Kavi helped me collect and prep some edible flowers

Kavi helped me collect and prep some edible flowers — I’m going to make some little jars of flower confetti to sell at What’s Blooming on Harrison. So far, we have cornflower, pansies, peonies, dianthus, and even a few early roses. Tomorrow, planning to add fuchsia, dahlia, hibiscus, and maybe nasturtiums — have to check if any of mine are blooming yet. Usually these would just take a few days to air-dry, but I’ll likely pop them in the dehydrator tomorrow to speed up the process. Some of the tasty things you can use dried edible flowers for: herbal teas, cocktail garnish mixes, infused oils, infused vinegar, cake decorating, garnishing your meals, botanical salts, and infused spirits. And then of course there’s arts and crafts, bath bombs, hand scrubs, body balms, etc.

Cabbage Varai / Muttaikoss Varai

Like most everyone lately, we’ve been a little startled by how grocery prices have gone up.

Cabbage is still pretty cheap, though! This is cabbage varai — delicious and healthy, just the thing to round out a plate of rice and curry.

And did I mention that it’s both easy and fast? 🙂


Cabbage Varai / Muttaikoss Varai

(15-20 minutes, serves 8.)

Sweet, firm, rich with coconut.

8 oz. cabbage 1 medium onion, minced 2 fresh green chilies, seeded and chopped ¼ rounded tsp. ground turmeric ¼ rounded tsp. freshly ground black pepper 1 rounded tsp. salt ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut

    1. Shred cabbage finely. Wash well, drain, and put into a large saucepan. Don’t worry about drying the water clinging to the cabbage—you actually want that water to help steam the cabbage.
    1. Add all the other ingredients except the coconut. Cover and cook gently until cabbage is tender, stirring periodically.
    1. Uncover, add coconut, stir well, and when the liquid in the pan has been absorbed by the coconut, remove from heat. Allow to cool before serving.

(This recipe and many more can be found in my cookbooks, A Feast of Serendib and Vegan Serendib.)

Mas Paan: Perfection

One of my favorite snacks is mas paan (buns stuffed with beef and potato curry) and malu paan (buns stuffed with fish curry). It is very comforting, having a few dozen in the freezer, knowing that you can pull one out whenever you’re having a curry craving, and just toast it up in the toaster oven and enjoy with a nice hot cup of sweet milky tea. Perfection. I did develop a dough recipe for the cookbooks, but the truth is that I never actually make it from scratch. I just buy frozen bake-and-serve dinner rolls at the grocery store and use those. I recently had both beef curry and cabbage varai on hand, and I thought they might go well together — Dear Reader, they are DELICIOUS in a roll, and now you’ve got entire meal in there, with a veg. as well as the bread and meat. Perfection. I also tried cooking some carrot in with the beef and potato, and that worked great too. (I recommend at least two rolls for lunch. Three or four if you have a hearty appetite. If using the frozen rolls, follow the instructions on the package to let them thaw and rise. Then tear them open and stuff them with curry and shape it into a ball again, with the seam on the bottom. It’ll look lumpy, but don’t worry about it, and don’t feel like you need to let it rise again — just pop those in the oven for 15-20 minutes, and they’re good Hmm…I think I need some breakfast.