I’m half Sri-lankan and that half of me tends to have a large influence in my cooking styles. Luckily my husband is a huge fan of this type of cooking and the toddler is quite keen too. In fact we took her to Sri-Lanka and she suprised me by eating nearly everything I ate, spices and all!
We have a local South Indian Restaurant that makes (amongst other amazing dishes) the most awesome Masala Dosa. it literally is comfort food to my soul and one way to cheer me up (take note husband!). My mouth waters just thinking about it. I keep on thinking about having a go at making it, I look at a few recipes and then get drawn to something else. But this weekend a chat on twitter about curry inspired me. So here is my version of an easy to make Masala Dosa. I’ve added in a pile of broccoli to get more vegetables into the meal, it’s not the athentic recipe but trust me, it’s divine.
This also makes fab finger food when sliced up, my toddler had much fun dipping it into some chutney and getting messy fingers 🙂
For the Dosa batter:
100g rice flour
100g chickpea (gram) flour
1/4 sp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp mustard seeds
For the Filling:
2 baking potatoes
1 head of broccoli finely chopped
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp ginger
1 fresh chilli finely chopped
Bake the potatoes in the microwave (about 10 minutes on high) then finish them off in the oven (10-15 minutes Gas Mark 5), or just in the oven if you prefer.
Slice in half and leave the potatoes to cool a little whilst you make the dosa batter and cook the broccoli.
Finely slice the broccoli and steam until tender.
Mix the flours, bicarbonate of soda and mustard seeds together, add enough water to make a thin pancake batter. Set aside.
Heat a pan and add rapeseed oil, then the mustard seeds, allow the seeds to pop a little. Scoop out the middle of the potatoes and add to the pan along with the spices and stir well. Add the broccoli and chilli. You almost want to create a mash so use a wooden spoon to mash the broccoli into the potato a bit. Add some water to make the mixture pliable and spreadable.
Heat a non stick frying pan. Wipe some oil around in with some kitchen roll then pour in 1 ladle of the batter.
Swirl the pan so the batter covers the whole area. Leave it for a few minutes until there are lots of bubbles on the surface and the top is starting to cook a little, so it no longer liquid.
Now add a spoonful of the filling, spread it over the dosa, covering it.
When then edges of the dosa start to curl up you can roll it up (watch your fingers it will be hot!).
Curry. We all seem to love it in the UK. I come from a Sri-Lankan background so to me curry has always been an important part of life. My problem is it has to be GOOD curry. I don’t mean super chilli-power but…. the fragrantly spiced, cooked from scratch, packed with fresh ingredients type of curry.
The best way to share curry is with friends, so today that’s what we did.
6 adults (including Steph and Dee), 5 children, 3 curries plus accompaniments. IT WAS GOOD!
Here’s a run down of what we had:
Sri-Lankan Chicken Curry
Butternut Squash and greens
Steph’s flatbreads with cumin seeds
Yoghurt to help the children’s palates
A few of my grandmothers homemade cutlets and patties.
The best bit of the meal for me…. the general chatter, people hanging out, children playing and then watching a whole table tuck in. Even the smallest ones enjoyed it. What’s your favourite way to enjoy curry?
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.
Breakfast….it’s one of my favourite meals of the day, and even more so when I’m in Sri-Lanka.
I’m half Sri-Lankan and so I have a special love for this teardop shaped island in the sun. We visit regularly as we have lots of family and also work with Young Hope – a charity that supports children orphaned post tsunami and the civil war.
One of the best bits about visiting Sri-Lanka for me has to be the food. I am a true food-a-holic. Good food makes me happy. Tasty, healthy food is even better. Sri-Lankan cuisine can be great for hitting that food spot for me.
In the UK breakfast can be a bit of a dull affair, lots of toast and cereal. Over in Sri-Lanka it’s a whole different story…. think tropical fruit, Hoppers – special pancakes that are crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, string hoopers – rice noodles shaped in a round design, omelettes, kiri-bath – coconut rice and many varieties of rice and curry. Yup that’s right, rice and curry for breakfast. I love to embrace all of this and actually rice and curry for brekkie is pretty good. My personal preference is for lentils with a fish curry served with a spoon of chilli hot sambol…..and it’s all wheat free, yay!
What’s the strangest thing you’ve had for breakfast?
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.
Freelance Dietitian specialising in helping those with Eating Disorders and a Media Spokesperson for the profession.