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

Basmati rice cakes

In Brazil, rice cakes are a popular finger-food. Traditionally served at bars, they are prepared with long grain rice, soft cheese and spices. Maria Luiza and I, authors of this blog, are particularly fond of these rice cakes and we have them without fail alongside our cocktails when we go out in Sao Paulo. When making these the other day however, I decided to replace the long grain rice with basmati rice, and some of the traditionally used spices with Indian ones. The result was surprisingly delicious - an Indian flavoured rice cake worthy of being served at the best bars and pubs in Sao Paulo. We might just enter them in the city's next year's competition for the best rice cake recipes in town! 

Basmati rice cakes


2 cups basmati rice
4 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 tsp butter
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup finely diced chives
1/2 tsp ground cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp ground white pepper seeds
4 tbsp breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp baking powder
cheese of your choice, in small cubes (we recommend gruyer cheese) for the filling
Sunflower oil

How to make:

1. Wash the rice thoroughly in cold water and leave it soaking in a bowl with two cups of water for at least 10 minutes. 
2. Put the remaining 2 cups of water to boil in a large pot. Add the butter, some salt, the bay leaves and turmeric powder to the pot and the remaining water and rice. When the rice has fully cooked, drain any excess water, remove the bay leaves and leave the rice to cool. 
3. In a large bowl, mix together all other ingredients (except for the cheese and oil). Add the cooked rice and stir everything together. Check the seasoning and add more salt if necessary. 
4. Roll the seasoned rice into small balls, filling each rice cake with a cube of cheese. 
5. Deep fry the rice cakes in sunflower oil until golden brown. 


  1. those look great! i've never had anything like this, but i'll have to try it now. thanks for the recipe.

  2. Hope you enjoy it and let me know how it turns out!

  3. Hello,

    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM YUM.
    We would like to add it to the Petitchef.com.

    We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
    enjoy your recipes.

    Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
    and benefit from their exposure on Petitchef.com.

    To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use http://en.petitchef.com/?obj=front&action=site_ajout_form or just go to Petitchef.com and click on "Add your site"

    Best regards,


  4. those look SO good! I just found your blog via Foodbuzz...did I read right that you are in Edinburgh? I thought I was the only one!

  5. I AM EATING THESE RIGHT NOW. Not your recipe, which I've just found and am bound to try, but some plainer rice cakes, with dipping sauces. First attempt, will definitely try this recipe next!

    My Brazilian friends introduced rice cakes to me and I LOVE THEM. Cheap, tasty and easy to make! They're a hit to bring along to parties too, since not many people here in Oz know this dish. Even my bird loves them, he keeps trying to steal bits of what I'm eating.

    Muito gostosa, amigos! Obrigada!

  6. I´m glad you are a fan of these. Please let us know how you liked our recipe, once you´ve tried it!

  7. Absolutely delicious Pure Traditional Basmati rice,classic recipe..looks divine.

  8. AMIRA offers an extensive portfolio of brands that have been carefully developed to appeal to local markets around the world. Customer tastes and expectations have been finely segmented to deliver authentic flavors that go well with a variety of popular cuisines. This includes basmati rice and special basmati rice

  9. Amira is one of the major producers of Basmati Rice and exports it to around five continents in the world.