Who said dips are dead? Certainly not in our house. They are generally easy to make, are great snacks, and fill hunger gaps. They are gorgeous for guests. We layer them with other ingredients in main meals. Or simply eat them out of the bowl while standing at the fridge. Sssshhhhh!
We have just a few broad beans left from our pick this week, and to shake things up a bit, I make a Tuscan Broad Bean Puree, full of butter and cream or milk. Quite decadent, but then there was only enough for both of us to snack on at afternoon tea time. Delicious! And quite different to the other purees of Broad Beans that we have made.
This is an excellent way of serving broad beans when the beans are no longer young and tender. The beans are double peeled and simmered till tender, then pureed with butter and milk or cream.
Yoghurt is an essential part of meals in Tamil Nadu, and Pachadi recipes are a way to deliver the health benefits of yoghurt while adding another vegetable (or fruit) to the meal. Win-win! This pachadi uses dried mango; it’s common in households as Summer is spent sun-drying vegetables, mixed vegetable purees and lentil pastes.
Meenakshi Ammal has this recipe in her Cook and See volumes (Volume 1). Perhaps using dried mango for pachadi is not as common as it was, but it is a delicious addition to the table, and easily made from readily available ingredients.
You might expect it to be sweet, but the sourness of the yoghurt and the heat of the chillies counterbalances any sweetness that the mangoes retain. I used mangoes that I dehydrated last year in the midst of mango season.
One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through Meenakshi Ammal’s 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.
For this divine Wintery lentil stew, an earthy, dark lentil is called for. Puy lentils are a common choice, and the dark Beluga is excellent. I also love to make it with either Horse Gram or Matki lentils – brown, earthy and delicious lentils that you can get from your Indian shop. How good these are.
Despite the very familiar ingredients, the result is a bit magic and unexpected. It is an O. M. G. dish. The texture of the lentils with the silkiness of the eggplant. The pop of the tomato flavour, the way the sour cream enhances the dish, the heat of the chilli and the Greekness of the oregano.
Serve as it is, for a light meal, or bulk it up by spooning on top of rice, on slices of grilled or toasted sourdough. You can serve the stew either as a hearty starter or a side, or as a main served with any grain you like. It can be made up to three days ahead and kept in the fridge–just warm through then add the creme fraiche, oil, chilli flakes and oregano before serving. It’s at its best served warm, but is also very good at room temperature.
This is an Ottolenghi recipe – or at least it was until I, naturally, played with it a little. The key change was in the lentil used, but if you like you can check the original recipe. We always feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area, or to massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.
Çoban Salatası or Choban salad (Turkish for Shepherd’s Salad) is a Turkish salad consisting of finely chopped tomatoes (preferably peeled), cucumbers, long green peppers, onion, and flat-leaf parsley. The dressing is made from of lemon juice, olive oil, and salt.
It is another take on the ubiquitous global Tomato and Cucumber Salad. The lovely twist to this one is the finely chopped ingredients, the tang of lemon, and the peeled tomatoes. It is rare that I peel tomatoes, but for this salad I break my own rule. Today we only had large olives in the pantry, but normally I would use smaller ones.
Turmeric is still the super food of the moment, and that has lead to some terrible misuses of this special spice. In small amounts it adds a special flavour to a dish. In large amounts it is bitter and unpalatable. The key to consuming turmeric is to add a little to each dish you cook – half a tspn is enough.
Today we have our favourite turmeric recipes for you. In addition to these, know that most Indian dishes also include turmeric, so explore them as well. I do hope you love and enjoy these recipes too.
Other Collections include:
Pomelo in Bengali is called Batabi Lebu, and it is often interpreted as Grapefruit in English. It is a pity because Pomelo is quite different, not as sour as grapefruit, and a terrific fruit for salads.
This is a common Bengali use for Pomelo – eating it with chilli, sugar and Indian rock salt (black salt, kala namak, which is strongly aromatic and actually pink in colour – it is different to Himalayan Salt, though). It is the sort of recipe that could also be used with green mango, for example, or other fruits and vegetables, even grapefruit. Interestingly, it is also good with the more mild Jicama (Yam Bean tuber).
Pomelo is a common fruit in Bengal, and comes into its season after the monsoons. It is a winter ritual to eat the citrusy fruit after lunch while soaking in any sun. There is a pink fleshed variety and a yellow fleshed variety. It has a range of different names across India.
Chai made with a range of spices and liquorice root is incredibly good. It is also very detoxifying, so it is a healthy AND flavoursome tonic for an afternoon relaxing hot drink. Or morning. Or evening.
This recipe is very much like our first chai – Yogi Chai – all those years ago. Spices are roasted to enhance their flavours, and then simmered. Tea can be added or not – your choice. And it can be sweetened or not. Milk can be added or not. So there is a range of choices and variation.
While it is usually consumed piping hot, it is also wonderful chilled and sipped on hot days and in those heatwaves so common in the area where I reside.
There was a recipe I had been wanting to try for a while during Winter when the oranges hung large and gorgeous on the tree. But it was one of those times when the recipe sat on my kitchen bench for weeks before finally making it. Originally I had considered making it as a stand-alone dessert, but finally made it as a topping for a very special sweet congee. Since then, we have also topped our favourite rice pudding with these poached oranges and ricotta, and served it as-is, as a delicious dessert at the end of a long cold day. It really is divine, incredibly quick and easy to make, and can be served warm or cold.
We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.
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.