Salad Colombo

Since there were a couple of different mangoes in the house, I felt like using some in a salad. I was also curious about trying out tea in a salad dressing so concocted this – Salad Colombo. Why Salad Colombo? Because I used locally produced ingredients from different parts of the country brought together in Colombo. So, why not Salad Colombo? 🙂

Salad Colombo

I am taking this crunchy, tangy, bitter-sweet salad over to Angie’s FF#122, co-hosted this week by Aruna@Aharam and Mollie@The Frugal Hausfrau and for the first time, the party at Throwback Thursday #44, hosted by Quinn@Dad What’s 4 Dinner, Mollie@The Frugal Hausfrau, Carlee@Cooking with Carlee, Meaghan@4 Sons ‘R’ Us and Alli@Tornadough Alli.

I have been listening to Coldplay the whole day so decided to feature a song I liked.

Hope you enjoy the salad and the featured song for this week.

Salad Colombo

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • Lettuce leaves
  • Mango – ½ (large) or 1 (small)
  • Pomegranate – 2 tbsp

Pomegranate and lime infused Orange pekoe tea dressing:

  • Lime/ orange juice – 1 tbsp
  • Pomegranate juice – 1 tsp
  • Tea –  1 – 2 tsp
  • Salt and pepper, to taste (optional)


  1. Clean and chop up the lettuce leaves and arrange on a plate or bowl.
  2. Add sliced mango and pomegranate to the plate.
  3. Prepare the salad dressing by preparing a strong black tea and transferring about 2 tsp to a little bowl.
  4. Add the freshly processed pomegranate juice to the tea. Let it sit for a few minutes before adding the lime juice. (I prefer lime to orange juice for the dressing)
  5. If you wish, add salt and pepper, to taste. I didn’t add any in my version preferring the tanginess of the lime to be enough but my mother preferred adding a pinch of salt and pepper.
  6. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve immediately.IMG_0234


Lime Rice

The rice dish for today is lime rice.
Lime rice
The featured musician today is Ravibandhu Vidyapathi, who is one of Sri Lanka’s leading percussionists as well as a classical Kandyan dancer and choreographer. He founded the dance school ‘Ravibandhu-Samanthi Narthanayanathaya’ with his wife.

I like his drum ensemble and have selected a clip from his album ‘Bahu Ranga‘ to share here.

Lime Rice

Time taken: 20 mins

Serves 2 – 3

Lime rice 2Ingredients:

  • Rice – 1 cup
  • Turmeric – ½ tsp
  • Lime or lemon juice – 1 or 2 tbsp
  • Onion – ½, chopped
  • Dried red chillies – 1 or 2, as per taste
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
  • Green peas – 2 tbsp, boiled
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sesame/ Gingelly oil – 1 tbsp


  1. Boil the rice after adding turmeric and salt.
  2. Once the rice is boiled and slightly cooled, add the lime juice and mix well. Keep aside to let the rice absorb the lime juice.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of sesame oil in a pan and lightly fry the chopped onion, chillies and fenugreek seeds.
  4. Add the lime marinated rice to the pan and stir fry for 5 mins. Add boiled green peas, if required.
  5. Serve warm.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Pear Banana Citrus Cake

Last week, I had been planning to bake Poppy‘s delicious chai pear cake a second time but didn’t get around to it. Finally, my mother rescued the pears and went ahead and baked me her lovely version of a pear citrus cake. So, today’s recipe is part of the fruit cake series.

Pear cakePear Banana Citrus Cake

Side view of pear cakeTime taken: 1 ½ hours

Serves 5

Slice of pear cakeIngredients:

  • Pear – 1
  • Banana – 1
  • Orange – 1
  • Lime – 1 + 1 tsp (for icing)
  • Sugar – ¼ cup
  • Oats – ¼ cup
  • All-purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Margarine – ¼ cup + ½ tbsp (for icing)
  • Cloves – 2-3
  • Banana essence – few drops
  • Vanilla essence – few drops
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – ½ tsp
  • Icing sugar – 2 or 3 tbsp (for icing)


  1. Chop up the pear and banana. Blend the pear and banana together with the cloves.
  2. Cream the sugar and margarine in a bowl. Whisk in the vanilla essence, banana essence, juice of one orange and lime and the blended pear and banana. Mix well.
  3. Add ¼ cup of water to the bowl and stir.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  5. Alternatively add the oats and flour mix to the bowl of wet ingredients, mixing it well so that there are no lumps.
  6. Transfer the cake batter to the baking tray and bake at 170⁰C/ 338⁰F the cake for about 45 mins to 1 hour.
  7. While the cake cools, make a simple icing by beating together ½ tbsp margarine with 2-3 tbsp icing sugar and 1 tsp lime juice. Spread the lime icing evenly over the cake.
  8. Slice and serve the pear banana citrus cake with a cup of coffee after a meal.

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.

Apple cake

Today’s recipe is my mother’s apple cake recipe.

apple cakeApple cake

Time taken: 1 hour

Serves: 8

Apple cake sliceIngredients:

  • Apple – 1 ½ , large
  • Cinnamon – 2 large sticks
  • Green food colouring – ½ tsp
  • Lime – 1
  • Vegetable margarine – ¼ cup
  • Sugar – ¼ cup
  • All-purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – ¼ tsp
  • Rose essence or Apple essence – few drops


  1. Peel the apples and chop them up. Place them in a sauce pan and add water so as to just cover the apple chunks.
  2. Add some green food colouring and 2 large cinnamon sticks to the pan. Cook the apples over low heat until the water dries up.
  3. After the apples have cooled sufficiently, remove the cinnamon sticks and transfer the cooked apples to a blender.
  4. Grind the cooked apples to a puree. Add the juice of 1 lime to the apple puree and mix.
  5. Whisk together the vegetable margarine and sugar. Add the blended apple and lime juice mix.
  6. Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  7. Gradually add the flour mix to the apple and margarine mix to make a smooth cake batter. Add a few drops of rose essence.
  8. Transfer to a baking tray and bake the apple cake at 170⁰C/338⁰F for 30 mins.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Banana and Apple Cake

Today’s recipe is that of another from my mother’s fruit cake series – banana and apple cake.

DSC00728Banana and Apple cake

Time taken: 1 hour

Serves 6 to 8

Banana and Apple cakeIngredients:

  • Apple – 1
  • Banana – 1
  • Vegetable margarine – ¾ cup + 1 or 2 tbsp (for icing, optional)
  • Sugar – ½ cup
  • Cinnamon powder – 1 tsp
  • Semolina – ½ cup
  • All-purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – ¾ tsp
  • Green food colouring – few drops
  • Vanilla essence – ½ tsp
  • Icing sugar – 4 or 5 tbsp, optional
  • Lime juice – 1 or 2 tsp, optional


  1. Chop up the apple. Cook the chopped apple for about 10 mins, in a saucepan over low heat, adding some cinnamon powder. Stir regularly.
  2. Transfer the cooked apple pieces from the saucepan to a blender. Add the chopped banana. Coarsely blend. Keep aside.
  3. Add the margarine and sugar to the saucepan containing some of the apple sauce after the apple pieces had been transferred to the blender. Add up to ½ cup of water. Heat the contents for a few mins.
  4. After cooling, transfer the melted margarine and sugar to a mixing bowl. Stir in the blended fruits. Add the green food colouring and vanilla essence.
  5. Sift the flour, semolina, baking powder and baking soda together. Gradually add in the flour mix to the mixing bowl until a smooth cake batter is obtained.
  6. Transfer to baking tray and bake for 30 mins at 170⁰C/338⁰F.
  7. If you would like icing on the cake, prepare the icing by mixing the icing sugar with a tbsp of margarine, lime juice and a few drops of green food colouring.
  8. Spread the icing evenly over the cake before slicing and serving.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Pomegranate cake

As an amateur cook, I tend to use recipes and follow them precisely. My mother, on the other hand, simply mixes ingredients at hand and whips up delectable stuff. I doubt that she has ever used a written recipe. So, this week, while I have been trying to perfect the baking of challah bread, my mother has been baking different kinds of delicious fruit cakes.

Today’s recipe is for the pomegranate cake she made this week. My mother has labelled it the heart healthy cake.

Pomegranate cake

Time taken: 1 hour

Serves 8

Pomegranate cakeIngredients:

  • Pomegranate juice – ¾ cup (made from 1 cup of pomegranate fruit blended with water; the seeds can be reused by heart patients)
  • Lime juice – 1 tsp
  • Lime rind – 1 tsp
  • Raisins – ½ cup
  • Oats – ½ cup
  • Walnuts – ¼ cup, roasted and chopped
  • Vegetable oil margarine – ½ cup
  • Sugar – ½ cup
  • Multi-purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – ½ tsp
  • Rose essence – few drops
  • Red food colouring – drop or two


  1. Sift the flour with baking powder and soda and keep aside.
  2. Whisk the margarine and sugar together with 1 tsp lime juice and the lime rind, in a bowl, till creamy and smooth.
  3. Add the pomegranate juice to the bowl and mix well.
  4. Fold in the oats, raisins and walnuts.
  5. Add few drops of rose essence and a drop or two of red colouring. Mix well.
  6. Stir in the flour mix to the bowl and beat till smooth batter is obtained.
  7. Transfer the batter to baking tray and bake for 35 – 45 mins at 170⁰C/ 340⁰F.
  8. Let the cake cool before sprinkling with castor sugar. Serve warm.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Avocado and Lime juice

Today’s fresh fruit juice is avocado and lime juice. Native to Mexico, avocado is also grown in Sri Lanka. At home, we generally simply eat the fruit for dessert sprinkled with a little sugar or creamed with some milk.

Avocado is rich in fiber, potassium and Vitamin E. It is considered beneficial for those with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and those trying to manage their weight. It is also considered to aid inhibition and to fight oral cancer cells.

Avocado juiceSimply blend the pulp of half the avocado fruit and the juice of half a lime with sugar to taste.

Lime pickle

Today, I would like to share my mother’s recipe for the delicious lime pickles that she sometimes makes.

Lime pickle

Time taken: around 15 days

Makes a jar

Lime pickleIngredients:

  • Limes – 16
  • Powdered salt
  • Turmeric powder – 2 tsp
  • Crushed chillies – 2 tsp (optional)
  • Fenugreek – 1 tbsp


  1. Clean and quarter 5 or 6 limes or the number that can fill the pickle jar you are using.
  2. Fill or cover them with as much salt as you can and then put them in a clean jar or jam bottle. Cover the bottle and set aside for a day.
  3. Uncover the bottle the next morning and place under the sunlight during the day-time. Cover the bottle in the night. Repeat this process for around 7 to 10 days.
  4. After 7 or 10 days, squeeze the juice of about 10 limes. Add the turmeric powder, crushed fenugreek seeds and optional crushed chillies to the juice.
  5. Pour the juice mixed with the spices into the jar of sun-dried limes. The juice needs to cover the limes in the bottle so if you need to, squeeze some more lime juice into the bottle.
  6. Repeat the covering and uncovering process under sunlight for another 5 days.
  7. At the end of around 15 days, the lime pickle is ready to be eaten.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Dragon fruit juice

The fresh fruit juice for this weekend is dragon fruit juice. Though the fruit is native to the central American region, it is also cultivated in South east Asia and Sri Lanka. Besides being an impressive fruit to look at, it is rich in Vitamin C and is a good natural source of antioxidants.

Dragon fruit juiceSimply blend the fruit pulp with some lime juice and a dash of sugar and enjoy the dazzling and nutritious drink!