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 🙂

Fiesta Friday Badge Button I party @

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

Summer Salad

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method

  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.

salad

 

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.

Vengayapoo Varai

Today’s recipe is one of my mother’s quick and easy to prepare, delicious stir-fried dishes made with onion stalks and flowers/ vengaya poo.

Stalk

Vengaya Poo Varai

Time taken: 25 mins

Serves 2

vengaya poo varaiIngredients:

  • Spring onion stalk and flower/ Vengaya poo – 1 cup, chopped
  • Carrot – ½ cup, chopped
  • Onion – 1 tbsp, chopped
  • Green chilli – 1, chopped
  • Fennel – ½ tsp
  • Crushed red chillies – 1 tsp
  • Gingelly/ Sesame oil – 2 tbsp

Method:

  1. Clean the onion stalks and carrot and chop them into small pieces. Add some salt and keep aside.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the fennel seeds, chopped onion and green chilli. Fry for 2 mins.
  3. Add the chopped and salted onion stalks + flowers and carrots to the pan. Add 1 tsp crushed chilli and mix well.
  4. Cook for around 10 mins over low heat.
  5. Remove from heat and serve warm.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Spicy Cabbage Curry

As this blog does require recipes that I record of my mother’s cooking or sent in by others and I also wish to be a bit more active on my other blogs, I will be making weekly or bi-weekly posts rather than daily posts as I did in the first few months of this blog.

This weekend’s recipe is that of my mother’s spicy cabbage curry. If you prefer fried cabbage, try out the delicious cabbage fry or the cabbage and carrot fry recipes posted earlier on this blog.

Spicy Cabbage Curry

Time taken: 25 mins

Serves 3

Spicy Cabbage CurryIngredients:

  • Cabbage – 1 ½ cup, shredded
  • Carrot – 1 tbsp, finely chopped (optional)
  • Capsicum/ Malu miris – 1 tbsp, chopped
  • Green chilli – 1, chopped
  • Onion – 2 tbsp, chopped
  • Fenugreek – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Garlic – 1 or 2, finely chopped
  • Coconut milk – ½ cup
  • Curry powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Lime juice – 1 tsp
  • Oil – 1 tbsp

Method:

  1. Heat a tbsp oil in a pan and fry the chopped onion, garlic, capsicum, chilli, curry leaves and fenugreek seeds for a couple of mins.
  2. Then, add the shredded cabbage and optional carrot to the pan and continue stir-frying for around 5 mins.
  3. Add the coconut milk, curry powder and salt, to taste and let the curry cook for around 10 mins.
  4. Remove the pan from the stove and mix 1 tsp lime juice into the pan.
  5. Serve warm with rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Carrot Varai

Carrot Varai

Time taken: 15 – 20 mins

Serves 3

Carrot VaraiIngredients:

  • Carrot – ½ cup, grated
  • Onion – ½, sliced
  • Malu miris/ capsicum – 1
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Pepper – 1 tsp
  • Salt – ¼ tsp
  • Low fat oil – 1 tbsp

Method:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the sliced malu miris and onion. Add the fennel seeds and curry leaves.
  2. After a min or two, add the grated carrots to the pan and stir fry for about 5 mins.
  3. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well and cook for another 5 to 10 mins.
  4. Serve with rice.

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.

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)

Method:

  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.

Vegan Eggs

As I have often mentioned on this blog before, my mother enjoys being creative and experimental in her cooking. When she gets into that mode, she starts whipping up several dishes in succession. This weekend, we have been treated to a number of new dishes at home.

Today’s dish is a special treat and ideal for a weekend breakfast treat.

Vegan eggs

Time taken: 30 mins

Makes 4

Vegan eggs

Ingredients:

  • Rice flour – ½ cup, roasted or Wheat flour – ¾ cup, steamed
  • Semolina – ¼ cup, roasted
  • Onion – ½, chopped
  • Green chilli – 1, chopped
  • Carrot – 1 tbsp, grated
  • Walnuts – 1 tbsp, chopped
  • Vegetable oil margarine – 2 tbsp
  • Kesari powder or saffron – pinch
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper  – pinch

Method:

  1. Mix the flour with salt and pepper and hot water to make a dough. Divide the dough into 4 balls. Keep aside.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp margarine in a pan and lightly fry the chopped walnuts, onion, chilli and grated carrot for about 2 mins.
  3. Add ½ cup of water to the pan as well as salt, pepper and a pinch of kesari powder.
  4. As the water starts bubbling, add the semolina to the pan and stir it till it thickens and the chopped onion and walnuts have mixed well with the semolina. Make 4 balls from the semolina mixture.
  5. Roll out the rice flour dough balls into an oval disk.
  6. Place the semolina mixture balls at the center and close the edges, shaping it like an egg with the semolina mixture at its center.
  7. Steam the vegan eggs for about 5 – 10 mins.
  8. After cooling, slice the eggs into halves and serve with sliced onion, tomato and sauce.

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

Method:

  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.

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Peace.Love.Quinoa: Apple Parsnip Mash

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This is Thirty: Sautéed Beet Greens and Kale

Spicy Carrot Curry

I was a finicky eater growing up – and one of the vegetables that I couldn’t stand for many years was carrots, particularly steamed carrots, which happened to be my mother’s favourite. Until one day, surprisingly, I started liking them. I now particularly like the smell of fresh carrots.

Today’s recipe is that of my mother’s spicy carrot curry.

Spicy carrot currySpicy Carrot Curry

Time taken: 20 – 25 mins

Serves 4

DSC00836Ingredients:

  • Carrots – 2, medium
  • Onion – ½
  • Ginger  – a small piece
  • Garlic – 2 or 3 cloves
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Green chilli – 1
  • Thin coconut milk – ¾ cup
  • Curry powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Low fat oil – 1 tbsp

Method:

  1. Clean the carrots, peel and chop them.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan over low heat and fry the fenugreek seeds and chopped ginger, garlic and onion for a min.
  3. Then, add the chopped carrots, curry leaves and chopped green chilli and continue frying for another 5 – 7 mins. Add a little oil if the carrots or onions start burning.
  4. Add the coconut milk to the pan, together with the curry powder.
  5. Cook for about 10 mins over medium heat. Add salt, to taste.
  6. Garnish with coriander and serve with rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.