Around the World #3: Carrot Sambol and a Round up!

Check out Indu @Indu’s International Kitchen tour of Sri Lankan cuisine.

Indu's International Kitchen

DSC_1214Its time for a round up of all the Sri Lankan recipes that I have made. I have been ogling at and drooling over countless recipes and I did end up making 7 different ones and have more lined up on my pinterest page that I hope to make soon!  My virtual journey has made me even more determined to visit Sri Lanka some day.  The cuisine just resonates with me so much because of the similarities between Kerala and Sri Lankan way of cooking. The liberal use of coconut and the abundance of seafood and spices! Gosh the recipes are so varied – There are simple salads like this carrot sambal that are made using fresh ingredients and serve as a side/ accompaniment to spicy rich dishes.  Then there are stuffed breads,  spicy chicken appetizers like spring rolls/cutlets and delicious curries using coconut milk.  The desserts are amazing too and mostly use rice…

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Paneer Kottu

This week features my favourite kottu under the kottu series – paneer kottu, which I am bringing to Fiesta Friday #30.
DSC01294Today’s A.R.Rahman songs are from his most recent movie work. The first clip is an excerpt from the concert in Mumbai promoting Imtiaz Ali’s movie Rockstar (2011) starring Ranbir Kapoor. The singers in this Hindi song clip are Mohit Chauhan, A.R.Rahman and his team together with Ranbir Kapoor.

The second song is a clip from MTV Unplugged.  The Tamil song is from Mani Ratnam’s movie Kadal (translation: Sea, 2013) with playback singer Shakthishree Gopalan.

The last song clip is from Imtiaz Ali’s movie Highway (2014) starring Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda. The playback singers of this Punjabi song are Sultana Nooran and Jyoti Nooran.

Hope you enjoyed the most recent of A.R.Rahman’s music! I am sure you will also enjoy this paneer kottu!
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Paneer Kottu

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 15mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Atta roti – 2, chopped
  • Paneer – ½ cup, chopped
  • Onion – ½
  • Green chilli – 1
  • Ginger – 1 tsp, chopped
  • Garlic – 1 tsp, chopped
  • Tomato – 1, chopped
  • Curry powder – 1 tsp
  • Oil – 1 tbsp

Method:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and lightly fry the onion, ginger and garlic for 2 mins.
  2. Then add the chopped tomato and continue frying for another 2 mins.
  3. Add 1 tsp curry powder and a little water. Cook for a min.
  4. Remove from heat and transfer pan contents to a blender. Blend the mix and then return the spiced tomato puree to the pan. Re-heat.
  5. Add the paneer cubes and cook for 2 mins.
  6. Finally, add the chopped atta roti to the pan.  Mix well and cook for 2 mins.
  7. Serve warm.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Bean Curd Kottu

In this month’s Kottu series of my mother, I am sharing her bean curd kottu at both the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck and Fiesta Friday.
DSC01280For the third week of the A.R.Rahman month, I wish to share three beautiful Hindi songs from movies. The first two movies are among my all-time favourites.

The first clip is from Deepa Mehta’s acclaimed movie Water (2005) starring Sarala Kariyawasam, Lisa Ray and John Abraham. The movie was filmed in Sri Lanka and the cast includes Sri Lankan child actress Sarala.

The second song is from Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s movie Rang De Basanti (translation: Colour it saffron, 2006) starring Aamir Khan, Siddharth Narayan, Soha Ali Khan, Kunal Kapoor, Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Atul Kulkarni and Alice Patten. This song is sung by Naresh Iyer (who won the national award for best male playback singer that year for this song) and A.R.Rahman.

The last song clip is from the movie Rockstar (2011) starring Ranbir Kapoor. This clip is a lovely qawwali song filmed at Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, one of the most venerated Sufi shrines in Delhi. The singers are A.R.Rahman, Javed Ali, Mohit Chauhan and the Nizami brothers (whose family traditionally has sung at the Dargah for centuries).

Hope you enjoyed today’s music choice of A.R.Rahman and the bean curd kottu!
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Bean Curd Kottu

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 15mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Coconut Roti – 1 cup, chopped
  • Bean curd – ½ cup, lightly fried cubes
  • Onion – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Ginger – ½ tsp, finely chopped
  • Garlic – 1 tsp, chopped, finely chopped
  • Fennel – pinch
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Soya sauce – 1 tbsp
  • Tomato sauce – 1 tbsp
  • Crushed chillies – 1 tsp or Pepper – ¼ tsp
  • Sliced tomato and chopped coriander, for garnish (optional)

Method:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Fry the onion, ginger, fennel and curry leaves.
  2. Mix in chopped bean curd.
  3. Add the soya and tomato sauce to the pan as well as the crushed chillies or pepper. Stir-fry for about 2 mins.
  4. Add the chopped roti and salt to taste and continue to stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
  5. Transfer to serving plate and garnish with sliced tomato and chopped coriander.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Egg Kottu

Today’s kottu recipe is Egg Kottu, which I am bringing to Fiesta Friday#28.
DSC01269This week’s A.R.Rahman feature starts with Rajiv Menon’s movie Kandu Kondain Kandu Kondain (translation: I have seen, 2000) based on the Jane Austen novel ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and starring Tabu, Aishwarya Rai, Ajith Kumar, Mammooty and Abbas. The playback singer is Shankar Mahadevan who won a national award for this song.

The second song is from Ashutosh Gowariker’s acclaimed movie Lagaan (translation: Land tax, 2001) starring Aamir Khan. This song is sung by playback singers Asha Bhosle, Udit Narayan and Vaishali Samant.

The last song clip is from K.Balachander’s movie Paarthale Paravasam (translation: Ecstatic over a glance, 2001) starring Madhavan and Simran. The playback singers are Srinivas and Sadhana Sargam.

Hope you enjoy the music as well as the kottu!
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Egg Kottu

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Atta roti/paratha – 1 or 2, chopped
  • Mysore dhal – 4 tbsp
  • Egg – 1
  • Green peas – 3 tbsp
  • Carrot – 3 tbsp, chopped
  • Onion – 1 tbsp, chopped
  • Potato – 2 tbsp, chopped
  • Gingelly oil – 1 tbsp
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Crushed chillies – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig (optional)

Method:

  1. Mix a little salt to the finely chopped carrot, onion, potato and green peas.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and lightly fry chopped and salted vegetables for 2-3 mins.
  3. Whisk egg and add it to the pan. Cook it before removing it from heat and keep aside.
  4. Cook 4 tbsp mysore dhal with water. Add 1 tsp crushed chillies, salt, ½ tsp pepper to the dhal.
  5. While the dhal cooks, chop up the paratha and the vegetable omelette.
  6. Once dhal is cooked, add the chopped roti/ paratha and the omelette to the pan and mix it well.
  7. Serve warm.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Vegetable Kottu Roti

Kottu roti is a street food that has its origins in Batticaloa, in the east of Sri Lanka. It quickly became a very popular street food across the country. While there are many popular Sri Lankan dishes that have its origins in South India, this meal  is one of the rare Sri Lankan meals that has become popular and localized in South India. If you walk around Colombo in the evenings, you are bound to hear a kottu vendor at some point or other. The noisy clang of the double cleavers that the kottu maker wields on a large roti pan and the smell and sight of the roti/ paratha and vegetables being chopped and cooked right in front of you is a treat. Check out this video clip of Mark Wiens for a visual of what I described above – the making of a kottu roti on the street.

When my mother has leftover roti or other dishes from the previous day, she sometimes attempts to recreate this popular Sri Lankan street food at home. While she does not chop the roti up with a cleaver nor is the mixing and cooking all simultaneously done on the pan, I do like the results. My mother wished to share her kottu series on this blog this month so I will be celebrating this blog’s first anniversary by bringing her vegetable kottu roti to my favourite weekly party over at The Novice Gardener‘s space.

DSC01265I have enjoyed sharing music clips together with the recipes on this blog. As I started featuring Indian movie songs with the music of one of south India’s influential music composers, Ilayaraja, I wanted to wrap up the playback singers and composers theme by featuring the other most influential composer of South India and beyond. This August, I will share the music of A.R.Rahman that I have enjoyed over the years. To kick-off the A.R.Rahman month, I would like to share today three songs that moved me and made me a fan from his early years as a music composer. The beautiful lyrics of all three were written by Vairamuthu.

The first song is from Mani Ratnam’s movie Thiruda Thiruda (translation: Thief Thief, 1993). The playback singers are K.S.Chitra and Mano. I remember enjoying watching this fun movie and this is one of the few songs for which I remember most of the lyrics.

The second song is from Bharathiraja’s movie Karuthamma (1994). The playback singer, Swarnalatha, won a national award for this sad song at the age of 21. There is an old youtube clip of an interview with the late singer where she talks of having been very much moved by the song that she was crying by the time she had finished the recording. Swarnalatha was particularly good at conveying emotions in folk tunes and won several state awards in her short career and life.

The last clip is from Suhasini Mani Ratnam’s movie Indira (1995). The playback singers are Anuradha Sriram, Sujatha Mohan, Shweta Mohan, G.V. Prakash Kumar, Esther and Sha. I get goose bumps each time I listen towards the end of the song, approximately the last 75 seconds of this meaningful song.

Hope you enjoy these special songs as you try out your own version of kottu roti!

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Vegetable Kottu Roti

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 30mins+ 1 hour dough resting time
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour – ½ cup
  • Warm water and salt, to taste
  • Onion – ½, chopped
  • Garlic – 1 tsp, chopped
  • Ginger – chopped
  • Tomato – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Crushed chillies – 1 tsp
  • Kesari or turmeric
  • Potato – 2 tbsp, chopped
  • Carrot – 2 tbsp
  • Beans – 2 tbsp
  • Leeks – 1 tbsp
  • Oil – 1 tbsp (for dough) + 1 tsp + 1 tbsp

Method:

  1. You can either use leftover roti or prepare fresh ones.
  2. For fresh roti, prepare the dough by mixing the flour, warm water and salt. Let it rest for an hour.
  3. Roll out the dough into one or two roti. Cook the roti until browned on both sides.
  4. Chop the roti up into thin strips.
  5. Heat 1 tsp oil in pan and fry the ginger, garlic and onion.
  6. Add chopped tomato, crushed chillies, turmeric and salt to the pan and continue to lightly fry for 2 – 3 mins.
  7. Transfer the pan contents to a blender, add a little water and puree it so that it makes ¼ cup.
  8. In a pan, fry 1 tbsp oil and add the chopped potato, carrot, beans and leeks. Mix in the puree.
  9. Add the chopped roti.
  10. Stir fry for a couple of minutes and transfer to serving dish.

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

Method:

  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.

Veggie roti

Roti has always been a favourite of mine. What is even better is that it is amongst the few food that seems to have been and continue to be comfort food across different generations in my family.

Today, I will share the recipe for my mother’s veggie roti.

Veggie roti

Time taken: 35 mins

Makes 4

Veggie roti

Ingredients

  • Wheat flour – 1 cup
  • Scraped coconut – ¼ cup
  • Chillies – 2
  • Onion – ½
  • Beans – 4
  • Carrot – ½
  • Water, as required
  • Low fat oil (sunflower or canola), as required

Method:

  1. Finely chop the carrot, beans, onion and chillies.
  2. In a bowl, add the wheat flour, freshly scraped coconut and mix in the finely chopped vegetables.
  3. Add some salt, to taste.
  4. Stir in some water slowly and make the mixture into a ball of dough that should not stick to your fingers.
  5. Pour in a little oil and divide the dough into 4 balls and keep aside for 10 – 15 mins.
  6. Roll out each of the four balls and cook them on a flat pan or griddle on low heat. Flip the roti to the other side after a few minutes so that both sides are cooked and slightly browned.
  7. Serve with soyameat curry or sambal.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.