People at a party around tables of foodSo you think Mad Hatters are the best at throwing tea parties? Try the ‘Mad Scientists’ I work with at CSIRO HQ.

One thing I love about this workplace is that people really know how make morning tea fun. On Friday, there was an ‘Around the World’ themed tea party! The turnout was fantastic, the food was elaborate and the canteen was buzzing.

Among the mouth-watering dishes, I found a couple of types of dumplings that I had never experienced before…

Rasgulla, India

Indian dumplings

Rasgulla are cheese balls. These were mixed with a little semolina flour to help them keep their shape. The sugar syrup in which they sit seeps through the whole dish.

The thing that struck me most about the rasgulla was their mouthfeel. They were quite soft, sweet and sticky but also granular. They’re definitely unlike any other dumpling I’ve tried!

According to Wikipedia, rasgulla are traditionally offered to the Hindu goddess, Lakshmi in Puri, Orissa. For at least 300 years, Lakshmi has been offered these sweets to appease her wrath for being ignored. This  ritual, Niladri Vijay, typically marks the end of the chariot festival and rasgulla are distributed to devotees who come to check out the event.

Fish cutlets, Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan dumplings

These fish cutlets were tasty, reminding me of a slightly spicy, bite-sized version of the tuna patties Mum used to make. These crumbed, fried, fish and potato ‘dumplings’ make great little snacks.

Sri Lankans are mad on snacks, or ‘short-eats’ and ‘bites’ as they like to call them. Short eats are usually eaten with a cup of tea in a bakery and can be sweet (like a tea cake) or savoury (like a fish bun aka ‘malu pan’). Bites are usually snacks that accompany an alcoholic drinking session (like devilled fried beef slices or manioca chips). The famous Sri Lankan fish cutlets fall into both categories. – Ankie Renique


Here are some recipes that I have not yet tried, but might make a good introduction to the dumplings above.


2 responses »

  1. Fiona says:

    Ah that looks fun 🙂

  2. Karin says:

    Ohhhh – YUM!

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