Food Story : Cake of the fortnight

Buying recipe books is not easy as it seems when they are affordable at a place like the floating book shop logos hope. The price made me grab all book on cake and baking. The 100 cakes book encouraged me to try put a cake a week which is why I ended up trying the third cake from this book. It has 100 cakes and I have no idea how I will be able to try them all out. Its kind of challenge to me. I have a basic cake recipe which is soft and delicious that calls for equal amount of flour, sugar and butter. But many recipes I’ve come across in books call for different measurements on each ingredient. That’s the key reason why I wanted to try all the 100 cake recipes from my recent cake book. So this cake is the 3rd recipe I tried out of the 100 cakes.
This recipe has a different flavor as it contains Nutella and almonds.
I tried Nutella very recently only after visiting Sri Lanka. Though I’ve seen many offers on nutella in Dubai I’ve never got the urge to try it out. I am now a fan of nutella, for those who have not yet tried nutella please try soon ,its chocolaty and delicious. Use it as a topping for cakes, cookies, éclairs and doughnuts.

I was not so sure on how the cake might turn out which is why I tried baking the cakes first and they were really good with a bit of crunchiness from the almonds and sweetness from the nutella with a chocolaty flavor.
ice cream
I was so lazy to make the topping which was also from nutella I cut the cup cake vertically into half and topped each half with a scoop of fruit and nut ice cream. It was so delicious and went together very well. The crunchiness of the almonds and softness of the cake added an extra taste to the fruit and nut ice cream.

Weekly Photo Challenge : Layer

Well its time to post a picture for the weekly photo challenge and get some socialising.  Iove the topic this week. Its foodilicious.  When I read “layers” the first thing that comes to my mind is cakes. Layered cakes and icing. Here is a picture of the flower or snowflake which I did at my wilton class recently. Well am just showing my work.



Kichchadi (a green gram, rice and jaggery sweet)

Greem gram

We all have different uses of green grams. In srilanka my family havr around few ways on how we add green gram to out daily meals.
Mostly its consumed as a sweet dish.
One simple way we eat green grams is by boiling it with salt and water. Boiled green grams are served with katta sambol and some scraped coconut to give it a spiciness and treat those anti sweet tooth.
For those sweet thoothed we serve it with some coconut and crystal sugar which is then mixed and eaten. I prefer it with sugar as am a bit extra sweet thoothed. The green gram boiled water is also very tasty when drunk with a bit of sugar mixed in it. My mum says its healthy I bet with a bit less sugar.

Another way green gram is used in srilanka is by grinding it to a powder and adding some sugar, jaggery and some other stuff which am not quiet sure of, I will have to ask my grand mum and update you’ll on the recipe later. So it made into a halva sort of thing and cut into diamond shapes which is then dipped in a batter and deep fried. This is called mung kavum in sinhala and payaru paniyaram in tamil. We can call it green gram halwa in English :).
So this green gram halwa is widely available in srilankan food stalls and stores. These green gram halwas are specifically prepared during sinhala and tamil new year as a treat for the new year. In my granny’s family which comes from negombo they prepare this sweet during each festival and weddings to serve the guests. My mum love this sweet and so does my brother. We are all fans of this particular sweet.

The third way in which green gram is eaten is by making a Kichchadi.
Kichchadi is a dish with a combination of green gram, rice, jaggery, sugar, water and salt to taste. A few spices such as cinnamon and cardamon enhances the flavor. A pandan leaf added to it will raise your appetite.
This is a very sweet dish which is heavy and always consumed in a small quantity often during the evenings.

The last way in which I’ve tasted green gram is as a porridge. We never had it home made but there was a person selling these green gram porridge on a small cart near the mosque close to our house. I remember the good old days when I was a little girl of 12 I used to walk all the way to the place and buy the porridge and sometimes my dad would bring it for us after prayers. It was given to us in a small bag and would be very hot. Literally everyday we would buy it. It was so sweet and delicious.


1 cup green gram
1/4 cup rice
1/2 a cup grated/scraped jaggery
2 inch pandan leaves
2 teaspoon thick coconut milk
3 pods of cardamon
1 small piece about 1 cm cinnamon
Sugar as required
A pinch of salt
Water 4 cups

Cooking Instructions
1) wash the rice and green gram together.
2) Add the water, green gram, rice, jaggery, salt, pandan leaf, cardamon, cinnamon cook on a small pressure cooker for 15 minutes or until 5 whistles blow.
3) Always cook this according to time you think is requuired as each persons pressure cooker is different to the other and some might take longer or less time to cook each dish.
4) add more water if your pressure cooker will take longer or add less if it might take less time.
5) if you’re not sure about the average cooking time in a pressure cooker try using a rice cooker or a medium pot over gas stove which helps you check if the green gram is cooked or not.
6) Once the rice and green gram is cooked add some sugar as required and pour the coconut milk.
7)mix well and leave it closed to simmer.
8) Once the mixture gets thick and starts sticking to each other the dish is ready to be served.

Serve by scooping it on a dish.
Try it while its still warm and enjoy the aroma of the spices and pandan leaves, the sweetness of the jaggery and the slight crunchiness of the green gram.


World Food Photography Day 2013

Posting for a food and travel blog is not as easy as one might think. It has taken me a year to get to this level of photography and writing all about food and travel. All these years I’ve learnt photographs are what attracts readers to a site and an example is my own self. I go on google search and click on images. I visit sites that display good quality pictures. So each and everyone should be similar which is why I decided to focus on improvising my photos and developing a good content.
All the experience and research taught me that travel photographs should have a good light effect and highlight the area where as food photographs must be taken in good light while the food itself should be displayed in light color plates with a background to suit.
Food served in white plates look more appetising and delicious when photographed.

Here are some pictures from my recent buffet dinner at colombos leading hotel where CHOGM delegates and participants are accommodated the Kingsbury.

I post this today to celebrate world food photography day 2013.


The starters


The mains


A srilankam touch


The dessert


Chicken BBQ and Foccacia – Food Story & Recipe

Food Story

I have never done or seen a BBQ live in my life until I met my husband and we moved into dubai. The first year in dubai, winter appeared in just six months since I moved into dubai. All supermarkets were stocked with winter clothes and BBQ items from charcoal to BBQ grills and many offers on Chicken. I was so excited to have a BBQ and finally my husbands office had a BBQ party to which I was also invited. It was a family get together as well for office staffs and the boses birthday so the party was held on the 31st of December night which was planned to go on till early in the morning of january 1st.
I reached the party and had a warm welcome. After spending some time chatting with Co – staff employees wifes and the boses family I was so distracted by the sight of wine being served for guests who preferred to drink and later on I made up my mind as these things are common and we can never stop whats on around us unless it’s our residence.
Similarly if we are at a hotel, we do not leave without eating just because the hotel serves alcohol for the customers who as for a drink, do we?
No we dont.
so I was feeling a bit comfortable and planning to have the first BBQ which was being grilled live in front of my eyes.
I was with my hubby’s cousin and his wife who was a person who cover her face. She hardly drank or ate anything and they were in a hurry to leave as we were supposed to attend another bowling party at a bowling centre in mirdiff.
I was so wanting to eat the BBq which I agreed to eat a few pieces soon as I was served waiting for none except the heat to cool down. We quickly ate the BBQ which I learnt later that it was not chicken but duck meat.
Soon as we left the party in haste to beat the new year outing Traffic and reach the bowling centre in time to play and celebrate the new year. So this is my story of trying oyt a BBQ live for the first time in my life.
Later on in mid winter I and my hubby got together and had a BBQ night on a weekend.
And we also had a good get together amongst my husbands friends and cousins.
After having all these fun in dubai I was sincerely reminded of my family back in sri lanka. They are same as myself have never tried a BBQ live and tasted at home. So I decided I will try this out with them and let them experience the joy of winter food.
On my recent vacation to sri lanka I went shopping for a instant BBQ grill and got some chicken meat marinated with nothing special but the normal spices at home.
It was a bit drizzling outside while I tried to light the instant grill inside the courtyard of our house.
It took a few unsuccessful attempts and finally ended up adding a bit of kerosene into the grill and the chicken meat hardly got cooked. Fimally I decided to place the chicken on top of the gas flame and get it grilled. The kitchen was filled with mild smoke and I was sweating due to the heat. The chicken was finally cooked but there were more to be cooked. I was so tired and exhausted of struggling to do a BBQ and failing I decided to get the rest of the chicken baked. Finally I was having chicken done using two different methods grilling over medium flame and baking in a moderate oven.


The presentation

I wanted to serve the three elements individually on a plate but decided to assemble it in top of each other and make it more easier to eat and appetising for the eyes.
So finally I cut and placed the foccacia bread in a tray and topped it with a slice of capsicum, tomatoes and a piece of the chicken.
I served each one a set of these with one being flame grilled chicken while the other being oven baked chicken.


The Foccacia Bread

This was none other than my very own recipe inspired by jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meals. I never measured any ingredients and I usually add them according to my experience and knowledge.
Refer my pizza dough in zataar keema pizza and am sure you’ll get all your bases perfect.
fdocca cia

My BBQ Recipe

500 gms chicken
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon chillie powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper
Salt to taste
Method of preparation
1) Clean, wash and pat dry the chicken.
2) Add all the ingredients and mix well.
3) grill over a BBQ grill until done or bake in a moderate oven according to the time required for your oven and until cooked evenly.

Serve with a choice of bread, rice or rotti over a spread of some humus, raw vegetables such as tomatoes, capsicum, onions and lettuce or even any other green vegetable.

Serve with humus and flat rotti to give the dish an arabian twist.
Drizzle some extra olive oil to give it an Italian twist and serve with foccacia.
For an indian taste serve with sambar and plain rice or some cumin rice.

Hope you enjoyed this post.
(C) travelandfoodworldwide mafaza haleem

Vegetable Rotti (Elavalu Rotti)


Vegetable Rotti

Serves 6-8 rottis

Preparation time – 30 minutes

Cooking time – 15 minutes


For the dough

4 cups wheat flour
½ cup olive oil or as required
1 tsp salt
Water to knead the dough
For the filling
2 cups beef/mutton (boiled)
2 big onions
½ cup curry leaves
4-5 green chillies
1 cup carrots (shredded)
½ cup cabbage (shredded)
1 cup potatoes (diced)
1 cup leeks (chopped)
1 tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp mustard
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 ½ tsp chillie powder
½ tsp chillie flakes (optional)
salt to taste
2 tbsp olive oil


The wrap

  1. Sift the flour, add salt, 2 tsp olive oil, water and knead into a soft and smooth dough.
  2. Add 2-3 tsp olive oil and keep kneading the dough for 10 minutes turning it over the work surface until it incorporates to soft, smooth and shiny dough.
  3. Make small balls about 2 and a 1/2 inch diameter, drizzle some oil on each ball and cover with a damp cloth and leave the dough to rest for 30 minutes.
  4. 4.      This dough can be used instantly without leaving to rest for 30 minutes either way it tastes great.

The filling

  1. Heat oil in a medium size pan over a medium heat and temper onions and curry leaves.
  2. Add the green chillies and stir. Add the carrots and potatoes and let it cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in shredded cabbages, leeks and mix well. Add the spices and salt.
  4. Keep sautéing for a minute and add a cup of water keep it closed for 5-6 minutes checking occasionally for the water level and make sure the vegetables doesn’t get burnt.
  5. If the vegetables require more cooking add more water as required.
  6. Once the vegetables are tender add the meat and sauté for a few minutes.
  7. When the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan stir and take off heat.
  8. Let it cool for 15 minutes.
  9. Roll each ball of dough into 25 cm by 14 cm thin sheets and place a generous amount of the vegetable mixture on one side and fold in the three sides of the dough and roll it like a roll.
  10. Heat a griddle in high and turn it to medium place the rottis and cook each side until slightly golden brown about 4-6 minutes on each side and remove from heat.

Hints- Use a pressure cooker to boil the meat if you have one which will help you prepare within the time mentioned.

 This rotti is idea for a picnic, lunch box or a quick snack to be taken anywhere and eaten at any time, easy to eat with less mess.

  • As these rottis contain vegetables I believe this is an ideal way to serve vegetables for kids who are really picky and avoid vegetables.
  • Wrap the rottis in a foil to preserve the crispiness on a picnic or lunch box.
  • You can prepare this with either meat or vegetable filling (use both for extra flavor).
  • These wraps/rottis are an appetizer/snack which is very delicious and sure you’ll end up eating more than 2 forgetting about your diet.
  • Can be served as a quick breakfast.

Untitled-4 Untitled-3

Recipe by mafaza haleem


Carnival Ice cream Parlour

A Must Visit place for delicious ice creams in Colombo

Are you planning your next vacation in srilanka?
Then I have a great lot to update you’ll on where to visit, what to expect and places to dine. Thats what am doing on by vacation here. Am roaming my home town colombo like a tourist in my town checking out new stuff and taking images to post and share with my readers.
Before I post all the details I mentioned above I would like to say mark your memo and add an alarm.
Wondering for what?
Its to visit the carnival parlour in colombo.
Its a parlour of ice creams.
They have a variety of flavours and different portions.
The price is very affordable.
All ice creams are between 15 dirhams or 5 dollars and 400 srilankan rupees. Doesn’t that sound affordable?
Its so delicious and each variety has a scoop of three or more.
I’ve tried the banana boat which had four different scoops and the sultanas delight which has three large scoops.
The californian delight has three different flavors and its my latest Favoutite.
All ice creams are made by the carnival ice cream parlour and it has an ample parking space with air conditioned seating to sit and enjoy your ice cream while chatting with family and friends or even a date.
Well visit and find out for yourself as to how good the carnival ice cream parlour is and I bet you would agree to my points.

sultana delight

sultana delight

californian delight

californian delight

20131103_213432 20131103_213441

Visiting carnival ice cream parlour and having ice cream was in my top priority list on the to do things in colombo.
And its marked done yet must visit again 🙂