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!

DSC01347

Semolina and Coconut Sweet

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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

Advertisements

Vegan Christmas Cake

Last week, my mother decided to bake her special vegan christmas cake. While I was initially planning to share this recipe on the 25th, I am sharing it ahead at my mother’s request. It is a delightful cake and I am sure you will enjoy it, if you do try it.

Christmas cake veganVegan Christmas Cake

Vegan christmas cake slicesTime taken: 3 hours

Makes 20 slices

Christmas cakeIngredients:

  • Dates – 1 cup, chopped
  • Raisins – ½ cup
  • Cashewnuts – ¼ cup
  • Almonds – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Caramelized peanuts – ½ cup
  • Cherry – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Chow chow (choko) – ½ cup, chopped
  • Ginger preserve – 1 tbsp
  • Puhul dosi (pumpkin preserve) – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Lemon rind – 1 tsp
  • Orange peel preserve – 1 tbsp
  • Mixed peel – ½ cup
  • Coconut treacle – 4 tbsp
  • Caramel syrup – ¼ cup
  • Almond oil – 3 tbsp
  • Vegetable oil – ¼ cup
  • Mixed spice (Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves) – 2 tsp
  • Thick tea – 1 tbsp
  • Semolina – ½ cup
  • Flour – ½ cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – 2/3 tsp
  • Rose essence – ¼ tsp

Method:

  1. Chop all the ingredients mentioned above (dates, raisins, cashewnuts, peanuts, almonds, chow chow, lemon rind, orange peel preserve, mixed peel, ginger preserve, cherries and puhul dosi/ pumpkin preserve) and mix together in a bowl.
  2. To the bowl, add the liquids stirring them in as you do so. Add the honey, caramel syrup and thick tea and let it soak for about ½ hour.
  3. Mix well before adding the vegetable oil and almond oil. Add the rose essence and cinnamon, cardamom and clove mixed spice to the bowl.
  4. Gradually stir in the semolina.
  5. Sift the flour with the baking powder and soda and add the flour mix to the bowl.
  6. Whisk the contents of the bowl together so that there are no flour lumps anywhere.
  7. Transfer the cake batter to the baking tray and bake at 120⁰C/248⁰F for 1 to 1 ½ hour till the cake is browned at the top and the cake is baked through.
  8. After the cake cools, cut the cake into pieces and wrap the pieces into Christmas wrappings.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Mango Kesari

Today’s lovely recipe is my mother’s recipe for mango kesari/ halwa. Great with a cup of tea or coffee.

Mango Kesari

Time taken: 20 mins

Serves 4

Mango KesariIngredients:

  • Mango – ½ cup, chopped
  • Orange juice – 1 tbsp
  • Mint – 2 or 3 leaves
  • Sugar – 1 tsp (for juice) + 1 tbsp
  • Salt – a little
  • Semolina – ¼ cup
  • Vegetable oil margarine – 1 tsp
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
  • Yellow food colouring – ½ tsp (optional)
  • Nuts (your choice) – optional

Method:

  1. Make 1 cup of mango juice by blending the chopped mango, orange juice, mint leaves, 1 tsp of sugar and pinch of salt with water.
  2. Heat the juice in a saucepan with a tbsp of sugar for about 2 mins. Add the vanilla and semolina. Continue stirring until it thickens.
  3. Add 1 tsp of margarine and the optional yellow food colour and nuts. Mix well before transferring to a tray or mold so that it can set.
  4. Serve warm with tea or after a meal.

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.

Ravai laddu

Today’s recipe for Navarathri is ravai laddu (semolina laddu).  The semolina laddu is the type of laddu that is commonly made in homes in northern Sri Lanka. The boondi or chickpea gram flour laddu is rarely made in homes and is usually available only in Indian sweet shops.

Ravai laddu

Time taken: 25 mins

Makes 5

Ravai ladduIngredients

  • Semolina/ ravai – ½ cup, slightly roasted
  • Sugar – ¼ cup
  • Vegetable oil margarine (preferably sunflower or canola) – 3 tbsp
  • Chickpea – 2 tbsp, fried and split (store-bought or overnight soaked and fried at home)
  • Cashew nuts – 2
  • Cardamom – 3, crushed
  • Raisin – 1 tbsp
  • Hot water – 2 tbsp

Method

  1. Heat the sugar and margarine in a pan for 2 mins on low heat.
  2. Add the fried, split chickpea to the pan as well as the chopped cashew nuts, raisins and crushed cardamom.
  3. Stir and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes until they have combined well.
  4. Add the semolina and stir for around 3 minutes.
  5. Increase the heat to medium and add 2 tbsp of hot water to the pan and mix well. Remove pan from stove.
  6. Scoop the mixture into a little mold and overturn to a plate. Let the laddu cool before serving.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Kesari

When I asked my mother to teach me a simple and quick to prepare Sri Lankan dish for an informal international pot-luck with friends a year ago, she taught me to make Kesari. I took a few photos of the outcome of that lesson. So, today, I thought I would share the recipe for the first Sri Lankan (and Indian) recipe that I officially learnt along with the photos from that day.

Kesari

Kesari is delicious both as a dessert and a special snack and takes very little time to prepare.

Kesari

Cooking time: 10 – 15 mins

Makes 10 pieces

Kesari slices

Ingredients:

  • Semolina – ½ cup, lightly roasted
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Sugar – ¼ cup
  • Kesari powder – pinch
  • Rose essence – drop or Vanilla essence – 1 tsp and pinch of crushed cardamom
  • Vegetable margarine – 1 ½ tbsp

Method:

  1. In a saucepan, boil a cup of water and the sugar.
  2. When the water starts boiling, add the kesari powder and either the vanilla essence and pinch of crushed cardamom or drop of rose essence.
  3. Stir continuously, while adding the semolina.
  4. When the mixture starts to thicken, add the margarine while continuing to stir.
  5. Remove the pan from the stove and transfer the kesari to a plate.
  6. Level the kesari on the plate and allow it to cool for at least 10 mins before slicing and serving.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Veggie Uppuma

I will be sharing two delicious vegan recipes, of my mother today, that are semolina (ravai) based. The first recipe is uppuma, a typical simple and nutritious breakfast dish.

Veggie uppuma

Time taken: 10 mins

Serves 3

Veggie uppuma

Ingredients:

  • Semolina – 1/3 cup, slightly roasted
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Carrot – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Potato – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Beans – 2, chopped
  • Green chilli, chopped
  • Onion – ½ , chopped
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Freshly scraped coconut – 1 tbsp (optional)
  • Sesame oil (Gingelly oil) – 3 tbsp

Method:

  1. Heat the sesame oil in a pan and sauté the fennel seeds, curry leaves for a minute or two.
  2. Add the rest of the chopped vegetables to the pan and continue to sauté for about 5 mins.
  3. Add a cup of water and salt to taste to the pan.
  4. When the water starts boiling, add the semolina and stir until it starts coming together.
  5. Before removing from heat, the freshly scraped coconut can be optionally added.
  6. Mix well and serve hot.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.