Vendakkai Thayir Pachadi | Crisipy Okra in Yoghurt

Okra in Yoghurt is popular across South India, and it is surprisingly good – more than might be expected if you are used to okra cooked with tomatoes as is common in the Mediterranean, Middle East and the US. This recipe is a Tamil version – the Kerala version is similar but also contains coconut.

This is usually made for festival days or other special occasions, although it is wonderful to eat on any day. It is easy to make, taking no more than 20 mins. You will love it.

Are you after more Okra dishes? Try Okra in Mustard Oil, Stir Fried Okra with Sesame Seed, and Fried Okra.

Browse all of our Okra dishes, and all of our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or find some wonderful recipes to make in our Mid Winter collection.

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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 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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Simple Cauliflower Curry | Phool Gobi Curry

Sometimes we want a quick dinner without too much fuss. Here it is. Put the rice cooker on, cut up the cauliflower, and dinner is ready in a trice.

The cauliflower is sautéed with seasoning until tender, and then spiced just with garam masala and chilli. You don’t need to grind spices or make spice pastes. This is a simple curry. My friend Priti shared her recipe with me after preparing it for lunch one day.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Aloo Gobi, Cauliflower Pilaf and Cauliflower and Broken Wheat Kitchari.

Browse all of our Cauliflower recipes, and all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or take some time to explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Sri Lankan Okra in Coconut Milk, Jaffna Style

Sri Lanka has a wonderful cuisine, layered of course by the cultural backgrounds of the inhabitants. The South Indian influence is strong, and many dishes are similar to the cuisines of Tamil Nadu, but with a twist bought about by local ingredients. This is an Okra Curry, a simple one with only green chillies to spice it, and the okra are simmered in coconut milk. Easy to make and beautiful to eat.

Are you after similar recipes? Try this Sri Lankan Okra Curry, Crispy Okra in Yoghurt (Pachadi), and also Lemak Style Vegetables in a Curry-Coconut Broth.

You can browse all of our Okra dishes and all of our Sri Lankan recipes. Our Indian dishes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time and explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Whole Okra Stuffed with Onions and Spices

In this okra dish, the okra are slit and stuffed with an onion-based spice mixture before being quickly sautéed and then steamed until tender. It is a delicious dish that does not pack a chilli heat punch. The spices used are gentle and warming, and it is a good dish for convincing your friends that okra is a special and wonderful vegetable.

This is a Madhur Jaffrey okra dish. She seems to have a special affinity to okra, and loves them with onions.

Are you after other Okra dishes? Try Okra with Chilli Spice Paste, Sri Lankan Okra Curry, Warm Salad of Charred Okra, and Sambar with Okra.

You can browse all of our Okra dishes, all Apricot recipes, and all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or simply explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Poritha Koottu with Sambar Powder

Kootu (Koottu) is a type of Kuzhambu, and contains a combination of vegetable combined with Mung Dal and freshly ground mild spices. Varieties of Kootu include Poritha Kootu and Kothsu (Gothsu).

Sometimes Kootu is called a Lentil Vegetable Stew. It certainly is thicker than Poritha Kuzhambu, with more vegetables. It is generally eaten with rice, without any need for an accompanying vegetable dish. You could say that Poritha Kuzhambu and Poritha Kootu are very similar, except that Poritha Kootu is made with Mung Dal rather than Toor Dal, has more vegetables and is much thicker than Kuzhambu.

This Kootu is slightly unusual. It uses a little Sambar Powder which is rarely used in Kootu. And although some Kootu recipes contain tamarind, this one does not.

Cumin is considered the defining spice for Kootu. Sometimes pepper is used. Many kootus are spiced with a coconut, cumin and green chillies paste but this recipe, from Meenakshi Ammal, varies that by using red chillies.

The dish is not spicy – very little spice is used. It celebrates the taste and textures of the dal and the vegetables. You will enjoy it. You can purchase your Sambar Powder at an Indian grocery, or better still, make your own.

As usual, Meenakshi Ammal’s recipe takes some unpicking as it does contradict itself. It always takes a bit of a detective work to unravel the recipes in Vol 1 of her 4 volume set of Cook and See.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Poritha Kootu without Tamarind, Brinjal Chidambaram Kothsu, and Pitlai.

Are you after Kuzhamu recipes? Try Moar Kuzhambu (with yoghurt), Fenugreek Kuzhambu, and Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu (Lentil Balls in Spicy Gravy).

Or perhaps you prefer Mung Dal recipes. We recommend Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach, Gentle Mung Soup, and Mung Soup with Amaranth Greens.

Or browse all of our Kootu, our Sambar and Kuzhambu recipes, and all of our Mung recipes. Our Indian Dishes are all here and our Indian Essentials here. Or simply explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Onion Kothsu with Tamarind

This Kothsu (Gothsu, Kosthu) is a tamarind based South Indian (TamBram) curry that is made by sautéing onions and popping them into a spicy tamarind gravy. While Eggplant Kothsu, with and without tamarind, is better known, this recipe with onion is just as tasty and enjoyable.

This is another Meenakshi Ammal recipe, a variation on the Brinjal Kothsu with Tamarind. This recipe is from Vol 1 of her 4 volume set of Cook and See, and appears in the Poritha Kuzhambu chapter. It is easy to make, and is wonderful with rice.

Are you after other Kothsu recipes? Try Brinjal Tamarind Kothsu, Cabbage Kosthu, Poritha Kootu with Sambar Powder, and Chidambaram Brinjal Kothsu.

Or would you like other Onion dishes? Try Onion Jam, South Indian String Onion Salad, and Sambar with Onions. You might also like Fenugreek Kuzhambu with Onions.

Or browse all of the Kothsu dishes, and all of the Onion dishes. Meenakshi Ammal’s recipes are available here. Browse all of our Indian recipes and our Indian Essentials. Or simply explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Cumquat Rasam | Kumquat Rasam | Sweet, Sour, Hot, Delicious

Rasam, that tangy, spicy, soup-like liquid of South India, is commonly made from lemons, limes and oranges, so, with a surfeit of cumquats in the kitchen, we made a delicious Cumquat Rasam to eat over rice.

You may be wondering what a Rasam is. It is a soup-like dish which can be thick or thin, and is usually eaten as part of a meal and served with rice – read more about Rasam here.

Similar recipes include Kottu Rasam, Pepper Rasam, Lemon Rasam, and and Tomato Rasam.

I’ve been discussing the spelling of Cumquat with others. In many places it is spelled Kumquat, but the British (and Australian) spelling is Cumquat. Surprisingly, in India, which has followed the British spellings in other things, has chosen Kumquat. But actually, neither spelling is correct. The name derives from the Cantonese gām-gwāt 金橘, literally meaning golden orange or golden tangerine. Our transliteration of the Cantonese, with the g sound so close to the k sound, had become C(K)umquat. There are parts of the world that call them Chinese Orange – so much simpler.

Cumquat recipes include Cumquat Tea, Cumquat Rice, and Cumquat Chutney.

Browse all of our Rasam recipes, and our Cumquat recipes. Explore our Indian dishes, and our Indian Essentials too. Or check out our delicious Late Winter dishes.

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Okra with Onions | Pyaaz Waali Bhindi Subzi

This dish represents the way that Okra is served in many parts of Delhi and also in the Punjab, Bengal and other parts of North India. Okra are cooked with a caramelised onion paste, and the success of the dish depends on the onion paste being cooked to the right depth and consistency. Then tomato puree is added with spices to make a delicious sauce.

This dish comes via inspiration from Madhur Jaffrey, and like all of her dishes, it is very successful. The okra are meltingly tender, and the sauce coats them beautifully.

Are you interested in other Subzi dishes? Try Potato Sabzi, Carrots and Green Peas Subzi and Beetroot and Carrot Subzi.

Or perhaps other Okra recipes. Read more about Okra here. Then try okra in Sambar, and in Moar Kuzhambu. And make Sri Lankan Okra in Coconut Milk, Okra Stuffed with Onions, Mustard Okra Fry, Sri Lankan Okra Curry, and Spicy Dried Okra.

Browse the Madhur Jaffrey dishes we have made, all of our Subzi dishes, and all of our Okra dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to explore our Early Winter dishes.

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Roasted Cauliflower, Grape and Creamy Cheddar Salad

A perfect wintery cauliflower salad

A lazy Sunday Lunch with my Father included this great Wintery salad with roasted cauliflower. Easy to make, this Ottolenghi salad can be partly prepared earlier, to mix and serve at the table. It is from Ottolenghi’s book Plenty.

You might like other Cauliflower recipes – Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Hazelnuts and PomegranateCrispy Cauliflower with Tahini Dressing, Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, A Plate of Cauliflower, and Cauliflower Slow Cooked in Oil with Lime and Spices.

Browse all of the Cauliflower recipes, all of our Salads, and all of our Ottolenghi recipes. Or find inspiration in our easy Early Winter recipes.

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Tomato Tarte Tatin | Tomato Upside Down Tart

A surprising little tarte, intense in flavours, perfect Sunday Lunch or picnic food. Serve with a green salad.

This is an amazing little tart, layered with caramelised onions, oven dried tomatoes and feta. I make it as 4 individual tarts and serve with a green salad and a vegetable salad.

Not only does it taste sensational but it looks simply stunning and unusual.

The taste of the tomatoes is intense, due to the very slow drying of them beforehand. The pie is fragrant with fresh basil, sumac and parsley. Delicious!

Not a fast food, this one. It does take some time to prepare, due primarily to the slow baking of the tomatoes. Best to prepare the tomatoes, pastry and onions the night before and assemble and cook when you need it.

Also try Semi Dried Tomatoes with Pomegranate Molasses, and Halloumi Pizza with Semi Dried Tomatoes.

You might also like our French recipes and other Pies. All of our Tomato recipes are here. Or explore our collection of Late Winter dishes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006.  Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series.

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Caramelised Onion and Salad Greens

This salad is rather unusual but rather nice. It is a great salad for Autumn and early winter. Caramelised onions are mixed with bitter greens.

Take time to caramelise your onions. They will take between 30 and 45 minutes, depending on your stove, your pan, the onions and the heat that you used. These were cooked for 45 mins, but usually I cook them with a little more heat and they take 30 mins. Watch them carefully as they cook, stirring often.

Are you looking for other Onion Salads? Try Onion Salad with Sesame Oil, Onion Strings Pickled Salad, and Sweet Onion Salad.

Browse all of our many Salads and all of our Onion recipes. You can also check our recipes for Radicchio, Endive, and Escarole. Or simply explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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South Indian Baby Corn Soup

Oh how cute – baby corn in a creamy base. It makes a great soup. Fresh baby corn is easy to find in Asian groceries if your local green grocer does not stock it.

This is another soup recipe from Vol 4 of Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See iconic books. All the soups in this section are simple, unspiced and almost 1970’s in style. This is not surprising, given the era that Meenakshi Ammal wrote the rest of the books. Soups like this are not common in South India, but not rare either. Baby corn is quite popular – going with the love of all things Indo-Chinese – and as I said, are really cute.

Are you after other South Indian Soups? Try Baby Sweetcorn and Green Bean Soup, South Indian Spring Onion Soup, Beetroot Soup, and Cauliflower Soup.

Would you like more Sweetcorn dishes? Try Sweetcorn Sundal, and Roast Tomato and Sweetcorn Soup.

All of our South Indian Soups are here and all of our Soups here. Browse our Sweetcorn dishes, and all of our Indian recipes. Or simply explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Strawberries with Lemon

Strawberries! It is Wimbledon time, and great strawberries are still available in our greengrocers, so we mix them up with some lemon or lime juice and munch while we watch replays.

We have some similar recipes. Try Strawberries with Mint and Raspberry Sauce, Strawberries with Sticky Balsamic, and Baked Strawberries.

Or browse all of our Strawberry recipes, and all of our Desserts. And explore all of our Mid Summer dishes for more inspiration.

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