Watti Soru : Sri lankas other side

We all know the basic traditional Sri lankan food but to be honest I hardly know much of the Sri lankan food. I have relatives in Colombo, negombo and beruwela but Sri Lanka has many towns which are all different to one another. People in Galle cook rice in a different way than of those in Colombo and negombo. Yes I got to know that after my cousin brother married a girl from Galle. She taught my entire family how to make the normal rice aromatic and interesting.  We cook rice just plain with salt or if its yellow rice we add some cinnamon, garlic and pandan leaf with a few french onions. We make buriyani and ghee rice too but when its normal rice and curry we just cook the rice plain with salt. It has no flavour or aroma. People in Galle cook it with curry leaves and pandan leaves to make it aromatic. Now that’s very interesting. When the rice smells good you don’t need any side dish you can just eat it from the pot. Like wise my mother in law makes her rice a bit different by adding some raisins and cashew with onions tempered in oil. It’s different and I am sure kids will  like rice when its different and it’s the beruwela way which i didn’t know till I got married though my mum has a part in beruwela she lived the Colombo style ever since she moved to Colombo after marrying my dad.

Recently I met a friend who is my brother in laws mother in law. It makes her happy to call her as a friend as she is too young to be called as an aunt.  I got to know her only after the wedding and found so much of a foodie in her. She was a living foodie, I hear people say she cooks and send home lots of stuff especially to my mother in law and sister-in-law. But I tasted them only after the wedding.  Trust me she cooks the best beef. She makes good food that’s Sri lankan. She often mentions about the techniques and methods she use to cook and I find it quiet interesting. I can write a whole post about her food. She is the one who made me think of making hoppers. Her stories are really fascinating and when she mentioned how her mother in law questions about the food and the methods used to prepare I was really mesmerized.  She uses those traditional grinding methods to make a fish curry where she grinds the chilli and stuff using those large black stone like thing you roll over the ingredients to grind am not sure what’s it called in English.

She even said they use bred to make hoppers and that’s when i remembered my mum also mentioned that her mother used to make hoppers for them using bread pieces and she was served 5 hoppers for breakfast. Oh my grandma has been such a nice cook. She was from negombo and she cooked the best chicken curry, the best battu curry and best ash plantain  she used the traditional clay pot and wood fire until she went sick and was no more able to stand near a wood fire to cook. Her food smelled so good and the aroma of cooking made sure to bring the entire family to the dining table no matter what they did.

Getting back to my friend she was so nice to prepare a good seafood meal for me and my husband as a send of treat. What she served us made me really happy. It was all fish and prawns. Not the ordinary rice and curry this was different.  She said they call it watti soru and it’s usually served on a banana leaf but as they dint have a banana leaf she served as it is and it was all in a sahan.

meaning of watti soru in english – watti means a flat woven basket sort of thing in Sri Lanka. soru means rice in Tamil in sri Lanka. so its basically basket rice 🙂

The rice the fish fried, deviled, cooked and the prawns deviled. Some vegetables fried and cooked. Grated carrots.

Papadam and curd chillies which were my favourite at any meals. There was some green stuff. Everything on a sahan almost mixed and topped. It’s like a one pot meal but every ingredient you taste has been specially prepared separately and carefully.  They all had their unique taste. She says it’s usually made for pregnant women as a treat but she made it for me as a treat for going to Dubai.

Now am sure you might be anxious to see the image of the dish. Here it is ;

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FYI she was doing i  weligama style 🙂

So like wise there are many parts of sri lanka that i have not yet discovered or experienced jafna is one such part and i hear that food is different in jafna.

Most people are taken the taste of food with those machines which make us lazy. Try grinding your spices using a mortar and pestal and cooking in a clay pot or wood fire the taste is obviously different.

Sri lankas food basically includes its traditional spices like cinnamon sticks, curry leaves, pandan leaves, cloves and pepper. chillie powder and turmeric is a must in most vegetables and meat curry.

Hope you enjoyed exploring a bit of sri lanka with me.

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My Trip to Galle

It’s a shame to say that I’ve never been to the Galle fort until my last vacation. I had been to Galle once when i was a kid and never got off the van as my dad went for a wedding and we were supposed to stay in the vehicle which was parked near the beach. my second trip was to Galle in 2013 to collect some goods from trico. I was preggy and we had to just get the stuff cleared and return home.

before I tied the knot I always tried to apply for the Galle literary festival and become a volunteer so that i can visit Galle and have some fun looking around. the media never stops driving my thoughts towards Galle whenever its the Galle literary festival season. due to my family restrictions that we girls are not sent anywhere alone and dad had office which stopped me from being a volunteer. my dreams were shattered but there was hope.

last January I was on vacation in Sri Lanka and we were in beruwela after a waleema . we all had some free time and someone suggested we go to Galle for an evening. i was overwhelmed with joy that finally my dream is gonna come true. we set off at 4 from home and it was a 45 minutes drive from beruwela through a shortcut which led to the southern highway. from the highway it only took 25 minutes but the 45 minute was for some fuel, snacks and following of relatives.

it was 6 pm when we reached Galle. the sun was setting and the birds were getting home while we drove towards Galle fort through the busy Galle town recollecting and discussing the tsunami in 2004. 10 years and the Galle fort welcomed us with the beautiful lighthouse view and streets decorated with tiny lights for some celebration on the mosques.

we headed towards the lighthouse and sat nearby for a small picnic.the moon was shining bright while the lighthouse stood there giggling at the nature trying to compete who is the brightest of them all, sure is the moon.

we had achcharu and some monis biscuits and small cake sort of thing which is actually called bibikkam in Sri Lanka and I’ve only heard it but it was my first tasting and it was super yummy.

soon after the snacking at around 8 we started of by foot with footwear looking around the Galle fort. every step was mesmerizing. as I walked around taking a few pictures making sure none of my relatives saw me so that they don’t tease me saying “okay, you gonna blog”. the entire area had the Portuguese architecture and I  felt like I was in another world. trust me every step I walked around made me think of staying longer and why haven’t I come here before and why dint we come early.

the boutique style shops, restaurants and hotels all with beautiful interior and exterior the walk around Galle fort was an unforgettable memory. it was my best short trip in Sri Lanka.

you gotta see it to believe it.

if you go on a vacation to Sri Lanka don’t forget to add Galle in your list even for a short visit like I did.

we ended our walk with the ice cream parlor which served some good quantity ice cream and then we headed home.

I missed peddlers in cafe and many more places due to the late visit, lack of time and sudden plan please don’t miss it if you go.

 

3 Restaurants in Colombo

Galadari Shehrazad Restaurant

I’ve been to this restaurant a few many times but this was the first time i visited as a food blogger. Earlier i went to enjoy the food but now i went to blog about it Of course it was a dinner by invitation from a family member.
I couldn’t take much photos but still managed to get my plates. There salad table was super awesome and attractive. They had a soup section, a shawarma stand and a dessert section with the main course.
The seafood pasta and the morocxon lamb was a hit on my plate. They tasted delicious and it’s a must try when ypu visit.

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Eastern Wok

Ever since i herd it’s food was of good quality I’ve been wanting to go but time didnt permit with loads of visiting to do after the wedding and some resting. I was craving for chinese and badly wanted to go for one before leaving sri lanka.

Suddenly a relative called up and invited for dinner and when they mentioned Eastern Wok was the location i was so happy and looked forward to visit.  I’ve been to sizzles but never tried eastern wok.

As i entered we were served a 3 course meal which was filling and satisfying.

They had fish, cuttlefish and prawns for mains while a chicken sweet corn soup was a starter  everyone said the biscuit pudding was a hit and i did like it too.

Overall craving for chinese in colombo?

You know eatern wok is the place to be.

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Channas

I heard many good reviews about channas. Now if someone says a restaurant has good food at an affordable price i always think of a way to try it out.

I had a dinner out that day but decided to order in some food from channas before i left to dubai the next day. So i ordered naans, tandoori chicken,  paneer butter masala with kulfi for dessert.

The order arrived on time and the food was sent in excellent condition.

The tandoori chicken was a bit too small but taste was good. The naan was too big a worth the price. A naan is sufficient for 2 people.  The kulfi was the hit. It was sent in the exact same way they serve for dine-in customers, in that small clay pot neatly wrapped in a foil and it was frozen and cool amidst half an hour of it’s travel from wellawatte to colombo9.

I came home after my dinner and tried all the food though i was full and tasted the kulfi which melted in my mouth.  It’s was the best and original kulfi. Ive tried kulfi ice cream but I’ve never tried the actual kulfi.

This was so delicious.

There kulfis are a mist try and yes the naan too.

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This was the last piece left after all at home ate. That green chutney was yummy.

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Sri lanka and it’s Food

A Photo Story

Some of the sweets served after the waleema function.  Those marzipan strawberries were a hit.

Some of the sweets served after the waleema function. Those marzipan strawberries were a hit.

Trust me those are the best kokis I've ever tasted it with pani/treacle and are so delicious.

Trust me those are the best kokis I’ve ever tasted it with pani/treacle and are so delicious.

The waleema menu was a bit different to the ordinary buriyani. They also served roti with tandoori chicken.

The waleema menu was a bit different to the ordinary buriyani. They also served roti with tandoori chicken.

Those tandoori chicken needs to be eaten hot before you send your guests home :-)

Those tandoori chicken needs to be eaten hot before you send your guests home 🙂

Alright dessert was gajar ka halwa with vanilla ice cream. It was different no usual watalappam serced but that's ok because we had watalappam at many other occasions.

Alright dessert was gajar ka halwa with vanilla ice cream. It was different no usual watalappam serced but that’s ok because we had watalappam at many other occasions.

Sri lankan love cake made to serve the guests at the wedding.  It was so delicious i ate a few after a week too.

Sri lankan love cake made to serve the guests at the wedding. It was so delicious i ate a few after a week too.

These ve cakes keep well over the shelf for days.

These love cakes keep well over the shelf for days.

My sisters homemade kimbula buns. Of course they look a bit thin like my sister but taste the exact same as the bakery buns. I got her recipe and need to try it soon.

My sisters homemade kimbula buns. Of course they look a bit thin like my sister but taste the exact same as the bakery buns. I got her recipe and need to try it soon.

We payed a visit to a cousins house which was having a wedding in a week and this is what we enjoyed.  The traditional thosi. Wow they had nelli thosi and ambarella thosi with love cakes and hot hot patties.

We payed a visit to a cousins house which was having a wedding in a week and this is what we enjoyed.
The traditional thosi. Wow they had nelli thosi and ambarella thosi with love cakes and hot hot patties.

Pilawoos a normal restaurant in Colombo is very famous for its cheese koththu. They are famous for koththus actually.  You can see vehicles lined up on the road to eat pr takeaway koththu at anytime till they close. These koththus are to die for and you should eat it with those spicy gravy thats served in a tiny bag.

Pilawoos a normal restaurant in Colombo is very famous for its cheese koththu. They are famous for koththus actually. You can see vehicles lined up on the road to eat pr takeaway koththu at anytime till they close.
These koththus are to die for and you should eat it with those spicy gravy thats served in a tiny bag.

Sri lankan Style Noodles

A food story with a recipe

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I know the heading might make you wonder. What can it be that makes the name sri lankan style noodles?
If thats the question you get in your mind i am gonna answer it last because it’s surprise.
Sorry for that.
I know noodles is a global ingredient and people make it in different ways.
I believe the chinese way of making noodles is the best and the way they eat using a chopstick is what i prefer but am a sri lankan. I was bought up eating noodles in sri lanka. My aunt used to make noodles in a large pot during a time on weekends that we can just sit and eat plates of noodles. It was made with lots of vegetables and beef. Very spicy and delicious.
Am just drooling over my words.
Believe me you gotta try it to agree.
My dad used to bring noodles from the shop for breakfast. It was served with a hard boiled egg and wrapped in a lunch sheet and newspaper.
Those were the best days.
During my school days i preferred taking pocket money to buy something from the canteen. Mostly it was either idly or noodles. They served noodles in a tiny shopping bag an dneatly tied. Used to buy it and run to my desk sit and gobble 🙂

So these memories are delicious.
Now il tel you what makes this noodles sri lankan. It’s a very aronatic ingredient and some spinning spices.a few cooking techniques play a major role.
Read the recipe below and find out what’s different.

Sri lankan style Noodles

Ingredients

500 gm noodles
1 cup mutton boiled and the stock reserved
1 large potato boiked and cubed
1 large leek shredded into thin strips
Carrot chopped in to long thin strips
1 large onion chopped
2 green chillies chopped
A handful of curry leaves
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon mustard seed
2 pinches of turmeric powder
1 teapsoon chillie powder
1 tablespoon crushed pepper reduce if you prefer less spicy
A few pinches of chillie flakes
Salt to taste

Lets make the noodles sri lankan style

Cook the noodles as instructed on the pack but substitute water with the reserved beef or mutton stock.

In a pan heat oil and sauté onions with curry leaves.

Add the mustard seeds, carrot and leeks.

Add the turmeric powder, chillie powder, salt, crushed pepper and chillie flakes.

Add the green chillies and mix well while tasting for salt and adjusting stir in the boiled potatoes and mutton or beef.

Turn of heat and layer the noodles and curry in a pan to form laters.
Keep the pot over a very low flame and using a wooden spoon stir the entire mixture to incorporate making sure the curry and noodles are all mixed together well.

Heat it for a few minutes and take off heat.

Serve warm with a hard boiled egg.

If your a vegetarian omit the beef or mutton.

My aunt makes with beef or mutton so do i but in school and shops they serve a vegetarian noodle.

What makes this noodles sri lankan style is the aroma of the curry leaves, the flavors of the tempered onion and the mustard seeds while the spices play a major role too.

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No part of this article may be republished, reproduced or be recreated without the authors permission.

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Sri lankan Seeni Sambol Buns

This is my own recipe tried and tested twice.
I got 14 buns with this quantity.

It was 12:10 midnight on Wednesday when i remembered i forgot to make the bun dough as i promised a friend il post the recipe this week.
So i ran to the kitchen and started making the dough.
In 20 minutes i had the dough ready and resting.

Ingredients
4 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon active dried yeast
2 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoon warm water

Directions
Mix yeast with sugar and water. Let it stand for 10 minutes.
Add the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
Stir in the olive oil, milk and yeast mixture and mix well.
Add some water and form a soft and smooth dough.
Let the dough rest overnight.
Next morning punch the dough down and knead with some flour to make a smooth dough.
Make 14 balls from the dough and flatten on a board.
Place some filling and make buns according to desired shapes.
Once you shape the buns let it stay for 5-8 minutes before you bake.
Preheat oven at 200 degrees for 4 minutes and place the buns to bake at 200 degrees for 18 minutes.
The oven temperature and timings are given for a convection microwave oven so please adjust if your using a normal oven to the required temperature and timing.
To get the extra golden colour on top brush with egg yolk or else you still will get a good crust on top.

To make seeni sambol buns make a seeni sambol with some onions
Start with-
Chopping some onions and green chillies as required.
No quantity just use the amount you might need.
Some curry leaves.
Heat a pan with oil and sauté the onions, green chillies and curry leaves until the onions are translucent.
Add some chillie powder, chillie flakes and salt to taste. Why i say to taste is i am a very spicy person and i ended up spillibg a lot of chillie powder on my seeni sambol and my husband was asking if i did it on purpose 🙂 seriously i didn’t.
So i added too much to get the red color but here iz a trick to avoid that mistake. Use some paprika or kashmiri chillie powder you will get the color.
Now add some sugar to balance the flavour. Do not add to much keep in mind the sweetness and spiciness should be equal or else its not a seeni sambol.
Now turn the heat of and sprinkle some cinnamon powder cos powder is more affective and aromatic than the stick. No worries if you have no cinnamon powder just add the cinnamon stick while sautéing the onions so the flavour bursts out.
Now roll the bread dpugh and place some seeni sambol and bake.
There is no particular shape to make seeni sambols but sri lanka has this tiny bread shaped ones which are too good and filling. They are even cute. We call it seeni sambol paan. Paan means bread in sinhala.
I just baked a batch and froze them.
The texture is perfect and the taste is delicious.

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All contents of this blog is copyright protected.
No part of this blog or article maybe reproduced, recreated or published elsewhere without the authors written permission.

Thank you

Cooking like dadama

My dadama was a very good cook. She always cooked the traditional rice and curry to cows leg soups and pillows which is like a banana pancake deep fried and served with some treacle.
Everything my dadama cooked was so delicious. She thought me how to cook a good chicken curry after my dad complained to her about my extra salty and extra spicy chiken. Ever since i always try to make it her way cos it’s so delicious and simple.
Whenever my grandma made some special cows leg soups or whatever nice food she ised to send a portion to my dad and i would taste from it.
Ever since the demis of my grandma my aunt kept sending my dad aby special food she cooked. She does have my grandmas cooking skills and always cooks very tasty food. Having moved to dubai, when ever i crave for dadamas food i try and cook it myself.
This time i was craving for ghee rice which was a habit of my grandma to make them in a very large quantity and send to the mosque. This ghee rice had a coconut flavor and was served with a beef devil or avial as we call it. I tried making the potato avial instead of beef and it tasted perfect.
The best part of this ghee rice was she used to cook and pack them in small bags which was tied and distributed amongst the people. It was so much fun to open the bag and eat the rice. The aroma was extraordinary. The flavors of the spices like cury leaves, pandan leaves and cinnamon were all mixed with this coocnut flavored ghee rice.

You can cook them and refrigerate for upto 3-4 days.

Here is how i cooked it.

Ingredients
2 cups basmathi rice (can use any rice)
1 cup thick coconut milk
2 cups thin coconut milk
1 cup water
2 table spoons ghee
1 medium onion chopped
A handful of curry leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 inch pandan leaves
Salt to taste

Directions
Wash and drain rice.
Temper onions, curry leaves and pnadan leaves in ghee and add the cinnamon sticks.
Stir a minute and add the rice.
Continously stir till the rice is coated with ghee.
Add salt.
Pour the milks and water together and cook till the rice is done.
The cooking time may varry depending on the utensil used to cook like the rice cooker does the auto on and off while the hob need our control. So watch out and cook as you would do anyrice.
The water quantity may vary depending on the rice you use so if you are not using basmathi please use the water and milk according the way you would cook normally.

For the potato devil.
Boil 2 potatoes chopped into cubes.
Chop 2 large onions and sauté in oil.
Add some curry leaves and green chillies.
Add a pinch of turmeric powder.
Season with salt, crushed pepper, chilkie powder and chillie flakes according yo your requirements.
Add the boiled potato cubes and mix gently making aure not to break the potatoes.
Pour a table spoon of thick coconut milk and let it boil over a very low heat.

Give it a quick mix to coat the potatoes with the spices and turn off the flames.

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