Spicy Pumpkin Tart

Today’s recipe is a pumpkin-centric fusion recipe of my mother.

Spicy Pumpkin Tart

Time taken: 1 ¼ hours

Serves 4

Pumpkin tartIngredients:

  • Wheat flour – 1 cup
  • Vegetable margarine – ¼ cup + 2 tbsp (sauce/ cream)
  • Pumpkin – 1 cup, boiled and mashed
  • Carrot – ½ , boiled
  • Beans – 4, chopped
  • Guava – ½ large or 1 medium-sized, chopped
  • Leeks – ¼, chopped
  • Capsicum or malu miris – 1, chopped
  • Green chillies – 2, chopped
  • Onion – 1, chopped
  • Ginger – 1 tsp, chopped
  • Garlic – 1 tsp, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Vegetable stock – ½ tsp (optional)
  • Crushed chillies – 1 tsp (optional)
  • Low fat oil – 1 tbsp
  • Baking soda – ½ tsp
  • Tomatoes – chopped, for topping
  • Onion – chopped, for topping (optional)
  • Rosemary or mixed spice – 1 tsp
  • Water, as required


  1. Mix the flour, margarine, salt and a little water to make a dough. Knead to make it smooth and let the dough rest while making the tart filling.
  2. Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan and fry the ginger and garlic first for a couple of mins.
  3. Then, add the chopped onion followed by the chopped vegetables. Stir fry for a few mins.
  4. Finally, add the boiled pumpkin and carrot as well as the guava. Mix well and continue cooking for about 5 mins.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Remove pan from stove.
  6. Heat 2 tbsp margarine in a saucepan over low heat.
  7. Add 2 tbsp flour and add ½ cup of water to the saucepan. Stir, for about 10 mins, until it thickens to a cream. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and optional ½ tsp vegetable stock and 1 tsp crushed chillies.
  8. Transfer the vegetable mixture from the pan to the saucepan. Stir.
  9. Add ½ tsp baking soda to the saucepan. Mix well before removing sauce pan from stove.
  10. Roll out the dough and line the pie tray with the dough.
  11. Fill the tart base with the vegetable filling.
  12. Top with chopped tomatoes and optional chopped onions. Sprinkle 1 tsp of rosemary or mixed spice.
  13. Bake the tart at 220⁰C/428⁰F for 30 mins.
  14. Slice and serve warm.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.


Raisins and Walnut cookies

Since there were still some fresh walnuts left at home, my mother decided to bake some of her heart healthy cookies. So, here’s the recipe for her raisins and walnut cookies.

Raisins and Walnuts cookies

Time taken: 35 mins

Makes 22

Walnut cookiesIngredients:

  • Multi-purpose flour – 1 ¼ cups
  • Oats – ½ cup
  • Raisins – 1 tbsp
  • Walnuts – 1 tbsp, chopped
  • Vegetable margarine – ¾ cup
  • Sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Milk or Water – ¼ cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp


  1. Heat the margarine and sugar in a saucepan over low heat and melt the margarine.
  2. Add ¼ cup of milk or water to the sauce pan and stir well.
  3. Remove from stove and cool.
  4. Add 1 tsp baking powder to the flour and oats. Mix.
  5. Add the flour and oats mix, vanilla essence, raisins and chopped walnuts to the slightly cooled melted margarine sauce. Mix well to ensure that the mixture comes together as cookie dough. Add a little more flour, if the batter is still slightly watery.
  6. Divide the dough into 22 balls and flatten slightly before placing on baking tray.
  7. Bake at 220⁰C/428⁰F for 20 mins.
  8. Cool before serving.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Orange cake

For the past week or so, my mother has been baking a few varieties of fruit cakes using different fresh fruits.

Today, I will share my mother’s recipe for her scrumptious orange cake, which is one of my new favourites.

Orange cakeOrange cake

Time taken: 1 hour

Serves 8

Orange cake sliceIngredients:

  • Oranges – 2 + few slices (for topping syrup, optional)
  • Mandarin oranges – 2
  • Sugar – 2 tbsp (sauce) + ½ cup
  • Orange food colouring – few drops
  • Vegetable margarine – ¾ cup
  • Whole grain oats – ½ cup
  • All-purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Baking soda – ½ tsp
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Marmalade, for topping (optional)
  • Icing sugar – 2 tbsp (for topping syrup, optional)


  1. Wash the 2 oranges and then peel the oranges. Keep aside the two oranges to make orange juice.
  2. Take the orange peel, finely scraped or chopped and place them in a saucepan. Pour ¼ cup of water into the saucepan.
  3. Add 2 tbsp of sugar and a few drops of orange food colouring to the saucepan. Heat the orange rind sauce for about 5 mins until it thickens.
  4. Whisk the margarine and ½ cup of sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the orange rind sauce to the bowl.
  5. Add the whole grain oats to the bowl and stir.
  6. Make 1 cup of orange juice with the peeled oranges and the mandarin oranges. Stir in the orange juice into the bowl.
  7. Sift the flour together with the baking soda and baking powder. Gradually add the flour to the mixing bowl, ensuring that there are no lumps and the batter is smooth.
  8. Add a few drops of the orange food colouring to the bowl and mix well.
  9. Transfer the cake batter to the baking tray and bake the orange cake at 170⁰C/338⁰F for 35 – 45 mins.
  10. After the cake cools, either spread marmalade evenly on the top of the cake or else make an orange syrup to pour over the cake by heating pieces of oranges with 2 tbsp icing sugar over low heat.
  11. Serve warm.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Brinjal and Green Peas Curry

The second recipe for today is a simple and delicious curry that my mother sometimes makes.

This weekend, I will be posting guest blogger posts on a couple of non-vegetarian specialties from the central and southern provinces of Sri Lanka.

Brinjal and Green Peas Curry

Time taken: 15 – 20 mins

Serves 2

Brinjal and green peas curry


  • Brinjal – 1
  • Chilli – 1
  • Onion – ½
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Green peas – ½ cup
  • Coconut milk or non-fat milk – 1 cup
  • Salt, to taste
  • Lime juice – 1 tsp + slice (for garnish)


  1. Chop up the brinjal, onion and chilli into small pieces.
  2. In a saucepan, add all the ingredients and cook on medium heat for about 15 to 20 mins until the curry comes together.
  3. Remove from heat and mix a tsp of lime juice in the curry.
  4. Garnish with a slice of lime and serve with some rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Peanut cookies

Another cookie recipe, of my mother, for those looking for diabetic friendly snacks.

Peanut cookies

Time taken: 40 mins

Makes 28

Peanut cookiesIngredients:

  • Peanuts – ½ cup, coarsely ground
  • Multi-purpose flour – 1 ½ cups
  • Oats – ¼ cup
  • Cocoa powder – 1 tbsp
  • Sugar – 3 tbsp
  • Vegetable margarine – ¾ cup
  • Baking powder – 1 ½ tsp
  • Vanilla essence – few drops


  1. Heat the margarine and sugar in a saucepan till the margarine melts and the mixture thickens. Remove saucepan from stove.
  2. Stir in the oats and coarsely ground peanuts into the sugar and margarine mixture in the saucepan. Add a few drops of vanilla essence.
  3. Sift the flour with baking powder and cocoa powder. Add the flour to the rest of the ingredients. Add a little water so that it is easier to bring the cookie dough together.
  4. Divide the dough into 28 balls.
  5. Bake at 220⁰C/428⁰F for 15 mins.
  6. Cool before serving.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Chickpeas puff patties

Today’s recipe is a sweet variant of the regular patties that my mother makes more often.

Chickpeas puff patties

Time taken: 1 ½ hours

Makes 12

Puff pattiesIngredients:

  • All-purpose flour – 1 ½ cups
  • Vegetable margarine – 3 tbsp (for dough) + 1 tbsp (for filling)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Yeast – 1 tbsp
  • Chickpeas – 1 cup, boiled
  • Scraped coconut – ½ cup
  • Sugar – ¼ cup
  • Cardamom – 1 tsp, crushed
  • Low fat oil, for deep-frying


  1. Mix the flour, salt and margarine in a bowl.
  2. Add a little hot water to the yeast and add to the bowl. Mix well.
  3. Knead the mixture to form the dough and divide the dough into 12 balls. Cover and keep aside for an hour.
  4. Heat the sugar in a pan over low heat. After 1 min, add the freshly scraped coconut to the pan and stir fry for 2-3 mins.
  5. Add 1 tbsp of margarine and crushed cardamom to the pan. Mix well and stir fry for 1 – 2 mins.
  6. Add the boiled chickpeas to the pan and mix well. Remove pan from stove and let it cool.
  7. Coarsely grind the chickpeas mixture in a blender. Divide the ground chickpeas filling into 12 portions.
  8. Roll out the 12 balls of dough into circles. Scoop a portion of the chickpeas filling to the center of the circle. Fold the circular dough, by hand or using mold, into a half-moon shape over the filling.
  9. Heat the oil for deep-frying. Fry the patties over low heat, 3 at a time, until golden brown.
  10. Transfer the patties to a tray with grease absorbing paper.
  11. Serve hot.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.


Today’s recipe is that of savoury patties, a regular tea-time snack made by my mother at home.


Time taken: 45 mins – 1 hour

Makes 14


  • Flour – 1 ½ cups
  • Potato – 2 tbsp, chopped
  • Carrot – 2 tbsp, chopped
  • Beans – 1 or 2, chopped
  • Green peas – 2 tbsp
  • Cabbage – 2 tbsp, shredded
  • Leeks – ½, chopped
  • Onion – ½ , chopped
  • Ginger – ½ “ piece, chopped
  • Garlic – 2 or 3 cloves, chopped
  • Celery – 1 sprig
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Curry powder – 2 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Low fat oil, as required


  1. Mix 1 tbsp oil with the flour and salt and stir in ¼ cup of hot water, kneading into a dough. Divide into 14 balls. Brush with some oil.
  2. Boil the potato and mash it up. Add salt to the mashed potato.
  3. Boil the carrot, cabbage, beans and the green peas. Mash them up and add a little salt.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the onion, ginger and garlic for a couple of mins. Add the fennel seeds and curry leaves and stir.
  5. Add the mashed and chopped vegetables, except the potato, and the chopped leeks and celery to the pan. Add 2 tsp curry powder and stir fry for a few mins.
  6. Add the mashed and boiled potato to the pan. Mix well and continue frying for a few mins. Remove pan from stove and divide filling into 14 portions.
  7. Roll out each of the 14 balls of dough into circular shapes. Spoon the filling into the center of the circular dough. Fold the dough over the filling in a half-moon shape, by hand or using a patty mold.
  8. Heat the oil for deep-frying. Fry the patties, a few at a time, until they are golden brown all over.
  9. Transfer fried patties to a tray lined with grease absorbing paper.
  10. Serve hot.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.