Revisiting memories; first time on print and first ever coffee and cook workshop attended

As a new expat in dubai I was so lot of activities to keep myself busy apart from the daily chores at home.  So when ever I am free I stumbled over many websites and magazines that were freely available online.  One such magazine was the aquarius a publication of the gulf news in dubai. I was asked to sign up for the membership in order to be eligible for a seat at the coffee and cook workshop. I was not very sure if I really was able to go due to event being on a weekday. Although am free at home I had many worries like if I’d be able to go so far to festival city alone in a country which I’ve been only for six months. Anyway I was so excited to attend the event and started researching on the metro routes, time and the bus routes. I am really amazed to think that I was so courageous to  travel so far by myself.
I have travelled by metro  to meet my husband whose office was in deira before they mived into al barsha. But I have never travelled in a bus all alone. This was my first experience.  Reaching al rashidiya metro and talong a bus to festival city was so exciting.  The bus had only a few passengers and the ride was bumpy that I almost rolled over to my seat while getting in. Getting off at the festival city and facing an isolated garden which had only vehicles that delivers goods to the shops I walked in hastily in search of jashanmal store. It was a very long walk. Having finally reached the store and meeting the editor of aquarius was an unforgettable experience. Meeting chef andy was even more fun as he was a friendly person. He welcomed any questions and answered with patience and passion. I can say that he was one of the few who inspired me into food blogging.  The recipes he demonstrated were really different and new for me and he even offered me his own copy of the lemon tart recipe. It was my first ever public appearance and the first time I was been interviewed so my hands were shivering while I struggled for words to mention my experience of participation in the coffee and cook workshop.
I received a free copy of the aquarius magazine and many more gifts apart from the new experience.
The event was held just a day before my birthday and the goft I won was like a pre birthday gift.
The two months later an article was published with pictures of the coffee and cook workshop.  It was my forst appearance on a print media. I cannot express the joy and happiness I felt on seeing it. As a person who always wished and wanted to get articles published on a magazine an appearance was even more joyful.

A peek into the pictures on the magazine-




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.

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Recipe by mafaza haleem


Sooji Porridge




Sooji porridge

its sweet.

its delicious

its  a thick liquid porridge

we celebrate eid in sri Lanka with a breakfast of string hoppers or pittu or sometimes both and side dishes are basically milk gravy, chicken curry, beef curry, pol sambol and a sweet sooji porridge.

the sweetness of the jaggery and the aroma of the pandan leaves fill the dinning table leaving  us no patients to try it later rather encouraging to drink or eat it immediately by adding to a few extra string hoppers or pittu.




1/2  cup sooji

½ a jaggery

2 cups water

1 tbsp sugar (add more if required)

3 cardamon

1 tbsp thick coconut milk

Pinch of salt

a piece of pandan leaf


  1. In a medium sauce pan add water and mix the sooji and jaggery.
  2. Add salt, cardamon, pandan leaf and cook over low heat stirring occasionally till the sooji is cooked.
  3. Add sugar and coconut milk.
  4. Boil for a few minutes stirring continuously over a low heat.
  5. The mixture should be thick and the sooji should turn brown leaving no white uncooked sooji.
  6. Take off heat and serve with pittu or string hoppers.

Zataar keema pizza


Arabian cuisine has always encouraged me to try new dishes. Zataar was introduced to me through manakish at man2ooshe and I fell in love with the spice. As I saw the zataar on display at Carrefour I quickly grabbed a little and came home. Once I was home I started to stumble online for recipes and finally decided to introduce the zataar with meat to my Sri Lankan family. Usually a keema is done with a mix of various spices but I got a delicious keema with just only zataar and pepper powder. I myself am really amazed how the Arabian flavor has enhanced the keema curry with the help of those dried herbs and sumac. This experiment has encouraged me to try new recipes using zataar.


Pizza Dough


3 cups flour
Salt to taste
2 teaspoon olive oil or margarine
2 teaspoon yeast
Water as required


Mix all ingredients together and knead into a smooth and soft dough.
Leave aside to rise for an hour.
Roll into a flat circle and place on a tray.

Meat keema


1 cup meat

1 medium onion (chopped)

1 teaspoon crushed pepper
2 teaspoon zataar spice
2 teaspoon zataar with sumac
Salt to taste
1tablesoon olive oil or melted butter


Cheddar for topping


Clean, wash and boil the meat.
Sauté meat and onions in a pan over high heat with teaspoon of olive oil or margarine

Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the two zataar mixes.
Spread over the prepared dough.

Grate and sprinkle cheddar cheese on top and bake at 150 degrees C for 20 minutes on a pre heated oven.

My images



zataar keema topped

zataar keema topped



cheessy on top ofkeema

cheessy on top of keema