London: new beginning- new life

Hi Folks!

It’s been like forever since I last blogged about my adventures of food, baking or my life…

My life has been very busy of late..I’ve moved to the United Kingdom to join my husband. So, have been busy working, baking and exploring the place and things around.

Some of my all time favourites of this place would be a nice plate of hot fish and chips with some chilled beer (another newly found delicious craving). I really miss Goa and specially fish and hence my new found love for fish & chips…

So, though being away from home I’ve still tried and kept some of the of my food likings intact…I still continue cooking Indian-Goan food…

I’ve planned a couple of dishes which will be going up here super soon…I promise…so stay tuned guys!!

Till then,Much love!❤️

 

 

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And at last,I’m Back…

Hi folks! How have y’all been? It’s been soooo long…Everything is great at my end…Gosh! So many stories to tell…

I’ve been busy with a lot of stuff lately…Completed a 3 month long course in food production, bakery & patisserie (that was fun-besides the fact that I learnt a lot of new things in the art!!!)…while on the other hand, some more things to add to my busy schedule in the past few months were:: setting a world record for creating 5555 varied themed cupcakes (with a group of experienced and famous pastry chefs and cake artists), starting my own little home baking venture, etc, etc…Oh yes, and I’m engaged too (to the most wonderful and charming man I’ve ever met NIGEL DA CUNHA)…

So, that’s a gist of what I’ve done for the past few months…

I’ve had most of my blog posts related to cooking and baking savory foods but I plan to write much more about baking cakes, cupcakes, cookies, muffins, cheesecakes, etc.

I would also be adding some quick and easy on your pocket recipes, which will certainly make cooking and baking fun for amateurs and food lovers.

Any suggestions on what y’all are looking out for in my blog??

Also, if you’re looking for beautiful cake inspiration, and recipes — you’ve come to the right place.

It’s no secret that I’m in love with cake decorating, making fondant stuff (like minions), gumpaste flowers (specially roses), and so much more… everything  related to cake/cupcake decorating… Should I call myself a CAKE ARTIST already?  Maybe I will…For fun now…but on a serious note I think I’m getting better with each cake I decorate. I stare down cake designs on the Internet like it’s my job (actually, I guess it kind of is my job, but still). I read about baking, dream about cake decorating, obsess about cakes, oh yes…not to forget cupcakes too, where it all actually started.

So, I’ve got some of the last few orders photographed for this blog post…

A surprise cake from a mother to her son for his birthday…

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A golden wedding cake…

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A surprise cake from a girl to her new found lover boy…

A minion themed cake for my little sisters birthday (she helped decorate the cake)

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Some cupcakes too..

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LOVE WHAT YOU SEE? So, for your next occasion don’t forget to order a customised cake… I promise you’ll love it…See you soon!!

Spiced up Garlic… NOODLE-Y NOODLES!!

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This is a wonderful accompaniment to the previous recipe posted by me of my very own version of Chicken Country Captain.

I was so inspired by the movie ‘Chef’ and the way the protagonist prepares noodles that I decided to create something of my own with a little tips from the main chef in the movie.

This recipe is very simple to make and includes only a few ingredients which are tossed and sautéed together to obtain this lip-smacking flavourful irresistible dish.

INGREDIENTS:
a medium bowl full of finely chopped garlic

red chilli flakes, as per requirement

olive oil, as per requirement

finely chopped fresh coriander leaves, handful

1 kg spaghetti noodles, cooked al dente with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil

lots and lots of grated cheese

lemon juice, as per requirement

salt and pepper, as per requirement

METHOD:

Sauté some garlic in olive oil until golden brown but don’t let it burn… Add chilli flakes and sauté for some time. Keep the oil mixture aside.

Toss the noodles with some salt, pepper, chilli flakes and fresh coriander leaves. Add in the oil-garlic mixture and add some more olive oil if necessary. Toss it with lots grated cheese. Sprinkle in some lemon juice.

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Voila!! The spicy noodles are ready….

A TWIST TO THE TRADITIONAL CHICKEN COUNTRY CAPTAIN

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I wonder why this recipe is named as such, but the one I prepared is my own version of ‘CHICKEN COUNTRY CAPTAIN’. I wanted to have something different on 10th August (as it was my parish feast day) and hence I ended up cooking/baking this dish.

This is supposedly a curry and is on every Anglo-Indian cuisine menu. It tastes best with plain boiled rice but is a fairly good addition to some spicy spaghetti noodles.

My version of this dish isn’t the old traditional way of preparing it, but mine is more of an amalgamation of a variety of other ingredients, and an omission of some. I’ve excluded raisins and almonds from my version of the recipe as I wasn’t in any mood of having a little too much sweetness added to the dish and for it to be a part of my lunch for that day.

So, here goes my version of the recipe-

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INGREDIENTS:

1 ½ cup chopped onions

1 cup chopped capsicums

1 ½ tsp garlic-ginger paste

½ cup butter or margarine

½ cup tomatoes, cut up

1 small bottle tomato ketchup

handful of fresh coriander leaves

3 tbsp curry powder

a pinch of salt and pepper, as per requirement

½ cup or a little more maida/ all-purpose flour

1 tbsp paprika/ red chilli flakes

1 or 1 ½ kg chicken cut into medium pieces

oil for frying, chicken

METHOD:

Wash the chicken well and apply salt, pepper, chilli flakes and maida and keep aside to marinate for some time. In a large skillet, heat some oil and lightly brown the chicken pieces on all sides. Arrange it in a baking dish and keep aside.

In a saucepan cook onion, capsicum, tomatoes and the garlic ginger paste in butter till tender but not brown. Stir in the tomato ketchup and curry powder. Sprinkle some salt and pepper as per taste. Leave it to simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

Now finally add the finely chopped fresh coriander leaves and keep it aside.

Add the tomato mixture on top of the chicken placed in the baking dish.

Bake it in a preheated oven until the chicken is tender.

Serve hot with spicy noodles or rice.

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Enjoy!!!

RECHEADO BANGDO/ MACKERELS STUFFED WITH RED MASALA

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I know that I have delayed this post for a very long time, but Mackerels stuffed with red masala is my all time favourite of Goan flavours mixed into one dish. And, I am so sure that it is one of the favourites of all you Goan folks wherever you may be. Those not from Goan, I am sure y’all will love it too.

This stuffed and fried beauty is so flavourful and spicy that one can never resist it and certainly not when you’ve got a nice bowl of hot rice with some Goan prawn curry as an accompaniment.

This is certainly one of my delicious cravings and I can even gorge on three of these together…just love them so much.

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So, here is the recipe and I am sure y’all will love it too.

RECIPE:

6 mackerels

Clean and wash the fish well. Remove the heads, fins and entrails. Slit the fish on either side from head to tail keeping the central bone or if desired removing it allowing a bit of the tail bone to remain. Apply a little salt and pepper, and keep it aside.

Grind in vinegar:

12 dry red chillies

8 peppercorns

12 flakes of garlic

¼ tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp coriander seeds

¼ inch piece of turmeric

½ tsp sugar

a small ball (marble-size) of tamarind

a pinch or two of salt

Stuff this masala into each mackerel very evenly on either side of the central bone and fry it in hot oil.

Sprinkle some lemon juice on all the fried mackerels.

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You can also grind the above spices and condiments in large quantities along with some vinegar and store it in an air-tight container for days together or even refrigerate it.

This red masala can be used for a variety of other recipes.

Serve the fried mackerels with some nice green salad.

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Enjoy this flavourful and spicy fried fish.

MASALA-GARLIC GRILLED OKRA

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When they’re done and ready to be eaten, I can say this with sheer confidence that grilled okra stuffed with garlic masala paste is no-competition to any other grilled okra recipe (At least, according to me).

But here’s good news, you can fry these stuffed okra too or even brown them in an oxy fryer without using much oil.

I must say, I love experimenting with food by creating something different with all the ingredients I’ve got at hand. And, this is exactly the story behind how I made these perfectly grilled and stuffed lady fingers last night.

So, enjoy this wonderful and a little-too spicy okra recipe… the best thing about it, IT IS VEG.

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INGREDIENTS:

Few fresh and tender Okras, commonly known as Bindi or Bende or Lady Fingers

Salt and Pepper to taste

3 small Garlic Pods

1 tbsp Red Chilli Powder

2 tbsp Garam Masala Powder

2 medium sized Onions

1 tsp Vinegar

Oil for grilling/frying

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METHOD:

Wash the lady fingers well and slit them in the middle keeping the tips intact. Blend the garlic, onions, garam masala powder and chilli powder along with a little vinegar until a fine paste has been obtained. Stuff the okras with the paste.

Apply some oil to an oven tray. Place the stuffed okra on it. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper as per taste.  Brush some oil on them to let them grill better. Place the tray in a pre-heated oven. Set the temperature to 1800C. Let it grill for 15-20 minutes until done.

Serve hot with some nice green salad.

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Enjoy!

MEATY MEATS! Desi-English Beef

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For me, August has begun very well: some very sunny but not-so-warm days, rain-soaked days, blue skies, blackish grey cloudy skies, …oh yes! And the ban on fishing at sea having been lifted up in Goa… Yay!! Nothing could be as good as this… so, the recipe after today’s one will certainly be a fish dish…

So guys, here is a recipe of one of my favourite foods- beef…it is one of my delicious cravings.

Fusion foods are some of the most amazing foods ever created, though earlier they were generally those foods which didn’t make any sense. I wouldn’t hesitate to call today’s recipe a fusion food too. I am saying this because of the ingredients I’ve used to prepare this very juicy, succulent beef recipe. It’s a blend of desi and western ingredients, Worcestershire sauce being British.

I would recommend a couple of teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce in most of the meat recipes you prepare. It makes the meat a very tangy yet juicy. And, I personally love it!

This is the story of how I ended up preparing this Desi-English Beef dish… few days ago my father bought a hell lot of beef undercut from Farmer’s Choice, Porvorim-Goa so that my mother could make beef assado, our all time favourite beef recipe at home. The 3-4 kilos beef chunks looked so tempting that I couldn’t resist it, so I made this fusion dish with one kilo from the mass.

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Super simple, super tasty.

INGREDIENTS:

1 kg Beef undercut

3 tbsp Garlic- Ginger Paste

10 Cashew Nuts

1 cup Fresh Cream                                      mix it to make a SAUCE

4 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 tsp Poppy Seeds or kus-kus

Salt and Pepper- as per requirement

Olive Oil

Bacon Rashers- for basting

Sweet Corn-on-Cob – boiled with salt and sugar

3 Potatoes- sliced, boiled with salt

Few French Beans/baby onions/ baby capsicums –blanched

Some cream

Crushed cashew nuts

METHOD:

Cut the beef into large slices and pierce it with a fork on both the sides only after washing the meat well. Apply salt, pepper and the sauce, and leave it to marinate for an hour or more.

Spread some olive oil on an oven tray and place the meat over it. Put the bacon rashers on top of it, which will help in basting and letting the meat roast well.

Set the temperature right and let it roast until the meat is done. You can also roast the boiled corn and blanched capsicum together with it.

Serve it hot along with some cream, nuts and veggies.

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All you meat lovers out there, give this recipe a try and I betcha you wouldn’t regret your decision.

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Bon Appétit!

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Friendship Day Special- Tangy Masala Pulao

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Mumbai… Pav Bhaji at Sardar’s or the hostel or the Sophia College Canteen…my friends and their love for VEG food…Hogging… Dosa-wala down the Sophia’s lane…Café Mondegar in Colaba with the NON-VEG goodies…or our so Indian-ised veg masala burgers treats at McDs… eating from each others tasty Tiffin boxes… cooking in the hostel or at certain friends places…sleepovers… Sandwiches at Right Place, Breach Candy… Ice-Cream- first day of the month at Gelatos… Dominos…

Lots of memories… many friends… many emotions… many instances… all with a mixture of sauces and spices.

Friendship Day is one such day when friends are given much more importance than otherwise, and are praised for all their goodness and specially for being a part of one’s life. However, today as I have my friends scattered all over India and some of them overseas too, and as I can’t be near them in person I decided to prepare or create a new dish which I haven’t before, as a tribute to all of them. Something new, something spicy, something tangy, something flavourful, something in VEG, a Friendship day special pulao, Sunday special too… something which is very easy to make and shall remind all my friends of me.

I shall surely treat each of my friends at my restaurant when it is ready. (Few more years to go, hopefully.)

A grand friendship day celebration yet to come.

This dish is inspired by few of my close Sophia College friends- some who dislike tomatoes but wouldn’t mind ketchup, many who are pure vegetarian, some who were vegetarian for fun, and some whose moms and grand moms cooked lovely food, which we ate during the break sitting only in the canteen and not in the classrooms (Strict BMM rules). This dish is also a combination of different ingredients which are like the different friends I made until now.

I hope you all love it, just like I did!

TANGY MASALA PULAO with RAITA

TANGY MASALA PULAO RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups Basmati Rice- washed and soaked for 10 minutes

5 cups Water

2 tsp Pepper Powder

½ tsp Turmeric Powder

5 Veg Maggi Cubes- powdered

Oil as per requirement

1 ½ tbsp Garlic-Ginger Paste

3 large Onions- diced

5 large Tomatoes- diced

2 large Capsicums- diced

1 large Carrot- finely cubed

1 cup Fresh Green Peas

1 cup Paneer- cubed

3 tbsp Pav Bhaji Masala

1 cup Tomato Ketchup

2 tbsp Soya Sauce

METHOD:

Cook the rice with 4 cups of water, 2 tsp oil, maggi cubes, pepper and turmeric powder on a low flame until done. Cover and keep it aside for later use.

Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a large Kadai. Later add the garlic-ginger paste, and sauté for 10-15 seconds. Add the onions and sauté them until they turn golden brown. Add the tomatoes and let them cook on a low flame. Mix the Pav Bhaji masala, Tomato Ketchup and soya sauce in a small bowl and add it to the mixture. Leave it to simmer.

Add the rest of the ingredients i.e. the carrot, capsicums, fresh green peas, paneer, water and let it cook until the carrot is a little tender.

Add the cooked rice to the veggie mixture and toss well.

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Serve hot with raita.

RAITA RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

2 small cups Fresh Curd

3 small cucumbers- finely diced

2 large onions- finely chopped

A handful of fresh Coriander Leaves- finely chopped

A pinch of Salt and Pepper- as per taste

METHOD:

Add the cucumbers and onions to well beaten fresh curd. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss the mixture well. Refrigerate. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves before serving.

Voila! Friendship Day Special meal is ready.

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Enjoy the feast! Cheers!

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!

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!