"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, 14 March 2018

Stir Fried Yam (Chena Mezhukupuratti)

"A pan full of Yam" - Chenna Mezhukuparatee/ Sauteed yams

Onions can make you cry but this dish had me crying even before I peeled the onion. Why? Because this dish was prepped by mum when she visited in February 2015. I have almost no clue of how to peel and cut every root vegetable possible. And Dad and Mum used to grow these root veggies in their yard. Yam is one such root veggie that Mum and Dad carried with them to our home in Chennai. This was when they were visiting us for the first of the two times at Chennai, before Mum passed away.

She prepped this dish and asked me to cook half of it and refrigerate what I didn't need right away and so I did. When we were moving from Chennai, I need to clear up my fridge and I came to the container in the freezer and decided to have it on Saturday 27.6.2015.

This dish was physically prepped by Dad and Mom and finished off by me (after Mum passed away). The yam itself was homegrown. When Mum was prepping the dish for me, little did I know that only a few weeks away would Mum leave us for her Heavenly Abode.

I had first chosen to share this dish after New Year  as most homes would have been dialing down the extravagant meals after the festive season. I know of homes that go completely detox or purely vegetarian after all the indulgent weeks have gone by. But now with the Lenten season in, it seems apt to post this recipe.

I do not think I have consumed as much yam in my lifetime as I did while we were moving from our home in Chennai as I needed to use the prepped yam and would not let a morsel of it go to waste. Mum must have had a good laugh. Miss you Mum.

So since I didn't know how to skin the yam, Mum put Dad on the task as her skin was quite sensitive to it. Then Mum did the initial cooking of the yam and asked me to store the excess in the freezer and use as required. This root vegetable can actually be precooked and stored in the freezer even up to 6 months. I would not recommend it as the fresher your veggies are, better is their nutritional value.

So to make this simple recipe,

You need:

  • Mustard seeds -  1 tsp
  • Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  • Onions - 1 medium size, sliced
  • Green chilies -1-2 nos slit
  • Ginger-garlic paste - 2 tbsps
  • Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Elephant Foot Yam/Chenna - skinned and sliced - cut into long 1/4" sticks
  • Coconut oil - 1 tbsp

The Make:
Preparation Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Serves 4 adults
  1. Boil the yam in water with shake of salt, turmeric and some pepper powder.
  2. Splutter mustard seeds in heated oil over medium heat in a non-stick pan or wok. Then add the curry leaves. Lower heat to medium-low.
  3. Saute onions, green chilies, ginger garlic paste, turmeric, Coriander pwd and salt. 
  4. Toss in prepped yam and saute for 10 minutes making sure to not have the yam stick or burn against the pan.
  5. You can also leave out the green chilies and add a tablespoon of chili powder after tossing in the yam. Another alternative is to add pepper instead of the green chilies or chili powder. You can also add some jeera/cumin powder. 
Hope you enjoy this dish with a nice steaming bowl of rice and your favourite gravy.Serve hot with rice or chapatis.I went all out and added this as a mash in the centre of my dosa. I even tried it in some white pasta. 

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Celebrating Life.... Creamy Vegetable Soup

No excuses this time for being late on my recipe posts. I am thankful that I have a full life, filled with multitude of things to do. One such wonderful opportunity that came my way again was to cook at my little girl's school. They have started a new cooking lab and I had the opportunity to impart some cooking learning to a bunch of wonderful second graders.

The thing I love about my girl's school is how they inspire the kids to inquire and learn. Kids are curious by nature and to mould them into thinking out of the box is something I simply love. I love that I have a creative, excited little girl who is always willing to explore, learn and better herself.

The Lead Ma'am and I chose a soup to make this time owing to the end of monsoons. Also since there have been a couple of rains off and on causing the temperature to lower. A lot of kids had been falling ill too with cold, cough or flu. So a soup seemed apt.

This soup is a Thai inspired one. But since kids come from different households where either they are vegetarians or cannot eat onions, eggs, etc. or where the kid has peanut allergies or generally don't like things  like ginger, I avoided using them. Kids are also picky on things like bell peppers, etc. So although it is Thai inspired requiring the use of galangal, bell pepper, peanuts, etc I avoided using any of it.

Carrots are liked by most kids and I know many kids who prefer broccoli these days to cauliflower. So a small portion of brocolli, chopped finely was used. Each kid was asked to bring 1-2 ingredients. I loved the excitement of the kids as each ingredient went into the wok. In fact because of all the beta carotene (through carrots), the soup got a nice orangish colour and coupled with the coriander leaves, the kids who had just celebrated their Indian Independence day celebrations were inspired to tell me what the colour of the soup reminded them of, which was the Indian Flag.

Apart from maybe one or two kids who wanted chicken in their soup, the rest even though non-vegetarians liked the soup for its creaminess. I chose to use two homemade coconut milks, the 2nd milk to cook the vegetables in and the 1st milk to add at the end just warmed up and not boiled which added to its creaminess. How to freshly extract the coconut milk is explained here.

That's me by the way. Extra happy with the kids :)

If you want to make the full version, you can used crushed ginger or galangal, lemongrass, either sriracha chili or green chili, bell peppers finely diced and yellow onion. You can also take a non vegetarian option by adding boneless chicken diced small or boneless fish diced small.

You need:

  • 2 cups of grated carrots (about 4-6 carrots depending on size)
  • 1 cup of broccoli, florets separated into tiny florets
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, grated using a hand grater
  • White pepper preferred (if not available you can use regular black pepper) powder - 1-2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 medium coconut gratings (extract two milks)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro or coriander leaves, diced well
  • 1 cup of sweet corn
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup of drinking water (set aside some more if required)

The Make:
Preparation time: 10-15 minutes | Cook time: approx. 20 minutes | Makes about 4-6 medium sized bowls 

1. In a large wok, heat about 2 tbsp of coconut oil and add the carrot gratings. Saute for about 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat.
2. Next add the broccoli  and sweet corn. Saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add a sprinkle of salt and the pepper. Mix well. Add 1 cup of drinking water.
3. Add the second (thin) milk and half cover the wok. If you have a wok with a glass lid containing a steam hole, then cover fully and keep the heat at medium-low heat. Allow the vegetables to cook for 10 minutes. Add the water and if required add more than 1 cup. Do not overdo it else it will not turn out as creamy.
4. Grate the garlic over the uncovered wok and stir well. Add half of the chopped cilantro and simmer for 5 minutes.
5.  Lower the heat and then add the first coconut milk. Add the remaining coriander leaves and watch over the pot to allow to heat up. Do not boil. Do a salt check and add more if required.

It is better to add just a sprinkle of salt at first as adding to taste levels at first may not balance the dish as the coconut milk tends to sweeten the soup. So you may end up adding much more salt than is required for the soup. You could also cook the vegetables with just the water at first, blend it with a hand held or regular blender and then return it to the wok to cook in the coconut milk and finish off with the first thick coconut milk. Since there was no blender available, I had opted for the non-blending option.

Hope your kids and you enjoy this soup. Do let me know how it turns out. You can also mail me on gginazkitchenette@gmail or visit my Facebook page or Twitter page. We are also on Pinterest and Instagram now.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Spiced Homemade Wine

Cheeeeeers to a New Year 2017! Ahem, yes I know we are well into the New Year but mine seems to have just begun!

After a cleansing process that the Good Lord has performed in my life recently, I am now in a happy state of mind after the many, many months of downs and outs. On that note, dear readers,

Happy International Happiness Day!

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.

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.

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

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.