Brinjal Curry

My recipe for february is a recipe from home – a recipe of my mother. This blog has been helpful to myself these past few months, as I have tried out one of my mother’s recipes that I shared here, when I find myself missing home. While I have shared three brinjal recipes of my mother before – katharikkai curry, katharikkai vathakkal and brinjal and green peas curry, today’s recipe is another way my mother cooks brinjal. It is a simple and very easy to make recipe, that I very much like, and is great with rice. Sharing this recipe at the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck #30.
DSC01056
Today, I would like to share some popular French music from the 60s that I like. Starting with my favourite French singer – Edith Piaf. I started listening to her songs after watching the movie ‘La Vie En Rose’. This clip is one of her more famous songs – Non, Je ne regrette rien (1965).

The other song for today is considered the signature song of Charles Aznavour – La Boheme (1960).

Hope you enjoy the music while you try out this simple curry recipe! Have a lovely weekend!
DSC01057

Brinjal Curry

  • Servings: 3
  • Time: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Brinjal – 1 cup, chopped
  • Green chilli – 1
  • Onion – 1/4, chopped
  • Coconut milk – 1/2 cup (thin) + 1/4 cup (thick)
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt, to taste
  • Lime juice

Method:

  1. Cook the chopped brinjal together with the chopped onion, green chilli and curry leaves in 1/2 cup of thin coconut milk for around 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.
  2. Then add 1/4 cup thick coconut milk and simmer for 5 mins.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in some fresh lime juice.
  4. Serve warm with rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan

Pongal

Today (or rather, tomorrow) is Thai Pongal festival celebrated by Tamils around the world. It is a harvest festival celebrated at the end of the harvest season in the tenth month (தை, Thai) of the Tamil calendar and is a festival offering thanks for a bountiful harvest (pongal, which also refers to the sweet rice dish made on that day) and for a prosperous year to come. In Sri Lanka, it is usually celebrated for a day whereas in India, it is a 3 or 4 day festival with a day celebrating the hard work of the cattle in the fields the previous year.

I am re-sharing the pongal recipe that I posted last year.
Pongal

One of my close friends and her family visited me last week which brought back pleasant memories from over a decade ago when I had first met her. So, for today’s music, I would like to feature the songs of a musician from her country that she introduced me to.

The first song is one of Dulce Pontes’ famous songs – Canção do Mar from her album (Lagrimas or Tears, 1993). This song was covered a decade later by Sarah Brightman.

Dulce Pontes contributed to the popular revival of Portuguese folk, Fado, in the 90s. The second song is one such song.

Hope you enjoyed the Portuguese music shared today and that you do try out the Pongal recipe! Happy Pongal!
Pongal

Pongal

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Rice – 1 cup
  • Roasted split gram (without skin) – ¼ cup
  • Jaggery – 1 cup (grated)
  • Coconut – ½
  • Cardamom – 4 or 5, crushed
  • Cashew nuts – few, chopped
  • Raisins – 1 tbsp
  • Water

Method:

  1. Wash the rice and gram and cook them in a pot with 2 ½ cups of water. Cook for around 15 to 20 mins, till the water dries up.
  2. Grind and extract coconut milk by blending the freshly scraped half of a coconut with 1 cup of water.
  3. Once the rice and gram is cooked, add the grated jaggery and mix.
  4. Then, add the coconut milk and crushed cardamoms. Bring to a boil on high heat and cook for a few more minutes before reducing the heat.
  5. Add the chopped cashew nuts. Cook until the pongal mixture starts coming together and starts to thicken.
  6. Just before removing from heat, add the raisins and mix.
  7. Remove from heat and cover.
  8. Serve pongal with bananas.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Breuder

During Christmas season, the popular cake/ bread that is ordered from bakeries in Sri Lanka is the breuder. This is a speciality of the Burgher cuisine of Sri Lanka. I had been trying for some time to find someone to contribute a home-made recipe of this delicious bread. I was delighted to finally come across another blogger and invited him to share his family recipe on this blog as well. Here is the guest post of Paul van Reyk, from My Buth Kuddeh food site, with his introduction to his family tradition of baking breuder and his recipe. Wishing you all a merry Christmas!

No Christmas at our house in Sri Lanka was complete without my grandmother’s breuder. It’s basically a cakey bread, based on a yeasted dough but with the sweetness of a sponge cake, related to Italian pannetone. It’s a direct entry into Sri Lanka cuisine via the Dutch Broodtulband named for the fluted ‘turban’ shaped mould used to make it. Further embedding the Dutch connection, brueder is traditionally eaten in Sri Lankan Burgher households in slices covered in butter and topped with a thick slice of Edam cheese. There is something very festive about that red waxy ball which sliced open reveals a pale European sun yellow cheese. Making the breuder, I am transported back to the kitchen of my childhood, watching my grandmother knead the dough, having the thrill of buttering the mould and pressing sultanas against the sides anxious that they stay in place, full of expectation as it was taken to my uncles house across the road as we didn’t have an oven, and then the excitement of un-moulding this magical transformation of so few ingredients hoping desperately that it comes away cleanly. The smile on grannie’s face when it does was more rewarding almost than the first bite into its soft, crumby heart.

breuder

Breuder

  • Time: 3 hours + overnight dough-proofing
  • Difficulty: difficult
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 500gms plain flour
  • 50 gms butter
  • baker’s yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • water
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 250 gms caster sugar
  • 125 gms currants or sultanas or raisins or a mixture of them

Method:

  1. Make the dough the night before. Take as much yeast as is recommended for your particular yeast for making bread with 500 gms of flour (it can vary so read the packet or ask when you buy it), add the yeast and the sugar to a little hot water to get the yeast started. It will froth slightly. When it’s bubbling happily, add this to the flour and mix in well. Now slowly add water and keep mixing until you have a lump of dough that lifts easily out of the bowl or off the board. Knead it for 10 minutes or so. Put it in a bowl, cover the bowl with a damp tea-towel and leave it in a warm place to rise overnight.
  1. The next day, take the dough and add to it the butter, egg yolks and sugar. Add the first three yolks separately and mix in well each time. Then add the others also one at a time alternating with dollops of the caster sugar till it is all used up. What you will have now is a very thick wet doughy batter.
  1. Butter a turban mould. Put a good sprinkle of whatever dried fruit you are using on the bottom. Squish some dried fruit against the sides of the mould, too. Pour in the batter. Sprinkle more of the dried fruit on top of the batter. If you like, and I do, you can mix some dried fruits into the batter, too.
  1. Leave this in a warm place, the mould covered with a damp cloth, for 1 or 2 hours until it rises again (it won’t rise as much as the dough did overnight).
  1. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to very hot – around 220C.
  1. When the dough has risen the second time, put the mould in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Check at that stage that the breuder is cooked by poking a bamboo skewer or similar into the dough. If it comes out clean, your breuder is ready. If it doesn’t, give the breuder 10 – 15 minutes more.

Tip: Putting some baking/greaseproof/brown paper on the top will reduce the likelihood of the dried fruit burning.

  1. When it’s cooked, take it out of the oven and leave it to cool in the mould. You should then be able to give the mould a good thump and have the brooder come cleanly out of it.

Resist all temptation to ice or otherwise muck around with the breuder! Just slice it up and have some butter and Edam or cheddar cheese to have it with. But you are allowed to make summer pudding with the left over breuder if you like, or indeed any of those bread pudding dishes.

Recipe source: Paul van Reyk

Semolina and Coconut Sweets

I wanted to make some Sri Lankan sweets this month. As I was browsing through some Sri Lankan food sites, I came across one that I wanted to try out. Coconut rocks are quite popular in Sri Lanka and are sold in most shops as well as occasionally made in homes. I decided to slightly adapt this recipe of Dhanish @My Sri Lankan Recipe, which merges semolina with the traditional sweet. I am bringing these scrumptious sweets to Angie’s Fiesta Friday.

DSC01346Today’s music features some Grammy award-winning musicians from Mali. I have a couple of friends who are huge fans of music from Mali, which is how I was introduced to some of the music I am sharing here.

The first music clip features Toumani Diabate and Ali Farka Toure.

The second clip is a music video by the group Tinariwen. They performed at the recent London jazz festival.

The last clip for today is a music video from Amadou and Mariam.

Enjoy the music while trying out a piece of the semolina and coconut sweet!

DSC01347

Semolina and Coconut Sweet

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 60 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Semolina – 150g
  • Coconut – 50g, grated
  • Coconut water – 4 tbsp
  • Sugar – 4 tbsp
  • Cardamom – 1 tsp
  • Kesari powder – pinch
  • Almonds – 1 tsp, chopped
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
  • Cream or condensed milk (vegans can substitute with non-dairy cream) – 4 tbsp

Method:

  1. Heat the coconut water and sugar together over low heat until it thickens.
  2. Then add the semolina, while continuously stirring.
  3. Once all the semolina has been added and the mixture starts to thicken, add the fresh, grated coconut.
  4. Mix well and add the cardamom, kesari, chopped almonds and vanilla essence to the mix.
  5. Finally stir in the cream or condensed milk before removing the pan from the heat.
  6. Transfer mixture to well-greased tray and let the sweet cool before slicing and serving.

Recipe adapted from My Sri Lankan Recipe

Potato Layered Pie

This week’s recipe is the last of the five recipes sent in by Trevor Martil. I am bringing this recipe, together with some lovely music from Senegal, to Fiesta Friday.

Today’s featured musician is Youssou N’Dour. The first clip is from an 80s concert of Le Super Etoile de Dakar.

The next clip is a music video (1994) composed by Youssou N’Dour, Neneh Cherry, Cameron McVey and Jonathan Sharp.

Hope you enjoyed the songs and do send me your feedback if you try out the recipe given below! :)

Potato Layered Pie

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: average
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 250g flaky pastry
  • 250g potatoes
  • 150g boiled minced meat (vegetarians can substitute this with mushroom or vegetarian sausage)
  • 30g butter or vegetable oil margarine
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • MD ginger paste and garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon MD tomato sauce and chilli sauce
  • onions
  • curry leaves
  • 30g cheese
  • parsley and chopped tomatoes, for garnish

Method:

  1. Make flaky pastry and keep aside.
  2. Stir-fry onions, curry leaves, ginger and garlic paste, boiled minced meat or vegetarian substitute and boiled mashed potatoes.
  3. Mix the tempered ingredients well.
  4. Add a beaten egg, sauces and seasoning.
  5. Roll the pastry cut into squares.
  6. Sprinkle cheese and parsley and the potato mixture. Roll it to a cone shape.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Garnish with parsley and tomatoes.

Recipe source: Trevor Martil.

Surprise Delight

This week’s recipe is from Trevor Martil, who shares another of his mother’s favourite recipes – a dessert she named ‘surprise delight.’ I am bringing this recipe together with some lovely songs, from a country I visited three years ago, to Fiesta Friday.

While there were several highlights of my trip, the most inspiring was the visit to Robben Island. And yes, I was also introduced to some south African music while there. Today’s music features some of the South African music that I enjoyed starting with Mama Afrika – Miriam Makeba.

The other clip for today is from the Soweto Gospel Choir.

Hope you enjoyed the music and do send me your feedback if you try out the recipe given below! :)

Surprise Delight

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 1 - 2 hours
  • Difficulty: average
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons low sugar mixed fruit jam
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed fruit cordial
  • 1 can cocktail fruits
  • 1 tablespoon condensed milk
  • 2 cups cake crumbs
  • 60g cashew nuts
  • 60g sugar
  • 3 dessertspoons corn flour
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin or agar-agar
  • 1 packet strawberry jelly (jelly, 2 cups water, 15g china moss)

Method:

  1. Mix cake crumbs with mixed fruit jam, cashew nuts and press into shallow dish. Leave to set.
  2. Add cordial, water, corn flour, gelatin to a pan and cook till it thickens.
  3. Take off heat, add condensed milk and stiffly beat in egg whites.
  4. Mash mixed fruits, spread over cake crumbs.
  5. Pour the cordial custard over it.
  6. Make the jelly.
  7. Once set, chop the jelly and spread it over the custard.
  8. Sprinkle nuts.
  9. Chill and serve.

Recipe source: Trevor Martil.

Peanut Chocolate Cake

Today, I wish to re-post a delicious chocolate cake recipe of my mother that I had posted last year.

Today’s music features Arabic pop. The first clip is a song, by Samira Said and Cheb Mami, that has special meaning to me. Sometimes when I am stuck in my writing process, I turn to music to clear my head and focus. The type of music that helps me at one time does not necessarily help at another time so I usually experiment with a few before I come across the right one for the particular writing. One of the times I faced a writing block was during the writing of my master’s thesis. After several non-productive days and many music listening hours later, I found myself listening to an online Arabic pop radio stream. From the moment, this song came on, I felt very much energized and focused and soon started working on my writing. This was the song that pulled me through the subsequent weeks of thesis writing and as such, I retain a fondness for it.

The next clip is a recent release of Diana Haddad, another Arabic pop singer that I used to listen to.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy this cake!
Peanut chocolate cake

Peanut Chocolate Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 50mins
  • Difficulty: average
  • Print

Peanut Chocolate Cake
Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil margarine – ¾ cup + 1 tbsp (for frosting)
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Banana – ½ , as an egg substitute
  • Wheat flour – 1 ½ cup
  • Soya milk – 1 cup
  • Peanut – ½ cup, coarsely ground + 2 tbsp (for frosting)
  • Vanilla – 2 tsp
  • Cocoa powder – 2 tbsp + 1 tsp (for frosting)
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – ½ tsp
  • Icing sugar – 2 tbsp, for frosting

Method:

  1. Sift the dry ingredients – the wheat flour together with the cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda – and keep aside.
  2. Mash the banana in a bowl. Add the margarine and sugar to the bowl and whisk them together.
  3. Gradually add the soya milk and continue whisking.
  4. Stir in the coarsely ground peanuts and vanilla essence.
  5. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients.
  6. Pour the cake batter into a greased tray and bake at 190⁰C/374⁰F for 40 mins.
  7. Whisk 1 tbsp margarine together with 1 tsp cocoa powder, 2 tbsp icing sugar and 2 tsp ground nuts to make the frosting.
  8. Spread evenly on surface of the peanut chocolate cake, after the cake has sufficiently cooled.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.