Persimmons are so divine, and a beautiful, Autumnal colour. We don’t use them much, preferring to eat them just as they are. But I have one recipe for you – look at that colour!
We don’t eat many sweet things around here, especially sweet baked goods – perhaps a little more in Winter than Summer. It is not that we don’t like them (we LOVE them), but biscuits and cakes are basically sugar and butter held together with flour, right? Also, we don’t cook with eggs, so that limits our range as well.
But it is the one of the coldest weeks of Winter as I write, and we are looking for a few more sweet things – rice pudding, apple crumble, golden syrup dumplings, and some biscuits for our cuppa.
I was alerted to this recipe by @CallisClan – she made them one day from a book called Winter on a Farm. The original recipe is here. I have made a slight variation, adding coconut and a little bicarb soda (which adds a little more colour and chewiness to the biscuits). I’ve also sprinkled a little salt over the top before cooking for a delicious sweet-salty taste.
The biscuits are not unlike ANZAC biccies, starting from a base of oats, flour, golden syrup and butter. This combination is so Australian. But the technique and other ingredients differs a little. In ANZAC biscuits, when cooked well, the flour is partially cooked by the hot butter mix and boiling water. This changes the texture considerably. But in this recipe, the mixture is cooled before adding to the oats and flour. It makes a remarkable difference.
The salt sprinkled over the top of these biscuits is not compulsory and can be omitted.
Or browse all of our Biscuit Recipes.
A favourite of our family
Purslane is abundant in our garden even in Autumn. All season, since early December, it appears in different parts of the garden. We have followed it around, pulling out the plants and using the leaves. A nice way to keep it under control.
Today we have used it in an urad dal, and it turned out to add that beautiful lemony flavour to the dish as well as a little texture against the creamy urad. I hope you like this dish.
Are you looking for similar Dal recipes? Try Ghol Takatli Bhaji, Urad Dal with Onions Four Ways, Simple Monk’s Dal, Urad with Tomato, Coconut and Coriander, Urad Dal Sundal, and Urad Dal Garlic Rice. Or try Moolangi Tovve (Daikon Dal).
Also browse How to Use Purslane in Salads.
This dish has a vague Turkish origin. White beans – haricot or cannellini beans – are cooked and mixed with a delicious tomato-based mixture. You could make the same dish with chickpeas or lima beans.
I often make it with passata for a real saucy base, but other times will use chopped tomatoes for quite a different style. Your choice.
Eggplant and dark lentils are such a paring! We loved them here – this is an extraordinary dish – and we love them in this recipe. When the eggplant is cooked with the lentils it becomes very silky and simply melts into them. This is the joy of Rummaniyeh.
Pomegranates also feature strongly in Rummaniyeh. In fact, Rumman means pomegranate, so this dish’s name, Rummaniyeh, means pomegranatey. Pomegranates are cherished in Palestine – they are an integral part of Palestinian eating, and are regarded as a symbol of abundance and prosperity. The cheap and easy recipe uses rich, sweet-tart pomegranate molasses and pomegranate kernels (when in season), for a tangy stew in which the eggplants melt into the lentils as they gently simmer. Crispy onions, fried garlic, zingy lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, hot chilli and generous amounts of olive oil are added, to create layers of flavour and transform the primary ingredients.
Today’s recipe had its genesis in the one in Falastin by Tamini. I made some adjustments to make it simpler, with more lentils, and also to get that simmered silkiness of the eggplants.
Eat warm or at room temperature with pitta or tafoon (Middle Eastern flatbread) and a chopped salad. I like a bowl of spiced yoghurt with it. You can serve Rummaniyeh at any time, but it is especially good for breakfast!
We are so blessed that we get good quality okra locally at a cheap price. Move closer to the city and it is rare and expensive. Our local shops stock it by the barrel load, a testament to the local Indian, Nepalese and Middle Eastern communities. I had never used Okra as much before I shifted into this area. It shows just how much that the stock in our shops influences our behaviour.
This is another Pachadi, a South Indian dish of yoghurt, okra and spices, a cooling and healthy dish. I have a few other Okra raita dishes – each one is a little different.
Similar recipes include Nethu Kottu Flour Pachadi, Methi Sprouts Tambuli, Okra Tamarind Pachadi, Zucchini, Lime Leaf and Yoghurt Salad, Sauteed Okra with Ginger and Garlic, Roasted Okra with Tomato, Aloo Bhindi, and Bhindi Raita.
We love our miso soups and keep several different types of miso in the fridge. Today, weak from an illness, I made a fortifying broth with spices and served with noodles, mushrooms and greens. Delicious.
Coronavirus lockdown time had everyone baking bread. I was a bit of a laggard – we don’t eat a lot of bread so it was not my first thought. But, 4 months later than everyone else, I saw a recipe that had me visiting my secret supplier of bakers flour and fresh yeast (everywhere else was out of good quality product), and this beautiful loaf was born.
The recipe that excited my bread-baking genes was one from Nigel Slater that includes spelt flour and dry cider! The cider gives it a lovely, almost sour dough, tang. It is mixed with milk for a beautiful soft crust. This is Good Bread!
Poppy Seed Payasam is a nutty and creamy sweet dish made with white poppy seeds, coconut and saffron simmered in milk and topped with toasted cashews. Payasam is a typical Indian traditional sweet usually made for festivals and as a sweet treat in homes.
Poppy seeds are tiny seeds known as kasa kasa in Tamil. Indian recipes usually use white poppy seeds rather than the black ones, so look for them in your Indian supermarket. They are used for their flavour, texture and thickening qualities.
Did you know that poppy seeds calm the mind and stimulate the digestion? In Ayurveda the taste is pungent, astringent and sweet. Its heating action acts as a vata calmer. Used with nutmeg or valerian they can induce relaxing sleep.
I love recipes that are endlessly versatile – dips and spreads that can use a variety of vegetables, bread recipes into which you can knead different flours, herbs, and liquids, soups that take almost anything that you have on your kitchen bench. These sorts of dishes are the lifeblood of the kitchen, using up what you have, what has arrived, what you’ve been given, what has ripened.
A great base for a dip is formed from any combination of feta, yoghurt, cream cheese, ricotta, and/or tahini. Into that puree can go some lightly cooked vegetable and flavourings. Nuts can be added to thicken and flavour the mix. It is endlessly malleable.