I came to Dubai barely 6 months ago with stars in my eyes. It was a completely new experience for me! This was the first time I was leaving the familiar surroundings of India and I did not know what to expect. Everybody had told me something different about Dubai and I honestly did not know who to believe. So as usual, I set off on my own journey with my eyes wide open. To my delight I found Dubai very welcoming. I thought that since it was such a large, cosmopolitan city most people would not really have the time to stop and chat but I was wrong! In no time at all, I found myself surrounded by friendly faces. The first place where I made a ton of friends was at work and the majority of those friends were from the Phillipines.
My new friendships began at the lunch table over steaming hot delicacies. The first Filipino dish that my friends made me fall in love with was Adobo. Adobo is made from marinated vegetables, meat or fish and is served with rice. It is made using equal parts of soya sauce and vinegar and is quite simple to make. My favourite version of this dish is the one that has Pork in it, every single mouthful is heavenly. You should find the recipe online and try it out at home. The variety of different flavours in this dish will leave you dying for more!
The next Filipino dish that I tasted was Karekare. This is a Filipino stew made from meat and vegetables cooked in peanut sauce. The first spoonful did not blow me away. It tasted like normal stew until my friend passed me a little container with shrimp paste that goes with this dish. The wow factor comes from the shrimp paste. Every drop of this paste is packed with flavour!
After a few months of being fed delicious treats at work, I thought I knew quite a bit about Filipino food until I opened the fridge at work and saw a box filled with what looked like mini idlis (Indian rice cakes). I turned around and saw Kathleen smiling at me. She said, “I knew you would be curious to try these, so I got some from home. We had a small dinner party last night and I got some yummy stuff for all of you.”
Puto tastes like sweet idli. It has cheese on top that melts in your mouth. Kathleen had brought a box full of Puto to office in the morning but before lunch time came around, every single piece had magically disappeared. “What! Don’t look at me, I don’t know what happened to them.”