Saffron Cake

I wanted to bake a special cake today to celebrate the birthday of a close friend undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and glaucoma. As there was a ripe mango in the fridge, I decided on a mango cake. Thinking of the spice that I could mix with mango in a cake, I decided to try saffron as I had recently tried out kesari in my muffin loaf and had also enjoyed the Cornish saffron bread that I had baked a couple of months back. Therefore, while both my exotic muffin loaf and this mango saffron cake look outwardly similar, the taste is different.
DSC01231 Of course, on this special day, I wish to feature a very special singer – K.S.Chitra whose birthday coincidentally happens to be today as well. One of my favourite singers, Chitra has won six Indian national awards during her 35 years of playback singing as well as was awarded the Padma Shri in 2005. She has had extensive training in Carnatic music.

As I had already shared her first award-winning movie song in the post featuring music composer Ilayarajaa, I will share a beautiful song clip from her devotional song album, Krishnapriya (2005).

The second clip is a lullaby she sang for the Craft (Center for research in assisted reproduction and fetal therapy) hospital and research center. The center shares this song for downloading from their website with the message, “For our emotionally stressed women and men we hereby give a small gift- A Lullaby of hope that will go straight to your hearts- soothe you and transcend you virtually to the wonderful world of parenthood.” Chitra lost her eight-year old daughter in 2011 and resumed her singing with this track.

The last song clip is her award-winning movie song from Cheran’s movie Autograph (2004) featuring actress Sneha and the Comaganin Raaga Priya orchestra. The music was composed by Bharadwaj and performed by the special blind orchestra while the lyrics was written by P.Vijay (who also won an award that year) and sung by Chitra. The clip I chose to share here has roughly translated subtitles (courtesy of YouTube user Antony Rajabala).

Hope you enjoyed today’s music by one of my favourite singers and the lovely cake!
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Mango Saffron Cake

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 45mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Roasted semolina – ½ cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – ½ tsp
  • Salt, pinch
  • Vegetable oil margarine – 100g
  • Sugar – 6 tbsp (can add more, as per your taste)
  • Milk (non-fat or vegan substitute) – ½ cup
  • Saffron threads – ¼ tsp
  • Vanilla essence – ½ tsp
  • Mango – 1, chopped
  • Cashew nuts and raisins, to sprinkle

Method:

  1. Heat the milk with the saffron. Once bubbles start to form, remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool.
  2. Sift the flour together with baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the roasted semolina to the dry ingredients bowl and keep aside.
  3. Chop up the mango and add the vanilla essence to the chopped mangoes in a separate bowl. Let the fruits soak in the essence.
  4. Whisk the margarine and sugar together until creamy.
  5. Stir in the saffron milk and continue whisking.
  6. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients bowl, continuously stirring.
  7. Fold in the chopped mangoes and transfer to lightly greased baking pan.
  8. Sprinkle chopped cashew nuts and raisins.
  9. Bake the cake at 170⁰C for around 30 mins. The time will vary depending on the oven.
  10. Let the cake cool off before slicing and serving with a hot cup of Sri Lankan tea. Enjoy!

Wheat Kanji

Last week, I went for an Iftar with some friends. Each of us took a dish or two. I made the vegetarian version of Linda’s Chorba M’katfa and Amal’s Basbousa which turned out nicely. The hostess, Hafsa, had made a delicious pot of wheat kanji which she said was a staple she made during the Ramadan season for her family. I requested her to share her recipe on this blog. So, here is the wheat kanji recipe of Hafsa Farook which I am bringing to Angie’s Fiesta Friday #26 co-hosted by lovely bloggers Prudy and Jess. Hafsa did mention that people who were not fond of wheat could substitute the wheat with rice or use half and half of each.
Kanji
For today’s music feature, I decided to share some Punjabi music, composed by Pritam Chakraborty, from three fun Hindi movies that will be sure to get you on your feet and dancing. :)

The first song is from Anurag Singh’s movie Dil Bole Hadibba (translation: Heart says Hadibba/ hurray, 2009) starring Rani Mukerji and Shahid Kapoor and sung by playback singers, Mika Singh and Sunidhi Chauhan.

The second song is from Imtiaz Ali’s movie Jab We Met (translation: When we met, 2007) starring Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor and sung by Sonu Nigam and Javed Ali.

The last song clip is from Ayan Mukerji’s movie Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (translation: This youth is crazy, 2013) starring Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone and sung by Arijit Singh and Sunidhi Chauhan.

Enjoy the music and the kanji! :)
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Wheat Kanji

  • Servings: 12 - 15
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Wheat – 2 cups
  • Onion – 1 large
  • Ground ginger and garlic
  • Cinnamon – piece
  • Rampe/ pandan leaf – a piece
  • Curry leaves – 1 or 2 sprigs
  • Ground cumin seeds
  • Tomato – 1
  • Chilli powder, to taste
  • Corn kernels – 1 can
  • Mushroom – 1 can
  • Coconut milk – 1 cup (thin consistency) and ½ cup (thick consistency)
  • Fresh coriander – a small bunch
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, for sautéing

Method:

  1. Soak wheat for at least 5 hours.
  2. Chop up the onion.
  3. Heat oil and fry the chopped onions, ground ginger garlic, piece of cinnamon, rampe and curry leaves. Sauté until it becomes golden brown.
  4. Add ground cumin seeds.
  5. Grate a tomato and add to the pan. Add a little chilli powder and cook for a while.
  6. Drain the soaked wheat and add to the sauté pan together with at least three cups of water. Add more water if the liquid dries up before the wheat is cooked. When cooked, the wheat should not be transparent.
  7. The corn kernels can be added now along with chopped mushrooms. Add a little water if the liquid dries up. Cook for a few minutes.
  8. Add 1 cup of thin coconut milk and ½ cup thick coconut milk to the pan and cook.
  9. Just before removing from heat, add the chopped coriander and salt to taste and cook for a few minutes.
  10. Serve warm.

Recipe source: Hafsa Farook.