Tag Archives: Healthy food

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

Gotu Kola – a Wonder Herb

The recent heavy monsoon rains have turned the bottom of my garden into somewhat of a marshland and this has ¬†meant an explosion of gotu kola sprouting up everywhere. Intrigued I started reading up on this herb and wow what a herb it is! In fact it’s so bloody good for you, they sell it in capsules, as tea and concentrated oils in Health food shops worldwide at silly prices. I have an abundance of it so feeling just a little smug, let me tell you a little about it and give you some recipes for the fresh stuff if you can get your hands on it (I’m guessing Asian groceries in bigger cities if you are not lucky enough to find it in your garden – ok enough smugness for now ūüėČ ).

Gotu kola, also known as Centella Asiatica, is a low growing trailing herb that loves moist areas. It has rounded simple leaves, slender stems and inconspicuous flowers that form in short clusters. It is part of the parsley family native to tropical Asia (specifically Sri Lanka & India where it is grown commercially) and is also found in Hawaii and other tropical regions.

Gotu kola is a rejuvenative nervine recommended for nervous disorders, epilepsy, senility and premature aging. As a brain tonic, it is said to aid intelligence and memory. It strengthens the adrenal glands and cleanses the blood to treat skin impurities. It is said to combat stress and depression, increase libido and improve reflexes. It has also been indicated for chronic venous insufficiency, minor burns, scars, scleroderma, skin ulcers, varicose veins, wound healing, rheumatism, blood diseases, congestive heart failure, urinary tract infections, venereal diseases, hepatitis and high blood pressure.

Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola

In India, gotu kola is regarded as perhaps the most spiritual of all herbs. Growing in some areas of the Himalayas, gotu kola is used by yogis to improve meditation. It is said to develop the crown chakra, the energy center at the top of the head and to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain, which the leaf is said to resemble. It is regarded as one of the most important rejuvenative herbs in Ayurvedic Medicine. Sri Lankans noticed that elephants, renowned for their longevity, munched on the leaves of the plant. Thus the leaves became known as a promoter of long life. It is said to fortify the immune system, both cleansing and feeding it and to strengthen the adrenals. It has been used as a pure blood tonic and for skin health. It has also been used to promote restful sleep.

It is also mild diuretic that can help shrink swollen membranes, lessen edema and aid in the elimination of excess fluids. It hastens the healing of wounds.

Gotu kola has a positive effect on the circulatory system. It improves the flow of blood while strengthening the veins and capillaries. It has been used successfully to treat phlebitis, leg cramps, and abnormal tingling of the extremities. It soothes and minimizes varicose veins and helps to minimize scarring.

It reduces scarring when applied during inflammatory period of the wound. It was found effective when applied on patients with third degree burns, when the treatment commenced immediately after the accident. Daily local application to the affected area along with intramuscular injections, limited the shrinking of the skin as it healed. It is known to prevent infection and inhibit scar formation. It is also useful in repairing skin and connective tissues and smoothing out cellulite. HEAR THAT LADIES?!?

Gotu Kola - Miracle Herb

Gotu Kola – Miracle Herb

So, how can we consume this leafy wonder  food? Traditionally the dried leaves were prepared as tea.

In Sri Lankan cuisine it¬†is most often prepared as a¬†mallum¬†(ŗ∂łŗ∑źŗ∂Ĺŗ∑äŗ∂Ĺŗ∑Ēŗ∂ł), a traditional accompaniment to¬†rice¬†and curry, and goes especially well with vegetarian dishes, such as¬†dhal, and¬†jackfruit¬†or¬†pumpkin¬†curry.¬†In addition to finely chopped¬†gotu kola, a¬†mallum¬†almost always contains grated¬†coconut, and may also contain finely chopped green¬†chilies,¬†chili powder,¬†turmeric¬†powder and¬†lime¬†(or¬†lemon) juice.

A very traditional dish is Kola Kenda.  This is an ancient Sri Lankan herbal porridge made up of fresh juice of herbal green leaves, coconut milk and red (or white) raw rice.

Recipe for Kola Kenda (with Gotu kola)

Ingredients:

  • Gotu kola leaves loosely packed in a 500ml container.
  • 1 1/2 cup of well cooked rice (prepared from white or red raw rice)
  • About 1 L of water
  • 7-8 tbsp (heaped) of coconut powder (for convenience, see note (*) below if you wish to use scraped fresh coconut)
  • 1 tsp of salt

Method:

  1. Crush the cooked rice with 1 cup of water for 10 second in an electric blender (or pestle and mortar) and put into a sauce pan.
  2. Dissolve the coconut powder in 1/2 cup of water and add to the rice.
  3. Add salt and bring to boil in medium heat.
  4. Blend the gotu kola with 1-2 cups of water in an electric blender and strain the juice well.
  5. Add the juice to the boiling mixture and stir continuously.
  6. Add the rest of the water.
  7. Remove from fire when the kola kenda starts to boil. Leave for few minutes to cool.
  8. Enjoy with a piece of jaggery to counteract the bitterness.

* If you prefer to use fresh scraped coconut skip point 2) above and add the scraped coconut to the gotu kola in point 4) instead.

** Some add pepper, lime (or lemon) juice, finely chopped onion and/or garlic for added taste.

Kola Kenda

Kola Kenda

Other  leaves used in kola kenda other than gotu kola can include:

  • Iramusu¬†–¬†Hemidesmus indicus
  • Mukunuwenna¬†–¬†Alternanthera sessilis
  • Karapincha¬†–¬†Murraya koenigii
  • Hatawariya leaves and roots¬†–¬†Asparagus racemosus
  • Welpenela¬†–¬†Cardiospermum halicacabum
  • Polpala¬†–¬†Aerva lanata
  • Ela batu leaves¬†–¬†Solanum melongena
  • Monarakudumbiya¬†–¬†Vernonia cinerea
  • Wel thibbatu leaves¬†–¬†Solanum trilobatum
  • Heen Bowitiya¬†–¬†Osbeckia octandra
  • Neeramulliya¬†–¬†Asteracantha longifolia
  • Kohila leaves and stem¬†–¬†Lasia spinosa
  • Heen Undupiyaliya¬†–¬†Desmodium triflorum
  • Divul leaves¬†–¬†Limonia acidissima

Even if the initial taste is not to your liking, it grows on you. Try it!

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

Sri Lankan Vegetable Soup

My blogging has become a bit sporadic of late, there are two reasons for this:

  1. I have started a new job which is taking up a lot of my time in training and well…”actual” work ūüėČ
  2. I haven’t been in the greatest of mind sets over the last few weeks, it’s personal so I’m not going to broadcast it all over the web but ¬†I’ve taken a few knocks – still onwards and upwards…

Because of these two quite large life events I haven’t been eating as I should (and like t0). Specifically point number 2) has made my appetite disappear to the point where I would be sitting in a restaurant, looking over the menu for 30 minutes, only to order a beer whilst my friend ate copious amounts of food. Not good, especially when I need energy for my new job.

So what on earth can you eat when you are not hungry but you know you have to eat? The answer as most of you will know is soup. It is healthy (if made fresh without additives & MSG). I’ve got a few recipes up my sleeve for soup but I thought I would start with the famous Sri Lankan vegetable soup. It beats the Western varieties for taste and not only does it help bring back an ailing appetite (something to do with the added ginger and pepper I believe) it is also fantastic for colds and flu.

Sri Lankan Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

  • 50g leeks, sliced
  • 50g carrots, sliced
  • 50g green beans, chopped
  • 50g cabbage, shredded roughly
  • 1 or 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 small potatoes, cubed
  • 1 or 2 sticks of celery sliced
  • 50g red dhal (mysore)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 cardamoms
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 piece of rampe or lemongrass
  • 1 tsp raw curry powder
  • 1 piece cinnamon
  • 1 tbs crushed black pepper (I also like to add a few peppercorns more but it depends on how hot you like it)
  • 1 tbs tamarind paste
  • 8 to 10 cups water
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients except the tamarind paste. (NOTE: you can fry the garlic and ginger first if you like)
  2. Bring to boil over to a medium heat about 1 hour (if you have time…it can be eaten after 30 minutes but I prefer it cooked well)
  3. Add tamarind and adjust salt.
  4. Simmer another 10 min. on low heat.
Sri Lankan Vegetable Soup

Sri Lankan Vegetable Soup

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Filed under Healthy food, Soup recipes, Sri Lankan food & recipes, Vegetarian recipes