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
  • Time: 45mins
  • 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.

Brinjal Curry

My recipe for february is a recipe from home – a recipe of my mother. This blog has been helpful to myself these past few months, as I have tried out one of my mother’s recipes that I shared here, when I find myself missing home. While I have shared three brinjal recipes of my mother before – katharikkai curry, katharikkai vathakkal and brinjal and green peas curry, today’s recipe is another way my mother cooks brinjal. It is a simple and very easy to make recipe, that I very much like, and is great with rice. Sharing this recipe at the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck #30.
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Today, I would like to share some popular French music from the 60s that I like. Starting with my favourite French singer – Edith Piaf. I started listening to her songs after watching the movie ‘La Vie En Rose’. This clip is one of her more famous songs – Non, Je ne regrette rien (1965).

The other song for today is considered the signature song of Charles Aznavour – La Boheme (1960).

Hope you enjoy the music while you try out this simple curry recipe! Have a lovely weekend!
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Brinjal Curry

  • Servings: 3
  • Time: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • Brinjal – 1 cup, chopped
  • Green chilli – 1
  • Onion – 1/4, chopped
  • Coconut milk – 1/2 cup (thin) + 1/4 cup (thick)
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt, to taste
  • Lime juice

Method:

  1. Cook the chopped brinjal together with the chopped onion, green chilli and curry leaves in 1/2 cup of thin coconut milk for around 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.
  2. Then add 1/4 cup thick coconut milk and simmer for 5 mins.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in some fresh lime juice.
  4. Serve warm with rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan

Karunai Kilangu Curry

The recipe I would like to share today is my mother’s recipe for karunai kilangu/ elephant yam curry.

karunai kilanguI also felt like sharing some music clips. Today is the birthday of Ilayaraaja, one of South India’s famous movie soundtrack composers, who has composed music for more than 1000 movies (around 4500 songs). His debut in South Indian cinema was in the 70s and while he continues his work to this day, I think the peak in his musical career was in the 80s. Having grown up watching a lot of South Indian movies, I felt like sharing three of my favourite Ilayaraaja compositions in honour of his 71st birthday.

The first song is from one of my all-time favourite movies Salangai Oli (translation: the sound of a dancer’s ankle bells, 1983), the Tamil dubbed version of the Telugu movie Sagara Sangamam. The movie has a Bharathanatyam theme and has a great cast including one of India’s best actors, Kamal Haasan (featured in the song). The movie won the Indian national award for best music direction and best male playback singer (S.P.Balasubrahmanyam).

The second song is from one of my mother’s favourite movies, renowned director K.Balachander’s movie Sindhu Bhairavi (1985). This movie’s story has a Carnatic music theme running through and a great soundtrack which again won Ilayaraaja the Indian national award for best music direction. The movie also won the best actress award (Suhasini Maniratnam, featured in the song) and the best female playback singer award (K.S.Chitra who made her Tamil movie music debut through this song) for the song shared here. This song is a fusion of folk and Carnatic music.

The third song that I am sharing here is a song from Maniratnam’s movie Thalapathi (1991). It’s simply a lovely short song.

Hope you enjoy the music as much as you enjoy the curry! 🙂

Karunai Kilangu Curry

  • Servings: 3
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: average
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Yam – 1 cup, chopped
  • Brinjal – 1 cup, chopped
  • Onion – ½
  • Fenugreek – 2 tsp
  • Tamarind extract – ½ cup
  • Coconut milk – ½ cup
  • Curry powder – 1 to 2 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, as required

Method:

  1. Boil the yam for about 15 mins. Then, roughly chop into smaller pieces.
  2. Lightly fry the chopped brinjal and yam. Keep aside.
  3. In a pan, add a tablespoon of oil and lightly fry the chopped onion and fenugreek for a few minutes.
  4. Add the lightly fried brinjal and yam to the pan.
  5. Add the tamarind and milk to the pan together with curry powder and salt to taste.
  6. Cook the curry for about 15 mins and then remove from heat.
  7. Serve with rice.

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

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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.

Hathmalu

Today’s guest blogger is renowned independent film-maker Asoka Handagama. His movies have garnered much critical acclaim and have been screened at numerous major international film festivals (Toronto, Edinburgh, Tokyo etc.) around the world. His most recent movie ‘Ini, Avan’ had its world premiere at the ACID programme in the Cannes festival in 2012. Asoka is currently working on his newest film project which he plans to partially fund through crowd-funding. If you would like to participate in Sri Lanka’s first partially crowd-funded movie production, do check out the film’s Crimso page

Today, Asoka shares his favourite dish, Hathmalu – a specialty dish made during the Sri Lankan New Year/ Avurudhu/ Puthaandu.

Hath Malu ( A curry made of Seven vegetable/ingredients )

This traditional curry dish is prepared for an auspicious AVURUDU meal; popular in Sabaragamuva province in Sri Lanka. Uniqueness in this dish is that it is not prepared for any other occasion than AVURUDU.  It is so yummy that you can swallow a whole load of milk-rice in a few seconds!

Hathmalu

Hathmalu Recipe

Ingredients

  • Cashew Nuts (raw un roasted)

And any six (or seven) of the following:

  • Egg plant/ aubergines
  • Jackfruit Seeds
  • Snake beans
  • Sweet potato
  • Sweet potato baby leaves or pumpkin leaves
  • Desha-ala (indigenous potato)
  • Desha-ala leaf stems
  • ‘Ambul’ banana (unripe bananas)

For the curry: 

  • Turmeric
  • Chili powder (un roasted)
  • ‘Thuna paha’ local spice mix such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves (un roasted)
  • Salt
  • Red onions
  • Green chili
  • Curry leaves
  • Coconut milk: thick cream (first squeeze) and diluted (second squeeze)

Method:
Chop aubergines and other vegetables and potatoes into 1cm x 1cm x 1cm cubes. Add the seven main ingredients along with salt, spice mix, curry leaves, chili powder, red onions, green chili, turmeric and diluted coconut milk to a (preferably) clay pot. Place on stove and allow to cook slowly on low heat until all ingredients have cooked and softened (15-20 minutes). Then add thick coconut milk and (on medium heat) allow to simmer until the curry thickens and take it off the heat.

Serve curry with milk rice.

hathmalu2Recipe source: Asoka Handagama.

 

Odiyal Kool

Decided to take a break this week and re-post a few recipes from the initial days of this blog.

This is a traditional recipe from the North of Sri Lanka made from a palmyrah product. My mother tells me her grandmother used to make this for them on special occasions. While this is typically a spicy sea-food dish, it can be a vegan dish if one omits the seafood.

So, I am sharing my great-grandmother’s odiyal kool recipe, as remembered by my mother.

The base for this kool is ‘Odiyal’, a healthy and nutritious root that is dried before making into a flour. One can purchase the ‘odiyal flour’ from Katpaham marketing outlets around Sri Lanka, run by the Palmyrah Development Board, and might be found at Sri Lankan stores outside of Sri Lanka. However, if ‘odiyal flour’ cannot be obtained, corn flour can be tried out as a substitute.

Odiyal Kool

Cooking time – 45 minutes

Serves: 8 – 10

Ingredients

  • Odiyal or 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
  • Chopped mixed seafood (prawns, crab meat, squids etc.) – 100g each, omit if vegetarian
  • Boiled rice – ½ cup
  • Dried red chillies – 5- 10, depending on your desired level of hot spicy
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp, can add another tablespoon if you like it really spicy
  • Pepper powder – 1tbsp, can add another tablespoon if you like it really spicy
  • Tamarind extract – ½ cup
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Water – 2 litres

Method:

  1. Grind the odiyal into flour or use the ready-made odiyal flour.
  2. Dry grind the cumin seeds, red chillies and pepper and keep aside.
  3. Boil the vegetables in a pot with half litre water.
  4. Boil the seafood in a separate pot with half litre water.
  5. Then, mix the boiled vegetables and seafood and add another litre of water, along with the tamarind extract.
  6. As the water comes to a boil, slowly stir in the odiyal flour, avoiding lumps.
  7. Add the boiled rice to the pot.
  8. Add the ground spice mixture and the turmeric powder to the pot and salt to taste. Let it come to a boil.
  9. 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.
  10. Serve hot in medium-sized bowls.

Recipe Source: Raji Thillainathan.

Caramelized Eggplant Curry

During my online search for blogs with a focus on Sri Lankan recipes, I came across Rice and Curry. I invited the author to share one of his recipes on this blog and he kindly agreed. So today’s guest blogger is Skiz Fernando and he will be sharing one of his favourite vegan recipes.

As a second-generation Sri Lankan-American, one of my main connections to the Motherland has been food. My mother used to make us rice & curry a couple of times a week, and we also used to get it at the various dinner parties thrown by the small community of Sri Lankans living in Baltimore, Maryland, where I grew up. Aside from cutlets and patties, which are any Sri Lankan kids’ favorites, I also developed a special affinity for brinjal curry. Since these dinner parties were usually ‘pot-luck,’ with everyone contributing a dish, I came to discover that the same lady was always responsible for bringing the brinjals, and that lady was none other than Aunty Manel.

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Eggplant curry

All the Sri Lankan ladies living in Baltimore were great cooks, so it just goes to show how special Aunty Manel’s brinjal curry was by the fact that it returned by popular demand to table after table, and dinner party after dinner party. I was not even really into vegetables at the time, but these brinjals were too sublime and tasty to be vegetables. It probably helped that they were deep-fried–as anything deep-fried tastes good–but it wasn’t obvious to me at the time. Only years later when I bugged Aunty Manel for the recipe, did I realize how labor-intensive this dish actually was, as you had to deep fry the eggplant before sautéing it with spices and coconut milk. Today, even though I have the recipe, the dish is challenging, but still worth the time and effort. Speaking as one who never liked eggplant, I always tell people that this is going to be their favorite way to eat the vegetable from now on.

Pan Asian:  Aunty Manel’s Special Eggplant Curry 


1 lb. (500 g) eggplant

1/4 tsp. turmeric

oil for deep-frying

2 tbsp. oil

1 onion, sliced

2-3 green chilies, sliced

1 sprig curry leaves

2 inch (5 cm) stick cinnamon

3 cloves

1 tbsp. raw curry powder

1-2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. brown mustard seeds, ground

1/2 cup (125 ml) coconut milk

salt to taste

3 cloves garlic (A)

2 inch (5 cm) piece ginger (A)

1 tsp. sugar (A)

1 tsp. salt (A)

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (A)

1/2 cup (125 ml) water (A)

Spice

1.)                Wash and cut eggplant into 2 in (5 cm) strips. Rub with salt and a dash of turmeric.

2.)                Deep fry eggplant until golden brown. Drain on newspaper.

3.)                Blend (A) list ingredients in a food processor.

4.)                Heat oil in pan. Sauté onions, green chilies, and curry leaves until onions are translucent. Add cinnamon, cloves, and dry spices.

5.)                Add  (A) and bring to a boil.

6.)                Reduce heat and add eggplant, coconut milk and salt. Toss well and simmer for 3-5 minutes.

Recipe Source: Skiz Fernando.

Short bio of Skiz Fernando:

Journalist, musician, and filmmaker, Skiz Fernando is the author of Rice and Curry: Sri Lankan Home Cooking (Hippocrene Books, 2011), a New York Times notable cookbook. He guided TV host Anthony Bourdain on a culinary tour of Sri Lanka for an episode of the popular Travel Channel series, No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain.

Fernando blogs about spicy food  at: www.riceandcurry.wordpress.com. He also markets his own home-made spice blends, Skiz’s Original Sri Lankan Raw & Roasted Curry Powders. Fernando is the host and producer of a popular YouTube cooking show, Pan Asian.