This weekend’s book was Sri Lankan Flavours: A journey through the island’s food and culture with recipes by Channa Dassanayaka (a Melburnian it turns out). I cooked for 7 for this meal, and there are several important lessons I learnt.
- PREPARE ALL THE INGREDIENTS FOR THE DISH BEFORE YOU START TO COOK
- The serving size is an estimation at best (and often generous)
- Curry leaves are amazing (I already knew this) and they smell great, and they’re easy to cook with (the latter I didn’t know)
I do have a few problems with the recipes in the book, and given the number I made I am going to find equivalents on the internet and link to them because otherwise I will be typing forever. There are times when the author doesn’t specify something important to the recipe. For example, in the Eggplant Pickle, he says slice the eggplants thinly, but doesn’t really specify what that means. Later, after describing how long to deep fry the eggplant for, he doesn’t specify how long to deep fry the onion or chillies for – and in relation to all the deep frying, he never specifies at what temperature. Also apparently the Ghee Rice is enough for 4, we doubled it and had WAY too much for 7.
This time I cooked a rice dish (Ghee Rice), a salad (Tomato and Onion Sambol), a meat dish (Devilled Chicken), a Vegetable Dish (Sweet Pumpkin with Roasted Coconut), and a side dish (Eggplant Pickle).
Ingredients (serves 4 – 8)
- 2 cups of basmati or medium-grained rice
- 3 tablespoons of ghee or butter
- 10 cm piece of rampe (pandanus leaf) (optional)
- 10 curry leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 4 cups of water or stock (chicken or vegetable)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 peppercorns
- 50 g sultanas or raisins (we left this out)
- Rinse rice thoroughly with water until the water runs clear – about 2-3 minutes
- Melt the ghee or butter in a pan over medium heat, taking care to not let it burn.
- Add rampe, curry leaves and onion and saute for about 30 seconds.
- Add rice and saute for about a minute, stirring with a wooden spoon, until every piece of rice is covered with butter.
- Add water or stock, salt, and peppercorns and cover with a lid.
- Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, stir in sultanas and serve.
Thanks to the author for putting that online (via SBS).
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 500g eggplants
- oil for frying
- 2 onions
- 2 green chillies
- extra oil for deep frying
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 10 curry leaves
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground chilli
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cut eggplants in half and then cut into thin strips lengthways
- Heat oil in a pan and place eggplant in pan in batches and fry until golden brown – about 3 minutes. Take care not to overcrowd the pan. Remove eggplant from pan and place on absorbent paper in a colander. Drain
- Peel and cut the onion into quarters. Cut the chillies in half across the middle and then slice in half lengthways. Deep-fry onion and chillies then drain them on absorbent paper.
- Place coconut milk in a pan on medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, turmeric, cinnamon, curry leaves, tomato and ground chilli. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add eggplant, onion and chillies to pan.
- Stir through, then reduce heat. Add sugar, vinegar and salt, stir and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Serve with meat dishes, like a relish.
Notes on this recipe:
OMG I COULD EAT THIS ALL DAY! The chillies we ended up buying were very mild, and we deep fried everything, since the eggplant is going to soak up all the oil anyway. The oil temperature has to be fairly high. This dish is deadly, but so amazingly tasty.
Ingredients (serves 4 – 6)
- 900g boneless, skinless, chicken highs, cut into 4cm pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon ground tumeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 2 onions, quartered
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
- 2 capsicums, cut into 3 cm pieces (colour doesn’t matter)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- juice of 1 lemon
- Coat chicken cubes in turmeric and salt. Place 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan over medium heat, add chicken and cook, stirring, until meat is sealed – about 10 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
- Add remaining oil to pan, then add onion, garlic, and ginger and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the capsicum, pepper and tomato paste and return meat to pan. Stir-fry for 1 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add lemon juice.
- Serve with roti or as a snack.
Thanks again to the author for making this recipe available online (and saving me typing everything).