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
Salt

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
Salt

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.

Crying Tiger

For the marinade
4 pieces sirloin
3 teaspoons honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Black pepper

For the sauce
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons tamarind paste
Juice of a lime
2 tablespoons palm sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 prik chee fah pepper
1 (½-inch) piece fresh ginger, grated
1 stalk lemongrass
A few Thai basil leaves
1 bunch cilantro
1 Thai scallion , chopped

For the toasted rice
1 cup Thai rice

For the marinade, mix the soy sauce and honey.
Marinate the beef for 2 hours in the sauce at room temperature. Cover the dish with plastic wrap.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce:

Squeeze the lime. Press the garlic, cut the pepper into thin slices.

Mix water, sugar, and lemon juice. Add nuoc mam, soy sauce and tamarind paste.

Chop the garlic, chili, basil, cilantro and lemongrass. Grate the fresh ginger. Mix all the sauce and let stand for at least 20 minutes at room temperature.

In a non-stick pan, dry roast the rice over medium heat. Stir constantly so it does not burn.

Remove from heat and let cool.

Mix the rice in a food processor to obtain a very fine powder.
Pan-roast the beef a few minutes per side. Ideally, the meat should be just seared. Cut into strips. Lay on a bed of salad.

Pour the sauce on top of the beef and sprinkle with toasted rice.

Soto Ayam

4 chicken cutlets (or 4 boneless chicken legs)
6 cups water
2 cups coconut milk
2 stalks lemongrass , finely chopped
4 lime leaves
8 cloves garlic
3 shallots
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 (4-inch piece) galangal, peeled
1 (4-inch piece) fresh turmeric, peeled
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
4 oz. rice vermicelli
3 scallions , thinly sliced
2 red chili peppers , sliced
3 hard boiled eggs , peeled and quartered
1 cup bean sprouts
Juice of 2 kaffir limes
1/4 bunch cilantro , chopped
1 cup cooked rice

In a Dutch oven, sauté the chicken in half the oil for 5 minutes.

Add water, coconut milk, half the lemongrass, the lime leaves, spring onions, half the garlic, tomato, celery, and salt.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Reduce heat to medium-low.

Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked.
Remove the chicken from the broth and set aside.

Remove skin and bones from chicken and cut into strips. Set aside.

Prepare a spice paste: With a pestle and mortar or a food processor, grind the shallots, ginger, galangal, turmeric, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, the remaining lemongrass, garlic until obtaining a smooth paste.

Heat the remaining oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
Sauté the spice paste and hot pepper slices for 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly.

Add broth and reserved kaffir lime juice. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Cook the rice vermicelli according to the package directions. Drain.

Blanch bean sprouts in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain.

Place all the ingredients in large bowls.

Pour the broth into each bowl. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro.
Serve with rice.

Shan Noodles

Shan noodles can be served over a bed of rice noodles or served with broth.

1 lb chicken (or pork), chopped
8 oz. dried Shan noodles (rice noodles)
2 onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and chopped
8 tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder (optional)
8 tablespoons peanuts, crushed
2 scallions, chopped (for garnishing)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil

Place the dried noodles in a large bowl of cold water.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Turn off the heat, and place the dried rice noodles.

Heat oil in a large wok. Fry the onions, garlic and ginger for 6 to 8 minutes.

Add chili powder and continue to stir fry for minute.
Add the chopped chicken (or pork), tomatoes, tomato paste, and stir well. Add soy sauce and sugar and cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes until all tomatoes are crushed.

Put a handful of noodles into a bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of chicken curry, crushed peanuts and adjust with soy sauce to taste. Add a few spring onions. Serve immediately with pickled mustard greens (optional).

Ideas for Egg Lunches: Burmese Golden Curry

5 duck eggs (or large chicken eggs)
6 tablespoons peanut oil
3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 onions, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 thai chilis, thinly sliced (optional)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (1/2 inch) piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 tomatoes, puréed in food processor
1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
1/2 bunch cilantro , chopped
Salt

Place the duck eggs in a pot, cover them with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water boils, remove the pot from the heat and let stand 12 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pot and peel them under cold water.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium/high heat. Add the shallots and fry for about 6 to 8 minutes or until light brown. Transfer them to a plate lined with paper towel and sprinkle with salt.
Add the duck eggs into the hot oil, then lower the heat. Fry them for 4 minutes, regularly turning them to brown them all around. Take them out of the pan and transfer them to a plate.
Add the onions, turmeric, paprika, chili, garlic and ginger to the pan and fry for a 5 minutes, then stir in the puréed tomatoes, tamarind concentrate, fish sauce and brown sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes to reduce.

Cut the eggs in half and carefully place them back into the pan. Pour some of the mixture over the eggs, making sure that they are coated generously and simmer for another 2 minutes.

Finish by sprinkling the fried shallots and roughly chopped cilantro on top of the eggs.

Lok Lak (Cambodian Shaking Beef)

1 1/2 lb beef steak, sliced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 scallions, chopped
For the marinade
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon Kampot pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon chicken broth powder
2 teaspoons potato starch (or cornstarch)
3 teaspoons paprika

For the sauce
Juice of 5 limes
3 tablespoons cold water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic , chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon Kampot pepper

Sides
A few leaves lettuce
2 ??tomatoes , sliced
Steamed white rice

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a salad bowl, add the meat and stir well.

Marinate the meat for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Heat the 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok or pan and fry the chopped scallions over medium heat until they turn light brown.

Add the meat, mix well and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes.

In a bowl, stir all the ingredients of the lok lak sauce vigorously.

Prepare large plates.

In each plate, place a bed of lettuce leaves and a few slices of tomato.

Place the meat on the lettuce leaves and sliced ??tomatoes.

Serve with steamed white rice.

Place a small bowl of lok lak sauce on the side or the center of each plate.

Lap Khmer (Cambodian Laab)

3/4 lb beef tenderloin, sliced ??very thinly
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 teaspoons chopped fresh lemongrass
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon pahok (fish paste)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 small red onion, very finely sliced
1/3 lb yardlong beans (or green beans), cut very finely
1/2 lb soybean sprouts
2 tablespoons rice, toasted and ground
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 small red hot peppers, chopped

Drain the meat by pressing it to get rid of all its water and its blood. Set aside.

Heat a small skillet. When it is hot, add the oil, garlic and lemongrass, mix well and add water and pahok (fish paste).
Leave the pan on medium heat and cook for 2 minutes after reaching the boiling point. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Place the raw beef in a large bowl. Pour the fresh lime juice over the beef. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes.

Add the fish sauce, sugar, and onion and mix well.

Add the beans and the soy sprouts and mix well.

Add the pahok and mix well.

Add the toasted rice powder and herbs, and mix well.

Garnish with chopped red hot pepper before serving.

Tuk Trey (Cambodian Chili Sauce)

4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 red hot peppers, chopped
3 teaspoons roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
2 limes, squeezed
7 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
4 tablespoons water

In a mortar, pound the garlic, peppers, lime juice, sugar and water with a pestle to obtain a paste.

Add the fish sauce and mix. Add the peanuts and mix well.

Recipe Notes
There are many variations of this sauce. You can adjust the ingredients according to your taste: – By adding more fish sauce if you want it to be salty, or more water for the opposite. – By adding more sugar if you prefer it sweeter. – By adding more lemon juice if you want to accentuate the sour side.

Kuy Teav (Cambodian Rice Noodle Soup)

3 lb pork neck
2 teaspoons dried shrimp
2 teaspoons fish sauce
3 hard-boiled eggs , quartered
1 lb rice noodles
1 lb ground pork
3 teaspoons rice wine
3 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 lb raw shrimp , peeled and deveined
Salt
Kampot white pepper
Garnish
2 handfuls bean sprouts
1/2 bunch cilantro , chopped
4 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3 teaspoons Sriracha chili sauce (or more, to taste)
2 limes, quartered

In a saucepan over high heat, boil the pork necks for 10 minutes after reaching boiling point.

Drain and discard the cooking water.

Put the pig’s necks back in the pot and fill with enough water to cover the bones by at least 2 inches.

Add the dried shrimp and mix.

Simmer on low heat for 3 hours, until the meat comes off the bones.

Slowly skim all the foam that forms on the surface of the broth. Add boiling water to maintain the same level, if necessary.

Remove the necks from the broth using a skimmer and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Remove the meat from the bones and set aside.

Add the fish sauce to the broth and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Simmer the broth over low heat while the rest of the recipe is prepared.

Bring a large pan of water to a boil, cook the noodles for 30 seconds, drain and rinse immediately with cold water.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the minced pork and mix well. (Crush the ground meat as you cook with a mashed press).

Add rice wine, soy sauce and honey. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly.

Add the pork neck meat and the sesame oil, mix and reserve.
Bring the broth to a boil over a high heat.

Place the shrimp in a metal colander and immerse it in the pot to cook the shrimp for 10 minutes in the simmering broth.

Remove the colander, drain and reserve the shrimp.

Divide the noodles into 4 large bowls.

Add the shrimp, pork, and a little of each topping to each bowl: soy sprouts, chopped cilantro, chopped scallions, fish lsauce, Sriracha chili sauce, lemons)

Pour the broth into each bowl and place pieces of hard-boiled egg on top. Serve very hot with additional toppings on the side.