Okra with Cumin and a Yoghurt Sauce

This next recipe in our Okra series combines the okra with cumin seed (or use caraway seed) and other spices, and cooks it in a thickened sauce which glazes the okra. It is then mixed with yoghurt, or the yoghurt is drizzled over the top of the okra. It is Indian in style, but not a traditionally Indian dish.

Okra is available for such a long period of the year, and is reasonably priced in most areas, so it makes sense to include it in your diet. It is rather a healthy food too.

Are you after other Okra dishes? Try Spicy Dried Okra, Crispy Okra, and Plain Kuzhambu with Okra.

Browse all of our Okra dishes, or explore our Late Autumn collection of recipes.

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Murungakkai Sambar | Drumstick Sambar With Crushed Curry Leaves

Drumsticks, such a funny name, are stick shaped vegetables that grow on a tree. They are funny, skinny, long vegetables with a hard outer covering that gives them the name drumsticks. You have to be in the know to eat this vegetable, as you would never guess it. There is a soft interior that is delicious. The pieces of drumsticks have to be picked up with the fingers, the exterior is squashed in the mouth and the tender interior can be scraped out with the teeth. You come to love this little procedure. The harder skin, once all flavour is extracted from it, is discarded on the side of the plate.

Drumsticks are particularly delicious in Sambar and Rasam. They are best bought fresh, but frozen drumsticks are readily available in Indian groceries if you can’t find them locally. This recipe is from the classic book Classic Tamil Brahmin Cuisine, such a great book of classic South Indian / Tamil traditional recipes. The method is somewhat different to Meenakshi Ammal’s seminal recipes from Cook and See, in that the tadka is added to the base gravy before the cooked dal is added. Ammal usually also includes tomatoes in her sambar as well, and thickens the dish with a little rice flour or besan at the end. I have added the thickening trick to the recipe as it really does add to the texture of the dish.

Similar recipes include Poritha Koottu, Poritha Kuzhambu, Drumstick Kadhi, and Pitlai.

Browse all of our Drumstick recipes and all of our Sambar dishes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or browse our Late Spring dishes.

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Sundakkai Vathal Paruppu Podi | Dried Pea Eggplant, Spice and Lentil Mix | Dried Turkey Berry Spice Powder

Sundakkai Vathal are dried pea eggplants (also called turkey berries), and they have a salty, slightly bitter taste. They are quite addictive, but are an adult taste. You have to grow into them. We adore them.

One way to use them is to grind them into a powder. Sometimes we do this without mixing them with anything else – saute them in a tiny bit of ghee until the puff a little, then grind into a powder, and sprinkle on rice and into dishes. It is amazing!

This recipe is a podi, or a South Indian spice mix, which includes lentils, pepper and chillies. You can add cumin as well. Curry leaves are crisped and ground with the other ingredients. It tastes great with hot rice mixed with ghee, and used to make Sundakkai Vathal Kuzhambu.

Other Spice Mixes include Garam Masala, Chaat Masala, and Sambar Powder.

Browse our other Podi recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to browse our Late Spring recipes.

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Tulsi, Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea

A Herbal Tea, great any time.

A beautiful refreshing tea, excellent in Spring and Summer, and especially nice in Autumn. Minty, health giving, and relaxing. If you don’t have fresh Tulsi, tea bags are easily bought and some places have dried Tulsi leaves. The other day I saw dried Tulsi leaves at my Indian Grocer’s. Or failing that, using Basil will give you a lovely, relaxing tea.

Similar teas include Green Tea, Apple Juice and Strawberry Cooler, Ginger Root and Turmeric Tea, Longan and Young Ginger Tea, and Lemon Verbena and Lavender Tea.

Browse all of our Tea recipes and our Tulsi recipes. Or take some time to explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Sri Lankan Ghee Rice with Pandanus | Buttered Rice

Ghee rice is such a celebratory dish, rich in flavour and great to accompany light spicy dishes. This rice is flavoured with pandan leaves and curry leaves, adding sultanas to highlight the sweet floral notes of the pandan. It is exotic and luxurious, and a delight at the table.

I was never much bothered with washing and soaking rice, but basmati deserves this attention. I love the aged basmati rice with its long beautiful grains, and soaking definitely adds to the finished product. Please make the time to soak the rice while you chop the onion and get the other ingredients ready.

Similar recipes include Sri Lankan Coconut Curd Rice, Sri Lankan Yellow Rice, and Sakkarai Pongal. Also try Sri Lankan Pol Roti.

This rice dish adds to our collection of mixed rice dishes. You can explore them all here. It is a Sri Lankan dish, and you might like to browse our other Sri Lankan recipes here. Or perhaps have a look at our Indian recipes too. Our Late Spring recipes are here.

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Simple Tomato Bread Salad

When life is busy, simple is necessary. Eating healthy but quickly means the freshest of ingredients, whatever is in the fridge, without too much thinking or cooking. We are in that space at the moment, life is busy, simple is the way we are eating. Simple but good. VERY good. It is important to remember that salads need not be complex or take time to make.

For this salad, toast some bread really well, and mix it with some tomatoes for an awesome salad. The success of the salad lies in great tomatoes and a very good, tasty, extra virgin olive oil.

Are you after other Tomato Salads? Try Red Pepper and Tomato Salad with Crispy Flatbread, Tomato and Pomegranate Salad, and Kachumber – Indian Tomato and Cucumber Salad.

Similar Salads include Locquat Salad.

You can browse all of our Bread Salads, Tomato Salads, or indeed all of our many many Salads. Or take some time to explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Leeks and Carrots a la Grecque with Tomatoes and Herbs

This is a beautiful Autumn and Winter dish that can also be made with Spring vegetables. Today it might be Spring here, but leeks and carrots are still on the menu on the colder days of this transitional season. We have had such cold weather this year, even breaking records for the coldest November day in 50 years.

You can vary this dish. For example, use leeks only, or carrots only.  Potatoes on their own are also very very good.

Read about Cooking a la Grecque Style.

Similar recipes include Leeks and Carrots a la Grecque, Mushrooms a la GrecqueCauliflower a la Grecque, and Fennel a la Grecque.

You might like to browse our Leek recipes, and our “a la Grecque” recipes. Also check out our easy Mid Winter recipes.

This dish is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006.  You can find other recipes from that blog in the Retro Recipes series.

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White Bean Puree with Harissa and Rosemary

White beans make the best purees – smooth, thick and shiny. There is no excuse to not have some on hand, ready to serve with bread, as a dip, over steamed or roasted vegetables, with salads, or even with pasta.

This puree is a slooow cooked one. Place it on your lowest flame and simmer slowly for up to 3 hours to get the softest beans that have imbued the flavours of the harissa. Divine! Or, cook the beans in the slow cooker overnight, and finish on the stove until meltingly soft.

Similar recipes include White Bean, Sage and Roasted Garlic Spread, Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree, and Easy White Bean Salad.

Or browse all of our White Bean recipes (Haricot Beans or Cannellini Beans), and all of our Purees. Our Dips are here. Or explore our Mid Spring dishes.

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Slightly Pickled Mushrooms with Tamari and Sesame Oil

Another inspired mushroom dish with the ’70s flavours of sesame oil and tamari. Delicious.

Spring is one of the best times for mushrooms, and we have been using them a lot lately. Today, it is a delightful pickle, a quick pickle. Use the mushrooms as a side, as a salad, incorporated into other salads, or mixed with charred broccoli! I know that you will enjoy them.

Similar recipes include Grilled Mushrooms and Red Onion Salad, Mushroom, Spinach and Blue Cheese Salad, and Mushroom and Carrot Salad with Mung Sprouts.

Other Quick Pickles include Quick Pickled Radishes, Quick Carrot Pickle, and Celery Quick Pickle with Chilli.

You can browse all of our Mushroom Recipes and all of our Quick Pickles. And our Pickle collection of recipes is here. Perhaps explore our Salads too. Our collection of Mid Spring recipes is here.

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Ensalada

A salad for every day.

Ensalada is a Spanish salad of perfect tomatoes and mild, sweet onion slices. It is found around the world in countries or regions that have had a Spanish influence in their history. Ensalada is centre on the table at meal times. They can be simple with just the 2 perfect ingredients dressed with olive oil and white wine vinegar, or they can have addition ingredients added to the simple base. In this way, the salad can vary from day to day, yet still feature the 2 main ingredients. A few olives, some cucumber slices, a little cos lettuce, a tiny amount of soft herb. A salad that is sweet, cool and fresh.

Made this way, the salad is perfect. Over stuffed with numerous additions, it is no longer ensalada, but a mish mash of complex flavours that negate the beautiful simplicity of the traditional way of serving this salad.

Similar recipes include this terrific Tomato Salad, Broad Bean and Tomato Salad, and Tomato Salad with Green Olives.

You can find other  Tomato Salads here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Slightly Charred Okra with Garlic, Chilli and Thyme

It’s the weekend and so it is Okra time again. This recipe sautés the okra briefly and then tops them with a chilli-garlic oil. Crispy okra with chilli and garlic – what could be better? And it is tossed with basil leaves for a light and totally gorgeous dish.

Are you looking for more Okra dishes? Try Charred Okra with Tomato Barley, Greek Okra in Tomatoes, and Fried Okra.

You can browse all of our Okra recipes, you will love them. Or simply explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Cypriot Grain Salad

George Calombaris, well known Australian celebrity chef (how I dislike those words), is in the news for all the wrong reasons right now. But his food is very very good. This Grain Salad is delish, and I have my twitter sister, Jude, to thank for pointing me to it.

It is divine, and perfect for this changeable Spring weather. It is perfect one day, then the weather gods drag us back into mid Winter weather the next. A transitional season.

This recipe uses freekeh, but other grains can be used – couscous, quinoa, barley, burghul, for example). It is one of the best uses of freekeh and du Puy lentils that I know. The flavours in this dish are just right and balance well. It is sweet, sour, tangy, crunchy, soft, earthy, herby, and healthy.

Similar recipes include Freekeh Pilaf with Herbs and Yoghurt Dressing, Green Beans with Freekeh, Walnuts and Tahini, Crushed du Puy Lentils with Cumin and Tahini, and Du Puy Lentils with Feta and Tomatoes.

Browse all of our Freekah dishes, du Puy recipes, and all of our many Salads. Our recipes from Cyprus are here. Or browse our Early Spring collection of dishes.

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MID AUTUMN – Don’t Miss These Recipes for Relaxed Autumn Living | Seasonal Cooking

Celebrating Autumn

The weather begins its transition this month, and like all change, is a little chaotic and changeable. Autumn is the time for crisp leaves, knitted sweaters, and comfort food. Windy, stormy at times, the Autumn rains come. Cooler days intersperse the fewer warmer ones, and while it is hard to let go of cooling foods, dishes get somewhat heavier and more warming. We grieve the passing of Summer but look forward to what Winter brings.

Enjoy these highlights from our Mid Autumn recipe collection.

You can also browse other Mid Autumn recipes:

If you have difficulty with any links, please let us know. We would love to fix them for you.

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Okra and Cauliflower Pakora

Are you ready for a snack? Okra and Cauliflower Pakora (Pakoda) will satisfy your deepest longings. Tossed in some chickpea flour batter, with rice flour for crispness, these little beauties are beautiful dunked into some green chutney and eaten on a sunny afternoon, sitting under a tree.

Are you after snack recipes? Try Cumin and Pepper Baked Potato Wedges, Chickpea Fingers with Tomato Salsa, and Paneer Toast.

Or perhaps you are after Okra dishes. Try Try Kurkuri Bindi (Crispy Okra), Ladyfingers Recheio (Okra with Chilli-Spice Paste), and Fried Ladyfingers, Goan Style.

Want more information? Read about Okra here, then browse all of our Okra recipes, and all of our Snack recipes. All of our Indian dishes are here and Indian Essentials here. Or simply explore our easy Early Autumn dishes.

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White Fig and Rocket Salad

Simple salads are simply the best. Figs are one of my most favourite fruits but here in Adelaide they are very expensive, about $2 for each little fig. So they are like a treat – instead of buying chocolate, we buy some figs. And their season begins in late Mid Summer – the excitement builds as figs first appear in the shops.

Mostly we eat them slowly, as they are, but Fig Salads are gorgeous. This recipe is very simple and plays to the beautiful flavours of the white fig.

Similar recipes include Fig Salad with Hazelnuts, Roast Sweet Potato and Fresh Figs, and Fig and Almond Salad.

Please browse our Fig Salads, all Fig recipes, and also our range of Salad dishes. You can also enjoy our collection of Autumn dishes here.

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