Vegan Now a Project We Love

Hey, isn’t this lovely? Kickstarter has chosen Vegan Serendib as a “Project We Love.” I get a badge and everything. šŸ™‚ Congrats, little Kickstarter project!

We’re up to $1741 of the $2500 funding goal, so getting close! To pledge (and get books at a discount), go here:…/vegan-serendib-a-sri…

Speaking of discounts, I have a special treat to announce for today — Feast has been out for more than a year now, and with Vegan getting close to done, it felt like it was time — we’re dropping the price on A Feast of Serendib! $5 off on all editions — hardcover, paperback, and ebook. I’m not sure how long we’ll keep that sale price up — at least through the end of the Kickstarter, so through the end of June. So if you’re looking for a non-vegan Sri Lankan cookbook, I got you. šŸ™‚

Shop here:

Let the Games Begin

Aw, you guys. I woke up and realized all my plants were in dire need of water and on the verge of death, so rushed out for a few hours of emergency watering, and so it’s only now that I’m checking on my vegan Sri Lankan cookbook Kickstarter — we’re more than 60% funded in just a day! Thank you, thank you. It’s a weight off my mind.

Please do continue to spread the word! šŸ™‚ I’ll be back shortly with news on who won yesterday’s first day raffle for a free hardcover — but today, we’ll continue with ebook fun. If you comment, like, or share THIS post (maybe with a little note saying what it’s about), you’ll be entered to win an ebook of Vegan Serendib (and we’re happy to send it to a recipient of your choice — you just need to give us their e-mail address).

As for me, I think I’d better start thinking about stretch goals.

What else would you like from me? Gluten-free Serendib will be the next cookbook, probably about 2 years out from here, and I’m hesitant to commit to any full-on cookbooks beyond that. But there are other possibilities:

a) 10 more additional vegan recipes that will be e-mailed to Kickstarter supporters

b) I’ll write a science fiction short story about a Sri Lankan cook

c) I’ll write a fantasy short story about a Sri Lankan cook — with magic!

d) I’ll put together a digital sampler: a baker’s dozen of Sri Lankan cocktail party treats (all vegan) — savory and sweet bites + beverages (including non-alcoholic)

e) A different digital sampler — teatime in Sri Lanka!

f) I’ll commit to writing three food essays this summer and sending them to you

Please feel free to vote for any of these, or suggest more in the comments. (Digital rewards preferred, as anything I have to ship out adds significantly to cost, but if you have a burning desire for a physical object, go ahead and list it — you never know!)

Let the games begin. šŸ™‚

Almost a Third Funded Already!

Took a break from cooking to check on the Kickstarter — you guys, we’re almost a third funded already, only about 6 hours in. šŸ™‚ That’s what you like to see in a Kickstarter!

This is also why you set your goal to the minimum of what you actually need. Much better to add stretch goals later, once you’ve funded, than risk not funding. If I’d know that with my first Kickstarter, I could’ve saved myself a lot of stress — we finally funded in the wee hours of the morning on the very last day.

Warmly Bathed

Aw, I just did the first flurry of posting about the Kickstarter launch of Vegan Serendib — and less than an hour later, I check to see 5 backers already, and $188 pledged.

Feeling warmly bathed in the glow of community support. šŸ™‚

Vegan Serendib Kickstart Has Launched

Good morning, my peoples! It’s Kickstarter launch day for Vegan Serendib, woohoo! This is a comprehensive introduction to Sri Lankan American cuisine, entirely vegan, featuring over a hundred delicious recipes.

We’ve taken all the non-vegan recipes out of Feast, and replaced them with a host of vegan fabulousness, so you’ll be getting a substantial, beautiful book full of yumminess.

The Kickstarter offers early-bird discounted pricing, a host of fun tiers with additional options (big discounts on buying multiple books, for example — one for you, one for a friend?), as well as the opportunity to support a minority-and-woman-owned indie publishing project.

We’re aiming to raise $2500, which will cover initial costs for book design, printing, and mailing. It would be really LOVELY to reach that quickly, as Kickstarters that fund early tend to get additional publicity, which would be super-helpful. If we make the $2500, we’ll be adding some stretch tiers with more great recipes.

And if I can ask you to like / comment / share this post for extra visibility, I’d really appreciate it! As a small incentive, we’ll choose one person from everyone who likes / comments / shares this post today (June 7th, before midnight CST) to receive a free hardcover copy of Vegan Serendib!

Thank you!

Praise for Feast: “Mohanraj does a superb job of combining easily sourced ingredients with clear, instructive guidance and menu recommendations for all manner of events…a terrific survey of an overlooked cuisine.” – Publishers Weekly


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. šŸ™‚ 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.

Getting Better

Iā€™m never going to love recording video, but I did this in three takes, so Iā€™m clearly getting better at the process. Part of Kickstarter video for Vegan Serendib, 1.5 minutes.

C’Mon, Coffee, Do Your Thing

I was up late cooking last night, then woke up late, moving very slowly now, but there’s lots I’d like to get through today, so I’m hoping the coffee kicks in soon. I have:

ā€¢ three Vegan Serendib recipes to write up — DONE
ā€¢ a meeting with someone interested in volunteering for the SLF — DONE, and yay, Summer will be joining us…
ā€¢ lots of Serendib packages to put in the mail
ā€¢ someone asked about my soaps, which is prompting me to go through and actually inventory and photograph them
ā€¢ I have seedlings that desperately need transplanting, and plants that need watering
ā€¢ I want to write up my thoughts on the library board four years and post them
ā€¢ I go for a tour of the high school today, so I get a little sense of the building that I now have shared charge of
ā€¢ Kevin was able to find an even faster appointment for Kavi, so she’s getting her first shot this afternoon

ā€¢ this evening is my first school board meeting, which may go late.

Busy day. C’mon, coffee, do your thing…

I spent a few hours yesterday experimenting with ginger-garlic tofu, seitan, and tempeh, trying to find a good replacement for chicken for Vegan Serendib — jackfruit is, of course, the most obvious replacement, but I already have jackfruit curry in the cookbook, so thought I’d offer a different option. Most of the cookbook is traditional Sri Lankan (some of it very old-school traditional), but there’s a little bit of American fusion in there too. šŸ™‚ So I’ll be posting those recipes here shortly, as soon as I wake up a little more…

A Family Challenge

I’ve been thinking about the fact that I’m putting together this vegan cookbook, but I’m not actually vegan myself. Also about the fact that Anand is very tender-hearted and leans vegetarian, and I want to support him in that.

I know a lot of people do Meatless Mondays; I’m not sure I’m organized enough for that with our family’s meals. But I think we can probably do one vegan day / week as a family challenge.

Anyone interested in trying that with us for the next month or two? Would be easier with company. šŸ™‚ I’d try to post regularly what we’re eating on that day, and would love to get inspiration from what others eat.

Finalizing Recipes

Okay, and here the recipes still to finalize, I think. Coming soon! Although there are 24 here, and only supposed to be 15 or so, so some may be cut — if there are recipes here you’d particularly like to see, let me know!

* jaggery rice– serve with plantains
* kundu thosai
* kurakkan (millet) roti
* hal piti roti (onion-chili bread)

* steamed roasted appams

Soups and Gravies:
* dhal rasam

* fenugreek gravy

Savory Fruits, Flowers and Vegetables:
* whole eggplant fry
* kaliya curry (Muslim dish, eggplant, plantain, and potato)
* spicy long beans

* spicy mashed green gram balls

Fake Meats:

ā€¢ “Beyond” chicken curry?

* rose & hibiscus salad
* ginger sambal

* tomato & passionfruit jam


ā€¢ bonda

* bibbikan, mixed spice coconut slices
* vatalappam with aquafaba (might not work!)
* sesame, date, and coconut balls
* Dutch flower cookies
* mashed banana fritters

* green gram pudding


* pineapple and cinnamon sherbet

* beetroot juice with cardamom and lime