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Aug 5, 2000 09:45 AM

roasting and baking cookbook suggestions

  • d

i'd like to get a book for my brother who is tired of eating the usual curries, and would like to try his hand at "roasting and baking" which is something we rarely do back home (unless we're baking a cake).

any suggestions for a good cookbook with recipes for roasting and baking chicken, beef etc?

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  1. Dear DW:

    "The usual curries" suggests that "back home" is somewhere in the Near East, where tandoori roasting was born. Thus, Barbara Kafka's ROASTING would be a sensible choice, since most of the recipes require a 500-degree oven--her philosophy of roasting entails using the highest possible heat. The results--at least in my gas oven--have been quite good, especially roast goose, roasted salmon, lamb, and nearly any roastable vegetable. The caramelizations are incomparably delicious. The onions! The recipe for roasted onion soup with cannellini beans ALONE is worth the price of the book.

    Happy roasting!

    7 Replies
    1. re: Tom Steele

      thanks for the suggestion! the book sounds perfect.

      back home is sri lanka, where most of the food was cooked traditionally in clay pots on the stove. lots of curries cooked with pan-roasted curry powder, herbs (curry leaves, lemon grass, pandan leaves), assorted whole spices (cinnamon, cardomoms, cloves, fenugreek, mustard) and coconut milk.

      1. re: dw

        Cool! Our first Sri Lankan! Hope you'll stick around to answer questions

        Hey, there are Sri Lankan threads all over these message boards...if you use the search engine on our home page (I'd use "sri lankan" rather than "sri lanka" as the search term), you'll find quite a lot of interest in your cuisine around here!


        1. re: Jim Leff

          happy to oblige, jim. unfortunately i have not tried the restaurants in new york. the hopper joint sounds great.

          in sri lanka you'll find hopper/stringhopper/godhamba roti/kotthu roti/pittu takeout stands and shops that come to life in the evening and do a rollicking business as busy families get something to take home for dinner.

          the stringhoppers (white if made of rice flour, reddish-brown if made of kurakkan flour)are already packaged in bundles of cellophane and newspaper. stringhoppers are eaten with a coconut milk gravy (simmered with curry leaves, turmeric, onions and fenugreek and a dash of lime at the end), coconut sambol (orange with chilli powder) or roasted coconut sambol, or seeni sambol (a slow-cooked sweet onion and dried fish relish) as well as the requisite curries.

          the hoppers and egghoppers are made fresh as they need to be eaten while still warm. traditionally plain hoppers/egghoppers are eaten with a spicy fried onion sambol or with a fresh onion/dried chillies/dried fish relish (lunu miris).

          the godhamba roti is eaten whole with curries or stuffed with vegetables or cut up into shreds (as you watch) mixed with an egg, mixed vegetables, meat, curried sauce and packaged up. it's like fried rice but with shredded roti instead of rice and much spicier.

          pittu is rice flour and grated fresh coconut steamed in to a cylinder. you moisten your pittu with fresh coconut milk and eat it with lunu-miris (onion/dried chilli/maldive(dried)fish flakes)and curries.

          sorry to hear that the ny places serve bland food, probably mistakenly thinking they're catering to local tastes :(

          1. re: dw
            Irene Balasch, Germany

            Please, I need help. I want to cook egghoppers, if I was stayed in Sri Lanka I buy a pan. But I have no idea how to do that. Greeting Irene

              1. re: Irene Balasch, Germany

                sorry, i just noticed your question several years later. hope you see this.

                you could try a chinese wok if you don't have any small south asian "woks" available where you live...and see if this works.

                the link takes you to a recipe from the "lanka oberoi" hotel in colombo, sri lanka. i've also cut and paste it below:

                Ingredients: (makes 20 hoppers)

                3 cups (500g) rice flour
                1/4 cup (60ml) kitul palm toddy [1/3 oz or 10g fresh yeast or 1 teaspoon dried yeast may be substituted]
                2 teaspoons sugar
                3/4 cup (200ml) thin coconut milk
                Salt to taste
                2 cups (500ml) thick coconut milk

                Combine the rice flour, toddy (or yeast), sugar and thin coconut milk in a mixing bowl.
                Stir to form a thick batter.
                Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to stand overnight, or 6 to 8 hours, by which time the batter should have doubled in volume.
                When the batter has risen, soften it by working in the salt and thick coconut milk to form a thinner batter.
                Heat a greased hopper pan over low heat.
                Pour a large spoonful of batter into the pan and, and pick up the pan by both handles and swirl the pan so the batter rides up the sides almost to the rim.
                Replace the pan over the heat, cover with any saucepan lid, and cook until the surface of the hopper is almost firm and the sides are crispy and brown, about 5 minutes.
                Remove the hopper with a metal spatula and serve hot.
                Grease pan again and repeat with remaining batter.