Pickles and Chutneys are
always an additional welcome to any meal, if only
because they go a long way in enhancing the flavour
and adding a titillating punch into the most
ordinary and bland meal.
While their nutrient value may not be great, still,
some pickles and chutneys can be healthy and
nutritious, if the ingredients used contain high
fibre, minerals and very little sugar. What’s more
you can turn out a chutney with leftovers - like
half-a-papaw, or part of an avocado pear, ginger,
over ripe tomatoes, and seasonal fruit.
Here are a few recipes we got from some of our
readers as well as from our own recipe books.
Ginger Pickle (from a Dutch kitchen recipe)
2 lbs green tomatoes
2 lbs red tomatoes
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp ginger or 4 pieces of ginger root
Scald, peel and slice the tomatoes. Slice the lemons
and remove seeds. Add lemon with sugar to the
tomatoes. Now add the seasonings and simmer slowly
on a low fire till thick. Cool and pour into
sterilised jars and seal well. Store for a month
Ripe Tomato Pickle
6 ripe tomatoes chopped
2 green peppers chopped
2 hot peppers chopped
2 cups celery chopped
4 small onions chopped
½ cup vinegar
4 cups vinegar
Chop the vegetables or put through the food chopper
using a coarse blade. Add the other ingredients and
mix well. Bottle in a sterilised jar.
3 medium size cucumbers chopped
2 large onions chopped
1 hot pepper chopped
¼ cup salt
¼ cup mustard seed
2 tsp celery
1 cup vinegar
½ cup sugar
Chop the cucumbers, onions and peppers, or put
through a food chopper using a coarse blade. Add the
salt and allow the mixture to stand overnight. Drain
well. Add the mustard seed, celery, vinegar and
sugar. Place over low fire and bring to boil. Remove
from heat as soon as it is boiling and let it cool.
Then pour into sterilised jars and seal at once.
1 cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup water
3 tsp mustard seeds
2 medium carrots peeled and sliced crossways
½ lb tender string beans
5 green peppers seeded and halved
½ lb onions washed and peeled
½ lb dates seeded and halved
Into a stainless steel saucepan, combine vinegar,
water, mustard, salt and sugar. Bring to boil on
high heat. Reduce to medium heat and add carrots and
beans, after trimming the ends and removing the
strings. Stir with wooden spoon. Cover and cook
until the vegetables are tender and crisp. Do not
overcook. Remove from heat. With a slotted spoon
transfer carrots and beans into a bowl. Add peppers
and onions to hot liquid sauce and stir. Cover and
let it stand for 10 minutes. Return carrots and
beans to the mixture. Add dates. With wooden spoon
mix vegetables well to coat with the liquid sauce.
Transfer to a large bowl and refrigerate. Try to
stir and mix the vegetables, to coat with the liquid
sauce at least once a day.
Tastes better when kept for a few days.
150 grm shallots
2 fresh green chillies
75 grm dates
1 pickled lime
3 sliced ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp mustard seeds
50-75 ml vinegar
1 tsp paprika powder
25 grm sugar
¼ tsp salt
Clean the shallots (onions) and halve them. Cut the
chillies lengthways and chop the dates and pickled
lime. Now grind the ginger, garlic, chilli and
mustard seeds together and add sufficient vinegar to
make a thick paste. Add the paprika. Boil the
remaining vinegar with the sugar and add the dates.
Remove from heat and add the shallots, ground
mixture and salt and mix well.
Sweet Mango Chutney
250 grm mangoes
100 grm sugar
2 cloves garlic
3 slices ginger
2 tsp mustard seed
75 ml vinegar
¼ tsp salt
50 grm Sultanas
Peel and slice the mangoes and place in a bowl for 3
hours with half the sugar. Crush the garlic, ginger
and mustard seeds together and crush the cardamoms
and cloves. Mix all these ingredients together and
add the vinegar, chilli powder and salt. Put in a
pan and add the remaining sugar and cook for about
10-15 minutes. Now add the mango slices and mix
well. Cook for a further 10 minutes. Mix well and
stir in the sultanas.
100 grm Dates
3 cloves garlic
2 slices ginger
1 tsp mustard seeds
100 grm sugar
250 ml vinegar
1 tsp chilli powder
2 cm. cinnamon stick
50 grm sultanas
½ tsp salt
Stone the dates and chop the flesh finely. Grind the
garlic, ginger and mustard seeds together and crush
the cardamoms and cloves. Place the sugar in a pan,
pour on the vinegar and heat gently. When the sugar
has dissolved, add the dates, chilli powder, garlic,
mustard, ginger, cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon
stick and cook over a low heat until the liquid
thickens, but ensure the dates are not pulpy. Now
add the sultanas and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Finally add the salt and allow to cool.
Pineapple and Date Chutney
1 medium size pineapple
1 thin slice fresh ginger crushed and chopped
3 cloves garlic
3 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp seasoning of any kind
¼ cup vinegar
½ tsp cumin seeds
8 oz diced and stoned dates.
Add the pineapple, ginger, garlic, chilli powder,
turmeric, paprika, seasoning, vinegar, tomato paste
and cumin seed. Puree slightly. Add puree to non
stick skillet. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
Keep stirring with a wooden spoon so puree does not
stick to skillet. Reduce to low heat. Add dates and
keep stirring. Mash dates with the spoon. When it
becomes a very thick paste, remove from heat and let
it cool. Put into a washed sterilised jar and
refrigerate if your wish.
Crackled wooden clothes hangers
If wooden clothes hangers develop cracks or surface
roughness which may damage the clothes, smoothen
them with a coat of nail polish.
To prevent trouser cuffs from fraying on the edge,
when rubbed against the shoe constantly, stitch two
small buttons inside the cuff at the bottom of each
trouser leg, one inch on either side of the crease.
The buttons will stop the fabric from rubbing
against the shoes.
To get rid of odour of underarm perspiration
from woolens, sponge with lemon juice and water and
hang the garment in the air.
Ticking of clock
Many dislike a clock ticking in the bedroom
while they are trying to sleep. To minimise the
sound, place the clock on a piece of foam sponge.
|Spices to boost Immunity
Spices are not only a good natural way to enhance
the flavour of your food, they can also help you to
be healthy and prevent debilitating diseases. The
following spices and herbs are some examples:
* Garlic- Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure
among other things. It contains Vitamins C, A and B,
and this is said to prevent cancer by stimulating
the immune system to eliminate toxins and combat
*Ginger- Eases nausea and helps digestion. It is
also good when you have a tummy upset. A teaspoon of
ginger in a cup of plain tea is a tried method to
cure a bad tummy upset.
*Cloves- Also relieves stomach ailments and is also
good for rheumatism.
*Cumin- Also said to relieve indigestion and wind.
When you have a cold, put a few cumin seeds into a
cup of hot water and drink it to relieve you.
*Fenugreek (Uluhal)- Also a digestive aid. The seeds
are said to have hypoglycemic activity and is good
lowering sugar in diabetic patients.
*Coriander - Tea or water also helps to reduce
fever, by inducing urination. It is also good to
clear one’s blocked sinuses when inhaled. Coriander
is reputed to cure kidney problems, mouth ulcers and
*Fennel- Has a long history of use as a carminative
and weight loss aid. Fennel seeds are sometimes
eaten raw and are said to improve eyesight.
|Beauty tip from the kitchen
Fenugreek boiled in water with lime and nelli is an
effective hair cleanser and used to cure dandruff,
leaving the hair with a fragrance as well.
|Health tip for Pregnant Women
Eating poorly during pregnancy can increase your
children’s and your grandchildren’s risk of cancer,
even if they themselves eat healthily, a new study
on rats suggests.
The risk associated with high-fat diets, especially
those high in omega-6 fatty acids, “can be passed
from one generation to another, without any further
exposure,” said lead Researcher Sonia de Assis of
|Health tip for Older Women
Exercise your brain daily, as the older you grow the
more problems you will have remembering things,
since age affects one’s memory. Join a book or
discussion club where you will keep your mind
active. Sign up for a class at the local library,
senior centre, where you will have social
intercourse with people your age. Do word puzzles,
number puzzles, jigsaw puzzles - whatever interests
you to keep your mind alert. Ensure you challenge
your brain by trying new things, rather than just
repeating the same exercises over and over again. If
you have a computer to sites such as
www.games.aarp.org for free mind games of all kinds,
to play alone or with others.
Honey is an excellent antibiotic, externally (for
sores etc) and internally (curing ulcers and
stopping diarrhoea). It can also be used as a
sedative in hot drinks. So keep a bottle of bees
honey in your larder.
|Tip to encourage kids to eat
Make a bread hole egg
If your child dislikes eating eggs, here’s a way to
induce him/her to do so without much persuasion.
Make a bread hole egg. For this, use a large round
biscuit cutter to remove the centre from a slice of
bread. Now slip a raw egg into the centre hole. Turn
and brown the other side of the bread and egg,
adding more butter if necessary. Brown the round
centre piece as well. Children love to call this
part the “lid”, which is placed on top of the cooked
egg just before it is served..
Executive Chef at Hotel Topaz, Kandy
Trevor Baines, the Executive Chef at
Hotel Topaz, Kandy
Trevor Baines, the Executive Chef at Hotel Topaz,
Kandy was born in Mutwal and studied at St.
Benedicts College Colombo 13. Trevor liked to cook
from the day his mother taught him to make a pol
sambol using a pestle and mortar.
He served in many prestigious hotel chains before
joining Hotel Topaz; from 1979 – 1981 at Hotel
Ceylon InterContinental, Colombo; from 1981- 1988
Royal Commission of Saudi Arabia; from 1988 at Hotel
Taj Samudra Colombo; from 1993- 1996 at Carnival
Cruise lines Maimi U.S.A. ( onboard luxury liners),
from 1996 – 1998 at Mahaweli Reach Hotel, Kandy.
Q: What was your first hotel?
Hotel Ceylon InterContinental, Colombo. I still
recollect the tough training in the kitchen starting
from the kitchen cleaning and pot washing under
Swiss and French chefs when hoteliering was getting
popular in Sri Lanka. There were only two five star
hotels; Lanka Oberoi and Intercontinental. There was
a tough competition to join these hotels. I still
relish the training I got at these prestigious
Q: When did you join Hotel Topaz and Tourmaline?
How long are you there?
I have worked in this hotel complex for more than 13
years. I joined in February 1998. This a very
satisfying and challenging job and I am proud to
work for the McLarens Group of Hotels.
I really appreciate the encouragement /
opportunities given by the Joint Managing Director
of Hotels who was able to unearth my public
I mingle a lot with guests and discuss their likes
and dislikes, and thus, I am able to nip many
adverse comments in the bud. I try to cater to the
guest requirements as far as possible.
Q. What are your future plans, for the hotel as
well as your professional life?
A: The Tourmaline, a part of the complex, has
undergone a major refurbishment. My dream is to make
it the best boutique hotel in Kandy. We are looking
at up market clients. I hope to be at McLarens
Hotels until its time to say goodbye to my career as
Q. What is your favourite dish, Western? What is
your favourite food, Sri Lankan?
My favorite western dish is Spaghetti with fresh
Tomato Sauce. I always prefer home made dishes. My
favourite Sri Lankan Food is plain white rice, kiri
hodi , hot pol sambol and dry fish tempered. I still
relish my mother’s fish curry. I occasionally cook
Q: What are the places in Sri Lanka you like to
visit as well as visited?
As my father was a Medical Representative, we
used to go and spend weekends with him from Jaffna
to Matara. My favourite place is Kandy, my second
home town and I also like the cool climes of Nuwara
Q: Have you many friends ?
A: I am very choosy with my friends. Still
maintain close contacts with a few school mates from
St. Benedicts. These friends have been loyal and
Q: How do you find the work at the hotel,
interesting, challenging etc.
A combination of both.A special word of appreciation
to Jt. MD of McLarens Hotels, Anura Basnayake . He
unearthed a lot of my talents. As I was a very shy
and backward person initially, he encouraged me to
mingle with guests, speak to them and to minimise
food complaints. I convey my gratitude to the entire
Board of Directors of McLarens Group for my
Q:Tell me something about your life, your family,
their contribution to make your career a success
My wife was working in a leading bank but retired
prematurely to be with my two daughters. My eldest
daughter is an undergraduate at the Peradeniya
University. She is reading for a special degree in
English and is very fluent in French. The second
daughter is studying in the Advanced Level and wants
to be an engineer. A special word for my wife,
Geraldine for her encouragement and patience
regarding my profession which demands long hours of
work and work during weekends.
Q: During your leisure, what do you do?
I read a lot, keep myself updated on current news
local and international.
I contributed a lot to the hotel by winning the
general knowledge contest of McLarens group a couple
of times. I have been a member of the steering
committee of the Chefs Guild of Lanka since 2002. I
function as the Central Province Regional President
and organised a pastry training programme in Kandy
with Anchor foods and a successful ice carving
competition jointly with Jetwing St. Andrews Hotels
I would like to thank Chefs Gerard Mendis and
Haleesha Weerasinghe, Chairman and President of the
Chef Guild of Lanka for appointing me as the
RUM FLAVORED ORANGE ‘SMETANA’ (SOUR CREAM SOUFFLE)
• 50g Dairy cream
• 50ml Fresh Milk
• 25g sugar
• 2 egg yolks
• 5g Gelatine
• 10ml Water
• 20ml Fresh Orange Juice
• 10ml Rum
• Boil the cream milk and sugar mixed and leave a
• Add egg yolk and cook until mixture becomes thick
and creamy take off the heat.
• Dissolve Gelatin in 10ml water and add into main
• Add orange juice and rum.
• Pour in to a mould and set in the refrigerator.
• When set demould and garnish with a little bit of
orange juice and serve.