Finishing Up Recipes

I’m trying to finish up the recipes for the cookbook by end of tomorrow, because on Tuesday, we’re launching the Kickstarter. Although that is maybe slightly overambitious, because I think I have 14 dishes left that I want to make:

– spicy mashed green grams — DONE
– beetroot juice — DONE
– thodol — DONE
– steamed appams
– jackfruit & chickpea buns
– banana blossom poriyal
– fenugreek gravy
– rose & hibiscus salad
– rose sambol
– ginger sambol
– lime pickle
– halapa
– bibikan

– jaggery pongal

Well, we’ll see. 🙂 I don’t think I really have to have all 120 recipes finalized before launching the Kickstarter. We’re getting close, though, exciting. I do think it was overambitious trying to do this in a year, initially — I think I have to allow two years to do a decent job on a cookbook like this. Which means Gluten-Free Serendib probably won’t come out until 2023.

Next step once I finish adding recipes will be finding test cooks; I’d like to make sure each recipe has at least 2-3 test cooks. And also re-making a few of them to take better photos — some of the photos from Feast for recipes that are carried over have egg or meat in the photo (from other dishes), and I’d like to avoid having any of that in the vegan cookbook.

For Parties to Come…

I won’t put this in the cookbook, since it’s not vegan, but I was experimenting with various cheeses, and I have to say, boursin + Sri Lankan tomato jam on a cracked peppercorn cracker = yummy.

The only problem is the jam is a little liquid for a finger food (you have to be careful not to drip!), but I think that’s probably just because it’s fresh off the stove; I’m guessing it’ll set up a little firmer after it cools and I chill it in the fridge. Nice option for parties to come…

Thakkaali Yaam / Spiced Tomato Jam

(1 hr, makes 2 c. jam)

This traditional Sri Lankan condiment, featuring rich tomato flavor gently spiced and sweetened with jaggery, is typically served with thosai, pittu, idli, or rice. It’s also delicious as a component in appetizers, spread on breakfast toast, as a topping for grilled vegetables — the possibilities are endless.

1 lb. tomatoes, diced (about 1 1/2 c.)
3 cloves
2 cardamom pods
1 star anise
1 t. peppercorns
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon (about 3 T)
1 cup jaggery or dark brown sugar

1 t. salt

1. In a hot dry pan, toast spices until aromatic. Let cool and grind to powder.

2. Add diced tomatoes to a medium saucepan with remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar has dissolved, then turn heat to low and cover.

3. Simmer about 40 minutes. Remove lid, and if mixture is still liquid, simmer uncovered a little longer, until it thickens to jam texture. Use wherever you’d use jam or chutney.

Variation: Replace half of the tomatoes with chopped pineapple.

Note: Jars can be stored in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Kara Paasip Payaru Thoovaiyal / Spiced Mashed Green Grams (Mung Bean)

A savory little treat, particularly tasty with a cup of hot tea. Rich in vitamins and minerals, and packed full of protein!

2/3 c. green grams / mung beans
2 c. water
1/4 t. ground turmeric
1/2 t. salt
1 T oil
5 pearl onions, diced small
5 dried chilies, broken into small pieces
1 stalk curry leaves (about one dozen)

1/2 t. mustard seeds

1. Rinse and soak green grams in water for 4-5 hours (or overnight).

2. Transfer grams and water to a saucepan; add turmeric and salt. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until grams are cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.

3. While grams are cooking, in a separate pan, heat oil and sauté remaining ingredients, stirring, until onions are golden-translucent, about 5-10 minutes.

4. When grams are cooked, pour off any excess water, then mash. (You can do this easily in a food processor.) Mix in seasoned onions, and let cool.

5. Shape into small round balls; serve as a snack with tea, or to accompany a rice and curry meal.