Summer Salad

We had a spell of unbearably warm weather the last couple of months here in sunny Colombo. It’s just this week that the dry spell has been broken with rain showers. Cooling salads became a regular part of our meals during the last several weeks so I felt like sharing a salad post this week. A simple, colourful and cooling salad.

summer salad

Instead of the usual music videos that I share with my food posts, this week, I am extending a special invitation to you to join Fiesta Friday. I am delighted to co-host Angie‘s Fiesta Friday #119 with Diann@Of Goats and Greens. Fiesta Friday is a linky party initiated by Angie, the Novice Gardener. The fiesta is a congenial place to share your post of the week, usually food posts, and interact with the other party-goers by checking out their party submissions and commenting. Everyone is welcome to bring their post of the week to the party and check out the link party guidelines, if it is your first time. Click on the image below to join the party 🙂

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Hope you enjoy the salad as well as join in the fiesta! 🙂

Summer Salad

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • Carrot – 1, medium
  • Beetroot – ½
  • Onion – ½
  • Grated/ scraped coconut, fresh – ½ cup
  • Green chillies – 2 or 3
  • Gotu kola (scientific name: Centella Asiatica) – ½ cup
  • Tomato – 1
  • Cucumber – 1
  • Lime – 1
  • Salt and pepper, to tasteIMG_0208


  1. Lightly fry the chopped onion and chillies in a frying pan. Add the grated coconut and gotu kola leaves to the pan and stir fry for 2 – 3 mins.
  2. Transfer the contents of the pan to a food processor and process it.
  3. Add the juice of half a lime and salt, to taste, to the ground gotukola mix.
  4. Clean and grate the carrot and beetroot separately.
  5. Divide the juice of the remaining half of the lime between the grated carrot and beetroot. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Arrange the salad on a plate with the green gotu kola mix in the center surrounded by the grated carrot and beetroot.
  7. Add the sliced cucumber and tomato to the salad plate.
  8. Enjoy the cooling salad on its own or with a little rice.



Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Beetroot Roti

Roti with sambal has always been one of my comfort foods. Today’s recipe is one of my mother’s new versions of vegetable roti – this time, with beetroot.

Beetroot Roti

Time taken: 40 mins

Makes 4

Beetroot rottiIngredients:

  • Beetroot – ½ cup, grated
  • All-purpose flour -1  cup
  • Onion –  ½ , chopped
  • Green chillies – 1 or 2, chopped
  • Coconut – 1 tbsp, scraped
  • Salt – as required
  • Low fat oil – 2 tbsp


  1. Heat the grated beetroot with ¼ cup of water and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Cook the beetroot till the water dries up.
  2. After the cooked beetroot has cooled, add the flour, chopped onion, chillies, scraped coconut, salt and oil to the grated beetroot.
  3. Mix well and stir in water to make the roti dough. Divide the roti dough into 4 balls.
  4. Let the balls of dough rest for about 15 mins before rolling out the dough balls to make a flattened roti disk.
  5. Cook each of the roti on a griddle, with 3-4 mins on each side.
  6. Serve the beetroot roti with red chilli sambal.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Beetroot Varai

Today’s recipe is that of a quick to prepare and delicious beetroot dish.

Beetroot Varai

Time taken: 15 mins

Serves 3

Beetroot varaiIngredients:

  • Beetroot – 1 cup, grated
  • Onion – 1
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Coconut – 1 tbsp, freshly scraped
  • Pepper – ½ tsp
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Sesame/ Gingelly oil – 2 tbsp


  1. Mix ½ tsp salt with 1 cup of grated beetroot and keep aside.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp sesame oil in a pan and fry the fennel seeds, chopped onion, green chillies and curry leaves for a minute.
  3. Add the grated beetroot to the pan and stir-fry for 5 – 10 mins over low heat.
  4. Add 1 tbsp coconut and ½ tsp pepper to the beetroot mix and cook for another 2 mins.
  5. Serve the beetroot varai with rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Triple layer veggie and fruit cake

Today, I will share one of my mother’s latest cake experiments. She got very much caught in her fruit cake series that she wanted to bake this triple layer cake. I call it the cake extravaganza and it very much reminded me of Tian-Tian’s birthday cake with the many ingredients put into it and the time taken. It did taste good, though personally I would have preferred each of the three layers as a separate cake.

Triple layer cake

Triple layer veggie and fruit cake

Time taken: 1 ¾ hours

Serves 15 to 20

Slice of triple layer cakeIngredients:

  • Layer 1 (bottom layer): Beetroot – ½ cup, steamed
  • Layer 2 (middle layer): Apple – ½ and Guava – ½ , Mint leaves – 3 or 4
  • Layer 3 (top layer): Carrot – 1 large, steamed
  • All-purpose flour – 1 ½ cups ( ½ cup for each of the layers)
  • Sugar – ¾ cup ( ¼ cup for each of the layers)
  • Oats – ¾ cup ( ¼ cup for each of the layers)
  • Vegetable oil margarine – ¾ cup ( ¼ cup for each of the layers) + 1 tbsp (for icing)
  • Banana – 3 tbsp, mashed (1 tbsp for each of the layers)
  • Water – ¾ cup ( ¼ cup for each of the layers)
  • Baking soda – ¾ tsp ( ¼ tsp for each of the layers)
  • Baking powder –  1 ½ tsp ( ½ tsp for each of the layers)
  • Vanilla essence – 3 tsp (1 tsp for each of the layers)
  • Lime juice – 5 tbsp + 1 tsp (for icing)
  • Green food colour – 1 tsp (for second layer)
  • Orange food colour – 1 tsp (for third layer)
  • Icing sugar – 4 tbsp (for icing)


  1. Steam the beetroot and carrot for about 10 mins.
  2. Separately blend the steamed beetroot and carrot in a processor.
  3. Next, finely chop up the apple and guava. Grind a few mint leaves.
  4. Cream ¼ cup margarine and ¼ cup sugar each in three mixing bowls.
  5. To the first bowl, add the pureed beetroot to the mix and to the third bowl, add the pureed carrot to the mix. To the second bowl, add the finely chopped apple and guava together with the ground mint leaves.
  6. Add ¼ cup of oats and 1 tbsp of mashed banana to each of the three bowls and mix well.
  7. Stir in the lime juice (2 tbsp each for the first and third bowl and 1 tbsp for the second bowl) and 1 tsp vanilla essence each, together with ¼ cup of water, to each of the three bowls and beat the respective mixture well.
  8. Add a tsp of green food colour to the second bowl (apple and guava mix) and a tsp of orange food colour to the third bowl (carrot mix)
  9. Divide the flour into three ½ cup flour piles. Sift each with ¼ tsp baking soda and ½ tsp baking powder. Add a sifted ½ cup flour mix to the mixture in each of the three bowls.
  10. Whisk the cake batter until smooth.
  11. Transfer the beetroot cake batter to the baking tray and spread the batter evenly.
  12. Then, transfer the apple, guava and mint cake batter to the baking tray and spread the batter evenly over the beetroot mix to form the middle layer.
  13. Transfer the carrot cake batter on top of the apple batter and spread it evenly.
  14. Bake the cake at 170⁰C/ 338⁰F and bake for 45 mins – 1 hour.
  15. Whisk together 4 tbsp icing sugar, 1 tbsp vegetable margarine and 1 tsp lime to make a light icing and spread it thinly over the cake, after it has cooled.
  16. Slice the cake into 15 or 20 pieces and serve with a cup of plain or fruit tea.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Ash plantain and Carrot with Beetroot Sauce

222576_165380886933749_1051752180_nToday is the Virtual Vegan PotluckI had come across this post recently, and as one who generally enjoys potlucks, decided to join a virtual one after a quick chat with my mother who has contributed more than 90% of the recipes on this blog to-date. So today’s recipe is an ash plantain and carrot with beetroot sauce recipe that my mother concocted, given that I had mentioned beets was the featured ingredient. 

Ash Plantain and Beetroot SauceAsh Plantain and Carrot with Beetroot Sauce

Time taken: 35 – 40 mins

Serves 2

Beetroot sauce close upIngredients:

  • Ash plantain – 1
  • Beetroot – 1
  • Carrot – 1
  • Ginger – 1 tsp, chopped
  • Garlic – 1 or 2 cloves, chopped
  • Green chilli – 1, chopped
  • Onion – ¼, chopped
  • Sesame/ Gingelly oil – 1 tsp + 1 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Wash the three vegetables, without peeling them.
  2. Boil the ash plantain and beetroot for about 15 mins.
  3. After boiling, peel the ash plantain and beetroot separately.
  4. If you prefer the carrot to be boiled or steamed, you will need to do so separately. Else, simply peel the cleaned, fresh carrot and slice thinly and arrange in a serving dish.
  5. Slice the boiled and peeled ash plantain and layer the slices around the carrot in the serving dish. Sprinkle with salt.
  6. Peel the beetroot and chop it up.
  7. Heat a tsp oil and fry the chopped ginger, garlic, chilli and onion lightly.
  8. Transfer the lightly fried ingredients to the blender together with the chopped beetroot and salt, to taste, and blend to a puree/ sauce.
  9. Stir in a tbsp of sesame oil after blending.
  10. Pour the sauce over the dish with the ash plantain and carrot slices.
  11. Garnish with thin slices of chilli and serve.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

For accessing the other blogs participating in the Virtual Vegan Potluck, press the ‘go back’ or ‘go forward’ buttons below.


Peace.Love.Quinoa: Apple Parsnip Mash


This is Thirty: Sautéed Beet Greens and Kale

Beetroot and Garlic Curry

The recipe of my mother’s that I am sharing today is a fusion of the south and north Sri Lankan cooking. Garlic curry is a specialty of the southern province of Sri Lanka and I hope to soon share the recipe of the dish that I had enjoyed during my several trips along the southern coast. In the meantime, my mother’s experimental cooking has fused her beetroot curry with garlic and has resulted in a quite pleasant, unique curry.

Beetroot and Garlic Curry

Time taken: 20 – 25 mins

Serves 4

Beetroot and Garlic CurryIngredients:

  • Beetroot – ½ cup, chopped
  • Garlic – ¼ cup, peeled and sliced
  • Onion – 2, chopped
  • Coconut milk or water – ½ cup
  • Tomato – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Curry powder – ½ tsp or Green chilli – 1, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Low fat oil – 1 tbsp


  1. Heat a tbsp oil in a pan and fry the garlic and onion for a couple of mins.
  2. Add the chopped beetroot to the pan and mix well.
  3. Add the coconut milk or water and salt, to taste.
  4. Add the curry powder or chopped green chilli to the pan and cook for about 15 mins.
  5. When the liquid starts drying up, add the chopped tomato and cook for a further 5 mins.
  6. Serve warm with rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Triple layer veggie sandwich

Sandwiches are another globally popular and much consumed food. Everyone is sure to have their own recipe for what they like in their sandwich.

The second recipe I wish to share today is a sandwich that is commonly served at kids birthday parties, tea parties and even cocktail events in Sri Lanka. While there might be slightly different ways on how this party snack is made in the country, I am sharing here the way my mother makes them.

Triple layer veggie sandwich

Cooking time: 15 – 20 mins

Makes 2 or 4 sandwiches

Triple layer sandwich


  • Sandwich bread – 4 pieces
  • Carrot – ¼
  • Beetroot – ¼
  • Mint or green peas  – 2 tsp (mint is the more popular choice, though green peas is used in the photo here)
  • Green chilli – ½, finely chopped
  • Onion – ½, finely chopped
  • Low fat sunflower oil margarine – 1 ½ tsp (my mother uses flora margarine)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Boil or steam carrot and beetroot slices.
  2. Grate separately and add 1 tsp finely chopped onion, ½ tsp margarine and salt and pepper to taste to the two vegetables. Keep aside.
  3. Crush or coarsely grind the boiled green peas or mint with the green chilli and 1 tsp finely chopped onion. Add ½ tsp margarine with salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
  4. Make the sandwich by layering each slice of sandwich bread with one of the vegetables mixtures, starting with the carrot mixture on the first layer, the beetroot mixture on the second and the mint or green peas mixture on the third.
  5. Cut off the edges and cut the sandwich into two or four triple layer, colourful sandwiches.
  6. Serve with hot Sri Lankan tea or fresh fruit juice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.