Mallika Joseph's cookbook feast for the eyes:
A diverse palette for different palates
Being food frenzy or not is not a matter of concern at this point.
But it definitely gives one food for thought as you would soon discover
that your eyes are savouring the sumptuous dish decorating the cover.
And turning over of each page opens the door to a novel cooking
adventure and simply glancing at the list of recipes would no doubt whet
Culinary Expert Mallika Joseph has cooked up her ideas which were
tried and tested over many decades in the her book Cooking like Mum
which saw its second edition released at the Vijitha Yapa Bookshop last
Saturday. Cooking and the culinary art both sound similar but taste
different, Mallika Joseph clarifies. Once it is in your hands you would
realize that cooking is an artful engagement with food that onehas to
take pleasure and pride in before it's gorged away in no time!
Cooking is not only mixing through a variety of spices and boiling it
to soften the ingredients. There is a galore of tricks and tips to be
stirred up in your gravy which gives out the mouth watering aroma and
tantalizing taste not to mention the nutritional value of the food, she
The book takes you through a delightful experience over continents
and regions known for their own culinary accomplishments. Sri Lankan,
Indian, Chinese, Italian or anything that you wish for is included in
the book. The recipes are well thought out and tried and tested. So even
a beginner can now pick up pots and pans to take the plunge to a new
vista of taste and flavour, Joseph said.
It took more than eight months to compile the 400 recipes presented
in the book as it was a meticulous and a tedious task. Every recipe
should be tried and tested to gain the best taste, colour and outlook.
None of the recipes included in the book is copied from any other book,
the culinary artiste said.
Another important figure in the process of launching this tasteful
experience in the form of a book is food stylist Kumuduni Dias. Food
editing and food styling make the food or dish more appealing and
appetizing, she said. It is very important in improving the taste and
flavour of the food that you cook. Garnishing, decorating and presenting
the dish that you prepared painstakingly should please theeyes of the
guest before its irresistible aroma sends the tummies rumbling. This is
what the Japanese call 'eating with eyes'-and food styling does it all!
Having studied the art of culinary under Mallika Joseph and later
reached the professional stage, Dias now serves as a lecturer on bakery
products at a multinational bakery product company. Foodstyling and
editing varies on the cuisine and it has to improve the authentic taste,
flavour and the outlook of the food, she elaborates.
"When compiling recipes the chef has to experiment with different
measurements, equipment, and even the temperatures to acquire the best
result. Colouring and flavouring are other very important 'taste
factors' in food editing," she added.
Art of cooking
'Taking everything with a pinch of salt' is not an acceptable theory
in the rightful art of cooking, she says. "The overuse of colour, spices
and flavours to improve the taste of a dish is a myth. It only destroys
the original taste and the nutrients of the food and it is harmful to
health too," she explained.
Dias. Pictures by Sudath Nishantha
Climate is another factor associated with food. Tropical foods do not
agree with the cold climate and vice versa. However, it is no bar to
explore delights foreign to us as there is always room toadjust it the
way you like.
"This is known as fusion cooking which is immensely popular the world
over," she said. In experimenting this way of cooking one can use the
ingredients that are not part of home cuisine but you finally have to
name it differently. "In fusion cookery you have the liberty to change
theingredients to add a new and delightful experience but it won't take
the name of the original recipe," she added. Chinese food available in
Sri Lanka is a good example for fusion cooking, she said.
Following the guidelines in order and using the correct equipment are
the key to master the art, Dias explains.
Cooking is a science
"Cooking is a science. The correct measurement, ingredients and
equipment and the temperature set everything right. Chinese and Thai
cuisine widely use the wok because it regulates the right temperature
required for those dishes.
Likewise, Sri Lankan cuisine is best prepared in clay pots because it
is capable of retaining the taste and nutritional value of the food.
Similarly the equipment used in the authentic traditional Sri Lankan
cooking like the winnowing fan, grinding stone and mortar and the pestle
can present a holistic Sri Lankan cooking experience," Dias said.
Daily News article lights up way for student
Education Minister Susil Premjayantha
handing over the laptop to Goshini Marambage.
Telecommunications Division Manager of Bartleet Electronics
Limited Shalitha Dissanayaka, Information Technology Unit,
Director of the Education Ministry Neil Gunadasa and
Goshini’s Computer Instructor Janaka Seneviratne were also
present. Picture by Hindogama Group Correspondent
'Ghoshini wins hearts with amazing new software', the article
published in the Daily News Woman on February 19, 2006 has become a
ladder for Goshini Dilhani Marambage to reach her dream.
The talented girl hailing from a Samurdhi family in the North Central
Province won the first place at the All Island Competition conducted by
the Microsoft Corporation last year, by developing a software program to
view the functioning of the heart.
Despite all her success she never had a PC of her own and the article
highlighted her plight and soon after it was published the response was
overwhelming. Having confirmed the information and achievements of
Goshini with the Education Ministry, Telecommunications Division Manager
of Bartleet Electronics Limited Shalitha Dissanayaka decided to present
a laptop worth of Rs.150,000 to the talented student to develop her
skills. At a ceremony to introduce the Interactive White Board Program
at the Royal College, Colombo, Education Minister Susil Premjayantha
handed over the laptop to Goshini..
"It's a dream come true. My parents can not afford a computer. I
always wanted one as I know I can improve my skills and knowledge
through that. I am grateful to Mr. Dissanayaka and the Daily News paper
which brought this matter to the public eye,"Gohini said.
Following the article, a Sri Lankan expatriate in Florida, USA,
Hamilton Jayasekara has come forward to assist Gohini in her efforts.
Fight the sunburn
The warm sun rays are quite unavoidable these days. Even under the
shade of umbrella and with a generous layer of sun screen lotion on your
skin help only little but there are simple remedies for mild sunburn.
Home remedies that may provide relief from a mild sunburn.
Brief baths, showers, and towel compresses can help to keep the
sunburn cool and hydrated. The temperature of the water should be cool
to lukewarm. Water that is too hot can strip the natural oils of the
skin.For a mild sunburn, try taking a cool bath or shower. Or place wet,
cool towels on the affected areas for 10 to 15 minutes, several times a
2) Aloe vera gel
Aloe gel is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects and is used
topically to soothe burned skin and to help heal wounds. Pure aloe gel
can be found in your home garden. The fresher the gel, the more
effective it is believed to be. Cut off a spear, split it open, and rub
the clear gel from the inside of the leaf on the sunburn. Avoid the
sticky yellow latex.
Aloe gel should not be used for severe burns or wounds.
Aloe Vera cream can be applied to skin 20 minutes before, immediately
after or before and after UV exposure.
3) Topical vinegar
Plain white vinegar is a popular sunburn remedy. Although there is no
evidence behind this folk remedy, many people who try it say it helps to
relieve pain when applied to the skin. Vinegar can be applied as a
compress. Soak clean towels in a half water, half vinegar solution.
Wring the towels and apply on the affected areas, avoiding contact
with broken skin and the eye area. Another option is to fill a clean
spray bottle with the half vinegar, half water solution and spritz it
4) Stay hydrated
It is important to drink plenty of fluids, because we lose more water
when we're out in the heat and the sun. Dehydration can cause headaches
To keep ants out of the house, find where the ants are entering the
house and sprinkle a "barrier" of cinnamon or any type of ground pepper
to block their way. The spices are too hot for the ants to cross.
Cucumber peels have the same effect.
Freshen a garbage disposal:
Sprinkle baking soda in it along with a few drops dish-washing
liquid. Scrub with a brush (a new toilet brush works great), getting
under the rubber gasket and all around the inside. Then, turn on water
and let the disposal run to flush thoroughly. For a fresh citrus scent,
throw in a few cut up lemons or limes and run them through, too, using
lots of water.
Place an opened box of baking soda OR an open container of activated
charcoal behind the toilet to absorb bathroom odors
To keep your chimney clean, throw a handful of salt on the fire.
Grind up a cup or so of rice in a coffee grinder to clean the grinder
and sharpen its blades.
Fish or spoiled food odour:
Place a bowl of white vinegar on the counter for a few hours. The
odor will disappear for good.
To prevent the wax from melting and sticking to the inside of a
votive candle holder, pour a bit of water in the holder, then place the
candle on top. If you're reading this tip too late, and there's already
wax stuck inside your candle holder, pop it in the freezer for an hour.
The wax will chip right off.
To remove wax from carpeting or other fabric, first scrape away any
excess. Then, place a brown paper bag over the wax and run a warm iron
over the bag. The wax will melt right into the bag! Continue moving the
bag around as you pick up the wax so you are always using a clean
section. If a little grease stain remains on carpet, sprinkle with
baking soda and allow to sit overnight before vacuuming, which will
remove the grease residue. If colored wax leaves a stain on carpet, blot
with spot remover or carpet cleaner, following label directions
Freshen laundry basket:
Place a fabric softener sheet in the bottom of your laundry basket
(remember to change it weekly.) You can also simply sprinkle some baking
soda in the bottom of your basket and that will help absorb the odours
Flowers look great!
Have you been put off buying fresh flowers in the past, because you
think that you need lots of skill to arrange flowers successfully?
Here are some great ideas for you, for displaying your flowers in
stylish yet simple ways.
Basic household containers
Even if you haven't got a single vase in the house, you can still
enjoy cut flowers. Wine, beer, and mineral water bottles come in
interesting shapes and colours, and reduce arranging to its basics.
Choose flowers with large heads like gerbera, lilies, orchids or
sunflowers - add one stem per bottle and line them up on your
mantelpiece for instant glamour.
Jugs, teapots, tumblers and even jam jars can all be used for
With smaller containers such as teapots and jam jars, the flowers
look better with the stems cut short, so that the flowerheads "float" on
the rim of the pot.
Choose flowers with full heads like dahlias, carnations and
chrysanthemums. Mass in separate colours for high style, or fill out
with interesting foliages for a rustic, harvest-festival feel.
Glasses and jars can also be put inside more attractive
non-waterproof containers to hold the water for the flowers.
[ Thursday delights]
One-pot chicken pilaf
1 tsp oil
1 small onion , chopped
1 large or 2 small boneless, skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut
2 tsp curry powder and chilie powder
1 mug basmati rice
two-thirds of a mug chicken stock
1 mug frozen mixed vegetables
half a mug leaf spinach
Heat the oil in a frying pan, then fry the onion for five to six
minutes until softened. Add the chicken pieces, fry for a further couple
of minutes just to colour the outside, then stir in curry powder, chilie
and rice. Cook for another minute.
Pour in the chicken stock and throw in any larger bits of vegetable.
Bring to the boil, lower the heat, then cover the pan with a lid. Cook
for 10 minutes, then stir in the remaining vegetable. Scatter over the
spinach, cover, then cook for 10 minutes more until all the stock is
absorbed and the rice is tender.
Give everything a good stir, season to taste, then tuck in.
Chocolate Chip Brownies
1/2 cup butter
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (first amount)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup hot water
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (second amount)
Melt butter and two cups chocolate chips together. In a small bowl
mix flour and baking soda together. Put melted chocolate mixture in a
large bowl. Add sugar and beat for about five minutes until smooth.
With mixer on add vanilla, and gradually add water. Add eggs one at a
time and beat after each addition.
With mixer on low add flour mixture until blended. Fold in remaining
one cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.
Bake at 325 degrees F. for 35 to 45 minutes. Cool. Cut into squares.
Store in refrigerator.