Bengali Vegetable Khichuri | Kitchari

Bengal has so many different types of khichuri, its quite mind blowing. They adore their khichuris. This one is a khichuri with the classic combo of peas, cauliflower and potato, together with an onion-spice mix. It is quite a flavoursome dish, and another addition to our 15 or so published and scheduled kitchari (khichuri) dishes.

You might guess that kitchari is also well loved in this house – a more nourishing and comforting dish is hard to find. The vegetables in this one add to its nutritional value as well as flavour and texture. Bengali’s make khichuri on rainy days, and it is popular in the monsoon season, but don’t be held back. Make this dish at any time of the  year.

Khichuri is also very good for babies and invalids. Also, Khichuri has many different spellings around India – a dozen, maybe more. I use Kitchari most often.

It is difficult to get the local Bengali rice unless you have a specialist Indian grocer near you, so use Basmati rice. You might like to begin the recipe by making your own ginger paste and Bengali Garam Masala.

Please do also try other Kitchari recipes – try Barnyard Millet Kitchari, Parsi Kitchari, and Ven Pongal.

And check out our Bengali recipes. Try Bengali Rice Kheer and Bhog Khichuri.

Or explore all of our Kitchari recipes and all of our Bengali recipes. We have a number of Indian mixed rice Recipes. Take some time to browse all of our Indian dishes and Rice recipes. Or explore our Early Autumn collection.

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Beetroot with Yoghurt-Tahini Dressing and Za’atar

Beetroot is back on the menu, our earthy flavoured friend. In this salad, the beets are grated and mixed with a classic yoghurt and tahini dressing. To keep up the Middle Eastern theme, we add some za’atar.

This is a perfect Autumn Salad, although it does work really well in all other seasons. I love it in Autumn because we are moving from the cool blue colours of Summer into the oranges, golds, reds and crimsons of Autumn. It seems to fit well somehow.

If you are interested in other Beetroot Salads, try Beetroot, Orange and Olive Salad, Beetroot with Honey Dressing, and Warm Beetroot and Carrot Salad with Indian Spices.

Or try other Beetroot Recipes – Beetroot Risotto, Beetroot Fry and Beetroot Halwa.

Otherwise, have a look at all of our Beetroot Salads and all of our Salads. You can have a look at all of the other Beetroot recipes too. Or browse our Early Autumn dishes.

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Kurkuri Bindi | Crispy Okra | Crispy Ladyfingers

Okra, or Ladyfingers, are had best when cooked fresh. They can be stuffed with a tangy masala, deepfried to crisp (great with peanuts), made into raita, cooked in coconut milk or a spicy gravy, or batter-fried as pakoras.  They even pair well with sour tastes – for example, lemon juice or amchur, dry mango powder. Always buy young, bright green, crisp pods free of bruises, tender but not soft, and definitely not if they are wilting. There are a range of varieties – long and thin, short and fat, even red and orange varieties.

Kurkuri means crisp and Bindi is Okra. This recipe is very common in parts of North India, especially in Rajasthan from Jaipur to Udaipur and beyond. They are definitely a great snack served with drinks, and are also served as an accompaniment to rice and curries. The spices used with the okra are varied – here we have used chilli powder, cumin, chaat masala and amchur – but more complex, or simpler combinations can be used.

The okra can be cooked on its own, as we do here. But you can also tart them up somewhat by including slivers of onion (yum), ginger (tangy) and red peppers.

Are you interested in Okra recipes? Try Ladyfingers Recheio, Avial, and Whole Fried Okra.

Or are you looking for Rajasthani recipes? Try Urad Tomatar Dal. We have more recipes planned, so check here for more.

Why not browse all of our Okra recipes, and all of our Indian dishes. Have a look at our range of snacks. Or simply explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Tomato Salad with Green Olives

The Autumn glut of tomatoes sees me finding ways to use them, as well as popping as many as I can into the freezer. Although the weather is cooler in the mornings and evenings, salads are still on our home menu each day. Sometimes they are snacks, perhaps with some flatbread, sometimes they accompany a meal, sometimes they are the meal.

A quick salad this morning with sweet vine-ripened tomatoes fresh from the garden, tossed together with some green olives. Divine, the tang of the olives against the sweet tomatoes.

Are you after other Tomato Salads? Try Red Pepper and Tomato Salad with Crispy Flatbread, Chilli and Lime, Bok Choy with Tomatoes and Capers, and Warm Tomato Salad.

Why not browse all of our Tomato Salads, indeed, all of our MANY Salads. I am sure you will find inspiration. Or have a look at our general Tomato recipes and our Olive recipes. Or take some time to explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Pasta with Zucchini and Parsley Pesto

Using up the amount of zucchini from our garden takes some creativity. But having made Parsley Pesto, the thought of pasta, pesto and char grilled zucchini had me grilling tiny zucchini slices early one morning. A pasta lunch was in the making.

Its very easy, and any pasta can be used – spaghetti is great, but I chose to use pasta from the local Adelaide makers L’Abruzzese. I love this olive leaf pasta, tasty and slightly chewy, it has 3 colours – spinach, beetroot and regular.

If you are looking for more pasta recipes try Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato, and Elegant Orzo Pasta with Wilted Spinach and Pine Nuts.

Or perhaps some zucchini recipes – try Zucchini Rice, Zucchini Fry, and Poached with Other Vegetables in Wine.

Our pesto recipes include this Parsley Pesto as well as Asparagus Pesto, Coriander Pesto, and a mix and match approach.

Or browse all of our Zucchini Recipes, all of our Pasta Dishes, all of the Pesto recipes. Our Italian Recipes are here, or simply browse our Late Summer dishes.

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Potatoes Baked with Cumin and Tomatoes

An unashamedly Retro Dish perfect for Modern Times.

Potatoes and Cumin are a great match. This retro baked dish is a great dish for any time of the year, and extremely wonderful in cooler Autumn months and Winter. It layers the potato with black pepper and cumin seed, and tops it with juicy tomatoes, breadcrumbs and parsley. It is a comforting dish, home cooking at its best. Who would not want to come home to a dish like this?

Are you looking for more Potato dishes? Try Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini with Thyme, Potato Subzi, and a Surprise Potato Tartin.

Would you like to try other Gratin recipes? Try Gratineed Sweet Potato, Potato Gratin with Cream and Pomodori Gratinati – Tomatoes Gratineed with Cheese.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – recipes from our previous blog that ran from 1995 – 2005. You might also like our Potato recipes here and our Gratin Recipes. Or you might like to browse Tomato recipes. Check out our easy Mid Autumn recipes.

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South Indian Cauliflower Soup

This uncomplicated soup is nourishing, comforting and warming, with no other flavours except cauliflower, potato, and black pepper.

South Indian soups need some explaining. The are quite diametrically opposed to dishes that could be called soups but are not – rasam, for example, or thin dhal, or even a sambar. For the most part, the true South Indian Soup is a simple, uncomplicated vegetable soup that is not spiced. Thus the vegetable becomes the feature, not the layers of spices. There is no artifice in these soups at all.

Presumably, these soups are of Anglo-Indian origin and have gained enough popularity to become part of the cuisine, or perhaps they are the result of the occupation of regions by other countries, namely France and Portugal. In many ways they are a little 1950’s, yet beautiful in their pared back simplicity

This uncomplicated Cauliflower Soup is nourishing, comforting and warming, with no other flavours except cauliflower, potato, and black pepper.

Are you after soups? Try Indian Tomato and Potato Soup, Tomato, Lemongrass and Ginger Soup, and Tomato and Dal Soup. See also How to Make a Light, Infused Vegetable Stock/Broth, Indian Style.

Or try some other Cauliflower recipes – A Plate of Cauliflower, Cauliflower Pilaf, and Cauliflower Slow Cooked with Lime and Spices.

Browse our other Indian Soups here.  Our other Cauliflower recipes are here and here. Or explore all of our Soups and all or our Indian dishes.  Be inspired by warming Winter dishes here.

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Green Salad with Raspberries, Walnuts and Blue Cheese

I’ve been longing for a green salad. Having made (and eaten) too many ANZAC Biscuits, we needed something to counterbalance that wonderful sweetness of the biscuits. This salad did it. It combines greens from the garden (use what you have at hand) with some soft raspberries, crunchy crushed walnuts and tangy blue cheese.

This is another wonderful salad from Bittman. I am over half way through the journey of making his 101 salads (at least, the vegetarian ones). Each one has been wonderful and this one is too.

Why not try other Bittman Salads? Try Green Salad with Chickpeas, Preserved Lemon and Feta, Cucumber Salad with Capers and Ricotta and Watermelon and Peach Salad with Basil.

All of the Bittman Salads that we have tried are here. Or explore all of our Salads. Maybe your would like to explore our easy Early Autumn recipes.

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Longan and Young Ginger Tea | Dragon Eye Tea

Longan Berries are warming, according to Chinese philosophy. So this tea is great for warming the toes on cold nights, or perfect for when a cold is coming on or you just feel cold. Enjoy this by the bowlful.

Longan are sold fresh and dried. For tea, it is much more convenient to use dried. They are loved by the Chinese and used commonly across China. They are used to flavour many dishes – winter sweets, sweet Chinese soups and congee. Great for snacks on their own if freshly dried, or mix with raisins and other dried fruits, and walnuts and other nuts.

It is easy to find them. Wander the aisles of your local Asian/Chinese shop until you find the dried fruit section. Sometimes you will find them sold in bulk. Choose ones that are soft, like raisins, and avoid the harder dried ones. Store them in a jar in your pantry, keep them in the fridge, or even freeze them to preserve them well.

In China this tea would be called a sweet soup. Serve it with the berries in the tea. You can strain them out if you prefer, but they are lovely left in and munched on as you sip. Longan are very relaxing and good for the memory as well.

Are you after other Teas? Try Fragrant Persian Rosebud and Borage Flower Tea, Cardamom, Coriander and Fennel Herbal Tea (Ayurvedic CCF Tea), and Balinese Ginger and Lemongrass Tea.

Explore all of our Teas, and our Chinese dishes. Or take some time to browse our warming Early Winter dishes.

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Ayran | Middle Eastern Yoghurt Drink

A Summer-time salty yoghurt cooling drink from the Middle East.

I am keen on yoghurt drinks in warmer weather. Somehow they keep me feeling well and balanced. Lassi drinks – India’s contribution to the world of yoghurt drinks – are diverse and wonderful. Smoothies, made with yoghurt, encapsulate the modern trend of blending ingredients together. And the Middle East has much to offer.

This recipe is Ayran/Airyan, a drink claimed by both Turkey and Bulgaria. But it is popular across all of the Middle East. Syrians and Lebanese call it Laban Ayran. In Iraq and Jordan it’s called Shenina. And if you add a little crushed or dried mint to the drink, you’ll have Doogh, the Iranian version of Aryan.

Ayran is a mixture of yogurt, cold water and salt, but there are variations. What makes its Ayran special is that it is quite frothy. For example, one variation, the Susurluk Ayran, comes from a small town, Susurluk, in Turkey. The ingredients are the same, but in Susurluk restaurants cirulate the Ayran through a faucet, using high speed pumps, and this creates a foamy texture with a heavy creamy top. It is very famous, and eaten with a cheese panini-like dish called tost.

Are you after Yoghurt Drinks? Try our Lassis, we recommend Strawberry and Peach Lassi with Basil, Jeera (Cumin) Lassi, and Mango Lassi.

You can find all of our Yoghurt Drinks here – please browse. Also browse our Middle Eastern recipes here, and all of our Yoghurt recipes here. Or explore our easy Early Spring recipes.

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Ladyfingers Recheio | Okra with Chilli-Spice Paste | A Recipe from Goa

Okra is a much maligned vegetable, which, badly cooked, falls into the same category as Brussel Sprouts. But cooked well, it is undeniably wonderful. It is the mucilaginous substance inside okra that gives the favourite okra dish of North America, Gumbo, its characteristic silky, gelatinous texture. It is an essential ingredient of Jambalaya, and a favourite of the Greek kitchen where it is served with fresh tomato and onion.

Okra also form the basis of many a good Indian curry, snack and side dish. In curries, they are often used whole, trimmed only of stalk, but keeping the conical top which is discarded at time of eating. The soft, slightly moist texture of the interior is part of its appeal.

These green-ribbed seed pods are a good supply of Vitamin A and C, calcium and iron. Eat them weekly! At the time of writing, we are conducting an #okracheck each month to track availability and price of okra in different cities.

Okra are slippery little suckers. But this recipe from the gorgeous beaches of Goa overcomes that problem by pre salting and then stuffing the okra with the Goan spicy mix called Rechad Masala. These are great little snacks or side dish to an Indian meal.

Enjoy okra? Try our Goa Fried Okra, Race Kuzhambu and Avial. Or have a look at other Goan recipes – Kidney Bean Feijoada, Potato and Sweet Potato Curry, and Sweet Surnoli Dosa.

Feel free to browse other vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in the Retro Recipes series. You might also like all of our Okra recipes here and here. Explore our Indian recipes here. Or take some time to go through our easy Early Autumn recipes here.

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Fried Ladyfingers | Fried Okra | Goa Style

How good is okra! Misunderstood by many, if cooked well it is amazing. This recipe is a crispy, spicy dish that is perfect for a snack. Gorgeous too.

In this recipe, the okra are first salted and drained, and then marinated in a simple spice paste before being drenched in semolina and fried. The semolina makes the okra quite crispy and the spices give them a little heat. It is a simpler version of this stuffed Okra recipe.

Enjoy okra? Try our Goan Ladyfinger Recheio, Race Kuzhambu and Avial.

Or have a look at other Goan recipes – Kidney Bean Feijoada, Potato and Sweet Potato Curry, and Sweet Surnoli Dosa.

You might also like read about Okra, and then browse all of our Okra recipes here. Have a look at all of our Goan recipes. Explore our Indian recipes too. Or take some time to go through our easy Early Autumn recipes. Feel free to browse other vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in the Retro Recipes series.

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Potato Dosa

The range of dosa in South India is infinite, ranging from crispy dosa to soft, handkerchief-like dosa, from plain batters to batters with vegetables, spices and herbs. And each one is so very good.

Dosa is the Indian flatbread, although it is less like bread than perhaps any other country’s flatbread. It is made from a batter, rather than a dough,  that generally includes flour made from rice and lentils, and is cooked on a flat pan. It is often fermented to provide lightness but more and more instant dosas are being made. These are the dosai that can be cooked as soon as the batter is made.

Are you looking for other Dosa recipes? Try Adai – multi lentil dosa, Coconut Dosa, and a beautiful Sweet Dosa.

Perhaps you are looking for potato recipes. Try Potato Subzi, Surprise Tartin, and Potato and Sweet Potato Curry.

Browse our Dosa recipes here, and all of our Indian recipes here. You might be interested in our Indian Essentials articles. Have a look at all of our Potato recipes, and take some time to browse our Early Autumn dishes.

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Gratin de Pommes de Terre et Courgettes | Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini with Thyme

Gratin – sometimes written as gratinée or au gratin—is a very flexible recipe where an ingredient is cooked in a shallow dish – a gratin dish which is an  oval-shaped oven-safe baking and serving pan. The Gratin is topped with cheese or buttery breadcrumbs that will crisp up when the dish is baked in a hot oven or placed under a grill. Adding just cream will also produce a lightly browned crust if baked in high heat. Gratins are usually served straight from the dish.

Gratin originated in French cuisine. The best known gratin dishes are Potato Gratin  and Pommes Dauphinoises. Many Tians are gratins too, only in disguise! Also Baked Pasta dishes! Often vegetables are covered with cheese, cream, and/or breadcrumbs and baked or grilled for a beautiful gratin dish.

This recipe is a beautiful, buttery, creamy gratin that combines zucchini with potatoes and flavours it with thyme. A wonderful match.

Are you looking for other Gratin dishes? Try Gratinéed Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes Gratinéed with Tomatoes and Cumin, and  Endive/Witlof with a Cheesy Topping.

Would you like to try other Potato dishes? Try Cumin and Pepper Baked Potato Wedges, Perfect Roast Potatoes, and Surprise Potato Tartin.

Or try some Zucchini recipes – Zucchini Rice, Steamed Thai Eggplant and Zucchini, and Zucchini Fry with Spices.

You might also like to browse all of our Gratin dishes here, and all of our Potato recipes here and here. Or you all of the Zucchini recipes here and here. Check out our easy Early Autumn recipes. Also, feel free to browse vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in our Retro Recipes series.

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Green Salad with Chickpeas, Preserved Lemon and Feta

A beautiful tangy salad with preserved lemons, which pair well with meltingly soft chickpeas. Used either canned or home-cooked chickpeas.

Salads make up an enormous part of our diet fro Spring to Autumn, adding a huge amount of variety and health benefits. It also adds amazing tastes and textures to the food that we eat daily. We recommend it highly. A salad a day keeps illness at bay 🙂 . Focusing on making a salad per day will change your life.

Want to try some more salads? Try Green Tomato Salsa with Green Coriander and Chilli, Glazed 5-Spice Tofu Salad with Cucumbers and Radishes, and Coconut, White Peas and Green Mango Sundal.

Are you looking for other Chickpea recipes? Try Chickpea and Carrot Salad with a Curry Dressing, Chickpea, Almond and Sesame Spread, and Channa Chaat.

You can also explore all of our Salads here, or just the Bittman Salads here. Browse our Chickpea dishes. Or simply spend some time checking out our Early Autumn dishes.

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