Goa is the smallest state in India, but I chose to write a separate piece about it anyway because it has very particular past and food culture since Goa was ruled by the Portuguese for 4 centuries, and they left certainly left their mark on the food!
Things you didn’t know about Goa:
- Not many people know this but Goan people can apply and avail a Portuguese passport along with the Indian one.
- Goa is the only place in India where you can hire a two wheeler taxi commonly known as “Pilots”. It’s basically a motorcycle and the driver will charge you and drop you to your destination.
- It might be the smallest state in India but nonetheless it’s also the richest state in India
- 26.6 percent of Goans practice Christianity and 6.8 percent practice Islam. The remaining one percent are Sikh, Buddhists and Jain.
The term Vindaloo, derivative of the Portuguese “vinho de alho” (wine with garlic) was first brought to Goa by the Portuguese some 400 years ago. The original traditional Portuguese dish was made with pork preserved in red wine or red wine vinegar,chili pepper, and stewed with garlic. The Goans modified it by adding plenty of spices. You can make this with chicken or lamb or pork.
I’ve had vindaloo curry before, but this one is soooo good, the spice hits just the right spot! This recipe is one the greats people so pleas please please try to make it!!! Again if you have all the dry spices it’s soooo cheap!
- Dry red chillies(or fresh) ,6 – 8
- Black mustard seeds 1tbsp
- White vinegar 1/2 cup (about 100 ml)
- Onions ,2 diced and pureed
- Ginger paste 1 tbsp
- Garlic paste 1 tbsp
- Brown sugar 1 tbsp
- Cinnamon powder ½ tsp
- Cardamom powder ½ tsp
- Cumin powder 1 tsp
- Black pepper powder ½ tsp
- Oil 4 tbsp
- Salt,to taste
- Soak mustard seeds and chillies in vinegar for about 2-4 hours (preferably overnight) and grind to a coarse paste.
- Marinate the prawns with the vinegar mixture, ginger-garlic paste and the ground spices,
- Heat oil in a large wok, add onion puree and sauté well. Add the prawns pieces and mix well till meat appears sealed and glossy.
- Take shrimp out, do they don’t overcook
- Add ½ cup water, cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes so the sauce is reduced Stir occasionally. Add the prawns back in.
- Add brown sugar and salt to taste. Serve hot with rice.
The 2 main islands of Guadeloupe are separated by a 50 meter width sea channel. Although 50 meters doesn’t seem that much the landscape of the 2 islands is completely different. Grand Terre in the East consists mainly of limestone with long magnificent beaches. It has a dry climate and is the centre of the tourist industry. Meanwhile Basse Terre is a mountainous island with extensive rainforests. So close and yet sooo different. The volcano La Grande Soufrière towers over Base Terre and is 1600m, it is the highest point in the Eastern Caribbean. Guadeloupe has the highest standard of living in the entire Caribbean.
Things you didn’t know about Guadeloupe:
- The famous dance of the island is called the biguine, which is still performed in traditional colourful Creole dress.
- Guadeloupe boasts some of the best diving sites in the world thanks to the crystal clear waters, wonderful coral, stunning wildlife and captivating ship wrecks!
- The people in Guadeloupe call their country Karukera, which means butterfly in Creole
I think this is literally the easiest recipe I ever made! It takes time to marinate yes. But no effort at all!
Ingredients: 12 jumbo uncooked shrimp, deveined, coarsely chopped, juice of 2 limes, 2 avocados, peeled and cubed, 4 small white onions, peeled and minced, ¼ cup coconut milk, chives (chopped), salt and pepper
- In a bowl, combine lime juice and shrimp. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill in refrigerator, 2 hours.
- Prior to serving, stir avocado and onion into shrimp mixture.
- Drizzle with coconut milk and garnish with chives. Serve.
The world’s biggest noncontinental island with the world’s smallest population. Which place can it be? Greenland of course! reenland is not a cheap destination, but few places combine such magnificent scenery, such clarity of light and such raw power of nature. With few roads to be found under the snow you only transportation options are helicopter, dogsled, ski, snow scooter, or boat. Which makes it very expensive, unless you want to travel by foot, but it’s not recommended! The Greenlanders are a blend of the people of the traditional Inuit population and Danish blood. Greenland. Greenland is actually a part of Denmark, but you probably knew that already 😉
Thing you didn’t know about Greenland:
- It’s called Greenland because the Viking, Erik the Red, desired to colonize it and lure people from Europe to the island. He was a liar… It’s not green. (Imagine the disappointment!!)
- The ice sheet covering 2/3 of the island is over 2 km thick.
- The suicide rate is very high, and Greenlanders have a problem with alcohol consumption as well.
- According to the legend, Qivitoqs are half-dead half-alive as strong as animals who roam the land at night. Sounds creepy doesn’t it? Kind of like zombies?
- There are few land mammals in Greenland: polar bear, reindeer, arctic fox, wolf, arctic hare, musk ox and stoat and all in all around 500 plant species.
Looking for a perfect weeknight meal with fish. then this is amazing. it’s quick, easy and delicious!
The Provence, holiday paradise! The coast or Côte d’ Azur is a major celebrity hotspot in summer, and the country side is an inspiration to many many artists!
Things you didn’t know about the South of France
- There is still bullfighting in the South of France, but they don’t hurt or kill the bull. The only ones who are at risk are the bullfighters.
- Although most inhabitants speak French, Provencal is the traditional language of this Mediterranean region. It is similar to Catalan or Spanish.
- The beautiful Provencal countryside inspired the French artist Paul Cezanne (1839 to 1906) who was a native of Aix-en-Provence. His work includes landscapes, portraits and still lifes, which earned him the title “The Master of Aix.”
- The big story of recent years is how pétanque – a game that dates back over three millennia – suddenly got swank and boules became cool. In May 2010, after the Chanel Cruise show in Saint Tropez, Karl Lagerfeld hosted a starry pétanque tournament for Vanessa Paradis and Diane Kruger and other beautiful people and a friendly boules tournament has since become a traditional annual fixture at the Paris spring / summer men’s shows.
Bouillabaisse is traditionally from the Provence region. Specifically from Marseille, but nowadays every city or village has it’s own version. My mom claims this the best dish yet, and I totally agree. I think the secret lies in the fact that I made my own fish stock I made really big pan to store some in the freezer. So I will put that recipe on the blog as well later this week under the category Other Recipes.
The Fiji Islands, a dream holiday destination for everyone nowadays, but this wasn’t always the case. Before the early 1800 the Fiji Islands were avoided by explorers like Thomas Cook, who named them The Cannibal Islands. Yes the Fijians were cannibals. Not so paradise like now right? Nowadays Fiji is very popular honeymoon destination with it’s white sand beaches and perfect palmtrees.
Things you didn’t know about Fiji:
- Fijian and Fiji Islanders are not the same! Don’t call everyone you see Fijians, as the indigenous Fijians tend to take offence. Fijians refers to a person of indigenous descent, with any other resident being called a Fiji Islander.
- The whole of Fiji consists of just 10% land. Of the 322 islands and 522 islets, only 106 are inhabited. The two biggest islands are Vanua Levu and Viti Levu. 90% of the Fiji territory is water.
- Since the beginning of time, the Fijian culture has always emphasized on strong family values and Fijians have maintained strong family ties even for those who have moved abroad. You hardly see any individuals living in an isolated house in the rural areas.
This fish curry is a perfect midnight meal, done in 30 minutes and delicious!
Ingredients: 4 lean firm-textured fish fillets cubed, 3 tbsp oil, 1 garlic clove, crushed , 3cm square fresh ginger, finely grated, 1 onion chopped, 2 long red chillies, finely chopped, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp ground turmeric, 1 tsp ground cumin, Juice of 1 lemon, Juice of 1 lime, 200ml coconut milk, 200ml coconut cream, salt and pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add garlic, ginger, onion and chilli and cook until onion is transparant.
Add mustard seeds, turmeric and cumin stirring constantly until fragrant.
Lower heat and add fish pieces. Add lemon and lime juice over the fish pieces and stir fish lightly until just cooked on both sides.
Pour coconut milk and cream over the fish and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with fragrant jasmine rice.
So this week we are cooking a dish from the Falkland Islands! The Falkland Islands are an isolated archipelago and can be found somewhere South West of Argentina, but strangely they are part of the UK. Although the Argentinians still envy the British very much, since Argentinians consider the Falklands theirs. About 25 years ago they even had very bloody war about it that lasted 72 days. The capital of the Falkland Islands is Stanley the most Southern capital in the world. Well capital might be a big word since only 3000 people live there. See why I used isolated now? 🙂 Things that are very normal to use like movie theaters and big departments stores can’t be found. In fact there are only 2 supermarkets in the entire archipelago!
Things you didn’t know about the Falkland Islands:
- London and the Falkland islands are at the same latitude. 52 degrees! Although London is of course on the Northern Hemisphere and the Falkland Islands on the Southern Hemisphere.
- The international airport on the Falkland Islands is one of the only ones in the world located on a military base. It is called Mount Pleasant.
- Almost everyone in the Falkland Islands owns a four wheel drive car since a lot of the roads on the Islands are unpaved.
- They have a tradition, nobody knows where it comes from but the Falklanders seem to think it’s lucky to pin your shoe on a hill they call Boot Hill nowadays.
- A lot of islands that have really strange names like some crazy drunk pirate named them for instance: there is an island called Whisky and next to it you can find island Rum.
With only 3000 inhabitants it’s hard to find a national dish! But after a long search I found something! This fish is amazing!
Ingredients: Two fresh mullets, hot wok, 100g of grated potatoes & carrots & turnips, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, vegetable oil for frying, 0ne tablespoon of cornflour for seasoning.
For the Hollandaise sauce:500g butter, 6 whole black peppercorns, 25 ml tarragon wine vinegar, 3 egg yolks
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper
- Shape into cakes and using a metal ring , pan fry on both sides
- Transfer to medium hot oven for 15 minutes
- Using a hot smoker or wok smoke the fillet of mullet for about ten minutes until fish is tender and moist
- Melt the butter gently
- In a saucepan reduce vinegar by half with peppercorns
- Using a food processor whisk egg yolks and incorporate the cooled reduced vinegar. Then incorporate the butter until sauce forms.
Equatorial Guinea does not have the best reputation; failed coups, corruption, poverty. Of course the country does have some problems and I wouldn’t recommend you going there for a peaceful holiday, but despite everything the nature is supposed to stunning in Equatorial Guinea. Rain forests full of endangered primates and shores of nesting sea turtles. On the mainland, white beaches, forest paths and junglescapes await. Just don’t forget to calculate some bribe money in your travel budget, because it is guaranteed you’ll need it.
Things you didn’t know about Equatorial Guinea:
- Spain only had one colony in Africa, Equatorial Guinea. They relinquished control on Oct 12, 1968, which is relatively early by 20th century African independence statistics.
- Although the coffee and cocoa industries are among Equatorial Guinea’s biggest economy boosters, the average resident there generally doesn’t consume these beverages themselves.
- Extended families often live together. When a couple marries, it is traditional for them to move in with the husband’s family.
- Since the discovery, the country has flown into economic stardom, but this country remains one of the most corrupt countries in the world, and it is very common to see officials asking for bribes around the corners of the country.
This recipe is a so much better then you would expect, my first reaction was: fish with peanut sauce that can’t be good? But I was wrong it was delicious although my absolute favorite was the avocado sauce.
Ingredients fish: 4 firm seabass filets, 2 garlic cloves, crushed & finely diced, 1 scotch bonnet, minced or pounded to a paste (or 2 green chillies), 125ml lime juice, 3 tbs coconut oil or palm oil, Salt & pepper to taste, Guinean Peanut Sauce (see below), Guinean Spinach Sauce (see below), Guinean Avocado Sauce (see below)
Ingredients Guinean Peanut Sauce: 500ml chicken stock, ½ onion, diced, Pinch of oregano, 2 garlic cloves, finely diced, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tbs tomato paste, Pinch of cayenne pepper, 200ml peanut butter, ½ habanero chilli, pounded to a paste (or 1 green chilli), 2 bay leaves, Salt & pepper to taste, 3 tbs oil
Ingredients Guinean Spinach Sauce: 300g spinach, de-stemmed and finely chopped, 100g smoked fish, flaked, ½ large onion, chopped, 30ml peanut butter, 350ml warm water, 180ml palm oil (or peanut oil with some turmeric and paprika for colour), 1 scotch bonnet chilli, left whole but scored (or 2 green chillies)
Guinean Avocado Sauce 200ml beef stock, 200ml water, ½ chilli, pounded to a paste, ½ tomato, chopped, 1 tbs lemon juice, 1 large avocado, thinly sliced, 2 tbs peanut butter
- Rinse the fish then drain and pat dry with paper towels. Season the fish liberally with salt & pepper then place in a glass or ceramic baling dish. Add the garlic and chillies, then pour the lime juice over the top. Turn a few times to ensure they’re evenly coated, cover with foil, then place in the fridge to marinate for 1½ hours.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauces. To prepare the peanut sauce, fry the onion and garlic in the oil until soft. Pound the tomato and chilli together into a paste and add to the pan. Fry for a few minutes then add all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 mins or until desired consistency is reached.
- To prepare the spinach sauce, fry the onion in a little of the palm oil until softened. Mix the peanut butter with the water and add to the pot along with the other ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 mins or until well thickened. Add the palm oil, remove the chillies and cook for a further 10 mins.
- To prepare the avocado sauce, bring the stock to a boil and add all the ingredients except the peanut butter. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 mins. Extract 6 tbs of the broth, mix with the peanut butter and return to the pot. Cook for a further 10 mins, and serve warm.
- When ready to cook the fish, heat a grill or barbecue. Drain the fish, pat dry and then brush with the palm oil and season with salt & pepper. Cook for about 4 mins per side, arrange on a plate and serve with the sauces.