An “Arroz de Chouriço” meal

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Hi folks! Apologies for the delay in putting up a new post. I was a little caught up with a million of other things to do- travelling to Vellore, Tamil Nadu and Mumbai to add-on to my being ‘busy to blog’ list.

My hometown or must I call it a modern village, the place where I grew up is well known for the famous Goan sausages.

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I grew up hearing the Konkani phrase Agxikar Chouriçokar which also means a person from Agassaim is a sausage seller (lover). Once upon a time, people from far and near used to come to Agassaim specially to buy these delicious and flavourful sausages which would be sold from some households in Agassaim and which looked like a long rosary in appearance.

These home-made sausages are well marinated with red masala spices and vinegar, and then the pickled pork meat is stuffed into the tubes of dry edible animal intestines. These are then left on to dry in a smoke-filled room and are later sold to Goans or exported abroad.

If you ever go to Margao or Vasco from Panjim via the old highway, do halt at Agassaim to savour on one of its delicacies, a yummy Chouriço pão (sausage bread).

Today’s recipe is one of those dishes which I am a very good at preparing, but with a fusion of my own ingredients.

As the monsoon season doesn’t allow us (Goans) to eat a lot of fresh sea water fish, these days dried preserved foods like parra, papads, pickles, sausages, etc. come in handy. Rainy days are perfect synonyms for ‘lazy’ days. And, I’m sure that most of y’all who have to work on these rainy weekdays wouldn’t want to come back home and get busy in the kitchen once again.  This is a nice Sunday lunch recipe too. So, here’s a delicious quick meal- spicy and flavourful.

Arroz de Chouriço Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

10 Sausages

1 tsp Turmeric Powder

5 Finely Chopped Onions

10 Garlic Flakes

8 Cloves

1 inch Cinnamon Stick

1 tsp Cumin Seeds

4 cups Sausage Stock

2 cups Basmati Rice

6 Chicken Maggi Cubes

Oil for frying

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METHOD:

Grind all the dry spices together along with the garlic flakes until a fine paste is formed.

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Heat the oil and add the onions to it when the oil is hot enough. Sauté the onions until golden brown.

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Add the garlic-spice mixture and sauté for some more time until it is fried adequately.

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Remove the sausage meat out of the animal intestine, add them to the onion mixture and fry the sausages in it until done.

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Add the sausage stock and bring it to a boil. Add the powdered maggi cubes and stir thoroughly.

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Wash the rice until the water turns clear and add the rice to the mixture. Lower the fire and cook until done.

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Serve hot!

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Enjoy the dish!

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FESTIVE SALAD

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Salad is a tingling, fresh and crisp accompaniment to meals. Slowly but certainly the salad culture is catching on, at least in our bigger cities and towns, with salad buffets and healthy food eateries gaining in popularity. Salads also find its way in diet foods or as part of the diet menu.

Today, salads can be had as a meal altogether. That is something I do very often too. And it is also the easiest to prepare, when you’re having a rough or tiring day. It is a very energizing meal.

Salads can be made with a wide range of ingredients. One can add a variety of fruits and vegetables with some cold meats, cheese, chicken and seafood, and make very delicious and appetizing salads. Salads taste best when served chilled. Most of the ingredients added are always, either raw or blanched.

The first salad dressing I learnt was from my godmother, Mrs. Belmira Horta Ribeiro. Olive oil, sugar, lemon juice, salt and pepper- Mix it together and you’ve got the tastiest salad dressing I’ve ever had. It is certainly one of my delicious cravings.

So, here goes one of my salad recipes which can be prepared within a few minutes and enjoyed as a meal or as part of a meal. It is a wonderful pick for parties and occasions. I prepared it for my 21st birthday party and it was a success (pat on my back).

Certain ingredients used like the pears will make the salad very crisp and definitely juicy too. The quantity of the ingredients can be adjusted according to ones needs and tastes.

Go ahead and try it on. I assure y’all that the result will be a salad fit for a king!

Sophia’s (Sophia College for Women) taught me that women are as important or even more important, so my salad is surely fit for a queen too!

FESTIVE SALAD

INGREDIENTS

3-Boiled, peeled and diced Potatoes

2 (small)-Apples peeled and diced

1-Peeled and diced Pear

1 tin-Canned Pineapple

3- Finely chopped Onions

1 pkt (small)- Frozen Sweet Corn

Finely chopped fresh Coriander leaves (handful)

3 tbsp- Olive oil

1(big)- Lemon

Salt

Pepper

PREPARATION TIME: 10 mins

SERVES: 3

METHOD:

Boil the potatoes with a little salt until done. Let them cool down and then peel them and dice them approximately to the same size. Keep them aside.

Finely chop the onions. Peel the apples and pears and dice them roughly to the same size. Chop the canned pineapple slices too. Do not add the sugar syrup from the can as you don’t want your salad tasting too sweet than it already is.

In a big bowl, combine the onions, apples, pears and sweet corn with the chopped canned pineapple slices. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice.

Add the potatoes and toss with fresh coriander leaves.

Refrigerate and serve chilled.

Bon Appetite!

HI WORLD! Hi Goa! Hello Food Lovers!

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Hi! I’m Vania Cotta, the girl behind “‘Delicious Cravings’ at Vania’s Kitchen”.

Growing up with no one to officially teach me how to cook, I believe that good food is worthy of celebration. Through my blog I want to celebrate the variety in food.

I couldn’t think of a better day than today to begin this celebration- the journey of being a food blogger and celebrating food. A journey to celebrating my creations, my recipes. Not forgetting my creativity which I try and bring into every dish prepared by me, be it a cake baked by me or a chicken pulao cooked by me…

4th July 2015- a day to remember, my 21st birthday too!

I can never get tired working tirelessly in the kitchen the entire day preparing something which will bring smiles on those faces which savour the dish.

Real food takes real work. And it’s worth it.

Wow! Amazing! Awesome! Yummy! Delicious! You’re so good at this! – these are some of the things I often hear while observing those happy faces relishing my recipes.

Criticism is something I need, not in a negative way but just enough to improve my cooking skills. To know where I fail and to improve the skills I still have got to master well. Anyway, criticism is better than sarcasm.

The main idea I want to put forth through my blog is that: Cooking from scratch can be much easier than once thought.

My blog will be an avenue for all those amateur food lover who want to try their hands on cooking a pretty decent dish. My blog should come in handy to all those novice cooks trying to prepare quick- bites to add taste to their delicious cravings.

The highlights from ‘Delicious Cravings’ at Vania’s Kitchen are simple and fresh family-friendly recipes. However, I won’t rule out on restaurant reviews or specific dishes which grab my attention whether online or in a restaurant or maybe even in the street food plethora.

My blog will also feature lots of great recipes that represent the local food culture- the Goan as well as the Indian food culture. Here, you’ll find me cooking up a storm: dishes inspired by favourite restaurants, something out of the box, or just whatever I can lay my hands on at that moment.

I shall try to pair all my recipes and dishes with spectacular photographs and videos whenever possible and needed.

Rather than just a mere collection of recipes, I’ll try my best to make this blog a food experience for all those who look at it. I shall make the use of stories to explore the role of food in our lives- as a tool to nourish our bodies, unite family members and friends, show appreciation and affection for others and provide us with a unique food heritage.

I love all food, so it’d be hard for me to choose a favourite, but I have a soft spot for cheese, coffee, and Portuguese-Goan foods are my delicious cravings. I love cooking for occasions and I enjoy every bit of it.

Food has shaped our world and in return food is also shaped by our world. Given the complexities of the rich, ancient and varied Goan cuisine, food has always been a prominent marker of the Goan identity. I am a Goan. And, I promise to delve into this Goan cuisine through my blog.

My future plans:

  • Get my cook book published. Then another. Then many more.
  • Open my own restaurant. Then another. One day become a famous name in the industry.
  • Win a Masterchef title!

I have DELICIOUS CRAVINGS! I love to cook. I love to bake too! And all this takes place AT VANIA’S KITCHEN!

Thanks for dropping by, please enjoy this journey with me!