Agar agar ; Ramadan Sweet

We call it sanja and the packets says it’s agar agar and now gelatine bars.
Whatever it’s called it tastes so good and looks colorful. It cooks very fast and sets with no refrigeration.
Here is how you do it basically.

Ingredients
1 pack agar agar
4 cups water
Sugar as required
Preferred color

Directions

1. Boil water in a pan.
2. Add agar agar and cook over a medium flame.
3  Add sugar when the mixture starts thickening slightly.
4. Once the mixture thickens add preferred color and pour on a flat tray.
5. Keep it covered and away from insects until it sets.
6. Once it sets cut into squares and serve.

Refrigeration is required when keeping more than a day.
Store different colors separately in different boxes.

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Thats my sanja 🙂

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Thats the raw sanja or agar agar.

Here are a few Ideas to make them look more beautiful and fun –

1. Add nuts and fruits to uncoloured sanja or agar agar. The will look yummy and lovely.

2. Add some sweetened condensed milk instead of sugar for a heavy texture and more enhanced sweetness.

3. Cut into different shapes to serve for kids parties.

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Sri lankan falooda

I know two types of falooda one is the sri lankan one and the other is bombay version, am not quiet sure of the exact difference between the two yet I know for sure that both taste good in their own way. I make falooda at home which is our homemade version of sri lankan falooda and it’s with kasa kasa also known as black poppy seeds. Two years ago I celebrated my 1st ramadan in dubai by hosting an ifthar for friends and co workers of my husband and my husband taught me how to use agar agar with falooda. I really enjoyed it and ever since started following the same technique while making falooda.
Here is a quick and photogenic post on how to make it.
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Prepare bowls with different colors.
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Add agar agar into boiling water quantity to be followed according to instructions on packet.
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Pour the agar agar mixture through a sieve over the prepared bowls. Mix well and let them set. As they set grate using a grater.
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Sprinkle on top of a glass of falooda made with rose water, condensed milk and cool water.
In a few minutes see the colors seperate and create a shade of colors on your falooda.
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How to make this agar agar –
Boil 4 cups of water
Add 1 pack agar agar and stir continuously until the agar agar melts and the mixture thickens.
To check consistency pour a drop onto a dry surface and see if it sets partially if so its ready to pour. Another way is to pour a drop onto a bowl of cold water if the drop curdles.
If so take off heat.
Add color after the mixture is thickened.

Food styling stuff

So many beautiful photographs of food has always lifted my appetite while encouraged me to try taking similar photos while I post on my blog. I have read many food photography articles which have really helped me to learn how to take photographs of my food. I am so addicted in practicing them that i have started spending a few dirhams on buying the utensils and cloths. I fancy checkered cloths when I take photographs in the morning and for breakfast recipe photos.  I believe that red and white checkered backgrounds make it more bright and gives a picnic look for the post. I love picnics which I only have been once to a teachers house from school on my third grade.  It was so nice and I enjoyed my meal shared with a friend sitting on the green grass. I believe that a picnic rule is to spread a red and white checkered cloth.

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The second material I mostly have liked on many photographs is the jute material.  It gives a very rustic and spicy look for the photograph. I ended up buying a lot of jute material so that I can make small bags and store my spices in them which am not sure when I will accomplish.

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The third material is cross stitch canvas, I’ve worked on it at  school but I love the look of it on food photographs as it gives a very clean and neat background (according to myself).
I asked for a metre and later found its the most expensive item on the store. I ended up buying too much which I can share with anyone who is willing.

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I wanted  cheese boards and I wanted to get something like Jamie olivers boards on which he serve some kind of food (the name I cannot remember). Its so colorful and looks devine. So here I went shopping for boards they are not that expensive yet very heavy. I am gonna paint them both sides and use them as I want.

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Did I mention I like wooden backgrounds and trays if not thats it. I love wooden stuff. I think every pantry should own something wooden apart from the pantry cupboard itself.
Wooden trays are very expensive. Some go upto 60 dirhams for a small one while large ines even cost 100 dirhams. I am not gonna get that expensive trays at the moment as am still a basic food photographer.  I need to sharpen my skills and prove I am good to own very expensive utensils. Until then I got myself this small round wooden tray thats just 25 dirhams. Ots a bit too costly yet I’ve gotta pay for the wood.

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I’ve mentioned in many of my posts that I love cooking on clay pots and this is the one pot I got 6 months ago and luggage restrictions stopped me from carrying this to dubai and it’s been patiently waiting in my  cupboard until I return. So am now back here and is responsible to give it priority or it will break of sorrow. These pots are just 10 dirhams and are light weight stuff. I missed them so much and can’t wait to take them to see dubai.
Trust me tempering onions and curry leaves in them oh I have no words to describe.  It’s just so refreshing.

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This basket is gonna be used for decorative purpose.  Its made of kithul wood. Oh kithul that ine tree has a is so beneficial in every way.  The kithul treacle and jaggery is so healthy and recommended for diabetes while kithul flour is also being produced.  Kithul wood is being used to make beautiful baskets, spoons and many other stuff. They are so traditional looking and are suitable for styling a very traditional dish. This basket cost me just 20 dirhams and can hold a kilogram of onions.
The spoon made of kithul wood also cost me 20 dirhams and should be wiped after each wash to preserve it and prevent it from getting fungus.

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Cane products play a significant role when it comes to cupcakes and fruits. The highlight the fruits. Although only 15 dirhams each they are huge and light weight stuff and are worth spending on as the uses are unlimited.

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Oh dear I just saw an jmage of a boiled egg in this so I bought it. Good for photography and is just 4 inches in height and cost me 12 dirhams.

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Isnt it a beauty??? This is only 18 dirhams and so traditional looking.  This bowl reminds me of a modern vaddah.
Coconut tree is one other plant that we can benefit in multiple ways. Starting with coconut and ending with broomsticks, spoons and bowls. The coconut tree has created a memorable mark in a household by being at every household in some or the other way (especially in sri lanka).
My next investment is gonna be for this bowl. Anyone else like to get one from sri lanka? Please email me I will get it.
It’s 40 days tomorrow since my dad passed away and am still not ready to blog about my food adventure here back in sri lanka. Although am so impressed by the food photos and recipes I come across everyday especially fooderati arabia am not yet ready to gear up on my blog. I want to keep up with my followers and inform all of you’ll that I will be back soon in sha allah with something nice.

So when I dont cook to blog I shop to cook.