Passport to Srilanka: Raal Vadai

This recipe will be the first of its kind on my new #StayatHomeSundays segment featuring all home made recipes. I will now be posting new homemade recipes every other Sunday so stay tuned for more yummy goods coming soon!

If you’ve ever visited the island of Srilanka, especially the capital city Colombo, then you may be familiar with the popular tourist attraction of Galle Face Beach. Galle Face is a beautiful site, always busy about with people. But what you may not know is it’s also famous for its raal vadai. You could think of it as the spicier version of a doughnut, but it’s better put into perspective as fried savory streetfood that’s stuffed with shrimp goodness. Let me tell you, if I had one thing I wish I could sneak past customs on my flight back home, it would be these.

I’ve only ever heard of raal vadai being sold at that one beach in Colombo, so the prospect of making my own never even crossed my mind till my mom let me in on a secret: its not that hard to replicate! So with a bit of experimenting, and alot of spices, I unlocked level lankan streetfood-raal vadai. Here’s how you can make your own batch at home:

*Note: Ingrediants which can be difficult to find at regular supermarkets but are definately available at your local South asian markets are starred.

Ingrediants: 

  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 sprig of Curry leaves
  • 1lb Shrimp, headless
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 4 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 red chillies, crushed
  • Salt 1 tsp
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions:

  1. First, you’ll need a prep step of cleaning and removing the skin of the shrimp.
  2. Grind the shrimp briefly in a food processor, into chunks, not a paste. Transfer the grinded shrimp into a medium sized bowml.
  3. Next, chop your onions & chillies finely. Include these along with your curry leaves, salt, cumin, briefly mix by hand in your bowl with the shrimp.
  4. Next add your flour into the bowl and mix. This will serve as a breading and turn the mixture into a dough.
  5. Mould the dough into a doughnut like shape and flatten slightly using your fingers. It helps to have a bit of oil on your hands so the dough does not stick.
  6. Prepare your frying oil in a medium sized skillet, enough to cover and immerse the vadai completely.
  7. Carefully lower one vadai into your skillet, and allow to simmer until you see the dough turn a yellow color. This is your cue to flip the vadai onto the other side, and allow it to fry until a golden brown color. Set aside on a tray to cool once fried.

And there you have it! Yes it’s as simple as that, delicious fresh crispy home made raal vadai, a seafood appetizer that’s sure to impress! You’ll now also be one step closer to wanting that destination vacation to Srilanka and try it in person, I’ll guarentee it. Happy travels and happy eating, this passport to Srilanka eat is approved by yours truly – S.

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Arancini: Crisp Italian Riceballs

Nothing quite beats an appetizer like fresh out the oven crisp Italian riceballs. Served warm, these make a perfect start to your dinner! Or if you’re like me and prefer a no-fry alternative, this simplistic recipie will not leave your inner health nut feeling guilty. Here’s how:

Ingrediants:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 1/2 cups dried bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Intructions:

  1. Cook the white rice by allowing the rice grains to simmer in water for 30-40 min and set aside
  2. In a seperate bowl, combine the the garlic, cayenne, parmesan, chopped jalapeno pepper, parsley, and salt. Carefully stir in your cooked rice. This will be the base of your riceballs.
  3. In 2 seperate smaller bowls, have your bread crumbs ready, as well as a mixture of the olive oil and eggs whisked together to serve as a coating for the breadcrumbs.
  4. After wetting your hands, roll golf size balls of the rice mixture. Dip each rice ball into your egg and oil mix before coating with the breadcrumbs. Place on a baking tray after coating.
  5. Once the riceballs are coated and ready to bake, preheat your oven to 400° and bake for 15-20 min or until a golden brown colour is visible. Turn over the rice balls and bake for a final 10 minutes.

Serve warm and enjoy! Perfect for dinner parties, or any meal that requires a crisp introduction. Approved by yours truely -S.

Bacon-wrapped Chicken

Nothing says warm weather like bacon. So now that the snow is finally starting to creep away, and along that the cold weather, doesn’t that mean its time to spice up the heat in the kitchen? What better way to do that, with bacon wrapped chicken, stuffed with monterary jack cheddar for that added kick. This appetizer recipie is perfect if you’re looking to zest up a dinner party. Here’s the recipie to this fresh new take on two favoured kinds of meat:

Ingrediants:

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 tablespoons creamcheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded pepperjack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 4-8 peices of bacon

Instructions:

  1. Slice the chicken into 1 inch peices, ensure to thin out the slices, this will help with the stuffing later on!
  2. Season the chicken with cayenne, salt, and pepper, a teaspoon of each would suffice but you can adjust as per your taste.
  3. In a seperate bowl, combine 4 tablespoons of creamcheese with 4 tablespoons of monterary jack. This is our stuffing for the chicken!
  4. Spoon a teaspoon of the mixture towards the end of the chicken strip, and begin to roll.
  5. Secure each roll of chicken with 1 peice of bacon rolled onto the chicken.
  6. Place the rolls on a baking sheet and cook for 45 min at 360 degrees.

Et voila, your showstopper appetizer is ready to be served.