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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Halape (sri lankan sweet)

Try a google search for Halape and you will be confused.
What is Halape?
I have seen my mom mention the name Halape.
I also have seen an aunt buy it and eat when I was around 12 years old.
I have never tasted it.
Well I was as excited as you are to find out what this sweet is all about and finally it was the day to investigate and learn about Halape.
One day my dad came home with a small.bag of Sri lankan sweets in which I found a few partially dried leaves folded in half like the picture below. When I opened it I saw the stuffing which was a very soggy yet firm and smooth portion of which looked like a dough.
It was dark brownish in color.
I opened it and pinched small bite size pieces, investing the ingredients as I ate. I taste kurakkan (finger millet flour).  I tasted grated coconut and some sugar.
It tasted really delicious and unique.  The next day I started asking my class mates as to what its made of and the leaf which its wrapped on. I was laughed at while explaining the sweet to my class mates at the cake class. I told them it was palappa and everyone was staring at me, great I took some pictures of the sweet which I showed them and helped them understand what I was talking about. As they were Sri lankan ladies who knew the traditional stuff they briefed on the recipe.  They also recommend it as a healthy sweet due to the kurakkans (finger millet flour) addition. The leaf in which it was wrapped is called kandan kola In Sinhalese and am not sure what’s that.
Finally I decided to search for the complete recipe online and finally found only one.

the main ingredient
Finger millet is good substitute for a gluten-free diet.
Finger millet is also known as ragi flour in india.

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Centre stand, top dish displays Halape at the dessert section of the harbour lounge at the Kingsbury hotel, Colombo.

mafaza

Memories of Eid in Dubai

I lived at jumeira village circle on lavender 2. It is a very posh area with a few buildings and some shops. I always enjoyed looking around the neighbourhood and sharing a smile with someone looking to make friends. The first year of my stay was very lonely and spent keeping my door open or looking out of the window. So when I was standing out a neighbour who was going shopping for eid said salams and I replied back. So the next time I cooked a string hopper and sent to her in thoughts of making friends. my bowl was returned with a lebanese soup, flat bread and a delicious stuffed capsicum in a red sauce or gravy.

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The next eid festival I was gifted with the sweets on the picture above. it was so delicious that I literally asked her for more of those sweets the next time I met her. I seriously miss those corridor friendship.
 

 

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Last year my eid al adha festival in dubai was spent with just a couple of friends invited home for lunch.
Cooking for friends was fun and shopping for sweets at carrefour was enjoyable. It was my first encounter with macaroons. Dubai is where I was introduced to macaroons and its where I tasted those lovely colorful yummmies.

Eid night was spent watching movies either at home or at dubai mall which will be jam packed with no space for parking. I really miss dubai.

Life is a roller coaster where you’ve got to go through those curves to live.

So always hold tight to your memories and cherish every moment you live.