Dal Bukhara | Creamy Black Gram Dal

They say that Dal Bukhara was made famous by the Bukhara Restaurant ITC Maurya Hotel in New Delhi, but it is definitely a Punjabi style dish. Trying to find the origins of the dish is difficult, with some claiming it was created by the restaurant, some saying it comes from Bukhara in Uzbekistan, and others claiming it is a Punjabi dish from the 1700’s. This article has some interesting insights into the origin of both Dal Makhani and Dal Bukhara. Whatever the origin, the chef at Bukhara most likely adapted an existing recipe to suit the sophistication of the restaurant.

Dal Bukhara is often compared to Dal Makhani, although the dishes are distinctly different with different spicing. It is made with whole urad that is black in colour because it is unhulled. Slow cooked, it makes a deliciously creamy dal, and in this recipe its flavour is heightened with tomatoes, ginger and garlic as well as other spices.

In my recipe I use a slow cooker to cook the lentils, and the deep taste and creamy texture are accentuated this way. In this way the dish does not rely on cream and butter for its texture. However they can be added – see the notes below the recipe for this variation. The lentils can also be cooked on the stove top – cook them until soft and then continue with the recipe.

Similar recipes include Whole Urad and Rajma Dal, Amritsari Dal, and Ma di Dal.

Browse our Urad recipes and our different Dals. Our Punjabi dishes are here, Indian recipes here and Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Mid Spring dishes.

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Turnip and Swede Gratin

We’ve had a little focus on Swedes and Turnips last Winter, as we realised that we were not appreciating these underrated vegetables enough. It is Spring as I write, but swedes, turnips and parsnips are still in the green grocers, and the weather is cold. So we decided to add a gratin to our list of recipes for these Wintery roots.

Similar recipes include Vegetables with Indian FlavoursPotatoes and Cumin Gratin, Sweet Potato Gratin, and Gratineed Tomatoes.

Browse all of our Swede recipes and all of our Turnip dishes. Our Gratins are here.  Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Beetroot with Black Pepper

This is one of the simplest ways of enjoying beetroot, so simple indeed that everyone must surely already know its joys. If memory serves me correctly, it was the deciding factor in my falling in love with this vegetable. My Mother was not a good vegetable cook – they would be boiled to nothingness and then served without any accompaniment. No dressing, no seasonings, no beautiful black pepper to go with the ruby globes. And, truth be told, most of our beetroot experience was with pickled beetroot – always a bit tart for my tastes back then.

There is indeed a great affinity between beetroot, butter and black pepper. Who can deny it? And this is exactly what this recipe is. For completeness, and because I love simple cooking, I am including it.

Similar recipes include Roast Beetroot Salad with Sweetcorn, Beetroot Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing, and Crimson Beetroot Fry.

Browse all of our Beetroot dishes, especially the Beetroot Salads, and explore all of our Mid Spring recipes.

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Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin and Sumac

What’s not to like about Roasted Cauliflower? In this house it is considered one of the best ways to treat cauliflower. This recipe rubs florets with cumin powder and sumac (for a delightful tang) and roasts them slowly until golden and tender.

The cauliflower can be cooked whole, of course, and we sometimes do that. When there are not so many of us for lunch or dinner, we break it into florets to avoid excessive left-overs. I have included instructions for both whole baked and floret-baked.

This is such a good dish.

Similar recipes include Roasted Cauliflower, Grape and Creamy Cheddar Salad, Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree, and Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf.

Browse all of our Cauliflower recipes, and explore our Mid Spring collection of recipes.

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Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Almonds

Cauliflowers – remember the days when it was overcooked by our Mothers, and a watery mush was slopped onto our plates? Eww! Or a dish of cauliflower, overcooked again, covered with cheese and baked? Oh maybe not, you might not be old enough. But thank goodness, the understanding of cauliflower has come a long way since those days. The things we can now do with a cauli! Roast it, grill it, rice it, fry it, deep fry it, the variations are endless.

This is a simple but beautiful soup, the recipe was given to me by the multi-talented Ilva, food photographer and former food blogger. It is so simple and so good, in a gentle sort of way. I have added almonds to her recipe and some white pepper which I love with cauliflower.

Similar dishes include A Plate of Cauliflower, Cauliflower Walnut Cream Soup, and Cauliflower a la Grecque.

Browse our Cauliflower dishes and all of our delicious Soups. Or explore our Early Spring dishes.

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Journey of the Heart Chai

Chai as an art that must be discovered. Ingredients are the map but the combination is your own journey. This is the secret intention of the heart.

Today, we explore a wealth of different items that can be added to a basic chai recipe to vary the flavour combinations to your heart’s content.

There are more variations for Chai here: Indian Chai Variations.

Similar recipes include Tim’s Chai, Garam Chai, and Heavenly Gentle Chai.

You can browse all of our Chai recipes, all of our Indian dishes, and our Indian Essentials series. Or settle back and enjoy our Early Spring collection of recipes.

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Soupe au Celeri-Rave | Celeriac Soup with Cheese Croûtes

Celeriac undoubtedly makes one of the most superb Winter soups. In parts of France, such as the Savoie where cheese plays an important part in the cuisine, the soup is frequently topped with croûtes of toasted cheese.

Celeriac is that ugly looking bulb, hard to peel because of the lumps and bumps, but  makes the most smooth soups.

Croûtes are pieces or slices of bread which have been grilled with cheese on top. These are floated on top of the soup. These are optional, of course, but delicious. Make them thick or thin, use Gruyere, or Parmesan or whatever cheese you have at hand.

Similar recipes include Fava Bean Soup, French Pumpkin Soup, and Roasted Parsnip Soup.

Browse all of our Celeriac recipes and all of our Soup recipes. All of our French dishes are here. Or explore all of our Late Winter dishes.

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LATE WINTER – Don’t Miss these Recipes for Warming Winter Living | Seasonal Cooking

Late winter brings thoughts of Spring, although the weather is still freezing and we still look for nourishing and warming dishes. The oven is used a lot as it warms the kitchen and the heart.

Celebrating Beautiful Winter

You can also browse other Late Winter recipes:

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

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Florentine Fennel with Parmesan

Elizabeth David has a lovely recipe for gratineed fennel that is a simple and refreshing dish. It’s a dish that bakes fennel with cheese, and of course, butter. This dish can also be cooked in a covered BBQ.

We adore fennel, as you can tell by our recipes. It can be eaten raw, steamed, sauteed, grilled, BBQ’d, baked and gratineed. It can be cooked on it’s own, or combined with other ingredients. You can make soups, salads and sides. One of the easiest salads to make is to shave a fennel bulb and dress with olive oil and lemon juice. I dare you to make this and not eat the whole bowl by yourself, it is so delicious.

Similar recipes include Slow Baked Fennel with Chilli and Garlic, Fennel a la Grecque, and Grilled Fennel with Fresh Mozzarella.

Browse all of our Fennel dishes, and all of our Italian dishes. Or explore our Early Spring 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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