Grape Vine Leaf Powder

Lately, I have been using a powder made from blanched, dried and ground grape vine leaves as a spice and flavouring. It has a deep red grape, woody flavour. We use grape leaves in cooking – e.g. dolmades, cheese wrapped in grape vine leaves, casseroles and baked dishes lined with grape leaves – AND that they dry easily, so I thought that powdering them might work. It does. It is still an experiment and work in progress, but I am sharing the beginnings with you.

It goes well mixed with ghee and stirred through rice, sprinkled over feta cheese, and scattered over vegetables before they are roasted. Mixed with salt it is an excellent seasoning and into yoghurt as you make a sauce, dressing or dip. It is an interesting umami type flavour.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Grilled Pecorino in Grape Vine Leaves, and Mushrooms Cooked in Grape Vine Leaves. Other spice mixes/powders include Sundakkai Podi, and Chaat Masala.

Browse all of our Grape Vine Leaf recipes, and all of our Spice Mixes. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Okra with Cumin and a Yoghurt Sauce

This next recipe in our Okra series combines the okra with cumin seed (or use caraway seed) and other spices, and cooks it in a thickened sauce which glazes the okra. It is then mixed with yoghurt, or the yoghurt is drizzled over the top of the okra. It is Indian in style, but not a traditionally Indian dish.

Okra is available for such a long period of the year, and is reasonably priced in most areas, so it makes sense to include it in your diet. It is rather a healthy food too.

Are you after other Okra dishes? Try Spicy Dried Okra, Crispy Okra, and Plain Kuzhambu with Okra.

Browse all of our Okra dishes, or explore our Late Autumn collection of recipes.

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Green Tea, Mint, Ginger, Apple Juice and Strawberry Cooler

Man, it is hot, and that sound is the sound of records breaking. As I write it is mind numbingly “warm”. Although it is such a slow start to Summer, these first days of heat are some of the hottest recorded. And people say climate change is not real.

So the rhythms of the kitchen change, and first thing in the morning we decide what to pop into the fridge for late-afternoon-on-the-deck cool sipping. There are quite a few recipes around for Apple Green Tea iced drink, and I tissied them up a bit, to suit our tastes and the items on my kitchen bench this morning. I do hope you enjoy it!

You might also like to try Watermelon Juice with Mint and Ginger, Balinese Ginger and Lemongrass Tea (which can be iced) and a Strawberry Frappe.

Have a look at our Summer Cooler Suggestions – or browse all of our coolers here. Are you looking for Tea recipes? Try here. Or Juice suggestions? Look here. Or simply explore our Early Summer recipes here.

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Andhra Brinjal Chutney | Indian Roasted Eggplant Chutney | Vankaya Pachchadi

The cuisine of Andhra Pradesh in South India is well known in India, even more, I think, than my beloved Tamil cuisine. One of the features of Andhra cuisine is its wonderful chutneys – wide, varied and flavoursome recipes that tease the palate and make wonderful companions to other dishes.

Cooking at Home with Pedatha is one of the well known cookbooks focusing on food from Andhra. The authors capture the recipes of 85 year old Subhadra Krishna Rau Parigi, fondly known as Pedatha. I often delve into this book for inspiration, along with my treasured books on Tamil cuisine by Meenakshi Ammal.

Please enjoy this recipe for Brinjal Chutney.

Browse our other Indian Chutney recipes, all of our Andhra Pradesh recipes, and our Eggplant dishes.  Are you looking for Indian recipes? They are here. And our Indian Essential Series is here. Or simply relax and explore all of our Early Summer dishes.

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Indian Fresh Green Apple Pickle

My beautiful Mahrashtrian friend makes this pickle that is amazingly delicious! Whenever we have big groups over for dinner, she makes this. The first time I tasted it, I begged her for the recipe. It was delicious and it turned out to be so very easy! She uses a store-bought Aachar Masala powder, and all it takes is some extra spices, the apples, some mustard oil and the powder.

I had forgotten the recipe as I hadn’t made it for a while, so I have to thank my twitter friend Dee, for helping me out.

You can also make this with cucumber, carrots, green mango, celery, lemons or caperberries too!

The spice mix is called Achar Masala and is the RamDev brand. This is the brand my friend recommends, and I do not receive anything for mentioning it.

Similar recipes include Carrot Pickle, Onion Strings Pickle, and Quince Aachar.

Browse all of our Indian Pickles. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to browse our Late Spring recipes.

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Broad Bean and Mint Vadai | Broad Bean Falafel

We have been using up the last of the broad beans, and turned the very last of them into a cross between South Indian Vadai and Middle Eastern Falafel. Whatever, they are gorgeous!

The trick is to grind some blanched broad beans with herbs and curry leaves, then add besan, and shallow fry or deep fry them until cooked and crispy. They are gorgeous with some fresh Indian chutney and a bowl of rasam. We use the Western Fava Beans (aka Broad Beans) not the Indian Broad Beans, Avarakkai, for this dish.

Try some other vadai too – Maddur Vada, Falafel, and Gram Flour Vada. Are you looking for Rasam? We have a couple of dozen rasam recipes here.

Browse our Vadai recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to browse our Late Spring dishes.

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Creamy Potato Cheese Gratin

Normally cheesy gratin dishes would be Winter fare in this house, but it is late Spring as I write, and we have the heating on and three layers of clothes. It is cold and wet. It might be 10 days from Summer but it feels like mid Winter. It HAS to be potatoes and cheese. Plus the oven warms the kitchen nicely.

Are you looking for similar dishes? Try Parmesan Potatoes, Pasta Bake with Cabbage and Cheese, Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini, and Gratineed Sweet Potatoes.

You can browse all of our Gratin dishes and all of our Potato recipes. Or simply explore all of our Late Summer dishes.

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Murungakkai Sambar | Drumstick Sambar With Crushed Curry Leaves

Drumsticks, such a funny name, are stick shaped vegetables that grow on a tree. They are funny, skinny, long vegetables with a hard outer covering that gives them the name drumsticks. You have to be in the know to eat this vegetable, as you would never guess it. There is a soft interior that is delicious. The pieces of drumsticks have to be picked up with the fingers, the exterior is squashed in the mouth and the tender interior can be scraped out with the teeth. You come to love this little procedure. The harder skin, once all flavour is extracted from it, is discarded on the side of the plate.

Drumsticks are particularly delicious in Sambar and Rasam. They are best bought fresh, but frozen drumsticks are readily available in Indian groceries if you can’t find them locally. This recipe is from the classic book Classic Tamil Brahmin Cuisine, such a great book of classic South Indian / Tamil traditional recipes. The method is somewhat different to Meenakshi Ammal’s seminal recipes from Cook and See, in that the tadka is added to the base gravy before the cooked dal is added. Ammal usually also includes tomatoes in her sambar as well, and thickens the dish with a little rice flour or besan at the end. I have added the thickening trick to the recipe as it really does add to the texture of the dish.

Similar recipes include Poritha Koottu, Poritha Kuzhambu, Drumstick Kadhi, and Pitlai.

Browse all of our Drumstick recipes and all of our Sambar dishes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or browse our Late Spring dishes.

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EARLY SPRING Vegetables for Healthy Eating in Spring | Seasonal Cooking

At last, Spring arrives with her variety of fresh greens and other vegetables. Thank goodness! It is Vegetables that carry us from Deep Winter into Transitional Spring. How important it is in Early Spring to increase the intake and variety of fruit and vegetables. We are here to help.

Enjoy our Vegetable Inspiration for Early Spring.

You can also browse other Early Spring recipes:

 

Please let us know if you find links that are not working. We would love to fix them for you.

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Pomelo Raita

We adore Pomelo when it is in season and have a range of salads and snacks that we make with it. It takes some effort to peel, but it is worth it! This particular pomelo, in season now, has bright pink flesh, and the dishes look amazing.

Today we make an Indian dish with the Pomelo. Pomelo is called different things in different parts of India, but mainly have spellings similar to Chakkotha. We mix it in the yoghurt with some other cooling ingredients – tomatoes and cucumbers – and spice it up with some chaat masala. I can’t claim all the credit for this. I saw a recipe some time ago that was similar, and the thought has stayed with me. Now that Pomelos are back in the shop, it is a chance to make this dish.

Similar recipes include Pomelo with Avocado, Three Citrus Salad, and Pomelo and Green Mango Salad.

Browse all of our Pomelo dishes and all of our Raitas. Our Indian dishes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or browse our Late Spring dishes.

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Pearl Barley and Porcini “Risotto” | Pearl Barley and Porcini with Parmesan

Well, I have been known to be quite pedantic about what makes a risotto and what does not. I have this in common with Nigel Slater. It is a constant surprise the lengths some recipes go to, to be called a risotto.

But ok, this recipe is not a real risotto, that is why the quotes are there. But is is a dish with beautiful flavours, cooked with pearl barley which is stirred while it simmers, to cook it slowly. It is beautifully flavoured with red wine, porcini, pecorino, and, would you believe it, currants for a dark musky note and a hint of sweetness.

The amount of liquid needed to soften barley can vary, so stir in more liquid if the specified amount is not quite enough.

Similar recipes include Charred Okra with Spiced Tomato Barley, Barley Pilaf with Mushrooms, and Parsley and Barley Salad.

Browse all of our Barley recipes, all of our real Risottos and our Mushroom dishes. Or explore our Late Spring dishes.

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Sundakkai Vathal Paruppu Podi | Dried Pea Eggplant, Spice and Lentil Mix | Dried Turkey Berry Spice Powder

Sundakkai Vathal are dried pea eggplants (also called turkey berries), and they have a salty, slightly bitter taste. They are quite addictive, but are an adult taste. You have to grow into them. We adore them.

One way to use them is to grind them into a powder. Sometimes we do this without mixing them with anything else – saute them in a tiny bit of ghee until the puff a little, then grind into a powder, and sprinkle on rice and into dishes. It is amazing!

This recipe is a podi, or a South Indian spice mix, which includes lentils, pepper and chillies. You can add cumin as well. Curry leaves are crisped and ground with the other ingredients. It tastes great with hot rice mixed with ghee, and used to make Sundakkai Vathal Kuzhambu.

Other Spice Mixes include Garam Masala, Chaat Masala, Grape Vine Leaf Powder, and Sambar Powder.

Browse our other Podi recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to browse our Late Spring recipes.

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Balinese Sambal Iris | Onion, Tomato and Chilli Condiment

An Indonesian sambal is a fiery blend of fresh hot chillies and other seasonings which are used as relishes or condiments throughout Indonesia. There are dozens of different sambal recipes; some raw, and some cooked. A sambal is served and used in much the same way we might use Sriracha or tabasco sauce.

They are generally easy to make, especially the raw ones, and this sambal takes no more than 5 minutes. The onions and chillies cure in the lime juice, making it incredibly delicious. Drizzle it over everything for spicy hot flavours.

Of course, our ingredients here are different to the ingredients available in Bali. Our chillies are different, our onions are different, rices are different, and so forth. So when we cook Balinese dishes there will be a difference to the traditional ones. But the flavours will still be so good. Plus, that gives us some leeway to play with the traditional recipe, adding freely available, local ingredients. I love to include cumquat juice and zest and kaffir lime leaves. Coriander and/or Basil leaves go nicely too.

Similar recipes include Chilli Jam, Chilli Paste, Sambel Tomat, and Sweet Chilli Sauce.

All of our Chilli dishes are here, or you might like our Balinese recipes. We have some Sambals here too. Or explore our Late Spring collection of dishes.

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Locquat Salad

Locquats ripen in early November, perhaps late October if the weather is good. That is Spring time here in the Southern Hemisphere. They are so beautiful, picked straight from the tree, still warm from the sun, eaten as they are. They don’t keep well or long inside, they bruise easily, but can be poached and served with icecream and a liqueur poured over.

Cutting them up is a chore. Starting with a basketful, you might end up with a small bowl of flesh. The stones in the middle are huge, and by the time you remove the stem and tail ends, and peel them, there are only small amounts of flesh left per locquat.

One other way that we use them, laboriously cutting and peeling, is in a simple salad with ingredients from our garden. It is lovely and refreshing on a sunny Spring day.

Similar recipes include Green Guava Salad, Pomegranate Salsa, and Peach Salsa.

Our Locquat recipes are here. Browse all of our Salads too, or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Broad Bean Puree with Chilli Oil

As broad beans get older, they suit purees and spreads really well. It is very simple – simmer them for some time, peel each bean, and then puree them with herbs. It makes a delicious snack on toast – I love it at morning tea time with a good cuppa. Or use the puree to make a fresh, spring soup by adding some stock or water and thinly sliced spring vegetables.

Are you after other Broad Bean recipes? Try Broad Bean and Mint Mash, Fava Bean Puree with Dill, Glorious Five Bean Salad, and 13 Treasure Happiness Soup.

You might like to look at our other Broad Bean Purees here, and all of our Broad Bean recipes. Browse our Italian recipes as well. Or take time out and explore our Late Spring recipes.

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