Today I have another recipe that is perfect for clay cooking pot. Sri Lankan Pineapple curry. We usually use a unripe pineapple for this curry in Sri Lanka but if you prefer a sweet and spicy dish you could definitely make this with ripped pineapple as well. When pineapples go on sale, I make a huge batch of pineapple curry and freeze some extra containers to satisfy my cravings throughout the year.
There are lots fruit curry recipes in Sri Lanka that works perfect for using as a side or use as a sauce in making your favorite dip or hummus because of the thick bubbly texture, flavor, and mouthfeel. Curried fruits can be used in any way you use a tomato ketchup if you skip the coconut milk. When I was making special rice and curry ensemble, my favorite go to recipes were curried mango, June plum, or Bilimbi curries when in was in Sri Lanka. It is next to impossible to find Bilimpi in where I live in USA , and June plums aren’t that easy either. Today I often prepare Mango, Pineapple, or green apples with same recipes whenever I get the chance. They work just fine, freeze well over long period of time, taste great after thawing and reheating and makes whole house filled with fragrance of the sweet fruity aroma when cooking.
That itself is a great reason to cook a pineapple curry today.
Without much more details, lets get into our recipe.
Sri Lankan Style Pineapple Curry
One medium size unripe pineapple
One medium red onion
One teaspoon of Maldives fish
2-inch piece of Pandan leaves
¼ stem lemongrass
1 sprig of curry leaves
2-inch piece of cinnamon
Teaspoon of Fenugreek seeds
4 cardamom pods
Black curry powder
For curry powder
3 tbsp of toasted spicy paprika powder
1tsp ground mustard
½ tsp of toasted cumin
½ tsp of turmeric
Pinch of toasted black cumin seeds
½ tsp of toasted coriander powder
½ tsp of nutmeg
Cup of coconut milk
Remove the peel, core of the pineapple, and dice in to one-inch pieces. Set aside to use in the curry.
Prepare the curry powder by mixing toasted spices and nutmeg, turmeric, ground mustard and salt.
Place curry powder in a cup juice blender along with onions, ginger, garlic, salt and coconut milk and green chilies. Grind to a smooth paste. Rub over the pineapple pieces and set aside for 15 minutes to marinade.
Heat oil in a clay curry pot and add curry leaves, cinnamon, pandan leaves, Maldive fish and lemongrass. Give it a few second to warm up and add seasoned pineapple pieces. Sauté for few minutes. add a cup of water or just enough to cook the curry. cover and cook for 35 minutes or until pineapple pieces are soft and sauce is thick and bubbly.
Remove from heat and sprinkle a pinch of black curry powder on top.
Serve warm over rice or bread.
Other popular fruit curries from Sri Lanka
June Plum curry
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I chose braised or Leg of lamb with curry seasoning as star dish of my rice and curry Christmas dinner table. I had made many roasted Lamb dishes over the years with curry seasoning, they all turned out great. But really wished if there was a way flavorful seasoning blend can be more infused in to every bit of the lamb evenly. If there is any good ways to do it without cutting that big piece of meat into cubes, I just couldn’t see it. This year I was determined to make a full pledged curry and just give it a try. I am so glad I did. It turned out to be the best lamb curry dish I ever made with so many depths and layers of flavors distributed evenly throughout every bite.
Little bit about Lamb Curry in Sri Lanka
Lamb curry and three meat curry is often the choice for us Sri Lankans when we make Lamprais. In my culture, goat meat or venison is popular and much more available choice of meat when it come to making specialty meat curries, like three meat curry, lamprey curry or black curry. I am not giving you any of the typical Sri Lankan meat curry recipes today. Instead, recipe I am giving you now is my own and a one I had been working on for several months. I researched and made several Asian and Mediterranean recipes of cooking lamb until I was happy with the results I was looking for. This recipe is going to be my lamb curry in the oven.
if you are interested in reading more about Sri Lankan Lamprey curry look no further than author Dan Toombs recipe which is really awesome.
Choice of cooking utensils and cooking method for the lamb curry
Lets talk a little bit about best cooking pot for making curries in home setting. In my opinion it is non other than earthenware or red clay cooking pot. It should be able to withstand long cooking time on stovetop or in the oven. That means, when you can get your hand on such clay cooking pot you need to season it first by soaking it in water for at least two hours then rinsing. Next, apply a thin layer of oil and slowly heat with some scraped coconuts and rice until hot. Turn the heat off and let it cool completely. For this recipe, I am using Clay Dutch oven from Reston Lloyd. I got this over couple of months ago and results are so over the top every time I use it. two points to remember however, always starting with a cold oven and presoaking the clay Dutch oven in water at least for 15 minutes before adding ingredients.
If you haven’t got a clay pot please do not be alarmed. Second choice of making this curry is in enameled cast iron Dutch oven. Cast iron cookware is definitely, much easier to find than clay.
if you would like more help in picking up a clay pot for making curries. I highly recommend clicking on the button below to read through the rankings by my Asian cooking website
I am going with boneless leg of lamb today. However, you can use any mix of cuts of lamb or goat meat for this curry. Adding leg bone will definitely enhance the flavor profile. Trim out the excess fat from the meat. I did trim out most of the roasting fat layer and kept only included about 10 % of the fat. You definitely do not want the curry to be extra greasy. Rinse meat in cold running water and pat dry with few paper towels. Cut into about two-inch cubes. With that done Let’s get currying.
Braised Leg of lamb /Lamb curry Recipe
Whole leg of lamb boneless 7 to 8 Lb.
For Roasted curry seasoning powder
2 tbsp toasted coriander powder
2 tbsp toasted Spanish paprika
2 tsp of toasted whole cumin seeds
1 tsp of toasted whole black cumin seeds
1 tsp of toasted fennel seeds
1 tbsp of toasted raw white rice
1 tbsp of toasted desiccated coconut
Whole roasted seasonings
5 roasted dry chilies
5 roasted curry leaves
Roasted Fenugreek seeds
3 cloves of garlic (chopped fine)
Handful of curry leaves (Sliced)
1 inch of ginger (minced)
3-inch piece of cinnamon
5 pods of cardamom
One whole red Onion
One Indian Bay leaf
3 tablespoons of Ghee
2 tablespoon of date vinegar (or one pitted date and red wine vinegar)
2 tsp of tamarind
1 teaspoon Lime zest or lime chili pickle
2 tablespoons of Salt
2 teaspoons of crushed black pepper
Make roasted lamb curry seasoning by toasting all the seasoning under this section and grinding them together. Add the seasoning powder to meat, with salt and black pepper. Let the lamb marinate for 3 hours to overnight.
Toast whole seasonings under that section and set them aside.
Caramelize the onion in ghee with Indian bay leaf and cinnamon in a stainless-steel skillet. Remove from the pan. Sear the lamb pieces in the same pan you fried onions.
Deglaze the pan with a cup of water and set aside.
Pack the meat in to clay Dutch oven alternatively with caramelized onions, roasted whole spices and unroasted seasonings. Top with some caramelized onions and unroasted curry leaves. Add Indian Bay leaf as well
Add the deglazed liquid. If you are using a cast iron Dutch oven add extra cup and half of water. If you are using the clay Dutch oven. Do not use any extra water. Just soak the clay Dutch oven for 15 minutes prior to adding the meat. Meat is going to cook on its own juices and is going to come out so much flavorful.
Cover and cook in over at 350 degrees for 3 hours. until meat is fall apart tender. Open the lid and give it a stir after every one hour to distribute seasonings evenly.
I am happy to let you know all of my original recipes now include printable recipe page for you to download and make your own curry journal. if you click on the button below you could get to the catalogue page and easily browse and download the recipe you are looking for.
Wishing you all my theperfectcurry family members a very happy 2022. I hope everyone had been enjoying their time with friends and family and having the best food time possible. We certainly did and I am happy to share all about it .
We dove in straight to feasting mode from day before Christmas. Even through I had been doing vegetarian based diet past few months, for the holidays we chose to go all in and indulge in every food that we had missed so much. I meant full guilty pleasure foods. I made rye sourdough French toast and bacon with eggs. I planned ahead and made some yummy chili pineapple jam and Sri Lanka style lemon pickle ahead. Few days back I received yummy mixed berry jam in exchange for my rye sourdough starter. Spreads covered I decided to bake two giant rye sourdough sandwich loaves to fulfil all the sandwich, toast and cinnamon toast cravings. There was no stopping after that. Egg and cream cinnamon French toast, fried bacon, pineapple jam , berry jam and wood apple jam from Sri Lanka. cinnamon candid apples. it was stylish meal.
My heart was set on rice and curry lunches for the holidays. meanwhile the kids and daddy busy decorating their gingerbread house and making messes, I got down making lunch. A kid friendly meal, so much festive and flavorful but totally without heat. I made Leek and beef curry, creamy potato curry and roasted brussels sprouts with bacon. Punch from the lime chili pickle is just so perfect for us grownups.
With bellies full we decided to spend the afternoon cozied up in sofa watching movies. I don’t exactly remember what we watched, but I profoundly remember spice wine and cappuccino with whipped cream topping and hot chocolate for kids. after those, we decided to top everything up with some more movies until dinnertime.
After dinner, kids were off to bed with heavy anticipation of on coming Santa and two tired elves quickly set the stage up to see happy kiddo faces in the morning.
I made milk rice for the breakfast in Christmas morning. We spend the day opening gifts, thanking Santa, watching more movies and playing games. I kept lunch simple with Ribbon Sandwich. we topped everything up with mulled wine, fancy coffee and movies.
Then it was time for Christmas dinner. Star dish was the awesome black lamb curry made in clay Dutch oven. Fragrant blend of sri Lankan spices and chili lime pickle providing aroma and flavor to the meat over three hours of cooking. I kept sides simple just with ghee vegetable rice, curries and Christmas cake.
At the end of the two days this mama was tired, in a food coma and happy. things didn’t end their after all week of eating leftovers, we ended the food vacation on high note of new year breakfast table in rice and curry style. Milk rice, Sri Lankan Salmon sambal, black pork curry, buttermilk pancake and bacon and egg toast. That’s a meal and a grazing table for the whole day.
Also, this mama got to do some painting on the side, which was amazing !
I know 2021 hasn’t been a easy year to many of us. it has not been to us. But we always need to try and make our best of every moment. that was my lifeline last year. I made an effort to make my family happy. I think it worked. I think it made me very happy. I am going to try and do more of try and make others happy next year. I think its a good new year resolutions as any.
The flavorful dish is very easy and straight forward to make. Ghee rice and it’s variations are a popular choice when it comes to wedding menu creations in Sri Lanka. Medium or short grain raw rice is perfect for making this rice side dish. At my home whenever I want to make Ghee rice I use ponni raw rice from the Indian grocery store. If not, you could use Basmati rice, if that what you can easily find.
4 cups of rice
Two medium red onions
One inch piece of lemongrass
3 Inch stick of cinnamon
One tablespoon of whole black pepper
Half a cup of cashews
Two tablespoon of raisins
6 Cardamom pods
4 while cloves
2 inch piece of Pandan leaves
2 teaspoon of ginger and garlic crushed together
8 cups of water or chicken stock
2 Teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoon of Ghee
Rinse the rice and drain. Set aside.
Peel and slice red onions and fry in ghee until caramelized.
Remove onions and add cashews next. Roast until golden on the edges. Add ghee if the pan becomes too dry to prevent cashews from being burned. Remove and set aside.
Add another teaspoon of ghee in the pan and add Cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Fry for few seconds and add ginger garlic, half of caramelized onions, half of cashews and Pandan leaves. Fry for about 30 seconds.
Add drained rice and fry until well roasted.
Add water or stock and salt. Cook the rice covered until fluffy.
Trunk the heat off . Spread remaining onions, cashews and raisins on top and cover the pan.
Let the rice sit 15 minutes more covered.
Mix and serve with your favorite curry.
#2 Yellow Rice
Yellow rice is another perfect side dish made with Ponni raw rice or Samba rice. Cooked with herbs and coconut milk and enjoyed with ensemble of Sri Lankan curries like black pork and vegetable curries like tempered eggplant or lentils to make up a festive lunch.
4 cups Rice
Half a teaspoon of rice
1 Oz of Maldive fish ( Dried Tuna )
2 Red onions
2 inch piece of Pandan leaves
8 cups of light coconut milk
Roasted cashews and raisins ( optional)
4 while cloves
2 inch piece of Pandan leaves
2 Teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoon of Ghee
Tablespoon of whole peppercorns
Wash and drain rice set aside.
Make a flavor bundle by tying Cardamom, clove, cinnamon peppercorns in a piece of muslin cloth. Bruise the spice slightly.
Heat Ghee and fry onions until light Golden brown.
Add spice bundle, Maldive fish , curry leaves, Pandan leaves and rice.
Add coconut milk/ water and turmeric powder. Bring to boil on high heat.
Cover and cook on medium low until rice is done.
Fluff up the rice covered the pan and let it sit for another 10 minutes. Remove the spice bundle.
Garnish with caramelized onions, roasted cashews and raisins.
Source : Ceylon cookery ; Chandra Dissanayake
#3 Fried Rice
Restaurant style fried rice is my favorite out of all four recipes. Typically Samba or Basmati rice is great for making fried rice. Rice is cooked beforehand and flavored up with fried vegetables and meat just after. You could definitely use any combinations of meat such as beef or mutton. I am using chicken and shrimp today as its my favorite combination of all.
4 cups of steamed Basmati rice
half a cup of Julienned carrots
half a cup of Leeks thinly shredded. ( green leek leaves too for garnishing.)
half a cup of green beans thinly sliced
half a red onion
handful of curry leaves
half a inch sliced ginger
two cloves of garlic
thinly sliced green chili
4 oz of shredded fried chicken
4 oz of sliced boiled prawns
one large egg
one teaspoon of salt
half a teaspoon of cumin powder ( optional)
2 tablespoon of soya sauce
one tablespoon of oyster sauce
one tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
half a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tablespoon of oil or butter
Heat oil or butter in wok on high . When oil start smoking, fry onions, ginger, garlic and curry leaves for 10 seconds.
Add carrots and green beans. Cook for few seconds until just wilted, add leeks and fry for another few seconds. Add salt, cumin and crushed red pepper. Mix well.
Add rice and start tossing vegetables with rice, once mixed add shredded chicken and shrimp.
Mix soya sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil together and add to the rice. Toss well to combine. Sprinkle the green shredded leeks on top and mix.
Fry the egg sunny side up for garnishing.
Enjoy with your favorite meat curry and lime pickle and a fried egg.
#4 Milk Rice
Milk rice is part of the Sri Lankan breakfast table during Sinhala and Hindu new year. Rice becomes tad bit overcooked and creamy with coconut milk in the cooking process to make a flavorful creamy delight.
4 cups of raw red rice or raw white rice
6 cups of water
2 cups of thick coconut milk
2 teaspoons of salt + half a teaspoon of salt
Rinse the rice with cold water three times. Measure up six cups of water to cook the rice. Add 2 teaspoon of salt while cooking.
When the rice is almost cooked, add another 2 cups of coconut milk mixed with half a teaspoon of salt. Mix well with the rice.
Turn the heat to the lowest setting. Let the rice sit for additional 10 or 15 minutes. Keep the pot covered. Occasional scraping the bottom will prevent the rice from burning too much.
After 10 minutes, pour the rice in to the serving platter while hot. Run a flat spoon dipped in coconut milk to flatten the rice then cut. enjoy with the relishes and sweets.
Apart from the recipes above, there are many other popular rice dishes cooked in festivities like Lamprais, Biryani, Nasi goreng etc… but these four recipes are my easy, go to, favorites. What are yours ?
Bitter melon recipe is one of the specialties in Sri Lankan vegetable curry making. It may not be common to curry this vegetable around the world but can be very flavorful accompaniment to any meals if prepared the right way. Bitter melon or bitter gourds as name suggests has sharp bitter taste, even though they are full of health benefits.
When I am making bitter melons, I always go for Indian variety as much as I can find. There might be little bit more sharpness in flavor but it is best for making this curry in my opinion. If the fruit is not fully ripe but tender with small white seeds, when you cut them open, they are in perfect stage for making curries. they will be less bitter has more bite to them than fully ripe fruits. Pre boiling bitter melon in Malabar tamarind and salt infused water is also a very important step in knocking out some of the sharpness of flavor before making the curry.
Making the curry seasoning powder
The red curry seasoning paste I shared on one of my former posts will be very handy in making this curry in a snap once the prep work of bitter melons is done.
But if you do not, that isn’t a deal braker at all because you could make red curry powder on the spot and use it in curry sauce for the bitter melons. Freshly made curry seasoning can be kept in airtight container for up to 2 months without any change of fragrance and flavor on the shelf. As an added benefit, this curry powder can also use to flavor any green vegetable like, long beans, green beans, okra, aubergines as well.
in a heavy bottomed skillet, dry roast
Two tablespoon of coriander powder
Tablespoon of cumin powder
2 tablespoons of Spanish paprika
3 dry red peppers
roast until color becomes deeper and fragrant then remove and set aside to cool.
In the same skillet dry roast
Black cumin seeds
Remove and set aside to cool
Again, On the same skillet dry roast one tablespoon of raw white rice and tablespoon of scraped coconut separately until golden and fragrant.
Once cool enough to touch, grind all the roasted seasonings except fenugreek seeds in a spice grinder.
How to make Bitter Melon Curry
Yield: 4 cups
Cooking time: 1 hour
8- 10 bitter melons
Tablespoon of vinegar
Two tablespoons of salt
Teaspoon of turmeric
2 tablespoons of roasted red curry seasoning powder
One inch piece of ginger
Two garlic cloves
Handful of curry leaves
Pandan leaves ( inch piece)
3 tablespoons of thick coconut milk
Half a teaspoon mustard seeds
Clean and cut the bitter melons in to inch and half slices. Add teaspoon of turmeric, vinegar and two tablespoons of salt and Malabar tamarind. Add water just enough to cover bitter melon pieces pre boil on low heat until cooked through. Drain and discard the leftover water (if any)
Make the seasoning blend by pureeing boiled Malabar tamarind, red curry seasoning powder, roasted paprika and coconut flakes, onion with coconut milk.
Heat 2 tablespoon of coconut oil and add mustard seeds.
Add sliced ginger and garlic, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves and Pandan leaves and sauté couple of minutes. Add the seasoning puree and heat through few seconds.
Add boiled melon to the sauce and stir well to coat the melons.
Cook on low heat for 15 minutes until sauce is thickened up.
Aubergines are smaller olive green eggplants, that we abundantly used to find in wet markets around my hometown suburban Colombo . Common big purple eggplants are not readily available to buy there however, the stronger flavored green aubergines always was a good match when in came to making curries.
This little aubergine, with its waxy olive-green outer skin, creamy color dense flesh and small seeds turn amazingly flavorful creamy curried sauce when cooked with perfect medium spicy seasoning blend that is custom made for this specific curry. In fact, I am so much used to the Sri Lankan way of currying green aubergine, than roasting eggplants and enjoying them as chips.
Aubergine curry is made by removing inner seed sacs and sautéing it with spices finishing it with splash of coconut milk. I do love this curry with steamed rice, coconut sambal and white fish curry. it is fragrant, with medium heat and lots of curry seasoning flavor infused with creaminess of coconut milk. Thai way of currying green aubergines, however, is well known around the world than my own Sri Lankan curry. But both curries are equally flavorful treats.
There are lots of recipes on the web for Thai aubergine curry a k a Thai green curry from lots of web resources. One of my favorites is from Mark Wiens,
When it comes to currying little green aubergine, I followed my mother’s recipe for the last dot except taking only one tip from the Thai version of it. it is in the process of prepping them.
How to clean and prep aubergines
Cleaning these little eggplants are a messy job that requires little tips ahead from a pro curry home cook. Aubergines can really stain your hands if you are not careful. My mom’s way was to wrap them in a towel and smash them out and remove the seed pods with a fork or a boning knife, then throw them in to salty water bowl. However, I am going to be little more civil towards aubergines and just quartering them and dumping them into water bowl with little salt in it. sorry mama! I decided not to remove the seeds and make my fingertips and nails orange. Also, why throw away the nutrients.
Once the aubergines are washed and quartered, we are ready to make our Ceylon aubergine curry with them
Aubergine Curry recipe Ceylonese style
Cook time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
8 to 10 green aubergines
5 to 10 green chilies
Handful of curry leaves
One medium red onion
One inch piece of ginger
3 cloves of garlic
One stick of lemongrass
One pandan leaf
2 cardamom pods
One inch stick of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of Spanish red paprika
2 tablespoons of coriander powder
One teaspoon of cumin powder
One teaspoon of black pepper powder
One teaspoon of salt
two cloves of Malabar tamarind
One teaspoon of mustard seeds
Wash and remove the stems from aubergines and cur them into quarters. Keep the rinsed aubergines in mildly salted cold water bowl and set aside.
How to make the Curry powder
Dry roast Spanish red paprika, coriander powder, cumin powder and black pepper powder
add one teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon of turmeric powder.
How to make the curry
drain and coat aubergines with curry seasoning powder we made and let the seasonings soak in for five minutes.
heat one teaspoon of coconut oil in a heavy bottomed skillet. Add teaspoon mustard seeds and let it crackle. Then, add sliced onions, ginger, garlic, sliced green chilies fry for a minute. Add Curry leaves
Add seasoned aubergines, Fright for two minutes stirring constantly. Add Malabar tamarind and pandan leaves.
Finally add enough light coconut milk or water to nearly cover the aubergines.
cover and cook until aubergines are soft and and the curry is getting thick. Adjust the salt to your taste and finish with a splash of thick coconut cream. Cook about an additional minute or two until coconut cream is combined, hot and bubbly.
Medium spicy Ceylon green aubergine curry is now ready. Serve hot with white rice or slice of sourdough bread on the side.
whole Mung beans is a more popular legume in Asian countries because of its draught friendly shorter crop cycle and easy to grow crop. It is curried, used in salads and in desserts and breads. Many popular desserts in Sri Lanka uses roasted whole mung beans, however my favorite use is the creamy and flavorful curry my using boiled mung beans and coconut milk-based sauce. Typically, it is a coconut milk-based curry that has runny consistency with milder flavor to it, but my mother’s way of making this curry is quite like making refried beans without tomatoes.
Whole mung beans vs hulled version is packed with nutrients and delivers a healthy balanced dose of micronutrients like protein, carbohydrate, and fiber along with wider array of important micronutrients. My favorite part is a serving of this pulse delivering 15.2 grams of fibers per 38.7 grams of carbohydrates. whole mung beans contain more soluble fibers, benefiting to promote digestive health, blood glucose and cholesterol regulation. Also mung beans are high in Vitamin A, Folate and minerals like potassium and phosphorus.
Whole mung beans like all legumes contain antinutrient like phytic acid. Removing antinutrients by sprouting them or boiling them helps digestion and absorption of micronutrients. Overall benefit to health and digestion is much improved By Pre-soaking and boiling legumes before using in curries, desserts and filling in addition to improving the taste. Soaking removes phytic acid, and help kickstart the enzyme activity within the seed to convert some of the complex carbs into polysaccharides and sugars. Currying process including boiling with hot water not only improves flavor, but help stop the enzyme activity at right point, deactivate seed coating to extract some of these important nutrients, thus helping better absorption.
if you would like to read more about mung beans and why its beneficial to you Healthline has a great detailed article about it
how to make mung bean curry
Serving size: Half a cup of curry
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Boiled whole Mung beans 2 cups
Teaspoon of Salt
One piece of Malabar tamarind
2 teaspoon of roasted red curry powder
One inch stick of Cinnamon
Two pods of Cardamom
One teaspoon of Sri Lankan black curry powder
Half a teaspoon of Cayenne pepper
Tablespoon of coconut oil
One inch piece of ginger
One clove of Garlic
10 curry leaves
Two green chilies
One medium size red onion
Teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of Turmeric
1 teaspoon of cumin powder
Half a cup thick coconut milk
Half a teaspoon of crushed black pepper
Rinse and soak whole mung beans overnight. There are many recipes that skip this step, because if you are prepared to boil mung beans for longer time you can still make it work. However, I highly recommend presoaking the mung beans, because of the extra enzyme action and removing phytic acid.
Boil mung beans for 10 to 15 minutes with Malabar tamarind.
Puree red curry powder, onions, garlic, ginger, green chili, cumin powder, turmeric, cumin powder, salt, and pepper together, with little boiled mung bean water.
Heat coconut oil in the pan and add mustard seeds when it crackles add the pureed seasoning and sauté for a minute.
Add Malabar tamarind, curry leaves, cinnamon, bruised cardamom pod and a cup of the whole mung bean liquid.
Bring to boil and add boiled mung beans. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes until flavors are absorbed and sauce is thick.
Tempering to the curry (OPTIONAL)
two teaspoons of sliced onions
Thinly sliced garlic clove
Thinly sliced ginger
Two or three curry leaves
Dry red chili broken in half
One tablespoon of coconut oil
Pinch of mustard seeds
Heat the oil in small wok and add everything to hot oil. Sauté about 10 seconds until fragrant and carefully turn everything over curry and mix it up.
Pumpkin curry best described as a stewed green pumpkin in a spicy fragrant broth. Resulting curry is thick soupy texture, which is so creamy and flavorful, it can be consumed on its own or with a side such as bread or rice. Another way to describe pumpkin curry is my favorite accompaniment to red raw rice and something very close to my heart. Pumpkins cooking in fragrant coconut cream broth with nutmeg, cinnamon is so invigorating thought in any autumn rainy day.
Why Pumpkin Curry?
Pumpkins are one of our fall favorites. We all love to go pumpkin picking and carve up a jack-o-lantern from a pumpkin as Halloween approaches. Other than that, there are many dishes that can be prepared with this ripening abundant fruit this time of the year. May it be the mains like pasta sauce, soup, roasted or mashed pumpkins or desserts and breakfast goodies like pumpkin bread and cookies or waffles, possibilities are endless. There are so many wonderful recipes already published for baking with pumpkins.
Armed with all the recipes we too went pumpkin picking last weekend. I know little late to the party, but better late than never. There and then I saw it! The green pumpkin. I felt I need to write my Sri Lankan home recipe of making pumpkin curry from scratch. It was long overdue in the perfect curry collection.
What pumpkins are best for currying?
Pumpkins come in variety of flavors and colors. Some are orange or golden, white while others reddish, and green. Most of the pumpkins are on the sweeter side. However, cheese pumpkins or green and Japanese varieties are nuttier and less sweet. It goes without saying that less sweet pumpkin varieties are best suited for curries. If you would like to read more about picking a not very sweet varieties following two sites provide a great resource. Ideal pumpkin for the curry we are making today would be a 3 to 4 lb. smaller green pumpkin with creamy white or orange flesh with a mild sweetness to it.
Also you could visit spruce eats link for a great classification of pumpkin types you can find.
Let’s make the pumpkin curry
Having picked a green pumpkin of about 3 to 4 pounds, I was home exited to make the curry. However, there was a one tough problem I had to deal with first. How do I get the whole pumpkin open? As you all know pumpkin skin is very tough and not easily to cut through. One way to get the skin soft enough to cut is to microwave the whole pumpkin for about a minute. If somehow it does not work or like in my case pumpkin was too big to go inside microwave, you could use a heavy kitchen knife to slowly and carefully get the skin punctured on one side and start cutting. Use a kitchen towel or a bamboo chopping board to prevent slipping. Start near the stem on one side and punch the knife through until you hit the seeds and push the knife down to make a cut on the side all the way through. Pull the knife out and turn the pumpkin around to make a similar cut on the opposite side until pumpkin separates in to two pieces. Scoop the seeds out and cut in to 2-inch cubes. Remove the tough outer skin. You could leave the skin out if you get an organic pumpkin with a skin without blemishes for added nutrient benefits.
Serving Size: Half a cup of curry over rice or 2 cups as a soup
Cook time: 25 Minutes
One green pumpkin
Two cloves of garlic
One-inch-long stick of cinnamon
Two green chilies
One teaspoon fresh ground mustard seed
One inch size piece of ginger
Teaspoon of freshly ground black paper
Handful of curry leaves
One medium red onion
Two pandan leaves
Two tablespoons desiccated coconut
One tablespoon raw white rice
One teaspoon of turmeric powder
One teaspoon of coriander powder
Two teaspoons of salt
Half a teaspoon of nutmeg
One teaspoon of fenugreek seeds
Two cardamom pods
Wash the pumpkin and cut it into 2-inch cubes. Remove the outer tough skin with a chef s knife.
Dry roast rice and desiccated coconut separately over medium low heat until just golden.
Grind mustard seeds with salt in a mortar and pestle.
Add ground mustard, roasted rice, desiccated coconut, turmeric, coriander powder in a grinder. Pulse few seconds to grind and add half a cup of water to make a smooth paste.
Slice the onion and green chili finely. Slice ginger and garlic finely.
Coat pumpkin pieces with the seasoning blend and add just enough water to cover pumpkins. Add onions, green chili, curry leaves, ginger, garlic, pandan leaves and fenugreek seeds. cook in a covered clay pot, in low heat until pumpkin pieces are done and soft for about twenty minutes. When pumpkins are soft had half a cup of coconut milk, cardamom pods, stick of cinnamon and nutmeg. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes on low.
Finish with a sprinkle of black curry seasoning powder on top.
Serving suggestions with pumpkin curry
Pumpkin curry can replace red lentil curry or creamy jack fruit curry in any rice and curry meal. It is wholesome, filling, and full of packed nutrients. This kid friendly recipe is good source of vital dietary fiber and vitamin A included with benefits of spices like, turmeric, curry leaves, cinnamon, and ginger.
I hope you will try out this curry recipe this fall and will like it as much as we do! Let me know from a comment below.
Apples and early fall is a wonderful combination. Cooked apples into spicy apple curry with apple butter consistency have been one of my all-time favorites. As soon as we hit early October we go into the nearest farm on a day or day long apple picking and come home with two bags full of apples. Then comes cooking up all kinds of goodies with them. Applesauce, apple butter for later use and apple pies and bread for the freezer. Today it’s spicy apple curry because I have lots of green apples to be used. This curried sauce is cooked until apples reach almost apple butter consistency. But what’s more lovely is, cooking apples in nutmeg and cloves fill the whole house with wonderful aroma of sweet fall spices. Even though it takes a bit to make, this curry freezes wonderfully and last in the fridge up to two weeks.
Apple curry is vegan, Low calorie and so flavorful. It is perfect on its own as a dipping sauce, or in sandwiches or in a rice bowl meal as a flavoring.
Making the base gravy for spicy apple curry
for my seasoning base gravy, I am using is the same I seasonings I used while preparing the red curry seasoning base with few tweaks to it. I am not going to use any tomatoes or Malabar tamarind in this recipe because I want the sweet and sourness of green apples and aroma to show through in the curry.
However, I am going to prepare a seasoning base gravy from scratch today. Once seasoning base gravy is prepared, it can go into freezer to flavor up any spicy vegetable curry you are going to make in future.
For one cup of base gravy, we are going to need,
3 tablespoons whole coriander
3 tablespoon cumin
1 tsp Black cumin
6 red chilies
tablespoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of Salt
½ teaspoon of mustard
Half a teaspoon of nutmeg
2 tablespoons of Spanish paprika
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
3 cardamom pods
6 cloves of garlic
One inch piece of ginger
2 tablespoons of dry rice
2 tablespoons of grated coconut
Handful of Curry leaves
Two green chilies
2-inch piece of lemongrass
2 whole red onions
2 inch stick of cinnamon
Dry roast coriander seeds, Cumin seeds, Black Cumin seeds and red chilies.
Dry roast rice and scraped coconut separately.
Crush black paper and mustard seeds with pinch salt in a motor and pastel.
Puree roasted seasonings in a high-speed blender with half a cup of water and salt.
In the same blender, add ginger garlic and crushed black pepper and mustard nutmeg and puree everything into a smooth paste.
Heat a frying pan on medium high an caramelize onions until golden brown on the edges. Do not add salt while caramelizing because we already have salt in the seasoning blend.
Add cardamom, Cloves, Green chili, Curry leaves, Lemongrass and Cinnamon fry for few minutes until fragrant.
Add pureed seasoning paste and cook another 5 minutes on low until seasonings are blended and fragrant.
Let the base gravy cool enough to handle, before making the curry.
Making the apple curry
Cooking time: 3 hours Servings: 10 to 12 Servings
8 green apples and two red apples
One half cup of Base Gravy
One and half cup of water
2 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar
Teaspoon of tamarind paste
Wash, core, and slice apples.
Place the apples in a Clay Dutch oven, spread the cooled off base gravy over the apples and coat well.
Add cup of water or just enough to cover the apples
Place the Clay braiser inside your oven. I am using Eurita clay cooking pot by Reston Lloyd today. Start cooking with the cool oven every time you are using a clay cooking pot that are made to use in ovens.
Preheat two 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for three hours turning every half an hour, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back side of the spoon.
Add a teaspoon of tamarind paste and 2 tablespoons of sugar and mix to combine.
Post apple curry notes
I know I have been silent past few weeks, but this article and recipe was well rewarding write up for all the missed time dealing with whole house becoming sick and recovering. at the end of all we all got to enjoy beautiful colors of leaves changing ,getting ready for winter. I ended up buying lots of books that I wanted to get for a long time. Some of them cook books from my favorite Sri Lankan chefs. I also got two clay curry cooking pots that I wanted for as long as I can remember. This spicy apple curry was the first one to be cooked in the new clay cooking pot and it turned out to be way better than expected.
This spicy apple curry is long time coming, back in home we often cook June plum the same way. June plums are much sour than apples, although it is yummy, I have to say I like the green apples version so much better. Anyway ,if you would like to read more about how to make June plum curry please read below.
If you would like to read on how to make apple butter, I found this recipe from a fellow blogger. I would call my spicy apple curry is less sweet, spicy and tangy version of sauce.
Dandelion is our friendly front yard weed in here northern New England. Beautiful spring yellow flowers smiling back at every time there is little sun to meat them. Yes, it is a weed in perfect lawns. But I do not have one and I do enjoy little peak of bright yellow here and there in my yard. Dandelion greens are however vastly gaining popularity as an edible weed with an impressive nutritional and health benefit profile in recent years. It might be a little challenging vegetable to work with because its intense bitterness but not really for this curry girl. Make way dandelions, let me make some delicious spicy sauce for you today. But first let’s look at those nutritional benefits that everyone is so swooning over.
Dandelion Greens :Health benefits and Nutritional profile
Dandelion greens being a leafy vegetable is pack full of those vital vitamins and minerals, fibers and is naturally low carb and low fat. If you look at the macro nutrients profile per cup (105g)of boiled dandelions
Calories 35 Net Carbs 3.7 g Fat 0.4 g Proteins 1.5 g
If you look at the micronutrients profile dandelion greens are very high in minerals like calcium, and potassium with impressive amounts of phosphorus and magnesium. Also, dandelions are packed full of vitamin A, C, K, Folate and Choline. Adding more leafy greens like dandelions are key to getting more and more important micronutrients to achieve and maintain a good metabolic health in ourselves. In my opinion adding dark leafy greens like dandelions with very potent nutrient profile as food is much more beneficial than that of getting it as a supplement. I firmly believe adding them as a food helps to stay within safe dosage and counter getting potential side effects if, any.
I am feeling bit hungry after the wait, so let’s get cooking
How to cook Dandelion Greens in a Spicy curry sauce ?
Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serving size: 10 to 12 servings
This curry is vegan ,completely plant based, low carb, low fat and low Calorie
2 bunches of Dandelion greens
2 Bunches of Collard greens
Half a cup of vinegar
1 tsp Salt
3 cloves of Malabar tamarind
2 tablespoons of coriander powder
2 tablespoons of Spanish paprika
2 teaspoons of cumin
1 inch piece of cinnamon
Two cardamom pods
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 inch piece of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
Handful of curry leaves
6 green chili peppers
Two medium sizes red onions
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of turmeric
Half a cup of scraped coconuts.
Prep work of dandelion greens
Sort and rinse the greens and remove hard stems at the bottom Soak them in the in the sink full of cold water with half a cup of vinegar and salt mixed in for half an hour. Rinse well two times, drain and give the greens and stem a rough chop. Boil a pot of water with three Malabar tamarinds and salt. When the water reaches rolling boil add greens and blanch for about two minutes until color change. Remove into a bowl and let it cool. Save some of the blanched water and now cooked Malabar tamarind for the sauce.
Making spicy seasoning base for the dandelion greens
Make a spicy roasted red curry powder seasoning by dry roasting 2 tablespoons of Spanish paprika, 2 tablespoons of cumin and 2 tablespoons of coriander powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 tsp of nutritional yeast in heavy bottomed skillet. Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil and add tsp of mustard seeds and add 3 whole green chilies, ginger garlic paste, cardamom and turmeric powder. Sauté for a few seconds. Add diced red onions and caramelize.
Making the sauce and finishing the curry
Transfer the caramelized onion mixture to a blender cup. Add scraped coconut flakes, roasted red curry powder, well-cooked and soft Malabar tamarind, some of the blanching water, curry leaves, garlic cloves, ginger, three green chilies and puree into smooth paste. Add that back to pan with a cup of water and an inch long stick of cinnamon. Cook for 10 minutes until sauce is thick. Add the greens back and simmer for another 3 minutes tossing to coat the sauce. Turn the heat off and allow to cool completely before storing in freezable containers.
Serve over steamed basmati rice, lentil curry and grated carrots salad and curried dandelion greens as rice bowl meal Serve over Steamed red rice, sour fish curry, Creamy jackfruit curry, curried dandelion greens as rice and curry meal bowl.
How does the rice and curry meals work ? Here are some examples.
As a Spread
Puree a cup of curried greens with half a cup of olive oil and handful of cashew nuts for a yummy savory spread over slice of rustic dark rye sourdough loaf.
How to make sourdough bread ? read below
A Dipping Sauce
Puree a half a cup of spicy dandelion greens curry with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and half a cup of boiled chickpeas to make a yummy dipping sauce for tortilla chips, and rye crackers.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe of how to cook dandelion greens and will give it a try sometime. nothing much was mentioned about collard greens in this recipe. Do you think collards are feeling little bit left out today just because I only wrote about dandelions. I think not. I think they are just as important, and I used them in the recipe because they are just as good and hardy enough to withstand cooking process. Also, collard helps to dilute the strong flavor of dandelions somewhat. Hats off to both dandelion greens and collard greens , and thank you for reading !
Fall is my favorite season for two reasons. One is the eating Spicy curries and the second is baking. I love homemade rustic breads. Naturally, with more homemade breadmaking, I have been making curries better suited to pair with bread. Specifically, I have been selecting recipes, to match the complex nutty flavor of rye whole wheat sourdough breads. Today, I am sharing one of my favorite curry recipes to pair with Rye bread. Sri Lankan air fried Eggplant curry !
Sri Lankan Eggplant curry is a delicious vegan curry made from eggplants and aromatic spices. It is a traditional and popular Sri Lankan curry dish. It is a vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free recipe that is very easy to make. If you decided to make it, you will be rewarded with rich and creamy texture of air-fried eggplant, the depth of flavors from spices, and bit of tartness from tamarind with a creamy flavorful thick sauce from coconut milk.
Health Benefits of Eggplants and Eggplant curry
Best health aspect of eating Eggplants is how much fiber it packs in with the lower calorie amount per cup of serving. In our busy life one thing we always strive to do is add as much fiber to our diet by eating more high fiber vegetables. Hi fiber intake is helpful in blood sugar management and better lipid profile and aids in healthy weight loss. As we now know, every little bit of vegetables we eat helps. Eggplants are a great way to do just that. According to Healthline, Eggplants are also very high in Manganese. It is a very important micronutrient and a trace element for a better metabolism. Making a big batch of curry is a very convenient and effective way to have this wonderful vegetable ready to go when you need it.
This healthy curry can be happily enjoyed any time of the day for lunch or dinner. Cooked with minimum oil and maximum flavors, you get health, flavors, and comfort in a single serving.
How to make the Curry Powder
Use of spices like turmeric, curry powder, mustard seeds, cardamom, and curry leaves ensure taste, aroma as well as health benefits of spices. Lets revisit how to make the seasoning base for this curry. One way to make the curry easily is with the red curry seasoning base that we made earlier.
However, I am going to give the recipe on how to make it the old fashioned Sri Lankan way, just in case if you do not have the seasoning base with you.
Curry powder for this recipe is 2 part coriander powder, 2 part Spanish paprika ,1 part cumin powder and 1 part cayenne pepper. Mix them together and dry roast in a heavy bottomed skillet for few minute until fragrant.
With that under way, lets read little bit about serving suggestions to air fried Eggplant curry.
An update to 100% whole wheat sourdough breadmaking with Rye flour
Let me start by mentioning where I got my inspiration on for the first time. The perfect loaf. This amazing blog by Maurizio Leo, who is so hands on and knowledgeable about all things baking. Past five years I have followed his blog, methods, and awesome Instagram page for inspiration. If you want technicality of hands-on baking, there is where you find it.
But if you are like me, a mom, homemaker who love to add sourdough to your weekly meals. Want to make one yourself or not a fan of supermarket made sourdough bread, then this post is for you my friend. I bake weekly for my family and we have stopped buying bread from the store for the most part. It has taken me several years to get here and have baked many stone hard loaves while learning my lessons. Thank god now I am in a much better place. Let me share my tips with you too. Let us read on!
First and foremost, I should emphasis that even if you do not have a sourdough starter you can still bake a good loaf. You just would have to do a longer rise. Rye, it needs at least 24 hours bulk fermentation and another 12 hours rise to have enough fermentation to give a soft loaf. Next, let ‘s talk little bit about main ingredient which is flour. It is vital to use freshest flour available to you depending upon where you are. this is hands down best way to ensure flavor. I do mill my own grains because I have found that to be the best way to get best flavor and also keep my flour from going bad. We invested in KoMo XL plus and I have been doing lots of multigrain baking since then. My KoMo mill enables me to buy my grains fresh in bulk suppliers grind my own flour whenever I need to bake. Yes! I have a baking operation going on my household baking that I do not regret.
After flour the next best investment I did was to buy natural rattan bread proofing baskets. Proofing baskets are such a wonderful thing to have when working with grain like rye that needs long time to proof. it helps the loaf to hold its shape and gives a nice rise in proof despite of the fact of lacking gluten.
Next l will mention a little bit about fiber enrichments. I add wheat bran and flax seed meal to bring up the fiber level even higher and add vital wheat gluten to soften and enhance the crumb structure. Fiber enriched loves do not rise that much and added gluten helps to get little bit more air into the dough and helps it rise more. The bread We are making today is still going to be denser and hearty because of the wheat bran and I want it that way to have a loaf which will release that energy slower, thus curbing the glycemic peaks. It has helped me curb my not so good habit of snacking between meals completely.
Adding extra fibers to your bread is optional but if you need a good rise from just 100% rye adding extra wheat gluten cannot be skipped. protein content of the bread need to be about 14% for the flour for it to have nicer crumb structure.
Another important tip is how to store your freshly baked bread. Home baked fresh bread does not last on counter longer because they do not have the additives to help extend the shelf life. I do like to make and bake my loaves weekly in one go so I need to store bread to last them long. Once baked I cover them with a clean towel and let it cool down completely. Then and store them in freezer in zip top bag until you are ready to use. Place the bread on the counter on the night before and you are going to use it to thaw out and get to room temperature. If you want to freeze the dough that can be done as well.
Finally, I bake my loaves of bread in cast iron Dutch oven and in extremely hot oven. I mean extremely hot. But for my friends who do not own cast iron Dutch ovens, I do have a work around. Place a metal baking pan or an empty bread pan in the lower rack of the oven while preheating. As soon as you put the bread to bake on the top rack, pour a 1 cup of water carefully to the empty pan and close the oven door. extra moisture from the steam will help the bread rise and expand faster yields deliciously crusty bread.
Now that I have shared all my bread baking tips with you lets move on to the recipe.
100% whole wheat fiber enriched bread my home style
Yields a 750 gram loaf.
300 grams of Wholegrain dark rye flour
100 grams of rye sourdough starter
1 and half tsp of salt
100 grams of wheat gluten
2 tbsp of wheat bran ( optional)
2 tbsp of flax meal (optional)
Enough water to make a wet dough.
On the First Day……
Mix dry ingredients and whisk together few times. Add water to make a wet and sticky dough.
knead it for about 10 minutes really well. Rest it for half an hour and knead it again. Rest for another half an hour and knead it again. place it in well oiled bowl and cover with a lid. ferment for 24 hours in refrigerator.
On the Second Day …..
Take out the dough and knead it really well and shape. Be ready for sticky dense dough. How much your rye bread dough will rise really depend upon condition that you have in your kitchen. Do not be alarmed if it does not look doubled. It will feel softer in your hands when properly fermented. use dome flour to dust the surface and hands to control the dough from sticking too much.
Place the cover on bread proofing basket and dust it with flour really well. Place shaped loafs in the proofing basket it rise in the refrigerator lightly covered for another 12 to 24 hours.
when you are ready to bake. take the proofing basket out and allow it to come to room temperature and rise up a little bit. My rye bread actually took another 5 hours on the counter to be ready for baking.
Preheat the oven to 450 degree with Dutch ovens in side. Turn the loafs in to a parchment paper and scorch on the top.
Bake for 25 minutes until bread is golden and crispy. open the lid of Dutch oven and allow it to bake for another 5 to 10 minutes .
Take the loaf out of the oven and allow it to completely cool before cutting in to it. For best results leave the loaf for 24 hours on counter before cutting.
Enjoy with your favorite topping or curry on side.
Its September. weather has started to cool, and I am enjoying last bit of my roses coming in for the season. Grape vine is full of ripening and some fully ripe grapes. Crab apple tree is full of little red apples. Mesmerizing beauty of fruits everywhere. It has been a great year here in New England for the gardens. There were plenty of rain and drizzles, sun and plants just basking in it. But I am leaving fruits to the birds and bunnies this year. Today I am cooking an old time favorite of mine. Creamy jackfruit curry. One I haven’t had for a long time.
Its about curried version of one of the most famous fruit of Sri Lanka. young jack fruit. Jackfruit trees and coconut trees are quite wonderful part of Sri Lankan identity. To see jackfruit trees bear fruits is a sight of wonder. Trees are very tall and huge, mature fruits hang from the tree branches covering the whole tree. Sometimes a fruit can be as large as 50-pound rice sack, if not bigger and they have such delightful fruity flavor.
Fruits can be made to curries in a different level of maturity. When they are very small, and by small, I mean about a foot long and very tart, we make spicy and sour baby jackfruit curry, similar in taste to any meat curry. If the fruit were picked more matured but not ripe, they are ideal to separate into individual lobes, deseeded and made into creamy jackfruit curry or, mixed with scraped coconut to make Mallum. When it is fully mature and ripe, with its wonderful fruity aroma and the sweet flavor it is perfect for a dessert or eat as is. Eating very ripe jackfruit is my fondest memory of it. gathering around a huge fruit of half of my height (when I was about 7 years) with my cousins and friends, eating lobes right out of peeled fruit and playfully throwing seeds into a bowl. Wild I know, but also refreshing.
On the nutritional front jackfruit does not disappoint either One cup of sliced fruit provides 3 grams of fiber and lot more vitamin and minerals, also antioxidants. (1)
Fiber: 3 grams
Protein: 3 grams
Vitamin A: 10% of the RDI
Vitamin C: 18% of the RDI
Riboflavin: 11% of the RDI
Magnesium: 15% of the RDI
Potassium: 14% of the RDI
Copper: 15% of the RDI
Manganese: 16% of the RDI
Need I say more about how happy I am cooking a baby jackfruit curry today. Despite of long list of ingredients it is pretty easy to make.
Curried creamy Baby jackfruit.
Cook time: 30 minutes Prep time :5 minutes
Spice level : Mild
One pack of cups of frozen baby jackfruit, thawed and sliced thin
Half a teaspoon Turmeric
Handful curry leaves
2 Green chili
Teaspoon mustard seeds
Half a teaspoon of crushed black pepper
Half a teaspoon of Cumin
One Inch piece Ginger
2-inch piece of Cinnamon stick
2 Cardamom pods
Puree all seasoning except cinnamon, with water
Layer the jackfruit alternatively with seasoning mix
Cook in low heat for about half an hour until jack fruit is completely soft and translucent stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle black curry seasoning on top and cover. Turn the heat off and let the aroma of the black curry seasoning absorb into the sauce.
Slice curry leaves and sprinkle over the top to garnish.
If you prefer to add little bit of extra protein to your curry, add a handful of boiled peanuts along with jackfruit in between layers. This is totally optional and authentic curry does not contain any peanuts in it. That is just my own preference.
Have another happy curry experience.
A bowl of this mild and creamy curry with hints of turmeric, curry powder, coconut and Sri Lankan black curry seasoning is perfect to enjoy with naan or rice. In addition, its perfect on its own as a soup as well.
Let’s visit a little village wedding in rural Sri Lanka, bride dressed in traditional tied saree. Hair tied back neatly and decorated with flowers and jewelry. She is wearing full ensemble of heavy bridal attire. The most beautiful thing you will set your eyes on that day. I hope I am not confusing my foodie friends here because I am talking about a village wedding, not food. But you see I am talking about food. Weddings and food go hand in hand. Second most beautiful thing you will spot on a village wedding is the lunch spread you will set eyes upon. Yes, it is lunch because traditionally weddings are hosted in mornings will have an elaborated lunch spread of at least 20 dishes and accompaniments, mead, and desserts. At least when I was young and fortunate to attend some village weddings.
Aroma of the various dishes cooking, loud music playing, children running around playing, relatives gathered out mostly in outdoor kitchen preparing at various dishes over wood fire stoves is truly a sight to behold. Most of my wedding memories were those sounds of clanging pots and pans, sound of crackling wood fire, aroma of roasting spices, ladies chitchatting and of course those inviting aroma of the simmering curries. Among them, the bride of the wedding feast. The rustic village style chicken curry. This dish is not your everyday chicken curry. It does need lots of love and heart form the home cook. Lots of time too. But God so worth it. I would call it thanksgiving turkey of Sri Lanka, but better. Sorry Turkey!
This dish is prepared with fresh free range organic chicken that probably has been running around farmers backyard probably an hour ago. (of course, I settled for a fresh fowl I found in local grocery store, because it’s what I could find). Its lean chicken with tougher meat ideal for longer cooking time. Also, you need lots of spices. Especially red curry seasoning base. I posted how to make this curry seasoning for yourself few days ago. I will link that post here if you hadn’t had a chance to go through it.
Once we pick out a chicken we need to clean, remove the skin, and cut into small pieces. Ideally 18 to 22 pieces depending on the weight of the chicken. This type of cutting is called curry cut chicken. You could certainly choose to cook the chicken with skin on, but I do highly recommend removing the skin and trimming any extra fat. This is one dish where too much fat in the curry could ruin the flavor. Cutting the chicken is not very intimidating at all. With a weighted sharp knife, some kitchen towels andyou tube it is easier than you think. I am happy to share the best you tube video of cutting whole chicken into curry cut below. Good curry needs all those parts from the whole chicken to truly stand out and give its best flavor.
Second most important thing is let it sit in it marinate, long time. Fresh fowl I prepped sat in the red curry seasoning base for 12 hours in the fridge before I started cooking the curry.
With all that lets make this village chicken curry.
Curried Chicken Fry Village Style
Prep time: half an hour
Cook time: two hours
Whole fresh fowl cut into curry cut. (About 4 pounds.)
Half a cup of red curry seasoning
Five dry hot chili peppers
Half a cup of caramelized onions.
Two tablespoons of black pepper
Handful of curry leaves
Cup of water
Teaspoon of mustard seeds
Pinch of fenugreek seeds
Half a cup of coconut cream/ or heavy cream (keto friendly version)
Marinate the chicken in the red curry paste for overnight
Heat the pan on high and heat coconut oil to smoke point
Add the chicken pieces in batches fry until brown and firm outside. Remove and set aside.
On the same pan add another tablespoon of coconut oil and add teaspoon of mustard and pinch of fenugreek seeds. When fragrant add caramelized onions, dry chilies, and curry leaves. fry for a minute.
Add the chicken back and stir to coat chicken with everything.
Add a cup of water and cook covered until chicken is cooked and tender and sauce is thick.
Add coconut cream or heavy cream and cook for another minute and adjust the salt to your taste. Mine didn’t need any additional salt because curry seasoning had enough salt for the dish.
Inspired by Sri Lankan Herbal Porridge (Kola Kanda)
This dish is my own creation inspired by very popular herbal porridge in Sri Lanka. My mama would pick few bunches of Moringa leaves, Pennywort greens and Curryleaves and prepare a big pot of herbal porridge breakfast for whole family. Traditionally made with coconuts, mix of greens, and rice with coconut milk and stick of cinnamon for the sweet aroma it is a very nourishing and filling combination.
Key to making good herbal porridge is not overcooking green herbal juice that we extracted. So, it’s important we cook any other ingredient we add is precooked in coconut milk before adding the extracted herbal juice. As for the greens, we use either a one single type of green or mix of edible greens to make this. If not, one could use medicinal herbs and keep it purely herbal drink. But it is important to do your own research to know the dosages, safety and gather ample knowledge of medicinal leaves and plants you are planning on using beforehand. In northern USA where I live, I have found Kale, Collard greens, little bit of parsley yields very good results and very easy to find. If you could find it, fresh curry leaves make a great addition as well. Once everything is prepared to go this dish comes together fast and easily.
Personally, I have hard time drinking juices form greens because I find the taste too bitter. Even though I know how good it is to me I often find myself not liking the green juice or smoothies. Making a bowl of herbal soup that’s sits in my fridge all week makes a perfect solution when I am trying to add more greens to my diet but do not want to juice or make salad out of them.
When it comes to serving the porridge traditional rice and greens porridge is served plain and warm with a piece of jaggery. However, I am not making a traditional green herbal porridge that my mom used to make today. I am changing and spicing it up a little bit. Adding little bit more nutrients, fibers, and proteins to it to make a complete meal. I am adding beans, yogurt and replacing rice with ground steel cut oats. I am going to serve it with little bit of strained yogurt, and red pepper flakes and sprinkle of rice on the side.
Let’s get Juicing cooking
Green and Bean Soup
Cook time: 20 minutes
Kale and Collard greens 2 bunches of each
One and half cups of scraped coconut
One cup of cooked black beans (one can of black beans)
One cup of ground oats or oatmeal flour
4 to 6 cups of water (for extracting the juice)
One clove of garlic
One inch piece of ginger
Tablespoon of black pepper
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of turmeric
One stick of cinnamon
Teaspoon of mustard
1 green chili pepper (optional)
Sliced red onion
Tablespoon of coconut oil
Work in batches and blend the greens and coconut in a blender to squeeze the juice out with the help of a cheesecloth. You can reuse the extracted juice from earlier blends in when juicing next batches so it will keep getting concentrated as you progress. Idea is to extract as much juice as possible from the greens. We want to gather up that goodness as much as possible.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a stock pot and when smoking hot add mustard seeds. When they are cracking add onions, garlic, ginger, and green chili pepper. Sauté for a minute and add black beans and turmeric. Toss to coat the beans.
Add all the green juice and turn the heat to low. Slowly add ground oatmeal whisking rigorously avoid clumping. Add the stick of cinnamon.
Cook on low heat stirring constantly on just below simmering temperature until soup thickens up and greens and oatmeal is cooked cooking time will be about 10 minutes.
Serve warm over hot rice and strained yogurt. You could totally skip the rice and serve this soup plain. It has your all your macro and micronutrients all in one go.
I hope you will take the time to make it and let me know how you like it. to me it is very refreshing wit hits taste of fresh earthy flavor of greens and herbs and satisfying with oats and black beans.
Spicy Sri Lankan potato salad and Potato peanut curry in Beetroot curry sauce
The humble potato. creamy, delicious also starchy and filling. At least in my opinion there hasn’t been any other versatile vegetable perhaps other than tomato. My kids love French fries. Although they are not much of fans of potato salads or mashed potatoes, I am a big fan. With my recent journey with weight, at least trying to eat healthy dose of high fiber, looks like my days of eating mash potatoes are coming to an end. Being the devout fan of potato, I am determined to keep my humble root vegetable around in some way. My Sri Lankan curry world is helping me there in big time.
May it be a German potato salad, Chinese version of potato stir fry I was still craving something more there. Not only for me but my vegetable hating children, I needed to embark on the journey to look for more. I needed to add more wholesome ingredients to the mix. And I found the perfect solution buried deep within a cookbook I purchased in Sri Lanka. The two popular Sri Lankan dry curry dishes at are so fond to my heart I could bound to my will of reforming in to what I wanted.. So I made my own versions of Sri Lankan stir fried potatoes and beetroot curry. The best thing is that, I could use my red curry seasoning base to make both preparations without breaking a sweat.
Today I am happy to share not one but two delightful potato recipes. Spicy potato salad and potato and peanuts in beetroot curry sauce. yum !
Before we get in to making this my version of curries, let’s get a quick cap of what Sri Lankan spicy potato stir fry and beetroot curry looks like.
Sri Lankan Beetroot Curry
This sweet and spicy curry dish is prepared by simmering thinly sliced beetroots (only the root). In a spicy curry broth with curry leaves chilies and onions. Once the beets are cooked, curry is finished off by adding thick coconut cream and simmering until sauce is very thick. What goes well with Beetroot curry ? It is often served in rice and curry meal combinations. Couple examples are red rice, Sour fish dry curry /Fish ambul thiyal, Kale mallam or red rice, red lentil curry/ light turmeric lemongrass fish curry, and Kale mallam
Sri Lankan Spicy Potato Fry
Sri Lankan spicy potato fry is very popular among many versions how to prepare the dish. Made by tempering previously boiled potatoes with plenty of red onions and green chili peppers and spicy powdered curry blend at the end to spice it up and addicting fresh cut tomatoes to finish up. Writing these few lines brings back so many memories of ripening tomato vines, fragrance of freshly pick tomatoes, warm and spicy curry aromas, and hot midday sun. if you would like to read more about authentic and rustic Sri Lankan recipes, please let me know in a comment below.
Without going down too deep into the memory lane lets head back to today’s recipes that has elements from both, also wholesome and delicious.
There is a bit of prep work ahead making these two recipes.
Preboil the potatoes until they are about almost cooked but still firm. Let it cool and peel and set aside.
Boil the beets until its cooked and peel and let it cool.
Pre boil peanuts in little salt, turmeric and drain. Peanuts are great way to add some extra fiber and protein to any curry you make. I usually make a big batch of 4 cups at a time drain and freeze for later use. But if you do not like peanuts or allergic to nuts it does not change the final flavor of these curries so you can totally skip this step. I happen to like the crunch that peanuts give to curry, so I find myself adding a handful of it often.
once we have vegetables prepped curry come together pretty fast and easily. So, lets gather up the ingredients and start cooking.
Spicy Sri Lankan Style Potato Salad
Servings : 4 cook time : 15 minutes
4 boiled potatoes with salt
2 tsp of red curry paste
Cup of red onions
2 green chili peppers
grated Carrots / peas (any vegetable you like) optional
Handful of coriander leaves
One sprig of curry leaves
Peel and cut the potatoes in to small cubes or send through grating dish in food processor.
Heat teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet in medium heat add onions and peppers. Cook for a minute or two until soft.
Add green chili pepper, curry leaves, and cook for few seconds.
Add red curry seasoning base and Sauté couple of minutes. Add potatoes and vegetables, toss to coat. Sprinkle in half a cup of water, cover and cook until potatoes and vegetables are warmed through, and flavors are absorbed. Give it another toss and adjust the salt to your taste.
Add handful of coriander leaves, cover, and turn off the heat.
This warm and spicy potato salad is ready to go into your wrapping of choice. I served spoonful of salad in lettuce leaves and sliced cucumber on the side. My tribe loved every bit of it.
Potato Peanut curry in Beetroot curry Sauce
Servings: 6 to 8 servings Cook time: 20 minutes
4 medium size beetroots, boiled and peeled
Cup of boiled potatoes cut into cubes
Cup of peanuts boiled with turmeric and salt (optional ingredient)
1 tsp of mustard seeds
2 tablespoons of red curry seasoning base
2 tablespoons of scraped coconut or half a cup of thick coconut cream.
One medium onion
Two green chili peppers
How to prepare curry sauce.
Puree onion, tomato, green chilies, red curry paste, coconuts, and boiled beetroots until smooth, in a food processor.
Add tablespoon of coconut oil into heavy bottomed skillet. Heat on high and add mustard seeds. let it crackle.
Add beetroot puree and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for 10 minutes until flavors are combined.
Add peanuts and potato cubes and cook for another 5 minutes or the sauce is thickened.
Add handful of curry leaves and one inch thick of cinnamon stick. Cook for another minute or two. Adjust the salt to your desired taste.
Serve over steamed rice or with flat bread on the side.
This beetroot curry sauce is on the sweeter side but with a spicy hint to it. It is a delicious combination over steamed basmati rice or on its own as a soup. It was a very rewarding dinner for our family. I hope you will make it too and let me know how it turns out.
If there is a one single seafood is cherished almost all around the world it is humble little squid. These little mollusks are treasured part of Asian, European and Mediterranean cuisine alike. We love our batter fried calamari with a little squeezed lime juice in Northern Europe and USA. In Japan it is loved as sushi, Sashimi or tempura. Other Southeast Asia and Mediterranean Squid is prepared by frying or dried or sometimes eaten raw. But we are talking about a different method of preparing this delight. The South Asian spicy curried squid. This lovey fragrant yet unapologetically spicy curry is what you find in many Sri Lankan home cooking if you ever so happened to be around dinnertime.
There are few steps to cleaning squid. We Sri Lankans do not use squid ink while making curry. Because we do not use ink sack first step is to cut off Ink sack then clean inside and remove the outer skin. Then cut the squid into inch thick rings. Soak the prepped squid pieces in salt and juice of half of lime juice and rinse off well with cold water. Drain well.
Today we are using the red curry seasoning base we prepared few days ago to make quick simple curry base. Squid being very tender seafood does not need longer cooking time. So, we are going to make a little change to the way we traditionally cook them and start with making curry base first while the squid marinates in seasoning base. I posted how to make this awesome curry seasoning base last week in a separate post. If you haven’t had the chance yet, please check that out below.
It has a several different ingredients to it but once you have it made and frozen there are lot of dishes including curries, dips, stir-fries you can prepare using the same curry paste combined with few simple techniques. Trust me it is a lifesaver in my Sri Lankan kitchen. I am sure it will be your trusted curry knight as well.
With that being said let’s start making our curry.
Here is what you are going to need
8 to 10 cuttlefish cleaned and rinsed. prepackaged calamari two 16 oz packs (32 0z)
3 tablespoons of red curry seasoning
2 red onions
Handful of curry leaves
4 Thai Green chilis (if you prefer milder version use just one or two, totally up to your spicy level)
2 tablespoons of tamarind juice
2-inch stick of cinnamon
If you want extra heaping 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper (or skip it altogether if you want a milder tangy sweet curry)
I can of thick coconut milk
Tablespoon of brown sugar
One chopped tomato
Scoop two tablespoons of curry base and massage over the squid. Let it marinate half and hour. While the squid marinade let us make out curry sauce.
Puree two medium size red onions, 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste, tablespoon of red curry base and green chilies in half a cup of water for curry base.
Heat two tablespoons of coconut oil and cook the curry base with cinnamon stick and curry leaves until sauce is brown, bubbly, and thick about 10 minutes. Add tablespoons of brown sugar, cayenne pepper and coconut cream. Cook until well combined and oil separates for about 5 more minutes.
Add Calamari and cook another two to three minutes low. Taste and adjust salt/sugar to your desired taste.
Turn the heat down and add chopped tomato cook for another minute. Delicious Sri Lankan calamari curry is ready.
Enjoy over steamed rice and salad. Let me know what you think below and give me a follow back and join our curry journey.
We have had a quite a journey with seasoning blends that we prepared in our previous posts. After much trial and error and research, it was a hallelujah moment for me when I figured out the curry blends that simplified labor intensive process of Sri Lankan curries. I am no stranger to making my own seasoning bases. Ever since I started cooking when I was 7 or 8 years old from my first lentil curry, I was always trying to make things more efficient in the kitchen. I strived to stay authentic to rustic flavors but always tweaking things to make ready to go seasoning and food prep techniques. I would borrow or buy cookbooks and read how flavors evolve and watch so many instructional videos how other chefs and home cooks do it. Most of my tiny bit of leisure time after caring for my two little angels went to researching curries, flavors, and other similar dishes around the world. At first my husband was the guinea pig to test the new seasoning blends. He was always such a good sport with his comments and super nice about it when he did not like something, but as time went on was totally and completely hooked with what I would create. Slowly but steadily, I would tweak flavors, regularly cook with them making improvements. The Perfect curry was born out of this love for curries, curry seasoning bases and similar dishes around the world. I am grateful to everyone who are here with me cheering on.
Over last two months I shared two such distinctive seasoning blends with you. We talked about turmeric lemongrass seasoning blend in my post, The Sri Lankan Umami part 1 and talked about few different recipes we can make with that, like light yellow curries, lentil, and such. Then we talked about Black curry seasoning blend in my post Sri Lankan umami Part 2 and talked about how we can use it in array of recipes including smoking and pan-frying pork which was a huge hit. If you have not had a chance to read them yet, please click the links below and check those out.
Today, I am ready to share third and final seasoning blend of this three-part series with you. I did save the best for last because this red curry seasoning blend is the most versatile, flavorful, and popular once out of the three. I do have a sense of completion and happiness but our journey through seasonings and curry blends does not end here. I do have lot more recipes lined up with these blends and already developing my next seasoning series as at now. So, without further ado lets get to adding a Sri Lankan pop to your cooking.
All the ingredients are easy to find in your local grocery store and your Indian grocery store. Dry ingredients are easily available from Amazon. This recipe is a one I cook in my kitchen frequently and holds true to conditions in my home and a huge hit every time I make it.
Sri Lankan Red curry Seasoning Base.
Yield: 3 qt of Seasoning Paste
Prep Time: One hour including prep
Equipment: high speed food processor , heavy bottomed pot ,cup measure and wooden spoon
Roasted cayenne pepper 2 Tablespoon
Roasted cumin ¼ cup
Spanish paprika 1 cup
Coriander powder ¼ cup
Garlic cloves 2 heads
Onion powder ½ cup
Ginger root cubed 1 cup
Crushed black pepper ¼ cup
Ground nutmeg 2 tablespoons
Amchur powder 2 tablespoons (ground raw mango powder)
Coconut vinegar 1 cup
Desiccated coconut ½ cup
Red lentil soaked 1 cup
Tomato pastes 2 cans
Salt ½ cup
Nutritional yeast ¼ cup
Soy sauce ¼ cup
Mustard oil cup
coconut oil cup
Lemongrass 2 sticks
Sri Lankan black curry powder 2 tablespoons
Measure out quantities of dry seasonings in separate bowls, have them ready to go.
Clean and rinse lemongrass and ginger. Peel and roughly chop garlic, ginger, and lemongrass.
Rinse and soak red lentils in cold water until soft.
Peel and crush cloves and cardamom.
Pulse lentils, lemongrass ginger and garlic in the food processor until finely processed.
Add half a cup of mustard oil, half a cup of coconut oil, 2/3 cup vinegar and quarter cup of dark soy sauce. Continue to blend until smooth. For about two more minutes.
Stop the food processor and add all the dry seasoning powders at once. Scrape the sides down. Cover and process additional minute.
Add remaining mustard oil, coconut oil and vinegar and continue to process until a smooth and well combined.
Heat a heavy bottomed pan on very low heat and melt two tablespoon of coconut oil. Gently pour the paste in there and heat on very gentle heat for about 5 to 10 minutes, until fragrant and turns darker in color continuously stirring.
Turn the heat off and allow to completely cool in the same pan.
This recipe yields a lot of seasoning base. It is too strong to be used on its own, so I highly recommend dividing in to 8 to 16 oz glass jars. Store in the freezer what you are not going to use in a week.
Basic Curry in 15 minutes using red curry seasoning.
2 heaping tablespoons of the seasoning base
Cup of scraped coconut
One medium size onion
One big tomato
Two Thai hot green chilies (optional)
sprig of curry leaves
pinch of Turmeric (optional)
I cup of scraped coconut
Half an inch of cinnamon stick
Blend everything in a blender with a cup of water to make runny base. Heat a heavy bottomed pot in a medium high and pour this curry base. heat to a rolling boil stirring continuously.
Once started to boil add a cinnamon stick, curry leaves, and turn the heat down to medium low. If you want to add a vegetable, seafood, or chicken you can add here. I would recommend any of followings chicken breast/ shrimp/ potatoes/ carrots and peas/boiled red beans and Swiss chard/ any white fish cubed without skin.
Simmer for 15 minutes or until oil separates from the coconut cream.
Adjust the salt to your taste and your curry sauce is ready. (Mine didn’t need any 😊). Enjoy over steamed rice, pasta or with flatbread on the side.
I hope will have great curry journey experimenting with this seasoning base. Let’s meet up next week with spicy curried rainbow trout recipe with all the tips and tricks.
Looking forward to make these curry seasoned recipes using red curry seasoning base soon.
Today, when my garden is getting some much needed rain, I thought about testing out some new potato salad idea with no mayonnaise but coconut curry flavored with my favorite homemade seasoning base. It was fun trying out some great outdoor grilling and smoking recipes last week, so why not some sides this week. After all its 4th of July weekend !
Sri Lankan creamy potato curry is more of a soup style curry base made with boiling potatoes in coconut milk and spices, herbs including turmeric and curry leaves. Potato salad on the other hand is potatoes coated with yummy creamy dressing, which is something very different from Sri Lankan idea of a curry. I love the flavor of both and wanted so bad to take inspiration from both dishes to make something with my own twist. I also wanted a lower calorie version of potato salad with no mayonnaise. There are so many variations of potato salads all around the world and I sincerely hope you will come to like mine. Best of all is it has kick to it with lemongrass and curry flavors, heat with fried chilies and crunch with fried Korean anchovies.
with that let’s gather up the ingredients and start making it. This recipe is going to be very easy to make if you have turmeric yellow curry seasoning base already premade and living in your fridge. I will link my post about how to make this seasoning base few weeks back.
Once made, curry base can go in freezer for over 2 months and in the fridge for two weeks once you thaw it overnight.
Ingredients you will need
2 tablespoons of Turmeric yellow curry base
1 tablespoon of sliced red onions
1 cup of thick coconut cream
2 cups of boiled, peeled and cubed potatoes
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
Deep fried small Korean anchovies
Deep fried chopped curry leaves
Deep fried dry chili pepper
Pre heat a cast iron skillet and add sliced onions. fry until golden and caramelized on the edges.
Once caramelized, add curry base and coconut milk. Cook on low flame for 5 minutes.
Add potatoes and toss to coat. gently heat, covered another 10 minutes on very low flame while gently scraping the bottom. If the sauce is too thick for your liking add little water and gently mix it in.
Once the flavors are incorporated and starts bubbling, remove from the flame and mix in cup of chopped tomatoes and red bell peppers and spring onions. toss to coat.
This step is optional. Garnish with fried Korean anchovies, curry leaves and chili pepper. I chose chilies because I like a little heat in my food and also I like the crunch that anchovies give. If you do not like chilies or anchovies in your potato salad please feel free to skip it.
This potato salad is best served warm and right after you make it. So if you really want to make it ahead I would recommend pre readying the ingredients but leave out tossing and re-heating it to incorporate flavors for just before serving. Our potato salad tastes creamy and rich as much as traditional salad, but we do not use any mayo make it. Creaminess comes from coconut milk and seasoning base.
Please comment below know if you like my twist of this salad / curry experience if you try it out. I would love to hear from you.