A bit about Curry and Ginga

Perhaps the best way to introduce our blog is to say something about its title. 

On one hand, Curry and Ginga stands for the two cuisines discussed in this blog: curry, a staple Indian dish, represents our interest in that part of the world. Ginga, a Brazilian expression meaning to groove, speaks to our passion for Brazilian flavours (and our nationalities). On the other hand, we chose the name Curry and Ginga because our recipes often and unconventionally marry both culinary traditions - our curries have ginga and our Brazilian dishes are full of spice. 

What is more, these two cuisines are surprisingly compatible. Ingredients like peppers, coconuts, cashews, mangoes and banana leaves, for example, are prominent in recipes from either country. It seems that shared colonial histories (Brazil and regions of India were, in the past, Portuguese territories), a similar climate and maritime trade routes approximated India and Brazil's cuisines. As a result, not only do Brazilian and Indian flavours work harmoniously and deliciously well together, but they also make for the perfect opportunity to explore and discover new and interesting recipes. 

Ultimately, that is what Curry and Ginga is all about: borrowing from the best in Brazilian and Indian cooking to create original, mouth-watering dishes. 

Monday, 27 April 2009

Mandioquinha (Arracacha) Bombay

If you enjoy Indian cuisine it is very likely that you have tried bombay potatoes before, and,  if you have, it's likely you're already a fan. A popular side dish in India but also around the world, this potatoes and spices recipe compliments roasts and curries beautifully. At Curry and Ginga, however, we like to mix Indian and Brazilian flavors and, as a result, our recipe uses mandioquinha rather than potatoes as a main ingredient. Native to South America, mandioquinha or arracacha as it is called in Spanish, is a root vegetable largely commercialized in Brazil that is yellow in color and rich and sweet in flavor. And, although it might be difficult to find mandioquinha outside South America, it is worth the search and effort if you can find it. Prepared with spices and a rich tomato sauce, our mandioquinha dish at once resembles and differs from the original bombay potatoes and makes for a superb side dish.  

Mandioquinha Bombay


2 teaspoons vegetable oil
500 gr peeled, diced and paraboiled mandioquinha
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
A 2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly diced
1 onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh chopped coriander
1 garlic clove, chopped
250 gr cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon tomato extract
1/4 red chilli pepper, de-seeded and diced
1/2 cup water

How to make:

1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok and add the bay leaf and the mustard seeds. Cover the pot so that the seeds don't split and jump out of the pot. 
2. Add the ginger, the onions and the garlic and wait for the onions to turn golden brown.
3. Add all other powdered spices and mix well. 
4. Add the tomatoes, the tomato extract, the paraboiled mandioquinha and the water and allow everything to cook until the mandioquinha turns soft. Add more water if necessary to ensure the pot does not dry up. 
5. When all the vegetables are soft and the tomatoes have formed a rich sauce, and the chilli pepper and coriander and serve hot. 

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