"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'."

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Crispy Chocolate Surprise Balls #FoodieExtravaganza

Aaaah I'm back and for one of my favourites 'Chocolate'! Thank you Kathleen for my favourite Chocolate theme in time for me to pick up the pace on my food blog as well.





Kathleen Coe Clegg is the wonderful hostess of our October's theme 'Chocolate' over at Foodie Extravaganza. She is the owner of 'Fearlessly Creative Mammas', a wonderful blog sharing recipes from her home.




This time I wanted to do something similar to cake pops except it is presented a lot differently.




I enjoyed making this treat as I knew my little girl would love it.



She absolutely loved it and thinks I should sell it. She added that she thinks there is only one problem, no one who eats it will want to leave our home. She even tried to convince her grand dad (my dad) to have one. She said "It's homemade!" :D. She is a Chocolate fanatic just like her mom as you can see from her expression in this photo of the two of us sharing a bowl of layered ice cream at The Chocolate Room in Hyderabad, India two years ago (New Year's Day dessert).



With runs to the hospital to daily chores increased in the last weeks, I was totally unsure if this post would get uploaded at all. I am glad I was able to do it. I may get the opportunity to get the opinion of one or more kids today. I will let you know what they say about it. Trust me, if kids like a dessert or dish, it is good. They never lie. They are the best food critics in the world. Yaaay! I just got feedback from my darling little 5 year old Rayu. His response was a thumbs up and a fist bump! His parents ate most of the chocolate ball though. Thanks Zaira and Shaan. Love seeing my favourite neighbours and friends enjoy my homemade treats :)


The surprise here was meant to be the caramel but I am not sure it is! In my daughter's case the surprise is the Chocolate outer and inner as well. The Crispy element can be made crunchier in case you cook the puffed rice with a layer of powdered biscuits (Marie biscuits) and set to cool. For want of time, I could not. I will try it next time and let you know how it goes.

You need:

Basic chocolate cake:

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 11/4 cup all purpose flour, plain flour or maida
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 medium sized eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or essence
  • 1/4 cup of warm water
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp butter (for the cake balls mould)


Caramel sauce: See Mango soufflè with caramelised ginger and caramel sauce (no need for ginger here)
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup hot water

Chocolate sauce and crisps:

  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup of puffed rice or churmura (plain not salted)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp butter


The Make:
Preparation: 20 minutes | Baking time: 30 - 40 minutes | Makes 8 medium sized chocolate balls

For the Basic chocolate cake:

1. Preheat the oven to 180° C.  Butter a cake tin of any dimension. The size doesn't really matter as the cake will be deconstructed.

2. Mix the cocoa powder in the warm water until smooth. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt in a bowl and set aside.

3. Whisk the eggs until light and fluffy and add the butter to it and whisk well. Mix the egg mixture into the flour mixture until smooth.

4. Transfer to the prepared cake tin and allow to rest for 20 minutes before baking for 30-40 minutes until risen. Set aside to cool.

5. Deconstruct the cake into powder and add 1 tbsp milk and 1 tbsp butter and mix well till a dough can be formed. Set aside.

For the Caramel sauce:

1. Heat a pan and add the sugar to it on medium-high. 
2. Once the sugar melts and begins to turn into a golden brown, add the hot water and cover evenly. 
3. Once the caramel turns an amber colour, turn off the flame. The caramel colour will deepen once rested.

For the chocolate sauce with puffed rice:

1. Add the cocoa powder and warm water and heat lightly on sim whilst stirring. Once it starts to boil turn off the heat and mix the butter in well.
2. Add the puffed rice, mix well  and allow it to cool to room temperature.

For the Crispy Chocolate Balls:
1. Divide the cake dough into 8 parts. Roll each one into a ball and flatten it in your palm. Add a tsp of caramel sauce in the center and roll back into a ball. Do this until you finish all 8 balls.
2. Place the cake balls on a rack and pour the cooled chocolate sauce with puffed rice using a ladle over each ball. Allow it to cool at room temperature.
3. Transfer to the fridge.

Serve cold. Your kids will love this treat.


Foodie Extravaganza is a monthly food fest, where a group of bloggers all create and share a recipe around one of the monthly food 'holidays' as detailed in The Nibble. This month Kathleen from Fearlessly Creative Mammas is hosting and since chocolate day is October 28th, Chocolate is our theme. There are actually two other days that incorporate chocolate in October, the 14th is Chocolate Covered Insect Day and the 18th is Chocolate Cupcake day. We didn't want to get to specific though, so we will just say chocolate. 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. Now, check out these great chocolate submissions!

Mango Jam #noPectin

It has been a while since I last posted a recipe on the G'Gina's Kitchenette. You know what they say, 'When life hands you lemons make lemonade!( or in this case use it as a part of your Jam - I know PJ)' But what do you do when it hands you death, accident, unwanted troubles and family and friends' health issues?



Well not to burden you with the details but I have had quite a few check in on me..I lost my Dad-in-law in July and have had some issues with family health. Also an unfortunate accident happened, one that I will learn from. I had once lost all hope. But I trust God will bring peace and favour to us.





This recipe is long overdue. I wanted to post this soon after the Mango Jam Rolls in which I had used the same jam batch. Although in India, Mango season has come and gone, I am sure a lot of places still get a good lot of mangoes.



During this mango season, I had a wonderful time making recipes using different types of Mangoes. This one is special though as it reminded me of Mum who taught me my first ever Jam.


You can make this Jam with any kind of non-stringy mango variety. For this one, I chose Alphonso mangoes. I did not want to use Pectin either as Mum never used it and I am sure with reason.





You need:

  • 6 large ripe and firm alphonso mangoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 11/4 cups of  granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1 medium size lemon
  • Sterilised jars, pots and ladles

*Make sure that all utensils including the spoons and ladles are properly sterilised and dried.



The Make:
Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cook and rest time: min. 45 minutes | Makes 2 small sized jars or 11/2  medium sized jars approx 600 gms | Lasts minimum 2 weeks if refrigerated well

1. In a large pot, place the mangoes, sugar, lemon juice over medium-high flame.Once the sugar comes up to a boil, reduce the flame to sim.
2. Cook the mangoes for at least 5-10 minutes and mash the cubes with the ladle.
3. Cook for another 5 minutes and the resultant mangoes will be cooked and thickened. Test the jam on a plate by drawing a line on it. If it is firm and not runny, then you are good to go, otherwise test cook for another 3-5 minutes.
4.  Set aside from the flame and allow it to cool which will continue the jam thickening process.
5. Once completely cooled, transfer to a sterilised jar (s) and refrigerate and use for a minimum of 2 weeks or until your family allows you to store it. #JammyGoodness #Flavoursome

Serve on your favourite toast or can be used in your favourite savoury dish as well. Spicy prawns may go well with this jam.




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
#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!