Chinese Scallion and Orange Zest Pancakes | Coriander and Chilli Pancakes | Fenugreek and Ajwain Pancakes

A classical Chinese dish with a twist

Scallion Pancakes are classic Chinese fare – crisp, flaky and chewy, made with layers of dough and sesame oil – they are surprisingly easy to make. You can also pre-make the dough and pop it in the fridge to make later. The pancakes can even be rolled out prior to cooking and kept with layers of baking paper between until you are ready to cook.

The traditional filling is Spring Onions (aka Scallions in the US), but indeed any filling can be used. Today, I have made 3 different ones:

  • Fenugreek Leaves with Ajwain and Cumin Seed
  • Coriander Leaves and Green Chilli
  • Spring Onions with Grated Orange Zest and White Pepper

Are you looking for similar recipes? We have some Indian chickpea flour “pancakes” here, and try some Indian dosa.

Check out our Chinese and other Asian recipes. Or explore our easy Winter dishes.

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White Bean, Sage and Roasted Garlic Spread

Snacks in this house often include a spread or dip that can be lathered onto crusty bread with some salad greens and tomato slices, or just on its own. Most spreads can be thinned a little and used as a dip with crackers or vegetable sticks. They can even be served as a sauce to accompany falafel, lentil balls or other vegetarian fritters or patties. Try adding them to salad dressing too, for creaminess and flavour. They can even be thinned out to form a great basis for soup!

This recipe is a classic White Bean puree with sage and garlic – some garlic is roasted, and some cooked with the beans for layered garlic flavours. Deborah Madison includes a recipe in her book, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

Similar recipes include Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree, Chickpea, Almond and Sesame Spread, and Fava Bean Puree with Fresh Herbs.

Try other White Bean recipes: White Beans with Tahini, White Bean Soup, and Tuscan Beans with Sage and Lemon.

Or browse all of our Spreads, and all of our White Bean recipes. And explore our Late Winter dishes. Continue reading “White Bean, Sage and Roasted Garlic Spread”

Ayurvedic CCF Tea | Cumin, Coriander and Fennel Tea | A Spring Detoxification Tea

Get rid of winter blues with this Spring tea.

A delicious tea that is perfect for Spring. Nicknamed CCF tea, Cumin, Coriander and Fennel Tea is a simple and well known Ayurvedic recipe. In Ayurveda, teas are the traditional method of delivering the medicinal effects herbs and spices to the body. They are generally made by seeping a single herb or spice, or a blend, in hot water.

CCF tea is said to be detoxifying, helpful in losing weight, and in burning up the excess of spring moisture. The wetness of Spring rains can cause runny noses and digestive mucus, including sever swelling.

CCF tea is also said to stoke your metabolism and digestive fire, restoring vitality where winter sluggishness abounds. This is something that I certainly need. It warms your circulation and clears any water retention. Its mild bitterness revs up the spring detoxification process and purifies the blood. It restores tone and tightness to swollen spring tissues. It is a soothing formula that reduces agitation and inflammation. It restores a calm clarity and spaciousness to a tense mind. How can you not drink it? This information is from Joyful Belly‘s wonderful blog full of Ayurvedic information. Begin to make CCF when the daffodils start to bloom – a sure sign that spring is approaching.

Join me as I drink this with meals every day for 2 weeks.

You might like to 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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Steamed Thai Eggplants with a Sesame Soy Garlic Dressing

Eggplants come in all shapes and sizes, colours, tastes and textures. Sadly, we only get to cook with a few varieties through our Green Grocer and 1 or 2 more through our Asian Grocers.  Thai Eggplants are a particular favourite, a little crunchier in texture than the European variety, and a real affinity with Asian flavours such as toasted sesame and soy.

Similar dishes include Kerala Eggplant in Coconut; Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Spring Onions, and Steamed Thai Eggplants and Zucchini.

Browse all of our Eggplant Recipes, our Thai recipes, and all of our Asian recipes. Or explore our Mid Autumn collection of recipes.

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French Buttered Radishes with Herbed Salt

Radishes at their most soft and gentle

Growing radishes must be the easiest thing under the sun. They don’t need a lot of attention, and suddenly, they are fully grown and fully flavoursome. Sliced thinly and salted is our favourite way to enjoy them, although they go into  salads and sandwiches too, and sometimes they go into a quick pickle to have with rice or other dishes.

Today, we are treating them French style, cooked in a little butter. This removes the heated tang from the little bulbs, leaving them soft and tender in texture and taste.

Similar recipes include Braised Glazed Radishes, Radish with Coconut Milk, and Slightly Pickled Radish and Cucumber Salad.

You might like to see our other Radish recipes. Our French recipes are here. Or explore our Late Spring collection.

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Tapenade Bread Salad with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Today’s salad takes some olive tapenade and olive oil and smothers bread in it. As it soaks in, cubes of the bread are mixed with tomatoes to make a gorgeous salad. A fun alternative to including olives, and adds a bit of bulk to the dish.

This is also a great way to use up left over bread that might be only good for toast. The firmer texture of this bread is perfect for salads as it soaks up the juices of tomatoes and dressings.

Are you looking for similar Tomato Salads? Try this one which combines crispy flatbread, tomatoes and red peppers. Also try a Warm Tomato Salad, and Artichoke Hearts with Tomatoes.

Browse all of our Tomato Salads. Our Bittman Salads are here. Or take some time to explore all of our many many Salads. Alternatively, check out our easy Late Summer recipes.

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Cumquat Tea | Kumquat Tea

The season of cumquats are upon us, and not only are we able to get gorgeous ones from our local Asian Grocery, but friends who are not so kitchen-friendly as me, arrive with baskets of them.

For many years we have made our beautiful go-to cumquat recipes. Marmalade, Chutney, Pickles, Oils, and Soaked in Gin.

But a conversation with a Fijian friend changed, or rather, expanded, the way we think about this tiny, semi-sour globular fruits. He related how they use cumquats like lemons, squeezing the juice into dishes that need that bit of tang. Now not only are they squeezed, we cut them in halves and nestle them into oven baked dishes, they are floated in stocks, soups and stews to infuse, we char grill them for salads, and they find their way, chopped into 2 or 4 or 6, into warm vegetable mixes.

And they are made into tea.

What a delicious infusion this is. Just cumquats, or with mint and/or other herbs added, it is a perfect mid morning or mid afternoon pick-me-up. Surprising. Wonderful.

In terms of herbs, use your favourites, and don’t be afraid to experiment with a leaf here and there. Tulsi, basil, mint, thyme, parsley. Add honey if you need a sweetener. I don’t. But some Cumquat varieties are more sour than others.

We have some similar teas for you to try – Longan and Young Ginger Tea, Rosebud and Borage Flower Tea, and Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea.

Are you looking for other Cumquat recipes? Try Cumquat Rice, Steamed Thai Eggplant with Cumquat, and Cumquat and Pea Shoot Salad.

Browse all of our Cumquat recipes, and all of our Teas. Or take some time to explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Roast Beetroot Salad with Sweetcorn

A salad perfect for late Winter and early Spring – and the rest of the year too.

Salads, what wonderful variety they add to life. The number of salads on this blog (150 different salads either posted or scheduled to be posted) says something about our commitment to them. Hot or cold, cooked ingredients or raw, we adore the variety, usefulness, tastes and textures of salads.

Today, it is a Roasted Beetroot salad. We were roasting beetroot for risotto, and threw a few more into the oven to use in salads.

Similar recipes include Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad, also Beetroot, Orange and Black Olive Salad, and Beets with a Yoghurt-Tahini Dressing.

You might also like to try Roast Beetroot with Cumin Seed, and Roasted Beetroot with Garlic and Walnuts.

Feel free to explore our other Salads, and to browse our Beetroot recipes. Our easy Mid-Spring recipe collection is available here.

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Kancha Mung Dal | Bengali Mung Dal

I find Dal the most comforting of dishes, and it is no wonder that it is eaten on most days throughout India. Spices are used to vary the flavours, – some for the heat of pre-Monsoon Summer, others for the cool of the Monsoon rains.

Dals always begin the same – boiling one or more lentils until soft, with the thickness of the dal being a personal preference. Some areas of India make them thick, others prefer them thin and soupy. In this household, we have the choice, so it depends on the cook, and the day, and the weather.

Inclusions also vary. Some dals contain onions – in some parts of India, the onions are cut long and thin – the chillies too. In other parts, the onions and chillies are cut minutely, almost a paste – garlic too – and this is all fried in ghee or oil.

Mung dal (split, hulled Mung Beans) is good for any time of year – and particularly good in summer. So is Toor dal. In Winter it is good to roast the mung dal before cooking as it helps to heat the bodily system. Toss it in a frying pan until a gorgeous aroma arises, then add to water to cook. In Summer, it is preferred kancha or unroasted, as it is lighter and easer to digest. Thanks to the excellent book Bengali Cooking for the lovely chapter and information on Dals.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Dal Tadka, Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach, and Gentle Golden Dal.

Or browse all of our Mung Dal recipes, and all of our Bengali dishes. Our Indian recipes are here. Or take some time to explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Indian Chai Variations

Chai – a sweet, milky black tea with spices – begins the day for many Indian households. The spices and herbs added to the tea adds flavour but an oft-ignored benefit is that it also increases medicinal benefits. The daily supplement – better than popping a pill.

From Chai Masala, to a simple Chai with Ginger, the variations are endless. Here are some common ones to experiment with.

Because of the health giving properties of turmeric, we recommend adding a little turmeric to each cuppa chai that you make – about a pinch per cup.

Are you looking for more Chai recipes? Try Chai Masala for Relief of Colds, Heavenly Gentle Chai, and Ashram Chai.

You might like to browse all of our Chai recipes, and our general Tea recipes. All of our drinks can be found here. You might also enjoy our Late Winter recipes here and here.

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Adzuki Bean and Parsley Soup

A transitional soup that is perfect for the period where Winter moves into Spring – a soup with the warmth of winter in Adzuki Beans, Sesame Oil and Mirin, and the promise of Spring in the fresh parsley added at the end of cooking. The herby goodness of the parsley nicely balances the inherent sweetness of the Adzuki Beans.

I have been re-reading the wonderful writings of Lucy (Nourish Me) with her beautiful kitchen photos. With some adzuki beans already soaking, this recipe sparked interest. Of course it is tweaked a little from the original.

Similar recipes include Adzuki Beans with Shiitake Muhrooms, Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup, and Red Rice and Adzuki Bean Congee.

If you are looking for Adzuki Bean recipes, you can browse all of ours here. Or explore all of our Soup recipes . There are Parsley Recipes too. Or try our easy Late Winter recipes.

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Jerusalem Artichokes with Halloumi and Basil Oil

A beautiful dish from Ottolenghi – one that takes time to produce a marvellous dish

Pottering in the kitchen today, I had a little more time so brought together Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem Artichoke recipe from his book Plenty. Simple to make, it takes just a little time as you need to roast the artichokes, make the charred tomatoes, blend up the basil oil and grill the halloumi. It appears a random combination of ingredients, but it is not so. A perfect combo of bitter, sour, sweet, crispy, crunchy, soft and creamy.

Sometimes bitter greens are not available, so I substitute nasturtium leaves which are always plentiful here. And some rocket leaves.

Are you after other Jerusalem Artichoke recipes? Try Jerusalem Artichoke and Cumin Salad. We have some others  planned, so check back here later for updates.

Or some Halloumi dishes? Try Halloumi and Orange Salad, Halloumi Pizza and Halloumi and Watermelon Salad.

Browse all of our Halloumi recipes, our Tomato recipes, and our Jerusalem Artichoke dishes. Explore all of 0ur Ottolenghi recipes. Or browse our Late Autumn dishes.

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Quince with Split Peas | Afghani Channa Dal with Quinces

This dish is a vegetarian version of a stew from Afghanistan, Quince Stew or Qorma-e-Behi. It uses lentils in place of the non-vegetarian items. It is a perfect Winter dish, fragrant from the quinces, and comforting and warming. Deeply, deeply warming.

I often use soft chard or other greens in this dish in place of the spinach, it works just as well.

Are you looking for more Quince recipes? Try Quince Pickle and Spiced Quinces. Check out some ways to use Quince in sweet recipes as well.

Or browse all of our Quince recipes, and our Afghani dishes, or explore our delicious Mid Winter dishes.

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Okra with Mustard Oil | Okra Fry

Some time ago, one of my social media connections, dee, suggested that I cook okra with mustard oil. This is her recipe. We were discussing mustard oil and okra – there is such a natural affinity. When we are drying okra, for example, we mix the okra halves with mustard oil and spices before drying.

You’ll love this recipe – simple, quick, easy and deliciously flavoured.

Are you looking for other Okra recipes? Try Pickled OkraSri Lankan Okra Curry, and Spicy Stuffed Fried Okra.

Or browse all of our Okra recipes. All of our Indian dishes are here. If you are looking for snacks, they are all here. Or simply explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Vegetable and Barley Soup

Let’s face it, Barley is primarily a winter grain, cooked into soups, pilafs, “risottos” and vegetable stews. Its creamy texture is divine in winter, pairing well with parsnips in particular, with winter hard herbs and parsley, with tomatoes, and, well, with me. I fell in love with barley this year.

Having experimented with making barley water and roasting barley to make barley coffee, I can now leave those uses behind – I am not a terrific fan of either although they are interesting. But wintery barley uses – sign me up.

This is a huge vegetable and barley soup, full of goodness and just right for a day when the temperature doesn’t get over about 9C. Best to take some books and a bowl of soup and curl up in bed on those days.

Similar recipes include Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup, Parsnip and Barley Soup, and Barley and Root Vegetable Soup.

You might like to explore our other Barley recipes. Our Soup recipes are here. Or browse our easy Mid Winter recipes.

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