Turmeric Chickpea Hummus

Hummus is pretty common in everyone’s home and in many a Middle Eastern restaurant. We make it a lot, whizzing it up in the food processor in a matter of minutes. There are many variations on hummus, but we now have our favourite way of making it, so it is a no-fuss, no thinking dish that can be on the table in under 5 minutes (if you have cooked the chickpeas ahead of time – we keep bags of them in the freezer).

Recently I came across Turmeric Chickpeas – chickpeas that have been soaked and cooked with a lot of turmeric. You can read about our experiments with them here or jump straight to the recipe (you will need it for the hummus).

For this recipe we use Turmeric Chickpeas instead of plain, ordinary chickpeas. It is the same recipe as our usual hummus, just that we are adding this twist. BTW, if you are interested in reading about the different thoughts about how to make the best hummus, check our usual recipe. It also has some variations that you can incorporate.

Similar dishes include Tray Baked Spicy Turmeric Chickpeas, Celeriac Hummus with Cauliflower Tabbouleh, Smashed Chickpeas with Dukkah and Brocolli, and Creamy Pearl Hummus Salad.

You might like to browse all of our Dips and all of our Chickpea recipes. Explore our Middle Eastern recipes. Or take some time and browse our Mid Spring recipes.

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Tamatar Shorba | Indian Tomato Soup

Around the world tomato soup has a special place in the heart of people. My mother rarely made her own – we ate tinned tomato soup, and it was  wonderful! With piles of well buttered toast, butter made from fresh cow’s milk, we ate the soup in front of the wood fire on cold winter nights, slurping bowl after bowl.

While tomato based gravies and sauces are common in India, the idea of soup has not been common until more recent times. And my guess is that the British invasion had a lot to do with the growth of the popularity of Indian Tomato Soup. Derived from other dishes, Indian Tomato Soups (there are lots of different recipes) has gained a place in the heart of many inside and outside of that country.

We have another Indian Tomato Soup, one filled with cream (or use coconut milk) and gentle aromatic spices including lemongrass. It is a great recipe, but this one is different. This one is punchy and spicy, and totally gorgeous. On top of that, it is very easy to make.

Similar recipes include Creamy Indian Tomato Soup, South Indian Tomato and Potato Soup, Cream of Potato and Tomato Soup with Leeks, and Tomato Rasam.

Browse all of our Indian Soups, and all of our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Chai Wallah’s Chai

This recipe is another in our large Chai recipe collection, and it is claimed that the recipe is from a Chai Wallah – a road side person serving small cups of chai to thirsty passers-by. They are the best people, and there is nothing like your daily chai. I so miss those piping hot cuppa’s.

Who does not like chai? I have a deep love for this comforting and nourishing drink. A jar of my chai mix-of-the-moment sits permanently on my kitchen bench.

Similar recipes include Spring Chai, Garam Chai, and Peppery Chai.

Browse all of our Chai recipes, and all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Keerai Masiyal | Amaranth Leaf Masiyal

There are a number of Amaranth greens available in South India – Mulaikkeerai, Muli Thandu or Thandukkeerai, and Arikkeerai. The most common variety of amaranth that is grown here, Foxtail Amaranth, is Thandukkeerai, but it is grown for ornamental reasons in gardens, not culinary ones. It is very difficult to find the  different varieties in shops unless you search the Asian markets.

The different varieties do have different tastes and properties – for example, some are heating to the body and some are cooling to the body. In India, the crops of Amaranth are also dependent on the season – the cooling ones in the hottest parts of the year, the heating ones in the coldest times of the year. Here, there is no such availability, information or attention to detail. Do use whichever amaranth is available to you.

We generally think of Masiyal as being made with toor dal or a mixture of toor dal and mung dal. However Meenakshi Ammal in her books Cook and See has several recipes for Amaranth Masiyal (in Vol. 1) that do not contain any dal. This one mashes the leaves, and I have to say it is very delicious. One of the defining characteristics of Masiyal is that there are no ground or powdered spices, only seasoning with a few selected whole spices. It allows the ingredients to shine rather than being overwhelmed with spices, onions or garlic. That is the beauty of all traditional Tamil food.

Similar dishes include Poritha Kootu, Mung Bean Soup with Amaranth, and Poritha Kuzhambu with Amaranth.

Browse all of our Amaranth dishes and all of our Masiyal recipes.  All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Sweet and Sour Cucumber Salad

Who does not want a cooling cucumber salad in a heatwave? This one is slightly pickled in a sweet vinegar mixture before serving. It is perfect in hot weather and is even more perfect accompanying a chilli-hot dish! It is also great with deep fried items.

I like it along side a salad that is heavy with a mayonnaise dressing – it is the perfect foil for this. And with something sweet – slices of mango or rockmelon, for example. Try the cucumber in sandwiches, layered with feta, roast eggplant, roasted tomatoes, and lettuce.

Also, consider that we often think of dishes as being an individual dish, but we should also think about how we can use them in other dishes to layer flavours. These cucumbers are PURRfect for including in other salads for the sour element. Master salad makers like Bittman and Ottolenghi will always pay attention to the mix of flavours in a dish and sour is one of them. Include these in a salad dish and cut back on the vinegar or other souring agent that is included.

Similar recipes include Mung Dal and Cucumber SaladCucumber Salad with Capers and Ricotta, and Spicy Cucumber Salad with Herbs and Poppy Seeds.

Browse all of our Cucumber Salads, and all of our Cucumber dishes. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Burghul, Walnut and Yoghurt Salad with Pomegranate

There is a Lebanese dish, sometimes called Mafrouket Laban (not to be confused with the dessert of the same name), made from burghul (aka Bulgur) and yoghurt with plenty of herbs. It is a delight in Summer. Because the burghul is soaked, it is the sort of dish you begin in the morning, and leave for 4 or 5 hours, then mix in the remaining ingredients and serve for lunch or dinner.

The burghul soaks in the yoghurt for a few hours to form the base of the salad. It is often served with tender young vine leaves, so it is a perfect dish for Spring and Early Summer. With all that yoghurt, it is a cooling dish, perfect for the first heat waves that we encounter in Spring as it warms up towards Summer.

Use the coarse burghul for this dish if you can (otherwise, medium will be fine).

Similar recipes include Burghul Salad with Olives, Pomegranate and Hazelnuts, Cracked Wheat Kitchari, and Cauliflower, Mung and Broken Wheat Kitchari.

Browse all of our Burghul dishes and all of our Salad recipes.  Our Lebanese dishes are here. Or browse all of our Early Summer recipes.

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The Best Miso-Peanut-Coconut-Chilli-Turmeric Sauce

This is a totally magic sauce – it makes every dish you use it in very special. I use it in a hundred different ways – so many, you might want to make a double recipe. It will keep for 2 – 3 weeks in the fridge and it reheats easily.

The sauce is a combination of sweet, chilli and sour, with the tempering of the coconut milk and peanut butter. The sour flavours are layered in a tantalising way – you have palm vinegar or rice vinegar, lime juice, umaboshi and tamarind, and yet it is not too much. The sweet is layered with sweet soy and palm sugar. The heat comes from fresh green chillies and red chilli jam or paste. I usually have this one and this complex-flavoured one on hand – you can use what is in your cupboards, or you might like to make one of these so that you have some on hand. As always, because chilli pastes vary in heat level (and so does your tolerance), adjust the amounts in the recipe to your preference.

The sauce is a brown one though, or beige rather, from the soy, sugar and tamarind. But don’t mind that, it is delicious. Normally I would throw a heap of coriander leaves on top of the dish, but thanks to the record-breaking heatwaves we have had, the coriander fields are burnt to a crisp. However, do scatter some chopped peanuts over the top of your dishes using this sauce.

How is this sauce used? I drizzle the sauce on soups. Dunk noodles in it. It makes a wonderful sauce for deep fried tofu, or baked sweet potato, or steamed snake beans (or all 3 together). It goes beautifully drizzled over steamed, grilled or baked vegetables. Mix it through salads, especially Gado-Gado.  Pour around steamed dumplings.

Similar dishes include Fried Tofu in Sweet Peanut Sauce, and How to Make Nut Butters.

Browse all of our Peanut recipes and Peanut Sauces. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Sprouts and Pomegranate Kosumalli

Kosumalli is such an easy salad to make, and it is also the type of salad where you can use up what ever is on your kitchen bench – not only sprouts, pomegranates and onions as in this recipe, but also ginger shreds, green tomato, red tomato, capsicums of any colour, some shredded beetroot (but watch the colour will taint every other ingredient), daikon radish, spring onions and spring onion greens, chives, green mango, and so on. You can also micro-plane the zest of the lime or lemon and add that to the salad. This is a great way to bump up flavours and minimise waste.

Kosumali salads are dressed with lemon or lime juice, and the oil component of a dressing is provided by the ghee in the tadka. They are utterly delicious, tangy, sweet, sour, hot, refreshing.

If you want to make your own Kosumalli, use the basic recipe below for a Sprouts Kosumalli, then add what you have available. Kosumalli dishes demand strong flavours – the bite of onion, the sour of lemon and pomegranate, the sweetness of coconut, the crunch of sprouts. This is the only brief for you as you create your own salad.

Similar recipes include Mango and Pineapple Salad, Cucumber Kosumalli, and Daikon Kosumalli.

Browse all of our Kosumalli dishes and Mung Sprout dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Sundakkai Vathal Sadham | Dried Pea Eggplant Rice | Dried Turkey Berry Rice

Sundakkai have amazing health giving properties, and it is helpful to include it in your diet regularly as a preventative measure for almost everything. We know them here as Thai Pea Eggplants. Dried Sundakkai, or Sundakkai Vathal, (soaked in yoghurt and salt then dried in the sun), retain their health giving properties. They are used in dishes such as Sundakkai Vathal Sambar, and are ground and mixed with other spices for a Sundakkai Vathal Podi (spice mix).

In this recipe, the dried berries are ground into a powder and mixed with rice along with other spices. It is delicious addition to our collection of rice dishes.

Similar recipes include Ghee Rice with Pandanus, Green Mango and Coconut Rice, and Carrot Rice.

Other Sundakkai dishes include Sundakkai Vathal Sambar, and Sundakkai Vathal Podi.

Browse all of our Rice dishes, and all of our Sundakkai recipes. Our Indian dishes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore all of our Early Summer recipes.

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Olive, Pistachio and Pomegranate Salad

In the Middle East and places like Afghanistan and Turkey, Pomegranates are all the rage, and the pairing of olives, pomegranate and nuts is rather common as you get closer to the Mediterranean. We have used Pomegranates with Walnuts and Pistachios before, with just Walnuts, with Hazelnuts, and today we use just Pistachios. This one is a herbaceous salad, and absolutely divine.

The dressing has the Middle Eastern spice, Golpar, in the dressing. This is available from Middle Eastern and Afghan groceries. You might need to buy the seeds (they look like lacy butterfly wings) and grind your own. It is a beautiful spice, but if you can’t find it, leave it out.

Similar recipes include Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad with Molasses, Burghul Salad with Olives, Hazelnuts and Pomegranates, and Tomato and Pomegranate Salad.

Browse all of our Pistachio dishes, Pomegranate recipes and our recipes using Olives. All of our Salads are here. Or explore our Early Summer collection of recipes.

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