Indian Melon and Tamarind Kuzhambu with Brown Chickpeas | Kadalai Puli Kuzhambu

This is a delicious dish that can be made with Ash Gourd, Winter Melon, Bottle Gourd, Green Squash, Pumpkin, drumsticks or a mix of vegetables. It includes brown chickpeas (kala chana) cooked with toor dal for both silky smoothness with the chunky chickpeas. It is a dish from Tamil Nadu.

Similar recipes include Curry Leaf Kuzhambu, Beetroot Vathakuzhambu, and Poritha Kuzhambu with Tamarind.

Or browse all of our Kuzhambu recipes.

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Two Bean and Two Lime Salad

We have a strange green bean growing – its pod is green with flecks of red. It is delicious, as all green beans are, and perfect for this salad from Ottolenghi. You can of course use any green bean – the beans are paired with either edamame, younger broad beans or even peas. The key to the salad is a beautiful dressing made with lime zest, lime juice, coriander, mint, garlic and chillies! Oh, yes, you just might get excited.

Once the beans are trimmed, it is quite simple to make. Of course it is, it is from Ottolenghi’s book Simple. 10 ingredients, quick and it can be made ahead (see the notes below the salad). Note that I often massage Ottolenghi’s recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar dishes include Summery Grain or Lentil Salad, Sea Spaghetti, Cucumber and Edamame Salad, Italian Green Bean Salad, Green Bean Salad with Asparagus, Spring Salad, and Glorious Green Bean Salad.

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Purslane Salads | How to Use Purslane in Salads

Purslane, Portulaca Oleracea, is an edible succulent plant that spreads vigorously. The leaves are crunchy with a tangy lemon-peppery flavour. It pops up in gardens here from December (early Summer) through to Autumn. It is prolific in my garden, so much so that I can pull the whole plants out when young, nip off the root and use the stem and leaves. For larger plants, stems are picked and leaves removed. You should always wash it really well as it is such a ground-hugging plant.

Pick them early in the day for best flavours. If I need to pick them later in the day, I will cover them in water for an hour or so until they perk up and lift their heads. Don’t soak any longer, they turn to mush (being a succulent).

In some parts of the world you can buy Purslane in green groceries but in Australia that is not the case. So you can forage alongside footpaths and in parks and green areas, but always be careful that it has not been sprayed. The best way is to purchase some seed, or gather it from flowering foraged plants, and grow in your own garden. Once you have planted it in your garden you will always have it. It grows best in warm to hot, dry climates.

It is used around the world, from Greece to Mexico, South Africa, India and Turkey. It is a nutritional medicine cabinet in a plant with remarkable amounts of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. It is mainly used raw but is also cooked in some places, such as India.

We’ve put together some of our favourite salads using Purslane to inspire you. Be sure to let us know how you use it and which salads are your favourite. Don’t forget that you can use Purslane to replace other sour or lemony ingredients such as sorrel in salads and other dishes.

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Garden Salad with Peaches and Orange Blossom Dressing

Ottolenghi recently wrote an article for the New Yorker called Ottolenghi’s Simplest Recipes. It’s a funny, tongue in cheek article about his recipes and the way that people complain about the complexity and number of ingredients. And about the way that they change all the ingredients and then make commentary on them.

I am certainly guilty of the first, and have gotten over the second – mostly. I still sigh if I have to go shopping for a dish when I want to make it right now and there is some ingredient my pantry is not stocking atm. Having cooked a significant number of Ottolenghi’s dishes, I have moved on from strict adherence to his dishes to shaking them up to suit what is cheaper in our part of the world, what is in the pantry or fridge or on the kitchen bench, and what I can pick from the garden.

This recipe had its genesis in Ottolenghi’s first book Ottolenghi. But it is not recognisable as his any more. I’ve removed the non-vegetarian item, and used greens from our garden rather than the expensive (in my area) greens that he uses. I am ticking the recipe off in the book, but really only the dressing (fabulous) and the peaches are recognisable in the original. If you are looking for the original, check his books or his Guardian column.

The key here is to use sweet peaches (yellow-fleshed or a mix of yellow and white) that are at their peak, with none of that floury texture that they can have when unripe. It’s a dish that’s dazzling in its blend of colours and textures, and works well as a starter.

Similar recipes include Watermelon and Peach Salad with Basil, Tomato and Peach Salad, and Peach Salsa with Tofu.

Browse all of our Peach Salads and all of our Salads (there are hundreds!). Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Zucchini and Halloumi Fritters

I have a thing for fritters. It developed in 2019. My love of them came as a surprise, and arose because:

  1. Ottolenghi has numerous recipes for fritters, and I love Ottolenghi.
  2. I evaluated Hello Fresh for 2 months or so, and they include lots of delicious fritters. (You might have caught my evaluation of Hello Fresh on Twitter.)
  3. I have perfected my egg-replacement for fritters. Use 1 Tblspn chickpea flour, 1 Tblspn cream and 0.25 tspn or less of eno per egg. Add extra chickpea flour if the mixture is too wet. The flour is for binding, the cream for texture and the eno for lightness.

My Sister in Law made these halloumi fritters for a family meal and we made them again for part of the vegetarian component of our Xmas dinner in 2019. Both times they were an absolute hit with vegetarians and non-vegetarians. You will love them and they are so easy to make yet packed with texture and flavour.

The recipe is in Nopi, the cookbook from one of Ottolenghi’s restaurants – the one he had with Scully who has moved on to open his own restaurant. Note that I often massage Ottolenghi’s recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

These are often on Nopi’s breakfast menu, but were also served later in the day as a snack. As popularity grew they made it to the lunch and supper menus as well. You can make smaller ones as a nibble or canapé. I have had them wrapped in Chinese Moo Shu Pancakes with cucumber and spring onion, topped with a hoisin based sauce. DIVINE.

Similar recipes include Sweetcorn, Spring Onion and Chilli Pancakes, Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters, Aloo Tikki, Sweetcorn and Butternut Fritters, Herb and Walnut Fritters, Spinach Fritters and Pudla.

Browse our growing collection of Fritter recipes and our Halloumi dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Nopi are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Nethu Kottu Flour Pachadi | Kottu Maavu Pachadi

There are a couple of pachadi recipes that are healthy and delicious and also perfect for the times that you don’t have any vegetables to add. One is Daunker Pachadi, made with powdered urad dal, and this one, Kottu Mauva Pachadi, made with powdered mixed dals and grains.

It is quite easy to make if you have a spice grinder – the roasted dals and grains are ground to a powder with turmeric and pepper.

This is a recipe from Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See Volume 1. We love cooking these traditional Tamil recipes. You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

Similar recipes include Okra Pachadi, Poha Yoghurt Pachadi, Tomato Pachadi, Tri Colour Pachadi, and Bitter Melon Pachadi.

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Ghol Takatli Bhaji | Maharashtrian Purslane in Yoghurt

Purslane (Ghol in Marathi, Kulfa in Hindi) grows prolifically in my garden and is a powerhouse of goodness. It grows around the world, used mainly by Persians, in India cuisines, and by the Australian indigenous people. It is perfect in salads or cooked in stir-fries and bhajis.  It is a seasonal plant which has a unique tangy taste.

This dish is a Maharastrian style curry usually eaten with steamed rice or rotis. It can be made with Purslane, green Colocasia, sorrel leaves, red amaranth, spinach leaves and other greens. It has a lovely texture with peanuts and channa daal. The dish is typically made with a medium thin yoghurt base.

Similar dishes include Kadhi (Yoghurt Curry), Kadhi with Okra, and Pulissery.

Also browse How to Use Purslane in Salads.

Browse all of our Purslane dishes and all of our Indian Yoghurt recipes. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Spicy Crushed Carrots with Yoghurt

Carrots are one of the best selling vegetables in North Africa because of their sweetness. Their sweetness is paired with both sour and spicy flavours in many dishes of the region – salads, tangines, pastries, desserts.

In this Moroccan dish, carrots are cooked and crushed to make a sharp and hot spread. Bring it to the table while still warm, on a platter with a pile of warm pitta breads. It makes a great starter or mezze dish.

This is a recipe from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. We are cooking our way through Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our kitchen, garden, pantry and local shops. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Red Capsicum and Feta Dip, Moroccan Orange and Carrot SaladMoroccan Carrot Salad, and Spicy Moroccan Carrot Dip.

Browse all of our Moroccan recipes and all of our Carrot dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Char-Grilled Summer Stone Fruit with Scented Yoghurt

This is a recipe that epitomises the height of Summer in Australia. Beautiful sun ripened stone fruits, grilled on an Aussie BBQ, and drizzled with a sweet scented yoghurt. It really is the best of recipes for this time, perfect perhaps for an Australia Day BBQ.

It is an Ottolenghi recipe, from his beautiful Plenty More book. We’ve cooked most of the recipes from this book, and have loved them all. In this recipe, Ottolenghi uses Lemon Geranium Water – a Tunisian ingredient that is more difficult to find locally. Orange Blossom Water is a good substitute (as is any other floral water).

We feel free to make substitutes in Ottolenghi’s recipes. See notes below the recipe about the fruit combination that we used. We are lucky enough to have lavender growing in our garden, but if it is not available to you, please omit it. I’ve also used Tulsi and mint leaves today, as sweet basil was not available. Mint is a really nice substitute.

Similar dishes include Blueberries with Bay Custard and Gin. Strawberry and Peach Lassi, Peaches with Asian Flavours, and Watermelon and Peach Salad.

Browse all of our Peach recipes, Fig Recipes and our Desserts. Or browse our Mid Summer dishes.
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Elizabeth David’s Potato Salad

We can’t go past a great potato salad, right? Being a country girl, potato salads were at every community and family gathering – chunks of potato with creamy home-made mayonnaise (from home-produced ingredients) and garden-fresh herbs.

Our salad today is a French Potato Salad recorded by Elizabeth David in French Provincial Cooking. The potatoes are cooked then sliced and liberally dressed with oil and vinegar. It is absolutely divine. The salad can also be dressed with a thin mayo if you are definitely the mayo-only-dressing for potato salads.

For this salad, use waxy varieties or potatoes as they hold their shape when cooked, for example:

  • Dutch varieties
  • Nicolas
  • Bintjes
  • Kipflers
  • Desiree Potatoes

Similar recipes include Simple Beautiful Potato Salad, Adult Only Potato Salad, and Crushed New Potatoes with Horseradish.

Browse all of our Potato Salads and all of our Potato recipes. Or explore our Mid Spring dishes.

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