Wattalapam Jelly Pudding

I am sharing a pudding recipe that I first shared during last Eid. Wattalapam is originally a part of the Sri Lankan Malay cuisine but has become the most popular Sri Lankan dessert.  This recipe of my mother is an adaptation of the traditional wattalapam into a jelly pudding. I would like to share it at Eid Eats 2014, which I learnt about from Jhuls, an Eid event hosted by Sarah and Asiyah.
Wattalapam jelly puddingI also wanted to share two music clips from MTV Coke Studio’s youTube channel. The first clip is of a Sufi music duo that I enjoy listening to – the Wadali brothers, Puranchand and Pyarelal Wadali, from Amritsar.

The second clip is a song I listened to for the first time last week when I was searching for youTube clips of the Wadali brothers. Composed by Salim and Sulaiman Merchant, the song is sung by Munawar Masoom and Kailash Kher.

Eid Mubarak to everyone celebrating this day!
final eid eats

Wattalapam Jelly Pudding

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • Thick coconut milk – 1 cup (this can be obtained by blending ¼ cup freshly scraped coconut with 1 cup of water)
  • Egg – 1 (can use 2 tbsp corn starch as a substitute)
  • Jaggery – ½ to 1 cup, depending on taste
  • Cardamom – 3 or 4, crushed
  • Vanilla extract – 2 tsp
  • Agar agar – 2 tbsp
  • Hot water – 6 tbsp

Method:

  1. Mix the coconut milk and jaggery.
  2. Lightly whisk the egg before adding the jaggery-milk mixture. Blend the mixture well.
  3. Add the crushed cardamom and vanilla extract to the mixture.
  4. Cook the pudding mixture on low heat, stirring continuously, for about 10 mins.
  5. Remove the thickened mixture from the heat and keep aside to cool.
  6. Take 2 tsp agar agar powder and mix with 6 tbsp hot water.
  7. Beat the agar agar mix into the slightly cooled pudding mixture.
  8. Cool and refrigerate.

Recipe Source: Raji Thillainathan.

Mango Saffron Cake

I wanted to bake a special cake today to celebrate the birthday of a close friend undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and glaucoma. As there was a ripe mango in the fridge, I decided on a mango cake. Thinking of the spice that I could mix with mango in a cake, I decided to try saffron as I had recently tried out kesari in my muffin loaf and had also enjoyed the Cornish saffron bread that I had baked a couple of months back. Therefore, while both my exotic muffin loaf and this mango saffron cake look outwardly similar, the taste is different.
DSC01231 Of course, on this special day, I wish to feature a very special singer – K.S.Chitra whose birthday coincidentally happens to be today as well. One of my favourite singers, Chitra has won six Indian national awards during her 35 years of playback singing as well as was awarded the Padma Shri in 2005. She has had extensive training in Carnatic music.

As I had already shared her first award-winning movie song in the post featuring music composer Ilayarajaa, I will share a beautiful song clip from her devotional song album, Krishnapriya (2005).

The second clip is a lullaby she sang for the Craft (Center for research in assisted reproduction and fetal therapy) hospital and research center. The center shares this song for downloading from their website with the message, “For our emotionally stressed women and men we hereby give a small gift- A Lullaby of hope that will go straight to your hearts- soothe you and transcend you virtually to the wonderful world of parenthood.” Chitra lost her eight-year old daughter in 2011 and resumed her singing with this track.

The last song clip is her award-winning movie song from Cheran’s movie Autograph (2004) featuring actress Sneha and the Comaganin Raaga Priya orchestra. The music was composed by Bharadwaj and performed by the special blind orchestra while the lyrics was written by P.Vijay (who also won an award that year) and sung by Chitra. The clip I chose to share here has roughly translated subtitles (courtesy of YouTube user Antony Rajabala).

Hope you enjoyed today’s music by one of my favourite singers and the lovely cake!
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Mango Saffron Cake

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Roasted semolina – ½ cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – ½ tsp
  • Salt, pinch
  • Vegetable oil margarine – 100g
  • Sugar – 6 tbsp (can add more, as per your taste)
  • Milk (non-fat or vegan substitute) – ½ cup
  • Saffron threads – ¼ tsp
  • Vanilla essence – ½ tsp
  • Mango – 1, chopped
  • Cashew nuts and raisins, to sprinkle

Method:

  1. Heat the milk with the saffron. Once bubbles start to form, remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool.
  2. Sift the flour together with baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the roasted semolina to the dry ingredients bowl and keep aside.
  3. Chop up the mango and add the vanilla essence to the chopped mangoes in a separate bowl. Let the fruits soak in the essence.
  4. Whisk the margarine and sugar together until creamy.
  5. Stir in the saffron milk and continue whisking.
  6. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients bowl, continuously stirring.
  7. Fold in the chopped mangoes and transfer to lightly greased baking pan.
  8. Sprinkle chopped cashew nuts and raisins.
  9. Bake the cake at 170⁰C for around 30 mins. The time will vary depending on the oven.
  10. Let the cake cool off before slicing and serving with a hot cup of Sri Lankan tea. Enjoy!

Wheat Kanji

Last week, I went for an Iftar with some friends. Each of us took a dish or two. I made the vegetarian version of Linda’s Chorba M’katfa and Amal’s Basbousa which turned out nicely. The hostess, Hafsa, had made a delicious pot of wheat kanji which she said was a staple she made during the Ramadan season for her family. I requested her to share her recipe on this blog. So, here is the wheat kanji recipe of Hafsa Farook which I am bringing to Angie’s Fiesta Friday #26 co-hosted by lovely bloggers Prudy and Jess. Hafsa did mention that people who were not fond of wheat could substitute the wheat with rice or use half and half of each.
Kanji
For today’s music feature, I decided to share some Punjabi music, composed by Pritam Chakraborty, from three fun Hindi movies that will be sure to get you on your feet and dancing. 🙂

The first song is from Anurag Singh’s movie Dil Bole Hadibba (translation: Heart says Hadibba/ hurray, 2009) starring Rani Mukerji and Shahid Kapoor and sung by playback singers, Mika Singh and Sunidhi Chauhan.

The second song is from Imtiaz Ali’s movie Jab We Met (translation: When we met, 2007) starring Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor and sung by Sonu Nigam and Javed Ali.

The last song clip is from Ayan Mukerji’s movie Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (translation: This youth is crazy, 2013) starring Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone and sung by Arijit Singh and Sunidhi Chauhan.

Enjoy the music and the kanji! 🙂
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Wheat Kanji

  • Servings: 12 - 15
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • Wheat – 2 cups
  • Onion – 1 large
  • Ground ginger and garlic
  • Cinnamon – piece
  • Rampe/ pandan leaf – a piece
  • Curry leaves – 1 or 2 sprigs
  • Ground cumin seeds
  • Tomato – 1
  • Chilli powder, to taste
  • Corn kernels – 1 can
  • Mushroom – 1 can
  • Coconut milk – 1 cup (thin consistency) and ½ cup (thick consistency)
  • Fresh coriander – a small bunch
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, for sautéing

Method:

  1. Soak wheat for at least 5 hours.
  2. Chop up the onion.
  3. Heat oil and fry the chopped onions, ground ginger garlic, piece of cinnamon, rampe and curry leaves. Sauté until it becomes golden brown.
  4. Add ground cumin seeds.
  5. Grate a tomato and add to the pan. Add a little chilli powder and cook for a while.
  6. Drain the soaked wheat and add to the sauté pan together with at least three cups of water. Add more water if the liquid dries up before the wheat is cooked. When cooked, the wheat should not be transparent.
  7. The corn kernels can be added now along with chopped mushrooms. Add a little water if the liquid dries up. Cook for a few minutes.
  8. Add 1 cup of thin coconut milk and ½ cup thick coconut milk to the pan and cook.
  9. Just before removing from heat, add the chopped coriander and salt to taste and cook for a few minutes.
  10. Serve warm.

Recipe source: Hafsa Farook.

Mango Mocktail

Today’s drink has been sent in by Trevor Martil. Apologies for the lack of a photo of the drink. I am sharing this at the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck.

Today’s music features two relatively new composers who are making a niche for themselves in south Indian cinema. The music for the first song clip has been composed by G.V Prakash Kumar, the nephew of A.R.Rahman. Having sung his first song in one of his uncle’s movies, G.V Prakash Kumar started his movie soundtrack composing career at the age of 16. This is a lovely song from his first movie that was released – Veyil (translation: hot sun, 2006) with playback singers Jassie Gift, Kailash Kher, Tippu and Prasanna.

The next song is from Balakrishnan’s debut movie Rummy (2014) with music composed by D.Imman who started his music career in 2002. The playback singers are Prasanna and Vandana Srinivasan, a psychologist and an alumna of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Hope you enjoy the music and the drink!

Mango Mocktail

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons mango delight cordial
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup chilled plain soda
  • Crushed mint leaves
  • Finely chopped apple
  • Crushed ice

Method:

  1. Blend the first four ingredients together.
  2. Add crushed mint leaves, chopped apple pieces, crushed ice and serve.

Recipe source: Trevor Martil.

Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

Re-blogging Indu’s Sri Lankan chicken curry post. Thanks for sharing it on your blog, Indu!

Indu's International Kitchen


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Chicken Curry is one dish that I never get tired of trying out new recipes for!  Chicken is in fact a very safe thing to experiment on – since you can never go wrong with chicken! Any which way you cook it, it always turns out delicious! And those of you who think that ‘a curry is a curry is a curry…’, sorry but I beg to differ!   The different blend of spices as well as the proportion of those spices that goes in a curry is very important and gives the curry its own unique flavor.  And hence Kamala aunty’s chicken curry is so delicious but yet different from grandma’s chicken curry! That is the reason I am always asking folks for their chicken curry recipes! – Hey there is no shame in asking! 🙂

And I thought that there could be so many variations of chicken curry only all across…

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Chicken with Broccoli

The recipe for today has been sent in by Trevor Martil and I am sharing it at Fiesta Friday. I shared his mother’s savoury rice dish recipe last week.

I also felt like sharing some lovely Hindi movie music today from movies released within this decade but set in decades past. The first clip is from V.V.Chopra’s movie Parineeta (translation: The married woman, 2005), an adaptation of a 1914 Bengali novella starring Vidya Balan and Saif Ali Khan. The music was composed by Shantanu Moitra and the playback singers of this song are Sonu Nigam and Shreyal Ghoshal.

The second clip is from Anurag Basu’s movie Barfi! (2012), starring Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Ileana D’Cruz. Set in the 70s, the music was composed by Pritam and this particular song has been sung by Shafqat Amanat Ali.

The last clip is from V.Motwane’s movie Lootera (translation: Robber, 2013), set in the 50s and based on O.Henry’s 1907 short story ‘The last leaf,’ starring Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha. The music for this song has been composed and sung by Amit Trivedi.

Hope you enjoyed the lovely songs and do let me know if you try out this recipe!

Chicken with Broccoli and Spinach

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 150g broccoli
  • 100g spinach leaves
  • onions
  • ginger paste and garlic paste (Trevor’s mother prefers using the Sri Lankan MD brand)
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (Again, Trevor’s mother has mentioned the MD brand)
  • oil, for tempering
  • chili powder
  • turmeric
  • cumin seeds
  • fresh ginger and garlic, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Grind the cumin seeds, ginger, garlic and 50g spinach leaves to a paste. Keep aside.
  2. Cut chicken into large pieces, marinate in ginger and garlic paste and sauce for 30 minutes.
  3. Allow to cook in own juice.
  4. Add oil and stir-fry, adding the chopped onions.
  5. Add ground ingredients, the remaining spinach and the broccoli.
  6. Add 1/2 cup milk together with chili powder and turmeric as per your taste. Allow to simmer.
  7. Serve with steamed rice.

Recipe source: Trevor Martil.

Savoury Rice

I had tried to get hold of some of the Sri Lankan Burgher cuisine recipes for some time now. While some of the dishes such as lamprais, frikkadels and some kinds of specialty cakes around Christmas time are very popular and are recreated by cafes and bakeries around the country, I was more interested in the home-cooking of Burgher families. Besides Refinceyaa who shared her aunt’s recipe for capsicum with eggs on this blog, I had also asked Trevor Martil who is another of my former colleagues. He recently sent me some of his mother’s favourite recipes. Today’s recipe is one such dish, which Trevor’s mother calls ‘savoury rice with a difference.’ This rice recipe (providing both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options) is what I am sharing at Fiesta Friday together with some special music clips.

The special song clip for today is a rendition, by Amitabh Bachchan, of renowned poet and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s beautiful Bengali poem Ekla Cholo Re written in 1905. This song is from Sujoy Ghosh’s acclaimed Hindi movie Kahaani (translation: Story, 2012) starring Vidya Balan. Translation of the lyrics can be found on Wikipedia.

The next song clip is from Aamir Khan’s talk show Satyamev Jayate (translation: Truth alone prevails). Composed by Ram Sampath for the lyrics written by Swanand Kirkire, Meenal Jain sings the beautiful Hindi song ‘Sakhi’ at the end of the episode on domestic violence. I think I must have watched all the episodes of the first season in 2012.

Hope you enjoyed the songs and do let me know if you tried out the recipe today!

Savoury Rice

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: average
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Ingredients:

  • 250g cooked rice
  • 150g chicken (vegetarians can substitute this with tofu or mushroom)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 capsicum chili
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce (Trevor’s mother prefers to use Sri Lankan MD brand)
  • turmeric
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • chili powder
  • ginger paste and garlic paste (Again, Trevor’s mother prefers the ready-made MD brand)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 30g green peas
  • 2 eggs
  • cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, star anise
  • curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (vegetarians can substitute this with vegetable stock)
  • parsley
  • coriander leaves

Method:

  1. Temper spices, star anise, onions, curry leaves.
  2. Add cooked rice, 1/4 cup milk, turmeric. Allow to simmer.
  3. Add green peas, eggs and stir in a tablespoon of butter.
  4. Serve and keep aside.
  5. Cut chicken into small pieces, marinate in soya sauce, and place in a pan.
  6. Cook till water is absorbed.
  7. Add oil and stir-fry adding all vegetables, onions, ginger, garlic sauces and 1/2 cup chicken stock.
  8. Cook and take off heat with gravy.
  9. Pour over rice.
  10. Sprinkle parsley and coriander leaves. Serve hot.

Recipe source: Trevor Martil

 

Exotic Muffin Loaf

Ever since I baked my first batch of muffins last month, I have been in a muffin phase. Some of the favourites at home so far has been Joanne’s strawberry buttermilk (I used buttermilk instead of yoghurt) and Rhonda’s apricot almond muffins. It is rambuttan and mangosteen season here in Sri Lanka now and there were a few of the fruits leftover at home when I decided to try baking some muffins with them. As I had used up the entire pack of muffin cups and did not want to wait till I bought a fresh set, I simply decided to use a regular pan and make a muffin loaf. So, today, I am sharing at the Fiesta Friday my adaptation of Rhonda’s strawberry oatmeal muffins with some exotic (at least where muffins are concerned) ingredients. I am also taking this over to Saucy Saturdays #51, hosted by The Flavor Bender, La Petit Chef, Mid-Life Croissant, Take Two Tapas.
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Today’s featured musician is Shankar Mahadevan. A musician that I admire, Shankar Mahadevan was midway in his software engineering career before deciding to change careers and focus on his passion for music. Trained in Carnatic and Hindustani music, he released his first solo album Breathless (1998). The album includes a song called Breathless, sung without a break in the lyrics from start to finish, which was very popular on Sri Lankan television. The hugely popular album opened up many opportunities for Shankar Mahadevan. Eventually, he started the online Indian classical music academy – Shankar Mahadevan Academy in 2010.

Shankar Mahadevan is the vocalist of ‘Remember Shakti.’ For those who haven’t heard of this group, they are a five member lovely fusion group initially started as ‘Shakti’ by John McLaughlin and tabla maestro Zakir Hussain in the 70s. The group was revived in the late 90s with some new members – U.Srinivas (one of my favourite musicians), V.Selvaganesh (son of Grammy award-winning musician V.Vinayakram – one of the original members of Shakti) and Shankar Mahadevan, replacing three of the original members. My first clip for today is therefore an excerpt from a Remember Shakti concert: a beautiful fusion performance of the classical piece ‘Giriraja Sudha,’ composed by 18th century musician  – Tyagarajar – considered one of the most influential Carnatic composers.

Shankar Mahadevan is also part of the successful trio, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, who became popular in the Hindi movie music composing field in the late 90s. The second music clip for today is from Aamir Khan’s beautiful directorial debut movie Taare Zameen Par (translation: Like stars on earth, 2007) with music composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and sung by Shankar Mahadevan. This touching song won Shankar Mahadevan a national award.

He was introduced to the Tamil cinema playback singing platform by A.R.Rahman in 1997. The last clip is a lovely, upbeat folk tune composed by A.R.Rahman for the movie Mudhalvan (1999), starring Arjun and Manisha Koirala, and sung by Shankar Mahadevan and Kavita Krishnamurthy.

Hope you enjoyed Shankar Mahadevan’s music as much as I did! Happy July 4th to all my American blogging friends!

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Exotic Muffins

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Flour – ½ cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt – 1/3 tsp
  • Oats – ½ to 2/3 cup
  • Brown sugar – 4 tbsp
  • Cinnamon powder – pinch
  • Milk – ½ cup
  • Vegetable oil – 1/3 cup
  • Vanilla essence – ½ tsp
  • Rambuttan – 4, chopped (can add more, I just used what I had in hand)
  • Mangosteen – 1 or 2, chopped (can add more)
  • Cashew nuts – a handful, chopped
  • Raisins – a little for sprinkling
  • Kesari powder – pinch (optional)

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 190⁰C.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the instant oats and sugar to the flour bowl and keep aside.
  3. Chop up the rambuttan and mangosteen. Add a pinch of kesari powder to the fruits in a separate bowl. Add the chopped cashewnuts and raisins to the fruit bowl.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, oil and vanilla essence.
  5. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix it just enough to ensure that none of the flour mix is left dry. Almost all the muffin recipes that I have seen stress the point that one should be swift over this mixing and not be concerned over lumps in the batter.
  6. Fold in the fruit and nut mixture.
  7. Transfer the muffin batter to the muffin tray or a normal baking pan. Bake for around 20 mins – the time will vary depending on your oven.

Passing it on…

Thank you, Linda, for nominating me for the readership award. I have always enjoyed your blog and am delighted to be nominated by you once again.
wonderful-readership-award2 This award is meant to be passed on to 14 blogs whom one has enjoyed reading during a particular week. As such, I would like to nominate the following lovely bloggers with their posts that I enjoyed during the last week.

  1. Shailja from Sweet and Savoury – Tofu Butter Masala 
  2. Anjana from At the corner of happy and harried – Aloo Palak Paratha
  3. Chitra from Chitra’s Healthy Kitchen – Methi raw mango brown rice
  4. Sapana from Cooking with Sapana – Chhattisgarh snack Khaza 
  5. Vidya from Traditionally Modern Food – Thenga Aracha Kuzhambu 
  6. Susan from Watch Hatch Fly – Meditation room update 
  7. Suzanne from A pug in the kitchen – Orecchiette
  8. Elaine from Foodbod – Spiced salads
  9. Aditi and Nikil from Confused Bawarchis – Spicy fruit roll-ups 
  10. Naina from Spice in the City – Elderflower madeleines 
  11. Charanya from Yes! I’m Vegan – Korma
  12. Nimmi from Adorable life – Summer drink 
  13. Brian from Love, Food and Beer – Berry-Rhubarb Crisp 
  14. Kanzen Sakura – Key lime and peach ice-cream

Next, I would like to thank Nimmi for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger award. I am honoured to accept it and am happy to have come across your lovely blog through Angie’s Fiesta Friday event.
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I understand that part of the nomination acceptance includes sharing 7 things about oneself and nominating 15 other bloggers. I decided the thing I would share today would be books so here are the names of 7 of my all-time favourite books, in reverse alphabetical order.

  1. Under the banyan tree and other stories (actually all of R.K.Narayan’s short stories)
  2. To kill a mockingbird 
  3. The Razor’s Edge
  4. Pride and Prejudice
  5. Of mice and men
  6. Franny and Zooey
  7. Delhi

I would like to nominate the following wonderful bloggers for the Versatile Blogger award.

To wrap up this post, I would like to share this beautiful debut song of Harini, from the movie Indira (1995), with music composed by A.R.Rahman and lyrics written by Vairamuthu. Trained in Carnatic music from a young age, Harini was noticed by A.R.Rahman in a school contest and was introduced to the movie playback singing world through Suhasini Maniratnam’s movie ‘Indira’.

Have a good day!