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Guest Post: Estofadong Manok (Stewed Chicken)

20 Feb

 Today, I am getting you a Guest Post from Pinay In Texas Cooking Corner. This blog is hosted by Christina. She is a stay at home mom in Texas, USA. Its her passion to cook for her family and write her blog. She mostly writes about Filipino cuisine.
It is through her blog that I discovered that there was a cuisine called Filipino. I was so curious to know more about it that I asked Chistina to do a Guest Post for me. Not only my aim was to bring my readers the awareness of a different cuisine but also, I wanted to share Tina’s blog. Her love for her family shows through her blog. She makes lovely parties for her two daughters. Her creativity with her food and thoughtfulness for her family is commendable. Tina’s energy and commitment inspires me for sure.
I would highly recommend you to take a  peek at Pinay In Texas Cooking Corner. You can also show some love by following her blog via email or facebook.
Also, I am thankful to Tina for doing such a lovely Guest Post for Exquisite Niche.


Hi everyone!

I’m Tina from Pinay In Texas Cooking Corner! I am honored to be here on Exquisite Niche today! Not only am I sharing with you a recipe, Gursahiba also gave me the opportunity to impart a brief history of my country’s cuisine here on her lovely blog. I know that the Filipino Cuisine is something many people are not aware of, that’s why I am so thankful to her for this chance to be able to introduce her readers to it!

I’m sure that many of you don’t know that the Philippines which consists of 7,100 islands is very beautiful and rich in natural resources. Well, it is and that is why through the centuries, foreigners of different languages, ethnic cultures and ancestries came to the Philippines, either as invaders or traders. As a result, it became a country with diverse culture and heritage. Its cuisine therefore, just like its people, reflects the blending of these wide and varied cultures. But although there were a number of different nations that colonized our country, the major influence on our cuisine came from the Malays, Chinese, Spaniards and Americans. As the local saying goes, Philippine food was prepared by Malay settlers, spiced by the Chinese, stewed by the Spanish and hamburgerized by the Americans. Sounds funny but it’s true!

Back before the Philippines was colonized, the early Filipinos used simple ingredients like root crops, game, vegetables and seafood, and they only knew simple ways of cooking like boiling, roasting and steaming. When the Malays came, Filipinos were introduced to the knowledge of enhancing the flavor of the food they cook by using herbs and spices. It is how the use of hot chilies and gata (coconut milk) became part of Filipino cooking. Then the Chinese came and brought the influence of using noodles and a wide array of dipping sauces to accompany our dishes. They also taught the Filipinos how to cultivate corn and rice which later on became the staple food in the Philippines. When the Spaniards came in 1521, Mediterranean style of preparing food was introduced. The Spaniards taught the Filipinos techniques such as braising, sautéing, cooking with oil and seasonings such as garlic, onions, tomatoes, sweet peppers, and vinegar. After the United States beat Spain in the Spanish-American War in 1898, the Americans took control of the Philippines until 1946. The U.S. military introduced goods shipped in from their country such as mayonnaise, hot dogs, hamburgers and pies. Although the Americans didn’t make that much of an influence in Philippine cuisine, they certainly changed the way Filipinos dine. They introduced the Filipinos to the most convenient way of dining through fast food chains. They also brought the ways of convenience like pressure cooking, freezing and canning. Through the years, other global influences like that of French, Italian, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese found its way to the Filipino cuisine, making it a truegastronomic fusion of different countries and cultures from east to west, and results in a cuisine that is so unique.

Gursahiba told me that she loves Spanish cuisine, so I chose the recipe that I am sharing with you today with that in mind. You see, the Philippines was occupied by the Spaniards for almost 400 years, so the greatest impact on our cuisine came from them. A majority of our dishes can be traced back to Spain. In fact, everyday Filipino dishes resemble Spanish cooking and this chicken dish called Estofadong Manok (Stewed Chicken in English) is a good example. Estofado is a way of cooking that we, Filipinos got from the Spaniards. It means stewed or pot roasted. Although the manner of cooking is of Spanish influence, the ingredients are adapted to what’s locally available in the Philippines. Unlike the original Spanish Estofado which is cooked in tomato sauce and white wine, the Filipino Estofado I grew up with is stewed in soy sauce, vinegar and fresh tomatoes with brown sugar added for a sweet finish. This way of cooking works well not only for chicken, but also for beef, pork and ox tongue. While Beef Estofado is the more popular version for special occasions like fiestas, birthdays and Christmas, Chicken Estofado is the favorite for ordinary dinner because it is budget friendly. But I am telling you, regardless of the meat you use, Filipino Estofado will be a hit on your dining table. It’s a perfect blend of savory, sweet and sour that you’ll surely love!

Hope you had a nice time learning a bit about the Filipino Cuisine, and I hope you’ll like the recipe! I’m so glad to be sharing it with you. To Gursahiba, thank you very much for inviting me to do this guest post! It’s such a pleasure!  


  • 4 chicken leg quarters
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder 
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup cane vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 Tbsp light olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium-sized onion, sliced
  • ½ cup tomatoes, chopped 
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 medium-sized potatoes, quartered
  • 2 medium sized carrots, sliced in about ½ inch think diagonals
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • salt and black pepper


  1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Let sit for about 15 minutes then marinate in soy sauce, vinegar and garlic powder for at least 1 hour. The longer the better. Drain and reserve marinade.
  2. Ina large pan over medium heat, brown potatoes in light olive oil. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, brown chicken (on both side). Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Saute garlic, onion and tomatoes in the same pan until tomatoes are soft. Add chicken broth, marinade and sugar. Season with salt and Black pepper to suit your taste. Bring to a boil.
  5. Put back the chicken quarters. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender.
  6. Add the carrots and simmer uncover for another 5 minutes or until carrots are cooked. Transfer the chicken and carrots to a serving plate.
  7. Add potatoes to the sauce and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer potatoes to the serving plate with chicken and carrots. Pour sauce on it. Serve with hot rice.

Lemon Rice

9 Feb

Though I live in North India and mostly eat North Indian cuisine, but there’s something about the food from the south which attracts me. I love the tanginess in the South Indian food. The flavors of lemon, tamarind, curry leaves and nuts are to die for. One of my hot favourite amongst all the food is ‘Lemon Rice’.

Lemon Rice has a peculiar taste. It comprises of strong flavors of mustard seeds, lemon and curry leaves. The ingredients in it make it different from the usual fried rice we have. It can be accompanied with raita (yogurt salad) or popadums. The benefits of preparing lemon rice: 1) easy to prepare,  2) can be made of leftover rice, 3) can be prepared within minutes with cooked rice and 4) tastes delicious and a complete meal.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Serves 4:

2 cups cooked basmati rice

2 tbsp canola oil

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp mustard seeds

3-4 curry leaves

2 green chilis cut length wise

1/2 cup peanuts

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp turmeric powder

Juice of 2 lemons

salt to taste


Heat oil in a pan. Put mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chilies.  Fry till the spluttering stops and add the ginger and peanuts. Fry for another minute. Add turmeric powder and turn off the fire.

Add lemon juice and mix well. Add rice, coriander powder and salt and mix well.

Serve Hot!

Chole Bhature (Spiced Chickpeas and Fried Naan)

18 Jan

Since its JS and mine Wedding Anniversary today so, I am excited to bring you our favourite meal recipe i.e Choley Bhature. It is one of the popular street food in India. But to be honest I love it more when its home-made.
I am sharing you my mother’s secret recipe. I have been eating this since I was a child. As everyone says it’s the mother’s touch in the food which makes it absolutely delicious. My mom cooks especially for us and specialises in every cuisine and is just perfect when it comes to baking. So whatever little talent I have, it’s because she’s been my inspiration. Also, because of her delicious meals I have grown deep love for food!!
‘Choley’ is chickpeas and ‘Bhature’ is a fried naan. I like both because of their acidic quality. ‘Choley’ is simmered with spices for a while for it to get that amazingly delicious flavor. I usually add  tea bags to the chick peas while boiling so that it gets some brown colour. I usually enjoy hot Choley with tikkis(fried patties), bhature(fried naan) or simply topped up on a slice of bread. Traditionally ‘Bhaturas’ dough is made by adding some leaving agent like soda, curd and leaving it for some hours for it to ferment before they can be rolled out and deep-fried.
So here is how I prepared:
Serves: 4-5   Preparation Time: 3 hours  Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Bhature (Fried Naan)
2 cups All purpose flour (Maida)
1/2 cup semolina (suji)
1 cup Yogurt
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
Salt to taste
Choley (Spiced Chickpeas)
1 1/4 cup white chick peas (kabuli chana) soaked in 2 cups water overnight
2 tea bags
1/2 tsp Ginger paste
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp roasted and powdered cumin seeds (bhuna jeera)
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
1 tbsp coriander powder (dhania powder)
1/2 tsp curry powder (garam masala)
2 tsp dried mango powder (amchur)
2 Medium-sized finely chopped onion
4 medium-sized tomatoes
2 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
2 green chillies sliced
some sliced ginger
some onions
How to make choley bhature :
  • Take all ingredients and knead well into a firm dough without adding water. Knead the dough very well till the dough is smooth. If need be add a little water and keep aside covered for 4-5 hours, the longer kept, the better it is.
  • Roll into oval shape and a little thick. Deep fry till both sides are golden brown.

Soft and delicious fried bhaturas (naan)!!

  • Boil chickpeas with tea bags till chickpeas become soft. Discard the tea bags. 
  • In a skillet heat oil, and put cumin seeds. When they crackle add the onions and ginger. Saute till onions turn golden brown.
  • Add tomatoes and all the spices. Saute for another minute.
  • Add the chickpeas and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Garnish choley with thinly sliced long pieces of ginger and green chilli.

Yummy Chickpeas!!

Italian Baked Fish

8 Nov

Inspired by Goa trip, I had to come back and try on some seafood. So I decided to cook fish in an Italian way. This is very healthy and brings out great flavors of olives, lemon and sun-dried tomatoes. I just love the combination of citric food along with the seafood.

I used the following Ingredients:

200 gm fish fillets

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp lemon juice

zest of 1 lemon

2 cloves garlic

salt to taste

pepper to taste

7-8 olives sliced

2-3 sun-dried tomatoes

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

Here is how I prepared:

Marinate the fish with some olive oil, lemon juice & zest, salt, pepper.

Now add a few olives, some sun-dried tomatoes and garlic.

Some more sun-dried tomatoes to give some more tangy flavor!

Some red chilli powder, and oregano to give italian style!

Wrap with the foil. Bake in the over for 30 minutes at 190 degree celsius.

Serve with lemon wedges and some parsley.

Viola! See how scrumptious and delectable it looks.

Masala Meat

7 Oct

October being a very festive month this year. First the Dushera and followed by Diwali. I love this part of the year when everywhere there is jubilance. There is exchange of gifts, dinners, shopping, etc. So this month I promise to my readers there is going to be a lot of festive food you can really look into. So  not to disappoint you, here is what I got for you this Dushera. For all the non vegetarian lovers, its red meat.

Usually we have meat curry but this one which I tried turned put to be really nice. This is without the curry and more of masala. The key to the meat is to cook well and make it really juicy. One thing which makes Indian food distinguish is the use of various spices in the cooking. There maybe a lot of spices used for this meat but the end result you know how marvellous could it be.

So for this I used:

1 kg goat meat

1 cup yogurt

2 tbsp garlic (minced)

1 tbsp ginger (minced)

4 onion chopped

3 tsp chili powder

2 large black cardamoms

5 green cardamoms

2 cinnamon leaves

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp ginger paste

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

3-4 bay leaves

2 tomatoes chopped

Salt to taste


  1. Clean the meat, marinate it with yogurt. Keep aside.
  2. Make chili paste by adding some water to the chili powder.
  3. Take some oil in the skillet. Add bay leaves. Saute for 2 minutes at low heat.
  4. Add the onions. Fry till golden brown.
  5. Now add garlic, ginger paste, cardamoms, cinnamon leaves and fry for 1 minute.
  6. Then add the coriander, turmeric powder and the chili paste with 2 tbsp water and stir continuously.
  7. Add the chopped tomatoes and salt.
  8. Now simmer the gas and let the masala cook.
  9. Put the marinated mutton into the masala. Add little water if the masala becomes too dry.
  10. Cook the meat till its tender.
  11. Garnish with coriander.

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