🇱🇰 Sri Lanka 🇱🇰 Poson Full Moon Festival

Sri Lanka - Poson Full Moon Festival

A little history of the Buddhist Holiday Poson Poya.  Poya means full moon, and in Sri Lanka there is a celebration for each Poya day. Poson Poya celebrates when Buddhism was brought to Sri Lanka, over 2000 years ago during the 3rd century BC.  Meat and alcohol is forbidden on Poya days, so we got it half right!

Oh Sri Lanka and your tasty tasty foods.  When I started pinning for this week I really couldn’t choose. It was like going to a restaurant with a huge menu that everything looks good on.  So I decided to make 4 things! Which was me holding back, I have a list of 10 that I was totally capable of pulling off.  I’m pretty stoked that Sri Lanka has a Poya every month, we are most definitely going to celebrate full moons with them again!!!

..The Plate..

Yummy flavors all around.  Starting at 12 we’ve got Dhal Mallum, a Spicy yellow dhal topped with fried onions. Pol Sambol, coconut and chili powder over rice.  Jackfruit Biryani, a traditional rice dish with jackfruit in leui of chicken.  On top of that is the Eggplant (Brinjal) Curry. At 7 is Mushroom Curry Stir Fry.  Cashew Curry. Kukul Mas Curry (Chicken Curry made with Seitan), and under that is Devilled Tofu.

..Cashew Curry..

This isn’t the prettiest thing I’ve ever made, but it sure was tasty.  When I was looking through things to make this one really stood out in uniqueness.  I’ve never had a dish where the nut was the main ingredient like this.  Brian said it reminded him of boiled peanuts.

Side note: Sri Lankan Spiced Boiled Peanuts would be a fun experiment!

A very simple curry made with cashews, peas, and coconut milk. The recipe said the flavors became better the next day, which is great for me, I love to make stuff the day before so I’m not scrambling as my guests arrive. I pretty much followed this recipe from The Flavor Bender.  I also made my own Sri Lankan curry powder to make a more authentic flavor.

I used coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, a cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, whole cloves, cayenne pepper, and curry leaves and ground them in my mortar and pestle into a fine powder.  Quite the workout! Can you believe I just had all these seeds in my spice rack?  I really have a lot of spices!!!

..Devilled Tofu..

Yes, that’s the way it is spelled.  I am an awful speller, especially when I’ve got a sharpie in hand, but that’s just the way it’s spelled.  This was awesome.  I noticed there was a lot of “Devilled” dishes when I was perusing the old Pin boards. Chicken, Tuna, Beef, Pork, Fish Balls, Tofu.  I debated whether or not to make my fish balls again for this recipe, which would of been great, but since the flavors were so similar to Indonesia, including the sambal chili paste, I decided to do tofu for a little something different. This was a good one!  I made it in my electric wok, which I just got from my mother-in-law last week.  It was my first time using it, and I have to say I could use a little more practice.  It got hot real quick, and boy did the oil splatter.  Just finished the leftovers of this an it’s a total keeper.  I’m going to try it again without oil and see how it turns out.  The veggies in here are perfecto!!! This one I made a recipe for.  Click here for it or check me out at the bottom of the page. 

..Eggplant Curry..

I saw an image for this stuff and really wanted it.  Just craving eggplant.  I had all the ingredients on hand, except for the eggplant, so I went for it.  It was good.  Compared to my other dishes is wasn’t my favorite, but it was tasty on it’s own.  I followed this recipe from Holy Cow. Hers is way prettier than mine…

I followed it closely except I forgot the cilantro at the end. I even had it lying out so I wouldn’t forget, and wrote a note, but I still forgot.

..Jackfruit Biryani..

As I was telling my group of contributors about all the dishes I wanted to make I got a little push back.  Some of them were saying we had a lot of curries already, and could use a Biryani.  I agree’d, we needed a biryani, but I didn’t want to drop any of my dishes.  In my head I’d already dropped like 5, so I couldn’t spare another off the list.  So I just added this sucker to my menu.  Sooooooo glad I did!  This made enough to cater a wedding, which is great, because I just can’t get enough!  I used this recipe from LeSauce and made only a few modifications due to not finding “screw pine leaves.”  I actually forgot to ask when I went to the Indian market, I wonder if they had them.  I made the jackfruit portion of this dish the day before, but made the rice part right before our guests arrived. 

😜 Look at this teeny portion Angela gave herself!  I can count the grains of rice!  😜

..Mushroom Stir Fry..

Ann came back from a short hiatus and blessed us with this yummy stir fry!  

“So this was another simple, quick, cheap, and easy one. I pretty much stuck to the ingredients but added way more mushrooms. What kind doesn’t seem to make a difference.

I added way more than a teaspoon of the curry powder, ginger, and garlic to add flavor but it still needed something else, in my opinion. It also asked to cook the onions first, which was fine, but it was hard to brown them and not burn them, letting them be the first to cook.

Overall, this wasn’t one of my favorite dishes, which is a bit disappointing since everyone else had such flavorful dishes and had a great time with the Sri Lankan theme. But I’m sure several things could be added to it to make more enjoyable.” 

Here is a link to the dish.

..Kukuk Mas Curry..

Angela my seitan queen.  The gravy in this stuff was killer! She warned me that the seitan may have been a little under cooked, but I actually really liked it.  Maybe it was just cooked perfect and previously we’ve been overcookin? It looked so chicken like. This one wasn’t overly spicy, my son ate it with no complaint.  Another keeper here, waiting on details to update.  Here is the link to her inspiration recipe. Food.com

..Dhal Mallum..

Danielle made us this awesome yellow dhal.  Apparently she made a test batch a few days before with a super hot spice she had just purchased, and thought to make this one with the milder of the spices.  Well, the labels are wrong or the chili on the milder spice was more pungent bc this stuff was H.O.T. No complaints here!  One of my favs of the night.  Great flavors.  Waiting on her to send me some info so I can bless everyone with the deets.

..Pol Sambol..

Abby came sans child and husband so she could show off her amazing sambol! Everything was wonderful and super tasty tonight, but this was the only thing I took a second sample of.  Very unique flavor!  I’m a fan of coconut and sweet stuff, and this one hit my sweet tooth just right.

“I researched this recipe and couldn’t even find two that were close, so I improvised my own based on common ingredients of most and the supplies I had on hand. Most versions recommended making a paste of the ingredients using a mortar and pestle, but I used a small hand-powered chopper for that part. It is also frequently made with Maldives fish, but I wasn’t sure how to find a vegan substitute, so I left it out. Many recipes I found said that part was optional, anyway.”

Find her recipe here

..Masala Chai..

Danielle also made this Masala Chai Tea.  This is lovely. Super sweet like a dessert.  I only had a small serving bc I am caffeine free, but if I wasn’t I could have downed the whole pitcher!

Well, that’s probably it for a few weeks. My family goes on an annual vacation to the North Georgia Mountains, and then I am scampering off to New Jersey for a week afterwards. Three week dinner party hiatus. I’ll miss it!  I’m sure I’ll pine for the missed holidays!

Sri Lankan Devilled Tofu

Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: South Asian
Author: Yochi
  • 2 tbsp ginger and garlic paste (or 3 clv fresh minced and 1 inch grated)
  • 1 onion, chopped into large chunks
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped small
  • 1 jalapenos, sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tsp vegan fish sauce (omit if unavailable)
  • 2 tsp sambal chili
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped large
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped large
  • 10 fresh curry leaves,
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 16 oz super dense high protin tofu, (or extra firm pressed), cubed
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 4 tsp sambal chili
  1. Cube tofu and mix with marinade.  Let sit for about 30 minutes. 

  2. Heat some oil in a heavy bottom skillet (will try without oil soon and update if it's tasty). Fry tofu until brown on all sides and remove. 

  3. Add ginger and garlic paste, (or fresh) and stir for 30 seconds. 2 minutes if using fresh. 

  4. Add chopped onions and cook for 2 minutes.

  5. Add tomatoes and cook until reduced.

  6. Next add jalapenos, soy sauce, sweet chili, ketchup, fish sauce, sambal, salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes. 

  7. Add fried tofu, bell peppers, and curry leaves.  Cook for a few minutes until the peppers are crisp tender. Do not over cook. 

  8. Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired. 

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