"This is a journey of my life since I was all of 12 yrs when I started my hand in cooking to now with displays of my learning and creations of recipes from around the world. My inspiration and role model has always been my Mum who has always created dishes from around the world and excellently well. I do not believe I would ever match to her culinary skills. I remember the times she could cook and bake almost 4-5 dishes in one go without ever letting one go under cooked or burnt! I was born and raised in Dubai, UAE and recently moved to India for family reasons. Kitchenette just means that over the decades, my kitchen has changed from that of my mum's to my uncle and aunt's, to my home in UAE and now in India. Pala't'te, describes both global cuisines ('Palatte'-diverse flavours) and pleasing diverse 'Palates'."

Friday, 17 June 2016

Pearl Spot Fish Pan fried in a Banana leaf (Kuttanadan Karimeen Pollichathu) #FishFridayFoodies

This month's Fish Friday Foodies' event is 'Pan or Deep Fried Fish' chosen by April of Angels Home Sweet Homestead. Thanks April for choosing this theme.

I have always wanted to make the Pearl spot in  our traditional Keralite manner. It tastes awesome and is packed with flavour. Not only that it takes very little oil/fat to make it. I tried the traditional Kuttanadan recipe. Read more about the Kuttanad region of Kerala (India) here

Pearl spot is called 'Karimeen' in Kerala and 'Pollichathu' essentially means burnt (in literal terms)/grilled/ pan fried in a Banana leaf. The fish is cleaned and wrapped in whole in the leaf.

This batch of extremely fresh Pearl Spot fish was procured through a good friend Michael Bejoy at our community where we stay. Michael essentially was the first person who helped me out when we moved to Kochi after Mummy had passed away. 

We settled down much faster in Kochi owing to him. I was lost without much assistance since Hubby was traveling most of the time and he kind of did what Mum would have in that circumstance. He pushed me into getting out of home and mingling with the women of our community, who have gone on to being good friends, neighbours and more like family. I can count on them. So I guess besides getting a good batch of fish, I actually got much more. So thank you Michael for being such a good person and friend. Oh and he also helped me avail the banana leaves plus extra Pearl spot fishes for my buck as it was his friend who was selling them. (Happy Me!)

I made the Karimeen Pollichathu in two ways as most of my readers are well aware by now that my little one is anti-spice. We say she is not supposed to have been born into an Indian household owing to her taste buds for non-spicy food. 

As a result all fish in my home is cooked in two clay pots or pans and so also this one was done the same way. The only difference in the recipe being, I did not add the green chilies or chili powder and substituted the chili powder with coriander powder for my little's one's preparation. She loved it!

 I did not share this with my hubby as he was traveling all week and by the time he got home quite late that night, he saw only the bones and the leaf in the food trash and one or two last ones refrigerated. He thought I had bought it from this particular hotel. So I am pleased as it looked like one that was professionally prepared by a chef. *happy smiles* :D! I need to make this one more time for him. Michael will order another batch of Karimeen soon :)!

The spicier version

The one without chili

On with the recipe,

You need:

  • Pearlspot fish / Karimeen (medium sized) : 6 nos, cleaned in whole and oblique incisions made on both sides of each fish
  • 1/2 kg diced Onions
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 2 strips of Cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp Vinegar
  • 4 tbsp Coconut oil
  • Salt – to taste
  • 1" diced Ginger
  • 1 medium sized whole garlic, diced finely (you can reduce the quantity of garlic depending on taste)
  • 6 green chilies
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper powder
  • 6 Tomatoes, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp Chilli powder
  • Drinking water
  • 1 large banana leaf or 2 medium sized banana leaves, cleaned and air dried

The Make:
Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 20-30 minutes | Servings: 6

1. Drain the fish well before use.
2. Grind the chili powder, turmeric powder, pepper powder and cumin seeds with 1/2 tbsp vinegar to a fine paste. (For the non-spicy version, as mentioned use coriander powder and try to do that as the first grind to avoid the transference of the chili powder spice. If you are making 2 versions remember to divide the quantities of all the ingredients by half or in relation to the ratios in which you plan to make it).
3. In a clay pot or any other heavy bottomed pot(s), heat a little of the coconut oil.
Fry the cinnamon pieces in the pan.
4.Add the onions, ginger, garlic and green chilies to the pan and saute it well.
Once the onions are cooked well, add the finely ground paste  and saute it well in a low flame.
5. Next add the tomatoes until softened and cooked. Add 2 cups of the boiling water to the cooked mixture.
6. Add salt and the remaining vinegar and mix well. Add the whole fishes to the spices and saute it the gravy thickens and the fish is half cooked which takes about 5-10 minutes. The spices essentially is cooked this way for the Kuttanad version and acts as a marinade for the fish.
7. Each banana leaf can act as a wrap for at least 6 fishes. So using a sharp kitchen knife or blade, slit it vertically into 6-7 pieces and skin off some of the stem from behind the leaf.
8.Wrap each fish, along with the thickened marinade/gravy in a banana leaf. Secure it with banana fibers(from the banana stem) or a use a kitchen string. Heat a pan with some oil and pan fry the fish in the banana leaf with 5 minutes on each side.

Serve it with a choice of your favourite Appams, Steamed rice or Idiyappams (String hoppers)

Would you like to join Fish Friday Foodies?  We post and share new seafood/fish recipes on the third Friday of the month.  To join our group please email Wendy at wendyklik1517@gmail.com.

Visit our Facebook page and Pinterest page for more wonderful fish and seafood recipe ideas.

Do check out what the rest of the Fish Friday Foodies have made for this fabulous June event:

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Celebrating G'Gina's Kitchenette's Fourth Blogiversary: Mango Jam Rolls with Cremé, Fresh Mangoes and Jam filling #BreadBakers

This challenge could not have been announced at a better time when Mangoes are in plentiful! So I got to try many a recipe involving the delicious Mango this year.

It is Monsoons here now as I type this so the number and variety of mangoes have significantly dwindled. I explored recipes with at least 4-5 types of mangoes this year.

I could not post my Bread Bakers' recipe in time for May's event of theme ' Rolls' owing to the issue with the Daylight savings time. I had made Cinnabon-style Cinnamon Rolls. I missed by an hour or so. So this time I posted well in advance.

These particular rolls were made with Bangenapalli variety of mangoes which is named after a town in the state of  Andhra Pradesh in India. A friend and neighbour, Divya who hails from the lovely city of Vizag in Andhra Pradesh, loves these mangoes and she could not find the sweeter variety here in Kochi, Kerala. So when I did stumble on a few of these sweeter varieties, I decided to make the Jam rolls for this month's Bread Bakers' challenge with them. And also to give Divya a tasting of these rolls.

The only regret in making these Jam rolls were that I should have made it with a bigger batch. With my little one's school about to start, I had a lot of long standing tasks and errands to complete during the holidays. I am almost about to reach the end of that list. Wish me luck with it! It certainly needs it.

Divya returned with the feedback that this roll was nice. Hubby and daughter loved it too. It was moist, flavoursome, creamy, punchy as well.

I had made some Mango Jam earlier which I used in the dough and also there were chopped up mangoes in the filling along with some chilled cremé. I will share the recipe of the Mango Jam soon.

You can also use ready to use Mango Jam in case you have not made any or you can pulp mango and add instead.

I had earlier made a roulade to celebrate G'Gina's Kitchenette's First Blogiversary so these smaller ones were less of a challenge to roll up. It has been 3 weeks since G'Gina's Kitchenette's Fourth Blogiversary. I had just posted G'Gina's Kitchenette crossing 100,000 page views with the Mango Soufflé.  So I would like to share this recipe also as a part of our Fourth Blogiversary celebrations!

June's Bread Bakers event was chosen by the lovely Mireille Roc of The Schizo Chef. The theme is Stone fruit - Bread and could include peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, mangoes, etc. - in any form - juice, fresh fruit or dried fruit. The only condition being that the  stone fruit should be included the dough or mix.

You need:

  • Baking paper or parchment paper
  • 3 large eggs (in my case homebred)
  • 100 gms powdered sugar or castor sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder (optional)
  • 150 ml chilled cremé ( I used low fat Amul cremé, chilled overnight and whey removed) or you can use double cremé if readily available
  • Icing sugar or castor sugar or powdered sugar to dust
  • 100 gms plain flour
  • Mangoes (chopped in very small pieces) -  4 tbsp
  • 100 gms Homemade Mango Jam (recipe to follow) or Mango Jam or Mango Pulp 

The Make:
Makes 6 small rolls | Preparation time: 15 minutes + overnight chilling time | Baking time: 15 minutes | Resting time: 20 minutes | Chill time: 30 minutes (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 25 x 30 cms cake pan or a Swiss roll pan with parchment paper. Cut the corners to fit the tray.
2. Beat the eggs and sugar until a ribbon trail is formed when the beater is raised. Add the Mango Jam or Mango pulp (set aside 2 tsp of the jam for the filling). Add 2 tsp of the chopped mangoes and the baking powder (optional) as well and fold. I made the first batch without baking powder and then added to a second batch. Not much of a difference. I think the mangoes added some rising factor.
3. Sift a ladle of flour each into the egg mixture and use another ladle to fold until well combined. Repeat with the remaining flour until all of it is added.
4. Carefully pour the mixture into the pan and give the pan a shake to level. Then smoothen the surface of the mix with the back of a ladle.

5. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove the sponge from the oven and lift the parchment paper carefully onto a clean chopping board or surface.
6. Using a serrated knife cut the sponge into half lengthwise.

7. Place one half on a clean tea towel. Roll the half lengthwise and set on a surface to cool. Repeat with the other half. Allow it to rest for 20 minutes.

8. Meanwhile, whisk the cremé with some sugar (if your jam is not sweet enough).
9. Carefully unroll the first roll, spread some jam on it lightly and then some cremé lightly in the center of the roll and sprinkle with a tsp each of mango pieces in the centre.
10. Carefully roll from one end and cut once the filling is covered. Repeat until 3 pieces are cut.
11. Repeat steps 9 and 10 for the second roll. Serve the rolls with tea or coffee on a platter and sprinkle with some icing sugar through a small round sieve.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com. #BreadBakers - Stone Fruit

Friday, 10 June 2016

Ramadan Kareem : Iftar 2016 : Mango Soufflé with Caramelised Ginger and Caramel

Ramadan Kareem!

My earlier batch of Mango Soufflé that I made and posted to celebrate G'Gina's Kitchenette crossing over a 100,000 page views was made slightly differently. The flavour was varied too in the second make. In fact I preferred the second one to the first.

I have always enjoyed making desserts for my loved ones and when someone asks to taste a dessert of mine, I tend to go all out and whip up a huge batch. Funnily enough, it turns out better than I ever imagined and more than the original recipe I created. So when it was mentioned how I had shared my first batch with a couple of my neighbour friends I was asked to make it again for a few more of my neighbour friends.

I made this recipe for my dear and sweet friends and neighbour Zaira Shaan, Shaan Rahman and their all too adorable son Rayaan Shaan (Rayu darlin'). Actually my chief taster was darling 5 year old Rayu who said he loves desserts and when I asked which one, he said yellow one with caramel. I asked if the yellow meant Mango as being Mango season it was all about mangoes for me! Zai prompted he meant cremé caramel.

Well since I had already promised Zai that I would be making her the Mango Soufflé, I stuck to the plan. But to please my main man Rayu, I had added a tweak and instead of cream, I used homemade caramel sauce with mango cubes and for the parents, caramelised ginger addition topped with fresh mango cubes.

There was a hint of chili in this batch as well which was a flavour enhancer but was not prominent as there were children involved in the tasting. The feedback was : Really good, Applause, etc. And I was happy! :)

I had more to give away. So when another good friend and neighbour Dr. Parvathy (Paru) heard Zai ask for the Mango Soufflé, she asked if I really liked soufflé (as she did not!), I decided she would be the one to taste it. She actually asked for just a taste but since it was served in individual bowls, I took her one with the hope to transform her! I guess she is transformed now. This I know as she offered her little boy just a tsp and gobbled down the rest. It was a 'clean bowl'! She added. 'Well! you don't really need me to comment now do you?' :)

I started my recipe creations with cakes and desserts. But somewhere along the line, when the number of tasters reduced, I went full onto the savoury side.

So I do want to go back to my roots and continue with the sweeter side of life. Let us see how far I will go in this plan. I will not of course be giving up on the savoury makes as there is far too many opportunities to build on existing there as well.

Anup and my Izzykins too loved this version of the Soufflé better than the first one.

You need:

For the Soufflé:
  • 1 cup mango puree 
  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar or castor sugar
  • 2 cups of cream
  • 11/2 tbsp Gelatine (soaked in 11/2 tbsp of cold water)
  • 3 eggs
  • Few tbsp of warm water
For the caramel and caramelised ginger:

  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 2" ginger, peeled

The Make:
Preparation time: 10 minutes, Setting time: preferable overnight or 8 hours | Serves 6 medium sized bowls

The Soufflé:

1. Whisk the eggs well .
2. Add castor sugar and cook in a double boiler until thickened. Set aside to cool.
3. Whisk the cream in a cold bowl with the Mango puree.
4. Add a few tablespoons (tbsp) of warm water to the soaked gelatin and stir to dissolve. Add the gelatine to the egg mixture.
5. Stir in the egg mixture into the cream mixture. Drizzle some of the homemade caramel around the inner walls of the individual bowls. Then pour the cream mixture into each of the bowls.
6. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. 
7. Loosen the sides of the soufflé with the back of a teaspoon. Top with mango cubes, cream or in my case homemade caramel.

The Caramel and the Carmelised Ginger:
7. With the back of the knife, smash the ginger and then finely slice the ginger lengthwise.
8. Heat a pan and add the sugar to it on medium-high. Once the sugar melts and begins to turn into a golden brown, add the hot water and cover evenly. Once the caramel turns an amber colour, turn off the flame. The caramel colour will deepen once rested.
9. Set aside some caramel in a small bowl and add the ginger to it. Add the caramel in a bowl and allow it to cool. Aesthetically place the caramelized ginger on top of the inverted soufflé and drizzle with caramel as required.

Hope you enjoy making this for your loved ones as I did and hope your loved ones enjoyed it as much as mine did! 

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Celebrating crossing 100,000 page views - Mango Soufflé #FoodieExtravaganza

G'Gina's Kitchenette has crossed another milestone and I am so thankful to all our readers. Reaching this milestone would never have been possible without my Good Lord and my constant inspiration Mummy.

So to celebrate this milestone, I would like to share my Mango Soufflé recipe as a part of our Foodie Extravaganza June event. I had a choice to either bake this soufflé or to use the normal double boiler method. I preferred the latter to allow the natural flavours of mango to appear. Not only did my little one like this soufflé, two of my friends (and neighbours) Divya and Ribu, did too. I missed on giving some to another friend and neighbour, so I may make this again this afternoon. In fact the talk of my making this soufflé was two-fold, one was as a part of the Foodie Extravaganza challenge and the other one is because there is a tradition that I follow from Mum. We never return an empty container back to anyone who offers us their food/delicacies. Ribu made this awesome fish curry for me to try and Divya offered me one of my many staples I used to regularly have in Hyderabad (Gongura Pickle). 

Mango season is almost coming to an end so I am frantically whipping up all that I can. So you can expect a fair bit of mango recipes to come. I would suggest you freeze all the mango pulp you can now.

I cannot make Soufflé without a bit of a chuckle. Prior to my wedding, I used to make Chocolate Soufflé a lot at home for my family and friends at Dubai. My bros-in-law used to tease me with the name Soufflé, pronouncing it as Sou-flee or Sou-fly, etc. :D which is why the chuckle!

I made this soufflé with both homegrown mangoes and home bred chicken eggs. 

The mint leaves are from a dear friend Elizabeth who is also my neighbour who grows them in her pretty little garden on her balcony. 

There are two ways to make this, one is with the egg yolks in a double boiler and egg whites whisked separately. 

The other way is to make it with the eggs whole and additional yolks and cook in a double boiler together. 

Since these eggs are from homebred chickens, I followed the first method this time.

You need:

  • 11/2 cups pureed mangoes
  • 2 cups chilled cream
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1.5 tbsp gelatine
  • 1.5 tbsp cold water
  • 3 eggs - whites and yolks separated
  • A double boiler (You can also use two sizes of pots or sauce pans)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Few mint leaves (as garnish) - optional
  • Mango cubes (as garnish)- optional
  • Castor sugar or powdered sugar (presentation) - optional

The Make:
Preparation time: 30-40 minutes | Cooking and setting time: 4-6 hours | Serves 4-6 

1. Place the separated egg yolks into a double boiler or in the smaller saucepan or pot and the egg whites into a clean glass bowl.
2. Soak the gelatine in the cold water for 30 minutes and then add 1/4 cup of warm water and stir to dissolve the gelatine.
3. Add the sugar to the yolks and whisk till light and creamy.
4. Next place the double boiler or the larger saucepan or pot containing water over low heat.
5. Add the pureed mangoes to the yolk mixture, stirring continuously. This makes the custard for the soufflé.
6. Add the soaked gelatine to the warm custard and stir till it reaches a smooth consistency.
7. Set aside from the heat and add lemon juice. Allow to cool till partially set. 
8. Beat egg whites to stiff peaks. 
9. Whisk the cream to a thick consistency. Set aside some cream for topping if desired and add in the rest of the cream to the custard in folding motions. Then add the egg whites till smooth.
10.  Add the castor sugar or powdered sugar in the surface of the slightly damp individual bowls. Pour in the custard into individual bowls and allow to set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. 
11. Once set, top with cream, mint leaves or mangoes as desired.

Hope you enjoy this make. Do let me know how it turns out for you. And now for some of those exciting Midsummer Eve themed desserts:

Foodie Extravaganza badge (1)

 This month Laura of Baking in Pyjamas is hosting with the theme Midsummer. The challenge was to create a dessert of your choice which is Midsummer Eve themed, think any kind of summer fruit or an interpretation of what Midsummer means to you. Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you're a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.  

Friday, 20 May 2016

Thai Barramundi Green Curry #FishFridayFoodies

Thank you dear readers of G'Gina's Kitchenette for helping my blog cross an important milestone of 100,000 page views. I plan to share a special recipe with you to thank you for all your love and care. Over the years I have made some very good friends through the food world.

It is true what the experts say: Food brings you closer to people in your life. A lot of love and care goes into making the perfect meal for your loved ones. This is why when things are down and out, a lot of loved ones bring food to the grieving homes or persons.

The month of May sees our loving Fish Friday Foodies family cooking up Seafood with 'Spice'. For those of you who know me well, know that I have always enjoyed spicy food and that too seafood. I have always lived near the seaside till a year after my wedding. Perhaps my most depressing year was from Dec 2010 to 2011. That was the first year of the 4.5 years that I lived away from the sea and that made me so blue.

It behooves me to have been raised in a Keralite household. Even when I was away from home, I lived with families from Mangalore, Karanataka, India where both seafood and spice was prominent. I love the Mangalore cuisine. In fact I always loved what Uncle John and Aunty Felcy made. I also have a college friend Lynet whose Mum made the most tastiest chicken and seafood curries. (*mouthwatering*). I loved Aunty's curries and Aunty loved seeing me gobble them up so it was a win-win situation :D.

G'Gina's Kitchenette was formed out of the desire to share what cooks in my kitchen and it has always been global cuisine.Why? Because I was born and grew up in a cosmopolitan country, Dubai, UAE. Mum too cooked a lot of global cuisine. So this time I wanted to present the Thai fish curry.

Anup had traveled to Thailand and he brought the fish sauce from there, so I have used it in this recipe.Green curry paste can be made from scratch or bought from most South East Asian aisle's of your neighbourhood Mart or stores. You can make the paste in advance and store in a cool, dry place.

You need:

  • 3 tbsp of green curry paste 
  • 3 shallots, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp oil 
  • Milk of 1 medium sized coconut half (Take two milk - thick and thin)
  • 200 ml chicken or fish stock 
  • 2 tbsp anchovy or fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar 
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves or lime leaves
  • 7 cherry tomatoes,halved (preferred)
  • I kg fish, cut into medium size
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, peeled and cut into 1" pcs
  • Coriander leaves and 4 lemon wedges (to serve) (preferred)
  • Thai Red chilies or green chilies, chopped

The Make:
Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 20 minutes | Makes 4 adults

1. Heat the oil in a large wok and add the lemongrass, shallots and garlic. Saute for a minute until golden and fragrant on medium-low heat.

2. Next add the green curry paste and saute for a minute until cooked and fragrant.

3. Add the thin coconut milk, stock, fish sauce, sugar, lime leaves and the cherry tomatoes if using. I only did not use the cherry tomatoes as I was not able to procure it and was running out of time to run to the store. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.

4. Add the fish. Cover and simmer for about 5 mins or until the fish is cooked.

5. Serve in a large bowl with the lemon wedges on the side or you can also divide the curry among four bowls and top with coriander leaves and chilies. This would accompany rice well.
Bon Appetit or in this case Lxng kin ลอง กิน (Thai for Bon Appetit)

Would you like to join Fish Friday Foodies?  We post and share new seafood/fish recipes on the third Friday of the month.  To join our group please email Wendy at wendyklik1517@gmail.com.Visit our Facebook page and Pinterest page for more wonderful fish and seafood recipe ideas.

Now to see what the rest of our #FishFridayFoodies have whipped up for May: