Sprouts Usal

Sprouts must be one of the healthiest foods on the planet, and so easy to make at home. You can sprout any whole lentil from your Indian shop and most from your supermarket – also some spices like fenugreek which makes lovely sprouts.

The sprouts are added to oil and spices, and are quickly tossed. Then water is added and the sprouts are left to steam until soft. This is quite different to the Chinese/Asian treatment of sprouts, which is to stirfry them. It is a reflection of the different style of sprouts used in the two areas. In India, sprouts are short, barely 1 cm long. Lentils and beans are sprouted until the tiny sprout has shown its face, and then they are cooked. In Chinese cuisines, the sprouts are left to grow until 5 or 6 cm long to add crunchy, fresh, textural elements to a dish.

In India, there is a difference between Usal and Misal dishes – sometimes the two dishes are confused. Usal is a spiced sprouts dish made with one or more sprouted lentils and beans. Traditionally Usal is made with sprouts of moth beans (matki). Usal can be eaten as is, or Misal is made. For Misal, the cooked sprouts are immersed in a spicy thin gravy and topped with farsan, sev, onion, coriander and lemon wedges. Both Misal and Usal can be eaten with Pav – Indian bread buns.

Usually people mix elements of both dishes, according to their taste and preferences – here the Usal is topped with coriander, coconut, onion and lemon.

The book Tiffin by Srinivas is not only a terrific read, it has many recipes are full flavoured and perfectly balanced. This recipe is one for a mix of sprouts, cooked over low heat with spices.  Delicious.

Similar recipes include Masoor Sprouts Rice, Pudla with Mung Sprouts, and Sprouts Sundal.

Browse all of our Sprouts recipes and all of our Usal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Collection: Delicious Recipes with Green Tomatoes

Green Tomatoes are around all season if you look for them, and particularly in Spring and Autumn. They are delicious – don’t stick them on the window sill to ripen. Slice them into your salads, or cook with them. Their slightly tart tomatoey flavour will surprise you. We adore them and you will too. Enjoy our collection of recipes from the US, India, Australia and beyond.

Other Collections include:

Browse all of our Green Tomato recipes, or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Carrot Koshambari

Here is another gorgeous salad in our series of Koshambari and Kosumalli salads. This one is a combination of carrots, chana dal and spices. I always say it, but it must be repeated – it is utterly delicious! A refreshing and cooling salad for hot Summer days.

Similar recipes include Cucumber and Mung Kosumalli, and Carrot and Mung Bean Sprouts Kosumalli.

You might like to read What is Kosumalli aka Koshambari.

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

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Green Bean Kootu

There is a wide variety of vegetables that can be used in kootu dishes, and today we use a standard recipe with green or runner beans. Of course, it is delicious. It is the same as Brinjal Kootu but uses green beans. It is a variation suggested by Meenakshi Ammal in Vol 1 of Cook and See.

Similar recipes include Okra Tamarind Kootu, Elephant Yam Masiyal with Lime JuiceBrinjal Asadu, Cluster Bean Dal Kootu, and Ridged Gourd Dal.

Browse all of our Kootu recipes and all of our Green Bean dishes.  All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Slow Braised Red Peppers in Olive Oil

When you are on your own (or not), and you have some left over red peppers in the fridge, and you are thinking, quick and easy eating for supper, take the red pepper (or two) and slow cook it in olive oil with some thyme (oh the aroma!).

Similar recipes include Roasted Red Pepper Salad with Mozzarella and White Beans, Grilled Sweet Peppers and Eggplant Salad, and Roasted Red Peppers Salad.

Browse all of our Capsicum recipes and all of our Italian dishes. Or simply browse our Mid Spring collection of dishes.

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The Ultimate Cooler – Pineapple Juice with Strawberries, Coconut and Lime

Our weather this year has seen bees and koalas dying in the heat, and tiny fruit forming drop from the trees. It has been a wicked Summer. For the first time ever I am without coriander leaves as they have burnt to a crisp.

In the heat of the Summer one of our favourite coolers is a pineapple based drink with citrus and strawberries, finished off with cooling coconut milk. I like it in the evenings with a touch of alcohol too. We rarely drink alcohol, it is just our preference, but this is one drink that will tempt me on a 40C+ day.

Similar drinks include Tamarind Summer Cooler, Roasted Green Mango Drink, and Ginger Cooler.

Browse all of our Coolers and all of our Drinks. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Indian French Toast (Eggless) with Baked Strawberries

Summer time and strawberries. The scent of fresh strawberries is intoxicating – have you noticed?  We tend to eat them fresh, make Strawberry Icecream, we might bake them, they might go into a salad, or we blitz them into a lassi or frappe or smoothie. Occasionally we make strawberry jam.

But today we are having a special breakfast, making an Indian version of French Toast (no eggs involved), that is topped with slightly baked strawberries. The toast is encased in a sweet, cinnamon flavoured, chickpea flour batter, and is topped with baked strawberries. You can make the same French Toast and serve with strawberry jam – that is pretty good too.

Similar recipes include Baked Strawberries, Strawberries with Lemon, and Strawberries with Sticky Balsamic.

Browse all of our Strawberry recipes, and all of our Toasties. Or explore our easy Early Summer dishes.

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Ambe Dal | Ambyachi Dal | Green Mango and Chana Dal

Are you a mango maniac? I have the dish for you. It’s a dish made of soaked chana dal ground with cumin and green chillies, and served with a tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves. And most importantly, there is a generous inclusion of grated raw mango. This dish is a perfect dish for mango lovers, and is served as a snack to people who visit. It is also the best after-school snack during heatwaves.

It is very easy to make, with few ingredients. Perfect for Summer busy lives. The tartness of the mangoes, the sweetness from the coconut, the nuttiness from channa dal, and the spiciness from green chillies means that the flavours both contrast and compliment each other – is your mouth watering yet?

Ambe Dal is a Maharashtrian dish (also known as Amba or Ambyachi Dal). Usually made in Summer, this quick and easy salad is so cooling. Maharashtrian hospitality is legendary, and I can vouch for it as I have good friends from Pune. Maharashtrian cuisine has subtle variety and strong flavours and can be very mild to very spicy.

Green mangoes come in various levels of sourness, from tart to sweet-sour. Choose one that suits your own preferences. Serve Ambe Dal with rice, Kachumber, Kosumalli, and/or roti, perhaps on a banana or mango leaf.  It goes well with Aam Panna.

Are you looking similar dishes? Try Cucumber, Carrot and Green Mango Koshambari, Aamer Dal, Green Mango in Coconut Milk, and Coconut, White Peas and Green Mango Sundal.

Also try Pomelo, Green Mango and Pea Eggplant Salad with Tamarind Dressing, Vermicelli and Green Mango Salad, and Sweet and Sour Mango Curry.

Why not browse all of our Mango dishes, all Salads, our Channa Dal dishes, and all of our Maharashtrian recipes? Our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our many Mid Summer dishes.

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Collection: Kachumber Salads

Kachumber, or cachumber, is the Indian version of a chopped tomato and cucumber salad. It usually consists of freshly chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and onions with a pepper and lemon or lime dressing. It often includes fresh chilli peppers, or chilli powder can be added to the dressing. The dressing is unique to this salad, as it does not contain any oil and gives a peppery tang to the salad.

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Celery and Lemon Salad with Feta

I have a little New Year project going on for a year or so – focusing on recipes from Ottolengi’s Plenty More. I am afraid this book has been neglected before this project, even though it is a favourite in his collection. You will have noticed a few of his recipes appearing on the blog as they are scheduled and posted.

SO, Happy Weekend! And, in case you’ve just opened your eyes, a little weary after last night, not to mention the last few weeks of holidays and non-stop munching and gulping, get yourself into the kitchen and make this salad. It has the amazing quality of tasting equally healthy, tangy and comforting, just at a time when you need a little miracle. Truly this is the case.

I do hope that you enjoy this recipe. Celery Salads are rare, and I am always on the lookout for good ones to complement our collection.

We have compiled 30 Great Mid Summer Salads for you, so it is very easy to vary your salads each day.

Similar recipes include Celery Yoghurt Salad, Nashi Pear and Celery Salad, and some Simple Celery Salads.

Browse our Celery Salads and all of our Celery dishes. Our Ottolenghi recipes are here (or just the ones from Plenty More). Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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