South Indian Baby Sweetcorn and Green Bean Soup

This is our second Baby Corn Soup; this one includes green beans for added crunch and fresh taste. It is another soup from Vol 4 of Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See, written by her daughter Priya Ramakumar. They are reminiscent of, say, 1970’s style soups – simple, no fuss, delicious. many of them (but not this one) are Anglo-Indian. I adore them – they are such a contrast to other elements of Indian cuisine.

As explained in previous posts, Soups as we know them are uncommon in India. But in South Indian, the TamBram community does make some very simple and un-spiced soups, probably influenced by the British, and perfect for using up left over odds and sods of vegetables.

Rather than being served in large bowls like we might serve a soup, it is served in small bowls, unaccompanied by crusty bread, grated cheese, olive oil for drizzling, or croutons. Actually, it is a really nice beginning to a hot and spicy meal.

Several of the soups in this volume of Cook and See show the growing love for Chinese food in India at the time that the volume of recipes was written. The nod to Chinese fare is created by a drizzle of soy sauce on top of the soup. Baby corn, after all, is associated (probably incorrectly) in many countries as being quintessential Chinese. This Indo-Chinese cuisine is very popular.

Baby corn is available at most Asian Grocery shops.

Similar recipes include South Indian Baby Corn Soup, South Indian Spring Onion Soup, and South Indian Cauliflower Soup.

Or browse all of our Indian Soups here, and all of Meenakshi Ammal’s dishes. Our Indian Recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Late Winter dishes.

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Simple Cauliflower Curry | Phool Gobi Curry

Sometimes we want a quick dinner without too much fuss. Here it is. Put the rice cooker on, cut up the cauliflower, and dinner is ready in a trice.

The cauliflower is sautéed with seasoning until tender, and then spiced just with garam masala and chilli. You don’t need to grind spices or make spice pastes. This is a simple curry. My friend Priti shared her recipe with me after preparing it for lunch one day.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Aloo Gobi, Cauliflower Pilaf and Cauliflower and Broken Wheat Kitchari.

Browse all of our Cauliflower recipes, and all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or take some time to explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Broad Beans with Crispy Garlic

Last Spring I fell in love with Broad Beans. Always a hated vegetable, we decided to spend time exploring them. To take the time to treat them properly. And fall in love I did. So this year, I am growing my own.

This recipe is a very quick dish once the beans have been podded and the individual beans have had their thick peel removed. It is a good idea to peel them when you have time, for example while watching TV at night, then pop them in the fridge, ready to be used the next day for a quick dish or snack.

Similar recipes include Pan Fried Broad Bean Salad with Tomato and Thyme, Pan Fried Broad Beans with Lime, Chilli and Salt, and Tawa Broad Beans.

You might like to browse our other Broad Bean recipes and our other snacks. All of our Salads are here. Or explore our collection of Late Spring recipes.

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Crispy Cauliflower with Tahini Yoghurt Sauce

This Cauliflower dish is a take on a classic Israeli and Lebanese recipe in Ottolenghi and Tammi’s book Jerusalam. I have twisted it up just a little to suit us and our friends, but I have to tell you that this is a favourite dish in our circle. I love it partly because it is very quick to make if you roast the cauliflower. Ottolenghi deep fries it (and that is delicious) but often time is a real factor in this household. So the cauliflower is roasted when we need awesome dishes in quick-sticks time. We can get on with other things while the roasting happens. I have to say, though, that deep frying gives the cauli beautiful crispy exteriors and cooks the interior just enough to be amazing.

Tahini features in creative ways in Israel, in both simple eateries and upmarket restaurants. For these types of dishes, grab good tahini from your Middle Eastern grocers – you won’t go back to the supermarket shelves, and they have a smoothness not available in the Greek brands. Choose a light-coloured tahini made from hulled sesame seeds.

The tahini sauce, thick and wonderfully rich, is the focal point of this dish. I use about 3/4 of Ottolenghi’s sauce with the cauliflower, and the rest is put to use as dips and salad dressings. This dish fits perfectly in any mezze selection, makes a great substantial meal when served with fresh tomato salad and a warm pitta, or is an excellent side for many meals.

Similar dishes include Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree, Cauliflower Slow Cooked with Lemon and Spices, Green Tahini Sauce, White Beans with Tahini, and Tahina Tarator.

Browse all of our Cauliflower recipes, and dishes where tahini features. Our dips and sauces are here. Explore our Israeli dishes, all of our wonderful Salads, and check out or Early Spring collection of recipes.

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Sri Lankan Okra in Coconut Milk, Jaffna Style

Sri Lanka has a wonderful cuisine, layered of course by the cultural backgrounds of the inhabitants. The South Indian influence is strong, and many dishes are similar to the cuisines of Tamil Nadu, but with a twist bought about by local ingredients. This is an Okra Curry, a simple one with only green chillies to spice it, and the okra are simmered in coconut milk. Easy to make and beautiful to eat.

Are you after similar recipes? Try this Sri Lankan Okra Curry, and also Lemak Style Vegetables in a Curry-Coconut Broth.

You can browse all of our Okra dishes and all of our Sri Lankan recipes. Our Indian dishes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time and explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Grilled Mushroom and Red Onion Salad

Summer is on its way!

Yay for warm weather! And as soon as the weather turns the slightest bit warm, I begin making Summery salads again. I find them the most healthy type of dish for Spring, Summer and into Autumn. As each year passes, we eat salads further into winter, roasting our ingredients, or incorporating barley, freekeh, quinoa and other filling and satisfying ingredients.

Today’s salad is definitely a Spring dish, a Mushroom Salad. Spring Mushrooms are grilled with some red onion and then dressed. It is gorgeous.

Similar dishes include Mushroom, Spinach and Blue Cheese Salad, Mushroom and Carrot Salad with Mung Bean Sprouts, and Stuffed Mushrooms.

You might like to also browse our other Salads – over a hundred! Or just the Mushroom Salads. Have a look at all of our Mushroom recipes here. And explore our easy Early Spring recipes too.

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Tim’s Chai

Tim says that

Chai is an art that must be discovered. The ingredients are the map but the combination is your own journey. The secret is in the intention of the heart.

It’s true, and there is much that you will discover as you make Chai. How to bring it together to get the best flavours. Which spices work best with your body. Which spices work best in the different seasons. Whether you have the patience to make chai well. Are you too impatient? How to keep yourself healthy with the combination of spices, and how to bring yourself back to health when you are out of balance. Which milk to use, whether you add ghee or coconut oil at all to your chai. Does a pinch of salt help? Which chai relaxes you and which invigorates you?

All of these and much more is just part of your individual Chai Journey.

Why not take that Chai Journey with us? Try Chai Masala for Relief of Colds, Illaichi Chai, Peppery Chai and Ashram Chai.

Explore all of our other Chai recipes. Or what about our Teas? And browse all of our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Would you like to explore our Mid Autumn dishes?

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Mung Dal with Green Mango

The success of any Dal is in the combination of the texture of the dal and the layers of flavours added by spices and perhaps onions, and garlic. It is not often that cooked lentils on their own, without anything else added, qualify as a great and tasty dal dish. There are exceptions, of course (eg Mung Dal with Ghee), but they are rare.

This recipe is an interesting one, as it is spiced with chilli, mustard and nigella seeds; the latter are slightly bitter in taste. Overall the dish is quite tart and refreshing, and is an excellent hot weather dish.

Similar recipes include Kancha Mung Dal, Mung Dal with Coconut Milk, and Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach.

Browse all of our Green Mango dishes and all of our Dals. Our Indian dishes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or browse our Mid Summer dishes.

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Whole Okra Stuffed with Onions and Spices

In this okra dish, the okra are slit and stuffed with an onion-based spice mixture before being quickly sautéed and then steamed until tender. It is a delicious dish that does not pack a chilli heat punch. The spices used are gentle and warming, and it is a good dish for convincing your friends that okra is a special and wonderful vegetable.

This is a Madhur Jaffrey okra dish. She seems to have a special affinity to okra, and loves them with onions.

Are you after other Okra dishes? Try Okra with Chilli Spice Paste, Sri Lankan Okra Curry, Warm Salad of Charred Okra, and Sambar with Okra.

You can browse all of our Okra dishes, all Apricot recipes, and all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or simply explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Pulissery | Simple Yoghurt Curry

A Yoghurt Curry, beautiful in its simplicity.

Puliseri, or Pulissery, is a yoghurt curry with simple spicing and thickened slightly with rice flour, designed to eat over rice. It can also be eaten as a soup, but this is non-traditional.

Pulissery is often associated with Kerala on the West coast of India, where it is also often cooked with vegetables. This recipe is from its neighbour, Tamil Nadu, and is kept simple without any additions.

The recipe is another from Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See books, full of traditional Tamil recipes. This one is from a recipe in Volume 3, and she calls it the Raw Variety of Pulissery.

Similar recipes include Plain Pulissery, Pineapple Pulissery, Mango Pulissery, Pulse Ball Mor Kuzhambu, and Yoghurt Curry.

Check out all of our other Pulissery recipes, our Yoghurt dishes, and all of our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. You might also like to browse our recipes for Early Spring.

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Broad Beans with Fresh Pecorino Cheese

There is a beautiful Tuscan Spring time tradition of serving Broad Beans with a fresh pecorino cheese. The cheese is sliced and served with the beans. If the beans are young, the guests get to pod their own as they eat them. There is a saltiness in the fresh pecorino that matches the sweetness of the broad beans. And the crispy texture of the beans with the melting softness of the pecorino is divine.

Similar recipes include Panfried Broad Beans with Chilli, Lime and Salt, Broad Beans with Crispy Garlic, and Tawa Broad Beans.

Have a look at the other Broad Bean recipes. Our snacks are here. Or simply explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhurji | Corn and Spinach Stirfry

Bhurji are pan-fried Indian vegetable dishes that are not quite dry, but not really wet dishes. They are dry yet damp dishes. The best known Bhurji is made with eggs and is somewhat like scrambled eggs. But we don’t cook with eggs, so the Bhurji that we make are pure vegetarian. They are similar to the Thoran of Kerala and Poriyal of Tamil Nadu. Bhurji is an Andhra dish.

This one is made with greens and sweetcorn, with spices. Spinach and Sweetcorn is a loved combination in India – the sweetness of the corn playing nicely with the spices against the slight bitterness of the spinach. This dish can be served as it is, a perfect side dish to a meal. Or serve it with cumin rice or some roti for a snack. It is also very very good as a filling for Toasties – Indian style toasted sandwiches. Use it as a filling with some cheese and perhaps sliced tomato.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Sweetcorn Sundal, Spinach Thoran, Cabbage Thoran, and Spinach Poriyal. You might also like Baby Sweetcorn and Green Bean Soup.

Browse all of our Thorans and Poriyals. Try our Spinach dishes and our Sweetcorn recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Late Winter dishes.

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Pink Grapefruit and Sumac Salad with Nasturtium Leaves and Garden Flowers

Colourful, juicy, delicious.

It is Spring, and the nasturtiums have leaves as big as lotus leaves and flowers of all hue peaking out from beneath.

This dish is an adaptation of an Ottolenghi recipe – a sald using pink grapefruit. I had a dozen pink grapefruit and this seemed an awesome opportunity to play with this recipe. The original recipe uses watercress, which is difficult to find here – its not common and is expensive. Not having the inclination or the time to drive the 30 mins it takes to get to a green grocer that does stock it, I substituted with produce from my garden. Into the salad went baby nasturtium leaves, yellow and red nasturtium flower petals and marigold flower petals. It was extraordinary.

This is a salad that, even in its original form, appears on paper like it won’t come together with Ottolenghi’s usual balanced and banging flavours. It feels like too much sumac. There is a chilli in the dressing.  And crispy, sharp raw onion. But the flavours are massive and surprising! Bright, puckery grapefruit gently mixed with peppery watercress (in my case, nasturtium leaves), bitter Belgian endive, sweet leaves of basil basil, sharp red onion slices, and a tangy vinaigrette heavy with the lemony tangy sumac. Flavour clash? Not at all. A beautiful, balanced, juicy salad that is colourful and divine.

Similar recipes include Three Citrus Salad with Chilli, Ginger and Almond Salsa, Pink Grapefruit Salad with Avocado, and Pomelo and Green Mango Salad.

You might also like to explore our extensive Salad recipes and Grapefruit dishes. Our Ottolenghi recipes are here. Or browse our Early Spring dishes.

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Quick Pickled Radishes with Asian Flavours

Radishes without their peppery tang

The little red radish is so easy to grow that kindergartens grow them to introduce children to the joys of gardening. It takes only 3 days for green shoots to appear, and a few weeks later they are ready to pick, these little red or white ping pong balls. The flavour is tangy, a little on the peppery side with its sharp pungency that pleases adults, especially with a sprinkling of sea salt. Perfect for nibbling, they also make such a pretty addition to salads. They are a bit peppery for kids, though.

Not surprisingly, they say that radishes have health giving properties – it clears the sinuses and soothes sore throats.

This beautiful recipe comes from Kylie Kwong via Lucy Nourish Me who adapted it from the original. I have altered it again. This recipe diminishes the level of radish’s sharp tanginess. It is the perfect balance of sweet, sour and salty. Use as it is as a side dish, or with a bowl of beautiful rice. Toss them in salads or into sandwiches. Lucy says that thinly sliced carrots also work very well with the radishes in a salad with some lettuce leaves.

Similar recipes include Braised, Raised Radishes, French Buttered Radishes, and use this recipe to pickle radishes.

Explore our other beautiful Radish Dishes, and other Quick Pickles. Our Salads are here. And browse our Late Spring recipes.

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Green Beans with Freekeh, Walnuts and Tahini

Feekeh! No longer an ingredient that we need to travel across town to buy.  With several Afghan shops closeby in my new neighbourhood, those sorts of ingredients now go on the weekly shopping list. Oh, the joy!

This is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More, one of my fav of his books. Beans are cooked and mixed with walnuts, then drizzled with a minty-tahini dressing. The dressing is what ranch dressing would taste like if it spent a few months traipsing through the Middle East, so they say.

Yotham advises beans of the best quality for this dish. He also says that the walnuts can be omitted, but we are loving them so much this season, so they are definitely in. They provide a texture in this salad that is otherwise missing.

This is our first Freekeh recipe that we have posted, but there will be more. Check back here later to see what we post.

Actually we don’t have many Bean recipes either! That must be remedied. In the mean time, try Five Bean Glorious Salad, and Green Bean and Carrot Poriyal.

Browse all of our Green Bean recipes and all of our Freekeh dishes. Our Ottolenghi recipes are here. Or explore our Mid Winter collection of recipes.

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