Vendakkai Puli Kootu | Okra Tamarind Kootu

Okra is so very good in the shops right now, as I write, so I grabbed some from the Asian market in my last shopping trip. Lovely thin, tender, long spears of goodness – how we love them.

You will love this recipe. It is as simple as Indian cooking can get. The okra is sliced and cooked with tamarind, green chillies and a little toor dal. Other recipes will add tomatoes, onions, garlic, sambar powder or other spices, coconut, etc, but I prefer this simple, honest preparation from the Palghat (Palakkad) area of Kerala. I have made it quite thick, as you can see, as I prefer it that way, but you can have more sauce if you prefer. I found this approach in the book Classic Tamil Brahman Cuisine by Viji Varadarajan.

Similar recipes include Okra Patia, Bhindi Bhaji, and Okra Kuzhambu.

Browse all of our Okra dishes and all of our Kerala recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Brussels Sprout and Ginger Slaw

Like many families, Brussels Sprouts never appeared in our kitchen very often. Blame childhood memories of bitter, over-cooked little packages of fear on our plate. Thankfully, we are all wiser now, and our favourite ways of using Brussels Sprouts are raw and roasted.

Today’s salad is a lovely slaw of sprouts and carrots with ginger and chilli, dressed with yoghurt and mayo. How special! But who could create such a recipe, combining all of those flavours? It is of course from Ottolenghi. As much as I rant and  carry on about his recipes, I am truly in love with his flavour combinations and his sheer inventiveness. Good on you, Yotham – continue to challenge our thinking about food and stretch us outside our comfort zone. This recipe is from The Guardian.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – a day per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books and articles – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Brussels Sprouts Salad, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomelo, and Brussels Sprouts Risotto.

Browse all of our Brussels Sprouts recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Rocket Salad with Penne Pasta

Rocket, or arugala as it is called in some parts of the world, goes so well with pasta. This salad, quite simple to make, mixes the two with a lemony dressing.  It is a more filling salad than those that we have made lately, so very suitable for cooler weather during Late Summer and Autumn, and also as Winter approaches.

Are you looking for other Pasta dishes? Try Pasta with Zucchini, Pasta with Cauliflower, Light Pasta Salads for Lunch, and Orzo Pasta with Wilted Spinach and Feta.

Browse all of our Pasta recipes. This is a Bittman Salad, and others can be browsed here. Or explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Sri Lankan Pumpkin and Coconut Curry

This is a thick, creamy curry from Sri Lanka made from beautiful pumpkin cooked in coconut milk. It is tempered with spices and onions, adding an amazing aromatic and flavoursome note to the creamy curry.

The coconut milk base of the curry is flavoured with the Asian tropical flavours of pandan, chilli, curry leaves, Asian shallots and kaffir lime leaves. The Sri Lankan curry powder, Badapu Thuna Paha, is used too, but use a roasted curry powder if you don’t have this or don’t have time to make it. Simply roast your curry powder in a dry pan until it is aromatic and a darker colour but not burnt.

Flavours are layered so well in this curry, with unroasted chilli powder layered with the roasted Sri Lankan curry powder. (BTW, if you don’t have unroasted chilli powder, grind some Indian dried red chillies, or just use the chilli powder that you have.)

Similar recipes include Green Mango in Coconut Milk, Sri Lankan Okra Curry with Coconut Milk, and Aubergines in Coconut Milk.

Or browse our Pumpkin recipes and all of our Sri Lankan dishes. Our Indian recipes are here, and Indian Essentials here. Otherwise, explore our Late Winter collection of recipes.

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Turnip with Spices

Turnips are one of a group of forgotten winter vegetables, along with swedes and parsnips. Some would add cauliflower and cabbage to the list. We adore turnips, cooked or raw, on their own or in salads.

This recipe from Plenty More by Ottolenghi, blanches the turnips and then mixes them with a heady paste of chilli and spices. It is Oh So Good.

It’s a heady condiment, a bit like a pickle, which keeps in the fridge for a few days. It’s great added to sandwiches, wraps and salads, or served with a curry, with a herby rice, or with roti and chutney.

Similar recipes include Turnip and Swede Gratin, and Vegetable and Barley Soup with Turnips.

Browse all of our Turnip recipes, and all of our Pickles. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Winter Curry | Cauliflower, Turnip and Swede Subzi

Some of the quickest and really good spicy dishes from India are those that take a vegetable or two and stir fry them with a few spices. These subzi dishes are wonderful side dishes, or make a simple lunch or supper served with rice or Indian flatbread.

Many of our Winter root vegetables are not as common in India, and most uses of them take existing recipes and replace the vegetable (e.g. carrot) with turnip, swede, parsnip, etc. As the Indian diaspora settles around the world, and as European and American vegetables make greater appearances in India, this will change over time.

This recipe takes a bunch of Winter vegetables and magics them into a subzi. Turnip, Swede and Cauliflower are used. Mixed with onions and spices, it makes a curry worthy of Winter. For freshness, scatter loads of coriander on top and finish with a squeeze of lemon or lime.

Similar dishes include Turnip and Swede Gratin, Turnip with Spices, Okra and Onion Subzi, Kohlrabi Subzi, and Aloo Palak Subzi.

Browse our Turnip dishes, Swede recipes and our Cauliflower dishes. Our Indian dishes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore all of our Late Winter dishes.

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Potato Bhaji

I love the book Tiffin by Srinivas. It is a terrific read with lots of lovely food-related stories. The recipes are full flavoured and perfectly balanced. It is a book I highly recommend. I have cooked a few dishes from the book and all are exceptional.

Today’s recipe is Potato Bhaaji, a warm spicy potato dish. It can be served as a snack, entree (starter) or side dish. It is perfect with dosai.

Similar recipes include Potato Poha, Green Tomato Bhaji, and Okra Bhaji.

Browse all of our Bhaji recipes and all of our Potato dishes. You can browse all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring collection of recipes.

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Ezhukari Kuzhambu / Kootu | Seven Vegetables Kuzhambu | Pongal Kootu

This dish gets its name from the fact that it is prepared with 7 vegetables. It is a South Indian dish, actually a Tamil dish, which is often prepared on Thiruvathirai Day as a side dish for Thiruvadhira Kali (a sweet mung dal and rice dish made on this festival day). Although its name means seven vegetables, often nine, eleven, or even more are used! It is a blend of sweet, salty, tangy and spicy flavours that meld so well together, and is a perfect clean-out-the-fridge dish.

It is a dish that is also made on Thai Pongal, where it is called Pongal Kootu and as an accompaniment to Sakkarai Pongal. For this dish it is made thinner than for Thiruvathirai.

But you can also make this dish at any time – don’t keep it only for a festival dish. The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from her cook books Cook and See. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

I love this dish cooked just with potatoes. It is divine. Today I made it with Colacasia, Chenai Yam, Cluster Beans, Pumpkin, Potato, Ridged Gourd, and Drumstick. Delicious!

Similar dishes include Poritha Kootu, Poritha Kootu with Simple Spices, and Moringa Leaf Dal.

Browse all of our recipes for Thai Pongal. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Zuppa di Zucca | Italian Pumpkin Soup

Today’s recipe is another Pumpkin Soup. This one is Italian in origin, with  potatoes and cannellini beans. It is a beautiful and velvety soup.

Actually, I am famous amongst my friends and family  for Soupe au Potiron and it remains my favourite Pumpkin Soup! However, I also love a little variety. Make today’s recipe in very cold weather, and enjoy it with crisp crunchy bread! This recipe has been around in our Winter kitchen for many, many years, and the original inspiration came from the River Cafe Cookbook.

Similar recipes include Celeriac Soup with Cheese Croûtes, Soupe au Potiron, Pumpkin Soup with Red Peppers, and Adzuki Bean, Pumpkin and Barley Soup.

Browse all of our Pumpkin recipes, and our Soup recipes Our Italian recipes are here. Or check out our easy Mid Winter recipes.

This recipe 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 our Retro Recipes series.

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Swede, Fennel and Tart Apple Salad | Rutabega, Fennel and Tart Apple Salad

Swede – the unloved vegetable on the green grocer’s shelves. We are on a mission to show that this vegetable deserves as much love as other Winter vegetables. Known also as rutabega, a fancy name for sure, it is often mistaken for turnip, but turnip is a completely different beast.

The turnip is sophisticated, while the swede is common and a bit bogan. Turnips are white with purple tops, crisp and slightly bitter. They are perfect eaten raw in salads or as snacks, and are delightful if cooked but still retain some crunch. The swede is pretty unusual in that it’s yellow, less bitter than its sister vegetable, turnip, and some will say that they are sweeter. They have been described as strongly flavoured but today’s swede tastes a little of turnip and a little of apple. They can also be eaten raw in salads, or, more commonly, are cooked.

This is a salad where Swede is used raw and mixed with Fennel and tart Apple. It is a salad that really celebrates winter vegetables. You will love it. I have given you two forms – the first is a crunchy salad, and the second option is to add some yoghurt and pine nuts. Both are great.

Similar recipes include Florentine Fennel with Parmesan, Fennel Salad with Orange Vinaigrette, Fennel and Apple Salad, and Fennel Salad with Fresh Prunes.

Or browse all of our Fennel dishes, and all of our Swede recipes. All of our many Salads are here.  Or explore our collection of Late Winter dishes.

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