Cartagena de Indias has a lot of influence from the Creole culture, also in its kitchen which is rather Caribbean. Coconut and Banana (the non-sweet version) is part of almost every dish, typical e.g. is brown or white coconut rice as a side dish, fried banana chips (served with sour creme), fried banana purree or banana in a spicy and sweet salsa. I am quite sure I will have a banana overdose after those 3 months in Cartagena :-D
Thought I share with you a bit of this amazing food.
Here is a desert made from coconut and rice, that the chef of our school showed to us.
In the Caribbean it is typically eaten at special occasions like birthdays, christmas or other festivities.
Easy to prepare but tastes phenomenal.
Close your eyes and dream of the Caribbean sea! :-D
Arroz con leche (for 2 persons)
1 cup of white rice (no matter what type)
2 cups of water
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 table spoon of sugar
1 dash of salt
Cook the rice with these ingredients, until no water is left in the pot.
1/2 cup of milk
1 cup of coconut juice…
…made from a fresh coconut like this: put the coconut water into a bowl and add grated coconut. Leave it for half an hour and pour it through a sieve then. The juice is white now. If you cannot find a fresh coconut, use a can of coconut water. If you just can find the thick version, add some water or milk before using it.
Wait until the rice has taken up all the liquids and has a creamy texture. You can add more sugar, cinnamon or coconut if you like.
1 teaspoon of butter
to the hot rice. Serve it with the following:
freshly grated coconut
sweetened condensed milk (leche condensada, e.g. Parmalat: Be careful, this is just (!) milk cooked with sugar, it has nothing to do with the german Kondensmilch) - absolutely necessary!! :-P
You can eat the rice warm or cold. The chef said, she likes it rather cold because of the heat outside.
We ate it hot. Do you know the feeling, when something smells mouthwateringly good but is far to hot to eat?
Yeah, exactly. Thats why almost all of us burned their tongues.
Various times. :-D
Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the dish itself - I think you can imagine it. ;-)
Instead, here's a picture from our balcony - the sundown after one of those caribbean thunderstorms that leave you deaf and the streets (and the pool area, too) flooded.
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