Punjabi Turnip Curry | Punjabi Shalgum Masala

Turnips were our featured vegetable last Winter and into Spring. We had not used them a great deal in the past, so wanted to explore their use. We added several new dishes, and especially several new turnip dishes from India.

This is a Punjabi turnip dish, easy to make, with an onion-tomato sauce. It takes no effort at all apart from some peeling, slicing and dicing. A perfect dish for an afternoon snack or a quick meal with some chapatis.

Similar dishes include Turnips with Quince Molasses, Turnips with Mustard Greens in a Creamy Sauce, and Kashmiri Turnips in Yoghurt.

Browse all of our Turnip recipes and all of our Kashmir dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

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Herby Masala Vadai with Tomato Mint Chutney

We are here, munching some Masala Vadai for afternoon tea. These vadai are chock-a-block full of  herbs – coriander and dill. Dill is an uncommon (but not unusual) herb in Indian cuisine, but its use here is wonderful.

The recipe is adapted from one in the book Tiffin by Rukmini Srinivas. We’ve been enjoying reading from it and now want to cook the recipes. The original includes flax seeds which is a very healthy addition, but we have left them out this time.

The recipe is very adaptable. The paste is made from urad, channa and toor dals with the herbs, onions, chilli and ginger added. I can imagine these made with slightly mashed broad beans (the Western type of broad beans), for example, or a coarse mash of peas. Finely chopped capsicums or finely grated carrots would  be a variation if you were sick of the herbs.

The Tomato Mint Chutney is delightful and pairs well with the vadai. Sometimes  I will use sweet chilli sauce, or a herby yoghurt dip, or an Indian green chutney.

A high speed blender like Vitamix is best for grinding the lentils if you don’t have an Indian grinder. Use one that has a tamper if you can, to minimise the number of times you have to scrape the sides down. One of the modern high speed food processors might also work well. Remember that you want a coarse mix, not a fine paste. Also the mix needs to be shaped into patties, so do not add water unless absolutely necessary.

Similar recipes include Broad Bean and Mint Vadai, Falafel, and Tattai Vadai.

Browse all of our Vadai and all of our Snacks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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South Indian Palak Soup

Another Indian soup for you – this time a Spinach (or other greens) soup.  It is a gentle one, similar to many of the other Indian Soups we have here. In this recipe a spinach stock is made, and it is served thickened and with cream. Delicious. A very good Spring soup. It is gentle, without spicing – a common feature of South Indian soups.

The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal‘s from her cook books Cook and See. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. This one is from Vol. 4.

Similar recipes include 30 Beautiful Soups, Spinach Bhaji, and Aloo Palak Subzi.

Browse all of our Indian Soups and all Spinach recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Fruit and Herb Flavoured Vinegars

Spring is a great time for making some flavoured vinegars for Summer Salads and vegetables. It also makes great presents for Xmas! The flavoured vinegars are easy to make and can be left to infuse the flavours for as little as 2 weeks.

We show you a general method, and then several specific flavoured vinegars. If you are growing your own fruits and herbs, this is an excellent way to use your crops. Don’t forget to sterilise all of your equipment and utensils.

Similar recipes include How to Make Quince Paste, How to Pickle Ginger, and How to Make Chilli Paste.

Browse all of our How To suggestions, and all of our Early Spring recipes.

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Sautéed Butternut and Spinach with Roasted Mushrooms and Roasted Garlic

Spinach is often paired with butternut pumpkin and it is a perfect match. We’ve been cooking this recipe for ages. Over time it has changed, simplified, adapted to the food fashions of the time. But the main ingredients have stayed the same – spinach or similar greens, butternut or jap pumpkin, mushrooms and a couple of spices. In this recipe, any greens that cook up like spinach or chard and can handle spices can be used – try some of the Asian greens and Indian greens also.

At our place we often need a quick way to use up greens from the garden – spinach, bok choy, chard, silver beet and others. Our garden can get over-run with these! This is a great dish to use them up.

The butternut pumpkin is sauteed until almost cooked before the greens are added, and the finished dish is topped with roasted or sautéed mushrooms and some roasted garlic. Delicious.

Similar dishes include Eggplant, Spinach and Sweet Potato Curry, Daikon and Golden Pumpkin Curry, Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhauri, and Chinese Style Greens.

Or browse all of our Spinach recipes and our Pumpkin dishes. Explore our Mid Spring collection of recipes.

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Peppery Multi Coloured Salad | Kachumber

Chopped salads are so easy to make with a food processor. Simply add the ingredients and pulse until a perfect texture is achieved. This salad is a breeze with the food processor, and can be made in 2 minutes once the vegetables have been peeled.

The recipe is an Indian salad – salads of this sort are not common but also not unusual. They are a spicy take on English food no doubt. In this one we add black pepper and chilli powder to the salad, and it is dressed with lime juice.

You might like to read What is a Kachumber?

Similar recipes include Chopped Salad, Brown Lentils Sundal, Daikon, Carrot and Coconut Salad, and Maharashtrian Cucumber Salad.

Browse all of our Indian Salads, and our Coleslaw recipes.  All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Indian Carrot Salad | Kosumalli

Western style salads are not so common in India because Ayurveda, the underlying philosophy of lifestyle, health and wellbeing, recommends against eating raw ingredients. But there are some, and they are delicious. I have noticed that they are also becoming more common as the influence of the West is stronger than ever via the internet and increased travel.

I say Western style salad, because there are some Indian dishes that play the part of salads in a traditional Indian meal. Raita/Pachadi, for example. Indian chutneys. Sundals. Sprouted lentils.

Anyway, today’s salad is an Indian Salad somewhat after the Western style – grated vegetables topped with chilli and a spice tadka. There is nothing easier, and it is delicious.

You might like to read What is Kosumalli aka Koshambari.

Similar recipes include Cucumber Kosumalli, Indian Cucumber Salad, Indian Beetroot and Carrot Salad, and Onion Strings Pickled Salad.

Browse all of our Indian Salads, and all of our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Chai Wallah’s Chai

This recipe is another in our large Chai recipe collection, and it is claimed that the recipe is from a Chai Wallah – a road side person serving small cups of chai to thirsty passers-by. They are the best people, and there is nothing like your daily chai. I so miss those piping hot cuppa’s.

Who does not like chai? I have a deep love for this comforting and nourishing drink. A jar of my chai mix-of-the-moment sits permanently on my kitchen bench.

Similar recipes include Spring Chai, Garam Chai, and Peppery Chai.

Browse all of our Chai recipes, and all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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The Best Miso-Peanut-Coconut-Chilli-Turmeric Sauce

This is a totally magic sauce – it makes every dish you use it in very special. I use it in a hundred different ways – so many, you might want to make a double recipe. It will keep for 2 – 3 weeks in the fridge and it reheats easily.

The sauce is a combination of sweet, chilli and sour, with the tempering of the coconut milk and peanut butter. The sour flavours are layered in a tantalising way – you have palm vinegar or rice vinegar, lime juice, umaboshi and tamarind, and yet it is not too much. The sweet is layered with sweet soy and palm sugar. The heat comes from fresh green chillies and red chilli jam or paste. I usually have this one and this complex-flavoured one on hand – you can use what is in your cupboards, or you might like to make one of these so that you have some on hand. As always, because chilli pastes vary in heat level (and so does your tolerance), adjust the amounts in the recipe to your preference.

The sauce is a brown one though, or beige rather, from the soy, sugar and tamarind. But don’t mind that, it is delicious. Normally I would throw a heap of coriander leaves on top of the dish, but thanks to the record-breaking heatwaves we have had, the coriander fields are burnt to a crisp. However, do scatter some chopped peanuts over the top of your dishes using this sauce.

How is this sauce used? I drizzle the sauce on soups. Dunk noodles in it. It makes a wonderful sauce for deep fried tofu, or baked sweet potato, or steamed snake beans (or all 3 together). It goes beautifully drizzled over steamed, grilled or baked vegetables. Mix it through salads, especially Gado-Gado.  Pour around steamed dumplings.

Similar dishes include Fried Tofu in Sweet Peanut Sauce, and How to Make Nut Butters.

Browse all of our Peanut recipes and Peanut Sauces. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Chakkotha Salad | Pomelo Salad

Pomelo comes in light yellow flesh, rather like a lemon or grapefruit, and a pink fleshed variety. I was surprised recently that when I peeled a Pomelo, it revealed beautiful salmon pink flesh. Rather gorgeous, like a ruby grapefruit.

This salad has its  genesis in an Indian salad, which, I hear, is traditionally smoked using food-safe charcoal and oil. Use your smoke gun if you have one (I don’t), but it is gorgeous even without that.

Similar recipes include Pomelo and Green Mango Salad, and Pomelo and Avocado Salad.

Browse all of our Pomelo recipes, and all of our Salads. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or browse our Late Spring dishes.

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