Burghul, Pistachio and Tomato Salad

Burghul seems to be used mostly a Winter grain, but I would like to reassure you that Summery Salads based on Burghul are terrific. Juicy with ripe tomatoes, fragrant with Pomegranate Molasses, crunchy with nuts, cooling with cucumber and herbs. A perfect fit for a lunch on a hot day, sitting under the grapevines.

Similar recipes include Burghul Salad with Olives, Hazelnuts and Pomegranates, Cauliflower and Burghul Kitchari, and Burghul and Mung Kitchari.

Browse all of our Burghul recipes, our Burghul Salads and all of our Salads. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Salad-e Khiar-o Anar | Cucumber Pomegranate Salad

Since discovering golpar, I have been looking at ways to use it. This lovely salad has its origin in a book by Najmieh Batmanglij, New Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking. It is quite a terrific salad, with the flavour bursts of pomegranate kernels, the tang of the lime, golpar and salt, the freshness of mint and the cooling taste of the cucumber. It is a remarkable mix of flavours and is totally gorgeous. It would make a great Xmas Salad with those lovely colours.

Golpar is the powder made from the seeds of Iranian Hogweed, and you can read more about it here. Pick up some of the powder or the seeds at a Middle Eastern or Afghan grocery. If you can only find the seeds, grind them to a powder in a spice grinder.

Similar recipes include Pomegranate Salsa, Tomato and Pomegranate Salad, and Golpar Namak.

Browse all of our Cucumber recipes, our Pomegranate recipes and our Salads (lots of them). If you are just looking for Cucumber Salads, they are here. Or explore all of our Early Summer dishes.

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Persian Saffron Rice

Saffron rice – it’s a classic of the Middle East, and one that is so gorgeous. This is a simple recipe that gives 2 colours to the rice. Always use good saffron – nice long threads with an earthy and sweet aroma.

Serve with any Middle Eastern or even Indian dish. You will love it.

Are you wanting other ways to use saffron? Try crushing a tiny piece of saffron into a glass of champagne or sparkling apple cider, turning the drink into a golden elixir. And coffee spiced with saffron and cardamom is a wonderful, soothing drink. Try our Saffron and Spices Tea – relaxing and amazing.

Similar recipes include How to Cook Buttery Steamed Rice, How to Cook Rice with the Absorption Method, and Simple Oven Finished Rice.

Saffron dishes include Saffron Mograbieh with Broad Beans, Saffron, Date and Almond Rice, and Dates and Saffron Soaked in Spiced Ghee.

Browse all of our Rice dishes, all of our Saffron dishes, and all of our Persian recipes. Our Middle Eastern dishes are here. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Green Mango Rice | Mamidikaya Pulihora

India must be the country that has the most appreciation of rice. It boasts thousands of different rice varieties and many many more dishes that feature rice as the main ingredient. Rice is never ever relegated to a side dish, playing second fiddle to the main dish or dishes of the meal. There it is, front and centre, always. Pulaos, Kitcheri, Biryani, Bhats, Pongal and Mixed Rices are examples of well known rice dishes.

Pulihora is a South Indian rice which is usually made with tamarind. But the same dish can also be made with green mango or with lemon juice as the souring agent. It is a rice dish that plays homage to the love of sour tastes in Tamil Nadu and beyond. In this recipe, the tamarind is replaced with green mango, and some carrot adds a sweet counterbalance and colour.

This dish is also called mangai sadam and mavinakayi chitranna in different regions. The recipes vary a little, e.g. coconut might be added, but the  base is essentially the same. In South India mango pulihora is made during certain auspicious occasions and festivals too.

Similar dishes include Saffron RiceSaffron, Date and Almond Rice, Ghee Rice with Pandanus, and Green Mango and Coconut Rice.

Browse all of our Mixed Rice dishes, all of our Rice dishes, and Green Mango Recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and the Indian Essentials Series is here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Bengali Pomelo Salad | Batabi Lebu Makha

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.

Similar recipes include Pomelo Raita, Pomelo, Green Mango and Turkey Berry Salad, and Pomelo and Avocado Salad.

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

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Murungakkai Vendhaya | Drumstick and Fenugreek Kuzhambu

How we love drumsticks, those funny long thin pod-like vegetables that grow on spindly trees in South India. Whenever we see them in the shops we bring them home to freeze for later dishes. Rasam, Sambar and Kuzhambu are three of our favourite ways to use them.

Today’s recipe with drumsticks is a kuzhambu that includes fenugreek. Actually the recipe can be made without any vegetables (we have a version here), but we like the addition of drumsticks or eggplant. You can also use okra, small onions or shallots, or Indian broad beans.

Similar recipes include Vendhaya Kuzhambu, Drumstick Sambar with Curry Leaves, and Pitlai.

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

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Liquorice and Spice Chai | Mulethi ka Karha | Hot or Chilled

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.

Similar recipes include Sonth Panak, Yogi Chai, 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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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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Lime Rasam with Green Chillies

There are four different ways of making Lime Rasam, according to the Queen of Tamil Food, Meenakshi Ammal. This is the first of the methods. Lime Rasam, made with green chillies and a base of toor dal for that slightly silky texture. The green chillies give a fresh green taste with the lime juice. There is no tamarind in this recipe as the lime adds sufficient sourness. In this version of Lime Rasam, very little spice is used beyond the chillies, some asafoetida and mustard seeds. It is deliciously hot and tangy. Perfect for a hot day (I like to make it in summer when it is 43C).

Similar recipes include Mysore Rasam, Pepper Rasam, and Tomato Lentil Rasam. There is also a version of Lime Rasam without the toor dal.

You might also be interested in the following articles:

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

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Green Mango Pickle | Mango Aavakaaya

One of my first tastes of India, smack in the middle of South India, was of a pickle that was hot, sour, salty, all at once. I grew addicted to that taste. While most non-Indian people love the Sweet Mango Pickle, I am a devotee of Green Mango Pickle.

This recipe is fairly easy to make if you can get your hands on hard, green mangoes – make sure that they are really green, and not a half ripe sweet mango.

Mustard seeds – whole or ground – are a feature of many Indian pickles. Not only do they taste good, adding a pungency, they are anti-microbial so certainly help in pickles and other preserves.

Similar recipes include Indian Fresh Green Apple Pickle, Mustardy Carrot Pickle, and Onion Strings Pickled Salad.

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

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