Dinner at the in-laws! And String Hoppers!

30 October 2005
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And we went to Fahim’s parents’ place again last night. Since Fahim’s brother requested that their mom make the string hoppers rather than buy them (hers are better, apparently), Fahim took the opportunity to volunteer me to help his mother.

So I did. [Big Grin] Red rice flour, salt, and boiling water to make sure it sponges up and mixes to the proper consistency are the sole ingredients. When it’s done mixing, it’s inserted into this device – two parter – that has holes in it. The other part is for pushing the dough through the holes.

Which I did. Onto a basket-type thing which is then put inside a steamer so the string hoppers can be steamed for about 10 or 15 minutes, maybe longer (didn’t have my watch on).

And Fahim’s mom also made some Green Chili Sambol. Take equal parts green chilis and onions and roll under a smashing rock. Nope, not technical names. [Big Grin] It’s a round rolling pin like rock overtop a flat rock, and their supposed to have crevices to tear stuff up with better. This one has been in the family longer than Fahim has, so it’s starting to wear smooth, which is not a good thing.

Fahim’s mom rolled that rock back and forth and back and forth until it was a pale green paste.

The Green Chili Sambol was then added by the user into the porridge, which is sorta soupy but thicker. It has coconut milk (made fresh from coconuts Fahim’s mom grated herself minutes before making the porridge), rice, chicken, and seasonings. It’s savory and tasted good, and the Green Chili Sambol adds a lot to it.

His mom then made pineapple curry, which is about 1.5 cups of cubed fresh pineapple, 1 cup of coconut milk, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric, which is then boiled until there’s not much liquid left (a half hour or so), then 2 tablespoons of sugar are added, and it’s cooked for about another five or ten minutes. It was actually very good.

She also cooked up fish, beef, and beef brains. No, cows are not tested for mad cow here, and no one much cares, and yes, they eat brains anyway. Brains are a favorite dish here, or at least it is in Fahim’s family.

I tried a small bit of brain, and it’s definitely better than the brains Fahim made when I first arrived, but I still have a hard time with the concept of eating brain, never mind the tapioca-like texture. Eh. All the more for Fahim and his brother, who fought over what was left.

But I think I should clarify on a few points.

This is Ramadan, the month of fasting for Muslims, which takes place during the 9th lunar month. They break fast at around 6:20 (time varies depending on time of year and latitude), and for breaking fast, they traditionally use dates and water, although we also had King coconut juice. Shortly after that, we eat the porridge, and the rest of the meal is eaten at their usual dinner time, which for most Sri Lankans is around 8:30 or 9pm.

And somewhere in there, I was given lessons on the finer points of wearing saris.

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About LMAshton

Howdy and welcome to my site! I'm Laurie and I'll be your, er, hostess today. :)

I'm a Canadian expat currently living in Singapore. I'm married to a Sri Lankan and lived in Sri Lanka for nearly a decade. We also lived in New Zealand for half a year.

I cook Sri Lankan curries, sambols, and mallungs. I bake bread using wild yeast (sourdough that isn't sour). I bake on the stove. I experiment with Indian / Malaysian / Indonesian / Thai / whatever cuisines interest me. And I experiment wildly.

Life is an adventure. Join me! :)

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