I’m half Sri-Lankan so loving Sri-Lankan food is a given…and the greens that my grandmother (Archchi) cooks are an all round favourite of mine. So I was very excited to be able to learn how to make this variation which uses a leaf called Mallum. I’d not heard of it before but it’s known in Sri-Lanka to be very nutritious. I also tried a Mallum salad and Mallum style porridge (very green but tasty).
I’m going to try making this dish at home with Swiss chard because that’s what I have growing in my garden. Here’s my great aunt showing us how to do it, in her kitchen in Sri-Lanka.
What are your favourite curry recipes? Have you been to Sri-Lanka, I’d love to know.
We’ve had a right plum glut this year, after making much plum jam I decided something else was needed. We love a good chutney….along with cheese, fresh salads and maybe a little wine. For me a chutney needs to be thick, fragrant and a bit spicey, so here is my take on a chutney recipe, inspired by my Sri-Lankan roots. I’ve added in some spices from the Spice Isle.
It took me flipping ages to make, but having tasted it I can say it was well worth it. A labour of love to make and a labour of love to eat.
Sri-Lanka Plum Chutney Recipe:
1 kg plums – halved and destoned
2 large cooking apples peeled and chopped
2 large onions finely chopped
4 garlic cloves crushed
250g dried prunes
500g brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 heaped tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cardomom
1/2 tsp groound cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
575ml malt vinegar
Chop, destone and crush all the ingredients – it’s a lot of prep but put on some music and dance whilst you do it 😉
Place in a large pan and bring to the boil.
Reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 hrs or until thick enough to leave a trail when you run a wooden spoon through it. Be warned, the chutney will thicken a bit more once you put it in jars.
Keep stirring occasionally as it simmers.
Taste before potting up, add extra cayenne if wanted.
Pour into sterilised jars and seal. This will improve over time and keep for at least a year.
I love my house and I love my garden. We’re fortunate enough to have 2 ancient yet bountiful fruit trees, a greengage and a plum. All that fruit is amazing and super tasty, but it can be hard work knowing what to do with it all. Today was PLUM DAY. It’s a day I both love and dread. I love eating the picking, eating and planning, I’m less keen on the destoning and preparation of fruit. I’ve officially decided you can get RSI from plum destoning.
This year I decided to make plum jam – it’s an old recipe that we’ve used several years in a row, requires only 3 ingredients and I think it’s pretty fool proof. If you’re someone who hasn’t made jam before then give it a go. I made 2 batches of this so now we have plenty of jars for us and some to give away too. I know jam has a lot of sugar in but a little also goes a long way. In our house, it’s a treat 😉
With still more plums to use I had to consult the recipe books….and found a yummy sounding Prune Chutney, which of course I have adapted to suit me as I never actually follow a recipe. I can’t wait to try this one. Cheese, cold meat….and chutney – OH YES.
Plum Jam Recipe (makes about 8 jars):
3kg plums (no need to destone or chop – WHOOP)
2 kg sugar
Use non squidgy, unblemished plums for this, not qute ripe ones ill work well as well as ripe ones.
Place the plums and water in a large pan (I use my pressure cooker pan) with the water and bring to the boil, bubble for 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add the sugar, stir in and then place back on the heat and bring to the boil.
Boil for 10 minutes and stir, continue to boil and stir, gently removing the stones as they come to the surface, but keep the rest of the fruit in the pan (sounds obvious but a certain husband removed stones plus fruit leaving no jam!).
After about 20 minutes it should be ready, look thickened and jam like 😉 I don’t do any jam tests but can tell when it’s ready.
Pour into sterilised jam jars and seal.
Do you have fruit trees in your garden? What do you do with all your fruit?
This recipe is one of our family favs and I love the fact that although it’s a flapjack it’s not full of syrup. My toddler girl loves cooking with me and this is a recipe that she can really get involved with, here’s some photo’s of her doing so from an earlier post.
1/2 cup sultanas
1 tbsp honey
2 mashed bananas
Weigh out oats and sultanas
In a separate bowl weigh out honey and marg, then melt, if you prefer a sweeter option you could add a little brown sugar too, I don’t (I heat in the microwave for 40 seconds).
Mash the bananas (my little one does this)
Mix all the ingredients together. I tend to find that a lot of the sultanas end up in small persons mouth whilst the mixing process occurs!
Place into a greased tin and bake at Gas Mark 5 for 30 mins. You may want to cover the top for half the cooking so the sultanas don’t burn.
Slice whilst it is warm and leave to cool before removing from the tin.
I’m certainly not an experienced baker at all….yet I love giving things a go. Plus when you are wheat intolerant it can be cheaper to make things yourself rather than buy them. So in the back of my mind I had planned to try making some hot cross buns in the run up to Easter. Typically life ran away with itself, time fly by and on Easter Sunday there were still no hot cross buns.
However on Easter Monday I was tweeted a recipe to try….it being a rainy Bank Holiday I decided to take the plunge. These aren’t something to bake in a hurry but if you are around the house and have time to let them rise then give them a go! I had to adapt the recipe which I admit did make me quite nervous, however I was delighted with the results and a teeny bit proud of myself 😉
200g Rice flour
100g rye flour
50g tapioca starch
50g potato flour
(Alternatively 500g of a good GF flour mix)
1 tsp xanthum gum
2 tsp yeast
300ml warm milk
75g caster sugar
Mix all the above together to make a dough, but don’t knead it. Then place into an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place. This took about 1 1/2 hours for mine. It should almost double in size and it feels risen to the touch, springy and doughy.
Whilst it rises have a sit down, a cuppa, sweep the kitchen, do some catching up on twitter (you get the idea) and also mix together:
1 tsp olive oil
zest 1 orange
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 grated nutmeg
Mix this fruity bunch into the dough and leave it to rise once more. I left mine most of the afternoon. Leaving it longer than needed won’t harm it. Then shape into rounds, about 12, and get ready for the creative bit. Mix a couple of tbsp of gluten free flour with a drizzle of water and mix to a thick paste. Pop into a piping back and pipe on your crosses. Here’s mine before cooking:
Pop in the oven at Gas Mark 7 for 20 minutes. I checked mine and swapped the upper and middle trays over half way through. Leave to cool on a wire rack and enjoy. Yum.
It’s wheat free, gluten free, vegetarian and vegan and baby friendly too, but is it tasty? OH YES. This is one of those meals that I hadn’t made for ages, I tend to get into a cycle of making certain meals and forget about all the others that are out there. Suddenly seeing the bag of red lentils in my cupboard and the random veggies lying around my brain pinged into recipe action and I remembered this gem…so here it is for you to also try.
We all love this recipe in my house and find it a great substitute for a meat bolognaise. Plus it’s easy to make.
If you have a food processor (I can’t live without mine) chop 1 onion and 3 cloves of garlic in it. Now add in a pile of veggies, most will work. I always use carrots and some form of peppers, this time we had 4 carrots, 1 courgette, 1 green pepper and a handful of mushrooms. I’ve used celery, leek, kale and cabbage in the past too. A great recipe for using up leftover bits and past their best veggies. Chop all the veggies finely in the food processor (or by hand) and heat a tiny drizzle of oil in a pan. Simply add the veggies to the pan along with some lentils, I’d say about 2 cups of lentils for 4 people. It should look a little like this:
Throw in a tin of chopped tomatoes and then half till the can with water and add that too. Now the fun part – customise this as you want to. I add in seasoning, mixed herbs, bay leaves, balsamic vinegar, tomato puree and whatever else I have to hand. Here it is in the pan.
Let it simmer for 30-40 mins gently or until the lentils are cooked and serve with pasta. It was quite literally yummy. Give it a go and please let me know how you get on.
Tonight I needed a quick, easy meal that could be thrown together with ease. You know those days when you wake up feeling tired, then spend the day running around, get to the evening and suddenly uh oh, it’s almost dinner time and you’ve not made any, you need something healthy and filling….well that was my day today. Pilates class, washing, cleaning, baking, baby party, and a teething, clingy baby but hungry mouths to feed.
So 5pm came and I raided the fridge. Finding a pack of peppers and some mozzarella I felt inspired. Cue the oven warming up to gas mark 6. Peppers thickly sliced onto a baking tray, chunky onions join them along with some halved large mushrooms, a drizzle of olive oil along with a splash of water and in they go to roast for about 40 minutes. Remember olive oil may be a healthier fat but it is still a fat, so a small drizzle, the water does the rest.
Meanwhile the baby partially ate her dinner and partially painted it in her hair and around her highchair 😉
Towards the end of the roasting the pasta went on (wheat free for me). Once cooked all that needed to be done was mix the pasta with the roasted veggies, mix in some chunks of creamy mozzarella and a teaspoon of pesto. After a busy day, this was simple, quick, easy, healthy, tasty family food.
I love a bargain, shoes, clothes, bags, they’re all good, but I must admit one of the bargain that excites me the most is food. I love rooting round the reduced food section of the shops and pulling out random items then concocting a hopefully delicious meal based around my beautiful bargains.
But what can you do if all that’s in the reduced section is a pile of worse for wear veggies? Do you pass those slightly sad specimens and ignore them? They may not be in their prime but if you take them home and use them quickly (on the day preferably) then you can knock up a scrummy meal for a cost saving price.
This week I picked up a couple of large bags of parsnips, reduced right down, so today we have made parsnip soup. Here’s what I did:
Parsnips peeled and chopped, put into a pan and cover with some stock (either a stock cube and water or homemade stock), simmer until parsnips are soft (10-15 mins). Then blitz with a blender until it’s smooth and creamy. I then added in come curry powder, black pepper and milk plus some grated nutmeg. And that’s it! I made enough soup for 6 people for about 60p.
I love vegetarian food, though I’m not actually a vegetarian. I love the colours, flavours and creativeness of it. We tend to have meatless meals 3-4 days a week and use lentils, beans and pulses a lot.
Last week I really fancied having a go with Quinoa, its not something we eat that often but being wheat free I can’t eat cous cous and had had an urge for making stuffed peppers, plus the baby hadn’t given Quinoa a go yet.
These came our really well, even if my husband had to take his in a plastic tub back to work to eat as his on-call phone rang! His comments were that it was difficult to eat without a knife but the Quinoa was delicious and nutty. The baby managed to eat hers all without a knife 😉 fingers sufficed and the whole lot went quite quickly, so I’m taking that as a compliment.