Dragon fruit pudding

With dragon fruits in season and because my mother and I like the fruit, we both decided to make a dessert using the fruit. So, here’s the recipe for the dragon fruit pudding that my mother made.

I had attempted to make a vegan red velvet cake using dragon fruit pulp as both an egg substitute as well as a source of natural red colouring but the cocoa powder in the batter simply overruled the rich red colour of the fruit. I will try the recipe once more with some adjustments and see if it works out.

My next post on the blog will be in October as I will be travelling and will not have access to my recipe base.

Dragon fruit pudding

Time taken: 5 mins

Serves 2

Dragon fruit pudding

Ingredients:

  • Dragon fruit – ½ cup, chopped
  • Corn starch – 2 tbsp
  • Water – ½ cup
  • Sugar – 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
  • Rose essence – few drops
  • Lime juice – 1 tsp

Method:

  1. Put the chopped dragon fruit and water in a sauce pan. Mash it coarsely with a spoon.
  2. Add a few drops of rose essence to the pan and mix well.
  3. Add the corn starch to the pan and stir.
  4. Cook on low heat for about 3 minutes, stirring continuously. The mixture will start to thicken.
  5. Remove from heat. Transfer the pudding to a bowl and let it cool.
  6. Mix 1 tsp lime juice and 1 tsp sugar and drizzle on top.
  7. The pudding can be served warm or chilled.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Dragon fruit juice

The fresh fruit juice for this weekend is dragon fruit juice. Though the fruit is native to the central American region, it is also cultivated in South east Asia and Sri Lanka. Besides being an impressive fruit to look at, it is rich in Vitamin C and is a good natural source of antioxidants.

Dragon fruit juiceSimply blend the fruit pulp with some lime juice and a dash of sugar and enjoy the dazzling and nutritious drink! 

Malu Ambulthiyal

Today’s guest blogger is Sunera Edirisuriya, a staff member of Save the Children. She will be sharing a little background information on Matara district’s specialty seafood dish as well as her mother’s recipe for it.

This is one of the famous fish curries which is unique to down south Sri Lanka. It does not mean that this curry is not cooked in other parts of the country yet there is a difference in the flavour and the ingredients used. Due to its origins in the south, it is customary for people from the south to take a pot or jar of malu ambulthiyal when they visit relatives living elsewhere. This fish curry can be served with rice and other curries. Specially, Malu Ambulthiyal pairs well with Kiribath (Milk rice) and katta Sambola.

In our family, we never miss Malu Ambulthiyal at the meal table during the Sinhala and Hindu New Year festival. It was my paternal grand-mother who used to prepare this dish and then my mother and now my elder sister brings this curry to our New Year meal table.

Malu Ambulthiyal

Cooking time: 20 mins

Serves 10

Malu Ambulthiyal

Ingredients:

  • Fish 1kg
  • Goraka (Garcinia gummi-gutta) – 100g
  • Pepper- 2 tea spoons
  • Green chilies -5
  • Cinnamon – ½ tea spoons
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt, to taste
  • Water – 1 cup

Method:

  1. Cut the fish in to small pieces (15-20) and wash them properly.
  2. Put the pieces of goraka in a saucepan with a little water and simmer until the goraka is soft.
  3. Crush the drained goraka pieces until it becomes a coarse paste
  4. Put the fish, goraka paste, pepper, curry leaves, cinnamon powder, salt and green chillies in the pan and mix them well until all the fish pieces are well coated.
  5. Add 1 cup of water to it.
  6. Cook the mixture over low heat for 20 mins. It would be much more delicious if this dish is cooked in a clay pot.
  7. Serve with rice or kiribath.

Recipe source: Sunera Edirisuriya.

Chicken curry

Today’s guest blogger is Eating milk and honey blogger Flowers for the moon/ Sandamali, who graciously accepted my invite to share one of her favourite recipes. 

My name is Sandamali and I am a fellow blogger on WordPress with an interest in Food and Life. I would like to share with you my mother’s chicken curry recipe.

If you said you were stopping by our house for a meal, you can be sure this would be on the menu. Mum never specifically taught me how to make it, but I have watched her make it countless times and eventually came up with my own version. Usually it is accompanied by Ala Badun (Fried Potatoes), Dhal Curry and Batu Moju (Brinjal Pickle) and a salad and poppodums to be served with either Yellow Rice or Fried Rice.

Chicken curry

Preparation and cooking time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 500g of skinned mixed chicken pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut cream
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 small onion diced finely
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger crushed slightly
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • 2 inch piece Rampe (Pandan Leaf)
  • 3 green chillies chopped finely
  • 2 stalks of curry leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chillie powder
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons roasted curry powder (From a Sri Lankan ingredient shop or homemade with coriander seeds, cumin and fennel as the main ingredients)
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 cardamoms
  • 2 inch piece cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon dill seeds
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt

Method:

Step 1

Peel and chop all the fresh ingredients...

Peel and chop all the fresh ingredients…

Step 2

Heat oil in medium sized pan and fry all the fresh ingredients except for tomato and green chillie for 2 minutes on medium heat

Heat oil in medium sized pan and fry all the fresh ingredients except for tomato and green chillie for 2 minutes on medium heat

Step 3

Add the chicken pieces and fry for 5 minutes

Add the chicken pieces and fry for 5 minutes

Step 4

Add all the dry spices and mix well and fry for a further 3 minutes until the chicken is well coated

Add all the dry spices and mix well until the chicken is well coated. Hold back 1/2 teaspoon for salt to taste and add later if required.

Step 5

Fry gently for 3 minutes

Fry gently for 3 minutes and add vinegar

Step 6

Add coconut milk and water and mix well

Add coconut milk and water and mix well

Step 7

Bring to a boil

Bring to a boil

Step 8

Simmer on medium heat for half an hour or until chicken is cooked.

Add tomato and green chillie and simmer on medium heat for half an hour or until chicken is cooked.

Step 9

Taste and add more salt if required.

Taste and add more salt if required.

Step 10

Serve hot with rice or roti

Serve hot with rice or roti

Enjoy

Enjoy

Recipe source: Sandamali/ Flowers for the moon from Eating milk and honey blog.

Nethali Theeyal

This dish is considered a highly nutritious dish and is particularly made for those recovering from a serious illness or childbirth and who need to eat a diet with more calcium content.

This is my grandmother’s recipe as remembered by my mother. Sorry that I do not have an accompanying photo for it as my parents have been vegetarians for nearly 15 years now.

Nethali Theeyal

Time taken: 15 mins

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • Nethali/ Anchovies – 1 cup
  • Tamarind extract – 1 ½ cup
  • Onion – ½
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Crushed chillies – 1 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil

Method:

  1. Clean the nethali.
  2. Place all the ingredients except oil – the cleaned nethali, chopped onion and chillies, tamarind extract, crushed chillies and salt to taste – in a pan.
  3. Cook on low heat, for around 15 mins, till the gravy thickens.
  4. Drizzle some oil on the edges of the curry before removing the pan from stove.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

‘Ayurvedic’ salad

Today, I will share what my mother calls her ‘Ayurvedic’ salad because of the vegetables she uses in it. This salad is particularly good for regulating your sugar and cholesterol levels. I like it because it is colourful and crunchy and combines a vegetable I don’t like so much – radish – in  a more appetising way.

‘Ayurvedic’ salad

Time taken: 5 – 10 mins

Serves 2

Ayurvedic salad

Ingredients:

  • Radish – 3 tbsp, grated
  • Bitter gourd – 2 tbsp, grated
  • Tomato – 2 tbsp, finely chopped
  • Onion – 3 tbsp, finely chopped
  • Carrot – 2 tbsp, grated
  • Coriander – a few leaves, for garnish
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Lime juice, to taste

Method:

  1. Place the salad ingredients – grated radish, bitter gourd, carrot and the chopped onion and tomato – in a bowl.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to combine.
  3. Garnish with coriander and drizzle some lime juice over the salad.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Date chutney

The second recipe I would like to share today is my mother’s recipe for her version of date chutney. She is particularly fond of the unique flavour arising from the chilli infused date sauce.

Date chutney

Time taken: 10 mins

Serves 3 – 4

Date chutney

Ingredients:

  • Dates – 2 tbsp, finely chopped
  • Jaggery – 1 tsp
  • Brown sugar – 1 tsp
  • Water – 4 tbsp
  • Crushed chillies – ½ tsp
  • Cumin powder – ¼ tsp
  • Mixed 3C (cinnamon, cardamom, clove) powder – ¼ tsp
  • Sesame seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Salt – pinch

Method:

  1. Heat the jaggery, brown sugar and water in a sauce pan, on low heat, stirring continuously for about 2 to 3 mins.
  2. Stir in ½ tsp crushed chillies and ¼ tsp cumin powder and cook for a minute.
  3. Add the mixed 3C powder to the pan and let the sauce simmer for a minute.
  4. When the sauce starts to boil and bubble, add the sesame seeds. Mix well.
  5. Add the chopped dates and continue to let the sauce simmer on low heat for a few minutes till the sauce thickens and the liquid starts drying up.
  6. Season with a pinch of salt before removing from heat.
  7. The chutney can be kept for several days in an airtight container.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Hoppers

Hopper (Appam/Appa) is a dish made in every corner of Sri Lanka. From street vendors to homes, it is one of the most popular dinner meals served around the country. In our house, my mother finds it the most frustrating dish to make as she has her good hopper days when she is proud of her creations and her bad hopper days when she faults her temperamental “hopper” pan. Today, I will share my mother’s recipe for her hopper batter.

Appam/ Appa

Cooking time: 30 mins + preparation time: 6 hours

Makes 12

Hoppers

Ingredients:

  • Raw rice – 1 cup
  • Bread – 2”x1” piece
  • King Coconut or plain Coconut water – ¼ cup
  • Wheat flour – 1 tbsp
  • Freshly scraped coconut – 1 tbsp
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Salt – ¼ tsp
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp

Method:

  1. Soak the rice in water for 3 hours. Simultaneously, soak the bread piece in the coconut water for about 3 hours.
  2. Grind both the soaked rice and bread together.
  3. Add a tbsp of wheat flour and a little water to the ground rice and bread to make a thick, yet smooth batter.
  4. Cover and let the batter rest and ferment for about 3 hours.
  5. Blend the freshly scraped coconut in a cup of water and extract a cup of coconut milk.
  6. Mix the coconut milk in the batter. Add a ¼ tsp salt, a tsp sugar and a tsp baking powder to the batter.
  7. Stir in the contents and the batter is ready for the hopper pan.
  8. Place the hopper pan on the stove on low heat.
  9. Pour a spoonful of the batter on to the pan and rotate the pan so that the batter covers the entire pan. Cover the pan with the pan lid. Let the hopper cook for about 2 mins before removing from pan.
  10. Serve hot with seeni sambol or lunu miris or basically any sambal. Any other curries, vegetarian or non-vegetarian, are optional.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Peanut Chocolate Cake

I generally like my mother’s chocolate cakes a lot. Recently, she tried out a nutty vegan version of her chocolate cake which came out really delicious. Here is my mother’s recipe for the yummy cake.

Peanut Chocolate Cake

Time taken: 50 mins

Serves 8 to 10

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.

Bitter gourd fry

The other recipe for today is also a bitter gourd recipe of my mother’s.

Bitter gourd fry

Time taken: 20 mins

Serves 1 or 2

Bitter gourd fry

Ingredients:

  • Bitter gourd – ½ cup, chopped
  • Carrot – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Onion – ¼, chopped
  • Green chilli – ½, chopped
  • Capsicum or Malu miris – ½, chopped
  • Tomato – ½, sliced
  • Fennel seeds – ½ tsp
  • Crushed chillies – ½ tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Low fat oil – 1 ½ tbsp
  • Sugar – ½ tsp
  • Salt, to taste

Method:

  1. Add some salt to the bowl of chopped bitter gourd and carrot pieces and keep aside for about 5 mins.
  2. Heat ½ tbsp oil in a pan and fry the fennel seeds.
  3. Add the curry leaves as the seeds start to splutter and immediately add the chopped onions, green chilli and capsicum or malu miris.
  4. Fry the onions and chillies for about 2 mins.
  5. Add 1 tbsp of oil and the salted bitter gourd and carrot pieces.
  6. Cook for about 10 mins, on low heat, stirring continuously.
  7. Add the sliced tomatoes and cook for a few minutes.
  8. Add ½ tsp of crushed chillies. Mix well and cook for a minute or two.
  9. Just before removing from heat, add ½ tsp sugar and mix well.
  10. Serve hot with rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.