Where would we be without Chilli Paste? Our kitchen boasts 2 or 3 different ones at any one time, plus of course red and green chillies in the freezer, chilli flakes and 3 different chilli powders. We love a touch of heat in the kitchen, but not everyone has to go this far! A good chilli paste will be your godsend when you are looking to spice up a soup, sauce, pasta dish, dip, avocado mash, even a potato crush!
It is another 43C day, as I write, and the whole of Australia is in the grip of a heatwave. So we look for refreshing and cooling salads each day. Kosumalli salads from South India fit the bill perfectly. With fresh raw ingredients mixed with coconut and dressed just with lime or lemon juice, they are what we crave in the heat.
I wonder about the origin of these salads – raw ingredients are uncommon in India, so perhaps they were a consequence of the British occupation. If you know, can you enlighten us?
Indonesian sambals are fiery blends of fresh hot chillies and other seasonings that are used as relishes or condiments throughout Indonesia. There are dozens of different sambal recipes; some raw, and some cooked. A sambal is served in much the same way we might use sriracha or tabasco sauce.
They are generally easy to make, especially the raw ones, and this sambal takes no more than 5 minutes. The onions and chillies cure in the lime juice, making it incredibly delicious. Drizzle it over everything for spicy hot flavours. This recipe is the same as Sambal Iris, except that it has basil added to it. It changes the flavour and makes it even more delicious (if that is possible).
Today we have another Rasam recipe to add to our series exploring the different types of Rasam. This one has a slight toor dal base, uses fewer spices (mainly cumin and black pepper) and uses lime juice for a tangy, digestion promoting, delicious dish. There are four different ways of making Lime Rasam, according to the Queen of Tamil Food, Meenakshi Ammal. This is the third of her methods.
The Rasams Chapter in Meenakshi Ammal’s books Cook and See contains traditional Tamil rasam recipes. Although we are not afraid to step away from the tree, going back to very traditional recipes (that can still be made in the modern kitchen) is an important way to get the hang of traditional as well as modern methods and flavour combinations. I hope you feel the same.
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The weather is still so mild in Early Autumn, with heat wave conditions and the odd cold day that has us searching for jumpers.
In the kitchen we hang onto Summer as long as we can. Delicious greens begin to appear in the markets and Amaranth and Purslane are easy pickings in our garden. The tomatoes hold on and eggplants are beautiful.
The weather has us looking for soups, whether it is hot or mild. A few cold soups for early Autumn and bowls and bowls of vegetable soup for the milder days.
Enjoy our 30 Soup Suggestions for this month.
Autumn is here! So gradually the warm weather departs until next Summer. But salads are definitely still on the table. Don’t get stuck with boring salads. Be inventive!
Our Salads can be light at this time of the year, hanging on to the memory of Summer. And gradually they become more substantial with lentils and beans forming a backdrop for the leaves and vegetables.
Enjoy 30 of our best salads for Early Autumn.
Green Tomatoes are around all season if you look for them, and particularly in Spring and Autumn. They are delicious – don’t stick them on the window sill to ripen. Slice them into your salads, or cook with them. Their slightly tart tomatoey flavour will surprise you. We adore them and you will too. Enjoy our collection of recipes from the US, India, Australia and beyond.
Other Collections include:
Malabar Spinach is freely available in Asian and other shops from Mid Summer, and is a lovely alternative to real spinach and other greens. Today we cook it fairly simply with urad dal for a very earthy dish that has a slight bitterness. It does not use many spices, and is gorgeous with some potatoes with chilli and onion.
It’s Autumn! The intensity of the Summer heat begins to moderate. The Sun is lower in the sky and the light quality begins to change. Shadows lengthen, and we begin looking for slightly heavier dishes. It is hard to let go of Summer, so Salads and other lighter dishes still feature strongly. Enjoy these highlights from our Early Autumn recipe collection.
You can also browse other Early Autumn recipes:
- Indian Deliciousness
- Autumnal Soup Recipes
- Salads, Dips, Dressings and Sauces Volume 1 and Volume 2
- Wonderful Vegetable Dishes
- Goodies, Grains, Lentils, Preserves and More – Volume 1 and Volume 2
- Drinks and Sweets
- Helpful Hints for Early Autumn
Please let us know if you find links that are not working. We would love to fix them for you.
Did you ever see the movie Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe? If nothing else, it’s title introduced fried green tomatoes into our life. I love green tomatoes (they make an amazing salsa, for example), and frying them with a crispy crust of polenta and parmesan is a great snack.
There are many different recipes for the crust – some use a batter – but I like this one. It is crisp and crunchy, and doesn’t have to be deep fried. Sometimes I use a batter of self raising flour, cornmeal and buttermilk.