Category Archives: Snacks

Snack recipes

Peter Kuruvita’s Egg Rolls & Why Eggs are So Good

You know all those stories about eggs in excess being bad for you because they lead to high cholesterol? It’s all rubbish. The nutrition and especially the diet industry have in the last few years done a big u-turn and we are now told that fats do not make us fat after all, and eggs are in fact a superfood.

Having been on my own recent voyage of discovery regarding healthy foods for me (dealing with Hashimoto’s disease and pernicious anaemia – both auto-immune issues) I have come across multiple sources advocating up to four eggs a day. Yay. I love eggs ūüôā – and have drooled over them previously¬†here, here, here, here and here¬†etc.

So, how to incorporate eggs everywhere? Another thing I love is Sri Lankan street food, aka¬†short eats¬†and egg rolls have got to be in my top 10 Sri Lankan foods. So here a quick recipe borrowed from Peter Kuruvita.¬†Peter’s street food inspired Sri Lankan egg rolls are made with spiced tuna and potato, wrapped in pancakes, crumbed and deep fried:

INGREDIENTS

  • 200 g tuna steaks, cut into chunks
  • 200 g new potatoes
  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 300 ml vegetable oil, for frying

For the pancakes

  • 150 g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 300 ml milk
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil

For the tempered spices

  • 100 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, leaves picked from stem

For the crumbing mix

  • 75 g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 ml water
  • 300 g breadcrumbs

METHOD

  1. Place the tuna, half a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of roughly ground black pepper in a pot, and cover with water. Place over medium heat until the tuna has cooked through. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile place the potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook until tender. Remove from heat and drain.
  3. Combine the cooked tuna and potatoes in a bowl and mash until smooth but still reasonably dry. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. For the pancakes: whisk the flour, eggs and milk until smooth then stir through the vegetable oil. Set aside for 10 minutes until ready to fry
  5. For the tempered spices: heat the oil in a pan over a high heat. Add the cayenne pepper, chillies, onion, garlic and curry leaves and fry until the onions are golden brown. Remove from the heat and combine with the fish and potato mixture. Set aside.
  6. Make the pancakes by heating a little oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Once the oil is hot, spoon a ladelful of the mixture into the pan and swirl to coat.
  7. Once the pancake is loose enough to come away from the pan, flip it over and cook the other side. You dont want the pancake to crisp it should still be soft enough to fold without tearing. Repeat with remaining batter. Once all the batter has been used, set the pancakes aside.
  8. To make the crumbing mix, whisk the flour, eggs and water in a bowl and set aside.
  9. To assemble the egg rolls, lay a pancake on a clean work bench. Top with a small amount of the fish and potato mixture. Place an egg half on top. Fold each side of the pancake into the centre to form a square parcel. Use some of the egg and flour mixture to help the edges stick if necessary. Repeat with remaining pancakes and filling.
  10. Coat a roll in the flour and egg mixture, and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat with remaining rolls and set aside until ready to fry.
  11. To cook the rolls, heat the oil in a pot over high heat until it reaches smoking point. Add the rolls, one at a time one, and fry until crisp and golden. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Serve with a nice cold beer.
Peter Kuruvita's Egg Rolls

Peter Kuruvita’s Egg Rolls

Other than the fact that these have been deep fried in vegetable oil these are extremely healthy. For gluten free, skip the flour & breadcrumbs and use coconut flakes instead. For less calories – shallow fry in extra virgin olive oil.

Why are eggs suddenly the latest super food? Just think about it… one egg contains all the nutrients and building blocks required to grow an entire baby chicken.

Eggs are loaded with high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, good fats and various trace nutrients.

A large egg contains (details):

  • Only 77 calories, with 5 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein with all 9 essential amino acids.
  • Rich in iron, phosphorous, selenium and vitamins A, B12, B2 and B5 (among others).
  • One egg contains 113 mg of Choline ‚Äď a very important nutrient for the brain, among other things.

Eat the yolks, they contain pretty much all the nutrients!

Bottom Line: Eggs contain all 9 essential amino acids, are highly concentrated with vitamins and minerals and are among the best sources of choline you can get. Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs are best. Eggs also contain large amounts of the antioxidants Lutein and Zeaxanthine, which dramatically lower your risk of age-related eye disorders. Despite the fear mongering of the past few decades, eating eggs and cholesterol has no association whatsoever with heart disease.

So what are you waiting for?

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Filed under Healthy food, Snacks, Sri Lankan food & recipes

Uitsmijter – Uniquely Dutch

It¬†is Friday lunchtime, nearly weekend! I fancy something filling to eat so I decide¬†to have an Uitsmijter. It is a Dutch dish similar¬†to the German Strammer Max, but transformed with Dutch ingredients. There are many variations (see below) but traditionally it involves: ¬†Dutch brood (bread),¬†kaas (cheese), ham (ham), and spiegelei (fried egg). It’s not only filling but damn tasty too ūüôā

Uitsmijter - from www.zelfmaakrecepten.nl

Uitsmijter – from http://www.zelfmaakrecepten.nl

The Uitsmijter. The name makes you take note, the Dutch word evokes images of strength, courage and forceful endings. According to the Dutch Table blog the word “uitsmijten” itself means to “forcefully throw out” so “uitsmijter” means “out-thrower”, i.e. somebody who throws something or somebody else out, and does indeed also refer to a¬†bouncer at a nightclub. However, in the food world, it’s¬†the name of a scrumptious¬†open-faced sandwich with meat (although optional), cheese and fried eggs. It’s not a little snack or for those on a diet or with small¬†appetites. The¬†Uitsmijter addresses¬†your hunger, your craving.¬†It’s good…

In the south of Holland, where I was born, Uitsmijters would be served as the last “one for the road before we get thrown out” meal after a night of partying. Hence its name.¬†Another theory says that, because the dish is made so quickly (all you have to do is fry the egg and make the sandwich), it is basically thrown out of the kitchen or the pan. It can be served quickly!

An Uitsmijter is often eaten for breakfast, brunch or lunch in Holland. Being a full meal, the sandwich is eaten with a knife and fork. Because you can decide what bread, what cheese, what meat etc. to use and how you like your eggs fried (most restaurants give this option too) it really is a win-win dish.

Usually ham is the meat used (I like a good smoked ham), but Uitsmijters can also be served with roast beef, bacon,¬†salami, turkey, chicken, bacon¬†or ¬†just with cheese and perhaps a tomato. Other things which you can add are pickles, pesto, mustard, mushrooms, bacon bits sprinkled on top…

The eggs are usually served sunny-side up, with the eggs still runny. If you order an Uitsmijter for breakfast in Holland it is served as it comes. As a lunch item, it usually comes accompanied with a small salad and frieten (chips) on the side or some greens to spruce it up in a more fancy restaurant.

Uitsmijter Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread (toasted if desired)
  • Butter (GOOD quality REAL butter)
  • 2 slices of smoked ham (or whatever you fancy)
  • 4 slices of cheese (decent cheese such as Gouda, Edam, Cheddar, Emmental and so on. No processed cheese please)
  • 1 sliced tomato
  • 2 eggs

Method:

Plate up two slices of bread (or toast) and butter them. Put the slices of ham on the bread, then the tomato, then the cheese. Add butter to a frying pan or skillet and fry the eggs. Some fry their ham (or bacon) too – entirely your choice. When the eggs are done to your liking slide them on top of the cheese on the sandwich, add some salt and pepper and dig in!

Let me know how you like yours!

Uitsmijter - from www.zelfmaakrecepten.nl

Uitsmijter – from http://www.zelfmaakrecepten.nl

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Filed under Cheese, Dutch recipes, Holland life, Sandwiches, Snacks, Translation titbits

Naan (Indian Leavened Flatbread)

Unlike some other staple Indian breads, which are unleavened and made from durum wheat flour, or atta, fluffy naan is made with all-purpose flour and yeast. Traditionally, the dough is slapped against the chimney wall of a clay tandoor oven and baked over wood fires, however, we can now easily make it on top of the cooker. It tastes best hot and slathered with ghee (clarified butter). I am also quite happy to eat it with normal butter (full fat and salted Рnone of this tasteless margerine crap). It is, of course, also fabulous with curries.

MAKES 10

INGREDIENTS

  • ¬ĺ cup water heated to 115¬įF/ 46¬įC
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 (¬ľ-oz.) packet active dry yeast
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (‘bread powder’ for you Sri Lankans out there ūüėČ )
  • ¬Ĺ cup plain, full-fat Greek yogurt or curd in Sri Lanka
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • ¬Ĺ tsp. salt
  • ¬ľ cup¬†finely chopped coriander
  • Melted ghee or butter, for brushing

METHOD

  1. Stir water and honey in a bowl; add yeast and let it sit until foamy, approximately 10 minutes. Add flour, yogurt, oil, and salt; stir until dough forms. Using your hands, knead the dough in the bowl until smooth, approx. 5 minutes. Cover dough with a damp tea towel; let it sit in a warm place until doubled in size, for about 1 hour.
  2. Transfer the dough to a work surface; divide into 10 balls. Working with 1 ball at a time and using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 7″ (18 cm) circle about ¬ľ” (0.6 cm) thick. Sprinkle with ¬ľ tsp. coriander; press into dough.
  3. Heat a 12″ non-stick skillet on¬†medium-high. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, cook dough, plain side down, until bubbles appear over the surface, for about 45 seconds. Flip dough; cook until bubbles appear once more, for about 30 seconds. Transfer the naan to a plate and slide the skillet off the heat. Using tongs, cook naan about 2″ (5 cm) over the open flame, flipping once, until browned in spots, for about 1 minute. (Alternatively, finish cooking the naan in a frying pan until browned in spots, for about 1 minute). Return naan to plate, brush with ghee (or butter) and sprinkle with more coriander if desired. Serve hot.
Nom nom naan; credit: Ingalls photography

Nom nom naan – credit: Ingalls photography

This goes particularly well with Chettinad Chicken!

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Filed under Indian Recipes, Snacks, Travel, Vegetarian recipes

Tasty Tortilla – when you have run out of ingredients at home.

Firstly I must apologise – my New Years resolution to blog more has been thwarted somewhat initially by work and then being a bit poorly for a while. Good news is I am feeling much better and getting ready to blog more. Some big changes have happened recently (nothing bad…just changes in lifestyle and finances – which I feel will eventually work out for the better).

Most of you will know of my adoration of eggs. Well I was actually going to post a Sri Lankan Egg curry recipe today but my other half always adds ingredients when I’m not looking so I need him to write them down for me.

Eggs are great Рin the past they were accused of giving you high cholesterol but a few years of research has disproved this. There are hundreds of links on the web such as this recent one . For more info just Google eggs & cholesterol.

ANYWAY – I found myself at a loss the other day when thinking what to make for dinner – it was 9pm – I had potatoes, eggs and onions and salad ingredients but we were starving and really didn’t want a take-away.

So I did this on a complete whim:

I made the tastiest Spanish Tortilla (bit oily but you can tone this down)….so here goes:

Ingredients for 2:

  • Half a pint of olive or vegetable oil
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 and a half large Bombay onions sliced (kept one half for a small salsa)
  • 3 or 4 eggs
  • Salt and pepper

Ingredients for Salsa:

  • Half of the Bombay onion (finely chopped)
  • One large juicy tomato (finely chopped)
  • Lime juice as required
  • Finely chopped green chili or red chili flakes (to taste)
  • Salt & Pepper

And just mix and cool until required.

Method for Tortilla:

  1. Heat all the oil in a medium-size non-stick pan.
  2. Stir in the potato, onion and a some salt (I made sure the oil covered the mixture – diet – me?)
  3. Cover and cook on a very gentle fire until the potatoes are done (about 20 to 30 minutes).
  4. Beat the eggs and add some salt and pepper as per your taste.
  5. Drain the oil out of the pan with the potatoes and onions until there is just enough to fry at a higher heat. (I keep the oil for frying chips or battered prawns later Рyummy).
  6. Heat the pan again until it starts sizzling a bit and add the egg mixture.
  7. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes.
  8. Cover the pan with a plate and turn the tortilla. Slide it back into the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes taking care not to burn it.

Serve in wedges with the¬†tomato salsa. A superb dish when you are waiting for your salary to arrive so you can buy expensive food again but actually why should you? ūüôā

Spanish Tortilla

Spanish Tortilla

 

Tomato salsa (as spicy as you want!)

Tomato salsa (as spicy as you want!)

So I hope you enjoy my pauper recipe. I have so much up my sleeve about Sri Lanka, why I love it, its people, its food and a multitude of other recipes (plus the occasional moan).

I am also looking for meaty Sri Lankan recipes to try out – not being much of a pork or beef eater here (although I am not vegetarian), if any of you have tips about where to get good beef or pork in Sri Lanka please let me know. Mutton, lamb and wild boar is out – sorry about that folks! ūüėČ

 

 

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Filed under Snacks, Vegetarian recipes

Egg Hoppers – Sri Lankan Food Porn

I love eggs. My previous post was dedicated to eggs because they are just so good. No recipes or knowledge or¬†nutritional¬†facts, nope, just photo’s, drool-worthy images. We all know eggs are good for you bar a bit of cholesterol but all in all they’re good and cheap and just well….tasty.

Unfortunately in Sri Lanka I often come across over-cooked eggs. This is a shame – it makes them rubbery, strips them off their goodness and ends up in unappealing looking eggs with blueish yolks.

Unless you find a good Egg Hopper kade (my local shop knows exactly how I like them and gives me extra lunu miris; a hot onion and chilli sambol (recipe repeated below)), or have them at a good hotel in Colombo where you can specify how you like them. Often I have had them hard-boiled and folded, nowhere near as tasty but still ok.

Alternatively you can make them at home. They are quite time consuming to make because you need the special aluminium hopper pans and certain types of rice flour & yeast but life would not be living without some trial & error, no? ūüôā

Perfect Egg Hopper; soft-boiled in the middle but with crispy edges

Perfect Egg Hopper; soft-boiled in the middle but with crispy edges

So here goes the recipe for Egg Hoppers.

Best made in special hopper pans:

Sri Lankan Hopper Pans

Sri Lankan Hopper Pans

MAKES 16

Ingredients:

For the Egg Hoppers:

  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 3 cups rice flour
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • Vegetable oil, for the pan
  • Eggs

For the Lunu Miris

  • 2 tbsp of chilli flakes
  • 2 or 3 fresh red chillies (optional)
  • Half a tsp of salt
  • 1 or 2 red onions (very finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp ground maldive fish (optional) ‚Äď again I leave this out but others swear by it.
  • Juice of a half a lime or lemon (or more)

Method:

For the Lunu Miris:

  1. Grind the all the ingredients above except lime (or lemon) in a mortar and pestle (wangediya). Again you may find the food processor does wonders, but be sure you turn the mixture into a pulp. Crunchy is good ūüôā
  2. Squeeze in the lime juice, mix and serve when fresh.

To make the hoppers:

  1. Combine yeast and 1 3/4 cups warm water (approx. 50¬†Celsius, 110 Fahrenheit) in a bowl; let sit until foamy, 8‚Äď10 minutes. Combine 1 tsp. salt, flour, and sugar in a bowl; add yeast mixture and stir into a batter. Cover, and let rest for about 2 hours. Add coconut milk and baking soda; stir until smooth. Chill batter for 1 hour.
  2. Heat a hopper pan or an 8″ nonstick skillet over high heat and grease lightly with oil; add 1/3 cup batter, and immediately swirl batter around to cover inside surface. Cook until batter begins to set, about 1 minute.
  3. Crack the egg into the centre of the pan. Cover, and cook until set and edges are crispy, about 2 minutes. Remove egg hopper from the pan and repeat with the remaining batter. Serve hoppers with lunu miris.

And there you have it – Egg Hoppers, food porn on a plate and it’s tastes tremendous too.

Perfect Egg Hopper, crispy edges ideal for dipping into the yolk.

Perfect Egg Hopper, crispy edges ideal for dipping into the yolk.

With lunu miris if you dare!

Lunu miris; hot onion and chilli chutney with lemon

Lunu miris; hot onion and chilli chutney with lemon or lime.

Lush for breakfast, snacks or a late dinner. ENJOY!

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Filed under Healthy food, Snacks, Sri Lankan food & recipes, Sri Lankan life, Vegetarian recipes

Olympic Souvlaki with Tzatziki

This is for my friends and blog commenters who have asked me why I have been avoiding the Olympics in my blog. Well…

  1. I have been too busy watching the Olympics on TV to blog much
  2. Two – not all of the sports interest me unless they involve great athletic prowess, a huge record breaking headline, controversy (doping scandals etc.) or Holland (who are 10th by the way in the medal rankings in case you were wondering ūüėČ ). Sri Lanka…well lets not even go there.
  3. I’m feeling very poor after my trip to Bangkok and have been working my backside off.

Anyway back to the subject at hand.

The first modern-day Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896, with 241 athletes (all male) from 14 nations competing in 9 sports with 43 events. Volleyball wasn’t one of them.

Athens hosted its second Summer Games in 2004, this time with 10,625 athletes (4,329 women and 6,296 men) from 201 nations competing in 28 sports with 301 events Рincluding volleyball and beach volleyball. All that progress deserves a tasty Greek treat.

This dish can be prepared with lamb, chicken and pork although the recipe below is best with either lamb or pork. I don’t actually eat lamb so I make it with pork or chicken but some prefer lamb for the better depth of meaty flavour.

Olympic Souvlaki with Tzatziki:

Ingredients:

For the souvlaki

  • 1 kilo boneless¬†pork¬†or lamb (e.g. leg fillet or steaks. I use pork loin)
  • 1 tbsp¬†coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp rigani, or dried¬†oregano
  • 150ml/5fl oz extra virgin¬†olive oil
  • 4 tbsp¬†red wine vinegar
  • 1¬†onion, grated or very finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves, roughly torn (if not available omit these)
  • salt and freshly ground¬†black pepper

For the tzatziki

  • ¬Ĺ¬†cucumber, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 tbsp white or¬†red wine vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground¬†black pepper
  • 150g/5oz thick Greek-style¬†yoghurt (I think you could safely substitute curd here)
  • 1 clove¬†garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh¬†mint, finely chopped

Method:

  1. Cut the pork or lamb into 2cm/¬ĺin cubes, trimming off any gristle or other unwanted fat.
  2. Mix all the remaining souvlaki ingredients and then pour over the meat.
  3. Turn so that all the pieces are coated, then cover and leave to marinate for at least two hours, but preferably nearer to 24 hours, in a cool place (or fridge).
  4. To make the tzatziki, spread the cucumber dice out in a colander or sieve, and sprinkle over the vinegar and a little salt.
  5. Leave to drain for one hour, then pat dry with kitchen paper or a clean tea towel.
  6. Mix with the rest of the tzatziki ingredients, then taste and adjust seasoning. Serve either lightly chilled or at room temperature.
  7. Back to the souvlaki. Soak wooden skewers in cold water for an hour or two, and then thread the meat on the skewers. Don’t push the cubes right up against each other, but leave a minuscule gap between each pair, just enough space for the heat to curl round every cube, cooking it evenly.
  8. Preheat either the barbecue or grill or an oiled griddle pan (place over a high heat for about 3-5 minutes), then cook the kebabs close to the heat, or on the griddle pan, turning and brushing occasionally with the leftover marinade, until they are crusty and brown.
Olympic Souvlaki with Tzatziki

Olympic Souvlaki with Tzatziki

Serve sizzling hot, with a wedge of lemon, the tzatziki and warm crispy pitta breads.

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Filed under Meat recipes, Middle Eastern recipes and influences, Salad recipes, Snacks

Baba Ghannouj Recipe (Aubergine dip)

Those of you that regularly read my posts will know that I am a great fan of Aubergines (or Eggplant / Brinjal). Add to that my love of Middle Eastern influences in food (that includes Turkish & Jewish food too) and the following Baba Ghannouj recipe cannot fail to please me every time.

Baba Ghannouj Recipe (serves 4)

This classic Middle Eastern aubergine dip or spread, fragrant with garlic and smoky charred eggplant, is made even creamier with the addition of mayonnaise.

Ingredients:

  • 8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 2 medium aubergines / brinjals
  • ‚Öď cup fresh lemon (or lime) juice
  • ¬ľ cup plus¬†2 tbsp. tahini
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • Sprinkle of chilli powder
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil to serve

Method:

Place garlic cloves and aubergines (brinjals) on a baking sheet lined with tin foil, and grill until tender and charred all over, about 10 minutes for garlic, and about 40 minutes for aubergine (be sure to pierce the aubergine with a fork first to avoid an explosive mess!!). Peel and seed aubergines, and mash flesh with peeled garlic, lemon juice, tahini, mayonnaise, 2 tsp. parsley, the cumin, paprika, and salt and pepper in a bowl; sprinkle with remaining parsley and drizzle with olive oil.

Baba Ghannouj (credit: Todd Coleman)

Baba Ghannouj (credit: Todd Coleman)

Serve with crispy pitta bread and a fresh salad. Grilled or barbecued meats also go very well with this luscious dip. For you Sri Lankan die-hards out there, roti works well too!

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Filed under Healthy food, Middle Eastern recipes and influences, Salad recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian recipes