Vadai with Yoghurt

Truth be told, making Indian batters from lentils or pulses is a challenge. The Indian grinder is not available here, nor the ubiquitous mixi with its multiple contains all for a different purpose. My Indian friends pop over to India at least once a year, so their kitchens are purpose built for Indian cuisine.

You will find numerous people advise high speed blenders, like Vitamix, for grinding batters, and I bought one with this in mind (and my old blender had had its day). It was Ok, I have to say, but still hard work. At the same time I bought a popular high-mid-range food processor – high speed with a twin blade. I decided to experiment with it to make batter for these vadai, and am really happy with the result. Quick and easy, no need to use a tamper to push, as with the blender, and I wiped the batter down only twice. There was no need to add extra water. To say I am over the moon is an understatement.

These deep fried vadai, a simple form of Medhu (Medu) Vada, are made from Urad dal with a few spices. They are the type that are soaked in yoghurt for 30 mins – on their own they are a little dry. They can also be soaked in Sambar, or, as I do when I am in a hurry, serve with a bowl of seasoned yoghurt and dip each bite into the yoghurt so that you get a luxurious amount over the vadai.

Similar recipes include Beetroot Vadai, Maddur Vadai, and Broad Bean and Mint Croquettes.

Browse all of our Vada and all of our Indian Snacks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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30 Soups for Early Spring

Oh the joy at the arrival of Spring. But truth be told, despite longer days and gorgeous gardens, the weather is in transition and can still be quite cold.

Our soups for this season straddle the heartier soups that reflect our transition from Winter, and the fresher, herb laden soups that echo the emergence of Spring.

To help you on your way with stocks for your soups, here are the ones that we use the most

Now that you have your Spring menu organised, let’s get cooking! Many of these soups will freeze well.

Here are 30 of our best Soups for Early Spring.

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A Collection of 30 Salads for Early Spring

Early Spring sees the arrival of Spring rains and windy weather. While the beginning of Spring can still be cold, there are also glorious sunny days with mild temperatures. Gardens begin to bring a bounty of colour. And Spring vegetables arrive – greens, peas, broad beans, asparagus – all delicious.

Salads still have some substance for the cooler days, but begin to get lighter. Grains are there but fresh Spring produce creeps in. Light salads might appear on the table. Certainly salads are more common than during the depths of Winter.

Check out some of our other collections:

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EARLY SPRING – Don’t Miss These Recipes for Relaxed Spring Living | Seasonal Cooking

We has such a sumptuous feast for you this month. From Indian to Chinese to Morrocan to Western dishes. Enjoy these highlights from our Early Spring recipe collection. The weather begins its transition this month, and like all change, is a little chaotic and changeable. Windy, stormy at times, and the Spring rains begin. Warm days interject the cooler ones, and while warming foods are still needed, they get lighter and lighter. We look forward to Summer.

You can also browse other Early Spring recipes:

 

Please let us know if you find links that are not working. We would love to fix them for you.

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Aama Vadai

Aama Vadai (also calledΒ Paruppu Vadai or Masala Vadai) is a traditional snack that is made during Tamil New Year and also Ramnavami. Made from a variety of lentils and spiced with chillies, asafoetida, curry leaves and coriander, it is a delicious snack. It is also a very popular street food snack in South India.

Aama means tortoise in Tamil. But never fear, they do not contain tortoises, it is named this way because of the hard crispy outer shell of the vadai.

Similar recipes include Vadai with Yoghurt, Broad Bean and Mint Vada, Thattai Vada, and Pea and Mint Croquettes.

Browse more Vadai recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

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Aamti with Drumsticks and Coconut | Maharashtrian Dal

Aamti is a lentil dish from Maharashtra that is made with toor dal and defined by its souring agent – tomato or tamarind – as well as cumin, chillies or chilli powder and fenugreek. Aamti also contains Goda Masala or, if that is not available, Garam Masala can be used.

This is the second of our Aamti recipes. In this one we have included drumstick vegetables to add texture and flavour. If you are not familiar with Drumsticks, they are long, thin and tapered vegetables that grow on a tree. Their outer skin cannot be eaten as it is fibrous and tough. It is the inner pulp and seeds that are delicious and add flavour to dishes. Consequently, the pieces of drumsticks are sucked between the teeth to extract the inner goodness. It might sound strange, but I know that once you have tasted drumsticks you will be addicted.

Aamti is very easy to make if your toor dal is already cooked (I keep cooked toor dal in the freezer), and your drumsticks are already cooked (our friends provide us with drumsticks and I freeze them too). If so, it will take under 10 minutes. This recipe comes from Sukham Ayu, a book by Jigyasa Giri on Auyrvedic cooking at home. I have added my own tweaks, of course.

Similar recipes include Aamti Bhaat, Poritha Kootu, and Dal Tadka.

Browse all of our Dals and all of our Maharasthrian recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

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

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Garlic Herb Potatoes

Hands up who loves potatoes? Mashed, baked, roasted – they are the basis of Winter life, really. And here is another baked potato dish. Potatoes are sliced and baked with garlic and rosemary till tender and with a crisp top. What could be more Wintery?

Similar dishes include Potato Gratin with Cream, Potato and Cheddar Gratin, and Cumin Potatoes Baked with Tomatoes.

Browse all of our Potato Bakes, and all of our Potato dishes. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

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Spicy Beluga Lentils | Black Lentils with Yoghurt

We quite adore Beluga Lentils – they are named beluga as they are supposed to look like little beads of caviar. I wouldn’t really know about that, but do know they are both delicious and easy to turn into a gorgeous dish. They cook quickly, and they hold their shape. They can be used instead of French Green Lentils/Puy Lentils in any dish.

This dish is eeeeasy, with spices toasted, onion and garlic sweated off, and then lentils added and cooked. It can be made ahead of time, finishing off with the yoghurt and sour elements at the time of serving. It can also be frozen at that point, for those late nights especially after a long working day.

Make double the amount of lentils, if you wish, and keep them for salads. They make gorgeous bases for lentils salads.

Similar recipes include Beluga Lentil Stew with Eggplant, Puy Lentils with Asparagus and Watercress, Citrusy Beetroot with Lentils, and Crushed Puy Lentils with Tahini and Yoghurt.

Browse all of our Beluga Lentil dishes. Or be inspired by our Late Winter recipes.

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Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry with Roasted Coconut

Sri Lanka cuisine includes beautiful curries cooked in coconut milk, showing off the abundance of coconuts on this beautiful isle. This is another version of the Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry, and in this one the flavours of coconut are layered with both roasted coconut and coconut milk. The recipe is adapted from Flavours of Sri Lanka.

Similar recipes include Sri Lankan Pineapple Curry, 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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Hawaiian Chilli Water

Oh my, this has become my favourite drizzling sauce for this Winter – over soups, vegetables, into dals, on tofu and paneer, on rice, in sandwiches and sauces, with lentils and bean dishes — anything! I mix it into amazing dressings. It is a condiment or hot sauce that is very popular with Hawaiians and has a range of variations on the common base of chillies, garlic, vinegar, salt and water. As well as a condiment, it is also used as a drink to sip, and as a sauce. Many Hawaiian homes keep Chilli Water on their table, and guest will bring a bottle of their own home made Chilli Water to leave with the host.

Why does it work? We know that an acid or sour flavour – vinegar, lemon juice, bitters, tamarind etc – enlivens any dish. Chilli adds interest and heat. Salt brings out flavour. Garlic adds bite and deeper flavours. If you add bay leaf or soy sauce they provide grounded earthy flavours (umami). All of this in one bottle of sauce that is composed mostly of water!

Similar recipes include Grilled Pineapple with Chilli and Basil, A Collection of Chilli Pastes and Sauces, and Chilli Olive Orange Salad.

Browse our Chilli recipes and all of our Sauces. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

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