White Bean Soup | Zuppa di Fagioli

Here I sit at the (usually) hottest part of the year, and as I write it is a cool day, and wet. So we find ourselves wanting Autumnal food. Having made a risotto yesterday, I am using the remainder of the stock to make a white bean soup – luckily I had the forethought to soak the beans overnight. You have to bless the Italians, right? Simple food with great flavours.

This soup is just gorgeous because the beans just seem to float in this gorgeous broth.

White beans are great – versatile for Summer in Salads, and in Winter for Soups, pasta sauces and more hearty dishes. Use cannellini or haricot beans when white beans are specified. Keep them in your pantry year-round.

Other White Bean recipes include: Grilled Eggplant Salad with Pine Nuts, White Beans and Pita Chips, Florentine Beans, and Tuscan Beans with Sage and Lemon.

All of our Cannellini Bean recipes are here, and our Haricot Bean recipes here.  See all of our Italian recipes. Or browse our wonderful Soups. Our easy Mid Autumn recipes are all here.

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Cheese and Eggplant Torte | Cheesy Eggplant Layers

Yet another divine use for eggplant – such a versatile vegetable. This time it is a cheesy torte – eggplants layered, Italian style, with cheeses, baked, allowed to rest and firm up, then cut into wedges to serve. What could be better? It makes a great lunch or supper, or works very well in a tapas spread, mezze or antipasto. It even makes a great any-time snack.

Eggplant is so flexible, and very variation tastes so good. You can bake it, simmer it, steam it, BBQ it, grill it, roast it, saute it and deep fry it. I hope you try some of these recipes.

It makes great Indian style Chutney, Curries, Salads, Fritters, Pasta Sauces, Rice dishes, and gentle dishes.

As well as all of these Eggplant recipes, you might like to also browse our Italian recipes and our easy Late Summer dishes.

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Zhug | Zhoug | Skhug | A Coriander-Chilli Paste, Dip and Sauce

A versatile Yemini-Israeli paste made from green coriander (cilantro), green chillies and earthy spices

What to do with the left over coriander (cilantro) leaves and stems at the end of the week – a perpetual problem in a family that uses a lot of green coriander. One solution we have is to make Coriander Paste. Another is to make Zhoug, a Yemeni-Israeli sauce or dip full of spices. Traditionally a perfect accompaniment to pita with falafel, it also serves as a sauce, spread and dip. It can be stirred into soups and stews to spark them up. Zhoug can be fiery hot, depending on your chilli level, and Yemenites believe that eating zhoug daily strengthens the immune system, keeps away illness and strengthens the heart.

Once you have experienced the fragrant spiciness of Zhoug, you will be making this weekly with your left over coriander, or, indeed, buying extra coriander each week, just to make this pesto-like sauce. Actually, Zhoug is a green cousin to Shatta, which is a similar dish, except Shatta uses mild red chillies. Zhoug has also been called Israeli Chilli Paste, a green harissa, a Middle Eastern Gremolata and a hot chermoula.

Are you looking for other coriander recipes? Similar recipes include Coriander Paste, Coriander Pesto, and Coriander and Coconut Chutney.

Or try these: Carrots and Green Peas with Green Coriander, Coriander and Lemongrass Vichyssoise, Pudla with Green Coriander, or Urad Dal with Tomato, Coconut and Green Coriander.

Read some more about Green Coriander, and also How to Use Leftover Green Coriander.

You might also like other Coriander dishes and other Coriander Pastes. Middle Eastern dishes are here and here. Or enjoy our easy Late Autumn dishes.

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Mushroom and Carrot Salad with Mung Sprouts and Ginger Vinaigrette

A modern mushroom salad

Summer is a delightful season for salads, and we should not resist playing with herbs and vegetables and fruits to create exciting combinations and exquisite dressings. This recipe is a salad that brings contrasting textures and a super vinaigrette. It is a Mushroom-Carrot Salad that exhibits gingery overtones via the perfect dressing

Similar recipes for Mushrooms that you might like – try Mushrooms a la Grecque, Caramelised Oyster Mushrooms, and Stuffed Mushrooms on the BBQ/Grill. You can check out our Mushroom Salads here.

If you are looking for Carrot Recipes, try Mung Bean and Carrot Salad, Moroccan Salad, and Carrot Thoran. You can check out all of our Carrot Salads here.

Browse all of our Carrot recipes here and here, all of our Mushroom recipes here and here, and our Salad recipes here and here. We have a collection of Bittman Salads here. Or be inspired by our Mid Summer recipes here.

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Aamti Bhaat | Maharashtrian Lentil Curry Rice

I do love the Keralite classic Mung Dal with Ghee (Neyyum Parippum), and its offshoots – Mung Dal with Cumin and ISKON Mung Dal.

Maharashtra has a dish that exhibits the same simplicity, but it is made with toor dal (and not quite so much ghee). Toor dal is the lentil that gives Sambar (from Tamil Nadu) its creamy, flowing consistency.

Simply spiced, the dish highlights the flavour of the lentils. The dish is served with rice, and is a variation on its simpler ancestor, Varan Bhaat which literally means Lentil Curry-Rice. In many Maharashtrian households, this dish or the simpler Varan is cooked every day and it is a comforting and nourishing dish. It is also made as naivedyam/prasadam for Ganesha Chathurthi. It is particularly simple to make. (If you are after other recipes for Ganesha Chathurthi, browse here.)

You might also like to try the Mung Dal dishes above, or our range of Sambars. Or try Eggplant and Toor Dal, Plain (Toor) Dal Rasam, or Poritha Kuzhambu.

Explore all of our recipes for Toor Dal here, and our Maharashtrian recipes here. Take some time and browse all of our Indian recipes. Or simply try our Mid Summer collection.

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Heavenly Gentle Chai

There is something about Chai that makes everything Ok again.

Chai. Aaah, the very word invokes relaxation. In colder weather it comes into its own with its warming, comforting and nourishing emotive qualities.

You might also like to try Seva Devi’s Ashram Chai, and Yogi Chai. What about Cardamom Spiced Coffee? Or for a herbal tea, there is Ginger and Tulsi Tea.

Feel free to browse all of our Chai recipes here, or our general Tea recipes here. All of our drinks can be found here. You might also enjoy to take some time and expore our easy Winter recipes or our easy Summer recipes.

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Marinated Eggplant on the BBQ with Tomatoes and Asparagus

Smokey charred eggplant from the BBQ

Sago Payasam | South Indian Dessert

A classic dessert of Tamil Nadu

Sago Payasam is a classic dessert in Tamil Nadu in South India, along with Vermicelli and Rice Payasams. Payasams are sweet desserts, the milk condensing and thickening as it cooks and the sugar sweetens this thick mixture to a level almost beyond the experience of cooks outside of India. Hold back on the sugar to begin with if you do not have a sweet tooth.

You might also like our Payasam recipes here and here. Or our Sago recipes here and here. Explore our Indian Desserts here, or the more general Dessert recipes here and here.

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Creamy Baked Sweet Potato and Gratineed Sweet Potato

Ottolenghi has a beautiful Sweet Potato Gratin in his book Ottolenghi. The dish is beautiful, the sweet potato soft, so tender. The success of the dish is the arrangement of a lot of sweet potatoes, overlapping, in a baking dish. What Ottolenghi doesn’t say in the recipe is that it works for just 1 sweet potato as well. Using a small amount of sweet potato means that it is not gratineed, but it is beautiful, tender with a crispy crust.

This is a great dish for Thanksgiving, if you celebrate that US festival. Other Thanksgiving recipes are here.

For all Sweet Potato recipes click here and here. Browse Ottolenghi recipes here, and all Baked recipes here and here. Find inspiration in our Autumn recipes here and here.

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Spinach Thoran | Spinach Stirfry with Coconut

A seriously deliciously Thoran from Kerala

Spinach Thoran is an everyday side dish for rice which is generally cooked in an Indian wok or Kadhai. In this style of Thoran from Kerala, the main ingredient is stirfried or wilted, then pushed aside while a coconut and spice paste is placed in the centre of the wok. This is covered by the main ingredient and it is allowed to cook gently. This method leads to dishes that are light and delicious.

In this recipe a little rice is used as a spice adding a little texture and a lovely nutty flavour.

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A Plate of Cauliflower | Simplicity Itself

This must be simplicity personified in the kitchen

Towards the end of the day, after yoga, I picked up a very large cauliflower very cheaply. It turned out that we didn’t need a lot for dinner, so the cauliflower became one of the features of our meal with some crusty bread, a few hot cannellini beans and a salad.

Feel free to browse our Cauliflower recipes here and here. Check out our easy Autumn recipes here and here.

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Spicy Eggplant Rice | Baigan Pulau

Rice with buttery soft eggplant

Is it the golden brown cashews or the butter soft spears of eggplant that make this a succulent rice dish? The eggplants are first marinated in turmeric and salt to maximise the flavours, before being sauteed with spices and then cooked with the rice. The sesame-heavy spice mix is freshly made – dry roasted and then ground – and adds a nuttiness to the basmati rice.

This is a great main dish rice for lunch or dinner. It is a fiddly dish, with more work than we normally include in recipes. But the result is worth the extra effort. Serve with yoghurt or raita/pachadi, a simple spiced vegetable, a simple broth and perhaps some roti.

Browse all of our Rice Recipes here and here. Our Yamuna Devi recipes are here. Explore all of the Indian recipes here and here. Or be inspired by our Autumn dishes here and here.

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Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce

How do we love tomatoes? Let me count the ways. We do eat them raw, of course, especially in the occasional tomato salad, and we love Tomato  and avocado sandwiches on thick slices of the freshest bread, or tomato and pomegranate salad, and tomato tossed through hot spaghetti with a chilli and some olive oil. But best of all we love the transformation that occurs when juicy Autumn tomatoes are cooked.

Recently, I have been oven baking them into a wonderful sauce for pasta, for stirring through a vegetable hot pot, or for baking beans a la Tuscan Baked Beans (but use the juicy baked tomatoes instead of water). They are also great in curries – use them instead of fresh tomatoes when cooking Indian dishes. Blitz the tomatoes into a soup. The juicy roasted sauce can also be frozen for use in some later dish.

You might like to browse our Tomato Salads, here and here, and our Tomato Soups here and here. All Tomato recipes are here and here. Find inspiration in our Autumn recipes here and here.

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Mung Dal Usli | Muga Dali

Mung dal is a perfect dish – an eat anytime dish but also very good for those sensitive times. Here it is roasted then cooked with coconut for a flavoursome breakfast or side dish.

A dry spicy dish of mung dal is very popular with the people of the mid West Coast of India, for example, Goa and further south into Kerala. It is easy to make and brings the beautiful and gentle taste of mung dal to the fore.

Mung dal is very easily digested and so is a favourite ingredient in Ayurveda and also for invalids. But there is no need to wait until you are on an Ayurvedic regime or are unwell, this is a dish that can be eaten any time. Often served for breakfast, it is also used as a side dish at a Konkani meal. It is also very good as a snack with chapathi too.

You might like to browse our other Mung recipes here and here, and our other Goan recipes here and here. Try other Usili dishes, and sample our Indian recipes here and here.

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Lemon Verbena and Lavender Tea

A healthy tea for the Autumn months. It is gentle but wonderfully flavoured.

Autumn is a marvellous time to trial a range of healthy herbal teas. Often you will have the ingredients growing in your garden. Be careful, of course, choose only edible plants and herbs. This is a healthy tea for the Autumn months. It is gentle but wonderfully flavoured.

Please browse all of our teas here and here. Or be inspired by the Autumn recipes here and here.

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