Around the World #3: Carrot Sambol and a Round up!

DSC_1214Its time for a round up of all the Sri Lankan recipes that I have made. I have been ogling at and drooling over countless recipes and I did end up making 7 different ones and have more lined up on my pinterest page that I hope to make soon!  My virtual journey has made me even more determined to visit Sri Lanka some day.  The cuisine just resonates with me so much because of the similarities between Kerala and Sri Lankan way of cooking. The liberal use of coconut and the abundance of seafood and spices! Gosh the recipes are so varied – There are simple salads like this carrot sambal that are made using fresh ingredients and serve as a side/ accompaniment to spicy rich dishes.  Then there are stuffed breads,  spicy chicken appetizers like spring rolls/cutlets and delicious curries using coconut milk.  The desserts are amazing too and mostly use rice, cashew nuts and fruits.

So here I share the recipe of Carrot Sambal that I made ! I hope you enjoyed the journey as much as I did. 🙂

Carrot Sambol (Sri Lankan Carrot salad)

Linking this to Throwback Thursdays and Saucy Saturdays.  Also bringing to Fiesta Friday where this week Josette @ thebrookcook and Lily @ little sweet baker are co-hosts.

Carrot Sambol (Sri Lankan Carrot salad)

  • Servings: Makes about 2 cups
  • Time: about 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Recipe adapted from the book Rice & Curry

Ingredients:

  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 1/2 of a medium red onion, chopped finely
  • 2 green chillies, chopped finely
  • 1/2 of a tomato chopped fine (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 2 tbsp fresh grated coconut (or frozen that has been thawed)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

Method:

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and toss well to mix. Use fresh or store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Below I list the recipes I made on my virtual Sri Lankan tour. Also check out Ahila’s website A taste of Sri Lankan cuisine for more wonderful and exotic recipes from Sri Lanka.

Spicy Chicken Spring Rolls

Sri Lankan Chicken Spring rolls

Sri Lankan Stuffed Buns

Stuffed Veggie Buns (Sri Lankan)

Sri Lankan Style Fish Curry

SriLankan Fish curry

Vegetable Kottu Roti

SriLankan Kottu Roti

Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

chicken curry

Aromatic Sri Lankan Curry Powder

Sri Lankan Curry Powder

 

 

Around the world #2: A Mexican market

aroundtheworldrecipesTo cook authentic Mexican, you need ingredients that are authentic Mexican. I am sure you will agree. Reading about traditional Mexican recipes, I was noting down names of a lot of exotic spices, herbs, chillies, cheeses and was wondering where I could find them! I went to our local Whole Foods Market and did find a couple of the ingredients that I was looking for – for instance, dried corn husks for making tamales and also the ancho chillies. But they were a bit expensive! Then last Friday I asked my co-worker and my good friend Monica if she knew of any local Mexican grocers and as it turned out, I had asked the right person!  You see..Monica maybe just 24 years old but she has visited about 15 countries! I think that’s where her maturity comes from. Anyways I digress … more about Monica at a later time 🙂 So we ran out at lunch time and Monica took me to this place – a market which probably looked very much like any local market in Mexico.! And this was in the heart of the city in Hartford downtown situated in a nondescript plaza. El Mercado is located on 704, Park street, Hartford, CT.

market3Once we managed to find a place to park on the busy street, we entered this store (a.k.a market) that looked like it stocked about anything and everything Mexican and or South American! There were hundreds of spices and herbs, variety of chillies and cheeses,exotic fruits like guava, jicama etc. I started gathering things and soon needed a cart to hold all my stuff. I was so glad Monica was with me – to converse with the ‘Spanish only’ speaking staff! My cart got full with spices like Hoja Santos, Mexican Oregano, Epazote and with other things like tomatillo, corn husk, queso fresco.

market4

And last but not least one of my favorite fruits -Guavas – Just $2.99 for a pound! Finally I was done and Monica then walked me around the food stalls within the market that offered typical Mexican and other South American street food – we walked around for a few minutes looking at all the food and unable to decide what to choose since everything looked so good! We finally settled on tostadas, empanadas and some Colombian rice. We also got a side order of sweet fried plantains! The food was really delicious – simple and comforting! The tostadas were a play in textures – crispy shell on the outside topped with mashed black beans and chicken, shredded lettuce and some Mexican crema. The empanadas too were unlike any I had tasted ever – crispy on the outside and filled with a perfectly seasoned meat filling on the inside.  These were so good that we had trouble finishing the Colombian rice although that was pretty good too! The sweet fried plantains were a perfect dessert! Yum!

market2

Now for some details on the things I got…

IMG_0199Chile Poblanos: It is also called as chill para rellenar or chillies for stuffing. When ripened and dried, this chili is called Chile Ancho. poblano

Chile Serrano: This chile is small – an average of 2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. they can vary between hot and very hot. These chilled can be used in sauces as either raw or ‘as ado’ which means they are slightly charred and then crushedserrano-pepper

Chipotles en Adobo: Chipotle chile is the jalapeño chile ripened to a deep red on the plant and then smoke dried. The adobo sauce has a smoky flavor and is made from ancho chilliesING-chipotle-chiles-in-adobo-sauce_sql

Epazote: The name of thous herb means ‘skunk’ and ‘dirty’ and apparently is descriptive of its ‘wild’ taste! This herb has been traditionally used for its medicinal properties – to expel gastrointestinal worms and for flatulence. Available in fresh or dried form.

epazote

Hoja Santos: This herb is used mainly in southern Mexico and used to flavor tamales, meat, fish. They are usually used fresh however dried leaves can also be used.hoja santos

Tomate Verde: A disitinctive and indigenous ingredient in Mexican cooking is the green tomato also called as tomatillo in the US. These are either cooked in water or cooked on a griddle and charred slightly and ground into a sauce or added into other sauces.Tomato-Tomatillo

OK now that I got so many ingredients, I have some serious cooking to do! So do watch out for my next post! 🙂 Btw, happy Cinco de Mayo. You can learn more about this festival and how it is more popular in the United States than it is in Mexico by reading this article on CNN.!