Pol Roti and Sambol

My recipe for today is pol roti and sambol, which is a quintessential Sri Lankan breakfast. The Sri Lankan roti’s uniqueness stems from the addition of grated coconut to the dough.

In my house, it has been a favourite meal across generations. One of my mother’s favourite childhood memories is that of her mother making roti for their tea on rainy days. My grandmother apparently added her own twist to the coconut roti, by adding chopped chilli and onions, making it a spicy roti which she served with plain tea. As it was an occasional treat reserved for rainy days, my mother and her siblings came to regard it as a favourite food and a special treat. They passed on this partiality to my generation and my cousins, siblings and I all seem to share this preference for roti and sambal. It is not breakfast food at home though, but a dinner meal. Apparently, the tiniest member of our family, my two year old niece, has also acquired this preference for roti after having her first little bite of roti this month.

Katy of Untold Morsels recently asked me what comfort food I made that reminded me most of home. I immediately thought of pol roti and sambol and then I realized that I was yet to share the recipe of pol roti on this blog. So, I decided to remedy the situation immediately with this post.

Pol roti & sambol.jpeg

Do try making the Sri Lankan pol roti and sambol at home! You will surely enjoy the treat!

Pol Roti and Pol Sambol

  • Servings: 3 or 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

Roti:

  • Flour – ¾ cup
  • Coconut – ½ cup, freshly grated
  • Salt, to taste
  • Little water
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • For spicy version of roti:
    • Atta flour – ¼ cup
    • Green chillies and onions – 1 or 2 tbsp, chopped
    • Crushed chilli flakes

Pol Sambol:

  • Coconut – ¾ cup
  • Red chillies – 5 or 6
  • Onion – ½
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt, to taste

Method

  1. Sift the flour and add the salt and grated coconut.
  2. For the spicy roti version, add the atta flour, chopped green chillies and onions and crushed chilli flakes as well to the flour mix. My mother loves the spicy roti while I prefer it without the chopped onions.
  3. Add a little water to the flour mix and make a dough.
  4. Add a tbsp of oil at the end so that the dough does not stick.
  5. Divide the dough into 3 or 4 balls and keep aside for 5 – 10 mins.
  6. Heat the flat pan.
  7. Flatten each ball and cook it over low heat, on the flat pan. Ensure it sufficiently browns on both sides by flipping it.
  8. Prepare the sambol by lightly frying the chopped chillies, onion and curry leaves and then grinding it with grated coconut and salt.
  9. Serve immediately with warm rotis and a cup of Sri Lankan tea.

spicy roti.jpeg
Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

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Caramel Drizzle Wattalapam Cake

Having celebrated Iftar with Muslim family friends since I was a kid, Ramadan season is a special month at home especially since my mother starts making Iftar themed treats.

One of the special treats she concocted this month is the Caramel Drizzle Wattalapam Cake, a cake twist on the traditional Wattalapam pudding dessert from the Malay cuisine of Sri Lanka. Wattalapam, a popular Sri Lankan dessert, is a steamed pudding made from coconut milk, eggs and jaggery (palm sugar).

cake slice

Hope you try out a slice of this tasty cake! Ramadan Mubarak!

I am bringing this cake over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday #125, co-hosted this week by Elaine@Foodbod and Quinn@Dad What’s 4 Dinner and for the first time over to Saucy Saturdays #50, hosted by The Flavor Bender, La Petit Chef, Mid-Life Croissant, Take Two Tapas.

Caramel Drizzle Wattalapam Cake

  • Servings: 4 or 5
  • Difficulty: average
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Ingredients:

  • Coconut milk – 1 cup, thick
  • Jaggery – 1 cup, crushed
  • Eggs – 2
  • Margarine or butter – 1/2 cup
  • Semolina – 1 cup
  • Flour – 1 cup
  • Baking powder – 2 tsp
  • Baking soda – pinch
  • Crushed cardamom – 1 tsp
  • Vanilla essence

Caramel drizzle:

  • Sugar – 3 or 4 tbsp

Method

  • Sift the flour and add the baking powder and soda.
  • Whisk together the butter, milk, jaggery and eggs.
  • Add the vanilla essence and crushed cardamom.
  • Add the flour mix to the wet ingredients bowl and mix.
  • Bake for approx. ½ hour at 150C.

oven fresh

  • Transfer cake to serving tray and let it cool, while you prepare the caramel syrup.
  • Heat the sugar over low heat till it caramelizes.
  • Drizzle the caramel syrup over the cake.

Loaf cake

  • Slice and serve with a cup of Sri Lankan tea.

cake slice

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Vadai with Sambal

I have been enjoying writing on my other blog, Perspectives Quilt, this month reminiscing about past travels. I have also just opened up a Pinterest and Instagram account, both of which I had been avoiding not only because I was busy but also because I am not a good photographer. However, since opening both accounts last week, I have found that I pay a little more attention to whatever photos I do take. I know I haven’t been doing justice, with my photos, to the delicious food that my mother has made though I have been diligently recording and sharing her recipes through this blog. I have resolved to try and work on my food photography skills a little, where possible.

So, when my mother made some vadai for tea this evening, I decided that it would be a good time to start experimenting with natural light and angles. Nothing major. Just a series of photos turning my little bowl, with my teatime snack, around. This is the photo I ended up satisfied with, after dozens of photos, which I then applied an instagram filter on.

Vadai 01.JPG

Vadai with Sambal

What do you think? Does this photo make you want to have some vadai now?

Well, whether it makes you want to try some right now or not, please do try out my mother’s famous (among family and friends) recipe for homemade vadai with sambal. They are delicious and lovely to share at Iftar parties as well!

I am bringing this over to Fiesta Friday #124, initiated by Angie and co-hosted this week by Lindy@Love in the Kitchen and Liz@Spades, Spatulas & Spoons.

Vadai with Sambal

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: advanced
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Ingredients:

  • Urad dal/ black gram – 1 cup, skin removed
  • Green chillies – 2, chopped
  • Onion – 1, medium sized and chopped
  • Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
  • Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp, chopped
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp (optional)
  • Low fat oil (sunflower or canola) – ½ litre (for deep frying) + 1 tsp (for sauté)
  • Salt, to taste

Sambal:

  • Freshly scraped coconut – ½ cup
  • Red or Green chillies – 2, chopped
  • Onion – ¼, chopped
  • Ginger – ½ “ (optional)
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig, chopped
  • Salt, to taste

Method

  1. Soak the black gram, without the skin, for 3 – 4 hours.
  2. Grind the soaked black gram, adding a little water, to prepare the thick vadai batter.
  3. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and lightly sauté the chopped onion, chillies and curry leaves.
  4. Transfer the contents of the pan and the coriander leaves to the batter mix and add salt to taste. If you prefer, you can also add 1 tsp baking powder.
  5. Mix well and keep aside for 5 mins.
  6.  Heat the oil in the pan for deep-frying.
  7. Take a piece of banana leaf or something equivalent, dab some water on the surface and put a spoonful of batter onto the leaf. Shape it into a round or elliptical shape with a hole in the middle, like a mini doughnut.
  8. Transfer to the oil pan, 3 to 4 at a time, and fry until golden brown on both sides.
  9. Mix and grind all ingredients for the sambal and add salt, to taste.
  10. Serve the vadai with sambal and some Sri Lankan tea.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Salad Colombo

Since there were a couple of different mangoes in the house, I felt like using some in a salad. I was also curious about trying out tea in a salad dressing so concocted this – Salad Colombo. Why Salad Colombo? Because I used locally produced ingredients from different parts of the country brought together in Colombo. So, why not Salad Colombo? 🙂

Salad Colombo

I am taking this crunchy, tangy, bitter-sweet salad over to Angie’s FF#122, co-hosted this week by Aruna@Aharam and Mollie@The Frugal Hausfrau and for the first time, the party at Throwback Thursday #44, hosted by Quinn@Dad What’s 4 Dinner, Mollie@The Frugal Hausfrau, Carlee@Cooking with Carlee, Meaghan@4 Sons ‘R’ Us and Alli@Tornadough Alli.

I have been listening to Coldplay the whole day so decided to feature a song I liked.

Hope you enjoy the salad and the featured song for this week.

Salad Colombo

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • Lettuce leaves
  • Mango – ½ (large) or 1 (small)
  • Pomegranate – 2 tbsp

Pomegranate and lime infused Orange pekoe tea dressing:

  • Lime/ orange juice – 1 tbsp
  • Pomegranate juice – 1 tsp
  • Tea –  1 – 2 tsp
  • Salt and pepper, to taste (optional)

Method

  1. Clean and chop up the lettuce leaves and arrange on a plate or bowl.
  2. Add sliced mango and pomegranate to the plate.
  3. Prepare the salad dressing by preparing a strong black tea and transferring about 2 tsp to a little bowl.
  4. Add the freshly processed pomegranate juice to the tea. Let it sit for a few minutes before adding the lime juice. (I prefer lime to orange juice for the dressing)
  5. If you wish, add salt and pepper, to taste. I didn’t add any in my version preferring the tanginess of the lime to be enough but my mother preferred adding a pinch of salt and pepper.
  6. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve immediately.IMG_0234