Olan | Vegetable Coconut Curry from Kerala

This is a beautiful Olan, a curry with a coconut sauce from the Nair community of beautiful Kerala in South India.

This is the wonderful Olan, a curry with a coconut sauce from the beautiful Kerala in South India. In particular, this dish comes from the Nair community from the that region.

Wikipedia has an entry on the Nair community, and there is this lovely piece. Continue reading “Olan | Vegetable Coconut Curry from Kerala”

Collection: How to Use Deep Fried Tofu

A perfect quick meal or snack!

Versatile Deep Fried tofu can either be store-bought in packets, or made at home.

Deep Fried Tofu is available from any Asian or Chinese Grocery, where it might be called Tofu Puffs, or Fried Tofu Squares. As the name suggests, it is a tofu that has been deep fried. It is quite firm in texture and therefore is easy to slice and dice, to include in wet dishes, or simply serve as it is. It is definitely a delicious way of using tofu.

An alternative is to deep fry your own tofu. The texture and taste is quite different to store-bought deep fried tofu, and is worth the effort involved. See below for instructions on how to deep fry your own tofu.

All of our Tofu recipes are here. You might like to browse our Asian recipes too, our Chinese recipes are here and our tempting Snacks here. Or simply explore our easy Mid Summer dishes.

You might also like to try tofu dishes without deep frying. Try Two Marvellous Tofu Recipes (Tofu Napoleons, and Tri Coloured Stuffed Tofu), Marinated Tofu with Sweet Peach Salsa, Cucumber and Tofu Salad, Tofu, Herb and Sesame Salad, and a dipping broth for tofu.

Continue reading “Collection: How to Use Deep Fried Tofu”

Oven Dried Tomatoes with Sumac

These are quite easy to make. It just takes time – a very slow oven and a few hours.

I have a love of two things – Farmer’s Markets and making pickles, preserves, pastes, purees and dried things. I love to turn fresh ingredients that will preserve them in some way. This recipe is perfect for perfect little cherry or grape tomatoes. It oven dries them in a very slow oven to make a great intensely flavoured snack, or ingredient for pasta sauces and salads.

The first time I made these little beauties, my Office Assistant and friend ate the whole batch! They are very more-ish.

You might also like to try Haloumi Pizza with Semi Dried Tomatoes, Tomato Tarte Tartin, and Semi Dried Tomatoes with Pomegranate. You can browse all of our oven dried tomato recipes here. Or have a look at our Tomato Recipes here.

Continue reading “Oven Dried Tomatoes with Sumac”

How to Cook Rice Rolls | Vegetarian Banh Cuon

How to eat Vegetarian Banh Cuon – Rice Rolls – Chinese and Vietnamese.

One of the typically Asian things that I love is their rice rolls. But it can be confusing – how are these lovely rice rolls used?

Rice rolls are very common in Vietnam (Banh Cuon) and in Thailand (Goi tiew lohd).  It is a light dish, and is generally eaten for breakfast everywhere in Vietnam, or as a snack in Thailand. In our house, this dish is a wonderful summery lunch. It is a light dish, and is generally eaten for breakfast everywhere in Vietnam. They are generally filled with non-vegetarian ingredients, and use a non-vegetarian dipping sauce – the vegetarian versions are harder to know how to use.

In Vietnamese Bánh means pastry and Cuốn means rolled, so as far as indicating its origin or how to use them, the name is quite enigmatic. The rice sheet is extremely thin and delicate. It is made by steaming a slightly fermented rice batter on a cloth that is stretched over a pot of boiling water.

You might also like What to Do with Deep Fried Tofu, Thai Eggplant with Sesame and Soy, Black Pepper Tofu, Asian Style Greens with Garlic and Sesame, Chinese Scallion and Orange Zest Pancakes, and Spicy Crunchy Herby Salad with Asian Dressing.

You may like to browse our other SE Asian recipes, and our other Mid Summer recipes.

Continue reading “How to Cook Rice Rolls | Vegetarian Banh Cuon”

Tomato Rasam | South Indian Spicy Tomato Broth

Who can go past tomato rasam?

Yesterday I had made some Garam Masala and the house was full of wonderful aromas. As I worked at my desk I became hungrier and hungrier. What to do? I needed something wonderfully spicy.

After peeking in the fridge to see what was left after a hectic week, the solution was a wonderful, spicy tomato rasam.

One of the easiest way to describe Rasam is that it is a very thin, sometimes watery, spiced dish where lentils are used for flavour but are not obvious. Rasam is often confused with Sambar. Sambar is a thicker dish based on lentils. Traditionally both dishes are spiced differently. You can read more about the difference between Sambar and Rasam here.

Similar dishes include Ayurvedic Rasam.

Continue reading “Tomato Rasam | South Indian Spicy Tomato Broth”

Golden Saffron Spice Tea and Kashmiri Kahwa Tea

I first came across this beautiful tea in a small shop in a village in South India.

There are certain “C” words that I love when in the kitchen. It is especially true when it comes to spices. My favourite and indispensable spices all being with C — Cloves, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Coriander seed, Cumin.

If you have these in your pantry, you have some of the Indian cooking Essentials. For example, Garam Masala uses them as a strong, warming basis.

But did you know that you can also make a very special infused tea from these same spices?

You might also like to try Phanta (Basil) Tea, Ayurvedic Teas, or Herbal Teas. Try Saffron Rice with Dates and Almonds also.

Or browse all of our Teas. Our Indian dishes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Late Spring Recipes.

Continue reading “Golden Saffron Spice Tea and Kashmiri Kahwa Tea”