The nice thing about poaching chicken on the weekend is that you can then make really quick weeknight meals. Throw a little garlic naan in the toaster oven (I just used some frozen pre-made naan), and then you can top it with all kinds of things. In this case, I did one open-face sandwich with store-bought guacamole and mango salsa (yum), and one toasted sandwich with homemade seeni sambol (also yum). Add in a little salad or some roasted veggies, and you have yourself a very nice meal.
(20-30 minutes, serves 4)
I’ve been poaching chicken breast lately, and I was curious how it would work with Sri Lankan flavors. This turned out quite tasty served as a soup (very reminiscent of rasam), with a little cooked millet and some chopped bell pepper to fill out the dish. Would make again!
(I tried serving it on a plate with the millet, but even with a little broth poured over the millet, I thought the end result was a bit dry; wouldn’t recommend. The chicken would be nice in a sandwich with seeni sambol, though!)
1 red onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 3-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
1 T dark-roasted curry powder
2 t. salt
2 T lime juice
1/2 c. tomato juice (from a can)
1/2 c. wine
3 c. water
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
NOTE: If serving with rice or millet, start that going first; it’ll be ready in 15-25 minutes, along with the chicken, making this as easy and healthy weeknight meal.
1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot; slowly bring just to a simmer over medium heat.
2. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10-12 minutes (until juices run clear when chicken is pierced in the thickest part of the meat).
3. Remove chicken to a cutting board, let cool a little, slice, and serve with the broth it cooked in. A little sliced bell pepper or scallion is a lovely grace note to the dish; you could also stir in some peas or corn.
Usually I make exactly what I write in the recipe, but the truth is, I find cutting caramels labor-intensive enough that it’s something I only plan to do once a year or so. So I’m not going to make these again anytime soon, even though they’re quite delicious, and even though I think they would be just the tiniest bit tastier with the proportions I’m going to write down below. I made these with 3/4 c. mango pulp and 1/4 c. passionfruit pulp, because that’s what I had on hand, but I think they would be even better with 1/2 and 1/2, so that the tartness of the passionfruit would better balance the mango. But honestly, I think any ratio of those two would be delicious, as long as you ended up with 1 c. fruit pulp total.
Based on a Gale Gand basic caramel recipe. Makes at least 60 caramels.
5 c. sugar
1/2 c. mango pulp
1/2 c. passionfruit pulp
1 c. water
6 T butter
1 c. cream, warmed a little
flake salt for topping (optional)
1. In a very large pot (it will boil up a lot), mix sugar, fruit pulp, and water.
2. Bring to a boil and continue cooking without stirring until hard ball stage (250 degrees on a candy thermometer).
3. Turn heat off and stir in the butter and then the cream.
4. Pour into a 9×12 pan that has been lined with parchment paper and buttered. Let the caramel cool and set until firm, at least two hours and preferably overnight.
5. Once firm, turn caramel out onto a board, cut into rectangles, and sprinkle with flake salt if desired. Wrap in decorative clear plastic (you can get squares online that are meant for caramels, that twist and hold well).
My god. It’s a good thing I’m out of ice cream, is all I’m saying.
Ice cream + passionfruit toffee + cashews + flake salt.
(No, I am not opening an ice cream parlor. But if we do that Sri Lankan pop-up in Amanda Daly‘s place, this might have to be a dessert option.)
Candy recipe-testing takes so much more patience than I normally need for recipe-testing!
I took a basic caramel recipe, swapped out the water for mango & passionfruit pulp, and then realized that that wasn’t thick enough, so I just went ahead and added the water back in. So now I *really* have no idea whether this will set into caramels or not. I may end up with a sticky messy that is impossible to cut. I may end up with toffee instead. It’s going to be hours before I have any idea.
I am feeling my way through candy-making, and I have to remind myself that my early attempts to modify my mom’s marshmallow recipe were equally confusing, and now, at least, I have that down. It’d be nice to get a solid desi-inflected caramel recipe down — we’ll see.
Ah well. I suppose this means it’s time to go and write for a while? Or sort clothes? Something. I suppose if it doesn’t set, I’ll have mango-passionfruit caramel sauce, which is not a tragedy.
WOOT WOOT WOOT! It’s launch day, people! Vegan Serendib: A Small Sri Lankan Cookbook (the e-book) is go for launch! Thank you to everyone who gave me feedback on recipes, and esp. to vegan readers who helped with substitutions, etc. Print version is coming soon.
$5 if you order from me directly
$5.99 on Amazon
I can’t take credit for this recipe — I pretty much followed the instructions on the Anovo website for egg bites, using leeks instead of scallions, because I happened to have them on hand. But I’ll say that it was yum.
Very delicate, roasting the peppers — honestly, I think I’d be fine with using raw peppers in this, for more of a fresh bite. And I’d probably use a little more cheese, a bit more black pepper, for some more oomph. But the general concept, good.
Nice to take fifteen minutes on the weekend to prep, one hour in the sous vide, and then have six warm eggy breakfasts for the week to come, that you can just grab and eat with a spoon, or decant (maybe over some fresh spring greens, lightly dressed) for a slightly fancier presentation.
In general, I’m trying to do more weekend prep to make healthy meals easy during the week. Egg bites, white wine-poached chicken, grilled shrimp, etc. It’s a bit of a process, adapting, but I think it’ll make my life easier during the semester.
(5 minutes, serves 2-4)
Some people like their lassi very sweet; some like it hardly sweetened at all. It seems like that decision is best left up to the individual cook. I don’t use any honey when I make mine
3-4 ice cubes
1 cup yogurt (or silken tofu yogurt)
1/2 c. passionfruit puree
1 T rosewater (optional)
1 cup water
1/4 cup honey (optional)
1. Combine ice, yogurt, passionfruit, rosewater, water, and blend.
3. Stop blender and taste, adding more water and/or honey if desired, until preferred consistency and flavor is reached. Enjoy!