Christabel’s Bolinhas

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups semolina
  • 2 cups grated coconut (grind in 1/4 cup water)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp clarified butter
  • 1/4 tsp cardamon

Preparation

Make a syrup of sugar in 1/3 cup water, then add ground coconut and clarified butter. Mix well then add the semolina and cardamon.  Mix again and let cool.  To the cooled mixture add in the egg yolks, mix well, then let sit overnight. Make into balls, and put on pre-greased tray. Bake on greased tray in preheated oven for 30 min at 350.

Note that there is something in the middle of each bolinha to take it up a notch. What can you do to give this sweet your personal touch?.

 

 

Sweet Potato Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 pound sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ginger (crushed or powdered) to taste
  • 1 9 inch unbaked pie crust

 

Preparation

Boil sweet potato whole in skin for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done. Run cold water over the sweet potato, and remove the skin. You can easily soften the butter using a microwave.  I do so in 10 second bursts and you may need to do so differently based on the power of your microwave.

Break apart the sweet potato in a bowl. Add butter, and mash it together well. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, crushed ginger/ginger powder, and vanilla. Beat until mixture is smooth using a mixer. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.  Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes (preheated oven), or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Do not get alarmed. The pie will puff up like a souffle, and then will sink down as it cools.

As usual the recipe can easily be modified to suit your tastes. To me that’s the fun of it.  Taking something and making it your own. The potato is sweet enough not to add sugar.  This time I removed all the white sugar and added a tablespoon of honey. I use ginger to give it some zing.  The pie is nice without it too.  Oh, I added some liqueurs to muddle the flavors a bit, while still ensuring the “sweet potato” came through.

Eggless Mango Chocolate Marble Cake

This cake was made for my aunt’s birthday dinner by my cousin and I.  It came out really well, nice and light and compact.  The brown and yellow swirls provide a nice contrast, the nuts texture… A perfect recipe to share.

Ingredients:

All Purpose flour –  2 cups
Baking powder – 1 and 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda – 1/2 tsp
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Sugar – 3/4 cup
Oil – 5 tbsp
Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
Cocoa powder (unsweetened) – 1/4 cup ( dissolved in 2/3 tbsp of warm water)
Mango Pulp – 1 cup ( If you use fresh mango pulp you probably should pass through strainer to eliminate fibers)
Milk – 1/4 cup
Buttermilk / Yoghurt  – 1/4 cup
Chopped nuts – 1/3 cup

Method :

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar & oil then to this add mango pulp, milk, yogurt, vanilla, buttermilk and mix well.
  • In another small bowl, combine the dry ingredients of flour, baking soda, baking powder & salt.
  • Add the dry ingredient mixture to wet, mixing well.
  • In a small bowl combine cocoa powder and warm water to make a paste.
  • Transfer half the mango batter to another bowl, add cocoa paste, mix well.
  • Grease and line a pan with parchment paper.  Alternatively you can grease a 8 /2 inch square non-stick baking pan well, and flour it, which we did.
  •  There are a variety of methods to get the marbling effect.  We dropped the plain mango and mango chocolate batter alternatively in a checker board pattern for the first layer.  For the second we placed the tbsp. of mango batter on cocoa batter and a tbsp of cocoa batter on mango batter.  Complete rest of the batter alternating the batters to make a checker patter. Then make a swirl. For the swirl, you can draw a vertical line from left to right, next line right to left an inch apart from the previous one and then left to right again, an inch part from the previous line. You get the idea. Similarly draw horizontal lines top to bottom, bottom to top, top to bottom an inch apart from each line. Then tap baking pan to level the batter.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until you put in a toothpick and it comes out cleanly.

Notes :

We didn’t use vanilla essence and it came out well.  The nuts were our choice and not included in the original recipe.

Sausage Empadas

Whether they are called empadinhas, empadas, or empanadas these pastry pockets make a delicious and easy appetizer.  This is a great recipe as it does not have sugar which many other empada dough recipes have.  We also used salted butter instead of 4.5 tsp of salt which the recipe calls for.

Dough:

  • 6 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup chilled water
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsps vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup amul butter (salted and cut into cubes)

Mix together the butter and flour until crumbly.  Mix together the wet ingredients.  Add wet to dry and combine.  Final dough should be shaggy.  Put on dusted flour surface and form into flat rectangle and wrap in cling wrap.  Chill in fridge for at least an hour.

Filling:

  • 2 packets of Goan sausage
  • 8 small onions chopped

Fry onions in the oil of the sausage, and then add chopped sausage and simmer for a little while so well mixed.  let cool. The empada dough and filling can be combined in different ways.  You can use small cup cake molds, roll out two small dough circles, with the first one folded into the mold and the second covering the top.  Another option is to put a teaspoon of filling on one circle, wet the edges with wet flour paste, then place the second dough circle on top.  Press around the edges with a fork to get a fancy edge.  A third idea?  Roll out dough, add filling, then place another piece of rolled dough on top,  Roll with rolling pin and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes of your choosing.  You can see how diamond flats and rounds with the fancy edges look from the featured image. Brush with egg yolk before baking to give a golden brown final look. Bake empadas in oven at 200 degrees centigrade until tops are golden brown.  Tap to confirm it is baked.

Notes:  You can use a wide variety of fillings, even veg if that is your fancy.  This time my cousin Preeti and I made 26 small empada cups, 6 empada rounds, 18 empada diaond shapes flats, as well as additional dough remnants that we baked to satisfy those who wanted a taste.

Chicken Lollipops

A fun chicken wing appetizer, an Indian Chinese cuisine starter.  Apparently Hakka Chinese immigrants to India settled in the Calcuta/Kolkota area and adapted Chinese seasonings and cooking techniques to Indian tastes.   For instance, in Goa it is common to see Hakka noodles, sweet corn soup, and more on menus. (Looking at Chinese cuisine fusion beyond India I found this interesting TED talk that you might enjoy.)

One can make chicken lollipops using thighs, drumsticks, or wings.  I prefer wings myself, using two of the three parts of each the wing. I do not waste the unwanted tip, simply marinating in the same marinade, dipping in rava and baking to make crispy bites, an additional dish.

A kilo of chicken wings is about 18 wings, making 36  lollipops, plus 18 crispy bites.  The following recipe is for 2 kg wings and is for those who are happy winging it.  It makes lollipops that are lightly spiced.

Butchering the chicken wings to make the lollipops:Sometimes it is easier to watch something being done, rather than explaining the steps involved, so check out video one from 1:36 to 3:15 minutes, and video two.

Lollipop marinade:  Combine 2 tbsp crushed ginger garlic, 9 tbsp of yogurt, 4 tsp of chili powder, 1 tsp of cumin powder, 1 tsp of coriander powder, 2 tsp chaat powder, 2 tsp tandoori powder, 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, 2 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp lime.

Add lollipops to marinade and let marinate for a few hours.  Put in oven and bake until you observe them crisp.  Wrap the stick end in foil makes it easy for your guests to pick and nibble.  You can serve on a plate garnished with shredded green cabbage or chopped green onions to make a feast for the eyes.  Great served hot with lime wedges, and a dipping sauce of your choice.

Chunky Fresh Mango Cake

Mangos are plentiful now in Goa, and so the idea of mango cake came up.  My cousin Preeti and I found this recipe on the web and made it.  It turned out really well, serving 8.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 egg
  • 1 cup plus 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped peeled mango
  • 1/2 cup chopped cashew nuts

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, beat the sugar, oil and egg until well blended. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; gradually beat into sugar mixture and mix well. Fold in mango and cashew nuts.
  2. Transfer to a greased 6-in. round baking pan. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes – If you use fibrous mango you should sieve the pulp first before using otherwise you will get mango fibers in the final cake.  The original recipe from the taste of home website used pecans, but we used what we had, cashew nuts.  Do not hesitate to experiment with the recipe, using alternatives such as a different oil if you do not have canola.  You could add additional spices, or raisins.  Your options are only limited by your imagination.

Rava Upmaa

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coarse semolina/sooji/rava (roasted lightly)
  • 1 very large onion
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 cup of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • salt to taste
  • 1 ½ cups of hot water
  • 2 tbsps Ghee/oil (Ghee gives a great flavor, coconut oil is also great)
  • Several curry leaves
  • 1 tsp ginger powder

Preparation:

  • Finely chop onion and green chili
  • In heated oil drop mustard seeds and curry leaves, then add chopped onion and chili. Once onions are sauteed and reduced a bit, add ginger powder and after a few minutes the diced tomatoes. Next add the semolina and hot water, mix and set aside in closed container.
  • It is easy to do variations with upmaa. The simplest upmaa you can make is without onions and tomatoes. Then anything you add makes it different.  To the above recipe I added some chopped cilantro and cashew nuts to give it just a little bit more. The end result is what you see as the feature image for this post. Have fun playing around with ingredients you like to make your own rava upmaa!