Asami is a Sri Lankan traditional sweet snack that is especially served during Avurudu/ Sinhala and Tamil New year and special occasions as well.
To be very honest, I never liked Aasmi as a kid growing up. We used to receive so many Avurudu kavili plates from neighbours during Avurudu and the ones that I will always jump for is the milk rice, kokis and the kavum and that’s where I stop hahahhaha. But after moving from Sri Lanka, I had this new form of appreciation and liking towards things I didn’t like before. Well, what’s that saying; you never realised how much you need it until you do.Well that’s exactly how I feel
What can I use instead of dawul kurundu leaves for Aasmi
I have to be very honest, I have never made Aasmi before in my life, not even in Sri Lanka. I have seen it made many times, but I never did it my self, so I decided to give it a try. Now living abroad, we definitely have difficulty in finding the main ingredient which is dawul kurundu leaves or cinnamon leaf extract so I saw many recipes on youtube using ladies fingers, that’s when I knew, I had to give it a try.
Also, I am not going to lie, making Aasmi is by far the hardest for me. Not because of anything, just the process of extracting the juice from ladies fingers is such a process and requires physical strength but the end result is so worth it. Just don’t be put off by the process, you got to give it a try.
Do I need a Aasmi spoon to make Aasmi?
Usually, a coconut shell that is pierced with a long handle attached to it is used to make Aasmi, I don’t believe this is something that is sold in supermarkets, but rather a tool made by people. so I have replicated the same process, instead of a coconut shell, I am using a plastic canister and made holes in it, with an electric screwdriver. Actually hubby did that for me :), But make sure when you are piercing holes, don’t make it too thin because the mixture is slimy and don’t make it too big because then the Aasmi will not be crispy. If not you also can use your hands in a circular motion to get the shape.
Step By Step guide how to make an Aasmi spoon at home
- Find a plastic canister, jar anything that is round-shaped and is deep. The reason why we are using plastic is that its easy to pierce
- Using an electric screwdriver pierce holes all around the bottom part of the jar
- Try adding the mixture in and check if the mixture pours without any problem, if it breaks in the middle, then try making the holes a bit bigger.
Tips and tricks to make Aasmi properly
- When extracting ladies finger’s extract, it needs to be strained really well using a mesh cloth, there shouldn’t be any big pieces, this process is rather hard because the extract is slimy, so it’s hard to extract it without a lot of effort
- When frying aasmi, you don’t have to keep it on very low fire but not too much fire as well, because you want to preserve the white colour of the aasmi
- After frying the aasmi, you need to leave it for 3 days
- After 3 days it is necessary to refry, by refrying it will become crispy again and whiter (so don’t worry if your aasmi looks a bit yellowish and not crispy after 3 days)
- The syrup needs to be made after refrying the aasmi for the 2nd time
The batter consistency needs to be accurate. Not too thin or too thick.
How long in advance should I make Aasmi
Aasmi needs to be made at least 3 days in advance, only the first part, then once you refry, its best to be served within one day of refrying to get optimal crispiness and flavour.
How to store Aasmi
Always store aasmi in an airtight container with paper towels on the bottom, to drain the oil, but make sure to store the aasmi in the airtight container once it is fully cooled down and after refrying and decorating it.
In Sri Lanka the weather is good to store aasmi, if you live in a country like where I live, where it is a bit cold and dry, the aasmi tends to be non-crispy after 1 day, hence why I suggest its best to serve the day of refrying the aasmi for the second time.
What flour to use for aasmi
I use ready-made rice flour. Use very fine rice flour. I used quite a few different brands of ready-made rice flour here in Melbourne. I have used Derana rice flour. If you guys want to make the rice flour from scratch you are more than welcome to do it, but ready-made rice flour works well too.
How to make coconut milk with coconut milk powder
When making aasmi it is important to use thick coconut milk, this will give you a creamy taste. use 30g Coconut milk powder with 160g water. Coconut milk doesn’t dissolve very well with cold water, so first add about 50g hot water just to dissolve the coconut milk then top the rest with cold water. Don’t use hot coconut milk in the batter.
What type of pan to use for Aasmi
I tried using the hopper pan I have, but it was too small and did not give the best results. I suggest using an oval Thachchi (pan) you can buy this in any Sri Lankan supermarket, but a medium-size one, a little bigger than a hopper pan. Don’t use a non-stick one, a aluminium one is best for this purpose.
You can also follow my other Sri Lankan Avurudu sweets
Watch how to make Aasmi
Step by Step recipe on how to make Aasmi
- Aasmi strainer
Step 1: Ladies Fingers/ Okra extract
- 300 g Ladies fingers/ Okra Fresh or frozen
- 50 g Coconut ( Fresh or dehydrated coconut) NOT COCONUT POWDER
- 800 g Water
Step 2 : Batter
- 200 g Ready-made rice flour
- 160 g Ladies fingers/ Okra extract That was made in Step 1
- 180 g Coconut milk
- 1/4 tsp Salt
Step 3: Syrup
- 50 g White sugar
- 20 g Water Tap
- drops food Colouring of your choice ( Do not use GEL colouring)
Oil ( Canola, coconut, sunflower oil) for frying
Step 1: Ladies Fingers/ Okra extract
- Place the coconut, water, okra in a blender and just pulse it 3-4 times, until blended.If the whole quantity doesn't fit in the blender at once then do it twice
- Strain the mixture first through a normal kitchen towel, Then pass the mixture through a fine kitchen towel. The reason why it shouldn't be passed through a fine kitchen towel first is that it will be very difficult physically. So do it as a 2 step process. Leave the extract aside. ( do not make this mixture too much in advance, as the colour changes, then it will affect the colour of the Aasmi.
Step 2 : Batter
- In a large bowl sieve rice flour, then add salt and coconut milk and mix well, A dough will be formed. Sometimes, you might need a little bit more coconut milk depending on the rice flour used.
- Once a dough is formed, then add the ladies fingers extract little by little, until it is a soft and silky batter, try running the batter through your fingers, if it flows down without breaking in the middle, then the consistency is correct ( check video)You might need more or less ladies fingers extract, depending on the consistency
- Once the batter is made, Heat a pot of oil on medium fire, once the oil is heated, pour in the mixture to the prepared aasmi spoon ( check article above on how to make this utensil at home) Drop the batter into the hot oil in a circular motion first then zig-zag movements, so a circular shaped aasmi is formed, leave it for a minute and before it gets hardened, fold the round into two to make a semi-circular shape. Tighten the edge with the spoon ( refer to the video)
- Once the aasmi is crispy and cooked take it out of the fire and let it drain on a kitchen paper towel Do not take the aasmi out if it is still soggy and do not keep the aasmi in too long, it will turn brown
- Once fully cooled down, leave the aasmi in a cool dry place covering with a cloth for at least 3 days. Don't store in an airtight container at this point
Step 3: Syrup
- Place water, sugar and food colour of your choice in a saucepan and heat until it becomes a syrup about 2-3 minutes, do not let the syrup become too stretchy as it will be hard to decorate the aasmi. It should not be too thin as well, if not the syrup will not stick to the aasmi
- Cool down the syrup for 2-3 minutes, Then decorate the aasmi with the syrup. draw any design with a spoon ( Refer to the video)Don't let the syrup cool down too much, then it will be hard to draw patterns on it.
- Enjoy it on the day of making it