The Sri Lanka Workday Morning Special

Breakfasts post-party involve delicious leftovers. I’m not sure I can think of a better breakfast than a toasty hot veggie samosa + fish cutlet + coffee or tea.

In my imaginary cafe that I will never actually open, we will offer this as the Sri Lanka Workday Morning Special. 🙂

I Have My Incentive Now

I have been trying to get to outdoor morning yoga at least once a week (a little interrupted by travelling) because I feel so much better the rest of the day if I do. Ideally, I’d like to have a daily yoga practice, but it’s likely going to take me a little while to work up to it. 7 a.m. classes!

But I just today realized that the outdoor yoga space for my studio (And then there was well), held in someone’s backyard, is only a block away from The Daly Bagel — I think I have my incentive now. 🙂

Kundu Thosai / Paniyaram

(30-45 minutes + soaking & fermenting time, makes 25-30)

Kundu thosai are round lentil & flour ‘pancake balls,’ similar to Dutch poffertjes, Danish aebelskiver, or Japanese takoyaki in approach, and they can be made in the same kind of pan. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they came to Sri Lanka by way of Dutch colonizers, though you’d need to consult a food historian to be sure!

Poffertjes use a pan with smaller (and more) indentations than aebelskiver — depending on your pan, you may need to adjust cooking time appropriately for your kundu thosai; larger balls will take a few minutes longer to cook through.

They’re typically made with leftover thosai batter, but you can certainly just make kundu thosai straight up. Remember to start at least a day and a half before you plan to eat them, as there’s a soaking lentils 6-8 hr step and a fermenting batter 6-8 hr step. They can be made with rice flour (traditional), wheat flour (softer), or a combination of the two.

Savory versions are sometimes dressed up with a little onion and chili (raw or sautéed briefly), and sweet versions add in jaggery, cardamom and fresh coconut. Do note that the sweet versions are still using fermented batter, so the sour-sweet flavor combo may not be what you expect; I have to admit that my kids have not quite decided if they approve or not!

Savory kundu thosai served with a little coconut chutney is a pretty perfect breakfast for me, and the lentils give a great healthy boost to your day.


1 c. urad dal / black gram / ulunththu, skinless and split
1 c. flour, divided
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
water to make batter

vegetable oil

Savory variation: 1/2 – 1 c. chopped onions and 1-3 chopped green chilies

Sweet variation: 1/4 – 1/2 c. jaggery or brown sugar, 1/2 t. cardamom, and 1/2 c. fresh coconut

1. Soak black gram for 6-8 hours or overnight (I would usually start this the afternoon before I planned to serve them, so starting Saturday afternoon for Sunday brunch). Grind finely using a grinder or food processor, to a thick paste — add a little water if needed for smooth grinding.

2. In a frying pan, toast 1/2 c. flour on high heat, stirring constantly, until light brown (5-10 minutes).

3. Mix toasted flour, remaining 1/2 c. flour, baking soda, salt. Add in ground dal and sufficient water to mix and create a batter. You’re aiming for a pourable batter, a little thicker than pancake batter; stir in water 1/2 c. at a time until you get the consistency right.

4. Set aside batter in a warm place to ferment for 6-8 hours or overnight. (If you’re in a cool climate, a good option is an oven that’s been warmed up and then turned off.) The batter should rise and likely double in bulk, so be sure there’s enough room in your bowl for that; you may want to put something under it to catch any spills.

Ready to cook! (If you haven’t made coconut chutney yet, pause and make that now, so that it’s ready when the kundu thosai start coming hot out of the pan.)

5. Stir batter (it will deflate). Heat molded pan on medium heat and add a little oil to each indentation. When oil is hot, add a spoonful of batter to each. Use a skewer, fork, or chopsticks to turn the kundu thosai to cook on the other side. (In Denmark, knitting needles are traditional!)

6. Remove from molds when cooked through, a few minutes each; serve warm with coconut chutney (recommended). You can also serve with other chutneys or with curry.

SAVORY VARIATION: Chop some onion, green chili, and curry leaves; sauté in oil for a few minutes if you like, or leave raw. Stir into batter.

SWEET VARIATION: Add some jaggery or brown sugar, ground cardamom, and fresh grated coconut to the batter. Note that they’ll look darker as they come off the pan, due to the caramelizing sugar in the batter.

Valentine’s Day Breakfast

Since Kevin made Valentine’s dinner for us, I made it for the kids.

Bacon roses (using Irish bacon from our local Irish store) topped with jaggery + pancake hearts (a heart cookie cutter makes it easy, especially if mom is perfectly happy storing the pancake edges to eat for breakfast tomorrow).

And then I couldn’t resist having a few pancakes myself with some passionfruit yogurt (Ellenos, new brand at our local Whole Foods, love it) and a drizzle of extra passionfruit purée, just ’cause.

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.

Start How You Mean to Go On

Yesterday we cleaned the first floor, at least, which isn’t quite a whole home clean for New Year’s, but it’s a win, and I’ll take it. And this morning, I fed my people something delicious — bombatoast and bacon, with plenty of fresh fruit. If you look carefully, you will spot the top of Anand’s head, as he waits (im)patiently for me to be done taking photos and call him to eat. 🙂

Day 5 of Turkey Leftovers

I needed a little inspiration for day 5 of turkey leftovers (I think this is the last day), so I made up a batch of seeni sambol (spicy, tangy, sweet caramelized onions) and spread that on a delicious sesame bagel from The Daly Bagel with a bit of butter. Yumyum.

(I’m trying to convince Amanda to offer a 3-month bagel delivery subscription. Fingers crossed she decides it’s a good and workable idea…)