Pulukodiyal Candy

Wishing you all a happy New Year! (the Sri Lankan New Year, or more precisely the Sri Lankan Buddhist and Hindu New Year)

For today’s recipe, I decided to share a non-traditional New Year recipe. Something simple and tasty to make. My mother sometimes makes this candy when she receives too much of ‘pulukodiyal’ (sun-dried palmyrah root) from visiting relatives from the north. I would like to share this with you today. Palmyrah root is full of calcium and therefore considered nutritious in the north of Sri Lanka where it is harvested regularly.

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Sliced sun-dried palmyrah root

Today, I would like to feature songs from two music groups that I have enjoyed listening to occasionally during the past decade. I was introduced to Il Divo’s music in a surreal setting in early December 2004. I was travelling on work to the north of the country and as the vehicle sped across dusty, remote roads, the radio belted out pop songs of the year. Suddenly, the powerful operatic voice of the four broke through the stifling heat surrounding the landscape we passed through. It was a special experience. The first song that I share here is the song that I listened to that hot afternoon over a decade ago.

The second is by Celtic Woman. Not sure how I came across their music but I did somewhere along the past decade. I liked their songs to the extent that I went for their concert when they performed at Theatre Royal Drury Lane in November last year. It was a fun experience.

Hope you enjoy the two songs and do try out the candy, if you happen upon some dried palmyrah root!
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Wish you the best for the New Year!

Pulukodiyal Candy

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 10 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • Sliced ‘pulukodiyal’ – 1 cup
  • Roasted gram – 2 tbsp
  • Sugar – ¼ cup
  • Water

Method:

  1. Let the water and sugar simmer till it thickens into a syrup.
  2. Add the roasted gram and pulukodiyal and stir well, before removing from heat.
  3. Let it cool and the candied pulukodiyal is ready for eating.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan

Odiyal Kool

Today is my mother’s birthday and I felt like re-sharing one of my mother’s favourite recipes. Odiyal Kool is a traditional dish from north Sri Lanka and can be made as a vegetarian or non-vegetarian version. Today’s recipe is a vegetarian dish. OK1 For today’s music feature, I wish to share some song clips from youTube from the official vevo site of one of my favourite singers – Andrea Bocelli. The first is a music video of the song ‘Canto Della Terra’. The second song ‘Con Te Partiro’ is from a 2011 concert. I liked more an earlier version, where he sings with Sarah Brightman, but could not find it on the official site. The last clip is the music video of the song with Laura Pausini ‘Dare to Live’. Hope you enjoy the music and the recipe! Ok2

Odiyal Kool

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 45mins
  • Difficulty: average
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Ingredients

  • Odiyal Flour – 1 cup
  • Chopped mixed vegetables (brinjal/ katharikkai, jackfruit seeds/ palakottai, yardlong beans/ paithangai, small green leaves/ pasali keerai or murungai ilai, manioc, ash plantain) – 100g each
  • Boiled rice – ½ cup
  • Dried red chillies – 5- 10, according to your taste
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Pepper powder – 1tbsp
  • Tamarind extract – ½ cup
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Water – 1 1/2 litres

Method:

  1. Dry grind the cumin seeds, red chillies and pepper and keep aside.
  2. Boil the vegetables in a pot with half litre water.
  3. Add another litre of water, along with the tamarind extract.
  4. As the water comes to a boil, slowly stir in the odiyal flour, avoiding lumps.
  5. Add the boiled rice to the pot.
  6. Add the ground spice mixture and the turmeric powder to the pot and salt to taste. Let it come to a boil.
  7. You can add a little water to adjust the consistency to your liking, e.g. if the water has dried up or you prefer a watery Kool.
  8. Serve hot in medium-sized bowls.

Recipe Source: Raji Thillainathan.

Chana Bateta

This month I am featuring the Bohra cuisine of Sri Lanka courtesy of Zahabia Adamaly. She shares here a recipe from a recipe book with permission from the authors. This is what Zahabia wrote to me about the dish.

“This is a popular dish used as a side to a main meal in Bohra meals. We also often have it as a snack or a light dinner because it is both filling and nutritious. The chickpeas and potatoes can be tempered as stated in the recipe and kept in the fridge for a few days. It can then be lightly warmed and mixed with the tamarind sauce and garnished just before serving. It is also tasty with a little yoghurt added into the above mix.

This recipe is from “From our Kitchen” a privately published recipe book by Femida Jafferjee and Sakina Galely.” Chana Bateta

Chana Bateta

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 45mins+ overnight soaking
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients:

  • 250gms (8ozs) chick peas (Chana)
  • 4 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed (jeeru)
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • Pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander and cumin seed powder
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon chillie powder
  • 2 tablespoons gram flour
  • Curry leaves
  • Pinch of soda bicarbonate

Tamarind chutney:

  • 100gms tamarind
  • 200gms (8ozs) jaggery grated
  • 1 teaspoon chillie powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup of water
  • Coriander leaves

Mix all together and boil. When tamarind is soft, jaggery has dissolved and is thick, remove and strain. Method: Soak the chickpeas overnight in water with a pinch of soda bicarbonate. In the morning throw the water. Add fresh water with little salt and boil chana in pressure cooker till soft. Do not throw the water remaining. Boil potatoes separately and cut into cubes. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onion, when it becomes transparent, add the garlic paste, curry leaves and whole cumin seed. When garlic gets light brown, add green chillies, turmeric, coriander/ cumin powder and red chillie powder. Cook for 2-3 mins, then add the gram flour and saute, for a further 5 minutes. Add boiled chickpeas with the water and allow to cook for a while. Add tamarind chutney as required. (the amount given may be more). Add the potatoes and serve garnished with coriander. Recipe source: Femida Jafferjee and Sakina Galely

Scheduling posts…

I just checked my blog and saw a post that should never have been there. That’s the hazard of scheduling posts ahead during times you are going to be busy and then forgetting to complete writing those posts. I had wanted to share one of my sister’s delicious quiche tart adaptation –  wild garlic flower tart. I scheduled it for this month some time back but never got around to finishing up the writing of the post and then forgot completely about it.  My apologies for the post and thank you to those who commented on it and liked it.

I will post a recipe later this month from the Bohra cuisine of Sri Lanka, sent in by a friend and former colleague.

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.
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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!
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Brinjal Curry

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

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Breuder

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