Sunday, May 8, 2011

Amali's Kokis

Mid-April was Sri Lankan New Year. Yes, we do celebrate it twice a year – once in January (when it seems to be about partying, New Year Resolutions and fireworks) and the second time in April when it’s more about family, tradition and community.
In Sri Lanka, Sinhala New Year events are mapped out for the week, including the time to stop work on the last day of the old year; the time to light the fire to cook the first meal – usually coconut milk rice; when to wear our new clothes in the lucky colour for that year; the time for relatives to visit, with grandparents taking pride of place; when to go back to school/work and the time to visit your favourite neighbourhood shop where you are required to spend big to signal a prosperous year for the shop-keeper if you are his/her first customer.
In Australia (specifically Melbourne), the Sri Lankan community does hold annual New Year Celebrations in Dandenong with traditional New Year games and New Year food. 
Mostly, though, we celebrate the occasion by gathering family around the kitchen table to enjoy many of the traditional sweets and savouries which are now sold ready-made at Sri Lankan spice shops. This year, we bought kavun, but not Kokis, which is a speciality my sister, Amali, has perfected. This is her recipe.

What she used:
* 500g rice flour
* 2x 400ml coconut cream
* Salt and chilli powder to taste
* 2 teaspoons yellow mustard powder
* Handful of grated cheese - she used tasty cheese - approximately 50g according to my father
* Oil for deep frying
* Kokis moulds

What she did:
Kokis moulds
Made a thick batter of the rice flour, salt, chilli powder, mustard powder, cheese and coconut cream. The batter should have a “pancake-like consistency”. If the batter is too thick add more coconut milk. 
*Note: Do not add water.
Heat the Kokis mould in hot oil, then dip the mould in batter, making show that only the sides of the mould is covered, not all the way to the top. 
Then lower the battered mould back into the hot oil. 
The Kokis should loosen away from the mould part-way through, if the batter is right consistency. Fry until crisp, then drain on oil-absorbent paper.

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