Green Tomato Sambar with Crushed Curry Leaves

It has been a great year for green tomatoes – both our Asian grocery and our local Middle Eastern green grocer have stocked them at various times. So we have indulged our love of them with a range of recipes.

Some of our most loved green tomato recipes are from India, and today’s dish is a gorgeous sambar from Tamil Nadu. As green tomatoes have a sourness to them, the amount of tamarind is reduced for this sambar.

Similar dishes include Green Tomato and Onion Subzi, Green Tomato Pachadi, and Green Tomato Bhaji.

Browse all of our Green Tomato dishes and all of our Sambar recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Kottu Rasam | Plain Simple Rasam | Third Method

This recipe is another from Meenakshi Ammal’s books Cook and See. It is a plain rasam, very simple and quick to make as it does not contain any significant amount of toor dal. She has three methods for making this rasam, each one treats the 1 teaspoon of toor dal that it does contain, in a different way. This is Method 3. Method 1 is here, and Method 2 is here. They are all very similar, but the taste and texture difference is subtle but noticeable.

This rasam may be simple and quick but it does not lose anything in flavour. It is amazing – tangy, spicy, and the taste of coriander complimenting the rasam. Make double the recipe, you might need seconds.

Just a note on Rasam powder – if you are going to make your rasam powder fresh for this recipe, make one without much toor dal. But, really, if you have some already made or purchased, it will still work well, so use whichever type you have. Even Sambar Powder will be Ok.

Are you interested in other Rasams? Try Mysore Rasam, Tomato Lentil Rasam, Tulsi Rasam, Cumquat Rasam, and Pepper Rasam.

You might also be interested in the following articles:

Our simply explore all of our Rasam recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to browse our Late Spring recipes.

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EARLY SUMMER – Don’t Miss these Summery dishes | Seasonal Cooking

Coats and jackets are put away and anticipation is high for the warming weather. The capriciousness of Spring is steadying. The weather is beautiful, and food becomes lighter, as though our body is shedding its layers too. Thoughts turn to the bountiful Summer harvest.  Enjoy these highlights from our Early Summer classic recipes.

Want more than highlights? You can also browse:

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Green Tomato and Onion Subzi | Green Tomato Fry

Today’s recipe is another Green Tomato dish to add to our collection. Green tomatoes are generally available from Late Spring or Early Summer into Autumn, if you can find a green grocer who stocks them. This dish is a quick, spicy stir fry using just the tomatoes with onions and spices.

Similar dishes include Green Tomato Sambar, Aloo Bhindi Subzi, Cauliflower Fry, Green Bean and Carrot Fry, and Cabbage Fry.

Green Tomato dishes include Green Tomato and Mozzarella Salad, and Green Tomato Salsa.

Browse all of our Green Tomato dishes, our Subzi recipes and our Vegetable Fry recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Persian Barberry Saffron Rice with Almonds and Pistachios

We are so in love with our long stranded saffron from Saffron Only. With our delivery we also received several recipe cards including the recipe for this rice dish which has also been mentioned by an Irani work colleague. As beautiful soft barberries are available at the local Afghan shop, the recipe was added to our must-cook list.

The recipe simmers long grained rice until al dente, then steams it on a bed of potatoes or pita bread (optional) until the bottom is crispy and the rice is perfectly cooked. It is then served with saffron water, the toasted barberries, almonds and pistachios.

Berberis, commonly known as barberry, is a large shrub that has yellow flowers and red or blue-black berries. The berries, rich in vitamin C, have a distinct sharp acid flavour. The country in which they are used the most is Iran where they are used in rice pilafs.. Due to their inherent sour flavor, they are often cooked with sugar before being added to rice. Iranian markets sell barberry dried. In Russia they are sometimes used in jams and extract from them is a common flavouring for soft drinks and candies/sweets. They are rarely used in Europe in modern times. (Thanks wikipedia.)

I notice that Ottolenghi has a similar recipe on his website. I mention it only as we have an Ottolenghi Project happening, cooking from his book Plenty More. You can check his recipe out, but I like this one better. 🙂

Barberries are also such a beautiful colour that they make a great garnish to any rice dish or salad.

Similar recipes include Saffron Mograbieh Pilaf, Saffron, Date and Almond Rice, and Golden Saffron Tea.

Browse all of our Saffron dishes and all of our Persian recipes. Our Middle Eastern dishes are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.
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Green Tomato Bhaji

Green tomatoes have a sturdiness that red tomatoes don’t have. This means that they will not collapse in dishes the way a red tomato will do, and so they can be used in Indian dishes as a vegetable rather than a sauce. We are so lucky that our Green Grocer stocks them, and they are plentiful in Summer and into Autumn.

In this dish, the tartness of the green tomatoes pairs well with the sweetness of the jaggery, and dal is added to the tadka for a crunchy textural element. The spices are freshly roasted to bring out their flavour. Pair the dish with rice or roti, or serve as an accompaniment to your dal-rice.

Similar dishes include Green Tomato Sambar, Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhaji, Spinach Thoran, and Sweet Potato Subzi.

Also try Green Tomato Salsa with Coriander and Chilli.

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

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Broad Bean and Dill Rice

Sometimes we just need to throw something together quickly. This is your recipe for a rice side dish, or a snack if you will – ideal for Spring time when young broad beans are around, or at other times using frozen, peeled broad beans from your Middle Eastern of Afghani Grocer. Grab your dill from there too – they have simply the best, largest, freshest bunches of dill, far better than the limp branch or two we get from Supermarkets. (If you buy your frozen broad beans from the supermarket, it is likely that you will have to peel the individual beans once they are blanched. The ones from a Middle Eastern shop will save you quite a bit of time.)

Similar dishes include Black Pepper and Cumin Rice, Persian Barberry Saffron Rice, Saffron, Date and Almond Rice, Kosheri, and Zucchini Rice.

Browse all of our Rice dishes and all of our Middle Eastern recipes. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Batata Harra with Eggplant | Spicy Lebanese Roast Potatoes with Eggplant

Looking for an alternative to chips for late night snacks or to serve with vegetarian BBQs? This is the recipe for you. Rather than cooking as chips, the potatoes here are cubed and roasted with garlic and capsicums in a traditional Lebanese and Syrian dish.  Ottolenghi shares it in his book Plenty More. I like to add eggplants as well – the texture of these is a great contrast to the crispy potatoes and the sweet capsicums. I have also added some curry leaf powder, but this is entirely optional. I like it it because it pairs so well with chilli powder and chilli flakes.

Make curry leaf powder by grinding dried curry leaves. If you have access to fresh leaves, toast them in a dry pan until crispy, then grind. If you’ve purchased dried leaves, grind them as they are.

Similar recipes include Chermoula Eggplant with Bulgar and Yoghurt, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Baked Parsnips with Parmesan, and Perfect Roast Potatoes.

Browse all of our Potato dishes and all of our Eggplant recipes. Other dishes from Plenty More are here, and our Lebanese dishes are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Grape Leaf Encrusted Rice Pie | Layered Rice with Vine Leaves

We are fascinated with using vine leaves for cooking. While everyone is familiar with dolmades, there are quite a number of dishes that are complemented by the flavour and aroma of the grape vine leaves.

This recipe is sort of a lazy man’s dolmades – a rice mixture baked in layers with vine leaves, and encrusted with vine leaves. It comes out as a pie, and is cut into wedges to be served with lemon and pomegranate molasses. The rice is herby, nutty, and slightly sweet from the currants. Some Middle Eastern flavours there. The recipe comes together easily, tastes great, and can be eaten warm or cold. It is an excellent contribution to a table of mezze.

Similar dishes include Dolmades, Grape Vine Leaf Powder, Grilled Pecorino in Vine Leaves, and Mushrooms Baked in Vine Leaves.

Browse our Rice dishes and all of our Vine Leaf recipes. All of our Yoghurt dishes are here. Or explore our other Early Summer recipes.

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Quick Okra with Coconut and Yoghurt | Okra Raita

A delightfully quick okra dish where okra is sauteed with turmeric and other spices and mixed with yoghurt. There are a lot of dishes originating in India that combine okra and yoghurt in some way. It is such a special pairing. This is another recipe that celebrates that combination.

It is a really quick dish. By the time you have the yoghurt ready, the okra have nearly finished cooking. This time I have used the tiny Egyptian Okra that I get from my local Afghan grocery, no bigger than a thumb nail, and I use them whole. If using the larger okra, halve them lengthwise.

Similar recipes include Sri Lankan Okra Curry with Coconut Milk, Kurkuri Bhindi, Okra and Coconut Milk, and Okra Pakora. Also try other raitas, such as Pomegranate Raita.

Browse all of our Okra dishes, and all of our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. We have some Yoghurt dishes. Or explore our Mid Spring collection of recipes.

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Orange and Date Salad with Fennel Orange Dressing

This is a delightful Moroccan Salad, simple to make and delicious to eat. Oranges and dates are both special in Morocco, and this brings them together in a vivid salad plate for the centre of the table. The dressing is one with spices – cinnamon, fennel, pepper, garlic – and orange blossom water to boost the orange flavour.

The recipe is one of Ottolenghi’s salads that is herb based (see Ettie’s Salad and Celery and Lemon Salad, from Plenty More, for example). Salads based on herbs are common from Afghanistan right around to Israel and Palestine, and through the Mediterranean across to the coast of Africa. Some are very simple – Irani Herbs with Radishes and Salt (no dressing), for example, and the Turkish Bowl of Herbs with a simple dressing. Then there is an Orange Salad, just with a simple dressing. This one is more complex and Ottolenghi has combined several of those simpler salads into one, very delicious, salad.

Similar recipes include Saffron, Date and Almond Rice, Halloumi and Orange Salad, and Chilli Orange Olive Salad.

Browse all of our Orange Salads and all of our Orange recipes. All of our Salads are here, all of our Date recipes are here, and our Moroccan dishes here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Mulethi Wali Chai | Liquorice Ginger Chai

I read this heartfelt ode to Chai this morning.

Chai is relevant in any situation.
Guests are coming, make chai
Headache, make chai
Very far away, make chai
Death is coming, make chai

Make ginger chai – with ginger
Rain is coming – Make chai with Pakora
Do not get the blues – Make fennel chai
Make chai to avoid doing nothing !!

Some rhythm is probably lost in translation, but I get the point and love the little poem. How important chai is to everyday life in India. So, we have a different chai for you today – one with liquorice root. There is generally some on hand to make Yogi Chai, so when I saw a simple version  of that chai using only liquorice, I leapt into action. It made a delightful afternoon Chai on the first cool day after a string of 40C (105F) days.

Liquorice is generally regarded as more as a medicinal herb than a flavoursome one in India, but if you love it as I do, there is nothing to stop you making this tea at any time. Otherwise, it is used to relieve sore throats, dry coughs or acidity in the stomach.

Similar recipes include  Chai Masala, Fiona’s Beautiful Chai, Spring Chai, and Heavenly Gentle Chai.

Browse all of our Chai recipes and all of our Indian drinks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and the Indian Essentials Series is here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Aromatic Lemon and Curry Leaf Rice

This rice dish, very delicious I must say, is cooked in the oven. This method is  very handy if you are cooking a large meal and want to leave the stove top for other dishes. The general method can be used without the addition of the aromatics. Ottolenghi has this recipe in his book Plenty More but I have tarted it up just a little. As much as I love Yotham and crew, they need to get a better handle on Indian ingredients (IMO), so I have added or changed out a couple of things in this dish.

Try to get hold of fresh curry leaves on the stem for this dish – they freeze or dry well, so don’t worry if you end up with a big bunch. One of the ways in which curry leaf flavour is layered into a dish is to use them in several different ways in the same dish. Flavour a broth with them, as Ottolenghi does, saute/fry them in ghee or some other oil because the flavour is most easily transported by oils, and add crushed leaves to the final dish. I have used the last two methods in my version of this dish.

Serve the dish with an Indian pickle and a vegetable or lentil curry.

We have several ways of cooking rice, and this oven method is one more. Also try Oven Finished Rice, Buttery Steamed Rice, and The Absorption Method.

Similar recipes include Turmeric Rice, Saffron, Date and Almond Rice, Carrot Rice, and Lemon Rice.

Browse all of our Rice dishes, and our Indian Recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. All of the Ottolenghi dishes we have made are here. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Chilli Soy Sauce and Dipping Sauce

Our garden features several well-bearing chilli bushes, and we do a number of things with them. Firstly, we freeze some, whole, for use during winter. We use them in our cooking of course, especially Indian dishes. Some red ones are dried for use as dried chillies in Indian food during the year. Chilli jams, sauces and pastes are made. And we pretty much use them in everything else.

Today’s recipe is a very simple, Asian condiment, which soaks fresh chillies in soy sauce, to be drizzled over, well, pretty much everything. I love a good stirfry and rice, and with abundant amounts of this condiment to drizzle and to dip. Imagine dipping some deep fried tofu in this sauce! Also good over noodle dishes and vegetables. Try it with samosas, or Chinese Scallion Pancakes.

Similar recipes include Broth and Dipping Sauce for Noodles and Tofu, Preserved Sweet Chillies, Balinese Sambal Iris, Tomato and Chilli Jam, and Chilli Pastes. Also try Onion Jam, and Zhug.

Browse all of our Chilli dishes and all of our Sauces and Condiments. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Celery Salad with Sour Grapes and Burrata

They say that Burrata is the best thing since sliced bread. And certainly it is very very good. A delicious mozzarella shell filled with thick cream. Has your mind gone to heaven? Indeed. It is simply the dreamiest. Creamy, luscious – burrata is Italian for butter, if that gives you any clues on how beautiful it can be.

Burrata is quite difficult to find here, in our little outback town of Adelaide. Not so in other cities, where it perches on the shelves of every supermarket. I had to search hard to find it within reasonable driving distance of my home. It took some time – distributors and cheese makers were not willing to help – I contacted several – but persistence paid and I found a reliable source not far from my work. That is Adelaide for you.

One of the great things about Burrata is that it is perfect for replacing coddled or poached eggs in salads. Thus for those who, like me, avoid cooking with eggs, the creaminess of the interior with the soft mozzarella coating brings that something that soft cooked eggs give to salads and baked dishes.

Celery salads are so rare, but I love one particular recipe, it is my favourite use of celery. I have modified it here to include the burrata. I hope you enjoy it. The origin is an Ottolenghi salad but the recipe keeps morphing into a dish that is appearing more and more often on our table.

Oh, and the other ingredient that is introduced in this salad, is Sour Grapes. Yes, I know, you all know those who are always full of sour grapes. But, it is also an exciting ingredient. Preserved sour grapes can be found in jars in Middle Eastern and Afghani groceries. They taste sour and briney, and a little like capers and caper berries. They are great in salads and in dishes where a sour taste is called for to balance other flavours. Pick some up today (or use capers in place of the grapes).

Similar recipes include Purslane Salad with Herbs and Burrata, Celery Yoghurt Salad, Nashi Pear and Celery Salad, and some Simple Celery Salads.

Browse our Celery Salads and all of our Celery dishes. Our Burrata dishes are here.  Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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