Giving thanks, on New Year’s eve

I had a post pending so I thought I would go ahead and post it before the New Year dawned.

Congratulations and Thank you, Susan, for nominating my blog for the quaint Dragon’s Loyalty Award. As a subscriber of Susan’s lovely blog, I am happy to accept the nomination. I would also like to congratulate Radhika @ SugarnSpice blog for her first award within a week of starting her lovely food blog. Thank you, Radhika, for nominating me for the Liebster award!

Dragons Loyalty Award

I understand that part of accepting the Dragon’s Loyalty Award nomination means that I share seven things about me and nominate up to fifteen blogs.

images (1)As I have already posted a full post (answering ten questions, random facts, new nominations) for my first Liebster award nomination, I will go in for an abbreviated acceptance post and simply combine the random things for both awards. So here goes:

Seven random things about me:

  1. The Weligama bay area, on the southern coast, is one of my favourite spots in Sri Lanka.
  2. I once raised a baby squirrel, that had fallen into our home, when I was a kid. I named the squirrel Rikki, short for Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.
  3. The first play that I saw was at the age of 6 and it was the performance of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” at the British Council in Jakarta. Since then, I have been a fan of the theatre.
  4. I am fond of instant soup noodles – Indomie was my favourite as a child and now, I tolerate other brands such as Maggie and Ramen.
  5. I generally find shopping tiresome and prefer shopping only when there is an absolute necessity and with specific lists in my hand.
  6. I used to have a habit of collecting books and while I am trying to get rid of that habit, I still enjoy libraries and bookstores.
  7. One of my favourite musical pieces by Ravi Shankar and Yehudi Menuhin:

I would like to nominate the following lovely blogs for the two awards and of course, taking it forward is optional.

Dragon Loyalty Award:

Liebster Award:

May the new year bring you peace and contentment! Happy New Year!

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Thank you once again!

Thank you, Diana, for including me in your WordPress blog family! I am touched by your nomination and am honoured to accept it.

WPFA

I followed the link included in Diana’s post to the post by the creator of the award, Shaun Gibson, and very much like the concept of the award – the WordPress family. While my blogging experience on WordPress is relatively new, compared to my blogging experience on other blogging platforms, I certainly feel that the WordPress blogging community is warmer, friendly and encouraging.

Therefore, I would like to thank all the readers of this blog for stopping by to browse through the recipes. Thank you especially for the feedback you leave behind – your ‘likes’ , comments and emails. I do enjoy these interactions and I hope you enjoy the recipes you try from this blog!

In keeping with the spirit of this award, I would like to nominate some of the blogs I subscribe to and enjoy reading for both the content and the way the lovely personalities of the bloggers behind these blogs shine through.

and of course, Little Bits of Nice

I will be taking a blogging break for the rest of the month except for perhaps a Christmas guest post and a couple of long-pending posts on my other WordPress blog – Tales from Sri Lanka. So, I wish you a Merry Christmas (all those who celebrate or enjoy the spirit of Christmas) and Happy holidays (everyone else)!  See you in the New Year!

Jackfruit Cutlets

Today’s recipe is that of a cutlet my mother made recently. She likes experimenting with her cutlet mixtures and this time, she tried jackfruit and the result was delicious.

Jackfruit Cutlets

Time taken: 40 mins

Makes 4

Jackfruit Cutlets

Ingredients:

  • Raw, unripe jackfruit – 4 or 5 pieces
  • Onion – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
  • Chillies – ½ tsp, finely chopped
  • Pepper – 1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds – ½ tsp
  • Ginger – ½ “, finely chopped
  • Garlic – 2 cloves, finely chopped
  • Multi-purpose flour, for light batter
  • Bread crumbs, for rolling the cutlets
  • Low fat oil, for deep-frying

Method:

  1. Boil the jackfruit with salt for about 15 to 20 mins.
  2. Chop it and then coarsely grind it to get about ½ cup of the ground, cooked jackfruit. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the finely chopped onion, garlic, ginger, chillies as well as the pepper and fennel seeds to the mixing bowl. Mix well. Divide the seasoned jackfruit mixture into four balls.
  4. Make a light batter by mixing ½ cup of water with some multi-purpose flour.
  5. Dip the cutlet balls in the batter and then roll in the breadcrumbs, before deep-frying till the cutlets are golden brown.
  6. Serve hot with rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Potato curry – the drier version

Today’s recipe is that of a simple potato curry that is easy and quick to prepare when you are not in the mood for preparing something elaborate. What’s more, you are sure to like the results. For those who do not like their curries dry, check out the other potato curry recipe.

Potato curry – the drier version.

Time taken: 30 mins

Serves 4

potato curry - drier versionIngredients:

  • Potatoes – 2, large
  • Onions – 2, large
  • Curry powder – 1 or 2 tsp
  • Salt, as required
  • Low fat oil – 3 tbsp

Method:

  1. Boil the potatoes. After the potatoes are boiled, peel and chop them into smaller pieces. Mix in the curry powder and some salt and keep aside.
  2. Clean and chop the onions. Sprinkle with salt.
  3. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the chopped onion for about 5 to 10 mins.
  4. Once the onions starts changing colour and the aroma wafts about, add the seasoned, boiled potatoes to the pan and mix well. Cook for another 5 mins.
  5. Serve warm with roti or pittu.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Dhal with Snake gourd

Today’s recipe is another snake gourd curry that my mother occasionally makes.

Dhal with Snake gourd

Time taken: 30 mins

Serves 4

Dhal with Snake gourdIngredients:

  • Mysore dhal – ½ cup
  • Pudalangai/ Snake gourd – ½ cup, chopped
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Onion – ½
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Rampe leaf/ pandan – 1 or 2 inch
  • Coconut milk – ¼ cup (optional)
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Crushed chillies – 1 tsp
  • Pepper – ½ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Low fat oil – 2 tbsp

Method:

  1. Clean the snake gourd and finely chop it.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the chopped onion, green chillies, fennel seeds for a minute before adding the finely chopped snake gourd, curry leaves and rampe leaf. Cook for about 5 mins over low heat.
  3. Rinse the dhal and add the dhal to the pan. Stir and add a cup of water and let the dhal and snake gourd cook.
  4. Once the water has almost dried up and the vegetables have been cooked, add coconut milk. If you do not wish to use coconut milk due to cholesterol issues, simply add a ¼ cup of water or any alternative non-dairy milk of preference instead.
  5. Add the turmeric powder, crushed chillies, pepper and salt to taste to the pan. Mix well and cook for about 5 mins.
  6. Serve warm with rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Fried Snake Gourd

I have always been quite fond of pudalangai/ snake gourd (scientific name: trichosanthes cucumerina). While it is cooked in different ways, my favourite is pudalangai kulambu – the recipe of which I will share when my mother cooks it. In the meantime, here is my mother’s recipe for fried snake gourd.

Pudalangai Varai/ Fried Snake gourd

Time taken: 20 mins

Serves 3

Fried snake gourd

Ingredients:

  • Pudalangai/ Snake gourd – ½ cup, chopped
  • Red chillies – 1 or 2
  • Onion – ½
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Crushed garlic – 1 tsp
  • Coconut – 2 tbsp, freshly scraped
  • Turmeric – ¼ tsp
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Low fat oil – 1 tbsp

Method:

  1. Clean the snake gourd and chop it up finely. Mix some salt and keep aside.
  2. Heat a tbsp oil in a pan and fry the chopped red chillies, onion, fennel seeds and curry leaves for 2 mins.
  3. Add the finely chopped and salted snake gourd to the pan and continue stir-frying for 5 mins.
  4. Add 1 cup of water and season with salt to the pan. Cover and let the snake gourd cook till the water dries up.
  5. Remove the cover and add the crushed garlic, freshly scraped coconut and turmeric powder. Season with salt and pepper, as per your taste. Mix well and let it cook for 2 mins.
  6. Serve hot with rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Vegan Christmas Cake

Last week, my mother decided to bake her special vegan christmas cake. While I was initially planning to share this recipe on the 25th, I am sharing it ahead at my mother’s request. It is a delightful cake and I am sure you will enjoy it, if you do try it.

Christmas cake veganVegan Christmas Cake

Vegan christmas cake slicesTime taken: 3 hours

Makes 20 slices

Christmas cakeIngredients:

  • Dates – 1 cup, chopped
  • Raisins – ½ cup
  • Cashewnuts – ¼ cup
  • Almonds – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Caramelized peanuts – ½ cup
  • Cherry – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Chow chow (choko) – ½ cup, chopped
  • Ginger preserve – 1 tbsp
  • Puhul dosi (pumpkin preserve) – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Lemon rind – 1 tsp
  • Orange peel preserve – 1 tbsp
  • Mixed peel – ½ cup
  • Coconut treacle – 4 tbsp
  • Caramel syrup – ¼ cup
  • Almond oil – 3 tbsp
  • Vegetable oil – ¼ cup
  • Mixed spice (Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves) – 2 tsp
  • Thick tea – 1 tbsp
  • Semolina – ½ cup
  • Flour – ½ cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – 2/3 tsp
  • Rose essence – ¼ tsp

Method:

  1. Chop all the ingredients mentioned above (dates, raisins, cashewnuts, peanuts, almonds, chow chow, lemon rind, orange peel preserve, mixed peel, ginger preserve, cherries and puhul dosi/ pumpkin preserve) and mix together in a bowl.
  2. To the bowl, add the liquids stirring them in as you do so. Add the honey, caramel syrup and thick tea and let it soak for about ½ hour.
  3. Mix well before adding the vegetable oil and almond oil. Add the rose essence and cinnamon, cardamom and clove mixed spice to the bowl.
  4. Gradually stir in the semolina.
  5. Sift the flour with the baking powder and soda and add the flour mix to the bowl.
  6. Whisk the contents of the bowl together so that there are no flour lumps anywhere.
  7. Transfer the cake batter to the baking tray and bake at 120⁰C/248⁰F for 1 to 1 ½ hour till the cake is browned at the top and the cake is baked through.
  8. After the cake cools, cut the cake into pieces and wrap the pieces into Christmas wrappings.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.