Tasty trends

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By Jan Bilton

So what’s happening with food trends overseas? My foodie friends in the UK tend to agree on one thing — plant-based meals are certainly on the up. Vegetarian and vegan meals are becoming extremely popular choices on many restaurant menus.

Sri Lankan cuisine is now, quite rightly, regarded as a cuisine in its own right rather than simply a variation of Indian dishes.

Fermented drinks such as kefir and kombucha are still on the rise together with vegan wines — it’s all in the refining process. (Many wine makers use egg whites to refine or clear their wines.)

PARIPPU

Parippu – a Sri Lankan Dahl

Sri Lankan Dahl. Vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free.

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 large onion, very finely sliced

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1 large sprig curry leaves

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

2 whole red dried chillies

1 green chilli, sliced

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

Lentils: 1 cup red lentils (Dhal)

cold water

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

2 cloves garlic, crushed

3-4 curry leaves

1/2 cup coconut milk

Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion, garlic, curry leaves and turmeric. Cook on medium low until the onions are soft and light brown. Add the chillies and mustard seeds and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile wash the lentils well. Place in a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups of cold water. (If you want softer lentils add water to just cover the lentils.) Cover and simmer for 5 minutes then stir in the turmeric, garlic and curry leaves. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes until the lentils are cooked to your liking. Stir in the coconut milk and a little of the onion mixture and simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve in a bowl topped with the remaining onion mixture. Can be served topped with chopped raw vegetables and chutney as a main with rice or as an accompaniment with a curry. Serves 4-6.

  • Jan Bilton is a Cambridge-based, professional food writer. For more of her tasty trend and other recipes see her website here.

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