Jaggery Chip Coconut Cookies

I am happy to announce the launch of my travel article apps on GPSmyCity and an app giveaway of one of my articles, valid this week only until August 7th. Please download the GPSmyCity master app first to access the free upgrade for my article and check out what additional features GPSmyCity offers to what is already out there.

To celebrate this launch, I am sharing a delightful cookie recipe of my mother – her delicious jaggery chip coconut cookies. So, do try out this cookie while you check out GPSmyCity and the free travel article app.

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Bringing these cookies over to Fiesta Friday #131, co-hosted by Su and Laura.

Jaggery Chip Coconut Cookies

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • Jaggery chips – ¼ cup
  • Coconut – ¼ cup, freshly scraped and toasted
  • Flour – ½ cup
  • Butter – ¼ cup
  • Vanilla essence

Method

  1. Mix the flour and butter.
  2. Add the jaggery chips, toasted coconut and vanilla.
  3. Chill the dough for 15 to 30 mins.
  4. Slice dough and bake at 180C for around 15 – 20 mins.
  5. Serve with a cup of Sri Lankan tea.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

 

A Guest Post for Eid: Wattalapam or Steamed coconut pudding

Thank you, Indu, for inviting me to guest post during your Sri Lankan culinary journey. I am sorry that I had not been able to share a recipe then but I figured better late than never, when I sent you this post for Eid. Thank you so much for posting it and sharing it on your blog!

Indu's International Kitchen

Wattalapam(Coconut Custard Pudding)Happy Eid to all those who celebrate! Today marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.  I sincerely hope that the new year will usher in peace and happiness for everyone and reduce the suffering that we have been recently witnessing across the globe. Life is simple and let’s keep it simple. Live and let live.

Anyways, today’s post is a guest post from a co-blogger and a good friend Ahila.  Ahila blogs at ‘ A taste of SriLankan cuisine‘ where she blogs authentic Sri Lankan recipes of her mom. When I had done my virtual tour of Sri Lanka earlier this year, I had asked Ahila if she could do a guest post. But she had been very busy with work and other engagements and so she was unable to do one at that time. But now she reached out to me when she finally had…

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Wattalapam Jelly Pudding

As I mentioned in my post on Wattalapam cake last week, my mother has been making a series of Iftar treats, several of which are her twists on the traditional Wattalapam pudding. Continuing with the theme of Iftar, today’s recipe is another twist on Wattalapam – my mother’s wattalapam jelly pudding.

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I tried to make it once last year, following my mother’s recipe I had shared on this blog a few years back. It went quite well till I removed the cooked, fragrant pudding mix from the stove. I made the mistake of mixing the agar agar into the pudding mix, while it was still quite hot, due to which the pudding never thickened further even after being in the refrigerator for a whole day.

When I mentioned this to my mother recently, she immediately made this the following day making sure I saw the entire process especially when to mix the agar agar into the pudding mix.

Hope you enjoy this delicious pudding recipe! I am taking this dessert over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday #126 and for the first time to Cindy’s Gluten free Fridays #201.

Wattalapam Jelly Pudding

  • Servings: 2 or 3
  • Difficulty: average
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Ingredients:

  • Coconut milk – 1 cup, thick
  • Egg – 1
  • Jaggery – ½ to 1 cup, depending on taste
  • Cardamom – 3 or 4, crushed
  • Vanilla extract – 2 tsp
  • Flavour-less jelly mix or Agar agar – 1 ½ tsp
  • Hot water – 3-4 tbsp

Method

  1. Mix the coconut milk and jaggery.
  2. Lightly whisk the egg before adding the jaggery-milk mixture. Blend the mixture well.
  3. Add the crushed cardamom and vanilla extract to the mixture.
  4. Cook the pudding mixture on low heat, stirring continuously, for about 10 mins.
  5. Remove the thickened mixture from the heat and keep aside to cool to at least 50% what it’s heat was when removed from the stove. This is an important step.
  6. Mix the jelly or agar agar powder with the hot water and let it cool slightly.
  7. Beat the jelly mix into the cooled pudding mixture.
  8. Cool and refrigerate.

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Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

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.

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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.

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Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

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.

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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.

Coconut pancakes

While I was an undergraduate at Peradeniya university a couple of decades ago, I disliked most of the under-cooked meals served at the university canteens. The only stuff I did like were some of the snacks which were delicious and new to me. One such snack was the coconut pancake. I realized afterwards that while it had been quite new to me, it is quite a staple on roadside tea stalls across the country so I refer to it as the Sri Lankan pancake as it is a little different from the regular pancake my mother usually makes at home. I recently mentioned this to my mother and my mother decided to recreate this coconut pancake, the recipe of which I am sharing here. As the coconut pancakes are really yummy, I decided to bring some over to Angie‘s Fiesta Friday #105, co-hosted by Lily and Julianna.

IMG_0088Given that I watched a few Bollywood movies this january, my song choice for this weekend is one from Imtiaz Ali’s movie Tamasha, starring Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone. The lyrics of the song was written by Irshad Kamil and music composed by A.R.Rahman and sung by Mohit Chauhan.

Hope you enjoy the song this weekend as you try out the coconut pancakes for brunch!

Coconut pancakes

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • Coconut milk – 1 cup
  • Flour – ½ cup
  • Saffron or kesar powder – pinch
  • Salt – pinch
  • Coconut – ½ cup, grated
  • Sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Vanilla – 1 tsp

Method

  1. Mix the flour, saffron, salt with the coconut milk to make pancake batter. Add  a little water to adjust consistency, if required.
  2. Lightly fry the grated coconut with sugar in a pan until it caramelizes slightly. Remove from heat.
  3. Add vanilla essence to either batter or caramelized coconut.
  4. Scoop the batter onto the pan and make a thin layer. Cover for two minutes and cook over low heat. Flip the pancake and cook for another minute before removing from pan.
  5. After removing the pancake from pan, fill it immediately with the caramelized coconut and roll it.
  6. Serve the coconut pancakes with a hot cup of tea.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Pol Sambol

I was going through my pending recipe folder and came across something that a friend had sent two years back and which I had not got around to posting so decided to share it today.

Mass Silva, a friend from my undergrad years, sent me a photo-story of one of his favourite recipes that he enjoys making with his family. So, hope you enjoy his photo-story on making pol sambol in Germany.

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While Mass did not send me the measurements of the ingredients he used in making his pol sambol recipe, for those who are interested, please check my mother’s recipe for making pol sambol which I have shared earlier.

To wrap up this post, I’d like to share a cute song that I came across recently – Wassa Wahinawa.

Have a good week!

Semolina and Coconut Sweets

I wanted to make some Sri Lankan sweets this month. As I was browsing through some Sri Lankan food sites, I came across one that I wanted to try out. Coconut rocks are quite popular in Sri Lanka and are sold in most shops as well as occasionally made in homes. I decided to slightly adapt this recipe of Dhanish @My Sri Lankan Recipe, which merges semolina with the traditional sweet. I am bringing these scrumptious sweets to Angie’s Fiesta Friday.

DSC01346Today’s music features some Grammy award-winning musicians from Mali. I have a couple of friends who are huge fans of music from Mali, which is how I was introduced to some of the music I am sharing here.

The first music clip features Toumani Diabate and Ali Farka Toure.

The second clip is a music video by the group Tinariwen. They performed at the recent London jazz festival.

The last clip for today is a music video from Amadou and Mariam.

Enjoy the music while trying out a piece of the semolina and coconut sweet!

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Semolina and Coconut Sweet

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • Semolina – 150g
  • Coconut – 50g, grated
  • Coconut water – 4 tbsp
  • Sugar – 4 tbsp
  • Cardamom – 1 tsp
  • Kesari powder – pinch
  • Almonds – 1 tsp, chopped
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
  • Cream or condensed milk (vegans can substitute with non-dairy cream) – 4 tbsp

Method:

  1. Heat the coconut water and sugar together over low heat until it thickens.
  2. Then add the semolina, while continuously stirring.
  3. Once all the semolina has been added and the mixture starts to thicken, add the fresh, grated coconut.
  4. Mix well and add the cardamom, kesari, chopped almonds and vanilla essence to the mix.
  5. Finally stir in the cream or condensed milk before removing the pan from the heat.
  6. Transfer mixture to well-greased tray and let the sweet cool before slicing and serving.

Recipe adapted from My Sri Lankan Recipe

Mothaha Muffin Crumble

I have been trying out different muffins over the last few months and I was in the mood of trying out some experimental muffins. I wanted to create some muffins which had a strong leaning towards a Sri Lankan dish. While thinking about using different local non-wheat flours, inspiration struck. I do very much like the delicacy – mothaham or kolukkattai, that my mother makes during special festivals like the ongoing Navarathri festival. I decided to try out the muffin version of this steamed dish and it turned out a cross between a muffin and a crumble. I am sharing it at both my brother’s birthday today as well as bringing some over to Fiesta Friday tomorrow.
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The music selection for today focuses on some lovely Persian music. The first group featured here is the Chemirani Zarb Trio, a classical percussion group. I first heard their music when they visited Sri Lanka to perform at the WOMAD concert 2005. The clip I share here is one of their performances at another WOMAD concert.

While searching for Chemirani Trio clips on youTube, I came across a few other Persian groups that I liked. The second clip is a music video by the folk group Zâr Ensemble, formerly known as the Ensemble Shanbehzadeh.

The last clip is a beautiful one by classical singer Homayoun Shajarian and instrumentalist and composer, Tahmoures Pournazeri.

Hope you enjoyed the lovely music as much as I did! As usual, please do share which clip you liked more.
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Mothaha Muffin Crumble

  • Servings: 9
  • Difficulty: easy
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 Ingredients:

  • Roasted red rice flour – 1/2 cup
  • All-purpose flour – 1/2 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt, pinch
  • Green gram, de-skinned – 1/2 cup, boiled
  • Jaggery – 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Coconut – 1/4 cup, freshly scraped
  • Cardamom – 1/4 tsp
  • Margarine – 120g, melted
  • Oil, as required

Method:

  1. Melt the margarine and let it cool slightly.
  2. Mix the freshly scraped coconut, green gram, jaggery and cardamom in a bowl.
  3. Add the coconut and gram mix to the melted margarine. Stir to mix the contents a little.
  4. Sift the rice flour and all purpose flour together. Add the baking powder and salt and mix.
  5. Add the flour mix to the wet ingredient mix. If the resulting mix is too dry, just add a little oil until it is sufficiently moist.
  6. Bake the muffins for about 25 – 30 mins at 180C.
  7. Serve warm with a hot beverage.