Poritha Kootu

We have been posting some Poritha Kootu recipes recently and (at least for a while) this is our last recipe for a Poritha Kootu that does not include tamarind. In the future we will post a few recipes that do contain tamarind, but for now our focus has been with those that don’t, as it is the most common way to make this dish.

This version uses toor dal for a change. Our previous recipes have used mung dal, but Meenakshi Ammal recommends toor dal for this one as it is a better fit for the flavours used.

Are you after other Kootu recipes? Try Poritha Kootu without Tamarind, Poritha Kootu with Simple Spices and Poritha Kootu with Sambar Spices.

Are you after Sambar and Kuzhamu recipes? Try Moar Kuzhambu (with yoghurt), Fenugreek Kuzhambu, and Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu (Lentil Balls in Spicy Gravy). Try these Sambar recipes: Classic Seasoned Sambar Version 1, Version 2, Version 3 and Version 4. You can also try a Buttermilk/Yoghurt Sambar.

Browse all of our Kootu recipes, all of the Sambar and Kuzhambu recipes, and all of our Toor Dal recipes. Our Indian Dishes are all here and our Indian Essentials are here. Or simply explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Chai Masala

I do love a good cup of Chai, and now that the evenings are cooling I find myself making Chai rather than a herbal tea late at night. There are infinite ways of making Chai, and so far we have a dozen or so of them here. This one is a nice mix too, and I recommend that you try it.

The composition of Chai spices differs from region to region. For example, in Western Indian, cloves and black peppers are avoided. In Kashmir, green tea is used instead of black tea, and they include almonds, cardamom, saffron, cloves and cinnamon in their spice flavourings. In Bhopal a pinch of salt is added to the tea.

Are you looking for more Chai recipes? Try Chai Masala for Relief of ColdsGentle Chai and Yogi Chai.

You can browse all of our Chai recipes here. Or have a look through our Indian recipes. Or spend some time checking out our Early Autumn dishes.

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Goan Bisibelebath

Bisibelebath (also written Bisi Bele Bath), meaning hot lentil rice, is a much loved dish of the Karnataka and surrounding regions of South India. In form, it is similar to a kitchari (rice and lentils cooked together), but is actually a variant of a the Tamil mixed vegetable Sambar with Rice (Sadam Sambar) as it has tamarind included. In some parts it is also known as Bisi bele huliyanna which means hot lentil sour rice.

This recipe is from Goa, where I first tasted Bisibelebath. Goan Bisibelebath is a beautiful dish, and this is the recipe that I learned there. By comparison, it is a simple version (but delicious) – some versions have 30 or more ingredients.

Are you looking for Indian Rice dishes? Try Zucchini Rice, Masoor Sprouts Rice, and Parsi Kitchari.

Perhaps you are after Toor Dal recipes. There are our Sambars, of course. Then try Punjabi Aamti Bhat, Eggplant with Toor Dal (Rasavangi), and Indian Dal Soup.

Try some other Goan recipes here and here. And all of our Indian dishes are here.

Feel free to browse other vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in our Retro Recipes series. You might also like to explore our Kitchari recipes here.

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Cabbage Baaji | Cabbage Kothsu

This is another great toor dal dish, how I love this lentil with its silky smooth texture. Meenakshi Ammal’s recipe is based on the recipe for Brinjal Chidambaram Gothsu, except that the eggplant is replaced with cabbage.

The cabbage gives the dish an entirely different flavour. While the eggplant has a smokiness about it that enhances the dish, and the flesh melts into the toor dal, the cabbage retains some texture and bite and a definable  taste of cabbage. But it is oh so good. The green chilli adds a lovely fresh heat.

Although this recipe is the same as the one for Brinjal Chidambaram Gothsu, it has a different name – Cabbage Baaji. Gothsu/Kothsu is made from eggplants only.

Are you looking for other Cabbage dishes? Try a Simple Cabbage Thoran, Lemak-Style Vegetables, and Kimchi.

You could also try these other dishes from Meenakshi Ammal that are very similar – Poritha Kootu with Coconut Chilli Paste, Poritha Kootu, Brinjal Chidambaram Gothsu, Pitlai, and Poritha Kuzhambu with Amaranth Leaves.

Or alternatively, check out all of our cabbage recipes, and all of Meenakshi Ammal’s dishes that we have made. All Indian recipes are here. You might like to browse Indian Essentials. Or take some time to explore our Mid Autumn collection of recipes.

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LATE AUTUMN Vegetable Dishes for Healthy and Tasty Eating | Seasonal Cooking

As we pull our winter coats out of the wardrobe, ready for the cold, our vegetables in the kitchen shift to roots, pumpkins and the last of the tomatoes. We are not yet ready for the cold to come, yet we check our winter coats, rake the last of the leaves, and fill our freezers with whatever Summer produce that we can to see us through the winter. Strangely, days can still be beautiful, but they are obviously shorter.

Celebrating Autumn

You can also browse other Late 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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Sri Lankan Chai

Tea is a big thing in Sri Lanka and is one of its main export crops. Drinking tea is a national pastime and it is served at any time of the day. Unlike South India, where tea is always milky, tea in Sri Lanka is either black or white, and sweetened with sugar or jaggery, and spices such as cinnamon or ginger can be added

Visitors are always served tea – perhaps this chai with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Rather than make it with milk in the South Indian way, this tea is made black and then evaporated milk is added to both sweeten and add a milky flavour. Who can resist?

We love chai here, and have quite a number of different recipes. Try our Yogi ChaiLiquorice Ginger Chai, Heavenly Gentle Chai, and Ashram Chai. Or browse all of our Chai recipes here.

We also love herbal teas, and you can explore our Tea recipes here.

Browse all of our Sri Lankan recipes, or our Indian dishes. Or simply take some time to browse our Mid Summer recipes.

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Black Bean and Cabbage Salad with Orange Dressing

An Autumn and Winter salad, this one. Cabbage, fresh can crisp, with black beans and an orange juice vinaigrette. It’s refreshing and filling at the same time, making it perfect for either lunch or dinner.

Cabbage is often paired with caraway seeds, but if you are not a caraway lover, do what this salad does – use cumin instead. The flavour is different, but a similar bite to the flavour is there, and it pairs just as well.

Neither cabbage nor black beans are seen often in this kitchen, so it is nice to bring them together here.

If you are looking for other Cabbage recipes, try Fancy Pants Coleslaw, Chilli Cabbage, Cabbage Thoran, Kimchi, and Napa Cabbage and Radish Salad.

Similar recipes include Black Bean and Avocado Salad with Green Tomatoes.

Are you looking for other Salads? Try Mung Bean and Baked Carrot Salad, Fennel and Apple Salad, and Moroccan Carrot Salad. Or Creamy Salad Dressing, without Eggs.

You can browse all of the Cabbage Recipes here. Take some time to browse our many many Salad recipes, or our easy Mid Autumn recipes.

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Baked Okra with Tomato and Ginger

You either love okra or hate it, but this dish is sure to convert all of the okra haters, or those hesitant to try it.

The okra is baked whole with a little olive oil until it is tender. Then it is mixed in a light and fresh tomato and ginger sauce. It is a surprise – the sauce with the okra is wonderful, and the baking of the okra gives a slightly different flavour and texture to it.

This is an Ottolenghi recipe, so of course the flavours are magical. It is from his first cookbook Ottolenghi. It is an easy dish, taking 15 mins to cook once you’ve prepared the okra.

Are you looking for more Okra dishes? Try Stir Fried Okra with Sesame Seed, Lemak Style Vegetables, and Avial.

You can browse all of our Okra dishes here, and all of our Ottolenghi recipes too. The dishes from Ottolenghi are here. Or take some time to enjoy our Late Autumn collection of dishes.

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Yellow Pumpkin Soup | South Indian Pumpkin Soup

Today, although it is Mid Summer, it is cooler and wet. It seems right to make soup, although Pumpkin Soup is usually reserved for Winter. This is a South Indian Soup, and the lightness of it suits our Summery wet weather.

Although the South Indian soups are not well known or recognised, I have a love of them which started when they were served each day for 2 weeks in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Home made and delicious, it was instant love. Luckily the Cook and See series of books has a chapter on Indian Soups in Part 4 by Priya Ramkumar.

This soup is a little thinner than what you might expect from a European Pumpkin Soup, but has a creamy texture because the milk is condensed slightly by simmering for 10 mins. It is peppery indeed, but not as peppery as you might think from the amount in the soup. It also has a little sweetness from the pumpkin and from condensing the milk – that sweetens it a little. I love the soup garnished with coriander leaves.

You might like to have a look at other Indian soups. We have South Indian Cauliflower Soup, South Indian Beetroot Soup, and Tomato and Potato Soup. There is also a wonderful Indian Vegetable Stock to use as a base for soups or to slurp on its own. All of our Indian Soups are here.

We have some other Pumpkin Soups too. They include Pumpkin Soup with Red Peppers, Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup with Miso and Parsley, and Cream of Pumpkin Soup. See other Pumpkin Soup recipes here.

All of our Indian Soups are here for you to browse. Other Indian dishes can be browsed herePumpkin Soup recipes are here and all of our Soups can be found here. Or take some time and explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Onion Sambar

Onion Sambar is a very popular South Indian and Sri Lankan sambar. It goes well with rice, idli, dosa, vada, pongal, upma and most other South Indian breakfast dishes.

This dish can be made with small onions (pearl onions or pickling onions) or with chopped, big onions. It will taste wonderful whatever onion you use. I like to use golden shallots as well – they add a slight sweetness to the dish.

Are you interested in other Sambar recipes? Why not try a Classic Seasoned Sambar? Or Moru Sambar. And read about whether Sambar should be Sour, Salty or Hot.

You can see all of our Sambar recipes here, and our collection of Indian recipes here. Specifically, out South Indian dishes are here and Sri Lankan are here. Perhaps you want Onion Recipes. Or try our collection of easy Mid Summer recipes.

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Norom Shada Khichuri | Latka Kitchari | Bengali Soft Kitchari

Bengalis love their kitchari, and love the rain. Often the two go together – as the rains come, the consumption of kitchari increases exponentially.

There are dozens of types of Kitchari. It is eaten in different forms all over India, but even in Bengal alone, many varieties exist. Kitchari style dishes can vary from pilaf/pulao-like dishes, to the more porridge-like Pongals of Tamil Nadu and the beloved Bisibelebath of Karnataka.

This kitchari is a well-cooked – that is, it is quite soft and moist, almost slightly soupy. It is delicious and it is perfect on a rainy day, any where in the world. The defining characteristics of this kitchari is that it is very soft (norom) and white, as well as healthy.  It is mostly tempered with onion and garlic. (It can also be served very soupy, almost like an Indian version of Chinese Congee. We will add a recipe for this version later on and add a link here.)

I have seen Kitchari referred to as Hodgepodge. My goodness! A hodgepodge is a random assortment of things — a group of things that don’t quite fit together. There is a dish from Nova Scotia called Hodgepodge but it is nothing like Kitchari. It is a collection of beans, peas and potatoes cooked in one pot. It is also common to call Kitchari as risotto. Again this is a great misnomer. Kitchari must be one of the most well known of Indian dishes outside of India, thus it is surprising to see Indian cooks give it other names. You can read more about that here.

Are you after other Kitchari dishes? Try Goan Bisibelebath, Bengali Vegetable Kitchari, Gujarati Kitchari, and Bengali Bhog Kitchari.

Or are you looking for other Bengali dishes. Try Bengali Rice Kheer.  There are more Bengali dishes coming, so check back here.

Browse all of our Kitchari recipes and all of our Bengali dishes. Our Indian recipes are here. Or take some time to explore our lovely Late Autumn dishes.

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Bhuna Khichuri | Bengali 5 Lentil Kitchari with Toasted Mung Dal

The warm weather disappeared and our thoughts turned to kitchari as it rained and rained and rained. Researching Bhuna Kitchari, I came across a very interesting recipe, one that took time and extraordinary care over the making of this dish.  Bhuna Khichuri is a richer version of Kitchari and injects flavours not only through the spices used but also by the slow frying of onions, the roasting of the mung dal and the frying of the other lentils and rice. There are 5 lentils used in this dish. The word Bhuna actually comes from the roasting of the moong dal and the frying the rice as the kitchari is made.

It is true that this recipe for Bhuna Khichuri is fussier than others – more steps and an attention to detail. But the end result justifies the means. Often at our house Kitchari is made in the rice cooker, and it is pretty fast and pretty good. But when time allows, more complex variations yield wonderful results. The recipe isn’t difficult – let me reassure you – it just has a few more steps. I have followed the original recipe fairly closely, with just a few alterations.

The secret to this dish, which I recommend that you note, is the frying of the onions – caramelise them – the quality of your ginger-garlic paste, toasting of the mung dal and the frying of the rice. The texture of the dish is wonderful! Also, on occasion I have used urad dal and matki (moth) beans when I have been out of masoor or mattar dal. Both need to be in the longer soaking.

Similar dishes include Norom Shada Khichuri, Bengali Vegetable Kitchari, Maharashtrian Masoor Sprouts Kitchari,  and Gujarati Kitchari.

Browse all of our Kitchari Recipes. Browse our Indian recipes here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Schiacciata with Cheese Topping

If Focaccia is half way between pizza and bread, then Schiacciata is half way between Focaccia and Pizza. It is flat and usually infused beautifully with olive oil.

Originally cooked in the ashes of the hearth, schiacciata, meaning squashed, is flat and 2 – 3 cm thick (but can be thinner). Variations of the bread are made throughout Italy. In Tuscany, it is simply brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Herbs such as rosemary can be added. A sweet version with grapes and sugar is also made.

This recipe with onion and cheese is great weekday lunch-at-home fare, even for Sunday night supper. It is great with a hearty soup. Maybe Onion Soup would be fabulous. In late Summer, pair it with ripe, bursting figs and celebrate the end of summer.

You might also liked our Focaccia recipes. Our pizza recipes are here. If you need pizza dough, the recipes are here. Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series. Or explore our Late Spring dishes.

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Bhindi Subzi | Stir Fried Okra with Spices

This subzi is a quick okra dish, ready in less than 20 mins, and layered with spices. Its a great tiffin dish and can be served with rice and a chutney for a quick meal. Or afternoon snack.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Okra with a Cumin and Yoghurt Sauce, Stir fried Okra with Sesame Seed, Okra with Onions and Ladyfinger Masala.

You can browse all of our Okra recipes and all of our Subzi dishes. All of our Indian dishes are here and Indian Essentials here. Or browse our Mid Winter dishes for warming inspiration.

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Bamiya | Okra with Apricots and Lemon

This dish is an Armenian classic, one that brings sweetness through fruits into a dish with the softness of long-cooked okra. This recipe is a straightforward version of the dish – some recipes add tamarind and spices, but this one is quite an easy dish to cook while retaining the beautiful flavours of the cuisine. Tartness is added to the dish with lemons and tomato puree.

The okra are first sautéed and then cooked in the tomato puree with the apricots and lemon, for 40 mins or so, until meltingly soft. You will love it.

Are you after more Okra dishes? Try Okra with Chilli Spice Paste, Plain Kuzhambu with Okra, and Sambar with Okra.

Are you looking for more Armenian dishes? Try Green Peppers in Yoghurt and  Armenian Pickled Okra.

And try our Sweet Apricot Salad with Orange and Thyme.

You can browse all of our Okra dishes, all Apricot recipes, and all of our Armenian dishes. Or simply explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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