I’ve been blogging since 1995, and have loved every minute. My interest is food and culture, ingredients and combinations. These things have driven my passion rather than the finer and technical details of cooking and presenting. I call myself a rustic cook, throwing into a dish spoonfuls of my own powders and pastes to layer flavour, or heaping handfuls of herbs on top of a dish. I love to bake in terracotta and cook in clay pots. I love the early morning silence of the kitchen and the hubbub that develops during the day.
I have blogged through study times and working times, the young family times, through the end-of-marriage times, through the alone times and friends time. I have blogged through children leaving home and living overseas. Through the next generation arriving and through them growing up. I have blogged through four different residences in 3 different cities, through setting up my own business and working hard at it.
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Wadiyan (also spelled Varian and Badiyan) are large balls of dried lentils, peculiar to the cuisine of the Punjab. They are sun dried spicy urad dal balls that serve to spice a dish and also to thicken the gravy. They are very spicy and each bite sends a burst of flavour to your tastebuds. They are also quite meaty in texture, and thus a good option for your non-vegetarian friends.
This dish cooks the wadi and potatoes in a tomato-onion-spiced gravy for a relative quick, definitely easy meal. Wadi go very well with potatoes, but can be cooked with other vegetables too. Today I have used a mixture of potatoes and sweet potatoes, or you can use butternut and potatoes. These mixtures are not really traditional, but work very well in the modern kitchen.
Because the wadi are extra spicy, not a lot of other spice is needed in the dish.
Similar dishes include Punjabi Wadi (Badi) and Vegetables, Aloo Baingan Wadiyan, and Mung Wadi.
Browse all of our Punjabi dishes, and all of our Potato recipes. Or explore our Early Spring dishes.
Continue reading “Punjabi Aloo Wadiyan”
We can’t go past a great potato salad, right? Being a country girl, potato salads were at every community and family gathering – chunks of potato with creamy home-made mayonnaise (from home-produced ingredients) and garden-fresh herbs.
Our salad today is a French Potato Salad recorded by Elizabeth David in French Provincial Cooking. The potatoes are cooked then sliced and liberally dressed with oil and vinegar. It is absolutely divine. The salad can also be dressed with a thin mayo if you are definitely the mayo-only-dressing for potato salads.
For this salad, use waxy varieties or potatoes as they hold their shape when cooked, for example:
- Dutch varieties
- Desiree Potatoes
Similar recipes include Simple Beautiful Potato Salad, Adult Only Potato Salad, and Crushed New Potatoes with Horseradish.
Browse all of our Potato Salads and all of our Potato recipes. Or explore our Mid Spring dishes.
Continue reading “Elizabeth David’s Potato Salad”
Sweetcorn is one of the treasures of Summer, so creamy, full of moisture and luscious. We love them raw and also grilled – with lashings of butter, lime and black pepper. Sweetcorn soup is brilliant, and tangy chaat a perfect snack.
Another recipe we love is a spicy, peppery stir fry of sweetcorn kernels. It is very easy to make, and a great side dish. The sweetness of the corn with the tang of lime juice and the heat of the chilli and pepper – flavours layered to perfection.
Similar dishes include Sweetcorn Chaat, Sweetcorn Sundal, and Roasted Chilli Sweetcorn Salad.
Browse all of our Sweetcorn recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.
Continue reading “Sweet Corn Fry with Black Pepper and Lime”
I adore pawpaw in the tropics – pawpaw for breakfast is divine. But here, we don’t indulge so much.
You can browse all of our Pawpaw recipes. And check out our 100 Vegetable Series.
Continue reading “100 Vegetables (and Fruits): #77. Pawpaw”
In the midst of Autumn or Winter, on a foggy, drizzling day, there is nothing more perfect that a large bowl of Vegetable Soup. And if it has barley in it – even better.
Similar recipes include Toppings for Soups, Barley and Lentils with Mushrooms, Minestrone with Pesto, Italian Barley and Vegetable Soup, and Thirteen Treasure Happiness Soup.
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Gearing up for the heat wave that is Summer in South Australia, we are already thinking about the soups and drinks and other cooling things we will need over those 3 months. Even in Spring we can have had temperatures of 37C. An indication that it will be a long hot Summer.
This soup is cool and refreshing, and is adapted from one from Madhur Jaffrey. In truth it is a down-spiced version of a Cucumber Raita or Cucumber Pachadi, thinned for a soup. It has some delicious cream added as well. Enjoy with lunch, mid afternoon, or in the evening relaxing on the verandah. Serve in small portions in chilled bowls.
Similar recipes include Toppings for Soups, South Indian Cold Cucumber Soup, Quick Tomato and Cucumber Cold Soup, and Chilled Asparagus Soup.
Browse all of our Cold Soups, and our Cucumber recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.
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Green Mangoes are a real gift, and available from Asian groceries almost year round. It is amazing to track the different varieties across the year, many of them unlabelled. In the market today, one variety was labelled Crunchy Green Mango. I loved the images that it conjured up.
Green mangoes are refreshing and tart. Some are sour-tart, and others are sweet-tart. They are particularly good in salads and surprisingly good in dals and with yoghurt sauces. I have included a particularly delicious drink in this collection – one where the green mango is roasted or boiled then mashed with spices to make a cooling and refreshing summer drink.
You can browse all of our Green Mango recipes. And check out our 100 Vegetable Series.
Continue reading “100 Vegetables (and Fruits): #78. Green Mango”
Pasta is not just a main dish – it makes beautiful salads, and also great side dishes. This one uses tiny pasta – use any of the tiny pastas, the sort that are commonly used in minestrone. The pasta is cooked then mixed with peas that have been cooked with parsley, garlic and onion. This is a fairly simple dish – there are much more fancy ways of making this, but we love this very simple version.
You can make this dish with other veggies too – tiny cubes of carrot barely cooked, sweetcorn, the youngest tiny broad beans etc.
Similar dishes include Pasta with Avocado, Rocket Salad with Penne Pasta, Capunti Pasta with Tomatoes, and Buttered Orzo Pasta.
Browse all of our Pasta dishes and our Pea recipes. Or explore all of our Mid Spring dishes.
Continue reading “Tiny Pasta and Peas”
Podimas is the Tamil (South Indian) equivalent to a mash – potato podimas is quite divine. Here we are using plantains – the variety of banana that is primarily used green or raw. The plantain is simmered until tender, mashed or crumbled, then mixed with spices. It is a great side dish.
Similar recipes include Sweet Potato Mash with Lime Salsa, Plantain Kari, Plantain Mor Kootu, Vazakkai Poriyal, and Thani Kootu.
Browse all of our Plantain dishes and our Podimas recipes. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.
Continue reading “Vazhakkai Podimas | Plantain Mash”