Mothaha Muffin Crumble

I have been trying out different muffins over the last few months and I was in the mood of trying out some experimental muffins. I wanted to create some muffins which had a strong leaning towards a Sri Lankan dish. While thinking about using different local non-wheat flours, inspiration struck. I do very much like the delicacy – mothaham or kolukkattai, that my mother makes during special festivals like the ongoing Navarathri festival. I decided to try out the muffin version of this steamed dish and it turned out a cross between a muffin and a crumble. I am sharing it at both my brother’s birthday today as well as bringing some over to Fiesta Friday tomorrow.
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The music selection for today focuses on some lovely Persian music. The first group featured here is the Chemirani Zarb Trio, a classical percussion group. I first heard their music when they visited Sri Lanka to perform at the WOMAD concert 2005. The clip I share here is one of their performances at another WOMAD concert.

While searching for Chemirani Trio clips on youTube, I came across a few other Persian groups that I liked. The second clip is a music video by the folk group Zâr Ensemble, formerly known as the Ensemble Shanbehzadeh.

The last clip is a beautiful one by classical singer Homayoun Shajarian and instrumentalist and composer, Tahmoures Pournazeri.

Hope you enjoyed the lovely music as much as I did! As usual, please do share which clip you liked more.
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Mothaha Muffin Crumble

  • Servings: 9
  • Time: 40mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

 Ingredients:

  • Roasted red rice flour – 1/2 cup
  • All-purpose flour – 1/2 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt, pinch
  • Green gram, de-skinned – 1/2 cup, boiled
  • Jaggery – 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Coconut – 1/4 cup, freshly scraped
  • Cardamom – 1/4 tsp
  • Margarine – 120g, melted
  • Oil, as required

Method:

  1. Melt the margarine and let it cool slightly.
  2. Mix the freshly scraped coconut, green gram, jaggery and cardamom in a bowl.
  3. Add the coconut and gram mix to the melted margarine. Stir to mix the contents a little.
  4. Sift the rice flour and all purpose flour together. Add the baking powder and salt and mix.
  5. Add the flour mix to the wet ingredient mix. If the resulting mix is too dry, just add a little oil until it is sufficiently moist.
  6. Bake the muffins for about 25 – 30 mins at 180C.
  7. Serve warm with a hot beverage.

Manioca Curry

I am bringing another of my eldest sister’s curry to Fiesta Friday #33 – this time, a manioca curry.
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Today’s featured music group is Junoon. This band was formed in 1990 by Salman Ahmad, the lead guitarist and songwriter of the group. This group were the pioneers of the rock sub-genre, Sufi rock. I first came across this group on MTV through their chart topping song, Sayonee from their fourth album, Azadi (1997). While I could not find the music video of this ground-breaking song on Junoon’s youTube channel, I did find this clip where the group played this song at a concert.

Two of the original band members, lead vocalist Azmat Ali and bassist Brian O’Connell, left the group in 2005 to pursue solo music careers. The next clip that I share here is from Coke Studio Pakistan’s youTube channel which featured this collaborative work of Azmat Ali and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, the nephew of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

Salman Ahmad, the Junoon founder, has continued the group with different musicians sporadically over the years and has collaborated with other international musicians for several fund-raising efforts. The last clip here is from the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony concert of 2007.

Hope you enjoyed the music of Junoon and do share which clip you enjoyed the most!
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Manioca Curry

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • Manioca – 1
  • Turmeric – ¼ tsp + ¼ tsp
  • Salt – ¼ tsp + 2 tsp or adjust to taste
  • Garlic cloves – 3, grated
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Mustard – 1 tsp
  • Onion – 1, chopped
  • Coconut milk – 1 cup
  • Oil – 1 tbsp

Method:

  1. Boil the manioca with ¼ tsp turmeric and ¼ tsp salt. Cut the cooked manioc into smaller pieces and keep aside.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the chopped onion and curry leaves, grated cloves, mustard, 2 tsp salt and fry for a min or two. Add the cooked manioc and turmeric. Mix well.
  3. Add the coconut milk and cook till the curry thickens.
  4. Remove from heat and serve warm with rice.

Chickpea Curry

During my recent visit to my eldest sister’s house, I remembered to take photos of a couple of tasty curries she had made for lunch with my phone camera. I am bringing one of her curries, chickpea curry, to the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck #10.

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Over the last few months, I have enjoyed sharing some Sri Lankan and Indian music together with the recipes. I have decided to continue with a musical journey around the globe with the food recipes. Therefore, as today’s music selection, I am sharing a couple of clips from the two I consider the best Sufi singers of this half-century : Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (1948 – 1997), also referred to as the Shahenshah (meaning King of Kings) of Qawwali and Abida Parveen, who is also known as the Queen of Sufi music.

During my teen years in the U.A.E, I once accompanied my parents to a concert. When the guest singer, who was introduced as Pakistan’s finest musicians starting singing, I immediately recognized the song as the favourite of my Pakistani friends at my new school and which they kept playing repeatedly during lunch breaks.  The song was Dam Mast Qalandar Mast Mast and it was Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s concert. I admit back then I was not fond of qawwali music and it took a while to grow on me. I think I learnt to appreciate it after hearing them sung at Sufi shrines. The atmosphere creates an enhanced listening experience. It is only fitting that I share here the first qawwali song that I was introduced to.

A few years ago, during a brief trip to Delhi, I took a Sufi heritage tour with India Offtrack. Nirad Grover, part of the company’s core team, travel writer and my guide during the tour, recommended that I listen to Abida Parveen. I did that soon after and I have been impressed with her powerful voice since. This clip has been uploaded on youTube by Epic flo films and includes a summary translation of the lyrics at intervals.

Do share your memory of your first introduction to qawwali, if you enjoy listening to Sufi music. And, do let me know if you try out this chickpea curry!

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Kadalai Curry

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 20mins
  • Difficulty: average
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Chickpeas – 2 cups, boiled
  • Cashew nuts – 4 or 5
  • Cinnamon – 1” piece
  • Garlic – 3 or 4 cloves
  • Onion – 1
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Salt – 2 tsp or adjust to taste
  • Turmeric – ¼ tsp
  • Curry powder – 3 tsp or adjust to taste
  • Tamarind juice – ½ cup
  • Potato – 1, boiled and mashed
  • Tomato – 1, chopped
  • Coconut milk – 1 cup
  • Oil

Method:

  1. Lightly fry the cashew nuts with crumbled cinnamon and transfer to grinder.
  2. Add the garlic cloves to the grinder and blend the mix to a coarse paste.
  3. Chop the onion and lightly fry the onion together with curry leaves.
  4. Add the coarse cashew nut paste, salt and turmeric to the pan and mix well.
  5. Add the boiled chickpeas and curry powder to the pan. Mix well.
  6. Then, add the tamarind juice and let the curry cook for a couple of minutes.
  7. Next, add the boiled and mashed potato to the pan and mix.
  8. Add the chopped tomato together with ½ cup of water and cook for a min or two.
  9.  Then, add the coconut milk and cook till the curry consistency is right.
  10. Serve warm with rice or roti.