‘Fast Food’

In response to requests from our readers for some quick fix recipes, so that they can finish their cooking soon, and get on with other chores that also need to be done, we offer you this week, a mix of such dishes. They can be served for meals at different times of the day. We have also taken into account that the recipes are just as tasty as meals that take longer time to cook. The dishes we give you are nutritious as well, no matter how short a time it takes you to cook it.
Vegetable dishes
Ala Badun – 15 min.
450 grm. onions
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp paprika powder
100 ml soya or corn oil
A sprig of curry leaves
½ tsp ground mustard seeds
1 cm cinnamon stick
1 tsp lime juice
Boil the potatoes after washing them well. Peel and cut into bit-size pieces. Slice the onions finely. Place the potato in a bowl and add the salt, turmeric, chilli powder and paprika powder. Heat the oil and when hot, add the curry leaves followed by the sliced onions, mustard and cinnamon stick. Fry until the onions are a golden brown. Then add the potato and keep tossing with the onions and other mixture until browned and heated through. Sprinkle with lime juice before serving. You can add some fried sprats or fried prawns, or even ground maldive fish and a sprinkle of green peas to give it an extra flavour and appearance if you are serving it for a festive meal.

Leeks Curry – 10 min.
450 grm. leeks
75 grm. onions sliced fine
2 green chillies
¼ tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
Sprig of curry leaves
175 ml thin coconut milk
100 ml thick coconut milk
½ tsp curry powder
Finely ground maldive fish or fried sprats
Wash the leeks well, removing any dried or dead leaves. Cut the green leaves into 1-cm slices and the stalk into 50-mm slices. Chop onions and chillies and place in a pan. Add the leeks, turmeric, salt, curry leaves and thin coconut milk and bring to the boil. Simmer until the gravy has reduced. Add the thick coconut milk on a gentle fire and bring to boil. Just before serving, sprinkle with ¼ tsp curry powder.

Mushroom Curry – 15 min.
100 grm. mushrooms
2 green peppers
1 medium-sized onion
½ tsp salt
1 tsp curry powder
½ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp chilli powder
50 ml corn or soya oil
Slice the mushrooms, pepper and onions. Place in a bowl, add the salt, curry powder, and mix well. Heat the oil and stir-fry the mushroom mixture for 10 minutes.
If the curry appears too dry, add 75 ml of thick coconut milk just before serving and cook on a low fire for another 2-3 min.

Bean Curry – 10 min.
250 grm. beans
25 grm. small onions
2 green chillies
50 ml corn oil
Sprig curry leaves
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp turmeric powder
75 ml thick coconut milk
Wash and string beans. Cut into desired slices. Chop onions and green chillies finely. Heat the oil in a clay pot or non-stick pan and fry onions and curry leaves for two minutes till fragrant. Add the beans, chillies, chilli powder, cumin and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Then add the coconut milk and let it simmer till the beans are soft.

Pineapple Curry – 10 min.
1 fresh pineapple
25 grm. onion
2 green chillies
50 grm. ghee
Sprig curry leaves
1 stem lemon grass
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp paprika powder
½ tsp powdered mustard seed
½ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp salt
200 ml thick coconut milk
½ tsp fennel
1 medium sized red tomato
Cut the pineapple in half lengthways, scoop out the flesh and cut into cubes. Retain the other half of the pineapple shell. Chop the onions and finely slice the chillies. Heat the ghee and fry the onion together with the curry leaves and lemon grass. Add the chilli powder, paprika powder, mustard, turmeric, salt and pineapple pieces and cook for 2 minutes until the pineapple is soft. Remove from the heat and pour in the coconut milk. Sprinkle with the fennel and allow curry to simmer for a further 5 min. Take off the fire and cool. Serve in hollowed out pineapple shell garnished with sliced chillies and tomatoes.

Brinjal (Egg Plant) Moju
450 grm. brinjals
100 gm. green capsicum chillies
150 grm. red onions
2 cloves garlic
Piece of ginger
250 ml vegetable oil
50 ml vinegar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ground mustard seeds
1 tsp sugar
Wash well and slice the brinjals and green capsicums lengthways. Clean the onions and crush the garlic and ginger together. Heat the oil and when very hot, fry the brinjal slices until golden brown. Then remove from fire and drain well and set aside on a paper towel. In the same oil, lightly fry the green pepper and red onions and when soft, drain and set aside on a paper towel. Pour off most of the oil from the pan and add garlic, ginger, vinegar, salt, turmeric and mustard to the pan and cook for 1 min. Add brinjal slices, green pepper and onions and cook for a further 5 minutes. Just prior to serving, stir in the sugar.

Lotus Root (Nelun Ala) Curry – 15 min.
225 grm. lotus root
2 tomatoes
2 fresh green chillies
25 grm. red onions
Sprig curry leaves
½ tsp salt
250 ml thick coconut milk
¼ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp paprika
50 ml oil
1 tsp curry powder
Wash well and cut the lotus root into small pieces. Slice the tomato after washing it along with the chillies and onions. Place the lotus root in a pan and add the tomato, chilli, curry powder and paprika and cook for 10 min. In a frying pan heat the oil and when sizzling, add the onions and fry till transparent. Pour in the lotus curry, add the curry powder and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Cabbage Red Curry – 10 min.
1 lb cabbage
3 green chillies
Spring of curry leaves
8 oz 1st and 2nd extracts of coconut milk
2 medium onions
2-3 tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
Wash and cut the cabbage into rough pieces taking care to slice the stalks finely. Mix all the ingredients together with the coconut milk and bring to boil. Simmer till well done on a low fire.

Carrot Curry – 10-15 min.
500 grm. carrots
3 green chillies
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
2 dessertspoon vegetable oil
6 oz 1st and 2nd extracts of coconut milk
2 small onions
Sprig of curry leaves
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp sweet cumin
1 tsp salt
Peel, wash and cut the carrots into 1” strips. Chop the onions and green chillies fine. Heat the oil till very hot in a clay pot and add the carrot after mixing well with the other ingredients, except the coconut milk. Spoon the mixture with a wooden spoon for 5-7 minutes and when cooked, add the coconut milk. Bring to boil the milk and gently simmer on low fire till cooked.
(Continued next week)

Tips on Deep Frying

Oil: The success of deep frying depends largely on the oil used. The following points should be observed when selecting oil for deep frying:
1. It should be capable of reaching a very high temperature without burning or smoking.
2. Oil should be heated to the correct temperature according to the type of food to be fried or cooked
3. It should be odourless.
4. Use enough oil to completely cover the food and to a depth above the food of approximately 1”.
5. Only add a few pieces at a time to the pan when frying. Never overcrowd the pan, as it lowers the temperature of the oil.
6. If frozen food is added to the frying pan direct from the freezer, the heat should be raised to a higher degree than the normal temperature required for fried foods, and only a few pieces should be added at a time to prevent a sudden drop in temperature.
Beauty tips from the kitchen

Some of our best and most effective beauty treatments can be found right inside your kitchen. Here are some of them and their benefits:
1. Avocado: Good source of Vitamin E and natural oils, natural moisturiser.
2. Coconut Milk: For smooth skin.
3. Cucumber: For dark circles under eyes and wrinkles, under-eye puffiness.
4. Egg: Skin conditioner, egg white for normal and oily skin, yolks for dry skin
5. Fenugreek seeds (dana methi): For skin scrub, if taken internally purifies blood.
6. Honey: For wrinkles, closing skin pores and loose skin, a natural astringent, natural moisturizer.
7. Milk: For skin nourishment.
8. Nuts: Used in scrubs for wrinkles, skin pores and blackheads.
9. Oatmeal: For smooth skin, improves complexion
10. Olive oil: Good for dry skin.
11. Oranges, Lemons, Pineapple: natural astringents, improves complexion, soften the skin, skin bleach.
12. Tomato: Opening the skin pores.
13. Vinegar: For blemishes, itchy skin, and sunburn, softens skin
14. Yogurt: Softens and hydrates the skin, skin cleanser, skin bleach.
15. Witch Hazel: Body deodarant and also good for eye puffiness

Healthy vegetables

While most vegetables are healthy, some are more nutritious than others. Here are a few examples:

*Beans and peas – Said to be the most nutritious of all vegetables due to their high protein content- Soya bean being the richest.
* Spinnach is particularly good for chronic anaemia as spinach is rich in organic iron.
* Leafy vegetables are well known for their rich source of vitamins. The alkalies found in them purify the blood.
* All green vegetables are good for rheumatism, diabetic acidosia and high blood pressure etc.
* Carrots contain vitamin A. Raw carrots grated and eaten three times a day between meals, has been found to benefit chronic digestive disorders such as gastric ulcers.


‘Elitchi’ a new concept from TNL

Telshan Network Limited (TNL TV), who pioneered the private television industry in the country 17 years ago, has yet again introduced another special live programme, titled ‘Elitchi’ which will be telecast on Tuesdays starting at 9.30 pm.
It will also be repeated on Sundays at 12.30 pm.
It is unique, since the programme will be presented in Tamil as well as in Sinhalese. It’s another unique ‘bi-lingual’ concept to cater to the majority of the viewers islandwide.
“This is the first time I sat at a television discussion panel conducted both in Tamil and Sinhalese and it was so easy to communicate with the masses,” said one of the dignitaries who represented the first programme.
The first programme, was represented by two prominent parliamentarians Praba Ganesan (former national organiser of the Democratic People’s Front) and P Digambaram (leader of National Workers Union).
The inaugural or the first programme was telecast on August 17. This was repeated on Sunday (22).
The response, during and after the programme, was commendable by way of telephone calls, fax messages and emails.
This programme is presented to by Sudath Jayasundera, director/general manager of Telshan Network Ltd. (TNL TV) and N S Dayanandan.
The objective of this special programme is in a nutshell below:
Three decades of ethnic conflict and the ruthless war has gone by and peace has dawned now in the country and in the minds of the people.
The North and the East were the most affected areas in this isle of paradise. But little known by the people of this country is the potential created in those areas by the end of this war.
It has created a very positive impact politically, economically and commercially for all interested parties to make their next investment within these fast developing cities in the North and East.
As a responsible electronic media, TNL aims to expose the potentials in the North and East to all investors, holidaymakers, business opportunities, entrepreneurs and others through a series of in-depth information through a special programme which will be telecast live in Tamil and Sinhalese every Tuesdays with a repeat on Sundays, by an elite panel of politicians, scholars, businessmen, leading civil servants and other important dignitaries etc.


Studio launches thefashioncircle.com

Online designer portal to connect the best in fashion

Web design studio WELOVEIT launched Sri Lanka’s first-ever online designer portal ─ TheFashionCircle at the fashion show Elegance2010 at the Galadari Hotel recently.
The portal offers the facility for registered users to showcase their portfolios online ─ be it collections of designer ware, portfolios of fashion shoots, images of hair shows/competitions, ramp and glamour shoots.
The concept of TheFashionCircle is for fashion professionals to cohesively project their work and capability as Sri Lankans to a global audience. This is done with an easy-to-navigate site structure aesthetics that resonates with vibrancy.

Commenting on the event, WELOVEIT Studio representative Rozanne Jagoda ─ operations manager, said that this portal brings together all fashion professionals - namely fashion designers, hair and makeup artists, models, choreographers and fashion photographers on one platform.
“We have many talented people that are just waiting to be discovered and absorbed into the fashion industry,” she articulated, and went on to say that, “in keeping this in mind, The WELOVEIT Studio is pleased to present an online portal exclusively for our professionals in fashion”.

The Fashion Circle features sub sections that features different facets in the realm of fashion. ‘Top Steels’ features the latest fashion trends, ‘Ask a Designer’ focuses Q & A session with a featured designer per month and ‘Designer Labels’ is a section that is dedicated for fashion designers to showcase their creations.
The portal dedicates a very special page to feature fashion shows and related information. Furthermore includes interviews fashion icons and comes with its own blog titled ‘Inner Circle’ for users to engage and network. It will, in the months to come, integrate the facility for fashion designers to sell their collections online.
Furthermore, the portal www.thefashioncircle.com was launched by WELOVEIT Studio’s Dilakshan Dariju ─ chief design officer and Zsaid Image’s Rozanne Diasz Leanage ─ chief guest at the launching ceremony. The portal will before long, integrate the facility for fashion designers to sell their collections online.
It offers online coverage of fashion-related events and requests for such can be emailed to events@thefashioncircle.com.

TheFashionCircle is a product of The WELOVEIT Studio ─ which specialises in web design, development and content management systems, e-commerce, online marketing, interactive presentations, print design and branding, 3-D modelling and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).


Airline launches ‘future artists’ programme

Emirates invites artists to submit designs for 2011 Skywards’ membership cards

Emirates has launched a competition to find the world’s most exciting budding artists, whose winning artwork will replace the designs of renowned contemporary artists, such as Damien Hirst, on the membership cards of its frequent flyer programme, Skywards. The winners will receive a commission of US$ 5,000, enjoy global exposure and recognition for their work and will be flown to Dubai, where their winning design artwork (and other art in their portfolios) will be displayed at the Art Dubai fair in March 2011.
Art Dubai is the leading contemporary art fair in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, attended by art critics, collectors and gallery owners from around the world.
This new competition will be annual and open to budding artists around the globe, except for the US and Italy.
All styles of art, including sculpture, photography and paintings will be welcome.
The deadline for submitting artwork is August 31, 2010 and the winners will be announced on September 25.
There will be three winning entries, which will be used on the Skywards membership cards, as well as all supporting online and offline communications and promotional material.
Each artist’s name will be displayed beside their winning artwork.
The website for submitting entries is www.ourfutureartists.com.
Rules of entry are on the website.
Winners will be shortlisted by a panel of highly regarded industry professionals and experts and the Skywards members.
The panel of judges will create a shortlist of entries which will then be judged by the Skywards members through a voting process on the website.
Among the judging criteria are creative merit, technical excellence and suitability for end use.
Skywards, the award-winning frequent flyer programme of Emirates, offers three tiers of membership - blue, silver and gold - with each membership tier providing exclusive privileges.
Members earn Skywards Miles when they fly on Emirates or partner airlines, or when they use the programme’s designated hotels, car rentals, financial, leisure and lifestyle partners.
Skywards Miles can be redeemed for an extensive range of rewards, including tickets on Emirates and other Skywards partner airlines, flights upgrades, hotel accommodation, excursions and exclusive shopping.