Masala Grilled Cheese

Onions – 1/4 Cups
Red Capsicum / Bell Peppers – 1/4 Cup
Green Capsicum / Bell Peppers – 1/4 Cup
Salt – 2 Pinch
Black Pepper – 2 Pinch
Red Chilli Powder – 2 Pinch
Chaat Masala – 2 Pinch
Butter – 2 Tbsp
Mozzarella Cheese – 6 Tbsp
Bread Slices – 4 Slices

Heat a pan on medium heat and add butter.

Add Onions, Red Capsicum and Green Capsicum and saute for 3 minutes.

Add Salt, Black Pepper, Red Pepper and Chaat Masala. Saute for 2 to 3 more minutes then keep the it aside.

Heat the same pan on low and add butter, once the butter starts to melt put a bread slice on it and move the bread around so the bread absorbs all the butter.

Top the Bread on pan with 3 tbsp Mozzarella Cheese.

Add the onion and pepper mix on the bread slice.

Cover it with another slice of bread.

Add butter on the top bread slice and flip. Move the sanwich around on the pan so that the butter spreads evenly.

Cook on low for few minutes until light golden brown.

Flip and cook the other side as well until light golden brown.
Cut diagonally and Serve!!

Mumbai Grilled Vegetable Cheese

For sandwich masala:
2 tablespoons Cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon Cloves
1/2 inch Cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon Black peppercorns
1 teaspoon Fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Black salt (Kala namak)
1/2 teaspoon Amchur powder (dried mango powder)

For green chutney:
1 cup Mint leaves
1 cup Cilantro or coriander leaves
2-3 Green chilies or to taste
1/4 inch Ginger
1/4 teaspoon Black salt (Kala namak)
1/2 teaspoon Chaat masala
1 1/2 teaspoon Lemon juice

For grilled sandwich recipe:
12 slices Bread
Butter as required
2 small Potatoes boiled and sliced
1 medium Cucumber sliced
1 medium Onion sliced
1/2 medium Capsicum (Green bell pepper) sliced
2 small Tomato sliced
1 cup Cheese grated (optional

Making sandwich masala:

Dry roast the whole spices for masala on medium-low heat with stirring constantly.

As you get the nice aroma of the roasted spices, turn off the stove and remove it to plate to cool completely.

Once cooled take into the grinder jar along with black salt and amchur powder and make into fine powder. Keep it aside.

Making chutney:

Take all the chutney ingredients in the grinder along with very little water and make smooth puree.

Remove it to a bowl and keep it aside.

Making veg grilled sandwich recipe:

Keep all the veggies, cheese, chutney, bread, butter and sandwich masala ready before start assembling it.

Heat the grill pan on medium heat. While it is heating assemble the sandwich.

take 3 bread slices for one sandwich. Spread butter and chutney on each slices.

Now place the vegetables in this order: potato, cucumber, onion, second bread slice, capsicum, tomato, cheese. Don’t forget to sprinkle sandwich masala on each and every vegetable layer.

Lastly close with last bread slice, chutney side down.
Place the sandwich carefully on the grill pan or machine and grill till it is crispy and golden brown.

Then flip and grill other side as well. If using machine then no need to flip as it grills both sides at the same time.
Remove it to a plate and slice into half serve.

Repeat the same for rest sandwiches.

Mumbai Grilled Chilli Cheese

4 slices of soft white bread
2 tbsp softened butter
70gms cheddar cheese coarsely grated (for a gooey sandwich Swiss gruyere would be a good alternative)
1 medium red onion thinly sliced
2 medium tomatoes sliced
3 green chillies finely chopped (or less if you prefer it mild)

The spice masala mix, an equal pinch of:
cumin powder
ground cinnamon
dry mango powder
black pepper

For the green chutney;
200gms of mint leaves
100gms of coriander
juice of half a lemon
1 green chilli
1/2 red onion
1/2 inch piece of ginger
Pinch of salt & sugar

Blend all the ingredients for the green chutney with a little water and set aside. Pile all the slices of bread together and trim off the edges. Make sure you don’t take all the crust off; just even out the edges.

Place the slices over a flat plate and apply butter. Now spread the green chutney on evenly and top with the sliced red onion followed by a sprinkle of the spice masala mix. Add the tomato with a little more of the spice masala mix and finally the chopped chillies. Add the cheese and close each sandwich pressing down lightly.

If there is any leftover butter spread on the outer side of the sandwich. Place in a toasted sandwich maker until crisp and light brown. Cut into four and serve warm with extra chutney and ketchup.

Semiya Pasayam (Vermicelli Kheer)

4 cups milk divided (3 cups + 1 cup)
1 cup vermicelli (semiya)
1 cup water
6 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp condensed milk
1 Tbsp ghee (clarified butter), divided
10 cashews broken
10 almonds sliced
10 golden raisins
10 pistachios sliced

Boil milk in a saucepan and keep it aside.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon ghee in a pan. Once it is hot, fry the cashews, almonds, pistachios & raisins separately, until they all turn golden brown. Remove them from the pan and keep it aside.

In the same pan add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon ghee. Fry the vermicelli until it starts changing its color and becomes slightly golden. (This step can be skipped if using roasted vermicelli).

Then add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of boiled milk to the pan. Frequently stir the mixture else the milk will burn at the bottom.

Keep adding milk progressively as and when the mixture thickens. Add about 1-1/2 cup milk, and cook the vermicelli until it becomes soft.

Once the vermicelli gets cooked, add the condensed milk and sugar. Add the remaining 1/2 cup milk and keep it on the stove for few more minutes until the sugar dissolves.

Turn off the stove and add cashews, almonds, raisins, and pistachios. This thickens on cooling. Keep an extra cup of boiled milk at hand. So if you are serving later & it thickens, you can add some more milk (according to your consistency preference) and serve.

Recipe Notes
You can get readymade roasted vermicelli in Indian grocery stores. Use them for convenience.

Condensed milk is completely optional. It helps in thickening the base and therefore a rich taste.

You can adjust the sugar amount based on your sweet preference. When using condensed milk, be extra careful as it has some sugar.

This can be served chilled or at room temperature or even warm.
The amount of milk depends on one’s preferred consistency. Payasam can be drunk from a glass or spooned. The amount mentioned above yields a thick creamy dessert. You can thin it more by adding extra boiled milk. The consistency is of medium thickness and is thinner than rice pudding

Rabu Curry (Sri Lankan Radish Curry)

10 oz. white radish, peeled and cut into thick julienne
1 onion, sliced
3 green hot peppers, sliced
3 leaves curry, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup coconut milk

In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, hot peppers, curry leaves and fry for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.

Then add all the spices and mix well.

Add the radish and mix. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Finally add the coconut milk and mix.

Simmer on low/medium heat for 5 minutes.

Parippu Curry (Sri Lankan Dal)

8 oz. red lentils (masoor dal)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 onions, chopped
4 leaves curry, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon saffron powder
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 whole cloves
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 lime
1 green hot pepper

Wash the lentils well by changing the water at least three times.

Boil them in the water with the saffron, chili powder, turmeric, curry and cloves.
After about 15 minutes, when the color of the lentils changes from red to yellow, remove from the heat and pour into a large bowl.

Heat the oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add the mustard, fenugreek, and cumin seeds and fry for 20 seconds.
Add the onion and garlic and mix well for 20 seconds.

Add the boiled lentils and mix well. Cook for 5 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and salt to taste. Cook until the curry begins to boil.
Remove from heat and add the lime juice.
Add the raw or fried green hot pepper on top (optional).

Serve hot with rice or bread.

Kaju Maluwa (Sri Lankan Cashew Curry)

8 oz. cashew nuts
1 onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic
10 leaves curry
2 green hot peppers, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, roasted, ground
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, roasted, ground
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
4 pods cardamom
1 stick cinnamon
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut cream
2 tablespoons clarified butter (ghee)

Soak the cashew nuts in a bowl of water for at least 1 hour. Drain and set aside.
In a pot, heat the ghee over high heat. Then, add the onion, garlic, curry leaves, hot peppers, and stir.

After 5 minutes, add the cumin, fennel, turmeric, chilli powder, curry powder, cardamom and the cinnamon stick. Lower to medium heat and stir until spices are lightly roasted, about 2 minutes.

Add the drained cashew nuts and stir.
Add the coconut milk, bring to a boil and simmer until the sauce has thickened and reduced, about 15 minutes.

Add the coconut cream, bring to a boil and continue simmering for about 5 minutes. Season to taste.

Serve hot with warm white rice.

Pol Sambol (Sri Lanka Coconut Sambol)

1/2 fresh coconut ,grated (about 1/2 lb), (or 1/3 lb frozen grated coconut)
6 small red dried chili peppers (or 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
6 small Bombay onions or 1 red onion, diced
1 tablespoon Maldive fish chips (optional)
Juice of 1 lime

Using a large mortar and pestle (or working in batches in a smaller mortar and pestle), grind the dried red chilies with the salt and sugar into a fine paste until there are no chili seeds visible in the paste.

Then, add the Maldive fish chips (optional), and grind a little more.
Next, add the freshly shredded coconut to combine with the paste. The whole idea at this stage is to get the coconut to absorb the flavor and get the color of the chili paste.

Finely, add the diced red onions. Grind a couple more minutes until obtaining a paste with enough texture.

Add the juice of the lime, mix well, and serve

Kiribath (Sri Lankan Rice and Coconut Milk Cakes)

1 lb white short grain rice (ideally Sri Lankan rice called kekulu)
3 cups thick coconut milk
5 cups water
Salt to taste

Wash the rice and place in a large saucepan with the water and salt.

Bring to a boil uncovered, over medium heat.

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer on medium/low heat until water is absorbed and rice is tender (about 20 to 25 minutes).

Add the coconut milk and stir well until everything is mixed.

Simmer on low heat until the rice absorbs all the coconut milk (about 15 minutes).
Remove from fire and let cool for 5 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a large shallow dish and flatten with the back of a flat spoon, spatula or parchment paper.
Draw lines on the top surface in the shape of diamond or square.

Let cool and solidify for about 10 minutes before cutting into pieces.
Serve with seeni sambol and / or lunu miris.

Recipe Notes
The proportions of coconut milk and water are approximate. The amount of water and coconut milk depends on the type of rice that is used.

If the surface of the rice dries too quickly, apply a little coconut milk to rehydrate it.

In some parts of Sri Lanka, kiribath is traditionally prepared with red rice.

Lunu Miris (Sri Lankan Sambol)

1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon crushed mild red pepper
1 tablespoon umbalakada (smoked and dried Maldives fish)
2 teaspoons lime juice

Place all the ingredients except the lime juice in a mortar and, using a pestle, crush them.

Pound the ingredients to develop their flavor.

Add salt to taste.

Add the lime juice and mix well with the pestle, pounding the mixture well.

Notes: One of the most popular ways of eating lunu miri is alongside kiribath, a simple coconut milk and white rice dish served in squares, diamonds or with the rice rounded into a mound and flattened. Lunu miris is also commonly eaten with roti, while the dish most Sri Lankan tourists will remember is lunu miris served with is egg hoppers, or appam, a bowl-shaped fried coconut and rice crepe that is commonly eaten for breakfast and is a street food favorite. Its bold and hot flavors pair well as a meat marinade, is a topping for grilled fish or roasted veggies, can be used as a mix-in for soups and stews, and as an appetizer with a side of flatbread or raw veggies.

Lunu miris can be made in only five minutes and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, or frozen for a month and still retain its freshness.

Pineapple Fried Rice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 lb (225 g) ground chicken (or ground turkey)
2 eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt
3 cups cooked rice, overnight rice works best, separated by hand (*Footnote)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup mixed veggies (snow peas, carrots, and/or corn)
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/3 cup roasted cashews
1 lime , cut into wedges
Chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish (Optional)

Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet (or a wok, or a carbon steel skillet) until hot. Add the eggs. Let cook without touching, until the bottom is set. Stir and chop with your spatula to separate the eggs into small bits. Once the egg is just cooked (it’s OK if some parts are still a bit runny), transfer it to a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoon of oil and the ground chicken. Stir and chop with your spatula to separate it into small bits. Cook until the chicken turns mostly white.

Add the rice. Stir and chop to further separate it into single grains. Cook until the rice is heated up, 2 to 3 minutes. If you’re using a wok or a carbon steel skillet, the rice might stick to the pan. You can add a bit more oil and use your spatula to release the rice.

Add the soy sauce and curry powder. Stir to mix well.

Add the pineapple, bell pepper, frozen veggies, green onions, and sprinkle with salt. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add back the scrambled eggs and cashews and toss again. Carefully taste the rice. Sprinkle more salt and stir to mix well, if needed. Transfer everything to a big plate.

Serve hot as a main dish or side dish.