Monthly Archives: August 2014

“MC CURRIE” Brings out the Curry in a Hurry That Is MASALA

 

masala range

Lanka Spice (Pvt) Ltd (LSL), brand owners of the famous culinary delight “Mc Currie” keeping in mind the busy housewife, launched its Masala range at the Pro-Food Exhibition last Friday. Masala is a spice mix and that’s exactly what Mc Currie has done to turn out a mouth-watering, taste bud tantalizing product. The Masala range consists of curries for chicken, Fish, Prawn, Mutton/Beef and Squid (Cuttlefish). They are packed in jars and come only as pre-cooked gravy with no meat or fish in it. With the ever soaring demands of the food industry, both locally and globally, LSL in collaboration with the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research (SISIR) have produced this superior product. The SISIR team worked tirelessly over 6 months, testing and trying out the curries, to finally emerge with a unique concept of serving curries to be cooked at home in a matter of minutes.

The response from visitors to the Pro-Food Exhibition was encouraging and in conclusion it was a resounding success. Each time a demonstration was conducted the visitors would flock to get a glimpse of the preparation being made and taste its flavor. The chicken and fish gravies were the most popular.

As the processed food industry moves forwar Add Mediad and customer demands increase, Mc Currie has been compelled to enhance its product range with new products.
Mc Currie’s journey to turn out the Masala range was not an easy one, as a vast amount of work and patience went into bringing out the best for its customers. The formulated product was then sterilized, canned and sealed and kept for a period of about 1 year for testing for keeping qualities. Deterioration of quality was not noticed.

The Masala’s are unique instant curry concentrates that can be reconstituted in your kitchen. All you need is the rich spicy gravy in the bottle and the recommended quantity of chicken, fish, prawns, mutton/beef or squid (cuttlefish) and you are ready to serve an authentic sumptuous curry at home. It’s easy and less time consuming and fits the bill of a tired housewife, who usually rush home to prepare a meal for her family.

The curry mix is unique as you don’t need to add accompanying ingredients, as all ingredients such as tomatoes, vegetable oil, onions, ginger, garlic, mixed spices, chilli powder, lemongrass, salt and pandan leaves are within the gravy. The taste of these curries is delicious and mouth-watering.

The ready-to-eat food market is growing in leaps and bounds and people look for suitable foods as lifestyles change. In this background, the demand for authentic ready-to-eat-food sold in jars is increasing, which is why Mc Currie has gone on to add the Masala gravies to their domain. Soon, Mc Currie will market these products island-wide through supermarkets, but presently available at Mc Currie Showrooms at Maya Avenue, Colombo 6 and at Makumbura, Pannipitiya.

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SRI LANKAN TEA

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Sri Lankans and Tea are synonymous. All Sri Lankans love that “Kahata” Cuppa. “Kahata” Tea is referred to Plain Tea in Sri Lanka. Best drunk with a dash of ginger, a cup of plain tea really boosts your energy levels. Ceylon Tea as it was and is still referred to can be drunk with a dash of powdered milk or in the days gone by with a teaspoon of the famous “Milkmaid” Condensed Milk.

The tea plant was brought to Ceylon by the British in 1824 and planted in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya. Although this first tea plant was brought for non-commercial purposes, it triggered the inauguration of the tea industry, with plants coming in from Assam and Calcutta. The Ceylon Tea Plantation was born in 1867, on the Loolecondera Estate in Kandy.

Today our hill country area is atea 4 picturesque view of tea plantation. The cascading tea bushes plants on the hills gives an impression of “hanging gardens”. Tea Pluckers who are mainly female workers tirelessly pluck “the two leaves and bud” from tea plant with skill and deft fingers. Although the baskets are tied behind them on their backs, they hardly miss their “goal”. That’s how swift and accurate they are. It is a beautiful scene to stop by and watch. It is even better if you travel to the hill country by train, as then the train winds its way through the hills and you would be rewarded by the dazzling smiles of the tea pluckers that no doubt light up their faces.

The Ceylon Tea Museum is situated in Hantane Kandy and has exhibits of old machinery used in the tea industry. The museum also has an auditorium Tea 3with audio visual presentations. It also houses a sales outlet and restaurant. The Ceylon Tea Museum proximity to the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens and Loolecondera Estate, where tea was first planted, makes it a perfect location.

Hence it’s only but right that a special visit be made to Kandy and the hill country of Sri Lanka and experience the fragrance and taste of that cuppa.

There is a saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away and a cup of tea a day keeps the dentist away.

Pumpkin Black Curry (Wattakka Kalu Pol Maluwa)

IngredienWattaka Kalu Pol Maluwats

200 g Wattakka (Pumpkin), 1 ½ tsp Mc Currie dark roasted curry powder, 1 tbsp Mc Currie maldive fish chips (finely powdered), 30 g red onions (sliced), 3 fresh green chillies (sliced), 1 ½ cups thick coconut milk, 1 tbsp raw rice and 1 tbsp scrapped or grated coconut (Roast these two ingredients together), ½ tsp Mc Currie fenugreek seeds, 1 tsp Mc Currie roasted chillie powder, 1 tbsp Mc Currie curry leaves, 1” piece Mc Currie rampe, 1” piece Mc Currie cinnamon quills, salt to taste.

 

Clean the pumpkin, cut into pieces and wash well. Except for the thick coconut milk and raw rice and scraped coconut paste, add all the other ingredients, mix well and boil. Add the ground raw rice and coconut paste to the thick coconut milk and mix well. Add this to the pumpkin and simmer on a low flame.

Taste Of Paradise In a Jar

 

Our Chairman, Nalin Pathikirikorale, has been the backbone and the guiding hand of ‘Mc Currie’

Chairman_Nalin-Pathikirikorale_1Mr. Pathikirikorale, is an old boy of Royal College and started life as a Medical Rep, with Reckitt and Colman under Mr. Lalith de Mel, then Marketing Manager of Reckitt. He later joined Consolexports, the only state-owned export company at the time and worked as a Produce Executive, dealing with the spices and non-traditional exports – under Summa Navaratnam, the Produce Manager, then.

In 1975, he was offered a job at Marpro Ltd in the UK, the largest broker in vegetable oils with 14 offices world-wide. Mr. Pathikirikorale handled all soft commodities of the company and after eight years, he got on the board of Marpro and to look after their offices in the far-east stretching from Karachi, Bombay, Cochin, Delhi, Singapore, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul and Tokyo.

He established the Lankpro Group of Companies in Colombo in partnership with Marpro, UK in 1979; it was the only international commodity broker in Sri Lanka and the first company to bond sugar and rice in Sri Lanka. Lankpro was also active in the petroleum sector and represented Glencore, a major International trading house in petroleum and fertilizer. Lankpro was also the agent for Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and facilitated IOC’s entry into Sri Lanka. In 1983, Marpro established an office in Singapore and Pathikirikorale was moved to Singapore as their Managing Director.

In 1984, he set up Lanka Spice in partnership with Marpro to manufacture value added spices, spice blends, curry powders for both local and export markets under the “Mc Currie” brand.

Chairman_Nalin-Pathikirikorale_2
Sports crazy, our Chairman, has travelled all over the world; has been to the last 8 Olympic Games (Los Angeles, Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London), last 6 World Cup Cricket Finals (Melbourne, Lahore, London, South Africa, West Indies and Mumbai) and the Soccer World Cup finals in Berlin, World Cup Rugby final in Auckland and the Wimbledon Tennis Finals in the UK. Hanging behind his seat at office is an original limited edition portrait of Sir Donald Bradman, with his signature placed firmly on it and other sports memorabilia collected over the years.

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, United Kingdom (FCMI).

Without his understanding, guidance and nurturing of the Company and its employees Mc Currie would not have been where it is now. Yes! standing tall on the highest Echelon of the Industry, with its mouth-watering and flavoursome treats including chutneys, curries, fries, pastes, sauces, pickles, sambols, spice mixes, powdered spices, whole spices and crushed condiments.

Mc Currie keeps improving every day, as Mr. Pathikirikorale, stands in the background, watching,

Chairman_Nalin-Pathikirikorale_3

correcting and guiding us along the way. His brainwaves are many. Mc Currie moves forward with Masalas and Exotic Fillings in the range of pastries that we are in the process of bringing into the market.

It is this man who is a pillar of strength, whose vision for the future of the company is clearly mapped out, to take Mc Currie further and deeper into the industry, with its innovative products and services.
We sit back and watch the unravelling of our Story, of “A Taste of Paradise in Jar”

HOW TO EAT LIKE A TYPICAL SRI LANKAN

Sri Lanka is known world-wide for its beautiful beaches and exquisite cuisine. Our tropical environment laced with coconut palms that sway in the gentle breeze from the ocean surrounding Sri Lanka, gives a sense of total relaxation and tranquility only Sri Lanka can offer. This relaxation and tranquility gives way to your appetite for Sri Lankan food.

Our food no doubt is spicy and this is what gives the aroma and taste that continue to awaken your taste buds.

In today’s world with microwaves, heat-eat packs etc many people have lost the thought and sense of good food. In Sri Lanka it is not so. Even today you would see the clay pot gently begin to boil on a firewood Thosaioven. This process of “gentle-slow” cooking is the secret to the exotic cuisine Sri Lanka has to offer. These curries and vegetables are cooked for hours on firewood ovens, during which time all spices get naturally absorbed into the curry, thus enhancing the taste.

Today many foreigners who visit Sri Lanka either stay in Hotels laced on the beach front of 5-Star hotels in the City of Colombo or down South. Most, if not all of these Hotels cater to the western palate and very few expatriates or tourists to this country get to taste the real Sri Lankan dishes turned out by village folks. A very subtle tip is that visitors to our beautiful country should mingle with the local folk and there you would find the most exParippuotic of dishes turned out using fresh herbs and age old recipes.

Sri Lankans are a friendly nation of people and no one would deter from showing a tourist the village culinary delight in Sri Lankan food.spicy prawn curry

When you visit the coastline you will be inundated with seafood, from the fish to prawns, crabs, squid (cuttlefish) prepared in a variety of mouthwatering recipes. When in the hill country the cool climate would see one eating hot Hoppers, Rotis, Fish Rotis and fiery spiced dishes. When in the North of the country, you would be treated to Thosai (Dosa), Ulundu Wade, Parippu Wade, Prawn Wade and a host of other delectable dishes. Hence Sri Lanka being a multi-ethnic country, you can rest assured of a delightful cuisine that only Sri Lankans can offer you. Sometimes one would wonder how curry could be consumed for breakfast. Well in Sri Lanka it is not so. No one wonders, as String Hoppers are best eaten with the Kiri Hodi (Coconut Soup) or a fiery chicken or fish curry.

A good meal should be something that fires up your senses. In Sri Lanka this experience is joined in by touch and taste. When one speaks of touch and taste, it is meant that all meals in Sri Lanka are best consumed by hand. To a Westerner this would be “atrocious”, but if you really need to delve in the tasty and spicy cuisine of our little Island, then eating with your “fingers” is the in-thing. No one would scoff at you for this, as this is a part of our culture. You need to feel the texture of your food, mix them up and then eat. Eating with your fingers would see you mixing a bit of each curry, vegetable and mallun or sambol together and then consuming it. The taste is heavenly. It is very simple. Roll up the rice and curry together and pop it into your mouth.

Miris Mallu or Chillie Fish Curry

Chilli FishIngredients

500 g thalapath fish, 1 large onion (sliced), 4 cloves garlic or 1 tsp Mc Currie garlic paste, 1” piece ginger (finely chopped), 3 fresh green chillies (split lengthwise), 1” piece Mc Currie rampe, 1 tbsp Mc Currie curry leaves, 1 tsp Mc Currie coriander seeds, 1 tsp Mc Currie fennel seeds, 1 tsp Mc Currie fenugreek seeds, 1 tsp Mc Currie cumin seeds, 1” piece Mc Currie cinnamon quills, 1 tbsp Mc Currie roasted chillie powder, 1 tsp Mc Currie turmeric powder, 1 tsp Mc Currie black peppercorns, ½ tsp Mc Currie goraka paste, 4 cups water, salt to taste.

Method

Cut fish into medium size pieces, wash well and set aside. In a dry grinder add coriander, cumin, peppercorns and grind to a smooth powder. In a food processor or if you have the good old grinding stone, add onions, ginger, garlic, chillie powder, goraka paste and turmeric and grind into a fine paste. Boil the 4 cups of water in a heavy based pan. Add curry leaves, lemongrass, fenugreek seeds, onion paste and ground spices. Stir and cook over a moderate flame for 10-15 minutes. While stirring add salt to taste and bring to boil. Lastly add the pieces of fish , reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

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Tamarind

tamarind1

What is tamarind? What are its uses? How does it benefit or help us?
Tamarind is a pod shaped fruit that originates from tropical Africa. It consists of a hard brown shell and fleshy juicy pulp. It is best described as a sweet and sour fruit that when mature has a reddish brown pulp.
Today India is the largest producer of Tamarind. In Sri Lanka Tamarind is known as Siyambala in sinhalese and Puli in tamil. The Tamarind fruit is supposed to be the ‘date of India’. It is used for culinary purposes for its sourness and aroma. Tamarind possess anti -diabetic, anti- microbial, anti-venomic , anti- malarial and anti- asthmatic properties.
Tamarind enhances one’s taste buds. The pulp of the Tamarind is used not only for culinary purposes but also for the manufacture of several industrial projects as Tamarind juice concentrate, tamarind pulp powder, tartaric acid, pectin and alcohol. The tamarind pulp is often eaten raw too, with a touch of sugar.
Amongst the many uses of the tamarind pulp, it is used for hot and sour soups as well as marinades and as solidifying agent. You may have tried out the sauces and chutneys made from the tamarind pulp? Dates, sugar, honey cardamom, cloves and coriander seeds added to tamarind pulp makes a refreshing drink!
From time immemorial, the tamarind tree has been a resourceful tree to mankind. The tree itself with its densely foliated leaves provides shade and as a street tree for breezy locations .It is resistant to wind. However, as it has low salt tolerance it is not advisable to locate it close to a beach.
The tamarind tree leaves are used in Sri Lankan dishes be it a curry, salad, soup or stew. The leaves and flowers are also used as mordant in dyeing. Mature leaves are used as a bleaching agent.
More on the medicinal value of the tree itself:
• As a remedy for fever – make an infusion of an ounce of pulp, a quart of boiling water, let it sit for over an hour. Strain and drink with a little honey.
• Tamarind not only helps the body to digest food it heals inflammation too. Effective remedy for diarrhea and dysentery.
• The juice extracted from the flowers is given internally for bleeding piles.
• Tamarind juice is also given as a mild laxative.
• Tamarind is known as a treatment for bile disorders, sore throat (gargles) jaundice and cataarh.
• The bark is used as a lotion/poultice for open sores and caterpillar rashes.
• It is believed that the roots have curative value for chest ailments .
• Used as an ingredient in prescriptions for leprosy.

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