- Achcharu - Green papaya pickle
When I was in Sri Lanka for the first time, I was living in the house with Sri Lankan aunties and a granny too. When I came back in one year, the granny unfortunately was not there any more..... At the time it was just 3 months she passed away, so I witnessed preparation for Almsgiving ceremony, Sanghika dana. The ceremony should bring a beautiful post-mortem life of the person. Loads of special food are prepared for the ceremony and one of them is achcharu, green papaya or carrot pickle.
- Appam without yeast Kerala style - Fermented rice and coconut cake
Indian fermented rice cake, special food of Kerala. The main difference between appam and for instance dosa, is not only the "hopper" shape, but content of fresh grated coconut. There are variants with and without yeast. The base are blended rice and coconut, which ferment overnight. This time is not included in the time of preparation mentioned above :)
- Baby jackfruit curry - Polos
Jackfruit is a fascinating fruit. Not only because of its size, but it is used completely different way in each stage of its ripeness. If it is of a size about 15-20 cm, it is called baby jack (or green jackfruit). It is used as a vegetable and has a sour taste. The curry made of it is called polos and is a bit sour too, but very nicely sour.
- Beetroot pachadi
Gently spiced beetroot salad, which belongs to Kerala specials, state of South India. It can be served both, warm and cold. And it is vegetarian dish as majority in India.
- Beetroot thoran
Special, typical for South Indian state, Kerala. It is a vegetarian / vegan recipe, where sweetness of beetroot is balanced with chilies, ginger and garlic.
- Coconut roti
When I saw aunties from my Sri Lanka family chewing bits of some pancake looking like a pita bread, I thought they do not have money for a proper food. I was so wrong again. First they were cooking so many kinds of such an amazing curry every day and when I tried coconut roti, I didn't want anything else for my breakfast. The smell of fire and coconut ..... mmmm.... and it was so crispy. Coconut rotis are pancakes made of mix of fresh grated coconut and flour. Usually served with dhal (lentils) or with palm syrup or jam and butter.
- Dhal - Lentils Kerala style
The most frequented dish, which you will find in hundreds of variants allover India. This recipe is from Kerala, South India, where fresh coconut is a very common ingredient. Dhal is not an exception.
- Fish satay - Saté ikan laut
One of my favourite specials of Bali in Indonesia. Satay made of various kinds of minced fish and shrimps with coconut and a pleasant combination of spices. Usually grilled by the road on bamboo skewers, sometimes on lemon grass stalks, which give to satays amazing aroma.
- Chammanthi - Coconut red chutney
Another special from Indian Kerala. Very simple and fast recipe. This red coconut chutney is usually served with rice cakes like dosa, appam or idly. Meanwhile mom from a fishing village family was preparing this chutney, kids couldn`t wait and got their appam with sugar instead. I was more patient and it paid off.
- Indian pachadi - Pineapple with yoghurt
Combination of pineapple, garlic, chilies and curry leaves? Before my trip to India, I would say "no, thank you". One is learning whole his life. As when I tried this pachadi recipe in Kerala, India, I couldn`t get enough. Every ingredient is very important in this vegetarian recipe and creates a perfect combination of flavours.
- Jackfruit "kos" with grated coconut
Jackfruit has several stages of ripeness and depending on the stage is used as a fruit or as a vegetable. In this case it is mature one and will be used as vegetable. In Sinhala it is called kos. Final product will be something like potatoes with curd, just more exotic and vegan version of it. We will use jackfruit seeds too, they taste like cooked or baked chestnuts.
- Kueh dadar - Pancakes with coconut
I was always wondering, where is the green colour in Southeast Asia pancakes coming from. Now I know. Of course it is not an artificial food colorant. It is a completely natural juice from pandan leaves. May be you have pandan as a house plant in your home. If not, no worries, just skip it. The pancakes will be delicious anyway. Not only because of the delicious coconut filling, but rice flour and coconut milk in the batter make the pancakes light and tasty.
- Mashed tapioca Kerala style (cassava)
The most frequent side dish in India are for sure all kinds of flat breads or rice. At some parts of India, you can get something like mashed potatoes. But it is not potatoes but tapioca. Flavoured by various kinds of spices depending on the region. The main ingredients for Kerala style recipe are coconut and curry leaves. This recipe I have learnt in one fishing village and we ate it in style, on the roof.
- Meen curry - Fish curry Kerala style
I really enjoyed this fish curry. Yes, it was quite spicy, but the taste was balanced nicely with the coconut sauce. I had this great dish with an amazing muslim family. We were eating on roof of their house in Kerala in south of India. Super nice picnic ;)
- Mixed rice
This kind of dish is in Sri Lankan villages considered as a dish served at special occasions. And the fact it was decorated with dates, rosins, prawns and eggs was even more special. As in Sri Lanka, they do appreciate guests, and luckily it was me, as I was invited for a Sunday dinner by a very nice family. So one of the courses was this very nice dish. It is something like fried rice. But the rice was not fried, just mixed aside from fire with other fried ingredients.
- Puttu - Whole wheat flour and coconut roll
This soft, a little crunchy and juicy roll belonged to my favourite breakfasts in Kerala. It is made of rice flour or whole wheat flour, which I prefer, because of the colour effect. Puttu is served with banana and honey or sugar. Or a salty variant is with papad and some Indian curries.
- Water spinach with coconut
Nice light and warm salad, where the spicy ingredients are balanced by tender fresh grated coconut. And like most of Sri Lankan dishes it is vegetarian and vegan too.
- Xoi dau den - Sticky rice with black beans and coconut
Very common breakfast in Vietnam is a soup or rice with meat, which is not very common for me back home. So a breakfast like this on a daily basis was sometimes too much. You can imagine, how happy I was when I was walking down the street and met a lady who was offering some sweet purple mix topped by peanuts, served on a banana leaf. It tasted great and was a pleasant change I really needed.