Peas have been part our diet for hundreds of years and are used all over the world. Strictly speaking, green peas are not vegetables. They are part of the legume family, which consists of plants that produce pods with seeds inside. Lentils, chickpeas, beans and peanuts are also legumes. There are many varieties of peas, but here we are focusing on the humble, oft overlooked Green Pea.
Pears are as ubiquitous in Autumn and Winter as stone fruits are in Summer. They are my afternoon snack in these months, and my preference is the brown beurre bosc. The yellow pears of my childhood are no longer the same – mushy when ripe instead of gorgeously juicy with a touch of crispness. I do miss them. But there is now a wide variety of pears from which to choose – red, green, yellow, and brown. Nachi, William Bartlett, Packam, Corella, Anjou, Asian and more.
Summer means Peaches, the loved stone fruit above all others. The gentleness of the white peach and the juiciness of the yellow peach. The joy of eating them as they are! They are suitable not only for sweet temptations but also for salads, salsas, chutneys and drinks.
One of the dishes that I grew up with is tomatoes, halved, and seared in a frying pan, cut side down, until soft and caramelised. Is it an Australian thing? or maybe a rural Australian thing? These were served as a side dish or with a breakfast spread. They are really great with baked beans, for example.
Today I love them just as they are. Great tomatoes, good olive oil, some crunchy bread and a little salt. Perfection. They are also great on flatbread type bases – use wraps, tortillas, socca or pudla. Squish them, or not, and use on toast, in salads, on nachos type dishes and pizzas, or spread a puree and top with these yummy tomatoes. They can also be squished into a pasta sauce, or normal sauce, or Indian style chutney. Which ever way, scatter with lots of chopped herbs and spring onions (scalliions).
The flavour of this dish belies its simplicity.
This dish is also an excellent one for the BBQ.
Orange and hazelnut go wonderfully well together. The pairing offers a good balance of freshness and earthiness and the flavours are subtle enough to complement green beans without overpowering them.
In this recipe we use the orange slices that we dehydrated some time ago. Several slices are whizzed in a spice grinder until almost powdered. If you don’t have dried orange slices, use pieces of orange zest that have been sliced thinly.
This is based on a recipe from Ottolenghi’s first book, Ottolenghi. We like to play wild and free with his recipes, so you can check the original one here.
Daunker Pachadi, also known as Dangar, Danger, Daanger, or Urad Dal Pachadi, is a simple pachadi that is very famous in Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. It is not made very often now, one of the forgotten recipes of Tamil Nadu. It is a pity because it has quite a unique flavour from the black gram powder mixed into the pachadi.
This Pachadi is a great accompaniment for Vathal Kuzhambu, Rasam or Sambar with rice or just with a mixed rice dish. There are some variations from other parts of Tamil Nadu and beyond, such as Chettinadu.
In Thajavur, there are couple of different versions of this – one with unroasted urad flour, and one where the flour is roasted. I have included both recipes below.
These recipes are from Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See books. 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. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.
I have posted a few Goan dishes including soups that originate from the Portuguese/Catholic cuisine in Goa, India. These are simple, home-fare dishes but do not lack flavour. In fact you can say that the flavour goes beyond what you expect from the ingredients. These are cheap and every-day dishes, quickly and easily made, yet comforting and filling.
This soup is a vegetable soup that is pureed and then greens and dried legumes added – chickpeas or white beans or any dried pea or bean that you have on hand.
Today I used a stock that included mushrooms, so the dish is a little darker than normal. Usually it takes the colour from the vegetables you use – varying from white if only potatoes are used, to yellow-orange from carrots and pumpkin.
Bondas are a popular street food in parts of Indian like Mumbai. Bondas are little round dumplings made from chickpea flour and generally filled with potatoes. They are sold from street carts or footpath stores, and in those little working-men’s canteens that have wonderful, very cheap food.
It is not so hard to make them at home. We were given this recipe for cabbage bondas and they are delicious. They can be made flat into a patty, or round to resemble the potato bondas. We don’t know the source of this recipe – if you know please let us know so that we can update this post.
We have a strange green bean growing – its pod is green with flecks of red. It is delicious, as all green beans are, and perfect for this salad from Ottolenghi. You can of course use any green bean – the beans are paired with either edamame, younger broad beans or even peas. The key to the salad is a beautiful dressing made with lime zest, lime juice, coriander, mint, garlic and chillies! Oh, yes, you just might get excited.
Once the beans are trimmed, it is quite simple to make. Of course it is, it is from Ottolenghi’s book Simple. 10 ingredients, quick and it can be made ahead (see the notes below the salad). Note that I often massage Ottolenghi’s recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.
Similar dishes include Summery Grain or Lentil Salad, Sea Spaghetti, Cucumber and Edamame Salad, Italian Green Bean Salad, Green Bean Salad with Asparagus, Spring Salad, and Glorious Green Bean Salad.
If you follow our blog (hello to all of our lovely followers!) you will know how much we love broccoli. Particularly pan-roasted broccoli. This time we have turned it into an Indian style dish, with black pepper as its major flavouring. It is delicious!