Goa…Spice Farms, Food Markets And A Recipe



This past summer has been a busy one with our dear  son visiting us and keeping me busy in the kitchen too. Bless him.While it’s sometimes a daunting task coming up with new recipes that whet his appetite,it keeps me on the look out for new interesting one’s like this Goa Sausage curry I made up for him and the hubs.It was absolutely wonderful having a houseful again. Now we did  managed to get away on a family vacation to Goa, primarily also to beat the sweltering heat in Mumbai.It’s been a dry monsoon here with hardly any rains,besides Goa in the rains is magical indeed.

The quick escape to the land of beaches, sunshine and lush greenery did wonders for the soul and for the food obsessed traveller that I am.As any new journey kindles an excitement brought about by new cultures,cuisines and experiences. The Goan Hubs was thrilled to visit his own country as he often calls it.His family is originally from Goa,however moved away decades ago and now live in Mumbai.

Not that this was a first visit to Goa.There have been several quick trips to attend  Family weddings, Baby showers,Weekend trip,and well yes even honeymooned in Goa two decades ago.Most often our trips turn out to be beach centric of course or perhaps lazy weekends at the resort we stay in. While I quite enjoy the “lying in the sun and watch the world go by”,I tend to get antsy by the second day.I’m an explorer at heart and love going down the road less travelled to discover something not so touristy and that revolves around food of course.The two places on my to do list were a trip to the Mapusa Market and  Sahakari Spice farm in Ponda. Well I even managed to get the rest of the family interested in these trips and they turned out very worth a visit.



Mapusa Market: This place is abuzz with street vendors and established shops alike selling any and everything from fresh local produce, spices, meats and sausages,seafood to even readymade clothes,textiles and jewellery.This market captures the essence of  Goa and is a riot of colour and a hustle bustle of activity. The vendors are at their  colourful best ,travelling from neighbouring villages to sell their locally grown or manufactured wares, including spices of all kinds. Fresh fruits and vegetables are displayed in abundance. The market is well known for its jewellery, pottery, spice, and carpet shops. Many of the stalls in the bazaar are grouped by type of goods, with special areas for straw hats, Goan home-made chouriço and the like. Strings of Goan chouriço, spiced and marinated pork sausages, are sold here. Seedless tamrind , or amot as it is known locally, is also traded in great demand.Wandering around these winding lanes was a discovery indeed. I was even amazed at some places that sold wonderful fresh Goan bread known as Pao or Poee,which have a crusty exterior and a deliciously soft centre.Just perfect warm with butter slathered.I decided to take a dozen of these back home as they freeze well for later use.

Our bags were packed with these freshly baked Bread Buns,Dried Shrimp, Goan beans know as Fejao, Sol or also know as Kokum which is used in Goan fish curries spices like Teffla used in Mackerel curries and a bottle of Cashew Feni,to complete my Goan shopping experience.  This visit was a treat indeed and perhaps as often said “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”,I knew my hubs would be ecstatic with Goan treats from my kitchen.



These Gorgeous fresh flowers that caught my fancy were a sight to behold.A trip to these fresh markets is a must.This market is open on all days except Sunday’s ,all though Friday’s are when they seem the busiest. Do put this down on your itinerary on the next visit to Goa.

Sahakari Spice Farm:

This lush acreage is spread over of 130 acres, 60 acres of this area is exclusively devoted to the cultivation of Spices, Fruits, Medicinal trees and Herbs.We toured these farms which was organised by means of guide who seemed well versed in her repertoire of various spices that grew here and even gave us some amazing tips on the health benefits on some of them. This farm has an abundance of Fresh pepper,Cinnamon,Vanilla beans,Cloves,Curry leaves among many more varieties.

Goa spice farm

Interesting Fact: It was quite surprising to learn that The Indian Teja Patta, is indeed the leaf of the Cassia tree (Common Cinnamon).

Health Benefits of Cinnamon:

  • Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants and has potent anti inflammatory properties.
  • Helps in reduction of bad Cholesterol.
  • Improves Insulin Resistance.
  • Lowers Blood sugar levels

It is important to source the real Cinnamon as most often what is available is the Cassia bark that imitates Cinnamon.Some great information as explained by our lovely guide on tour of this spice farm.

We ended our tour at the spice farm with a delicious Goan fare at the restaurant which is located here.A fish Thali with finger licking Prawn Curry,Chicken Curry, Fried Surmai (King Fish) and an assortment of vegetables too.Hope I’ve tempted you to travel to Goa and discover this hidden gem.


Well a trip to Goa is not complete without the mandatory stock of Goa Pork Sausages.There are quite a variety available to choose from.Some branded ones like Costas, J0a0’s are readily available in the market stores or perhaps you may even like to buy some freshly strung one’s that the vendors sell  in Mapusa.I picked up an assortment as they stay well refrigerated. So if asked what’s for dinner? GPS aka Goan Pork Sausage was my answer the other night,which instantly lit my the hub’s face and the son quite enjoyed this too.


 Recipe for Goa Pork Sausages:


  • 1 Packet Goa Pork Sausages( Meat removed from the casing)
  • 2 Medium Onions (sliced finely)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Oil
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1-2 Green chilies (slit lengthwise)
  • 2 Small Potatoes (Cubed and Boiled)
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped Coriander for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon Tomato Paste


  1. Remove the sausage meat from its casing.
  2. Now heat a pan and add some oil to it and fry the onions till medium brown.
  3. Next add in the green chilies and ginger-garlic paste and fry for a few minutes.
  4. Now add in the sausage meat and fry well.
  5. Stir in the tomato paste and add water enough to cover the mixture.
  6. Let this simmer for a good 30-40 minutes so as to cook the meat well.
  7. Once reduced add in the boiled potatoes and garnish with chopped coriander.
  8. Remove any excess oil that may come up during cooking the sausage.
  9. Serve with Pao or any bread.

Tangy Onion Chutney & A Lazy Sunday Morning



Yes and that’s how most Sunday afternoon’s land up being at our home.Lazy and with no  great plans for at least the earlier half of the day.Most often I declare that the Kitchen’s Closed .I  say this with every reason as,between getting a lot of meals together,cooking for my classes and all the recipe development and experiments that go on  through the week,I’m ready to have someone else do the cooking for me.

Well this past Sunday was an exception. We were out most of the previous days at various lunches & dinners and wanted the comfort of a simple home cooked meal. We all crave that especially as it a mix of nostalgia of one’s mum’s cooking,perhaps a childhood favourite or just something easy and hearty that evokes a sentiment of feeling totally comfortable at home.

Both the dear husband and son are quite fond of a South Indian fare.Now I did have some Ragi (finger Millet) dosa batter that was made up a day earlier.Well all I really needed was a filling and a dip to go along with it.I choose to go with an absolutely  easy and tangy Onion Chutney and a quick and easy Potato as the accompaniments with the Dosa.

Oh well ,I did land up in my kitchen on a Sunday and it didn’t turn out as Lazy as I expected it to be.All the same very worth  it as our lunch turned out be a delicious and a very satisfying one.The Not so Lazy Sunday ended on a perfect note with a discovery of a new recipe for my repertoire.

Do you cook on Sunday? If yes do share your Sunday special recipes with me. I’d love to hear from you.

Till then…Happy Cooking Always.


2 pics

Tangy Onion Chutney:


  • 3 Medium Onions (chopped or sliced)
  • 2-3 dried Red Chillies
  • 1 small piece tamarind
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon roasted Cumin powder
  • 7-8 curry leaves (lightly roasted)

For the Tempering:

  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Urad Dal
  • Dash of Amchur powder
  • 5-6 Curry leaves


  1. Finely grind the Onions,red chilies tamarind,cumin powder and curry leaves into a fine paste.
  2. Heat some Oil and temper with mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves.
  3. Now add the ground paste and fry well for about 8-10 minutes or till the chutney does not seem raw.
  4. Add in a dash of amchur powder

Cherry Tomato & Oregano Foccacia


  “Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.” – James Beard


This wonderful Cherry Tomato is my first bake from the wonderful book that I received when I bought my Kitchenaid Artisan Standup Mixer in Dubai last year.Well I have experimented with lots more from the book,just haven’t got around to posting these beautiful recipes. Well I’m quite a recipe book junkie. Aren’t we all?Most often bed time reading lands up being recipe reading.I just love browsing through the multitude of recipes and images and of course make notes of what’s next on the baking agenda.Sometimes the lists are endless and don’t even get to even half of the recipes.

The Kitchen aid recipe book has an assortment of various recipes,ranging from  Sauces, Pasta dough recipes, Breads of all kinds,Pastries and Pies and lots more. These images have been in my folder for ever so long.Well that’s just a normal day in the life of a blogger I guess. I sometimes worry that I may suffer from ADD.I probably bake one thing,I’m editing images of another recipe and well land up blogging about something totally different.Well what matters most is that I do post all the recipes that I try out.So here goes.

This Focaccia is an easy recipe to follow and does not require much skill at all.I’ve used cherry tomatoes and some Oregano and flavoured it with Olive oil and sea salt.Nothing beats the taste and smell of warm and fresh bread out of the oven.So worth the effort!

Warning: Won”t last long as tastes delicious, hot out of the oven.Highly recommend baking two loaves at a time:) Happy Baking!


Makes 2 Loaves: Ingredients:

  • 30 grams Yeast (Instant or Active Dried)
  • 400 ml Lukewarm water
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 800 grams All Purpose Flour(Maida)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 125 ml Olive oil
  • 12 small cherry tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried Oregano
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil and sea salt for garnish


  1. Mix the yeast in the lukewarm water.Stir in the sugar and let it rest for 10 minutes or until foamy,if using active dried yeast.
  2. Stir in the Olive oil.
  3. Mix the flour and salt in the mixer.
  4. Use the dough hook to knead and gradually add in the yeast.
  5. The dough should be soft.
  6. Knead for 2 minutes.
  7. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and leave it to rise for about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  8. Knock down the dough and add in the dried Oregano.
  9. Divide the dough into two equal portions.
  10. Roll each portion into circles.
  11. Place them on a greased baking tray.
  12. Make indents with your fingers in each circle.
  13. Push a cherry tomato into each indent.
  14. Cover again with a damp towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
  15. Pre heat the oven to 200C.
  16. Drizzle the dough with Olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt.
  17. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Mirchi and Mime: Good Food served Quietly



Now once in  awhile comes along a great and heart warming concept that stirs the soul and you think “Hey it’s a wonderful World”.Most readers of my blog are fairly used to my regular recipe posts and the odd product review along with a some  travel and culinary write ups. I must admit I’m not much of a restaurant reviewer,until my dining experience at Mirchi & Mime located in Powai Mumbai,last evening.This place certainly deserves a mention.

Mirchi & Mime also know as M&M is a new fine dining and modern concept restaurant ,recently opened its doors in the neighborhood of Powai. This place has every ounce of success written on it. Kudos to the owners Prashant Issar and Anuj Shah  for taking a giant step in employing an entire team of hearing and speech impaired individuals as their wait staff. A great initiative indeed in creating employment to the differently abled. The restaurant has a lively, warm and comfortable bistro like ambience, with a slight French appeal to the interiors. The open kitchen plan boasts of a variety of Tawa,Tandoori and Sigri styles of cooking.The staff is profusely cheerful, attentive and enthusiastic. They have been hand-picked from the Rochiram T Thadani Institute for the handicapped and trained for the hospitality industry.

We were seated by our host and handed over the menu card, which very clearly and simply indicates the use of various sign language and gestures to enable the guest to communicate with the staff. Further more there are various sketches on the menu against each dish to ease the process of ordering. This place is abuzz at 9pm on a Thursday night with a constant turn around of tables. These guys certainly have a pulse on what ticks on the Menu. I would say the magic mantra for this place is the Co owner Prashant’s impressive 20 year hospitality background as General Manager at Chutney Mary’s and Amaya and various other top positions with hotels in India coupled with the expertise of Senior Sous Chef Sameer Bhalekar who has trained and worked under the likes of Ferran Adria’s Tickets and Chef Vineet Bhatia’s Rasoi in the UK.

The menu is simple and not very exhaustive, yet captures the essence of Fine Indian Cuisine. Perhaps not entirely progressive Indian, but veering  towards Modern Indian, with a twist.

Our Meal was recommended by the owner Prashant (who happened to be a batch mate of my friend Neil George from catering days) was as follows:

For a drink I settled for a refreshing Cucumber and Green Apple Vodka Martini which was brilliant.
• White pepper Chicken: Succulent and juicy boneless chicken marinated in the best and finest of Tellicherry pepper. Mild and delicious flavors.
• Chicken Lollipop: A riot of flavors in here. Not for the faint hearted as a tad bit spicy. Smoky and bbq and hot and tangy flavors. Marinated with Bhot Jholokia.
• Duck Seekh Kebab: Combinations of minced duck meat with finely diced peppers, mildly spiced and a lovely refreshing burst of flavors lent by the orange rind garnish.
Tandoori Quail: Delicious and tender as ever. Delicate smoky flavors.



2. Main Course:
Madras Mutton Curry and Naan: Really tender and melt in the mouth mutton cooked with madras curry.
• Thalappakatti Mutton Biryani: Brilliant south Indian medley of flavors. Interesting use of curry leaves and mustard seeds. More like a lightly hand tossed biryani. Delicate and mild flavors.


3. Dessert
Crème Brulee: This hit the right sweet spot with creamy and light texture custard. Had a fabulous topping of coconut (filling used for traditional Modaks)
Sitaphal Pannacotta: A Sublime flavor of sitaphal infused with cream makes this a light dessert. Best part was that it was sugar free.
• Desi Cheesecake: With a Nankhatai biscuit base. Interesting however a bit dense for my liking.


I had an excellent dining experience at Mirchi & Mime. Zomato rates this restaurant at 4.9 and I couldn’t agree more. A must visit.A double thumbs up for Mirchi and Mime…Their philosophy of Good Food served quietly certainly lives up to their  standards. Interestingly the T-shirts worn by the wait staff read “I know sign language, what’s your super power” Well done and Bravo for this great venture.

  • Located at:Address: G-6 , Ground Floor , Transocean House, Lake Boulevard Road, Hiranandani business Park , Powai, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400076
  • Phone:022 4141 5151  (Reservations recommended)

Disclaimer: I visited Mirchi and Mime on a friends recommendation and went their with my family and friends.The dinner was paid by me and all views about this review are my own personal experience. Thank-you.

When Life Gives You Oranges….Make an Orange Cake


Orange Marmalade watermark


Well as the popular saying goes “When Life gives you lemons make Lemonade”.And  if it gives you Oranges then go ahead and bake up this delicious Orange cake and add in some marmalade for that extra citrusy Zing. Now I’ve been contemplating baking an Orange for a while now.There have been days when all the ingredients were all out,yet the cake just didn’t get baked.Just one of those phases you go through when you’ve been baking a lot.

This afternoon I had three lone Oranges giving me a nod of approval.Almost to say C’mon and bake that cake will you! The dear son vouched that he will not even have a bit…too much sugar he said and went about doing his thing.I was quite excited to bake this afternoon and so out came all the ingredients again. Now I had been browsing some recipes that called for the oranges being stewed and then placed top of the cake when done. Where as I came across a Jamie Oliver Orange Cake recipe that I quite liked. It called for finely slicing the oranges and layering them at the bottom of the baking pan.I have minimally adapted this recipe from Jamie’s. With Eid around the corner,I’ve added a slight middle eastern twist of adding in some saffron strands and cardamon powder.

I must say this Orange cake turned out really quite delicious. The Orange zest and the fresh orange juice lend it a wonderful burst of flavour. I choose to glaze the finished cake with some warm marmalade in the end.

Excitedly I called my Mom over to come and have a slice of this cake and a  cuppa tea. She quite loved it.Best of all,the dear son who was out all afternoon,comes home and devourer a couple of slices! So much for his not wanting to eat it.

Well who could resist a slice of Deliciousness?


• 200g butter softened
• 3 tbsp brown sugar
• 2 small oranges, thinly sliced
• 200g granulated white sugar (powdered)
• 6 heaped tbsp fine-cut marmalade
• 4 large eggs, beaten
• 200g self-raising flour
• 50g almond powder

• Finely grated zest and juice of 2 oranges (medium Oranges)

Some saffron strands which can be soaked in the orange juice and about half a teaspoon cardamom powder. Another interesting twist is to reduce the juice of 1 orange and instead add equivalent amount of rose water.

Note: I’ve used All Purpose flour and have added 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to make it into a self-raising flour


1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2.Grease the base and sides of a 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Sprinkle the base with brown sugar. Arrange the orange slices on the base of the tin in a slightly overlapping layer.
2. Cream the butter and caster sugar until creamy.

3.Beat the egg whites separately and then beat in the yolks

4.Add  3 heaped tablespoons of marmalade, followed by the beaten eggs. Fold in the flour, ground almonds, a pinch of salt, and the orange zest and juice.Add in the cardamon powder
3. Carefully pour the cake batter into the tin. Place in the oven and bake for about 45-50  minutes, till golden and firm to touch. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for a few minutes. Very carefully, while it’s still slightly warm, turn out the cake onto a serving plate.
4. Prick holes in the cake with a skewer. Make a glaze by warming the rest of the marmalade in a pan with a little water. Spoon this over the cake.