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Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie.. Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... I Am crazy about music,books,friends and my doggie... :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Food Tales- Broken woes

After a brief break, am back with another interesting food tale from my childhood, rather life....

I have this one quirk when it comes to Appalam [ pappads]. I need mine full and not broken up. At my maternal grandparents house they would break the appalam in half before frying, easier to handle and maybe the pan they used was small. I used to crib constantly about how I was served broken appalam.. 

Infact, over time it became a running joke at home. Everytime there would be appalam, people would send me sly smiles and smirks expecting me to protest. I got over this quirk of mine with time, and now I dont mind even tiny pieces and crumbs in the appalam vessel. Heck, there  have been days when I am making appalam, and I break it in half or quarter for ease!! 


Friday, April 11, 2014

Srilanka Food series- King Coconut

When I touched base with a friend asking her for inputs on Srilanka, where to go what to do etc, she shared her thoughts and inputs! The day I was travelling, she shared in our group - "Do have a King Coconut for me aaroo".. I did not know what this King coconut was, but knew it had to be something edible/drinkable. Forgot about it until our driver brought it up one day when we were on the road to Yala and it was freaking hot outside. We were gulping down water, and were parched. He asked us "you want to have King Coconut?". Both of us nodded and asked him what  it was. He pointed to one of the many shacks along the road that had these huge orange colour coconuts hanging on them and said that was it. Umm, back home we call that Coconut and Tender Coconut [ elaneer], but the coconuts are usually green in colour. They become orange, we throw them out thinking they are dry. 

But here in Sri Lanka, it is their pride and joy, the King Coconut. I then told him about our tender coconuts and he laughed "you have in India also?" This convo went on, references to food and fruits, almost to a point of competition between the two countries..hehe.. 

So, anyways, he stopped at a shack, and we each one King Coconut each. It was quite good, fresh and sweet water. The lady manning the shack, also cut it open and gave us a little sliver to scoop out the tender coconut flesh from inside. Umm, made me think about how back home the guy would actually scoop the whole thing out and give the sliver to be used like a spoon[ yes we are spoilt indeed].. Each costed 50LKR but was well worth it as they had nearly half a liter water inside them. 
There was music coming from somewhere behind the shack, and the lady pointed to the small house few yards away and said that was her house.  She also sold other fruits and bottled fresh honey... 

As we left the place and got back to the Air conditioned car, I wondered how much money she made in a day, esp since there was not much traffic on the road and it was mega hot.

When you are travelling around Sri Lanka, you will see these all over, and I am not exaggerating!! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Srilanka Food series- Coconut Roti

Ah, we were up and on the road once again. This time we were driving from Nuwara Eliya to Mirissa/Galle via Bandarawela.. It was nearly 8.30 and the two of us were quite hungry. We had just a cup of tea in the morning and hunger pangs were getting to us. The weather was chill, which added to the hunger. We told Suchintha, our driver to stop somewhere for a bite to eat and he promptly pulled into a roadside cafe that looked decent. Like in many other places, we saw a board reading "Rice & Curry" ready, it had us wondering how much rice did the people in Sri Lanka eat. 

We walked in, and a lady from behind the counter came around to greet us. Through Suchinta we conveyed that we wanted something to eat, and we were veg. She asked Rice & Curry? We asked "Bread, roti, string hoppers?" and she replied "Roti- yes". We also asked her for Sambol, and she obliged. We also strolled around and found Aama Vadai, something that looked like samosa, and another which had idiyappam exterior and coconut+jaggery mix inside. It was neatly rolled up. We asked for 1 of each and few rotis. Within minutes, she brought a plate with 2 thick rotis and freshly made sambol. 

Biting into a piece of the roti had us both amazed, we wondered how it was made. We asked her and she said it was made with wheat flour, water and freshly grated coconut, a pinch of salt and cooked on a hot plate. It was thick like pita bread or bun and was just yummm.. Surprisingly it did not have coconut texture, was quite soft & smooth. Perfect morning breakfast with sambol, veg curry and a hot cup of tea.  She went on to tell us that the roti was not rolled out but flattened using the fingers/palm onto the plate. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Srilanka Food series- Breakfast I

There we were at a hotel that was just few weeks old, Rasoja near Kataragama, and the man who manned the reception doubled up as the bellboy and Chef and just about every other role you could think of... After showing us our room, we asked him about Dinner and Breakfast options. Everywhere we went, the Hotel guys would be fine and be all set to rattle out the menu, until we mentioned the big word "Vegetarian" and then they go silent for a few minutes, stare at us, smile and then go on to rattle out all that is possible in vegetarian... 

This guy was kinda lost, and we had to rattle out dishes from which he picked Veg noodles and a veg chinese side dish. Within minutes there was a knock on our door and he announced that dinner was ready. We walked down to the small dining room down the corridor and noticed the table was set, and there was a big plate with a heap of Noodles on it. He then brought a bowl of veg gravy [Chinese style]. Even though the noodle was tad burnt, it was good, we were hungry. The side was even better... With a dash of pepper and salt, it was quite yumm... We gobbled it up, and were done for the day!

But the guy came back and asked us what we would like for breakfast.  He had a help in the kitchen who knew not a single word of any language but Sinhalese. He told us he could make dosa with daal curry and sambol for breakfast. Both of us grinned ear to ear on the mention of Dosa. The next morning promptly there was a plate with 5 dosas, a bowl of Daal curry and yumm looking coconut [pol] sambol. 

The dosa was made with wheat flour, chillies, and other spices and was quite good, thin and soft. The daal curry had onions, garlic, toor daal and channal daal. The sambol was made with coconut, green chillies, garlic and some onions!! What a delightful breakfast that was.. We were happy bunnies after gobbling up 2 dosas each. 

** Sambol is made with various combinations, incl dried fish[ for all you non veggies]