Red Pepper and Tomato Salad with Crispy Flatbread, Chilli and Lime

A Salad with the tastes of Mexico

What to do with left over flatbread or roti, no longer near its prime, but not yet ready to be allocated to the bin? Ah, I have the answer for you. Crisp it up in the oven and turn it into a wonderful, mexican influenced salad.

Those organic corn chips can be used in this salad too – the ones without added flavourings. They are perfect. Also corn tortillas, crisped in the oven.

While you are at it, crisp up a lot of the flatbread, rotis or tortillas. They are excellent with cheese or dips. Very crispy and crunchy.

You will love this salad. Feel free to browse our other Salad recipes here and here. We have a lot, so if you just want Tomato Salad recipes they are here. This is a salad inspired by Bittman – have a look at his other superb salads.  Or simply explore our easy Summer recipes here and here.

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Coriander and Ginger Infusion (Tea)

Aahh, relax!

You find the most magical spice infusions in India. Although I still call them “teas”, technically, they are infusions or tisanes. In India, tea (chai) is only made from the leaves of the tea plant, often supplemented with spices.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series of recipes from our first blog which ran from 1995 – 2005. You might also like our Tea recipes here and here. Our Chai recipes are here. Or browse our Indian recipes here.

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Artichoke Hearts and Feta Salad with Tomatoes

Artichokes are not something that appear in this house very often, except perhaps as decorations – they look so good, right? Truth be told, I am a bit too lazy to do the work to prepare and cook them. While the taste of fresh ones must be superior, I have turned to grilled hearts from the deli section of the supermarket for this salad. You can also use canned. Hearts are available in jars and cans in supermarkets. After all, we all turn to canned beans and lentils very occasionally, even though freshly soaked and cooked tastes infinitely better. So, today, against my preference for limiting processed foods, I am rebelliously Ok’ing that can or jar of artichoke hearts for this recipe if you can’t get the grilled ones from the deli section. Sometimes you can also find frozen ones, and you could grill them yourself.

Are you looking for other salads?  Can we suggest Easy White Bean Salad, Du Puy Lentils with Feta and Tomato, and Fennel Salad with Fresh Prunes?

You can browse all of our Salads here. Or just check the Bittman Salads. We have some Feta recipes. Or simply browse our easy Mid Summer recipes.

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Mushroom Curry with Yoghurt-Tomato Sauce

Madhur Jaffrey’s recipes, although not always traditional, are always tasty, easy and no-fail. This is another one – I found it in my pile of saved recipes, scribbled out. Any mushrooms are good with this yoghurt -tomato gravy/sauce, just cut them large enough so they don’t get lost in the sauce.

You might like to Stuffed Mushrooms on the BBQ, Mushrooms on Toast, or Mushrooms a la Grecque.

Would you like other yoghurt curries? Try a Kerala Sweet and Sour Mango Curry, Moar (Yoghurt) Kuzhambu with Lentil Dumplings, and coconuty Avial.

You can find all of our Indian dishes here, and all of our Mushroom recipes here. We have a number of Yoghurt dishes. Or take some time to explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Cardamom, Coriander and Fennel Herbal Tea | Ayurvedic CCF Tea

Try this tea/herbal infusion, but not before bed. It is slightly diuretic so may disturb your sleep. It is another of the great Spring Detox teas, all of which are a variation on a theme. This is one of the first such teas that I made, and was instantly aware of its properties. Oh the power of herbs and spices.

Please also check out a similar tea – Pitta Tea – also suitable for Spring. You might enjoy The Making of Herbal Teas, The 5 C’s Golden Spiced Tea, and Yogi Tea. All of our teas are here, and Ayurvedic Hints here. Or simply explore our Early Spring Recipes.

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Grilled Eggplant Salad with Pine Nuts, White Beans and Pita Chips

Bittman once put together 100 salad recipes in short 2 or 3 line descriptions. I love to turn to these suggestions in the warmer months for inspiration. They are great flavour combinations yet simple and easy to put together, and are great inspiration on hot days when your creativity flags.

Grilled eggplants are always a winner, and I grill them on my covered BBQ. A few red and green capsicums are added alongside, shining from being wiped with oil prior to being placed on the grill. Twenty minutes later the capsicums are charred and the eggplants are soft and collapsed. Perfect bases for salads and soups.

Would you like to try some other Eggplant dishes? Try some BBQ’d Marinated Eggplant, Roasted Eggplant Salad with Verjuice, and Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Spring Onions. All of our Eggplant recipes are here.

The Bittman salads we have beein inspired by are here.  Or take some time to explore all of our Salads.  All of our Eggplant recipes are here. Try some Cannellini Bean Recipes. Or take some time and explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Green Peppers in Yoghurt

The Middle East has a variety of flavours and dishes that are amazing and under-explored in other countries. And yoghurt, one of my favourite food stuffs, features strongly there as it does in India. The recipes using yoghurt are often simple – take a vegetable, some yoghurt, garlic, dried mint and some spices, mix and serve.

Traditionally it is used as a pre-dinner snack or appetiser, generally served with pita bread., but you can use any flat bread. We get a great Afghan flatbread cooked fresh on the tandoor from our local shop, and it is amazing.

You can use the Green Peppers in Yoghurt as you might use a salad. If you use thick, drained yoghurt they can be used as a dip or spread, or it can be used as a sauce or dressing.

If you are looking for other Middle Eastern dishes, try Fragrant Eggplant with a Garlic-Yoghurt Sauce, Cucumber and Yoghurt Mezze, and Chickpea “Tabbouleh”.  All of our Middle Eastern dishes are here.

Capsicum recipes you might like to explore include Grilled Peppers and Eggplant Salad, Roasted Red Pepper Salad, and Baked Peppers with Cherry Tomatoes. All of our Capsicum dishes are here. All of our Salads are here.

Our Dips are here if you are after dips and sauces. Or simply take some time to explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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A Good Brew – Prunes in Tea with Spices, Mandarin and Lemon

I recently read this characterisation of hot drink imbibers:

Tea drinkers are golden oldies fans. Those who take it from a pot, never from a bag, are classical music snobs. Instant coffee drinkers go for hits from the ’70s and ’80s. Short black aficionados turn into whatever is new and funky. The only people who drink herbal teas are folk singers and old hippies.

That makes me a fan of golden oldies and an old hippie folk singer, yet a lover of the new and funky.

Thank goodness that characterisation is not true today, and along with good espresso coffee, tea has found a rightful place after losing out to coffee for a while. Herbal teas are available in cafes and restaurants, chai is a perfectly acceptable cafe-based low-caffine drink for non-coffee drinkers.

They say tea was discovered in 2737BCE when Chinese Emperor Shen Ning infused dried camellia leaves in water to make a pleasant drink that gave him vigour and focus.

Thank goodness for that. Today we use tea in preparing a dessert or breakfast dish with tea and prunes. You can also browse other breakfast dishes or our deserts here and here. You might also like to check out our tea and chai recipes.

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Tofu and Chilli Salad

Sichuan Pepper and chillies mix with tofu in this interesting salad.

This salad layers different chilli flavours with tofu that has been pressed, so it absorbs its dressing very well. It is a playful, delightful salad.

Would you like to browse other Tofu recipes? Try Peach Salsa with Marinated Tofu, Thai Deep Fried Fresh Beancurd with Sweet Nut Sauce, or Ottolenghi’s Black Pepper Tofu.

Or perhaps you are looking for a salad with a difference. Have a look at another Tofu salad – Asian Lightly Pickled Cucumber and Tofu Salad, or Orange and Olive Salad with Mint and Basil, or even Wombok  (Chinese Cabbage) and Red Radish Salad with Peanut Dressing.

Browse all of our Tofu recipes here and here, and our Salad recipes here and here. We have a collection of Bittman Salads here. Or be inspired by our Summer recipes here and here.

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Mango Vathal | Dried Mango for Indian Dishes

Dry Mango for year round summer flavours

South India, I guess all of India, has a culture of drying vegetables, mixtures of lentils and spices, and pastes made from rice, sago and similar. This is sensible of course – it preserves summer produce for use throughout the year, and thus in leaner seasons it extends freshly available ingredients.

Although terms are used interchangeably, strictly speaking:

  • Vathal are dried vegetables and fruits
  • Vadagam are dried balls of lentils and spices
  • Vadam is a paste or dough made from rice, sago etc that is dried and then fried before using. Also called Fryums.

You might also like other Mango recipes here and here. Browse our Indian Recipes here. Or try a collection of easy Summer dishes here and here.

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Hand Made Pesto | Zeffirino Pesto

Hand made, home made pesto is the most exquisite of creations. Do try it.

I first made it long ago, when I took a cooking class with Bill Grainger of the famous Bills Restaurants in Sydney, and author of many Sydney-style cookbooks. He made pesto by hand in the class. At home, Bill didn’t keep a lot of gadgets in his kitchen and didn’t have a blender!! So at home he always made it by hand. A man after my own heart – Meditation in the kitchen through manual grinding. There is something about pesto that you make yourself, especially if you grow your own basil.

This recipe is enough to make you reach for the basil plant, and bring the mortar and pestle out of the cupboard. You can smell the basil even while reading the recipe…. and taste the pasta.

Are you looking for pasta sauces? Try Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce, and Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato.

You might also like our Pesto recipes here and here. All of our Pasta Sauce recipes are here. Or you might like to browse our Italian recipes here and here. Alternatively, take some time to check out our easy Mid Summer recipes.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.

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Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup with Miso and Parsley

Adzuki Beans with Sesame, Tamari and Miso – complimentary flavours for a warming soup

I must admit it. Adzuki beans have not reached the status of being a firm favourite in this household, as the sweetness of the beans can feel a little overwhelming in savoury settings. We had a couple of recipes we stuck to when cooking Adzuki. It was a pity, because we love the name Adzuki, it has such an evocative elegance about it.

That is, until recently. Via Lucy of the most excellent blog, Nourish Me, we discovered the tempering effects of cooking Adzuki with Toasted Sesame Oil, Tamari and Miso, and adding parsley and celery leaves. It makes sense, right? The more Northern Asian flavours to compliment a bean used commonly in Chinese, Korean and Japanese cooking. We also discovered how well Pumpkin goes with Adzuki.

You might like to also try Adzuki Sundal (briefly stirfried with coconut) or Red Rice with Adzuki Bean Congee.

Or are you looking for Barley dishes? Try Italian Farmhouse Barley and Vegetable Soup.

You might like to browse our other Adzuki recipes, other Barley recipes, other Pumpkin Recipes here and here, and other Soup recipes here and here. We hope you enjoy!

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Chickpea Fingers with Tomato Salsa

Shallow fried chickpea flour bite sized snacks

A really nice snack to have when you are hot or tired or jet lagged, made with chickpea flour. It takes about 30 mins including cooling time.

Chickpea flour, also called besan or gram flour, is an essential ingredient in the kitchen, especially for Indian cooking. It makes a great batter, thickener, thin fritter or pan cake style pudla/cheela, and other goodies. Why not also try Pudla with Green Coriander and Mung Sprouts, Crispy Battered Onion Rings, and Gram Flour Vada. Going Italian, try the wonderful Farinata with Tomatoes and Onion. If it is desserts that you are after, try this Besan Custard.

Feel free to browse all of our Chickpea Flour recipes here and here. Our Salsa recipes are here. Or you might like to browse Snack recipes here and here. Check out our easy Mid Summer Recipes.

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Aamti Bhaat | Maharashtrian Lentil Curry Rice

I do love the Keralite classic Mung Dal with Ghee (Neyyum Parippum), and its offshoots – Mung Dal with Cumin and ISKON Mung Dal.

Maharashtra has a dish that exhibits the same simplicity, but it is made with toor dal (and not quite so much ghee). Toor dal is the lentil that gives Sambar (from Tamil Nadu) its creamy, flowing consistency.

Simply spiced, the dish highlights the flavour of the lentils. The dish is served with rice, and is a variation on its simpler ancestor, Varan Bhaat which literally means Lentil Curry-Rice. In many Maharashtrian households, this dish or the simpler Varan is cooked every day and it is a comforting and nourishing dish. It is also made as naivedyam/prasadam for Ganesha Chathurthi. It is particularly simple to make. (If you are after other recipes for Ganesha Chathurthi, browse here.)

You might also like to try the Mung Dal dishes above, or our range of Sambars. Or try Eggplant and Toor Dal, Plain (Toor) Dal Rasam, or Poritha Kuzhambu.

Explore all of our recipes for Toor Dal here, and our Maharashtrian recipes here. Take some time and browse all of our Indian recipes. Or simply try our Mid Summer collection.

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Heavenly Gentle Chai

There is something about Chai that makes everything Ok again.

Chai. Aaah, the very word invokes relaxation. In colder weather it comes into its own with its warming, comforting and nourishing emotive qualities.

You might also like to try Seva Devi’s Ashram Chai, and Yogi Chai. What about Cardamom Spiced Coffee? Or for a herbal tea, there is Ginger and Tulsi Tea.

Feel free to browse all of our Chai recipes here, or our general Tea recipes here. All of our drinks can be found here. You might also enjoy to take some time and expore our easy Winter recipes or our easy Summer recipes.

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