Cumquat Tea | Kumquat Tea

The season of cumquats are upon us, and not only are we able to get gorgeous ones from our local Asian Grocery, but friends who are not so kitchen-friendly as me, arrive with baskets of them.

For many years we have made our beautiful go-to cumquat recipes. Marmalade, Chutney, Pickles, Oils, and Soaked in Gin.

But a conversation with a Fijian friend changed, or rather, expanded, the way we think about this tiny, semi-sour globular fruits. He related how they use cumquats like lemons, squeezing the juice into dishes that need that bit of tang. Now not only are they squeezed, we cut them in halves and nestle them into oven baked dishes, they are floated in stocks, soups and stews to infuse, we char grill them for salads, and they find their way, chopped into 2 or 4 or 6, into warm vegetable mixes.

And they are made into tea.

What a delicious infusion this is. Just cumquats, or with mint and/or other herbs added, it is a perfect mid morning or mid afternoon pick-me-up. Surprising. Wonderful.

In terms of herbs, use your favourites, and don’t be afraid to experiment with a leaf here and there. Tulsi, basil, mint, thyme, parsley. Add honey if you need a sweetener. I don’t. But some Cumquat varieties are more sour than others.

We have some similar teas for you to try – Longan and Young Ginger Tea, Rosebud and Borage Flower Tea, and Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea.

Are you looking for other Cumquat recipes? Try Cumquat Rice, Steamed Thai Eggplant with Cumquat, and Cumquat and Pea Shoot Salad.

Browse all of our Cumquat recipes, and all of our Teas. Or take some time to explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Indian Chai Variations

Chai – a sweet, milky black tea with spices – begins the day for many Indian households. The spices and herbs added to the tea adds flavour but an oft-ignored benefit is that it also increases medicinal benefits. The daily supplement – better than popping a pill.

From Chai Masala, to a simple Chai with Ginger, the variations are endless. Here are some common ones to experiment with.

Because of the health giving properties of turmeric, we recommend adding a little turmeric to each cuppa chai that you make – about a pinch per cup.

Are you looking for more Chai recipes? Try Chai Masala for Relief of Colds, Heavenly Gentle Chai, and Ashram Chai.

You might like to browse all of our Chai recipes, and our general Tea recipes. All of our drinks can be found here. You might also enjoy our Late Winter recipes here and here.

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Adzuki Bean and Parsley Soup

A transitional soup that is perfect for the period where Winter moves into Spring – a soup with the warmth of winter in Adzuki Beans, Sesame Oil and Mirin, and the promise of Spring in the fresh parsley added at the end of cooking. The herby goodness of the parsley nicely balances the inherent sweetness of the Adzuki Beans.

I have been re-reading the wonderful writings of Lucy (Nourish Me) with her beautiful kitchen photos. With some adzuki beans already soaking, this recipe sparked interest. Of course it is tweaked a little from the original.

Similar recipes include Adzuki Beans with Shiitake Muhrooms, Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup, and Red Rice and Adzuki Bean Congee.

If you are looking for Adzuki Bean recipes, you can browse all of ours here. Or explore all of our Soup recipes . There are Parsley Recipes too. Or try our easy Late Winter recipes.

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Jerusalem Artichokes with Halloumi and Basil Oil

A beautiful dish from Ottolenghi – one that takes time to produce a marvellous dish

Pottering in the kitchen today, I had a little more time so brought together Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem Artichoke recipe from his book Plenty. Simple to make, it takes just a little time as you need to roast the artichokes, make the charred tomatoes, blend up the basil oil and grill the halloumi. It appears a random combination of ingredients, but it is not so. A perfect combo of bitter, sour, sweet, crispy, crunchy, soft and creamy.

Sometimes bitter greens are not available, so I substitute nasturtium leaves which are always plentiful here. And some rocket leaves.

Are you after other Jerusalem Artichoke recipes? Try Jerusalem Artichoke and Cumin Salad. We have some others  planned, so check back here later for updates.

Or some Halloumi dishes? Try Halloumi and Orange Salad, Halloumi Pizza and Halloumi and Watermelon Salad.

Browse all of our Halloumi recipes, our Tomato recipes, and our Jerusalem Artichoke dishes. Explore all of 0ur Ottolenghi recipes. Or browse our Late Autumn dishes.

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Quince with Split Peas | Afghani Channa Dal with Quinces

This dish is a vegetarian version of a stew from Afghanistan, Quince Stew or Qorma-e-Behi. It uses lentils in place of the non-vegetarian items. It is a perfect Winter dish, fragrant from the quinces, and comforting and warming. Deeply, deeply warming.

I often use soft chard or other greens in this dish in place of the spinach, it works just as well.

Are you looking for more Quince recipes? Try Quince Pickle and Spiced Quinces. Check out some ways to use Quince in sweet recipes as well.

Or browse all of our Quince recipes, and our Afghani dishes, or explore our delicious Mid Winter dishes.

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Vegetable and Barley Soup

Let’s face it, Barley is primarily a winter grain, cooked into soups, pilafs, “risottos” and vegetable stews. Its creamy texture is divine in winter, pairing well with parsnips in particular, with winter hard herbs and parsley, with tomatoes, and, well, with me. I fell in love with barley this year.

Having experimented with making barley water and roasting barley to make barley coffee, I can now leave those uses behind – I am not a terrific fan of either although they are interesting. But wintery barley uses – sign me up.

This is a huge vegetable and barley soup, full of goodness and just right for a day when the temperature doesn’t get over about 9C. Best to take some books and a bowl of soup and curl up in bed on those days.

Similar recipes include Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup, Parsnip and Barley Soup, and Barley and Root Vegetable Soup.

You might like to explore our other Barley recipes. Our Soup recipes are here. Or browse our easy Mid Winter recipes.

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

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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Baked Parsnips with Parmesan

We all love Parmesan sprinkled over baked dishes – that leathery melted sheet that results is chewy and yummy, the result of direct heat. But the complex flavours of parmesan are better preserved when, grated, it hits food still warm from the oven or stove. In fact, in Italian food, Parmesan is used widely but sparingly and rarely sees direct heat.

We use that practice with these gorgeously roasted Parsnips. It is Winter, and Winter = Parsnips. A simple dish to make but oh how very wonderful.

Are you after similar recipes? We have Roasted Parsnip Soup with Spices, and  Mashed Parsnips with Olive Oil and Parmesan.

If you would like to browse all of our Parsnip recipes, they are here. Or take some time to explore our Mid Winter delights.

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Green Guava Salsa | Raw Guava Salad

It was the beautiful, welcoming assistants at my local Asian Grocery who put me on to Green/Raw Guava. Totally unaware as I was about Guava, except for the occasional ripe on at a friend’s place, she chose one that would be perfect to try raw. If they are lighter green in colour they have a little more sweetness than one totally green. Smaller ones have smaller seeds. And so it goes.

The assistant recommended Green Guava with Lime Juice, Chilli and Salt, a la Green Mangoes that are eaten the same way. And she is definitely correct – they are quite wonderful eaten this way.

You can also try them in the similar Indian way of eating fruits with Chaat Masala, an Indian Crudite if you wish. So good.

I have no doubt that there are quite a few uses for green guava, including cutting into julienne for salads, and making syrups and molasses. But today, we made a great Green Guava Salsa, which I am sharing with you. By the way, Guava can be eaten raw, semi ripe or ripe. Such a versatile fruit! Some prefer it ripe, others have a definite preference for raw guava.

We don’t have other Guava recipes yet, but check back here at any time, just in case…

Are you after similar recipes? Try Pomegranate Salsa, Green Tomato Salsa, and Pawpaw Salsa.

You can browse all of our Salsa recipes, or explore our collection of Mid Winter dishes for more inspiration.

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Garam Chai | Chai Masala

Warming spices combined with tea – a classic Indian Chai

What a wonderful, warming drink this is! Pure relaxation – a cup of Masala Chai and allowing your mind to empty and drift across the universe.

Chai is an Indian spiced milk tea that is generally made up of a rich black tea, full cream milk, various spices and jaggery or other sweetener. The spices used vary from region to region in India, and even amongst households. The most common are cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper. Because of the spices, Chai produces a warming, soothing effect and gives one a wonderful sense of well being. Chai must have a sweetner added or the spices can’t share their full robust flavours. The sweetness brings out an intensity of flavour.

Are you looking for similar Chai recipes?  Try Yogi Chai, Chai Masala for the Relief of Colds, Cutting Chai, and Peppery Chai. There are Chai Variations here.

All of our Chai recipes are here, and our general Tea recipes here. Please try our other Teas and Coffees, and explore our Indian Recipes. You might also enjoy our Mid Winter recipes.

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Roasted Parsnip Soup with Spices

I love a good parsnip, but I don’t eat enough of them. This recipe maximises the flavours of the parsnip by roasting them before using them to make a soup with spices. It is another beautiful, warming Winter soup. Dollop Thick Thick Yoghurt  on top, or some home made Creme Fraiche.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Parsnip and Barley Soup with Garlic and Sage, Spicy Parsnip Soup with Crispy Garlic, and Spicy Roasted Carrot and Apple Soup.

Browse all of our Parsnip recipes, and all of our yummy Soups. Or take some time to explore our Mid Winter recipes.

This is a recipe 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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Potatoes and Cheddar Gratin

As Winter marches on, we want dishes that we can cook in the oven, to add another source of heat to warm the kitchen. Baked dishes are also usually hearty, so they warm and nourish the body in a way that we only seek in Winter. Gratin dishes are so perfect, ticking every box.

This dish layers potatoes with cheese, covers them with milk and cream, and bakes it until bubbling and golden. Delicious!

Are you looking for similar dishes? Try Pasta Bake with Cabbage and Cheese, Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini, and Gratineed Sweet Potatoes.

You can browse all of our Gratin dishes and all of our Potato recipes. Or simply explore all of our Early Winter dishes.

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Barley and Red Kidney Beans

Hearty and filling

Another addition to our Barley recipes is this dish with either Red Kidney Beans or Cannellini Beans. Hearty and filling, this is served piping hot as an accompaniment to your other dishes. It goes very well with vegetable dishes, for example, Stir Fried Vegetables with Red Chilli Paste.

It is definitely a Winter dish, with beautiful flavours of sage and onion and the heartiness of the beans and barley. There is nothing better than this simmering on the stove on a wet and cold Winter afternoon.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Barley with Crispy Tofu, White Bean Soup, and Kidney Bean Sundal.

We have other Barley recipes that you might like to browse, and other Red Kidney Bean recipes. Or explore our easy Late-Winter recipes.

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