Nestle is a well-known brand and Maggi is everyone’s favorite. Maggi has come up with a unique concept where they are celebrating women who took to cooking and food to empower themselves. Maggi believes that cooking has the power to make a difference in our lives. On 20th July 2018, I along with 4 other food bloggers flew down to Goa along with the Maggi team to celebrate the culinary journey of a Goan food entrepreneur – Rita Shinde. I was excited about the event as I was going to my motherland and celebrating the success of a Goan lady. All thanks to Raksha’s Kitchen. Throughout the event, I was able to relate to Rita Shinde who turned her passion into a profession.
About Rita Shinde:
Rita Shinde was born in Dui and was brought up in Goa. She honed her cooking skills from her mother who cooked mouth-watering dishes. After her marriage and interactions with family and friends, she got insight to the various cuisines of different regions. She lived a busy life of a customs officer but at the same time kept on improving herself in the culinary arts by attending short courses on various cuisines.
She loved cooking exotic dishes and also tried her hands at Portuguese, Italian and oriental cuisines. She always cooked delicious dishes for her family and friends and received lot of appreciation for the same. Cooking was Rita’s passion and being a working wife, her dream of had taken a back seat.
After some years of working as a customs officer, Rita gave up her full time job to take care of her kids and family. Her husband motivated her to follow her dreams. This was the leap of faith that Rita took. She gave up her well-paying job to give more time to her passion for cooking. She combined her love for teaching and passion for food into a creative journey of culinary education. Thus was born ‘Rita’s Gourmet Goa’.
Rita Shinde receives more than 500 students per month. This includes chefs from various countries like Japan, New Zealand, Australia, France, etc. She imparts regular demonstration and hands-on cookery classes to travelers visiting Goa. Rita’s Gourmet has also been awarded the “Certificate of Excellence” in the year 2015 by Trip Advisor for excellent reviews posted by travelers.
Rita Shinde’s journey is very inspiring. In India, women are expected to cook and be in kitchen. Though the scene is changing nowadays specially in the metros, still there are places where women are always considered to be in kitchen and cook for the family 24/7, 365 days of the year. But Yes! There are many women like Rita Shinde who turned the love for cooking into profession. Maggi is helping and celebrating such women who empowered themselves and transformed their lives through cooking.
Cook-Off at Panjim Convention Center With Rita Shinde #MaggiKitchenJourney:
On 21st July we started from Cidade De Goa, the resort where we stayed in Goa and went to the venue where we attended the cook-off with Rita Shinde. The venue was at Panjim Convention Center which is a 15 minutes’ drive from Cidade De Goa. The stage was set and we received a warm welcome at the venue.
The cook-off started with a welcome note from Dina, a small video and a brief introduction from Rita Shinde. Rita Shinde demonstrated 4 Goan recipes, namely – Prawns rissois (prawns puffs), Chicken xacuti, Red leafy amaranthus fugath (tambdi bhaji) and Fish recheado. All these recipes were cooked using various Maggi products like – Maggi bhuna masala, Maggi-cubes, Maggi coconut milk powder, Maggi ketchup , Maggi imli pichko, etc.
During the cook-off, Rita gave various tips like using Maggi bhuna masala to make chicken xacuti. I liked the idea as this can save lot of time in chopping onion and tomato to add to make the gravy. She also told us to cook vegetables like red leafy amaranthus using steam and to sear chicken before using in xacuti.
Rita called me on stage to cook red leafy amaranthus with her. It was a happy moment for me to share the stage with a person who turned her dreams into reality. Somewhere, I could see myself in Rita’s journey throughout the event and have even felt motivated to a great extent.
After the cook-off, we 5 bloggers were divided into 5 teams. We picked numbers and people from the audience got a chance to cook with us. Each blogger had to lead the team and cook Goan fish curry recipe using Maggi coconut milk powder. Though I have been cooking Goan fish curry ever since I got married, cooking the same with coconut milk powder was new to me.
I loved the fact that our own Goan fish curry can be cooked within few minutes without having to go through the hassles of grating coconut. I find grating coconut a very tedious task and this was also discussed by the two other local ladies who accompanied me at the cooking station.
When we are pressed for time, we can always have Maggi bhuna masala and Maggi coconut milk powder to make cooking easy. Also let me share with you something. We Goans are used to adding Maggi cubes to almost every recipe that we cook. In fact, my mom still adds Maggi chicken cube to prawns fried rice and chicken xacuti and still continues using it. You will find a couple of recipes on my blog like where I have used Maggi cube in cooking too. 🙂 Check this veg fried rice recipe where I have added a Maggi veg cube.
The event was concluded with a tasting session of the food cooked by Rita and us. Every dish turned out to be delicious. We also clicked lot of photographs to take back home as memories.
Maggi Kitchen Journeys is being aired on Zee TV on every Saturday at 6.30 PM and on Living Foods on every Monday at 1.30 PM. Rita’s show will be aired in August. Do watch it and get inspired. Also if you visit Goa, do visit Rita’s Gourmet Goa in Dabolim to learn to cook delicious food.
Here, I will also share Rita Shinde’s Goan fish curry recipe which we cooked using Maggi coconut milk powder.
Ingredients: Prep. Time: 10 Minutes, Cook
- 250 grams white snapper fish, cut into cubes
- 1 medium sized onion, sliced
- Small marble sized ball of tamarind, soaked in 25 ml water
- Maggi coconut milk powder, 500 ml
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- 2 teaspoon red chili powder (Kashmiri lal)
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder (tikka lal)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 pieces kokum
- 2 green chilies, slit
- Salt to taste
- Wash the fish and marinate for 15 minutes with ¼ teaspoon salt.
- Take a mixing bowl and prepare thick coconut milk by dissolving 10 tablespoon of Maggi coconut milk powder in 500 ml of warm water.
- Add all the powdered spices to the coconut milk and mix well. Keep aside.
- Heat a deep bottomed pan and add oil.
- After oil gets heated, add sliced onion and sauté on low heat till onion turns translucent.
- Add the prepared coconut milk, tamarind pulp and kokum. Bring to boil by stirring in between.
- The consistency if the curry should be medium thick as this should be had with rice.
- Add salt to taste, marinated fish and slit green chili.
- Bring to boil and cook for 2 minutes. Do not overcook as the fish will turn rubbery.
- Serve with brown Goan rice (ukde tandul).
Do try the recipe and share the pictures with me on my social media. Also, do leave some comments and let me know how you liked the recipe and Rita Shinde’s Maggi Kitchen Journey.
Note: Special thanks to Prithvi Kawlekar for coordinating with us bloggers and Maggi team. It was because of her that our stay in Goa was a pleasant one.