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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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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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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Barley Pilaf with Mushrooms

An easy, nutritious and warming dish.

A simple barley pilaf with mushrooms is a nutritious and warming accompaniment to a meal. Dark and hearty, it is definitely a winter dish. A sweet note is added with the sultanas and texture with the walnuts. Easy to cook, it can be made beforehand and gently warmed when you need it. It also makes a great breakfast dish if, like me, you prefer to explore savoury breakfast items rather than sweet options.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Barley and Root Vegetable Soup, Barley and Red Kidney Beans, and Parsley and Barley Salad with Feta.

You  might like to browse all of our Barley Recipes here, and other Mushroom Recipes. Our easy Mid Winter Warmers are here.

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Jerusalem Artichoke and Cumin Salad

A salad for Summer or Winter

A gorgeous, unusual crunchy salad for winter or summer. Jerusalem artichokes have a bad wrap and don’t appear as often as they might on the kitchen table. This is an easy salad – peel and grate the artichokes, mix with dressing and serve.

Are you looking for other Jerusalem Artichoke recipes? Try Jerusalem Artichokes with Halloumi and Basil Oil.

Try these other Salad recipes too: Fennel Salad with Orange Vinaigrette, Spinach Stem Salad with Pine Nuts and Sweet Raisins, and Vermicelli and Green Mango Salad.

Browse all of our Jerusalem Artichoke dishes and all of our Salad recipes. And check out our collection of easy Late Winter recipes.

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Pan Fried Broad Beans with Lime, Chilli and Salt

A quick, healthy snack.

I am here to tell you that these are delicious. A great snack, quickly prepared, is pan fried broad beans. You can use peas or edamame as well. You can even use peas and edamame in their pods. Simply suck them out of the shell between your teeth after cooking.

Broad beans, once out of their pod, still have a thick, tough coat on each bean. Removing this improves their flavour enormously. Yes, it is a little fiddly, but worth the effort. Take a small sharp knife and make a slit in the side of the bean, then coax the coat off. Sometimes they just pop out. You are left with tender, vibrant green beans.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Pan Fried Broad Beans with Tomato and Thyme, and Tawa Broad Beans.

Browse all of our Broad Bean recipes, and all of our Snacks here and here.  Be inspired by our Mid Spring recipes.

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Soupe aux Carottes Nivernaises | A French Carrot Soup from Nivernais

One more soup for the cold weather in the wintery regions. A French Carrot Soup, Soupe aux Carottes Nivernaises. A very special soup, this one. Warming and buttery, sweet and luxurious, it deserves a place at your winter table.

This soup is a specialty of Nivernais, a former province of France, around the city of Nevers that forms the modern department of Nièvre, which ennobles the carrot in its coat-of-arms! Old recipes have twice the amount of sugar as carrots, but today, this amount is greatly reduced.

Are you looking for similar Carrot Soups? Try these other recipes too: Parsnip and Carrot Soup with Crispy Garlic, Roasted Carrot and Apple Soup, and Carrot and Roasted Tomato Soup.

You can browse all of our other Carrot Soups. Or you might like to browse our Carrot recipes and Soup recipes. French recipes are here. Or check out our easy Late Winter recipes here.

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Pan Fried Broad Bean Salad with Tomato and Thyme

I admit it. I have had an aversion to broad beans since childhood. We seem to have grown them by the bushel as I was growing up, and we ate them with every meal, often in their pods, boiled and boiled and boiled. Over the ensuing years I have tried to fall in love with them. I have even grown them myself. But that taste, and the childhood associations would not go away.

This year, with a wonderful Italian green grocery near me, I resolved to try again. Putting a lot of effort into treating them properly, I double peeled them while watching TV in the evenings, ready to work with them in the morning.

The efforts have been rewarded. I am now loving these wonderful, short-seasoned beans. I will be quite sad when their season is over (but I have discovered that frozen broad beans are available, and they are particularly good).

Are you looking for similar Broad Bean recipes? Try Pan Fried Broad Beans with Lime, Chilli and Salt, and Tawa Broad Beans.

Try these beauties too: Glorious Five Bean Salad, and Broad Bean and Butter Bean Spread.

Browse all of our Broad Bean dishes, and our Tomato Salads. All of our Salad recipes are here. Or take some time to explore our Mid Spring dishes.

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Pere al Forno con Marsala e Cannella | Pears Baked with Marsala and Cinnamon

Beautiful raisin flavoured baked pears for wintery nights.

Aaah, the thought of these makes me feel hungry. First made in our household about 20 years ago they still feature occasionally in our kitchen, especially in winter. They are a great way to take the evening chill off of the kitchen – turn the oven on, pop in the pears and perhaps some parsnips to roast, pour the wine and put some Italian music on in the background.

Are you looking for similar dishes? Try Roasted Rosemary Pears, and an Autumn Fruit Salad.

You might like to browse our Dessert recipes, and our Pear recipes. Check out our easy Late Winter recipes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2005. You can browse more of those recipes in the Retro Recipes series.

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Simple Poritha Kuzhambu | Poritha Kuzhambu with Chillies and Cumin | A South Indian Lentil Based Gravy with Vegetable

The second of three methods suggested by Meenakshi Ammal. A beautiful, flowing-textured dal-based dish perfect over rice.

There are three main methods for making Poritha (Poricha) Kuzhambu. The first uses sambar powder, and this recipe, the second method, uses a paste of chillies, cumin seed and coconut. The third method uses chillies and urad dal ground to a paste.

Poritha Kuzhambu (or Poricha Kuzhambu) is a style of kuzhambu that usually includes coconut in its ground spice mix – this is the most defining characteristic of a Poritha Kuzhambu. This recipe is lentil based which can be made with either Toor Dal as we do here, or Green Gram Dal (Mung Dal). Although some Poritha Kuzhambu recipes can contain tamarind, this one does not.

This dish is not spicy, with very little spice added – just chillies and cumin. It celebrates the taste and textures of the dal and the vegetable.

Sometimes Poritha Kuzhambu is called a Lentil Vegetable Stew. That is not entirely accurate. There is no real equivalent in our cuisine – perhaps it can be described as a Lentil Based Gravy with a Vegetable, to eat over rice. It flavours the rice and the rice compliments the kuzhambu. I love kuzhambu so much, I will also eat a small bowl of it like a soup.

Are you looking for other Poritha Kuzhambu recipes? Try Brinjal Chidambaram Kothsu, Poritha Kuzhambu with Amaranth, and Pitlai.

Feel free to browse all of our Poritha Kuzhambu recipes, our Kuzhambu recipes, and our Indian recipes. Drumstick recipes are here. You may also like to browse our easy Early Winter recipes.

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Chickpeas and Beetroot Greens with Chilli

I LOVE this dish. Simple, but flavoursome and healthy. Mop up juices with some home made focaccia. Although Beetroot Leaves have been used here, it can also be made with Spinach.

The chickpeas are soaked with bicarb soda to make them achingly tender when cooked. The greens are cooked with a tomato base with some wine (see the notes below the recipe for an alternative) and mixed with the chickpeas.

Are you looking for more Chickpea recipes? Try Green Salad with Chickpeas and Preserved Lemon, Smashed Chickpeas with Broccoli and Dukkah, and Hummus.

Or perhaps some Spinach dishes? Try Mushroom, Spinach and Blue Cheese Salad, Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach, and Potatoes and Spinach.

You might like to browse all of our Chickpea recipes and Spinach recipes. Check out our easy Late Winter recipes here.

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Champignons Montagnard | Mushroom Savoy | Mushrooms and Tomatoes from Haute-Savoie in France

A rustic mountain dish from France

Perhaps not a pretty dish, there I said it. This is a rustic mountain dish from Haute Savoie, a region of France. It uses vinegar and lemon to add real tang to the mushrooms which are eaten cold – they go well with some excellent bread. In modern times it is great as part of an appetiser plate or part of a mezze/tapas style meal. The vinegar gives it the characteristics of a quick pickle or chutney, and it will pair well with other small dishes.

Are you after Mushroom dishes? Try Mushroom, Spinach and Blue Cheese Salad, Caramelised King Oyster Mushrooms, and Mushroom Curry.

Perhaps you are looking for French recipes. Try French Cream of Pumpkin Soup, French Tomato Salad, and Fennel a la Grecque.

Please browse our Mushroom recipes here and here, and our French recipes here and here. Our Autumn recipes are here and here.

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