Dhal – Lankan Style – Parippu

Simple dhal - A staple in every Sri Lankan home
Simple dhal – A staple in every Sri Lankan home

Most of you know that I come from a Sri Lankan family and have grown up eating Sri Lankan food. While I really love cooking and eating food from all over the world, there comes a time when that Sri Lankan craving hits, and that craving must be obeyed!

My quick and easy Sri Lankan fix is a simple Dhal. It’s healthy, goes great with some brown rice and you can make it in less that 15 minutes.

Masala Dharba

Ingredients

1C red lentils
1 small onion finely diced
1 green chilli finely chopped
10 curry leaves
1/4 tsp black mustard seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (optional)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2C Coconut milk
2C water
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil
Salt to taste

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Method

1. Wash the lentils thoroughly.

2. Heat the oil, fry the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. Then add the onions and curry leaves and when the onions caramalised add in lentils, turmeric, cinnamon and water and cook over a low heat. Add salt and the milk and continue to cook for about 10 minutes and the dhal curry is ready for serving. Once the dhal is cooked, it will turn yellow in colour and will have a nice mushy texture.

3. Serve with steamed rice.

See easy peasy!!!!

Dhal Success!  YUM!
Dhal Success! YUM!

So tell me friends… What’s your ultimate comfort food?

The Best Samosas in the World

We have always been disappointed with the humble samosa. It has so much potential but often falls short because either the pastry isn’t crispy enough or the filling isn’t punchy enough. So we decided to come up with our own recipe.  We also made a spicy tomato relish to go with it.

I’m warning you, these are the best samosas in the world but they are super labour intensive.

Andrew and I have made them twice with different results but the second time we totes nailed it!

These have a delicious slow cooked lamb filling with potatoes and peas. The lamb filling has a mixture of Indian and Sri Lankan spices.  We love the freshness of curry leaves and lemongrass.

So here is our recipe.

Filling ingredients

2kg leg of lamb
1 whole lemongrass
6 garlic cloves
3 Tbsp of Sri Lankan Curry powder
5 cloves
5 cardamom pods
1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
2 Tbsp Cumin powder
2 tbsp Coriander powder
20 curry leaves
2 pandan leaves (if you can find them)
1 Tbsp turmeric
1 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp chilli powder
1/3 Cup vegetable oil.
2 medium onion finely diced
1 bottle of tomato passata
1 Litre Beef stock – pre bought is fine
1kg of dutch cream potatoes peeled
1 small packet of frozen green peas
2 green chillies
4 birds eye chillies finely chopped
1 Lemon juiced
Salt

Make the filling

  1. Prepare the lamb leg by cutting slits all over the lamb leg.
  2. Rub salt and curry powder into the lamb leg.
  3. In a mortar and pestle pound the garlic, cardamom, lemongrass until they
    have released their flavours.
  4. Heat oil in a heavy based pan until very hot.  Sear the lamb leg all over until it
    is brown on all sides.

    Searing Lamb leg
    Searing Lamb leg
  5. Once the lamb leg is seared take it off the heat and set it aside.
  6. Pre heat the oven to 150C
  7. Put the pan back on the heat and stir fry 1 onion, garlic, curry leaves, pandan
    leaves,  cinnamon stick turmeric, paprika, cloves and  chilli powder cook until
    the onion is translucent.
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  8. Place the lamb leg back in the pan and pour over the bottle of passata and beef stock.  Adjust the salt.
  9. Place in the oven and cook for about 4hours.  Checking the lamb and turning it over every hour.  Make sure there is always liquid in the pot.  Add water if required.
  10. Once the lamb has cooked through.  Pull the meat off the bone.  Keep the fat and all the juicy bits.
    Lamb falling off the bone
    Oh Yeah!

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  11. Take any remaining liquid and put it through a sieve and place in a small saucepan.
  12. Heat the liquid in a saucepan and bring to boil.  Keep it at a boil until the liquid reduces to a thick paste.  Make sure it doesn’t burn.

Boil the Potatoes

  1. Bring a big saucepan of water to  the boil add salt.
    Boiling potatoes
    Potatoes thicken and mellow the filling, while adding a creamy texture
  2. Peel all of the potatoes.  Keep them whole
  3. Boil them until you can mash the potatoes.
  4. Roughly mash potatoes.  They need to be chunky and not smooth.

 

  1. Heat some oil in a big saucepan
  2. Add in onion, garlic, cumin seeds, cumin powder, coriander powder and greenchillies.  Add in the lamb meat, reduced liquid, potatoes and green
    peas.  Taste for salt.  Add more salt if required.
  3. Stir through the lemon juice.
  4. Set aside to cool.

 

Make the pastry

4.5 cups plain flour
3 Tbsp Supafry / ghee (keep refrigerated)
250ml ice water
2 tsp salt

 

  1. Add Supafry to food processor and sift-in flour, add salt. blend for 20-30 seconds or until fat is ‘rubbed-in’.
    adding Flour to food processor
    Rubbing in the fat to the flour in the traditional method just melts the fat and makes your pastry impossible to work with. Using a food processor is quicker and keeps the pastry cool.
  2. Transfer to large bowl, add 3/4 of the ice water, combine with hands until it is firm.
  3. Add more water if the dough is still crumbly – when you are sure all the liquid has been incorporated. Please be patient with this, keep kneading!
  4. When you have a firm ball of dough, rest covered in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

**VERY IMPORTANT!!** You need to be very careful with water content here – as the dough needs to be very firm to effectively work with it. Remember, the dough will be crumbly (not come together) for a while – this is normal.

 Folding the samosas

For this stage it’s best to have a partner rolling the skins while you fill them.

Get ready:

  • Small water dish (for sealing)
  • Tray with baking paper
  • Plain flour (for kneading)
  • Rolling pin
  • Spoon
  • Plate for dough
  • Lamb Filling mixture

Lightly dust bench and rolling pin with flour. From the main ball of dough pinch off a 1 inch ball and knead into a 17cm round. These should be quite thin, 2-3mm is best. cut in half and set aside. Make sure these don’t dry out too much for folding.

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Take a ‘half’ of pastry and make a cone – the centre of the long flat edge will become the bottom of the cone.   Along half the long edge, apply a tiny bit of water (to make it stick together) and bring the long edge corners together, pressing together firmly but careful that the pastry doesn’t break.  Spoon some of the mixture into the cone shape, don’t overfill the cones!  Moisten the open edges and press together, it should make a triangular shape.  Set on a baking-paper lined tray.

Deep fry when ready to cook!

Deep Fry!
Fry baby fry!

 

Tomato Chutney

1Kg of tomatoes finely diced
1 medium onion finely diced
1/3 C Vegetable oil
2Tbsp black mustard seeds
2Tbsp chilli powder
2Tbsp Garam masala
6Tbsp white sugar
Salt to taste

  1. In a saucepan bring heat the oil until smoking.
  2. Add mustard seeds and let them ‘pop’
  3. Add onion and cook until they are translucent.
  4. Add in the tomatoes, garam masala, chilli and sugar.
  5. Let these cook for 30-45 minutes
  6. Add salt to taste.

Serve as a side to the samosa.

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Please let us know if you try our recipe.  We would really love to hear how this recipe went in your kitchen.  Did you try anything different?

 

 

Roasted Veg Quinoa Salad – So quick and delicious!

This is a great recipe if you want a really substantial salad that is suitable for vegan and vegetarians.

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Veg

I like making it for BBQs to give people something a little different to try.

Ingredients

Serves 8
1 ½ C Quinoa – you can try using any variety, there is white, red and black.
3C of vegetable stock
½ Tbsp cumin powder
3Tbsp olive oil
2C Kent pumpkin cut into small cubes
1 large Eggplant cut into small cubes
1 large Zucchini cut into small cubes
1 capsicum cut into small cubes
2Tbsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp cumin powder
1 brown onion sliced
5 garlic cloves whole and peeled
Salt
1 cup of basil leaves finely chopped

  1. Pre heat oven to 180C
  2. Wash quinoa thoroughly in cold water. Place quinoa, stock and cumin into a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook for approx 20 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed by the quinoa and the quinoa has started to change shape
  3. Get the eggplant, pumpkin, capsicum, onion, zucchini and garlic in a bowl toss with olive oil, paprika, salt and cumin.
  4. Place on vegetables on a baking tray and bake for 20-30 mins until all of the vegetables are cooked through.
  5. Once the quinoa and the vegetables are cooked toss them together along with the fresh basil.
  6.  Serve with grilled meat or fish or even by itself.

Simple Chocolate Cake to knock your socks off!

Recently we had a dinner that I had promised I would make some Black Forest ice Cream for.  I thought it would be really nice to to have a simple but decadent chocolate cake to go with it.  Let the ice cream be the star but have a nice vehicle for it to go with so this recipe came about.  It doesn’t need a lot of ingredients and you can have it baked and iced in an hour and a half.  I also added some cinnamon but you could probably leave it out if you don’t love cinnamon.

Now for the recipe

Ingredients for the cake

  • 200g butter, chopped
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 cup milk

Ingredients for the icing

  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cream

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 20cm round cake pan. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until pale. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until it all comes together.
  2. Sift flour, cocoa, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda together. Fold into butter mixture alternately with milk until well-combined. Spoon mixture into prepared pan and smooth the surface.
  3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Allow to cool before icing.
  4. To make icing: Put chocolate, cream and cinnamon in a small heatproof bowl. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until mixture is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and spread over cake.

TA DA Done and dusted!!!  Easy peasy!!!!

I’ll do up a post about my ice cream next.  It was the Bomb Diggity.