Happy 2016 to all my readers! I know it is late as January already draws to a close, but we do say “better late than never “. I have been quite a lazy writer this month, and this is my first post for the month as well as 2016. I promise to do better from next month onwards!!
Milk Rice or Kiribath as it is called in Sri Lanka , is made for all celebratory ,or what we call auspicious , occasions without fail , and in many houses it is the first meal cooked on the first day of January. This tradition is kept by many of us expats, and it is believed that the tradition brings Good Luck all around the year.
Although the origins of the Kiribath is not clear , it has been around for a long time as it is mentioned that Sujata offered milk rice to Gautama Buddha whilst he was meditating under a Banyan Tree , just before attaining Enlightment.
In Sri Lanka Kiribath is a dish held in high esteem by all communities alike and regardless of being rich or poor , it is made in all houses at every auspicious time and it something that all of us look forward to eating.
The recipe or process of making Kiribath is rather simple and requires few basic ingredients of rice, milk (Coconut milk or normal everyday use milk) and a pinch of salt. It can be made on the stove top using a pot or even using a rice cooker.
I will share with you a video done by the Bestie on how to make Kiribath on the stovetop. When I made mine, I used coconut milk instead of normal milk, as I prefer the rich and more traditional flavours. In Sri Lanka we make a lunumiris (a mixture of red onions and spices) to accompany the Kiribath, but it is such a versatile dish that can be accompanied by curries, or if you have a sweet tooth, with Jaggery or even with a banana. I had mine with some quick microwave made chilli paste.
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When I started this blog, I did write on the “About Me “page, that I like to read food blogs. And sometimes I actually do cook food that catch my fancy off those food blogs.
One such blog that I have continuously been reading for the last couple of years is Budget Bytes. I have tried out a number of her recipes, before I started writing, and they all turned out perfect.
So it was where I ended up last night, whilst looking for an easy one pot recipe that had Spinach on it. Why Spinach? Only because lately I have been neglecting my greens and had some frozen Spinach in the freezer. The recipe also called for chickpea and fetta, two of my favourite ingredients.
The only change I made was to season my dish with cracked pepper before I ate, because these days I have a craving for a peppery taste.
A spinach and chickpea rice pilaf
I am not a very poetic person , but the other day I snapped a photo of some flowers , and it inspired me to come up with this verse below.
You started growing
In my heart a time ago
Like a wildflower
Untamed , no control
All over my psyche
Consuming my soul
Nothing can keep you away
You creep over my heart
Gripping in your tendrils
Holding on so tight
Never let me go
Every once in a while , my tastebuds make a straight run for home , to an island cuisine filled with aromatic spices , lots of chillies , coconut , and various types of curries. So for most of the week gone by I was craving a typical Sri Lankan curry , and decided to make canned mackerel curry for dinner tonight. I had picked up a packet of frozen parathas at the shops on Saturday , so it would be a curry and paratha meal. Since I have a bad memory for recipes , I referred to a video done by the Bestie on how to make canned mackerel curry , quick and easy .
As you can see , my efforts worked out quite well , and the tastebuds are now satisfied, at least until the next time they get a curry craving .
The jolly season is here in full force . I have been in Perth for eight years now , and so far Christmas has been rather quiet in terms of things like decorations . By quiet I mean in comparison to places like Singapore ( Orchard Street ) or even Colombo , where the buildings get strung up with lights , and you find some sort of decoration nearly every corner you turn. Which is why I was pleasantly ( understatement of the century there , I will go with ” jaw dropping “) surprised when I got into a Transperth Bus on Thursday evening , to go home , and nearly got smacked in the face with all sorts of tinsel , bright shiny Christmas décor . Had the bus driver been dressed as Santa , then that would have totally completed the look.
I put these up on Facebook , and the Bestie summed it up in one gorgeous , smart aleck description . And I quote below :
– ” It’s like Christmas threw up in a bus ” –
So the other day the Bestie tells me she woke up with a few lines of a poem running through her head and I kept on asking her to complete it but she just would not. Only problem was that she told me the lines and they kept reverberating inside my head , so much so that I had to get it out. Below is the completed effort , with Bestie approval.
I need to get some sleep,I swear I’ve been trying to, but you took a 1000 steps to my heart
You knocked on the door to my life
Now i am trying to reason
Are you just a dream
The things you say
The things you do
Are you from a wonderland
Shall i put on my magic red shoes
And do a nonstop dance
Pretty please , tell me now
Before I wander down
The yellow brick road
Are you just a dream. ..
From : your modern day Alice
Summer seems to be here for Perth already , although we are officially still in Spring .Since today was a balmy temperature of around 28C , I decided to walk through the city square to catch my train home , and found myself in the middle of a city bustling with people and food stalls which were filling the air with mouth-watering aromas. In other words, Perth City’s Twilight Hawkers Markets have arrived, to keep our Friday evenings well occupied. The markets starts at 4:30 pm, ending at 9:30 pm, and run over the periods of 16th October 2015 until 29th April 2016, on Fridays. There were so many stalls selling food from cuisines ranging from Mexican , Asian favourites such as Indian , Singaporean , to those with vegetarian , gluten free and halal options. By the time I got there at around 6:30 pm, the markets were in full swing, and there were long queues in front of the stalls. Although my sensory perceptions were in overload, I did not venture to brave the crowds in the queues, as I had already had dinner before I left work, and boy, was I regretting that decision fully. But as the markets will be running until April, there will be many other Fridays. (Note to self: come early to avoid the crowds and lines)
On a side note, I also got extremely distracted by a street artist, who was painting some beautiful canvasses, and I must have spent about half an hour just watching her create beauty.
I am looking forward to my Fridays more than ever now!
Having stuffed myself with a lot of carbohydrates, inclusive of that very yummy comfort food mac & cheese, during the last couple of weeks, I was starting to feel like a blimp. So I decided to sacrifice my Hell’s Kitchen viewing times, and go for a walk in my neighbourhood. It has been almost a year since I moved into this area, but I have not been out walking to explore it much. My old neighbourhood was closer to the city and was alive with a café strip, down which I would take a walk every Saturday. But recently I admit, I have been a lazy girl.
What I discovered on this walk was actually spring in full bloom, because every garden I passed was literally filled with flowers. They were all out in full force, roses, sunflowers, lilies, and many more that I did not know the names of. It was truly a day to admire the beauty of nature.
As I started my walk with only half hour to sunset, I could not explore the nearby river and surrounding woodlands, which I promised to myself to do on another day. But I did realise that I live in a culturally endowed neighbourhood, as on my return home, I could smell various different cuisines in the air, as many households were starting to cook dinner. There was smells of Indian spices, rice, and barbecue. All of which sensory overload led me into my own next comfort food adventure , which you can read about in my next post , soon to come up.
In the meantime, I leave you with some flowers of spring.
The second place I visited on my Open House Perth weekend was the St. George’s Cathedral situated right in the heart of Perth City, on St. George Terrace. To be honest , it is one place that I always pass by when travelling in and out of the city , even catching the bus home from the stop right on the doorsteps of the Church . But I had never been inside to have a look until this weekend.
Being one of the few cathedrals to have been constructed of handmade bricks, the Gothic architectural look of the building is very impressive, and even though it is situated right next to modern bustling city thoroughfare, once you enter the building, you are immediately transported in time into a peaceful and calming atmosphere.
Inside the Cathedral itself are beautiful stained glass windows, icons, and memorials to WA’s pioneering leaders.
St. George’s Cathedral is steeped in history, and was restored to its heritage conditions during a restoration project carried out within the last few years.
When I heard that the Singaporean Luxury Hotel Brand “ Como “ was set to make its entry into Australia by opening their first hotel in Perth at the Heritage listed Treasury Buildings , which were being renovated at that time , I could not wait to get a glimpse . And Open House Perth certainly provided the opportunity during last weekend, after the Hotel opened at end of October this year. All though only certain areas were accessible for the Open House visitors, from what I could see the 48 room hotel will certainly be beyond expectations in terms of décor and luxuriousness. Designed by architect Kerry Hill , the property has understated elegance , and dare I say so , a hint of old world charm , which gives it an aura which is totally compatible with the heritage inherited with the building itself.
I spent some time in the bar, and it is an idyllic setting to relax and catch up with a friend or two after an afternoon of shopping in the city. The service was impeccable and the hot chocolate was to die for.