Monday, April 27, 2015

I love to cook!

I have always loved to cook! Probably because I love food, which explains why I am also trying to be more consistent with an exercise routine and eating healthier food. The problem though is I REALLY love to try new foods and will almost anything once. The adventurous side of my food affair has only developed as I have gotten older but I have always enjoyed cooking and trying out new recipes. If I had my choice, I would never eat the same thing twice (well except chips and salsa!).

Lately, since I have really started falling in love with Sri Lanka, I have been on a journey to learn how to cook Sri Lankan food. It has been great fun, and I have enjoyed learning about my new friend's favorite foods and trying to make them. I have attempted many new recipes, been successful at a few, and exposed my family and friends here in the US to lots of new dishes.

My favorite things I have tried have been Milk Rice (kiri bath) and a pumpkin curry I made at Thanksgiving. I have made several different kinds of curry and some short eats or appetizer type things as well. I also attempted string hoppers and a milk gravy (kiri hodi). With each attempt I feel that I am gaining a better grasp of how to prepare the food. AND I have started to want to eat curry more and more! I also have gotten more comfortable with the idea of savory food for breakfast! My Sri Lankan friends eat curry for breakfast too, a very foreign idea to us Americans.

So recently (April 14th) was Sinhala and Tamil New Year, and there are so many fun and festive foods they make for New Year and I wanted to give it a shot. However, none of the recipes seemed very easy.... I did try a cashew toffee sort of praline thing. And while I don't think it looked much like the pictures I have seen, almost everyone who tried it said it tasted amazing and several people asked for the recipe. So, while it may not have looked exactly like it should have it did taste pretty good!

This made me want to start writing about my food adventures. Trying new foods and making new foods, I just thought it would be nice to have a record of some of those experiences. So my plan is to try one new recipe each week!

This week I am going to try to make Kokis. It is a special treat made particularly around Sinhala and Tamil New Year. For my American friends, Kokis is like a very thin crunchy funnel cake. I ordered the mold needed to make it and have everything else needed so I thought it would be fun and one of the easier things to try! So here goes.

2 to up to 2 1/2 cups rice flour (can be found at Indian Stores usually)
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
1 egg
salt to taste
oil (will be used for frying the kokis) I used coconut oil.

First step is to mix the batter. Mix the rice flour, coconut milk, water, and egg in a bowl. If you have fresh coconut milk, even better, but I used can coconut milk.

The second step is to heat your oil on the stove. Once the oil is heated then dip the mold (I couldn't find a traditional kokis mold but I did find a Norwegian cookie mold on Amazon that was similar in shape and also came with the fun butterfly shape you see below. It was made by Norpro.)

Once the oil is heated and you have dipped the mold in the oil for about 30 seconds to heat the mold, let the excess oil drip off and dip the mold into the batter. DO NOT cover the top of the mold with the batter or the kokis will not remove. Once you have dipped the mold in the batter then place it back in the hot oil, hold it there for a couple seconds then gently shake the mold to release the kokis from the mold.

It will then float in the oil and start to turn light brown. Flip the kokis over and allow to cook a few more seconds until it has turned a light brown color all around. Once it is cooked, remove it from the oil and allow to cool. My kids thought they were awesome drizzled with honey and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. Definitely like a crispy funnel cake. I would have sprinkled powdered sugar on them if I had some in the pantry.

The one recipe of batter made this many kokis and more... We ate several before I took this picture... They were fun, fairly easy to make, and delicious!

This was the best one I made, AND it was the very first one! Even Makenzie, my 8 year old, had a great time helping make them.

So, until the next food journey...

If anyone tries this (and you haven't before...) let me know how it goes!

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