Author Archives: kitchengirl90

About kitchengirl90

I was born in the United States and my parents came from Trinidad, West Indies. Pretty much this means that I'm a "Southern Belle with Caribbean Roots". I was raised knowing about both Caribbean and American food. There are many recipes for me to share here. Please feel free to ask questions or concerns regarding any of my recipes.

Love Is In The Air

Are you looking for a perfect dessert on Valentine’s Day? I believe that I have a special dessert. Try my Strawberry Crepes this Valentine’s Day. You only need a few ingredients and the main ingredient Strawberries. This is the special dessert to make for you and your special someone.

Valentines Day Dessert: Strawberry Crepes

Baiganee (Diwali Pt3)

Baiganee (eggplant fritters) is a very popular street snack in Trinidad. These eggplant fritters are a usually prepared around the time of Diwali and other treats like Aloo Pie, Doubles, Saheena, and Pholourie. Accompanied with a dipping sauce such as Tamarind or Mango chutney. To make this savory snack I’ll have the ingredients and steps posted below.

Ingredients

1 Large-sized eggplant

1 tsp Salt (For soaking eggplant slices)

1/2 cup All-Purpose flour

1 cup Split Pea powder

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Tumeric (Haldi) powder

1/4 tsp Salt (For Batter)

1 tbsp Green Seasoning

1 clove of Garlic

Pepper (optional)

1 1/2 cup of Water

2 cups Vegetable Oil

Directions

  1. Wash the entire eggplant and pat down dry using a paper towel.
  2. Slice eggplant 1/4 inch.
  3. Pre-soak slices of eggplant into a big container of water and add 1 tsp of salt. Have these eggplants soaking for about 1 hour. After 1 hour spread paper towel and pat down dry. Tip: While the slices are pre-soaking you can start preparing the batter.
  4. Get a medium-size bowl For the batter: 1 cup of split pea powder, 1/2 cup of All-Purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon tumeric of powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon green seasoning, and grate 1 clove of garlic. Finely chop some pepper in the batter if you like the extra heat. (optional)
  5. You have all of these ingredients in a medium bowl and now you measure out 1 1/2 cups of water. Using a spoon or by hand mix everything well and you’re looking for a thick batter texture.
  6. Make sure the batter is thick and a little thin enough to cover both sides of eggplant slices.
  7. For frying: On the stove heat a medium-sized pot and adjust to medium-high heat. Add 2 cups of vegetable oil (add enough for deep frying). Create a little section for you to place baiganee after deep frying (Rest paper towel on a plate or in a small baking dish). The paper towel absorbs the extra oil after frying.
  8. Take the sliced eggplant and dip both sides into the batter. Then place them in hot oil for frying. Note: Don’t add too many slices into your pot this can change the oil temperature.
  9. Have each side cook for 1 minute. Every minute keep flipping until it’s golden brown. When it’s done frying take a skimmer or a tong, hold baiganee against the pot, and shake off excess oil.

Gulab Jamun (Diwali Pt 2)

A Diwali treat that I always enjoy is super sweet and reminds me of a mini doughnut. Gulab Jamun is a traditional Indian dessert that’s spongy on the inside. Most of the time it is soaked in a syrup that’s rose flavored. This dessert is well-known in other countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and I know in North America (United States and Canada). Indian dessert shops, restaurants, and food markets sell Gulab Jamun. Wherever you find Gulab Jamun I recommend you treat yourself. You’ll never know what you’re missing out on. Gulab Jamun is served with ice cream, but I’ve never tried it like that before. Next time, when I do make Gulab Jamun I will try it with vanilla ice cream. Gulab Jamun goes by other names such as (Mithai, Rasgulla, or Rasmalai).

Day Before Diwali

The first thing I did was to prepare the sugar syrup:

  1. Use a medium pot and add 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low.
  2. After reducing heat to medium-low add 1 cup of white sugar and let it melt (looking for a syrup texture).
  3. Add 2 Cinnamon sticks
  4. Add 10 Cardamom pods
  5. Allow everything to boil in medium-low heat for 10 minutes or less.
  6. When the syrup is done just leave it in the pot. Don’t remove from the heat.

Gulab Jamun using a box mix

Follow all instructions in the box for a perfect Gulab Jamun. (I used Gits Gulab Jamun mix)

  1. Add milk (Tip: By adding milk to the mix it really does give a richer Jamun) and the Gulab Jamun mix.
  2. Knead until soft and smooth.
  3. Take the palm of your hands and coat them using oil or ghee. Shape the Gulab Jamun into little dough balls. To prevent little cracks in the dough balls keep your hands oily.
  4. Time to deep fry: Get a small iron pot (If you have one) and warm it on high heat.
  5. Add enough oil about half (1/2) to deep fry. Reduce to medium-low heat.
  6. Gently add the dough balls for deep-frying until the color changes to golden brown (or dark brown).
  7. After frying remove excess oil from the Gulab jamun.
  8. In the other pot place the Gulab jamun inside the sugar syrup.
  9. Let the Gulab jamun sit in the sugar syrup for 30 minutes before eating.

When the Gulab Jamuns are cooled you may decorate the top of them with pistachios or almonds. This would give a more festive appearance.

Announcement: I was unable to upload my Gulab Jamun video on here. To look at the video you can check my social media pages:

Facebook: Namaste Trini Y’all

Instagram: NamasteTrini

Twitter: namastetrini

Diwali At Home

Ever since I was a little girl Diwali meaning the “Festival of Lights” is one of my favorite Indian holidays to celebrate. Here’s a short version about Diwali and why we acknowledge this holiday. This day is marked to honor Lord Rama’s (also Mother Sita’s) return to the kingdom called Ayodhya. After being in 14 years of exile and he defeated Ravana (demon king). People in the village welcomed them by lighting diyas (little clay pots) across Ayodhya. The villagers prepared a feast and they shared sweets with every household. Diwali signifies the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.

At my home usually one week before Diwali my family would start fasting and clean up the house. While doing this it helps to purify your mind and your own self. We also believe on the day of Diwali Mother Lakshmi (Goddess of Light and Prosperity) comes for a visit to bless the homes. This is also the time to plan our Diwali menu and start gathering ingredients. I didn’t get the chance to make all the Indian sweets, but I did make Gulab Jamun (Indian mini doughnuts soaked in sugar syrup). Also one of the easiest trini appetizers to fry is Baiganee (trini-style eggplant fritters).

In my next post (Diwali Pt 2) I will have the steps of how I made the Gulab Jamun (including a little video). The Baiganee recipe would be in another post as well (Diwali Pt 3). I will be keeping you guys posted! Those who celebrated Diwali I wish you all the best in this upcoming year.

Happy Fall Y’all

The fall season is finally here and one of my favorite seasons. There’s something about Autumn that I really enjoy as the cool crisp air starts to arrive. Leaves have a fiery vivid color that changes the surroundings. Now it’s time to keep warm as the weather starts to transition. I have great recipes to share like my Tex-Mex Chili with Broccoli Cornbread and a Pumpkin Spice Cake. Also many more autumn recipes to come!

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”-Albert Camus

Curry Chicken Salad

During, the summertime all of us are enjoying a wonderful time outdoors (the best way we can). This could mean having a picnic in your own backyard or eating lunch on the back porch. For a nice summer sandwich, I have a Curry Chicken Salad recipe that you are going to love. What I did was shred up some rotisserie chicken, add cream cheese (room temperature), and other ingredients. The Curry Powder really stood out in the chicken salad for that wonderful extra flavor. Loaves of bread that pair well with the Curry Chicken Salad are:

  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Pumpernickel (Rye) Bread
  • Cinnamon Raisin Bread
  • Crossiants

Sometimes for family gatherings, my mom would prepare this sandwich and serve them as appetizers. Believe me, this recipe was a hit for everyone. Curry Chicken Salad has always been my favorite appetizer. I just can’t get enough of this delicious Curry Chicken Salad! Below are the listed ingredients and step by step directions to follow. 

Ingredients

1 Large Cream Cheese (8 oz) *room temperature

¼ cup Milk

¼ tsp Salt

Dash (1 tsp) of Curry Powder

Dash of Pepper for taste (1 tsp) (optional)

1 ½ cups Chopped Cooked Chicken (Rotisserie)

2 tbsp Green Onion slices

Directions

  1. The first thing to do is shred the chicken and set aside
  2. Use a medium-size mixing bowl and combine cream cheese, milk, curry powder, salt, and pepper until blended (use a Cake Mixer).
  3. Add chicken and green onions (mix lightly).
  4. After mixing all ingredients you can store the Curry Chicken Salad in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.

Makes: 1 hour

Banana Nut Bread

This Father’s Day weekend I whipped up my dad’s favorite dessert Banana Nut Bread. He has a sweet tooth for any dessert, but Banana Nut Bread is his top favorite. When I first started baking this was the first dessert that I baked and he was the first person to try it. Of course, this dessert was DAD APPROVED! Banana Nut Bread is very moist, sweet, and has a really nice banana flavor. 

Ingredients

1 Cream Cheese (8 oz) (softened) *room temperature

1 cup White Sugar

¼ cup Margarine (softened) *room temperature

1 cup Mashed ripe bananas Note: Use 3 or 4 ripe bananas to make bread extra moist (optional)

2 eggs

2 ¼ cups All-Purpose Flour (Plain Flour)

1 ½ tsp Baking Powder

½ tsp Baking Soda

1 cup chopped nuts (Preferred Walnuts or Pecan) (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine cream cheese, sugar, and margarine mix until blended well.
  2. Add bananas and eggs to the mixture.
  3. Add remaining ingredients (flour, baking powder, and baking soda) Note: Use a cake mixer to combine all ingredients before adding chopped nuts.
  4. Pour mixture into a 9×5 inch loaf pan. It has to be greased and floured (Use a little bit of butter and flour to grease the entire pan).
  5. Bake at 350 degrees it should take 1 hr and 10 mins to bake. You can use a wooden pick and insert it near the center until the pick comes out clean. 
  6. After the bread is done baking set it aside to cool for 5 mins. Remove from pan and slice banana bread for serving.

Pineapple Bake

Here I have an interesting dessert recipe that you would want to try. Which consists of crushed pineapple, cheddar cheese, and original crackers. I know what you’re thinking “this recipe sounds weird”.  Pineapple bake has a buttery cracker crust sweetened with pineapple chunks and sprinkled with cheddar cheese. There are only three ingredients and no eggs. My mom introduced me to this recipe and I’ve made it a few times after that. Usually when I’m fasting for Indian holidays this a Go-To dessert that I always make. This Pineapple Bake recipe would leave everyone going for seconds!

Ingredients

1 can Pineapple chunks (20 oz)

1/2 cup White Sugar

3 tsp All-Purpose Flour ( Plain Flour )

1 cup Grated Cheddar Cheese

1/2 stick Melted Butter

1/2 cup Crushed Ritz Crackers Note: You could use similar to Ritz crackers

Directions

  1. Drain the pineapple chunks and save 3 tablespoons of the juice. Note: Out of the entire pineapple juice you would save 3 tablespoons for the mixture
  2. Mix sugar and flour in the reserved pineapple juice.
  3. Add pineapple chunks and cheddar cheese to the mixture.
  4. Pour the mixture in a greased baking dish.
  5. Top the mixture using crushed crackers and drizzle melted butter over it.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 mins.

Jamaican Fried Dumplings (Recipe Recap)

On April 27, I posted a wonderful Jamaican Dinner that I ate on that day. Recently, I spent some time making Jamaican fried dumplings and it is traditionally made to go with this meal. They have a natural sweetness, very crispy on the outside, and extremely soft on the inside. This recipe is extremely easy to put together. You could make this with any meal like a Caribbean Stew Chicken, Stew Fish with Rice, Pelau, or Soups. After making these delicious dumplings I prefer eating them by itself with a little bit of melted butter. If you want to try this recipe I have the ingredients below and easy directions to follow.

Fried Dumplings

Ingredients

2 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour (Plain Flour)

3/4 cup Cornmeal

2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 – 3/4 tsp Salt

3 tbsp Sugar

1 cup Milk

1 tsp Cinnamon

Oil for Frying NOTE: Measure oil to deep fry dumplings

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients together to form a dough.
  2. Let rise for 30 minutes.
  3. After it has risen make it into 12 small dough balls.
  4. Let the dough balls rest for 12 minutes.
  5. When the 12 minutes is done then you can start to deep fry.
  6. While frying the dumplings have to be golden brown. NOTE: You can open a dumpling to make sure the inside is fully cooked.

Serving Size: 12 or more

Makes: 10 minutes

Jamaican Fried Dumplings

Namaste Trini

Hey Everyone, this past two weeks I’ve been working on some changes in my food blog and on social media. This image turned out to be exactly what I wanted to have and I’m glad it worked out. Also, I’ve been spending some time in the garden planting beautiful flowers and vegetables. Definitely planting some hot peppers, because I do like a little kick in the indian food…lol. I also have some young strawberries growing in my backyard. Can’t wait to share with you guys! Follow me on social media:

Facebook: Namaste Trini Y’all

Instagram: NamasteTrini

Twitter: Namaste Trini Y’all

Southern Belle with Caribbean Roots!