Tag Archive | Goa

In My International Kitchen

Once again I find myself sipping a soya chai latte at Mumbai International Airport, waiting to board a flight to London. My visits always seem to be as manic as the country itself, so it’s nice to take a little time out to write a blog post before I leave it all behind….

In My Kitchen Garden…

… Are mango trees full of delicious sweet fruit. This time of year is terribly hot but atleast the fruit is ready for picking!

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In My Garden Kitchen…

… Are hundreds of coconuts! The green coconuts have turned brown with the formation of a hard husk shell.

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In My Garden Kitchen…

… Hangs these delicious bread fruits. Best eaten sliced and fried!

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In My Garden Kitchen…

… Are these custard apples. I actually think they taste more like a pear!

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In My Kitchen…

… Sits this beautiful wooden juicer! It belonged to my Grandparents and is presumably very old!

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In My Irish Kitchen…

… Is a fantastic display of home baked goodies. I completed a home baking course with a good friend. We made cheese and herb scones, banana and walnut bread and berry muffins. It was great fun!

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In My Irish Kitchen…

… Are loads of goodies from Dr Oetker! I recently took part in an interview for their ‘Even Better Baking With’ series and they were kind enough to send a thank you gift.

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This great series is brought to you by Celia fromFig Jam and Lime Cordial.

Melissa xx

In My Goan Kitchen

It’s that time of year and I’ve been back in glorious Goa! No better place to bring you this month’s installment of In My Kitchen. However I’m very late this month and am writing this post in Mumbai International Airport, waiting on my second of three flights today!

In My Kitchen…

… Sits Grandad’s amazing knife! I think he used to sharpen it by hand on a stone because it’s a strange shape. The handle is round and wooden, making it very comfortable to hold. I remember sitting at the kitchen table cutting delicious fruit with him.

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In My Kitchen…

… Lies this small ceramic mortar and pestle. Once again, both the dish and wooden handle must be ancient! I’m sure that over the years, all sorts of spice blends have been pounded in this.

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In My Kitchen…

… Sits my Grandad’s favourite tea set. For a woman who loves her tea, I found these little cups frickin’ tiny! I love boiling the water in the pan on the stove, adding loose leaf tea and then letting it brew. It’s a wonderful ritual. When Grandad had got down to the last drop of tea in his cup, he’d throw it into the saucer, swirl it a bit and drink it out of that!

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In My Kitchen…

… Stands this amazing bronze motar and pestle. It’s small but extremely heavy. This must be old, I’ve no idea how old…. I wish I’d asked him…

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In My Kitchen…

… Will be all these delicious goodies! Dad and I found a great shop a few years ago that we always pop back to. I’m bringing cinnamon sticks, cardamom, star anaise, fennel seeds (and the sweet coated kind) cashew nuts and dried fruit home to The Glen House.

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In My Kitchen…

… Will be some interesting new additions to the liqor cupboard. I promise I only went to the shop to bring a bottle of local coconut Feni home. It’s the most famous and popular drinks that Goa. Also known as the Fenny, this Indian liquor is of two types – Cashew Feni and Coconut Feni. While cashew Feni is made by fermenting the fruit of the Cashew tree, coconut Feni is made from the juice of toddy plants. The Goan Fenny is usually considered to be superior compared to all other types of Fenny.

Er, while I was in the shop I saw some strange flavours of vodak that i’d never seen before! Who knew Smirnoff did chilli or honey flavoured vodak? Dr Doolittle will think I’ve lost the plot when I arrive home with these!

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The In My Kitchen series is all thanks to Celia over at Fig jam and Lime cordial, stop by this month and you can see all the delightful goodies she has.

Right, I’m off home… Two flights left!

Melissa xx

Mango Shake Magic

This recipe is easy peasy, so this post isn’t so much about the recipe but the reason behind it.

It’s two years ago this week since my Grandfather passed away. I miss him.

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This little  amazing book was part of his collection and is very dear to me.

It’s NO secret how much I love mangoes, and it’s certainly NO secret how much I love my beloved Goa, so this book really is “a treasure trove”. It’s full of great little tips and ideas all about the luscious sweet fleshy fruit.

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The book tells me that India has over 1000 different types of mangoes, with Goa having over 100…. It is a rich source of vitamins and carbohydrates. High in vitamin A and C…… The book goes on to describe pickle and chutney recipes, curries and rices, deserts and drinks.

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Now the beady eyed amongst you, will say hang on, they’re not Indian mangoes that you are using Melissa! Nope the only ones readily available in Ireland are ones from south America. I call them ‘plastic mangoes’; they are hard, unripe, don’t taste or smell right. I NEVER eat them raw on their own, but to cook with, or blitz up in a drink they are fine. I’m always annoyed when people liken this terrible fruit to the beautiful, special, golden Indian fruit that I am used to.

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Mango Shake:
This is the easiest of easiest recipes EVER!

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Ingredients:
2-3 ripe mangoes (I bought these 2 weeks ago)
2-3 tsp sugar
100ml milk

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Break up the mango flesh by hand or in a mixer.

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Add the sugar and milk and blitz.

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Add the ice-cream….. Finally, pour into glasses and top with a little chopped mango. Simple!

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Cheers Granddad!

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I’m bringing these drinks to Angie’s place for Fiesta Friday at the the novice gardener.  The first round are for
Alex, Jhuls and Selma!

See you there!

Melissa xx

Post number 50….Already?

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I can’t believe it, I’ve only been blogging for about four months and THIS is my 50th post! My blog was started so that I could share my adventures in my new home, I never actually thought anyone would read it!

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To mark this first big milestone I thought I would share 5 of my favourite posts so far:
NB… The photos in the rest of this post are of pictures and wall hangings around The Glen House.

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1) “About”- Well this is me; the photo on this page is one of the first taken at The Glen House…. How time flies though, we were here five months on St. Valentine’s Day!

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2) “The Goan Glen House”- one of my favourite places in the world. Goa is amazing! I always leave a part of my heart behind when I come away….

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3) “Advent Calendar Day 1”- this is the icecream choccy loaf one. I had decided to blog every day of advent, what a crazy idea but it was great fun!

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4) “The wood burning stove”- With the weather in Ireland being so awful, the fire keeps me toasty! Every day it gets lit, so I’m lucky enough to sit and glare at it with a cuppa or a glass of wine!

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5) “Happy”- I don’t need to ‘hashtag’ 100 days of happy, I just get on with it! “Because I’m HAPPY

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Thank you for reading and thank you for following.

Melissa xx

Goan Celebration Food

If you do nothing else but eat when you come to India, then you’ve done enough!
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Every time I visit, I find something new to try or a new idea to bring home. This time around I got to discover what goes on behind the scenes in preparation for a huge Goan feast which just happened to be the celebration day a couple of days before my cousin’s wedding.

In the morning all the neighbours and family members met to prepare the fresh fish, meat and veg.
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People gathered around in little groups, everyone seemingly knowing their job of cleaning, chopping or stirring.

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Huge pots and pans were lined up side by side and placed on open fires in the back yard.

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After a few hours an amazing array of gorgeous smelling food was displayed.

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Salad, pilau rice, slightly sticky chicken, moist beef (which by evening had an incredible ‘sunday lunch’ taste about it), pork, mackerel stuffed with masala ( a favorite),
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Rice cakes called Sannas, and everything else!!!
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The food was incredible and the way the community pulled together to make the day run like clockwork was just amazing…. Funnily enough I don’t seem to have any photos of the dancing that went on late into the night!

Melissa xx

The Goan Glen House

Welcome to The Glen House’s Indian cousin, nestled amongst the coconut trees in the wonderful coastal setting of southern Goa.

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The little house has a fantastic array of fruit trees and flowers in the garden… 12 Coconut trees

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Mango trees

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Papaya trees

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Bright vibrant flowers
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I can watch the world go sitting on the veranda, peering out the gates at the front of the little house. Listening to the Church bells ring and watching the children play cricket go hand in hand with a cup of chai at 4 o’clock every day.

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I love it! Well 99% of the time I do, however there is the odd moment every trip  when the 35° heat and 94% humidity have often led me to ask when is it going to snow?!

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I don’t feel like a tourist, especially within the four walls of the little compound, it’s home. The neighbours are friendly, as are most of the people you meet anywhere in Goa. They are warm-hearted and willing to help even though some of them have so little.

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There is the other side of things too; its noisey, it’s dirty, there are people living on the streets but if you don’t want to see it, don’t come! Do I feel safe getting on a bus or going shopping on my own? No. Daily reports in the broadsheets are of countless numbers of rapes, murders and abuses of women and children horrify me. It’s awful. I am blessed to live in a country where I do feel safe to go out and about on my own. I should also stress, that as much as I am appalled, I would never stop coming back. It is, for the most part, a little bit of heaven.

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Melissa xx