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

Mount Lavinia Hotel Colombo

A wish came true

It was a sunday evening when dad announced that a business client from Riyadh who arrived in srilanka a week before wanted to meet us and has invited us for dinner at the mount lavinia hotel colombo. I was overwhelmed with joy as I have been wanting to visit mount lavian hotel for a long time and never got the opportunity. Another reason to celebrate was the content and experience I will be getting through this visit which I can post on my blog.

Reaching mount lavinia hotel


We travelled by car and it took us only 30 minutes to reach the hotel. Passing through the weekend traffic and stopping by at odel to shop for a slipper in a hurry as mums slippers tore on the car. We finally reached mount lavinia hotel and was welcomed by the guy who was the gaurd wearing a white colonial style suit.
On the parking was a big bus with passengers from abroad which I assumed maldivians who have just reached the hotel. Amidst the little crowd we managed to figure the way to the restaurant. The way to the restaurant, sea and huts were fun with a bridge that had a train track running beneath. It was train time I guess and the loud sound of the train engine filled the air with the breeze of the sea and the slight drizzle which made the atmosphere more enjoyable.
Walking through steps which lead us towards the seafood cove restaurant and inn which was located on the sea shore overlooking the sea.

The Sea Food Cove Restaurant

It was so beautiful with the sea in the background and the breeze giving some fresh air through the lovely hut. The restaurant was built of plain coconut tree leaves which I call. I love the aroma of coconut trees. Anything and everything thats made of coconut is pleasant to the naked eye. I guess I’ve gotta pay a visit to the coconut development board very soon and write up a special article on the topic. Getting back to the hut. I always imagined huts to be airy with a good aroma of fresh air either from the sea or plain green grass which is so pleasant to breathe in. Looking at the atmosphere at the seafood cove I was even more delighted to dine in there.

tree board

the first path which was the first view of the area


Seafood Cove Restaurant

step view

the path leading to the seafood cove restaurant and the beach

sea view from hut

sea view from hut


in for some wine?

outdoor seating

outdoor seating idea for the summer season or late in the afternoon to enjoy an early dinner while the sun set (I just cant stand the imagination I wanna be there at sunset soon.)


the welcome by the hostess, the guitarist and the drummer. They play a nice song with a tune which we call baila. The song and music makes the atmosphere even more romantic. You can dedicate a song to your loving partner if your on a honeymoon and make the day more memorable.


a nice couple enjoying a late dinner in peace. I just saw a grilled lobster in their plate. I guess they are enjoying the retired life


the seafood cove restaurant hut


the kitchen at the seafood cove restaurant. They do wear gloves 🙂


the fish on display. You choose the fish and they will do it the way we want it.


the boat shape fish stand I love this image

the menu ordering


The arab who invited us in for dinner had his wife order the meals. We were welcomed with a complimentary orange juice and kater in half an hours time she ordered the dinner which she struggled amidst my translation to the chef on how we need the fish to be cooked.

chip jpg

side platter the commoner – french fries jpg


Our Main Course 1 – grilled fish with BBQ Sauce


deep fried prawns in chinese batter


Main Course 2 – grilled large garuppa with garlic and butter sauce

It was drizzling and lightning outside the clear dark sky outlined the thunder. The light sea waves outlined the seashore with a clear picture of the water in white. Walking out of the seafood cove restaurant inn I experienced peace. The silent waves, light drizzle and cool wind was so refreshing though it was the later part of the night. The lamps made of wood were lit in every tables to give a more serene look.

The welcome drink enjoyed over a lamp light.

The welcome drink enjoyed over a lamp light.

Food story : Zataar for the first time

My first time using zataar was an unforgettable experience.
I forgot to add olive oil and salt to the zataar mixture and added onmy water. It tasted ok to me yet for the srilankan taste bud it was an unpalatable taste.
My family in srilanka who tasted zataar for the first time just didn’t like it due to my forgetful mistake.

first impression is the best impression

How true are these proverbs.
The second time I made the zataar keema pizza my sisters lost their appetite and dint wanna taste it.
Just to please me they tasted a slice and to my dismay there was extra salt in it.

Learning from mistakes

I added extra salt to boil the beef and in a hurry made the keema mixture in the same pan.

Always read the recipe of even the simplest dish your gonna try just before yourl start. Thats something I dint do before starting my zataar manakish recipe.

Points to remember

Always make sure you use a seperate pan to make your filling if you accidentally add more salt to boil your meat.

Always prepare ahead so that you dont need to rush and kill others appetite like I did.

Introducing different flavors and cuisines to your family should be done with experience. Try out the dishes you wanna share with your family a few times ahead so that you nail it to perfection. I dint do it and thats what was my fault in the first place.


The plain zataar with water on top of the pizza dough just ready to be baked.

Dry and hard out of the oven.
Some olive oil would have enhanced the flavors and made the top moist.


Sizzling at Sizzle



I was in dubai when my sister sent me a picture of them eating fruit salad on a large clay or ceramic pot type bowl. All she said was the food was “hot, hot”.
On my visit to srilanka I was taken out for dinner at sizzles.
It was on father’s day 2013 july. Ordering the signature dish of sizzle we were told it might take about half an hour for the food to be served. Talking and walking to the wash room to freshen up was how we spent the half an hour while waiting for the food.
Water was served in lovely ceramic glasses.
The food arrived smoking and filling the air with heat making us feel the air conditioner is very low.
The plates were made of wood with a small iron bowl in the centre which looked like a wamer.the food was basically a little rice and four varieties of vegetables with a huge piece of grilled chicken served with a gravy on top and a slice of cheddar.
We struggled to eat as it was boiling hot as if eating while the pot is on fire.
The atmosphere was cosy at the restaurant and food was boiling hot it really was a great experience. I shall recommend the restaurant to anyone who is looking into try something new and exciting.
It’s a must eat restaurant in colombo. We ordered some ice cream and brownie topped with ice cream and caramel to sooth our tongue of the heat.

My top points about sizzle-

The sizzle has a menu with a variety of dishes.
There price is affordable.
Unique experience.
Delicious food you can enjoy it a bit cool by serving it onto a seperate dinner plate.

Highlight of the day

My dad was gifted with a mug and a yellow flower to mark the father’s day. We also were gifted with a lovely picture of our family dining at sizzle.
This restaurant is highly recommended for people who follow a low carb diet strictly on vacation. (I mean there signature dish)

This article is written for my blog and I own the writes for all contents. View are my own and for non commercial purpose. Paligrism is strictly intolerable on any contents on this blog.


The crab soup

2013-09-01 21.07.31

It’s really surprising to think that I’ve fallen in love with seafood very lately amidst the fact that I hardly buy prawns in dubai and hatted fish since my pregnancy.
I enjoyed eating prawns and fish when I was in sri lanka but after marriage moving into dubai has changed me due to my partners preferences.
Coming back to sri lanka on vacation for delivery encouraged me to try new things out and seafood hit the list first. The opening of the manhattan fish market helped me explore the seafood galore and the taste was incredibly delicious that made me fall in love for seafood. Eating out, next in line was the very latest seafood restaurant in colombo at the Kingsbury hotel “The Ocean” which served high class seafood meals that dint let down my new found love for seafood.

Next dine out plan was to spend less and eat well.
Expecting less for a nominal price walking into a chinese restaurant in colombo along the sea which Is very famous for it’s chinese food I was let down. The standards never met even to match the sea over looking the restaurant. Ordering a crab soup was waste as the bowl was filled with basic sweet corn soup and two 1 centimeter piece of crab legs I guess. Surely the soup was delicious yet it doesn’t suit the name crab soup. My seafood love hasn’t faded off myself yet has warned me not to order seafood at a normal chinese restaurant. Feel like having seafood for dinner walk in to a seafood restaurant is what I’ve memorised.
Not all restaurants are in the same standard yet it’s always safe and best to eat what you want at a place that specialises for that particular cuisine or meal. Its always better to eat thosa at an Indian restaurant isn’t it?

Vacation in Srilanka

Food and Travel

my picture story

arriving in time during the rambutan season in sri lanka and being warned not to eat rambutan is really too bad. pregnancy was the only reason yet rumbutans are not more important than the child but who woudnt want to taste one small rambutan after coming to your home country one and a half years later with all the motherland cravings waiting in que to reveal the eating manners of a normal human being?

arriving in time during the rambutan season in sri lanka and being warned not to eat rambutan is really too bad. pregnancy was the only reason yet rambutans are not more important than the child but who wouldn’t want to taste one small rambutan after coming to your home country one and a half years later with all the motherland cravings waiting in que to reveal the eating manners of a normal human being?

waking up after 8 to hear the thambili vendor scream on top of his voice "thambili,thambili" is something i missed in dubai. its extreme fun to run up to the gate repeating thambili. this delicios, natural king coconut water is so magical. a straw is all you need to empty the shell. a very healthy drink indeed. very expensive in dubai and sold only in a small quantity. sri lanka is full of king oconuts sold by road side vendors.

waking up after 8 to hear the thambili vendor scream on top of his voice “thambili,thambili” is something i missed in dubai. its extreme fun to run up to the gate repeating thambili. this delicious, natural king coconut water is so magical. a straw is all you need to empty the shell. a very healthy drink indeed. very expensive in dubai and sold only in a small quantity. sri lanka is full of king coconuts sold by road side vendors.

well cutting the thambili into half and scraping the fless of by a spoon is fun. we used to throw the empty king coconut shell on the floor so it comes into two pieces. i remmebr the good old days when we used to share a side amongst us. the thambili vendors will cut it for uson request.

well cutting the thambili into half and scraping the flesh of by a spoon is fun. we used to throw the empty king coconut shell on the floor so it comes into two pieces. i remember the good old days when we used to share a side amongst us. the thambili vendors will cut it for us on request.



the curd vendor who has been travelling in his same old bicycle for the past 25 years in the area we live who sells curd bought from mannar. Its really yummy. Sold in clay pots with a bottle of pure treacle in different sizes of bottles. Ofcourse the bottles they use are wine bottles well cleaned and sterilised. I have plans to get a stock of those treacle when ibget back to dubai



the elephant house ice cream bike. The music is what gives everyone a time to decide what flavor popsicle we need and I wanted to buy and try all the available flavors not that dubai doesn’t have popsicle but its the joy of buying from a ice cream cycle



oh I have been wondering how they make these and figured out somehow but its a long process to explain so I will post a seperate article with step by step pictures. Rice served in tgese leaves are really something special




yum kidu

there is a special menu for this meal. It is called kidu rice and served with special side dishes accompanying it. Yes that requires a seperate post and I sure will write it soon with pictures.



you can get koththu at srilankan restaurants in dubai yet you find it all over in srilanka and I can say there is no shop that doesn’t sell koththu.


banana leafa

banana leaf is some where I want to eat soon as I land in sri lanka on my vacation. They serve the food in banana leaf and the food tastes so delicious. Again you can find food served in a banana leaf at indian restaurants all over dubai but this restaurant in srilanka has a unique menu and taste which adds a bit of srilankan twist.



nethali karuwadu is what we call it and its basically the tiny dry fish not too salty and can be made into a devil or cooked into a gravy and served with anything like rice, string hoppers, bread and rotti. Enjoying a moment of lanka was I hardly cook this due to the diet I and my hubby follow.



soya srilankan soya meat is very small and comes along with a seasoning. I used to buy the soya meat in dubai during my early stages of pregnancy and craved for the lankan soya its all in the way you cook anyway