Upcoming Pre-Order Sale

Good morning, folks! BIG pre-order sale this weekend! Maybe you’re vegan or vegetarian yourself, maybe you have a vegan friend or relative, or maybe you’re just looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet. This deal is for you!

I’ve started working on the recipes for Vegan Serendib again (pineapple curry & pineapple pickle this weekend, I think), and am hoping to have the full set of recipes done by the end of February.

We’ll shift into high gear with production at that point, which means it’d be super-helpful to collect funds in advance to pay our cover artist Jeremy John Parker & our editor, Stephanie Bailey
So I’m planning to run a Kickstarter for Vegan Serendib starting on February 1st! Kickstarter is great for improving visibility of fundraising.

That said, Kickstarter does take a percentage, so if you’re planning to buy the book, and you’re in a position to pre-order directly from us, that is even better. 🙂 I was thinking about what I can offer in exchange, to sweeten the deal a bit, and I came up with something pretty spectacular, I think.

Vegan Serendib will have about 40 new recipes added to the vegan recipes already in Feast (which is quite a few).

If you pre-order Vegan Serendib (any edition, $25 – $40) before the Kickstarter launches on 2/1, I will send you a copy of our Vegan Serendib sampler ebook AND a digital copy of Feast.

The digital edition of Feast retails for $25, so that is a VERY SWEET DEAL. (If you are vegan and wouldn’t use Feast yourself, you are free to pass it on to a non-vegan friend.) It’s essentially 2 books for the price of 1, PLUS the Vegan Serendib sampler. (If you’d like the Marshmallow sampler cookbook instead, just ask, though the marshmallows are not vegan, alas.)

Ordering link here! Please like / comments / share to increase visibility! Thanks!

Late Night Candy-Making

A little late night candy-making for our Valentine’s sale. Dried fruit dipped in chocolate is about as easy as candy-making gets, I think. And also healthy-ish? Also pictured, our trademark dragonfruit chocolates. Kavi gets excited when she sees I’ve made more — they’re her favorite.

Link here

Sri Lankan Curried Squash Soup

(makes 1 qt. soup, 15 minutes if you have curried squash on hand)

Let’s say you made a big batch of curried squash, and you eat it for a meal or two, and you still have a fair bit left, and you feel like a change. That’s the perfect time to turn your curry into soup! This also freezes well, if you’d like to make a big batch for a rainy day.

1/2 batch of Sri Lankan curried squash (recipe here).
2 c. vegetable broth

roasted cashews, sultanas, and pepitas for topping, optional

1. Combine curried squash and vegetable broth in a pot and simmer 10-15 minutes, until well blended. Taste and adjust seasonings; you may want a little more salt, pepper, or lime.

2. You can just serve it as is, homestyle, but a nice option is to blend the soup to smoothness (an immersion stick blender makes it easy; be careful if transferring hot soup into a blender).

3. Serve hot, topped with roasted cashews, sultanas, and pepitas (pumpkin seeds).

Sri Lankan Curried Roast Squash with Cashews

(1 hr, serves 6-8)

If you’re going to be roasting squash, you can quickly knock up a lovely curry sauce while the squash is cooking. This is a long list of spices, but the process is very simple — just sauté onions with seasonings, add some tang and coconut milk, and you’re basically done. Cashews add protein (and deliciousness), helping to make this a complete meal.

You can use any squash, but I think the combo of butternut and acorn is particularly delicious.

1 butternut squash
1 acorn squash
1/4 c. vegetable oil (to drizzle)
2 t. salt
2 t. pepper
2 t. jaggery or brown sugar
2 t. Sri Lankan curry powder
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 red onions, chopped fine
1-3 green chilies, seeded and chopped
1 T ginger, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 t. black or brown mustard seed
1 t. cumin seed
1 stick cinnamon
3 cloves
3 cardamom pods
1 stalk curry leaves (about a dozen leaves)
1 c. cashew halves
1 t. tamarind paste
1 c. coconut milk
a little more curry powder and salt, to taste
lime juice, to taste
1/2 – 1 c. sultanas, optional

chopped cilantro or other greens to garnish, optional

1. Prep squash with first four seasonings and set squash to roasting, per previous recipe.

2. Sauté onions in oil on medium-high heat, stirring. Add in chilies, ginger, garlic, mustard seed, cumin seed, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom pods, curry leaves, and cashews; sauté until golden.

NOTE: If you’re not strictly vegan, it would be culturally appropriate to add 1-2 t. dried Maldive fish or something similar with the sautéing onions, which will bump up the umami component; if you do that, you may want to reduce salt.

3. Add tamarind paste and coconut milk, stir until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings — you may want to add a little more curry powder, salt, and/or lime juice. If you want a more liquid sauce, add water and stir to blend well; if you want it thicker, let simmer to desired thickness.

4. When you’re happy with the curry sauce, add cut up roasted squash (if the squash isn’t ready yet, just turn off the heat on the sauce until it is). Roast squash should be somewhat sweet already, but I like adding in some sultanas for added pops of sweetness in the curry, to balance the tang and the spice.

Serve hot with rice or bread. Lovely with sambols and pickles.

Sri Lankan-Spiced Roast Butternut Squash

(10 minutes prep + 50 minutes roasting time, serves 2)

Roasting in an oven is not a common process in tropical Sri Lanka, but I live in Chicago, and roasting squash brings out the sweetness beautifully. This is a simple dish, super-easy to prep on a night when you’re tired, especially if you’re looking for something warm and comforting.

Squash can be a little difficult to cut up, so I tend to just split it and then roast; it’s easy to peel afterwards. But if you have the energy to peel and cube it raw, then you can get seasonings spread more evenly on all the sides of the cubes.

1 butternut squash, split in half
drizzle of oil (about 1/4 c.)
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1 t. Sri Lankan roasted curry powder

1 t. jaggery or brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 450 F.

2. Split squash (or peel and cube), drizzle with oil and seasonings. Place cut side up on foil-covered baking sheet (for ease of clean-up.) Bake about 50 minutes, until tender.

3. Let cool slightly, then peel and cut to bite-size pieces.

Serve hot with rice; I’ve added a topping of fresh micro beet greens here. This is very simple as is — you could add a coconut milk drizzle, another vegetable dish (a varai, perhaps), or a sambol or pickle accompaniment, to add complexity and interest.

Nice to Wake up to Scones

Nice to wake up to scones. 🙂 The kids, sadly, don’t love these because of the ginger — it’s a bit too intense a flavor for them. So I’m going to be packing most of them up later today to drop off to a few neighbors. But it was nice to wander down, a little groggy, and have these waiting for my breakfast. Reheat in toaster oven a few minutes, split, spread with butter and mango-passionfruit curd. YUM.

Vegan Mango & Ginger Scones

(40 minutes, makes 16 mini scones)

When researching vegan scone recipes, I found many versions that used ground flax seeds, which seem to be used as an egg substitute — but I don’t generally have flax seeds on hand, and was hoping to avoid buying extra ingredients.

Honestly, these didn’t seem to need them! Cream scones don’t generally require eggs. The solid coconut oil happily takes the place of butter, and rich coconut milk substitutes beautifully for cream. They’re delicious, light and tender, and quite more-ish, just as they are!

4 c. flour
2 T baking powder
2 T sugar
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. room temperature coconut oil (solid)
1 1/3 c. coconut milk
1/4 c. dried mango, chopped
1/4 c. crystallized ginger, chopped

2 T. jaggery or dark brown sugar, optional

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.

3. Chop coconut oil small and rub into the flour with your fingers until the flour looks pebbly.

4. Add coconut milk and gently combine with a silicone spatula or fork; do not overwork. Stir in mango and ginger.

5. Refrigerate dough for 15-20 minutes for better rise.

6. If using a mold, spray with oil; alternately, spray oil or add a sheet of parchment paper to a baking sheet. Fill mold with dough, pressing gently to fill. Alternately, press dough into a circle and cut into wedges, or cut out circles. Places wedges or circles about 1″ apart on sheet. Sprinkle scones with jaggery or brown sugar.

7. Bake for 14-18 minutes, until scones begin to brown. Remove from oven and serve warm. Traditionally they’d be split, and spread with butter, jam, clotted cream, curd, or whatever you like.

NOTE: Scones may be cooled and stored airtight at room temperature for several days; they can be frozen for longer storage.

Mango & Ginger Cream Scones

(25 minutes, makes 16 mini scones)

Fast, simple, classic, delicious. I find kitchen shears work best for chopping up dried mango and ginger.

3 c. flour
1 T baking powder
1 t. salt
1/4 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 1/3 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. dried mango, chopped into small pieces
1/4 c. dried crystallized ginger, chopped into small pieces
2-3 T additional heavy cream, optional

a few T sugar, optional

1. Preheat oven to 425F.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

3. Combine vanilla and cream, drizzle over dry ingredients, stirring gently to combine. Try not to overwork, or scones will become tough. Stir in mango and ginger.

4. If using a mold, spray with oil; alternately, spray oil or add a sheet of parchment paper to a baking sheet. Fill mold with dough, pressing gently to fill. Alternately, press dough into a circle and cut into wedges, or cut out circles. Place wedges or circles about 1″ apart on sheet.

5. Optional: brush scones with cream and sprinkle with sugar.

6. Bake for 14-15 minutes, until scones begin to brown. Remove from oven and serve warm. Traditionally they’d be split, and spread with butter, jam, clotted cream, curd, or whatever you like.

Served here with mango & passionfruit curd (recipe: https://serendibkitchen.com/2021/01/17/mango-passionfruit-curd/)

NOTE: Scones may be cooled and stored airtight at room temperature for several days; they can be frozen for longer storage.

The Perfect Ceylon Curry

Reminder note about two cook-alongs this week — Wednesday Jan 27 & Friday January 29! For Friday’s class, I’m tentatively planning to do both a meat and vegetarian (in fact, vegan) option (probably eggplant curry). Classes start at 5:30 CST, and people are welcome to just watch, chat, (and knit or crochet if they like) if they don’t feel like cooking along.

“Join us and special guest Mary Anne Mohanraj (2020 Fiberworld host!) to create the perfect Ceylon Curry mix! Mary Anne will take us through creating this delectable mix and then follow up with a hands-on make-along on January 29th to make the dish (YUM!). Join us for one or both events to put some spice in your new year!”

You can also buy a ‘spice bundle’ on the Fiberworld site, but it would arrive after the class. So if you’re signing up and want to make curry powder along with me, you might want to pick up the ingredients and supplies yourself in advance. You’ll need:

1 c. coriander seeds
1/2 c. cumin seeds
1 T fennel seeds
1 rounded t. fenugreek seeds (aka methi seeds)
1 cinnamon stick, about 2 inches
1 rounded t. whole cloves
1 rounded t. cardamom seeds
2 T dried curry leaves (optional)

2 rounded t. cayenne (optional)

+ a mortar and pestle or dedicated spice grinder (I use a coffee grinder)

Sign up here: https://fiberworldshow.com