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News from Mama Sita

Love, Peace, and Paella

19 December 2019|

And so the holiday season is upon us. In spite of the fun and cheers, some of us are left feeling exhausted. In Manila, traffic worsens to the nth level, and yet here we are, trying to make our way to the mall to complete our shopping list, do last-minute gift wrapping, and scurry to the most-awaited Christmas program, where we get a rare chance to sing, dance, and have a good laugh at ourselves. 

For many people, the hustle and bustle fuel the Christmas spirit. For others though, it is worthwhile to slow down. What if we didn’t have Christmas lights or lanterns this year? What if we didn’t buy expensive gifts? What if we didn’t say yes to all the party invitations and reunions? Would it be the same? Would Christmas still feel wonderful?

We believe, however cliche it may sound, that Christmas is within us. Lights and sparkles may burn out but Christmas survives where there is love and peace. These are what we wish for all of you, regardless if you’ve been naughty or nice: Love and Peace, and a hearty meal to share and enjoy on Christmas eve with your loved ones. 

Cheers from Mama Sita’s Kitchen!

Seafood Adlai Paella (makes 5-6 servings)


300 g MANILA CLAMS (HALAAN), washed and soaked in cold water for 20 mins to 1 hour (clams will purge salt, sand, and other grit during this time), rinsed

80 g

MUSSELS, excess beard washed and removed

200 g

SQUID, ink sac and tooth removed, body cut into rings

80 g

SHRIMPS, antenna removed

60 g

EGG, hard-boiled, cut into wedges

256 g


15 g


38 g


38 g

ONIONS, minced

195 g

1 cup (195 g) TOMATOES, chopped

30 g

RED BELL PEPPER, seeded and cut into strips

30 g

GREEN BELL PEPPER, seeded and cut into strips

2 tbsp


2 cups


2 tbsp


120 g



SAFFRON SPICE (optional)



  1. Rinse Mama Sita’s Adlai Grits. Set aside. 
  2. Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet or paellera, saute garlic until golden brown. Add onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, Manila clams, mussels, and squid. Cook over medium heat until onions are soft. Add rinsed Mama Sita’s Adlai Grits and mix well. Stir in the Mama Sita’s Paella Spice Mix and shrimps.
  3. Pour in the water and increase the heat. Bring to a boil. Continue cooking until shrimps change in color. Removed the shrimps and bell peppers and set aside. 
  4. Transfer to a rice cooker, cover and cook until adlai grits are tender. Remove from heat and garnish with shrimps, hard-boiled eggs, and bell peppers. Drizzle with olive oil, if desired. Serve with lemon. 

A rice cooker may be used instead of skillet or paellera. You can add a pinch of saffron spice.