Paal Puttu

The other breakfast treat that my mother’s friend had brought this morning was paal puttu. I have actually had a few different versions of this over the past decade. Surprisingly, this is the first dish from the northern region of Sri Lanka that I have had which my mother hadn’t either heard of or tried until I described it to her.

Paal puttu

Time taken: 30 mins

Serves 2 or 3

Paal puttu

Ingredients:

  • Urad dal/ ulunthu flour – ¼ cup + 2 tbsp
  • Rice flour – ¼ cup
  • Coconut milk – ¾ cup
  • Sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste

Method:

  1. Mix ¼ cup urad dal flour and ¼ cup rice flour with salt and hot water and make them into tiny balls.
  2. Steam the balls and keep aside.
  3. Heat the coconut milk, with the sugar and salt seasoning, in a pan.
  4. Add  2 tbsp urad dal flour to the coconut milk as it starts to boil. Stir well.
  5. As the sauce thickens, add the steamed balls and mix well. Remove pan from stove after a minute or two.
  6. Serve warm.

Recipe source: Ithayarani Jeyabalasingham.

Kundu Thosai with Coconut Tamarind Sambal

A friend of my mother dropped by this morning with some breakfast treats that she had made so I decided to post the recipes for those two dishes. The first is kundu thosai with a coconut-tamarind sambal.

Kundu thosai with sambal

(a) Kundu thosai

Cooking time: 15 mins + preparation time: nearly 8 hours

Makes 24

Gundu thosai

Ingredients:

  • Black gram/ Urad dal/ Ulunthu – ½ cup
  • Raw rice – 1 cup
  • Fenugreek seeds – ¼ tsp
  • Pepper – ¼ tsp
  • Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  • Wheat flour – 2 tbsp
  • Oil, as required

Method:

  1. Soak ulunthu and rice for about 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Grind the soaked ulunthu and rice together with the fenugreek seeds, pepper, cumin seeds and turmeric powder.
  3. Mix the wheat flour in the blended mixture. The batter should be thick.
  4. Let the batter rest for about 3 to 4 hours.
  5. Place the special ‘kundu thosai’ pan on the stove on low heat.
  6. Pour a little oil in each of the 8 holes of the pan. Then, pour a tablespoon of batter in each.
  7. Cook the thosai for about 1 ½ to 2 mins each side. Flip to the other side so that both sides are browned.
  8. Serve hot with the coconut-tamarind sambal.

(b) Coconut-Tamarind Sambal

Time taken: 10 mins

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • Freshly scraped coconut – ½ cup
  • Dried red chillies – 4 + 1
  • Onion – ¼ + ¼ , chopped
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Fennel seeds – ½ tsp
  • Tamarind extract – ¼ cup
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, as required

Method:

  1. Soak four of the dried red chillies for a few minutes and then chop them up.
  2. Grind the soaked dried red chillies with the coconut and 1/4 onion and keep aside.
  3. Heat a tbsp or two of oil in a pan and fry the fennel seeds.
  4. When the seeds start spluttering, add the chopped ¼ onion and chopped dried red chilli and curry leaves.
  5. Add ¼ cup of tamarind extract to the pan and let it simmer.
  6. When the tamarind juice starts bubbling, add the ground chilli-onion-coconut mix and salt, to taste.
  7. Mix well and remove from heat.
  8. Serve with ‘Kundu’ thosai.

Recipe source: Ithayarani Jeyabalasingham.

Mutton fry

The second recipe I will share today is also a non-vegetarian recipe that my mother recalls a relative in Vavuniya had cooked decades ago. As I am yet to receive recipes from the district of Vavuniya, I am happy to share this recipe based on my mother’s recollection of watching the dish being prepared.

Mutton fry

Time taken: 30 – 45 mins

Serves 4 – 6 persons

Ingredients:

  • Mutton – 2 cups, chopped
  • Onion – 1, chopped
  • Crushed ginger and garlic – 2 tbsp
  • Curry powder – 2 tbsp
  • Mixed 3C (Cinnamon, cardamom, clove) spice powder – 1 tsp
  • Lime juice – 1 tbsp
  • Pepper – ½ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil – 3 tbsp

Method:

  1. Clean and chop the mutton into pieces.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the chopped onion, crushed ginger-garlic, mixed 3C spice powder, curry powder, lime juice, salt and pepper. Add the mutton pieces to the bowl and ensure that they are well coated in the marinating mixture.
  3. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a pan and transfer the contents of the bowl, the mutton pieces together with the chopped onion and spices, to the pan.
  4. Cover the pan and let the mutton cook on low heat. Every 5 to 10 mins, uncover the pan and flip the pieces to the other side.
  5. Continue to cook until the mutton is well cooked and lightly browned throughout. The roasting takes about 30 to 40 mins.
  6. Serve with rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.