Pol Sambol

Pol Sambol - spicy coconut chutney

Pol Sambol is one of those amazing Asian condiments that is easy to make and super satisfying. It adds a spice and heat kick to any dish and is great (and essential) with Sri Lankan curries.

The best Pol Sambol is made with fresh, grated coconut.

In Sri Lanka, fresh coconut halves are shredded with a hand-turned grater. Alternately, the coconut can be cut into chunks and grated with a box grater or hand grater, which takes considerably more time. If you don’t have fresh coconut on hand, any good dried, desiccated, grated coconut works well. Just soak it in hot water and press out the excess moisture after about 10 or 20 minutes before mixing with the spices and other ingredients. The red color is determined by how much paprika, chili powder or red chili flakes are used. Don’t be bashful or you’ll get a bland, pale Sambol! Increase the ground paprika to get more red color in your coconut chutney, if you’re going skipping the heat and don’t want to use chili.

The onion and garlic are not absolutely necessary for Pol Sambol, but the flavor and freshness is more intense. An ayurvedic version of the coconut chutney is made simply by omitting the onion and garlic. Which is how I prepare Pol Sambol about half the time.

I’m not sure when the first time was that I had Pol Sambol…

Maybe on my first trip to South India, or at at Sri Lankan restaurant in Berlin. But I do know that I had it dozens of times in the ten weeks of backpacking and travel in Sri Lanka. Unlike many dishes, it didn’t vary much from place to place, family to family. Traditionally, Pol Sanbol is often made with dried fish, such as Maldive fish flakes – quite common Sri Lanka. Obviously for a vegan version, I skip that.Pol Sambol - spicy coconut chutney

Pol Sambol

Klassische Kokosnuss-Würzmischung

ca. 2 Tassen / Dauer 20 Min.

  • 2 Tassen (180 g) frisch geraspelte Kokosnuss
    oder 1 Tasse (85 g) getrocknete Kokosraspel + 1/2 Tasse (120 ml) Wasser
  • 1 kleine rote Zwiebel fein gehackt
  • 1 Knoblauchzehe fein gehackt
  • 1/2 TL schwarzer Pfeffer gemahlen
  • 1/2–1 TL Chilipulver
  • 1 TL Paprikapulver
  • 1 TL Zucker
  • 1–2 EL Limettensaft
  • 1/4–1/2 TL Meersalz
  • 1 rote oder grüne Chilischote entsamt, fein gehackt
  1. Getrocknete Kokosraspel vor dem Verwenden 20 Min. in Wasser einweichen.
  2. In einem Mörser Zwiebel und Knoblauch zu einer Paste zerstoßen und zermahlen. Alternativ die kleinen Stückchen in einer Schüssel vermischen.
  3. Kokosraspel, schwarzen Pfeffer, Chilipulver, Paprikapulver und Zucker zugeben und alles gut miteinander vermengen.
  4. Limettensaft und Salz unterrühren. Nach Geschmack mehr Salz oder Limettensaft zugeben.
  5. Mit einer fein gehackten roten oder grünen Chilischote garnieren.
  6. Mit Dal Curry, Hoppers, Brot oder Snacks servieren.

Variationen:

Extra scharf: 1/2 bis 1 TL rote Chiliflocken zusammen mit den anderen Gewürzen unterrühren.

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Watalappam

Wattalapam - Sri Lankan Spiced Coconut Custard Pudding

Watalappam is a traditional coconut dessert enjoyed in Sri Lanka.

This luscious custard is spiced-up with cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom, often with a hint of vanilla, and a smattering of nuts or dried fruits. The taste reminds me of a spicy, aromatic Indian cup of chai. But cold, coconutty, and soft! As with all recipes, everyone has their very own version. The Tamils make it different than the Singhalese, and the Muslims have another delightful variation.

I invented a vegan version of the coconut custard, and I added some variations of my own– including fresh (or frozen) berries. I often top it with dark, rich, sweet coconut blossom syrup (AKA palm syrup) which is extremely popular in Sri Lanka – and recently gaining popularity in Europe and the Americas. Sometimes I top the custard with blackstrap molasses or dark agave syrup, or some fresh fruit and nuts and maybe a bit of homemade fruit syrup, like I do with my vanilla muffins (also in The Lotus and the Artichoke – SRI LANKA cookbook.)

There’s actually a good story with the first time I had Watalappam in Sri Lanka. It highlights the need to stay cool, and remember that how we react in unexpected situations always influences how others perceive not just us as people, but whatever groups of people with whom we are associated – as foreign tourists, guests, citizens of particular countries, …and as vegetarians and vegans. In my travels, I try to be modest and respectful, and traveling vegan certainly comes with challenges here and there. Usually it’s much easier than others imagine, but I guess experience, a fair amount of luck and communication are all important factors.

One night I was invited to dinner at home with a Sri Lankan family in the small, charming town of Midigama.

Midigama is on the south west coast of Sri Lanka, and known for several great surfing spots, and I wanted to check it out. Sharani and her husband, a local tuk-tuk driver, lived with their two small children – and a funny green parrot that could talk – on a narrow, unpaved road a few minutes walk from the beach. She cooked for the better part of an afternoon, and by time dinner was ready, we were super hungry and totally curious what kind of deliciousness awaited us. Everything smelled fantastic! And then dinner was served: 5 Sri Lankan curries… including stir-fried Bonchi (green beans), spicy sautéed Brinjal (eggplant/aubergine), Carrot Curry, Dal (lentil) Curry, Soymeats Curry, and of course papadam, rice, and a simple salad of cucumbers and tomatoes.

After we finished eating, Sharani asked, “Do you like Watalappam? Sweets? Want to try?”

I was immediately curious, and asked her to describe it. “Made with coconut. Like a pudding. But very special flavors!” I tried once more, politely, to find out how it was made. “With eggs? Milk?” “No, no. Coconut!” “Butter?” “No, no. Coconut. And sugar! Palm syrup.” At this, she slid her chair back from the table, dashed to the kitchen, and returned with a chilled tray covered with plastic foil, which she was peeling back as she walked.

Wattalapam - Sri Lankan Spiced Coconut Custard Pudding

Watalappam

traditioneller Kokospudding aus Sri Lanka

Rezept aus The Lotus and the Artichoke – SRI LANKA: Eine kulinarische Entdeckungsreise mit über 70 veganen Rezepten

4 bis 6 Portionen / Dauer 40 Min. +

  • 1 1/2 Tasse (360 ml) Kokosmilch
  • 1/4 Tasse (50 g) Zucker
  • 1 EL Speisestärke
  • 1 TL Agar-Agar-Pulver oder 2 TL Agar-Agar-Flocken
  • 1/4 Tasse (60 ml) Wasser
  • 1/2 TL Vanillemark oder 1 TL Vanillezucker
  • 1/2 TL Zimt gemahlen
  • 1/2 TL Muskat gemahlen
  • 1/4 TL (ca. 6 Kapseln) Kardamom gemahlen
  • 1/8 TL (ca. 5 Stück) Nelken gemahlen
  • 2 EL Cashewkerne leicht geröstet, gehackt
  • Kokosblütensirup oder Agavensirup
  1. In einem mittelgroßen Topf Kokosmilch auf mittlerer Flamme zum Kochen bringen. Zucker einrühren.
  2. In einer kleinen Schüssel Speisestärke und Agar Agar mit 1/4 Tasse (60 ml) Wasser verquirlen. In die köchelnde Kokosmilch einrühren. Erneut zum Kochen bringen. Flamme niedrig stellen und 5 Min. unter Rühren köcheln lassen.
  3. Vanille, Zimt, Muskat, Kardamom und Nelken einrühren. 3 bis 5 Min. weiter köcheln, bis der Pudding eindickt. Vom Herd nehmen.
  4. Pudding in 4 bis 6 kleine Schüsseln füllen und 20 Min. abkühlen lassen. In den Kühlschrank stellen und 6 Stunden oder über Nacht durchziehen lassen.
  5. Kalte Schüsseln aus dem Kühlschrank nehmen und den Pudding am Schüsselrand vorsichtig mit einem Messer lösen. Schüsseln auf Teller stürzen und leicht auf den Schüsselboden klopfen. Schüsseln anheben und nachschauen, ob der Pudding gestürzt ist. Falls nicht, vorsichtig mit einem Messer herauslösen.
  6. Mit Sirup beträufeln und mit gehackten gerösteten Cashewkernen und geschnittenen Früchten und Beeren garnieren.

Variationen:

Ohne Kokosmilch: Kokosmilch mit Soja-, Hafer oder Mandelmilch ersetzen.

Dieses Rezept stammt aus meinem 3. veganen Kochbuch The Lotus and the Artichoke – SRI LANKA: Eine kulinarische Entdeckungsreise mit über 70 veganen Rezepten

 

Vegan Watalapan Coconut Custard Pudding Dessert from Sri Lanka Dinner Party

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Sri Lankan Jackfruit Curry

Jackfruit Curry Dinner from The Lotus and the Artichoke - SRI LANKA!

Sri Lankan Jackfruit Curry

This is absolutely one of my favorite dishes and recipes from my SRI LANKA vegan cookbook & ebook! I make it often at home, and have cooked it up for many dinner parties, cooking shows, and it’s regularly featured at the cooking classes I do, too. It’s really easy to make and it’s one of those dishes that’s a real crowd-pleaser, for vegans, vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

Strangely, Sri Lankan food is still not really that well-known in the world culinary scene — and the vegan scene, but it’s popularity and visibility has improved in the last few years. It’s kind of like jackfruit itself, which only recently has started to get really hyped and celebrated outside of Asia, where it has a long tradition and has been enjoyed for… well, practically forever! I suspect as Sri Lanka becomes more popular as a travel destination, more people will fall in love with the cuisine. Admittedly, I fell in love with Sri Lankan food about 10 years before my trip to Sri Lanka — there are some amazing Sri Lankan and South Indian eateries in Paris and Berlin that blew me away!

This Sri Lankan Jackfruit Curry is made with coconut milk, and it’s really creamy and intense. Jackfruit, kind of like plain tofu or tempeh or soy chunks (TVP), takes on the flavors of the sauce and marinade. The texture and freshness are amazing, and I enjoy it much more than the soy and faux-meat variations. (Which all work in this curry mix, too, btw!) You can use all kinds of coconut milk, or even make your own. If I buy coconut milk, I always try to get organic coconut milk with no weird additives and preservatives. In Germany, my favorite coconut milk is from Dr Goerg. It’s super rich and creamy, and combined with a little hit of coconut blossom syrup in the curry, this dish gets crazy delicious!

The main thing to know about cooking with jackfruit outside of Asia is: It’s easy to find! It’s inexpensive and really nothing bizarre. Almost every Asian import grocery store I’ve been to in the US, Canada, Germany, France, England, Holland and other parts of Europe, whether big city or little town, has Green Jackfruit (unsweetened!) in a can… but the yellow jackfruit which is primarily for sweet dishes and desserts is also usable, if you rinse off the syrup and adjust the spices / salt accordingly. Green jackfruit is the unripened, slightly tougher, less sweet fruit.

I had Jackfruit Curry in at least 10 different places in the 10 weeks I spent in Sri Lanka. Each restaurant and every family make it a bit different. I’ve also made lots of different variations on this one– sometimes sweeter, sometimes spicier, sometimes creamier, sometimes with other fun stuff like greens… or even pineapple!Jackfruit Curry Dinner from The Lotus and the Artichoke - SRI LANKA!

Jackfrucht Curry
srilankische Spezialität mit Kokosmilch

Rezept aus The Lotus and the Artichoke – SRI LANKA: Eine kulinarische Entdeckungsreise mit über 70 veganen Rezepten

3 bis 4 Portionen / Dauer 30 Min.

  • 2 1/2 Tassen (350 g) junge grüne Jackfrucht (ungesüßt!)
  • 1 mittelgroße rote Zwiebel gehackt
  • 2 Knoblauchzehen fein gehackt
  • 1 grüne oder rote Chilischote entsamt, fein gehackt wenn gewünscht
  • 2 EL Pflanzen- oder Kokosöl
  • 1 TL Currypulver
  • 1/2 TL Kreuzkümmel gemahlen
  • 1/2 TL Koriander gemahlen
  • 1/4 TL schwarzer Pfeffer gemahlen
  • 1/2 TL Bockshornkleesamen gemahlen
  • 1/2 TL Schwarze Senfsamen gemahlen
  • 1/2 TL Chili- oder Paprikapulver
  • 3/4 TL Kurkuma gemahlen
  • 2 kleine Stückchen Zimtrinde
  • 6–8 Curryblätter
  • 2 Lorbeerblätter oder Pandanusblätter
  • 1 Tasse (240 ml) Kokosmilch
  • 1/2 Tasse (120 ml) Wasser bei Bedarf mehr
  • 1–2 EL Limetten- oder Zitronensaft
  • 1 EL Agavensirup oder Zucker
  • 3/4 TL Meersalz
  • frisches Koriandergrün gehackt, zum Garnieren
  1. Jackfrucht aus der Dose abgießen und spülen. In Würfel oder Streifen schneiden.
  2. In einem Topf Öl auf mittlerer Flamme erhitzen. Zwiebel, Knoblauch, Chili (wenn verwendet), Currypulver, Kreuzkümmel, Koriander, schwarzen Pfeffer, Bockshornkleesamen, Senfsamen, Chili– oder Paprikapulver, Kurkuma, Zimt, Curry– und Pandanusblätter (oder Lorbeerblätter) hineingeben. 3 bis 5 Min. unter Rühren anbraten, bis die Zwiebel weich wird.
  3. Jackfruchtstücke, Limetten– oder Zitronensaft, Agavensirup (oder Zucker) und Salz zugeben und gut umrühren. Weitere 3 bis 5 Min. unter Rühren braten.
  4. Kokosmilch zugießen und mehrere Male umrühren. Zum Kochen bringen. Flamme niedrig stellen und halb abgedeckt unter regelmäßigem Rühren 12 bis 15 Min. köcheln, bis die Jackfruchtstücke weich werden und beginnen zu zerfallen. Für ein dünneres Curry während des Kochens je nach Bedarf nach und nach Wasser (oder mehr Kokosmilch) einrühren.
  5. Vor dem Servieren Zimtrinde und Lorbeerblätter entfernen.
  6. Mit frisch gehacktem Koriandergrün garnieren und mit Reis servieren.

Variationen:

Rot & Süß: 1 Tasse (75 g) gehackte Ananas und 1 gehackte Tomate zusammen mit der Jackfrucht zugeben. Vedisch: Zwiebeln und Knoblauch mit 1 Prise Asafoetida (Hingpulver) ersetzen.

Dieses Rezept stammt aus meinem 3. veganen Kochbuch The Lotus and the Artichoke – SRI LANKA: Eine kulinarische Entdeckungsreise mit über 70 veganen Rezepten

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