Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad with Pomegranate

In this memorable salad from Ottolenghi and Tamimi’s Jerusalem, roasted Cauliflower, Celery and Hazelnuts are combined with Pomegranate, fresh Parsley, and warming spices. A sweet-tart vinaigrette finishes it off.

When we roast cauliflower, we make a whole lot, often 2 – 3 trays, and it is used for Cauliflower Soup, Crispy Cauliflower with Tahini Yoghurt Dressing, and this salad. Roasted cauliflower is one of the best ways to use this gorgeous winter vegetable.

Similar recipes include Roasted Cauliflower, Grape and Cheddar Salad, and Slow Cooked Cauliflower with Spices and Lime.

Browse all of our Cauliflower recipes, all of our Ottolenghi dishes and all of our Salads. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

Continue reading “Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad with Pomegranate”

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Chinese Style Greens with Garlic and Sesame

If you are like me, you love a plate of greens now and again. And if they are straight from the vegetable garden, there is nothing better. This is an easy dish to whip up and is fragrant with the garlic and spring onions.

The recipe can be made with just the leaves, or, if you have an abundance of stems, it is also good made with just the chopped stems. But mostly, I mix the two.

Similar dishes include Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhurji, Spinach Stem Salad with Sweet Raisins, and Orzo Pasta with Wilted Spinach.

Browse our Chinese dishes and our Asian recipes. Our Spinach dishes are here. Or browse our Early Spring recipes.

Continue reading “Chinese Style Greens with Garlic and Sesame”

Dr. Kilkani’s Ayurvedic Chai

Another wonderful Chai recipe

This is the chai recipe given to me by an Ayurvedic doctor from Pune, India. He would visit Sydney regularly to give courses and I was lucky enough to attend several of them.

His chai recipe is not dependent on ratios, just the ingredients. Mix them to your own taste preferences. The best way is to make a small jar of chai blend, and then use the mix to make your morning cuppa.

Similar recipes include Tim’s Chai, Chai for Colds, Spring Chai, and Illaichi Chai.

You might like to also browse all of our Chai recipes. all of our Drinks, and our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or browse our collection of Mid Spring dishes.

Continue reading “Dr. Kilkani’s Ayurvedic Chai”

Ma Karal | Sri Lankan Snake Bean Curry

At last we have a snake bean dish for you. Snake beans are generally available at Asian and Indian groceries. They are long beans, with a tougher outer layer than, say, our green beans. They are terrific in Asian and Indian dishes. Today we make a Sri Lankan curry, using Coconut Milk, Pandan and the Sri Lankan Curry Powder, Badapu Thuna Paha. If you can’t find this spice mix in your Indian and Sri Lankan groceries, and don’t want to make it, use any warming roasted curry powder (as spicy as you like – or not). At a pinch you could use Malay Curry Powder, Sambar Masala or Garam Masala.

Green Beans are a good substitute for Snake Beans if you can’t locate the longer ones.

Similar recipes include Sri Lankan Okra in Coconut Milk, Sri Lankan Mung Dal with Coconut Milk, and Sri Lankan Fenugreek Kuzhambu.

Browse all of our Sri Lankan dishes, and all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. All of our Bean dishes are here. Or explore our Early Spring collection of recipes.

Continue reading “Ma Karal | Sri Lankan Snake Bean Curry”

Kosheri | Lentils, Rice and Vermicelli with Onions and Spices

Kosheri (also spelled Koshari) is a dish with its genesis in Egypt, although it now traverses many time zones. We have some similar recipes, but this one from Ottolenghi (in his book Ottolenghi) is another of his dishes that perfectly layers spices with other ingredients. It is a bit intense, this dish, with several cooking processes on the go at one time, but the effort is worth it. Cook the sauce, cook the lentils, cook the rice and vermicelli, cook the onions – then bring them all together.

Frankly, I love how North Africa, the Middle East and India are much more adventurous with their rice dishes than our English-based cultures. Who would have thought of cooking lentils, various pasta, burghul and/or vermicelli with rice? It seems to break all of our Western rules of food composition. Yet here they are, these mixed rice dishes, such a delicious alternative to plain white rice.

Cheap, easy and filling, kosheri is ubiquitous on Egypt’s streets and thought to be an adaptation of Indian kitchari, brought to Egypt in the late 19th century during the British occupation of both countries. Egypt’s Italian community is held responsible for kosheri’s pasta factor. Lebanon and Palestine have a simple version, a rice with pasta dish that works on the principle that less is more.

The dish can be made with or without the tomato sauce. Although it is a good accompaniment, the kosheri is also good with a Cucumber Raita, or any other Raita, Pachadi, or Yoghurt based salad, for that matter. Or just plain yoghurt.

In Egypt, this dish is sold by street vendors, but it is also very welcome at the dinner table. It can be a side dish, but I prefer it as a main, with the accompaniments tailored to eat on and with the rice. I particularly love it with the tomato sauce, some roasted cauliflower and toasted hazelnuts.

Similar recipes include Orzo and Rice, Cauliflower, Mung and Cracked Wheat Kitchari, and Cracked Wheat and Mung Kitchari.

Browse all of our Egyptian recipes and all of our Ottolenghi dishes. Our Rice recipes are here. Or explore our Late Winter collection of recipes.

Continue reading “Kosheri | Lentils, Rice and Vermicelli with Onions and Spices”

Charred Okra with Spiced Tomato Barley

This is an African influenced dish of barley and okra. We have made it with pearl barley, which is cooked with tomatoes, and then charred okra is added. A warming, Wintery dish.

This is often made with black barley, and there are a number of recipes available for it. As black barley is not yet available here, normal barley is a good substitute. Note that the barely is so very good, it can be cooked on its own, or topped with other vegetables, for example, charred or roasted cauliflower.

Are you looking for other Barley dishes? Try Parsley and Barley Salad with Feta, Barley with Red Kidney Beans, and Adzuki, Barley and Pumpkin Soup.

Or other Okra recipes? Try Slightly Charred Okra with Chilli, Garlic and ThymeWarm Salad of Charred Okra, Whole Okra Stuffed with Onions, and Sri Lankan Okra Curry.

Browse all of our Okra dishes and all of our Barley dishes. Our African dishes are here. Or simply explore our Mid Winter recipes.

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South Indian Baby Sweetcorn and Green Bean Soup

This is our second Baby Corn Soup; this one includes green beans for added crunch and fresh taste. It is another soup from Vol 4 of Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See, written by her daughter Priya Ramakumar. They are reminiscent of, say, 1970’s style soups – simple, no fuss, delicious. many of them (but not this one) are Anglo-Indian. I adore them – they are such a contrast to other elements of Indian cuisine.

As explained in previous posts, Soups as we know them are uncommon in India. But in South Indian, the TamBram community does make some very simple and un-spiced soups, probably influenced by the British, and perfect for using up left over odds and sods of vegetables.

Rather than being served in large bowls like we might serve a soup, it is served in small bowls, unaccompanied by crusty bread, grated cheese, olive oil for drizzling, or croutons. Actually, it is a really nice beginning to a hot and spicy meal.

Several of the soups in this volume of Cook and See show the growing love for Chinese food in India at the time that the volume of recipes was written. The nod to Chinese fare is created by a drizzle of soy sauce on top of the soup. Baby corn, after all, is associated (probably incorrectly) in many countries as being quintessential Chinese. This Indo-Chinese cuisine is very popular.

Baby corn is available at most Asian Grocery shops.

Similar recipes include South Indian Baby Corn Soup, South Indian Spring Onion Soup, and South Indian Cauliflower Soup.

Or browse all of our Indian Soups here, and all of Meenakshi Ammal’s dishes. Our Indian Recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Late Winter dishes.

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Crispy Cauliflower with Tahini Yoghurt Sauce

This Cauliflower dish is a take on a classic Israeli and Lebanese recipe in Ottolenghi and Tammi’s book Jerusalam. I have twisted it up just a little to suit us and our friends, but I have to tell you that this is a favourite dish in our circle. I love it partly because it is very quick to make if you roast the cauliflower. Ottolenghi deep fries it (and that is delicious) but often time is a real factor in this household. So the cauliflower is roasted when we need awesome dishes in quick-sticks time. We can get on with other things while the roasting happens. I have to say, though, that deep frying gives the cauli beautiful crispy exteriors and cooks the interior just enough to be amazing.

Tahini features in creative ways in Israel, in both simple eateries and upmarket restaurants. For these types of dishes, grab good tahini from your Middle Eastern grocers – you won’t go back to the supermarket shelves, and they have a smoothness not available in the Greek brands. Choose a light-coloured tahini made from hulled sesame seeds.

The tahini sauce, thick and wonderfully rich, is the focal point of this dish. I use about 3/4 of Ottolenghi’s sauce with the cauliflower, and the rest is put to use as dips and salad dressings. This dish fits perfectly in any mezze selection, makes a great substantial meal when served with fresh tomato salad and a warm pitta, or is an excellent side for many meals.

Similar dishes include Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Hazelnuts and PomegranateRoasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree, Cauliflower Slow Cooked with Lemon and Spices, Green Tahini Sauce, White Beans with Tahini, and Tahina Tarator.

Browse all of our Cauliflower recipes, and dishes where tahini features. Our dips and sauces are here. Explore our Israeli dishes, all of our wonderful Salads, and check out or Early Spring collection of recipes.

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Tim’s Chai

Tim says that

Chai is an art that must be discovered. The ingredients are the map but the combination is your own journey. The secret is in the intention of the heart.

It’s true, and there is much that you will discover as you make Chai. How to bring it together to get the best flavours. Which spices work best with your body. Which spices work best in the different seasons. Whether you have the patience to make chai well. Are you too impatient? How to keep yourself healthy with the combination of spices, and how to bring yourself back to health when you are out of balance. Which milk to use, whether you add ghee or coconut oil at all to your chai. Does a pinch of salt help? Which chai relaxes you and which invigorates you?

All of these and much more is just part of your individual Chai Journey.

Why not take that Chai Journey with us? Try Dr. Kilkani’s Ayurvedic ChaiChai Masala for Relief of Colds, Illaichi Chai, Peppery Chai and Ashram Chai.

Explore all of our other Chai recipes. Or what about our Teas? And browse all of our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Would you like to explore our Mid Autumn dishes?

Continue reading “Tim’s Chai”

Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhurji | Corn and Spinach Stirfry

Bhurji are pan-fried Indian vegetable dishes that are not quite dry, but not really wet dishes. They are dry yet damp dishes. The best known Bhurji is made with eggs and is somewhat like scrambled eggs. But we don’t cook with eggs, so the Bhurji that we make are pure vegetarian. They are similar to the Thoran of Kerala and Poriyal of Tamil Nadu. Bhurji is an Andhra dish.

This one is made with greens and sweetcorn, with spices. Spinach and Sweetcorn is a loved combination in India – the sweetness of the corn playing nicely with the spices against the slight bitterness of the spinach. This dish can be served as it is, a perfect side dish to a meal. Or serve it with cumin rice or some roti for a snack. It is also very very good as a filling for Toasties – Indian style toasted sandwiches. Use it as a filling with some cheese and perhaps sliced tomato.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Sweetcorn Sundal, Spinach Thoran, Cabbage Thoran, and Spinach Poriyal. You might also like Baby Sweetcorn and Green Bean Soup.

Browse all of our Thorans and Poriyals. Try our Spinach dishes and our Sweetcorn recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Late Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhurji | Corn and Spinach Stirfry”

Pink Grapefruit and Sumac Salad with Nasturtium Leaves and Garden Flowers

Colourful, juicy, delicious.

It is Spring, and the nasturtiums have leaves as big as lotus leaves and flowers of all hue peaking out from beneath.

This dish is an adaptation of an Ottolenghi recipe – a sald using pink grapefruit. I had a dozen pink grapefruit and this seemed an awesome opportunity to play with this recipe. The original recipe uses watercress, which is difficult to find here – its not common and is expensive. Not having the inclination or the time to drive the 30 mins it takes to get to a green grocer that does stock it, I substituted with produce from my garden. Into the salad went baby nasturtium leaves, yellow and red nasturtium flower petals and marigold flower petals. It was extraordinary.

This is a salad that, even in its original form, appears on paper like it won’t come together with Ottolenghi’s usual balanced and banging flavours. It feels like too much sumac. There is a chilli in the dressing.  And crispy, sharp raw onion. But the flavours are massive and surprising! Bright, puckery grapefruit gently mixed with peppery watercress (in my case, nasturtium leaves), bitter Belgian endive, sweet leaves of basil basil, sharp red onion slices, and a tangy vinaigrette heavy with the lemony tangy sumac. Flavour clash? Not at all. A beautiful, balanced, juicy salad that is colourful and divine.

Similar recipes include Three Citrus Salad with Chilli, Ginger and Almond Salsa, Pink Grapefruit Salad with Avocado, and Pomelo and Green Mango Salad.

You might also like to explore our extensive Salad recipes and Grapefruit dishes. Our Ottolenghi recipes are here. Or browse our Early Spring dishes.

Continue reading “Pink Grapefruit and Sumac Salad with Nasturtium Leaves and Garden Flowers”

Green Beans with Freekeh, Walnuts and Tahini

Feekeh! No longer an ingredient that we need to travel across town to buy.  With several Afghan shops closeby in my new neighbourhood, those sorts of ingredients now go on the weekly shopping list. Oh, the joy!

This is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More, one of my fav of his books. Beans are cooked and mixed with walnuts, then drizzled with a minty-tahini dressing. The dressing is what ranch dressing would taste like if it spent a few months traipsing through the Middle East, so they say.

Yotham advises beans of the best quality for this dish. He also says that the walnuts can be omitted, but we are loving them so much this season, so they are definitely in. They provide a texture in this salad that is otherwise missing.

Similar recipes include Cyprian Grain Salad with Freekeh.

For Green Beans, try Five Bean Glorious Salad, and Green Bean and Carrot Poriyal.

Browse all of our Green Bean recipes and all of our Freekeh dishes. Our Ottolenghi recipes are here. Or explore our Mid Winter collection of recipes.

Continue reading “Green Beans with Freekeh, Walnuts and Tahini”

Tomato Risotto

Get your Italian Risotto Mojo on with some loud opera music and a good wine

Italian food is just wonderful! Today is another Great Risotto Dish. Risotto is always a meditation in cooking. A quiet kitchen, a wooden spoon, some rice and a large pot.

From years ago, when I was first making risotto, and still today, I amazed friends who pop in unexpectedly. I pick tomatoes, salad greens, chilli and rosemary from the garden, pull some stock and tomato paste from the freezer, and cook this risotto in approx. 30 minutes. I serve it with a garden salad and fresh fruit for dessert. They are always pretty impressed!

If you haven’t cooked risotto before, here are some basics.

Similar recipes include Risotto with Mushrooms, Asparagus Risotto with Basil, and Caramelised Pumpkin Risotto.

You might also like our Risotto recipes, and our Rice recipes. Our Italian dishes are here. Check out our easy Early Spring recipes too.

This is a vegetarian recipe from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can browse other recipes from this blog in our Retro Recipes series. Continue reading “Tomato Risotto”

Ginger Root and Turmeric Tea with Dried Mandarin Peel and Pomegranate Honey

A refreshing tea with enormous health benefits.

Turmeric is a very special spice with amazing medicinal properties, and is one that can be added to all sorts of dishes. Here we add it to Ginger and Mandarin to make an exciting tea for relaxing afternoons.

In order to increase turmeric absorption in the body, we add a little bit of fat to the tea, such as a a little of ghee or coconut oil. Alternatively, a little black pepper can be added as it contains piperine which aids the absorption of turmeric’s curcumin.

Be mindful when handling the turmeric as it stains easily – clothes, cutting boards, kitchen tops, fingers.

Similar recipes include Cumin, Coriander and Fennel Tea, Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea, and Cranberry Tea with Fennel, Cardamom and Coriander Seed.

Explore our other teas and chai drinks, and browse our turmeric recipes. All of our drinks are here. Or browse our easy Late Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Ginger Root and Turmeric Tea with Dried Mandarin Peel and Pomegranate Honey”

South Indian Carrot Soup

Here is another of the quick soups from Vol 4 of Cook and See – this volume of Meenakshi Ammal’s cookbooks is by Priya Ramkumar. It is a 1970’s style soup, quick and easy, simple and fresh, and surprisingly packed full of flavour. They make great luncheon soups with a salad and some fresh crunchy bread, or a perfect beginning to a heavier meal.

I have written elsewhere about the role of these South Indian soups, so check out the others in this series for comments and my experiences in India.

Similar recipes include South Indian Green Peas Soup, South Indian Cauliflower Soup, and South Indian Spring Onion Soup.

Browse all of our South Indian Soups, and indeed, all of our Soups. Our Indian recipes are here and Indian Essentials here. Or enjoy our collection of Mid Winter dishes.

Continue reading “South Indian Carrot Soup”