Monday, September 26, 2011

Ravai upma



1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 cup semolina
1 big onion
2-3 green chilis
2 springs of curry leaves
1 cup vegetables (leeks, cabbage, carrot, etc.)
Salt to taste
1 tsp urad dal (optional)
1 tsp chana dal (optional)
Peanuts or cashew (optional)
2 1/2 cups hot water

Dry roast the semolina for 5-10 minutes. Put aside. In a large non-stick pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add onion, green chili, curry leaves and the other vegetables and saute. If you want to include nuts, add them and the urad dal and chana dal and saute for about 10 minutes. Put aside. Then add the water and the salt and mix bring it to boil. Add the semolina in small quantities and mix well and continuously so that there are no lumps and lastly the saute. When everything is mixed well (it will look more or less like a dough), put on a lid and let it cook for about 5 minutes or so. You could eat it with pickles, chutney or sambar. Good luck!

Potato curry (Dry)

2 large potatoes
2 medium onions
2 large green chili
3 tbs oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tbs curry powder
3 spring curry leaves
Salt to taste

Peel the potatoes and the cut them into halves (to allow them to boil faster) and boil them. Slice the onions, green chili and the boiled potatoes into small pieces. Heat 3 tbs of oil, temper the cumin. Add the onion and chili and fry until golden brown. Then add the potatoes, spices and the curry leaves and mix well for about 10 minutes at medium heat. Can eaten as a side dish or a filling for patties and samosas.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Jam cookies



200 g unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup potato flour
3/4 cup sugar

Filling:
Raspberry jam

Mix both flour types and add sugar. Cut in the butter and work it to a dough. Shape them into small balls, flatten them first with your hands and then with a fork. Take a round teaspoon and make a pocket in the middle to place the jam, but don't make holes (all the way down). Take some jam and place it in the pockets. Bake the cookies in the middle part of a preheated oven at 175 C (350 F) for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool on a wire rack. Yummy jam cookies are ready!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Peanut brittles


3/4 cup of lightly roasted peanuts
1/4 cup of lightly roasted cashew nuts
1 cup sugar
1 tbs ghee (optional)

Greasing:
ghee/oil

Dry roast the peanuts lightly and peel off the skin, divide them into halves/chop the peanuts roughly. You can replace 1/4 cup of the peanuts with other nuts such as cashew and pistachio, if you like. Grease a plate and a kitchen roller with ghee/oil. Choose an oil that is odourless. In a steel bottomed wide pan, add sugar and let it caramelize at below medium heat. If the pan is too small, the sugar on the bottom may get a little burnt/bitter taste while the sugar on top has not yet melted, so it's better to melt the sugar in a wide pan. Do not stir the sugar at all, because it will trigger the crystalization process. The caramelization process will take some time, about 15 minutes, so please be patient. Also, don't let this process go to the extreme. If it caramelizes too much (turning really brown) it can taste bitter and outright burnt. You can add some ghee to sweeten the peanut brittles, when you see that the sugar starts to caramelize.

When all the sugar has melted/caramelized, take a small amount of the caramel and throw it in a cup with cold water. If the caramel turns out firm and not saucy/soft, the caramel is ready and you can add your peanuts. Add peanuts and mix fast. Pour the mixture on the greased plate. Roll over the mixture with the greased kitchen roller as even as you can. Wait one or two minutes and then cut. Try to take out the peanut brittles before cooling down completely. Good luck!

Ulundu vadai

Although I did not manage to get the perfect shape, the vadais were deliciously crispy.


1 cup ulundu (urad dhal)
1 onion
1 tsp fennel seeds
3-4 green chilis
4-5 springs of curry leaves
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Soak the urad dal for 3-4 hours. You need to remove the black skin first (if you use urad dal without skin you can soak it for 2 hours). If you pour cold water and make circular motions in the water with your hand, you'll notice that the skin comes off and floats. Wash out the skin. You'll have to repeat this process until all the skin has been washed away. Cut the onion and the green chili. 

Now place half of the urad dal in a blender/grinder and grind the dal very smooth and thick. Add the least amount of water you possibly can. If the batter contains too much water it will be difficult to "shape" it into vadais. When you have ground all the urad dal, pour the mixture in a large bowl and mix all the ingredents. Meanwhile, heat oil for deep frying the vadai. Cut some squares, large enough to shape vadai, on a clean plastic bag/sheet and oil the squares on one side. Take some batter and place them on the square, flatten them slightly and make a hole in the middle. When the oil is ready, remove the vadais from the plastic squares and place them carefully in the hot oil and deep fry both sides. 

Have a plate with a tissue paper prepared to place the deep fried vadais and drain the excess oil. At first it is better to fry only one vadai and taste it and add more salt, if needed, and then after that, deep fry more vadais at a time. These vadais are best consumed on the very same day they are made, when they are still warm and crunchy. Best of luck!

Pizza

This is a vegetarian/vegetable pizza. This recipe produces 2 pizzas.

Dough:
25 g fresh yeast
1 cup lukewarm water (37 C)
2 tbs oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 2/3 cup flour

Tomato sauce:
3 mashed/sliced tomatoes
1/3 cup water
2 tsp olive oil
2-3 tsp tomato purée
2 tsp dry oregano (or fresh)
Some fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper to taste

Topping:
Tomato purée
Tomato sauce
Mushrooms
Onion
Capsicum
Fried eggplants (optional)
Tomato (optional)
Jalapeno (optional)
Oregano
Cheese

If you decide to make the pizza sauce yourself, make it first, because you can't spread a warm/hot pizza sauce on the unbaked pizza. You can make your own tomato sauce by cooking mashed tomatoes, water, finely sliced garlic, olive oil, basil leaves/oregano, salt and pepper. Let it cook until it gets a gravy like consistency.

Heat the water to 37 C. Crumble the yeast into a bowl and add the lukewarm water and stir with a spoon or your hand till water dilutes the yeast completely. Add oil and salt, lightly stir. Add the flour and knead and work the dough for 10 minutes. Let it rest covered in a bowl for 30 minutes. Meanwhile cut the pizza toppings. You could virtually add anything edible on your pizza. My mother likes fried eggplants on hers and I like jalapeno, for instance.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface and place it in a pizza tray or roll it out on a oven sheet directly. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes covered or covered. This will help the dough rise more. Spread the toppings. Start with the tomato puree/tomato sauce and finish with oregano/cheese. Bake in preheated oven at 200 C (almost 400 F) in the middle part of the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Avocado sorbet

This avocado sorbet tastes a bit like kiwi, because of the lime. But since the avocado flesh has a tendency to turn brown, you can't exclude the lime.

500-600 g avocados (brutto weight)
1 ripe lime (not more than 1/2 tbs)
3/4-1 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup cold water

I used the blender to make my sorbet and it did a wonderful job. Blend the flesh of each avocado separately and add the blended flesh in a bowl. Put all the avocado flesh in the blender again with half the amount of cold water and powdered sugar. Squeeze the lime juice and some flesh and add in the blender as well. Blend. Place the half-done sorbet in a food storage box with lid on and place it in the deep refrigerator. Let it cool for one hour.

After one hour, blend it again with the remaining amount of water and icing sugar. Blend on and off until it gets a thick and smooth texture. Place the sorbet back in the same food storage box and put in the deep-freezer for 8-12 hours. Let it defrost a little before serving, if it is too icy. This is a wonderfully creamy avocado sorbet that you should finish up in 2-3 days.

Sambar


1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup masoor dal
1 potato
1 tomato
1 carrot
Green beans
1/2 small eggplant
1/3 drumstick
1 green chili
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 spring curry leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2-1 tsp lemon juice
2 cups water
Salt to taste

Cut all the vegetables, including onion and chili. In a fairly large pan, heat oil, add fennel seeds, onion, green chili, curry leaves and the eggplant and fry until golden brown. Add garlic, carrot and potato and stir for a while. Then add the rest of the vegetables and the dal, followed by water, salt, turmeric and lemon juice. Cook the sambar for about 20-25 minutes, until all the vegetables have cooked and become soft. This is a mild, tasty and nutritious vegetable curry that goes excellent with idli, dosai and rice!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Blueberry lattice pie



Pie crust (Pate Sucree):
2 cups flour
200 g butter (unsalted butter)
3 tbs cold water
3 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Filling:
3-4 cups blueberry (my pie plate is around 10 inches)
2/3 cup caster sugar
2 tbs cornstarch

Brushing:
Som oil/butter (optional)

Cut the butter into small pieces and place them back in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Mix sugar and flour together. Take the butter out and cut it into the flour with a fork or use your hands. All the flour has to be mixed with the butter. Then add some cold water. Use the least amount of water as possible when preparing the pie crust. You need to work fast so that the butter doesn't melt. Dont knead the dough, you just have to pat/hug it with your hands so that it comes together into a round dough. Cut it into two pieces, one piece slightly larger than the other and wrap them up and refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Mix the blueberries gently with sugar (adjust the sugar as you like). Add the cornstarch in the blueberries, mix and put aside. Roll out the bigger of the doughs on a well floured surface with a floured kitchen roller (this is very important, otherwise the dough will break very easily). Don't roll it out too thin. Carefully lift the pie bottom with the roller and place it over the pie plate. Stick the pie bottom with a fork. Put the pie in a preheated oven and bake at 175 C (350 F) for about 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile take the other pie dough (needed for the lattice) out of the fridge and roll it out. Measure and cut the lattice pieces equally. Take the pie bottom out of the oven, let it rest for 5 minutes. Add the filling and then the lattice pieces. Brush the lattice with some oil or butter, if desired. Put back in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Serve the pie with cream, custard or a scoop of ice cream!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Potato patties

This is a recipe on potatoe patties, which is perfect for outings such as picnic. Since these patties are baked in the oven, they are not as oily as samosas and are very soft, like bread.

Dough:
25 g yeast
1 cup water
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tbs oil
1/2 tsp salt

Filling:
2 large potatoes
2 medium onions
2 large green chili
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tbs curry powder
3 spring curry leaves
Salt to taste

Peel the potatoes and the cut them into halves (to allow them to boil faster) and boil them. Meanwhile, prepare the dough for the patties and let it rest covered for 30 minutes. Slice the onions and green chili as well as the boiled potatoes into small pieces. Heat 3 tbs of oil, add cumin, then the onion and chili. Fry until golden brown. Then add the potatoes, spices and the curry leaves and mix well for about 10 minutes at medium heat. Put aside. Divide the dough into small equal balls and roll them out. Place the filling in the middle and fold it in the middle. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 C (400 F) degrees for about 15-20 minutes. Once out of the oven, let them cool on a wire rack.

Potato gratin


6-8 medium potatoes
1 onion
3/4 cup fresh cream
2/3 cup milk (preferably with a high content of fat 3-4 %)
2 garlic cloves
25 g butter (room temperature)
Dill/leeks/spring onion
Salt to taste
Cheese

Saute the onion until light golden brown and put aside. Brush an oven safe porcelain or glass plate with butter. Peel and slice the potatoes thin. Add potatoes, salt, garlic and onion in layers in the oven safe plate. You can also add dill/leeks/spring onions for more flavour. Mix the cream and milk together with the dill. Add some salt if desired. Pour it over the potatoes and add a rich cheese layer on top. The milk/cream mixture should preferably be at equal level with the potatoes so that the topmost potatoes also get cooked. However, the milk will boil and rise a little bit when it gets really hot in the oven. Cover the plate with an aluminium foil so that the gratin does not get burnt. But do not cover too tightly and leave some holes so that the hot air moves freely.

Place it in the lower parets of the oven and cook at 200 C for about 30-40 minutes. You can insert a skewer and check if the potatoes cooked and soft. You can remove the aluminium foil towards the end. Let this creamy potato gratin cool down before serving. I think this is the kind of dish that tastes better on the second day. Good luck!

Crepes

Some eat these for breakfast, others for dessert. In Sweden, people eat these crepes for lunch and dinner. The thing is, these crepes taste just as good any time of the day and you can use any filling of your choice. This recipe produces about 8-10 crepes.



Crepes:
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla sugar/extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar (optional)

Filling:
Fresh sliced fruits/jam and whipped cream/ice cream/custard.

Melt the butter and let it cool. Beat the eggs and milk together. Add the butter. Mix flour and sugar and sieve into the egg mixture. Mix well without any lumps. Let the batter rest for about 1 hour in the fridge. Heat a pancake or crepe pan and oil/brush the pan evenly with it. Pour some batter and spread/thin it out evenly on the pan by taking up the pan and swirling it. Bake both sides of the crepes. You can fill the crepes with typically anything you want. I usually eat mine with whipped cream and jam. Enjoy!

Falafel (chickpea cutlets)

1 cup chickpeas
1/2 tsp cumin
1 onion
4-5 garlic cloves
spring onions/parsley/curry leaves
2 tsp chili powder (optional)
Salt to taste

1 egg
Bread crumbs
Salt to taste

Soak the chickpeas covered for 10 to 12 hours. Boil the chickpeas with salt. You could use finely chopped raw onions but I think it's tastier with fried onions in the mixture. Fry the cumin, onions, and the spring onions until golden brown and put aside. Grind the chickpeas in a mixer with the finely sliced garlic, add chili powder if desired. In a bowl, mix the grinded chickpeas with the fried onions. Heat some oil in a pan to fry the falafel. Beat an egg in a separate small bowl. Spread the bread crumbs on a plate and keep both in close proximity. Take some mixture and form into balls. Dip the balls in the egg and roll them in the bread crumbs and fry them at medium heat. They are most tasty when deep-fried. These soft cutlets can be served as a side dish to rice, be stuffed in a pita bread with salad or simply be enjoyaed as they are with ketchup!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chickpea curry

Chickpea curry is the first curry that I ever made, which turned out to be quite a hit at home. However, I lost my old recipe and this is a slightly modified version of that.


1 cup chickpeas
1/2 tsp cumin
1 onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 tbs fresh ginger paste
2 green chilies
1-2 potatoes
1 tbs curry powder
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
4 cups water
Coriander leaves (optional)

Soak 1 1/4 cups of chickpeas for 10-12 hours. Heat some oil in a large non-stick pan, add cumin, onion, green chilies and ginger fry until golden brown. Close the lid and and fry for 5-10 minutes but try to stir every once in a while. Then add the chickpeas and all the water. Add curry powder, lemon juice and salt and let it cook for 45-50 minutes at medium to high heat. The chickpeas have a tendency to get burnt on the bottom when most of the water has evaporated, so stir occasionally towards the end. Check whether the chickpeas have been cooked by eating some. If necessary, add some more water and let them cook some more. Add ground coriander before taking the curry off the stove or garnish with coriander leaves if you like.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Chocolate chip cookies

175 g butter (room temperature)
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt (if you use unsalted butter)
7 1/2 tbs brown sugar
5 tbs caster sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla sugar/vanilla extract
100 g chocolate chips/chopped chocolate
Walnuts (optional)

Mix flour, baking soda in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix butter and sugar. The butter should preferably be slightly on the soft side, because it is easier to beat it with the other ingredients then. Beat light and fluffy. Add the egg and the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and mix properly but gently. Add the chocolate and stir in with a spoon. Place the dough by the help of a table spoon, as rounded balls, on a non-greased baking sheet. They will take shape in the oven. Bake them at 175 C (350 F) in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes till the edges are golden brown. Take them out and remove them from the hot baking sheet so they can cool down. Now these soft and tasty cookies are ready to be enjoyed.

Peanut butter

I felt like baking peanut cookies but since I don't have peanut butter at home, I decided to make my own. I was amazed at how easy it was! If you love peanut butter and want a healthier alternative without preservatives and make it taste like the way you want it, I would say, you have to give this a try.

2 cups roasted peanuts
2 tsp vegetable oil
A pinch of salt (if unsalted)
A pinch of sugar (if desired)

Start by roasting your peanuts, if they are not roasted. Take a wok pan and heat it, add peanuts and roast them for about 5 minutes at medium heat. You have to continuously turn and stir the peanuts so that they get evenly roasted. You can also roast the peanuts in the oven at 350 F (175 C) and you will have to turn them in the oven every one or two minutes. Do this for 5-8 minutes. Remove the shells. Allow them to cool for a while. Then grind them with peanut or vegetable oil. I used raps oil. Taste while grinding and add salt and/or sugar according to your preferences. I grinded them in small quantities to get a smooth texture and now my yummy peanut butter is ready!

Eggplant curry (Kathirikai/Brinjal)

As a child, I hated eggplant curries because they were so tasteless. However, during my stay in Colombo I started to love this curry. The eggplant curries served in the restaurants there had a tangy tamarind taste which made me obsess over them. Since coming back to Sweden, I searched on the Internet on how to best imitate that gravy. I have adapted a recipe from this site. I have prepared this curry many times since then and my parents love it.  

Eggplant curry:
1 large purple eggplant
1/2 tsp cumin
1 onion
3 clove garlic paste
1 tsp ginger
2 green chili
1 tbs curry powder
1 tbs thick tamarind paste (preferably a sweet-tangy one)
2-3 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
1/4 cup water
1 tbs coconut cream (optional)
1 spring curry Leave
Oil for frying

Cut the vegetables in small pieces. If you cut them big, it will take more time to fry so cut them reasonably small. Heat oil and deep-fry the eggplants until brown on both sides. When finished deep-frying, in a separate pan, add oil and temper cumin, then add sliced onion, curry leaves and green chili and fry until golden brown and fragrant. Add the garlic-ginger paste and then the fried eggplants, followed by curry powder and the thick tamarind paste, that has been prepared separately and fry for about 5 minutes. Add water, sugar and salt. Mix well. Add the coconut cream and stir continuously till it looks like a gravy. Serve hot with rice!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Prawn curry

Prawn curry is my favourite and this is how I like it.


Jumbo prawns (250 g or 12 prawns)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
2 green chilis
1 large tomato
1 tbs curry powder
1-2 tsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
2-2 1/2 cups water
1 tbs coconut cream (optional)
1 spring of curry leaves (optional)

Clean the prawns. Heat some oil in a non-stick/steel pan, add turmeric and mix. Add the prawns and fry the prawns on both sides till they become pink. Be careful not to burn the prawns. In a separate pan, heat some oil. Temper cumin, add sliced onion, green chili, garlic, curry leaves and saute until golden brown and fragrant. Add the finely sliced tomatoes and curry powder and fry for about 5 minutes. Now add the prawns and the water, followed by salt and lemon juice. If you use deep-frozen prawns, it may be better to cook the prawns at low heat for some minutes and then increase the heat and cook the curry for about 30 minutes. Because deep-frozen jumbo prawns will take time to soften up. Add coconut cream when most of the water has evaporated. Serve with noodles or rice!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cinnamon buns

The whole kitchen will smell of fresh bread and cinnamon when you make these cinnamon buns! These buns are soft and savoury, and definitely worth the 2 hours of work. Everyone in my family loves these buns!


Dough:
150 g butter
2 1/4 cups milk
1.4-1.5 kg flour
50 g compressed yeast
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 tsp cardamom powder

Filling:
100 g butter (room temperature)
4 tbs caster sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Brushing:
1 egg (egg wash)
pearl sugar

Melt the butter in cooking pot. Add the milk and heat the butter-milk mixture to 37 C degrees. While you melt the butter, measure the flour in a bowl and mix in the cardamom. Crumble the yeast into a large bowl. Add the heated milk-butter into the bowl. Add sugar, mix and then add the flour. Take a wooden spoon and mix until everything comes together into a dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes with your hands or hand mixer/Kitchenaid. Let the dough rest in a bowl covered with a cloth for 30-40 minutes. Beat the egg needed for egg wash and put it in the refrigerator.
You have to bake these buns in 4 batches. Therefore divide the dough into four pieces, like in the picture above. You have to work with one at a time. Make sure that you have everything that you need for the filling is at a hand's reach. Now, roll out the dough like you would a pizza on a floured surface. Take the softened butter and spread it over the dough with a dining knife, then 1 tbs of the sugar and then 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon. Roll it in like a swiss roll and cut them like in the picture below.

There is another way to make the buns, that is more demanding. You could also fold the dough from both sides, instead of rolling it in. In this case you need to fold the dough from both sides, halfway.
Then lightly roll out the edges so that it becomes wider and then cut them like in the picture below.

Take a piece with both hands and "screw" them from both ends, in the opposite direction and roll it in like a flower as seen in the picture below. 

Once you have made the first batch of buns. Turn the oven on, at 200 C. Take the towel that you used to cover the dough earlier and cover the buns again for about 20 minutes. After that take out the egg that you had placed in the refrigerator and dip a brush in it. Brush the buns with egg and top them with pearl sugar as seen below. If you are vegetarian, you could brush the buns with some melted butter instead. Place them immediately in the middle part of the oven bake for about 15 minutes or they look ready.  
Take them out and remove them from the hot baking sheet, to allow them to cool down. These soft buns taste best the first two days. You can put them in a bag and refrigerate them otherwise. Good luck!  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Apple Crumble / Apple Crisp

Apple crumble pie is my favourite pie. I can have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When you need a quick, delicious dessert, this pie will do the trick. 

Apple filling:
4 sliced apples (Granny Smith)
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon powder

Crumble:
125 g butter
1 cup flour
1 cup oats
4 tbs caster sugar
A pinch of salt (if you use unsalted butter)
1 tsp vanillin sugar (optional)

Mix flour, oats, sugar and vanilla sugar in a bowl. Cut the butter in small pieces. Add them in the flour mixture and cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or hand. I almost always use salted butter when I bake, because the salt brings out the flavours in sweet dishes. If you don't use salted butter, I would suggest you add a pinch of salt to the flour mixture. Also, please make sure that all the flour is well mixed with the butter. Otherwise you will end up eating raw flour. Put aside the mixture.

Heat oven to 350 degrees (175 C degrees). Fill a bowl with cold water and some drops of lemon juice. Adding lemon juice to the water will prevent the apples from turning brown. Peel and slice the apples and put them in the bowl with cold water. When finished slicing the apples, place them in a pie plate, spread cinnamon on them and lastly add the crumble. Put the pie in the oven and bake it for about 25 minutes in the lower-middle part of the oven. Meanwhile, you could start whipping the cream or custard to serve the pie with. You could also serve it with vanilla ice-cream. Good luck!

Tosca cake

Tosca cake is a sponge cake with an syruplike almond-topping.


Tosca cake:
100 g butter
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup milk

Topping:
75 g butter
75 g almond flakes
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 tbs flour
1 tbs milk

Melt the butter. Beat eggs and sugar in a bowl until fluffy, add the melted butter and half of the milk. Mix flour and baking powder in a separate bowl and sieve half of it into the mixture. Stir the mixture and then add rest of the milk and dry ingredients. Bake the cake at 175 C for about 20-25 minutes in the lower part of the oven.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping by melting the butter on a low heat. Add sugar, milk and sieve the flour and mix well without any lumps. Then add the almond flakes and stir till the topping thickens. Take the cake out and spread the topping evenly on the cake and put it back in the oven. This time, bake the cake in the middle part of the oven for about 15 minutes. Insert a skewer and check if the cake is ready. The cake is ready when the skewer comes out clean and topping is golden brown. Now it's time to enjoy this delicious cake!


Beetroot curry

This is a very common curry among Sinhalese and is frequently included in rice parcels sold in many eateries and restaurants in Sri Lanka. This is very easy to make and tasty. The sweetness of the beetroot is balanced by the spices and the juliennes make the beetroots cook fast, yet is crunchy to eat.


2 medium sized beetroots
1 onion
1/4 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of chili flakes/chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 tsp curry powder 
1 sprig curry leaves
1 cinnamon (optional)
Salt to taste
1 1/2-2 cups of water

Cut the beetroots julienne-style. Heat the oil in a pan, and then add cumin and then onions, curry leaves and fry until light brown, add chili powder and fry for one minute. Add the beetroots and fry them for some time and then add water, curry powder, turmeric and salt in this order. Do taste in between and adjust spices accordingly. Cook for about 25 minutes at medium heat. Serve with rice!

Beetroot halwa


Today I made beetroot halwa for the first time and thought I should share this recipe. Unfortunately, I did not have ghee and replaced it with 1 tbs of coconut oil. I was looking high and low for the ghee and couldn't find it in any of the stores here. But if you have ghee, I think you should definitely use it when making this.

2 cups of beetroot (2 medium-sized beetroots)
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of sugar
1-2 tbs of ghee/or coconut oil
1/4 cardamom powder
1/4 cup of nuts

Grate the beetroots. Add them to a non-stick pan and cook them with the milk at medium heat. You don't have to stir much at first but towards the end when the fluid is evaporating you need to stir continuously. Add the sugar, while there is still 1/4 cup of milk/fluid, visible in the gravy. You can use more sugar if you want to. Stir continuously and well till it thickens and lower the heat towards the end. Add the ghee or coconut oil, nuts and cardamom and mix. I used roasted almonds in the halwa. If you or anyone in the family is allergic to nuts, you could exclude it or use raisins instead.