Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pinoy Spaghetti Treat

What is Pinoy Spaghetti and why it differs from Italian Spaghetti. Well Pinoy or Filipino Spaghetti is mostly sweet and can never be hot and spicy just like the Italian spaghetti. Most Italians would use a homemade fresh tomato puree unlike most Filipinos would go for canned tomato sauce or paste to simplify the procedure correct me if I am wrong.

Pinoy style spaghetti is really something which I cannot resist to eat. It is simply one of my comfort food because of its balanced taste of sweetness and sourness and the simple ingredients of minced beef and hotdog makes it appealing to my taste buds.

Pinoy Style Spaghetti, pasta and sauce being mixed here
pinoy style,spaghetti

Italian spaghetti may be consisting of fresh chili or they may include anchovies in it especially if it was Spaghetti Puttanesca with olive oil and black pitted olives. The versions are endless but you can really define pinoy style spaghetti just by looking at its ingredients.
We do use banana ketchup so that the sauce will be sweet not unless others may have used to put sugar if they think the sweetness was not yet enough. About the cheese, well any simple cheddar cheese will do and no need to buy expensive ones. Pinoy style spaghetti may not be having meatballs as to what most people do prepare since meat balls will only be in canned goods, so the rendition will always be minced beef or pork.

Fellow brothers enjoying their spaghetti treat
spaghetti food

There are two ways for preparing this pinoy style spaghetti. One method is cooking the pasta first and the sauce separately. If you’re the host for the party, you may have to put the pasta on a separate container and the sauce on a saucer. Then the guest will be the one to mix the ingredients like the hotdog, the sauce and sprinkle the grated cheese.

Anna and Yves just enjoying their spaghetti meal

But for those who want to make it simpler and economical, they already mixed the sauce into the pasta and sprinkle the grated cheese along with it and mixed it well before serving it to their guest. On the occasion that I have shown here on the picture, our family friend manages to mix the sauce with the pasta and serve it individually on a styro serving plate before giving it to guests.

Well, you can clearly see how happy most of the visitors are while eating their spaghetti matched with sandwich and juice drink. Spaghetti will always be part of special occasions like birthday celebrations, graduation, despidida, weddings, anniversary and a lot more. This is one dish that Italians may have influenced us although we alter it according to taste.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

White a Delight White Forest Cake

I am a fan of Red Ribbon cakes because they are so yummy. I can’t resist their black forest, brazo de mercedes, carrot cake and blue berry cheese cake. But this one cake added more to my attention because it is the color opposite of black forest. It was really mouthwatering for me to look at those white chunks of white chocolate that surrounds the cake. It is also embellished with creamy white icing as it was vanilla flavored chiffon cake with the goodness of seductive whole maraschino cherries on top of the cake.

Top view of White Forest Cake by RR
cake,white forest

Cakes are always present in every special occasion like birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and so much more. This one was taken during Christmas season and we had it paired with delicious ice cream. I really miss eating RR cakes because their cakes are really fabulous, delicious and affordable.

White forest cake for me was just fine because it was not too sweet that will make my goose bumps appear and signals my brain to stop eating. It really melts well inside the mouth, rich thick and creamy but balanced. But sorry to those who are vegetarians, this type of cake is not eggless. White Forest cakes can have varieties of fruits on top, it can be prepared with blue berries or kiwis on top but just to make it snappy, I really appreciate if there were no fruits on top, just make it simple and leave the cherries alone without any competing fruits.

Sweets can be tempting and for those who like to diet and trim their calories, I am also sorry but this baby is not an option for you. Maybe one slice will not harm but anyway as long as that calorie meter is concern, it will be around 195 calories for that 1.8 0z of cake.

About diabetic patients, well you know this is already sweet, so forget about it. More fresh fruits and veggies are required for you to eat and discipline is necessary. It may not harm a normal person’s diet as long as you can eat sweets and drink plenty of water later on. White Forest cake can also be a good theme for a wedding cakes. I just don’t mind if it can be boiled icing or fondant cake, as long as the fairly white crème ala crème is presented well, that will be fine for me. Isn’t it lovely? What or should I say White a delight!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Snail, Catfish and Tilapia Fish

Back home I used to remember these foods because they are available but here in India, I can only find them on the side streets of Goa particularly fresh snail but not the catfish and tilapia fish. What was available here was the cousin of tilapia fish and I only see catfish in the aquarium.

Snail in Coconut milk

Philippines offer vast foods from different countries and magnificent representation of foods from its region. In the north, it is more on veggies and fermented fish sauce and shrimp pastes unlike in the South; their recipe includes more of using coconut milk. But in the city, well thank God there are so many things offered like foreign foods to regional foods.

Fried Catfish and a condiment of soy sauce and birds eye chili & calamansi (local lemon)

Snail to some can be an exotic food. It is not that easy to eat unless you know the trick of tapping a hole on its tip so that you can slurp it off easily. The only thing I regard eating snail is when it is cooked with coconut milk and when it is hot and spicy. You can order this recipe on food courts in the mall and I can suggest that you try Barrio Fiesta on their rendition of Snail in Coconut milk.

The next food that I tried to eat was fried catfish. It wasn’t that tasty compared to sole fish and tilapia because it has a different smell. A good chef that knows how to cook a catfish uses a method of marinating or putting something inside the fish while grilling it or frying it. In this case, what I have seen was lemongrass that was included in the recipe.

This lemongrass fights off the fishy scent and taste of the catfish and is really perfect. Well if you have tried to cook this fish before, probably you may have used some sauce or red chili, onions and tomatoes and stuff it inside this fish. This method pertains only on frying or grilling, not for soup recipe.

About tilapia fishes well I have heard that these fishes originated in South Africa and it travelled to the waters of the Philippines and that were it all started as most tilapia fishes are breed in fish ponds. Forget about fish kill issue, what I am talking about here now is that tilapia is one of the most tasty and delicious fish that I like so much because I can make a lot of recipes out of it.

Fried tilapia, Sweet and sour tilapia, sweet potato tops with fermented fish sauce

As to what I showed here, this was prepared by my cousin who is working as a cook in a local restaurant in the north. He fried one tilapia and the other tilapia, he called it Sarciadong tilapia which is sweet and sour in taste was outstanding with crispy green bell peppers. The brown sauce that you can see on the saucer was bagoong or fermented fish sauce. It is salty in taste blended to perfection as a condiment for fried fish and sweet potato tops which we call “talbos ng kamote”.

Now these foods you may consider eating with hot steamy rice and with plain hands, even if you don’t need to use any fork, spoon or knife. How I just wish I can be there again to experience the wonderful goodness of our local fishes and some delicacies. But anyway, thumbs up for these recipes and hope you can also try to order them if it’s available in your place.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Chicken Spring Roll and Prawn Schezwan Rice with Noodles

I like spring roll because it is one of the finger foods which is easy to prepare as long as you have the readymade wrapper. But this chicken spring roll that I ordered here was different. It was not made by such thin wrapper which we used to buy back home. This chicken spring roll was made out of wheat like for making flat breads or chapatti that is why it was thick and bigger than what I expected.

Upon eating, I checked out what was inside, the usual cabbage strips, spring onions and carrots were inside plus the big chunks of chicken. It was more aromatic to me but the taste isn’t that yummy since it was not the type of spring roll that was crispy on its wrapper. I bought it so that I can just experience what was their version of a spring roll. For me it will be heavier on the tummy because of the wrapper. Two big pieces of spring roll is already enough to make you full if you have a small appetite like me.

This is not LUMPIA or TURON, this is Chicken Spring Roll
spring roll,chicken

I wasn’t supposed to order out but we ran out of gas tank and we still don’t have the spare. Ordering here for a supply will take days unlike when I was in Philippines, whenever we ran out of gas cylinder, we can order it on the phone and it will only take 15-20 minutes for the tank to arrive. Anyway, so much for the rant, back again to what I ordered that is Prawn Schezwan rice with noodles.

It sounds interesting to me since Schezwan is a famous Chinese dish and I like shrimps so I’m curious to see the combination of it in rice and noodles. I never expected that the color would be too red, probably that is the version of their Schezwan, which I thought would only be stir fried to a shrimp, but it’s not. The usual ingredients that I have seen included was carrot, cabbage, spring onions, egg, prawns, hakka noodles and with seasonings. Nothing much fancy and nothing much to expect since it’s prepared in a local nearby restaurant. Maybe if I ordered it somewhere else where it’s a 5 star rate resto, it can be more lavishing in its approach.

This is not SPAGHETTI, its Shrimp Schezwan Rice and Noodles, oily isn't it?

Anyway this Prawn Schezwan Rice with noodles is too oily. It was too much that it thickens my lips with its oiliness. The rice wasn’t newly cooked; it was like a left over rice and was served again by masquerading it in orange red color to make it appealing. It was a total disaster because it does not justify what the prawns and eggs are doing there. The prawns may have wrongfully jumped in the wrong backyard while the egg was entangled in a spider web.

Chicken Springroll + Prawn Schezwan Rice with Noodles = Total Damage Rs155.00 or $3.44
spring roll,chicken,shrimp schezwan

Needless to say, my final verdict was.. I AM NOT GOING TO ORDER THIS AGAIN! I was just hopeless since I was too hungry and the nearest restaurant to where we order was also closed so I ordered this food in Toot…toooot.. I won’t mention the name of the restaurant, besides I am not paid for this one at all. Well, just another day in the life of a Food Blogger!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Breadfruit or Rimas

Breadfruit is a tropical type of tree which looks similar to jackfruit but without that sharp spikes and it does not grow bigger like that. It is rich in carbohydrates enough to keep your body warm which for me is perfect to cook and eat during cold rainy day or stormy weather.

Breadfruit can be cooked in so many ways from simple boiled food or being combined in a soup. It can be sautéed, marinated into sweets and it can be fried. It was my first time to eat it fried when my mother in law prepared it. I wasn’t able to take the snap of what she cooked but I was able to take a picture of the breadfruit that grows in their backyard.

A Breadfruit tree found in my MIL's backyard

Rimas is the Tagalog word for Breadfruit. What my mom usually prepares for rimas was with coconut milk, green chili and some fish. It was really tasty and delicious every time she cooks it. Breadfruit lowers bad cholesterol level and is good for the heart. It is also rich in fiber so you can have a good digestion. It is also said that this vegetable is good for diabetic patients because it reduces the absorption of glucose in the food that we eat.

The experience I have eating fried breadfruit was something else. This vegetable easily absorbs the flavor of the ingredients that you put in. Since it was fried, it obviously displayed the flavors of salt, turmeric and red chili powder into my tongue. The scent is magnified even more when fried as if you are cooking some delicious meat.

Once you take a bite on fried breadfruit, the fleshy part of it digs into your teeth and it melts. It is indeed a bread looking taste since bread is tasteless without any fillings of a spread, this one is the same. You can get used of the inner taste which tastes less and I am more interested in eating what was the outer part rather than reaching the inner portion.

Unlike when you prepared rimas or breadfruit on a different menu, you won’t be able to detect the difference of what’s in and what’s out of it. I don’t know if it was just my palate, but certainly I would say that’s a big difference. Well whether you like it or not, Breadfruit is another vegetable that is good for the health and that is the bottom line.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fried Green Beans

I never know this recipe until one cousin of mine visited us home and she was from the north to where most veggies grow. She bought a lot of green beans and shared it with us and that is the time I tasted fried green beans when she introduced it to us.

Most recipes I know of green beans was including it in beef stew. Aside from sautéed green beans of course, I never thought that it can also be fried. It wasn’t bad at all since I do favor salty flavored dish. It was just so easy to prepare, just remove the strings from the side of that green beans when you’re removing both ends and tips of the veggie and washing it well with water.

Fried Green Beans with soya sauce

Put salt into it and presto, just put it in a hot pan with oil and fry it. But it doesn’t end there; you need to put soy sauce for finishing touches, not immediately okay. You need to fry your green beans first before you put the soya sauce. You may notice that your green beans turned into darker brown color that is the signal that you can now add the soya sauce.

The taste is fantastic, the smell is magnificent but be careful on frying

It is not easy to fry green beans. It splatters a lot so you need to be careful. Since your green beans is wet and with salt, it has the tendency to splatter hot oil into your skin so be ready with a pan cover or lid to protect you. Just put the flame into medium heat and stir it well so that it will be proportion when you fry the green beans.

You don’t need to cut your green beans into portions when frying. Just cut the tips of the veggie and that’s it. You can add onions to this if you want to taste it similarly to bistek, a local Philippine dish. Fried green beans are good side dish. If you want to experiment and add a twist, you may use butter instead of vegetable oil when frying it. But I guess butter and soya can have two different taste so I still suggest on using vegetable oil for this recipe.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hello Yellow Curry

This is my 100th post and for my special recipe today I would like to share to you this chicken curry which I made it more yellowish than reddish. The last time I posted a recipe on chicken curry, it was dry and reddish in color since it has more masala and more spicy than this yellow curry that I have to share.

By the way, this is not the version of Filipino curry or Vietnamese curry which uses a certain curry paste for cooking. This chicken curry is still using Indian spices although I marinated the chicken with turmeric to make it look more yellowish plus I put less of red chili powder and I added some coconut milk to combine the goodness of the flavors of India.

It was really fascinating to learn how Indians from different regions cook their own versions of chicken curry. Some would like to include more seeds and then make a fine paste after they toast it. Some would just like to have it quick by marinating the chicken with most of the powdered spices and I have never seen them include some veggie like potato.

Blended perfection of red chili, turmeric and coconut milk

Some would like to include tomatoes in their curry while in this curry, I did not include any tomatoes because I am just specific to what I wanted to achieve, a yellowish color and so I named it Hello Yellow Curry. By the way, I did not use any dahi or yogurt in my dish since I already cook it using coconut milk. I also did not include any curry leaves but just fresh coriander leaves for garnishing.

The kitchen was filled with the abundant aroma of the spices and I see to it that I fry my chicken first before sautéing my onions. Most video presentations I saw online cooked their chicken in different ways. I like to marinate the chicken first to remove any foul smell. This is the right way you need to prepare your chicken before cooking it. Although some have used portions of cut lean chicken meat, while on my part, I did use chicken parts with bones because I like my curry sipped into those bones, it is more delicious to eat chicken parts with bones rather than with lean meat.

Here are my basic chicken curry ingredients:

Chicken parts (with bones)
3 medium sized onions (chopped)
2 green chilies (chopped)
Potato ( 1 medium size, cut into quarters)
4 cloves of garlic
Coriander powder
Whole garam masala – (cloves, black peppercorns, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cardamom seeds)
Cumin seeds
Ginger- garlic paste
Red chili powder
Coconut milk (one cup)
Coriander leaves
Hing or asafetida
Vegetable oil

Methods / Preparations on How to cook Hello Yellow Curry:

Hello Yellow Chicken Curry

Step 1: Marinate the chicken first by putting salt, ginger-garlic paste and turmeric. Leave if for few minutes or half an hour. I don’t have any problem if you marinate the chicken in longer period of time, it is much better.

Step 2: In a pan put the marinated chicken. Let the water from the chicken come out first. Once the pan is dry, that is the time you put oil in your chicken and fry it until the chicken turns light brown. Set aside the chicken while you prepare the next thing for your curry.

Step 3: On that same pan, put half a teaspoon cumin seeds, once it crackle you can now put the whole garam masala and hing. Next step is the garlic and then your chopped onions and chopped green chilies. Make sure the onions get a golden brown color and put turmeric, salt and ginger garlic paste into it. Stir well so that it won’t stick at the bottom of the pan.

Step 4: After this you can now put your coriander powder and red chili powder and stir it well together with the onions. Once the powder spices are in, you need to put the chicken pieces and stir it all together with your masala.

Step 5: Put one cup of water in your chicken and cook it for 10-13 minutes. Check the taste if it needs more salt. Once the water boils, you can now add your potatoes and then your coconut milk.

Step 6: Simmer for another 5-10 minutes and just check your potatoes if it’s tender. The thicker and bigger you cut your potatoes, the longer the cooking time you need to wait. The final step is garnishing your curry with fresh coriander leaves. This gives another aroma and taste to your chicken curry.

Chicken curry is served best with hot rice or chapatti (flat bread) with mango pickles and papad. I do hope you enjoy cooking and if you have questions, you can leave me a post here and I hope to reply you back.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Round Gourd with Potato in Chili Flakes

This time it’s another veggie meal. I have posted before some recipes about round gourd or what we call in tagalog as Upo. This dish that I wanted to share with you is from India since it needs to include some spices like chili, mustard seed and cumin powder. It is just easy to prepare especially if you’re in a quick mode to prepare a meal for lunch or for dinner.

Round Gourd with Potatoes in Chili Flakes, garnished with fresh coriander
potato,round gourd,chili flakes

I have never eaten round gourd with potatoes before. It was my first time to try this recipe and for me, it is just fine since it does not complicate the taste. Round gourd is watery unlike potatoes; it absorbs water so I guess these two veggies are good to combine. You can’t go wrong with it if you wanted to sauté it with fried fish for this meal. But since I don’t have fish in stock, I did not include any but still it taste great so without further due, here is the recipe for cooking Round gourd with potato in Chili flakes.


Round gourd (cut into bigger chunks)
Potato (1 medium size and cut into quarter size)
Onion (chopped)
Mustard seeds
Cumin powder
Ginger-garlic paste
Tomatoes (medium size, chopped)
Turmeric powder
Curry leaves (5-6 pieces)
Fresh coriander leaves (for garnishing)
Chili powder
Chili flakes
Vegetable oil

Preparation/ Methods on Cooking Round Gourd with Potato in Chili Flakes:

Step 1: On a pan heat oil and put the mustard seed. Once it crackles you can now put half a teaspoon of cumin powder.

Step 2: Next you need to put the onions and put salt into it so that it can easily fry. After this you can now put a pinch of turmeric powder and one teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste. Stir well so that it won’t stick at the bottom of the pan. When your onion is already light brown in color, you can now put your chopped tomatoes.

Step 3: If the tomatoes are already mashed a bit, you can now add your curry leaves and half a teaspoon of chili powder. After this you can now put the round gourd and potatoes together and stir it carefully so that the ingredients are all mixed well.

Step 4: Sprinkle some chili flakes as you add about one cup of water. Put the flame into medium heat and simmer the veggies for 2 minutes. Check the taste if it needs more salt. If the veggies are not yet done, wait for additional 4 minutes and don’t overcook your round gourd.

Step 5: Garnish with fresh coriander leaves to make it more appealing. You can also include fried fish for this recipe right after you simmer your round gourd and potatoes with water. Serve hot with rice and with any fried meat or fish. I do hope you enjoy and try this delightful meal.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sinangag and Hotdog For Breakfast

I don’t have any idea to call it since most familiar breakfast meals would be like TapSiLog (Tapa Sinangag at Itlog, beef meat, stir fried rice and egg or Longsilog for Longganisa Sinangag and itlog (sausage,stir fried rice and egg).

I don’t have egg on stock so the quickest that I can do for this breakfast meal is to stir fry the rice and then put some ready- made mix like maggi ginisa mix and some oregano seasonings courtesy of my left over packet for Dominos pizza.

Stir fried rice with hotdog seasoned with soya sauce and oregano seasonings

It was just a lovely combination and before you know it, it’s done. For sinangag you would just need a left over rice and then sauté it with garlic and onion. But since I have my ready-made mix, I did not peel any onions and garlic for this one. On preparing hotdog, I always boil my hotdogs first and once the water is drained, that is the time you need to put oil and fry your hotdogs.

By the way, set aside the hotdog and cut it into pieces since you need to mix it with your stir fried rice. You can also do this recipe by adding egg, no stirring required, just crack the egg open and stir it along with rice, of course for added flavor you would just like to add some salt and black pepper. But if you don’t like pepper it’s okay. You can also add some soy sauce into your stir fried rice if you want and garnish it with spring onions.

Easy to prepare, it will be for only 5 minutes including the frying of your favorite hotdog. But before I forgot, you need to put enough amount of oil, not too much since it will be too greasy and not too little because the rice might stick at the bottom of your pan. Just be sure to stir it most of the time so you can mix the ingredients very well. Enjoy your quickie breakfast meal Sinangag and hotdog (sindog) with your favorite beverage like juice, hot coffee or tea.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fruit Salad for Father’s Day Treat

Happy Father’s Day to All Daddy, Tatay, Papa, Dada, Dad, Babu, Itay, Baba. For this special day I prepared the easiest dessert that I can figure out, Fruit Salad. I wasn’t that quick enough to remember that I needed to take a snap of the ingredients and I missed out the creamer that I used which I already throw in the bin but anyway it was an all-purpose cream, sweetened milk and fruit cocktail that you needed to make in this delicious dessert. Definitely all salads tastes great when refrigerated but never made them into ice bergs else it won’t be salad anymore but fruity popsicles.

Fruit Salad treat for Father's Day
fruit,salad,creamy salad

Good thing that there was a fruit cocktail available in here, thanks to Del Monte. Going back to fruit salad, there are so many ways you can add more to your salad like cheese cubes and some more fresh fruits like cutting off apples, pears and melon.

I also like to include pearl balls but this time, I skipped it. Maybe if I have the time to prepare other desserts such as potato salad or macaroni, I’d be surprising you guys and see what other concoctions I have come up to.

Salads are always there for special occasions. It feels incomplete without it and I can say that kids surely would enjoy sweets so instead of just offering them some cakes for desserts, I prepare to infuse fruits or veggie salad.

Fruit Cocktail, Sweetened Milk and all purpose creamer for your Fruit salad recipe
fruit salad,fruit cocktail

I do hope next time I can also showcase on my blog some more sweets, baking stuffs as long as I can get an oven because I really wanted to try more recipes and more delightful snacks and desserts. I hope this will be the time for a great cooking adventure for me. I’d be so much happier to see my family enjoy their food especially the ones I prepare for them.

By the way, I am not endorsing any product here on my blog, It just so happen that I have used such brands for representation purposes only and has nothing to do advertising it since this is not a product review and I am not paid for it.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fried Eggplant with Soya Sauce

Nothing so fuzzy about my menu today, it’s because it was just a simple dish which anyone can cook although I just added some soy sauce to make it more appealing in taste. Others may have added sliced onions into it but I just did not.

Eggplant is a rich source of B vitamins with potassium, copper, phosphorus, magnesium and folic acid. It is recommended to be eaten by Type 2 Diabetes patients and if you’re a vegetarian, well that is also a good way to practice eating healthy. Eggplant reduces cholesterol in our body so it is also a good way for those who want to diet.

Fried Brinjal or eggplant with soy sauce, perfect for rainy days

Eggplant can be cooked in so many ways, from boiled to grilled to baked to fried, name it you can’t go wrong with it. There are also a lot of varieties of eggplant that is being sold in the market. You have the round small ones, the longer eggplants in purple and in white color. Some eggplants are green in color also.

The one that I prepared was round small ones in purple color. In India they call eggplant as Brinjal. So if you happen to look for an eggplant and want to buy, you just tell them brinjal. What I did for this recipe is to slice the eggplant thinly and then sprinkle it with salt. Just keep the pan heated as you can see the oil is also ready then put those eggplants into place.
Once your eggplant is fried on both sides, then that’s the time that you put your soya sauce. I did use a regular soy sauce, not the dark soya please because it will just get your eggplant in mess since that type of soy sauce is thick and really dark which will make your eggplant unpleasant to eat because of its dark appearance.

When selecting a good eggplant, just be sure to check the outer part if it has holes. Avoid buying eggplants that are soft and not firm because that will not be fresh. Holes in your eggplant veggie signifies that there are worms inside so be very watchful in buying eggplant veggies.

Just one more tip, once you slice your eggplant and you are still preparing your pan, just keep those sliced eggplants in a basin of water so that they won’t turn dark. Remember that prolonged sliced eggplant in the open air turns their flesh into darker brown which you would not like to happen.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pinakbet the Indian Style

Pinakbet is a famous dish from the north (Philippines). It consists of veggies like eggplant, lady finger, bitter gourd, string beans and squash. You can still add more veggies but the very basic is what I have mentioned above.

I just put the veggies so it is not yet cooked

I don’t know if you can call it blasphemy on my part for cooking Pinakbet with a bit of a twist since I added spice into it like chili flakes, turmeric and red chili powder. What can I do, I need to make my own rendition, yes that’s right, my own rendition of Pinakbet since we don’t have shrimp paste to use here so I improvised something like fish sauce (patis) and fish broth cubes which I bought back home before going back to India . They don’t have patis or fish sauce here and they don’t even include it in cooking their dish.

Steamy goodness of Pinakbet

Anyway, going back to my own rendition of Pinakbet Indian Style which I made it spicy (only thing that can be appreciated here), it does still taste fine. I did not regret to be bold enough to try it and taste. But if you were not into eating spicy foods, that’s fine, just ample enough of chili flakes will do I guess. But the original cooking of Pinakbet, shrimp paste should be use and with meat like pork or prawns if you like.

Just the right way to cook your Pinakbet veggies

The one I prepared was mainly a veggie meal, I did not include any meat products, and so if you are a vegetarian, you will like this dish. Here is how you prepare Pinakbet:


Lady finger (okra)
Bitter gourd (ampalaya)
Fish sauce
Fish broth cubes
Cooking oil
Chili powder
Chili flakes
Turmeric powder
Ground black pepper
Ginger-garlic paste

Methods / Preparation for Cooking Pinakbet:

Step 1: Wash the veggies thoroughly and cut them into right size (For eggplant: if it’s the round one, just criss-cross cutting it, for bitter gourd, not too thin and not too thick, for lady finger, cut it sided about two inches thick, for your squash cut it about an inch thick.

Step 2: On a pan heat the oil and sauté garlic and onions. Put some salt into your onion to cook it easily then sprinkle some pinch of turmeric powder into it. After this you need to put your chili powder, just enough for your taste before you put the veggies like squash, eggplant, bitter gourd and lady finger. Stir the veggies and put the fish broth cube and some fish sauce to taste.

Step 3: Add 2 cups of water for your veggies and then add the chili flakes into it. The water would be reflecting on the reddish color of your chili but would be getting something brown because of the eggplant. Just taste it and add some more salt and ground black pepper to your taste.

Step 4: Simmer the veggies for 5 minutes and check if it’s already tender. Do not overcook your veggies.

Your Pinakbet is best served with any fried fish or any dried fish but of course with hot steaming rice. Enjoy your meal!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Potol with Aloo

I have remaining potol (pointed gourd)and aloo (potatoes) in the ref so it was just timely to cook this recipe. I do have researched some recipes concerning this one but I cannot do it since the ingredients calls for some spices that I do not have. Luckily there was this recipe posted by a lady from the south that she delighted to share this dish. The only ingredient I lack was sesame seeds which she added. Anyway no big deal for that one since the rest of the ingredients I have here and I would also like to share to you.

Potol with Aloo (Pointed gourd with potatoes)

By the way if you would ask me where in the world can you buy pointed gourd or potol or parwal, it’s in every sidewalk market of India. I haven’t seen this veggie in Philippines yet, even if I try to visit bigger groceries and malls, they don’t sell such. So just in case you would like to try this recipe, I suggest you can also check an Indian store for this one, who knows they might have it. Here are the ingredients on how to prepare Potol with Aloo masala.


Potol (pointed gourd) 5-6 pieces
Aloo or potatoes (one medium size)
Onion (medium size)
2 cloves of Garlic
Rai or mustard seeds (one teaspoon)
Jeera or cumin seeds (one teaspoon)
Lemon juice
Coriander powder
Red chili powder
Green chilies (slit)
Ground black pepper
Sesame seeds (optional)
Turmeric powder (a pinch only)
Ginger-garlic paste (one tbsp.)
Coriander leaves (for garnishing)
Cooking Oil

Method/ Preparation on how to Cook Potol with Aloo:

Step 1: Scrape off the potol by scrubbing it with a knife. This removes the outer skin of the veggie. Cut it into halves and then slice it vertically. You can remove the seeds if you think it is too hard or if the potol you bought was already old.

Step 2: On a pan heat the oil, and then sprinkle the mustard seeds. If it crackles, then it’s time to put the jeera or cumin seeds. After this you need to put the onions and sauté them. Once the onions turned light brown, you need to put turmeric powder and then your ginger-garlic paste.

Step 3: Next step will be the coriander powder and chili powder. If you have put these powders be sure to put a few drops of water so that you don’t get to burn the powders. After this you can now put the potol veggies and simmer it to two minutes.

Step 4: Put the flame into medium to slow heat and then add your aloo or potatoes. You can now add some salt and black ground pepper to taste and add some more water to keep the potatoes softer as you cook it. Cover the pan and cook the veggies till it gets tender. Garnish it with fresh coriander leaves. If you happen to add some sesame seeds into this dish, you can add it once you have put your potatoes.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mendu Wada

This is the problem of traveling and you don’t seem to consider what other options to eat in the train since you don’t like to eat the same food that was offered during your first off. Well, I am talking about foods in a local train when travelling.

I find it hard to select what to eat besides you don’t even know how they have prepared the food. It was just out of curiosity that I have picked this snack up and just try to get something in the tummy since I was really hungry.

Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside

Hubby calls it spongebob wada or Mendu wada. It is chewy like mini pearl balls that were fried in oil. The smell is outrageous, meaning yummy but the smell is much better than the taste. I really didn’t like it that much because the taste wasn’t that interesting, or maybe it was just the chef that cooked it? It has coriander, some potato bits, peanuts, jeera and mustard seed into it but you dip it in ketchup.

Eating inside the train, I really blurred my image here

It doesn’t give much of a character when you eat it. The outer crust is much more enticing to try rather than the inside of that snack which tastes more boring. I really don’t know also if it was just my palate saying these things but as for me, they should have added more tangy or saltiness into it. Maybe it is much tastier if they have soaked the chewy pearls into some masala but anyway I am not even sure of the name if it was mendu since hubby said that’s how he remembered the vendor mentioned it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Crabs, Shrimps and Alphonso Mango

I really enjoy eating fresh sea food delights when I am in Goa. Beside the fact that it is much cheaper than the prices in Mumbai, hubby gets to haggle for prices and he always gets a very steal price. Imagine the price of crabs that we bought was only Rs100 and even the shrimps. I will never ever get that same price when I am in Mumbai or even in my country Philippines.

Crabs which is just cheaper in Goa
fresh crabs

I also like the medium sized shrimp that we bought and it was also cheap. I was not just able to take the photos once they were cooked by my mother in law. She cooked Crab Curry and fried the shrimps with masala and it was really great.

Goans really do have the best preparation when it comes to sea food cuisine and I guess they must have been influenced a lot by the Portuguese who came to settle there before. So if you try to visit Goa, India I suggest that you try their sea food curries and other Portuguese dishes. They offer a lot of varieties since Goa is one of the best tourist spots in India because of the beaches there, it is also considered as the Christian state in India.

Fresh Shrimps
fresh shrimps

About Alphonso mango, well this is the crème dela crème of all mangoes in India and it the most expensive mangoes because they export these types of quality. There are many varieties of mangoes in India such as Badami, Totapuri and so much more. But alphonso is the sweetest that you can find but with a real good price that ranges from Rs200 to Rs 1,000 per kilo.

The Sweetest Mango.. Alphonso Mango
alphonso mango

I like how golden orange these alphonso mangoes are. They are sweet and not that with fiber and itchy to the tongue when you scrape off the very least of their skin unlike other mangoes. Alphonso mangoes do have varieties too for quality, which they tag for type 1, 2 or 3 but whatever it is, the price speaks for itself.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dosa and Falooda for snack

The very first time I arrived in India, I already liked the taste of falooda. There are different ways people prepare it here but whatever is their concoction, the main ingredient would always include tapioca pearls which are chewy and crunchy.

For me, falooda is served best if you include an ice cream on it, but I have nothing against falooda that does not have a match of ice cream since it can still taste good. The prices range from Rs35-50 depending on the ingredients included on your ordered falooda.

Delicious Faloodah with Ice cream and Dried Fruits
falooda,ice cream

Falooda is originally a Persian dessert that has influence India and other countries. It is like a counter part of our halo-halo although the main denominator is that it is considered sweet and refreshing snack. We did visit Goa and we ordered this falooda with a mixture of dried fruits and ice cream. It was really refreshing and sweet and it was perfect to pair with dosa.

Faloodah, one of my favorite snack/dessert in India
falooda,dry fruits,tapioca

Dosa on the other hand is also a favorite street food in India. It is a crepe made out of rice and some lentils and it has a lot of versions. It can be this plain and simple paper dosa or stuffed with aloo or potatoes inside. The one I ordered was with potatoes and when your dosa is served, it is always paired with coconut chutney and some sambar which is with veggie.

Dosa, more than a ruler long, can satisfy your hunger

Dosa is crunchy like your ice cream cone but not the sweet one. It is thin and very long when rolled which can be served on a big platter. The famous varieties of dosa are chili, buttered, onion, paper, roast, chow-chow, rava and masala dosa. I like the plain and buttered dosa along with with aloo inside. I can assure you that one dosa is really good for two people, not unless you really have a bigger appetite than I do.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dried Fish like Tuyo and Danggit

There are different types of dried fish and one of the most favored of all was Tuyo (Salinas) and danggit. I was just so lucky to spot them here in India where in Goa particularly has offered a lot of varieties which includes those that I am not even familiar of.

danggit with tuyo

The prices of dried fish there was so cheap that a big pack of it was just ranging from Rs20 rupees or twenty pesos P20.00 and I was really jumping for joy for such a price. Imagine, even danggits here was just Rs20.00 and that was more than ½ kilo if I have to weight it. Although I didn’t buy much because I will be the only one who’s going to eat since hubby does not eat much of dried fish. Even my in-laws don’t eat dried fish so I took home to big packs of dried fish back home in Mumbai.

The cheapest Danggit for only Rs20.00

The Salinas were really biggggg as in big tuyo that I have ever seen. By the way, those tuyo I have also costs Rs10.00 which is more than 15 pieces (big chunky pieces). It was really aromatic for me when I cooked it. It was a haven to eat them during these rainy seasons as I dipped it in vinegar since I don’t have a stock of fresh tomatoes.

The biggest tuyo I have seen! Yumminess!
tuyo,dried fish

By the way these were not part of my food cravings but certainly I did missed eating dried fish so I bought it. It’s raining like crazy here and these dried fish is my comfy food that I paired with Hakka Noodles that hubby prepared for lunch. Well, Bon Appetit everyone!

Fried Danggit with Hakka Noodles
danggit with hakka

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