Green Beans Curry

I have not been as active on this blog during the past year in comparison to my first year. That was bound to happen at some point. It follows that after a year of much activity on this blog, I was relatively quieter in the last twelve months especially as I was away from home. It did not mean I stopped cooking. On the contrary, I did a lot of cooking much more than I do when I am at home but they were less focused on Sri Lankan recipes and when I did cook something Sri Lankan, I would choose one of my mother’s recipes already posted on this blog. I have been doing a lot of baking and I am delighted that I am now able to make delicious scones and pretty decent rye bread.

Having returned home last month, I look forward to resuming posting on this blog.

Today’s recipe is a simple green beans curry which I really like.

green beans curry

Green Beans Curry

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • Green beans  – 1 cup, chopped into 1” pieces
  • Onion – ½, chopped
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Curry powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Coconut milk – ¼ cup

Method:

  1. Fry the chopped green beans, onion, curry leaves and fennel seeds lightly in a little oil for about 2 mins.
  2. Add the water, chilli powder and salt to taste.
  3. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 15 – 20 mins, until cooked.
  4. Add coconut milk and a little chilli powder, if the spice level is not sufficient.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan

Winged Bean and Dhal Curry

For this month, I am sharing a simple and delicious curry together with some 70s – 90s music from Sweden. DSC01073The following music clips takes me back to the early 90s when I listened quite a lot to these three Swedish music groups. How could I not start the music feature on music from Sweden without a song from ABBA? Actually, I was never a fan of their music but I listened to a lot of their music back then because some of my friends were huge fans and kept playing them a lot that some of the songs kind of seeped into my song lists. This very popular song is one such. There was a time in the early 90s when MTV played a huge part in introducing me to a lot of popular music. The next two song clips are from that time. The second song is ‘Don’t turn around’ by Ace of Base. The final song for this month is Roxette’s ‘It must have been love’.
Hope you enjoy trying out the curry and that you enjoyed going on a nostalgic trip back to the 90s!
DSC01074

Winged Bean and Dhal Curry

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Ingredients:

  • Winged beans – ¼ cup
  • Mysore dhal – ½ cup
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Onion – ½
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – a sprig
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Pepper – ½ or 1 tsp
  • Crushed chillies – ¼ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Vegetable oil – 1 tbsp
  • Coconut or non-fat milk – 2 or 3 tbsp (optional)

Method

  1. Wash and chop the winged beans, green chillies and onion.
  2. Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan and fry the fennel seeds. Add the chopped onion, chillies and curry leaves and continue frying for 2 – 3 mins.
  3. Add the chopped winged beans to the pan and stir.
  4. Wash the dhal and add the dhal to the pan together with a cup of water and ½ tsp turmeric powder. Cook for 15 mins
  5. Add the pepper, salt and crushed chillies towards the end of the cooking. Stir well
  6. While the curry is good as it is, if you like to add milk, you can add 2-3 tbsp coconut or non-fat milk and cook for a few mins more.
  7. Remove from heat and serve warm with rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Odiyal Kool

Today is my mother’s birthday and I felt like re-sharing one of my mother’s favourite recipes. Odiyal Kool is a traditional dish from north Sri Lanka and can be made as a vegetarian or non-vegetarian version. Today’s recipe is a vegetarian dish. OK1 For today’s music feature, I wish to share some song clips from youTube from the official vevo site of one of my favourite singers – Andrea Bocelli. The first is a music video of the song ‘Canto Della Terra’. The second song ‘Con Te Partiro’ is from a 2011 concert. I liked more an earlier version, where he sings with Sarah Brightman, but could not find it on the official site. The last clip is the music video of the song with Laura Pausini ‘Dare to Live’. Hope you enjoy the music and the recipe! Ok2

Odiyal Kool

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: average
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Ingredients

  • Odiyal Flour – 1 cup
  • Chopped mixed vegetables (brinjal/ katharikkai, jackfruit seeds/ palakottai, yardlong beans/ paithangai, small green leaves/ pasali keerai or murungai ilai, manioc, ash plantain) – 100g each
  • Boiled rice – ½ cup
  • Dried red chillies – 5- 10, according to your taste
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Pepper powder – 1tbsp
  • Tamarind extract – ½ cup
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Water – 1 1/2 litres

Method:

  1. Dry grind the cumin seeds, red chillies and pepper and keep aside.
  2. Boil the vegetables in a pot with half litre water.
  3. Add another litre of water, along with the tamarind extract.
  4. As the water comes to a boil, slowly stir in the odiyal flour, avoiding lumps.
  5. Add the boiled rice to the pot.
  6. Add the ground spice mixture and the turmeric powder to the pot and salt to taste. Let it come to a boil.
  7. You can add a little water to adjust the consistency to your liking, e.g. if the water has dried up or you prefer a watery Kool.
  8. Serve hot in medium-sized bowls.

Recipe Source: Raji Thillainathan.

Sambhar Rice

The rice dish for today is Sambhar Rice.

Sambhar RiceAs sambhar refers to a mixed vegetable stew like dish, I thought of mimicking the dish in my featured music groups today.

Starting with Thriloka, a fusion band formed in 2005 blending traditional Sri Lankan folk music and progressive rock.

The second clip features Paranoid Earthling, whose music is a blend of experimental and psychedelic rock. The song shared here was first performed by them on the international peace day in 2008.

The last clip features Chitral Somapala and Civilization One, a power metal band, which is not a Sri Lankan band but I decided to feature them by extending the definition to include the Sri Lankan who launched the band.

Enjoy the Sri Lankan rock music scene as you try out the recipe!

Sambhar Rice

Time taken: 45 mins

Serves 4

Sambhar rice2

Ingredients:

  • Par-boiled red rice – 1 cup
  • Carrots – ½ cup, chopped
  • Beans – ½ cup, chopped
  • Brinjal – ½ cup, chopped
  • Mysore dhal – ¼ cup
  • Onion – ½, chopped
  • Chilli – 1, chopped
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Tamarind juice – ½ cup
  • Curry powder – 1 tsp
  • Pepper – ½ tsp
  • Garlic cloves – 4 or 5, crushed
  • Salt, to taste

Method:

  1. Boil the rice and keep aside.
  2. Separately, cook the vegetables (carrots, beans and brinjal) and dhal together with the chopped onion, chilli and curry leaves in a cup of water.
  3. When the water dries up, add the tamarind juice add the curry powder, pepper powder, crushed garlic cloves and salt to the vegetables.
  4. Once the sambhar starts to thicken, add the rice, mix well and let it simmer for 5 to 10 mins.
  5. Serve the sambhar rice with pappadum.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Beans with Carrot Sauce

Today’s recipe is one of my mother’s sauce recipes. For another of my mother’s similarly interesting sauce recipes, check out ash plantain and carrot with beetroot sauce.

Beans with Carrot Sauce

Time taken: 30 mins

Serves 4

Beans with Carrot SauceIngredients:

  • Beans – 1 cup, chopped
  • Carrot – 1
  • Onion – ½
  • Ginger – 1 tsp, finely chopped
  • Garlic – 1 tsp, finely chopped
  • Green chilli – 1
  • Low fat oil – 1 tbsp

Method:

  1. Clean and chop the beans and carrots. Boil the beans and carrots in water, adding a little salt, for about 10 mins.
  2. Separate the cooked carrots from the beans. Drain the beans, keeping the water aside for re-use.  Transfer the cooked beans to the serving dish.
  3. Heat a tbsp oil in a pan and fry the chopped onion, ginger, garlic and chilli for a couple of mins before adding the cooked carrots and continuing to stir-fry for an extra minute or two.
  4. After cooling slightly, blend the carrot mixture from the pan.
  5. In a sauce pan, heat the previously cooked water, together with the ground carrot mixture, that was kept aside. Adjust salt, as per taste.
  6. Pour the carrot sauce over the beans and serve warm.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Soya bean and Kangkung Stir-fry

Of the four soya bean dishes my mother prepared last week, I like this easy-to-prepare soya bean and kangkung stir fry dish the most.

Soya bean and Kangkung stir-fry

Time taken: 15 mins (with pre-cooked soya beans)

Serves 2

Soya bean and kangkung stir fryIngredients:

  • Soya beans – ¼ cup, boiled
  • Kangkung – ½ cup, chopped
  • Onion – ½
  • Green chilli – 1
  • Dried red chilli – 1
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Coconut – 1 tbsp
  • Curry powder –  1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Low fat oil – 1 tbsp

Method:

  1. Clean and finely chop the kangkung.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and sauté the fennel seeds, chopped green and dried red chillies and onion for 1-2 mins.
  3. Add the soya beans to the pan. Stir fry for another 2 mins.
  4. Mix in the kangkung and cook for 2- 3 mins over low heat.
  5. Add the freshly scraped coconut and continue stir frying for a few minutes before adding the curry powder. Continue cooking for another couple of minutes before removing pan from stove.
  6. Serve warm with rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Soya bean Vadai

Today’s recipe is a snack made from soya beans – a crunchy soya bean vadai.

Soya bean Vadai

Time taken: 15 – 20 mins (using pre-cooked soya beans)

Makes 6 or 7

Soya bean VadaiIngredients:

  • Soya beans – ½ cup, boiled
  • All-purpose flour – ½ cup
  • Onion – ½, chopped
  • Crushed chillies – 2 tsp
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig, chopped
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Low fat oil, for deep-frying

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl to prepare the ‘vadai’ dough. Divide the dough into small balls, around 6 or 7. Flatten each slightly.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan. When the oil is ready for frying, drop the ‘vadai’ in batches into the heated oil and deep fry them until they are golden brown on both sides.
  3. Serve warm with some Sri Lankan tea.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Soya bean curry

Today’s soya bean recipe is a nice soya bean curry that I like.

Soya bean curry

Time taken: 20 mins (with pre-cooked soya beans)

Serves 3

Soya bean curryIngredients:

  • Soya beans – ½ cup, boiled
  • Tomato – 1
  • Onion – ½
  • Fennel seeds – ½ tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Curry powder – 1 tsp
  • Rampe/ Pandan leaf – piece
  • Salt, to taste
  • Low fat oil – 1 tsp

Method:

  1. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and sauté the fennel and fenugreek seeds, chopped onion and curry leaves for a couple of mins.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan. Stir and add ½ cup of water.
  3. Add the curry powder, rampe leaf and salt, to taste and cook for about 5 mins.
  4. Mix in the cooked soya beans and cook for another 10 mins.
  5. Serve with rice or pittu or bread.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Soya bean Crumble

While soya bean is not so commonly cooked at home, we had some leftover soya beans from one of my cooking experiments. My mother therefore decided to cook up a few soya bean dishes over the week.

So, the key ingredient of the recipes on this blog for the next few days will be soya beans.

Soya bean Crumble

Time taken: 45 mins + soaking time (overnight)

Serves 4

Soya bean crumbleIngredients:

  • Soyabeans – ½ cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Chilli powder – ½ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Red chilli – 1
  • Green chilli – 1
  • Onion – ½
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Scraped coconut – 1 tbsp
  • Low fat oil – 2 tbsp

Method:

  1. Soak the soya beans overnight and then rinse and cook the beans with water for 30 mins.
  2. Drain and grind the cooked soya beans in a blender for about 2 mins.
  3. Transfer the ground soya beans to a mixing bowl and add the turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt, to taste. Mix well and keep aside.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and lightly fry the chopped onion, chillies, curry leaves and fennel seeds for a minute.
  5. Add the seasoned, ground soya bean mixture to the pan and stir fry for about 5 – 10 mins.
  6. Add the scraped coconut. Mix well and cook for about 2 mins.
  7. Serve the soya bean crumble with rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

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

Method:

  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.