Baked Figs with Thyme

This morning some eggplants were baking for a planned eggplant and yoghurt dish, and I decided to pop figs into the oven alongside the eggplants, for a great breakfast treat. These are easy – figs, thyme and olive oil. Delicious. Roasting or baking figs intensifies their sweetness. Ten minutes or so and they are ready.

If you are looking for other Fig recipes try these –Figs with Rosewater and Almonds, Fig Salad with Almond Butter Dressing, and Figs with Pecorino.

Browse all of our Fig recipes here, our Breakfast recipes, all of our Baked recipes, and all of our Dessert recipes. Or take some time to browse our Late Summer dishes.

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Sakkarai Pongal | Sweet Pongal with Milk

Sakkarai Pongal is short grained, raw rice cooked in jaggery and milk with mung dal, simmered until thick and then garnished with ghee, cashew nuts and raisins. It is not the traditional Milk Pongal cooked completely in milk, but is a definite favourite. It is a distinctive dish from Tamil Nadu, and also cooked in Sri Lanka and some other states in South India.

Pongal is a festival in January where we thank the Sun for the bounty that it brings us. Sakkarai Pongal is cooked in the morning as the sun rises and is presented as part of the devotions. Read more about the Pongal Festival here. And all of our dishes for the Pongal Festival are here.

But Pongal, the dish, can be made at any time. There are sweet versions like this one (called sakkarai), and you might like to try the other versions: Sakkarai Pongal from Jaffna; and Sakkaria Pongal without Milk. Check to see if we have since posted other version.

And there is are savoury versions, and we have a couple of versions of Ven Pongal. You can see recipes here.

Otherwise, browse all of our Rice dishes, and all of our Indian dishes. You might like to take some time and browse all of our Mid Summer recipes.

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A Good Brew – Prunes in Tea with Spices, Mandarin and Lemon

I recently read this characterisation of hot drink imbibers:

Tea drinkers are golden oldies fans. Those who take it from a pot, never from a bag, are classical music snobs. Instant coffee drinkers go for hits from the ’70s and ’80s. Short black aficionados turn into whatever is new and funky. The only people who drink herbal teas are folk singers and old hippies.

That makes me a fan of golden oldies and an old hippie folk singer, yet a lover of the new and funky.

Thank goodness that characterisation is not true today, and along with good espresso coffee, tea has found a rightful place after losing out to coffee for a while. Herbal teas are available in cafes and restaurants, chai is a perfectly acceptable cafe-based low-caffine drink for non-coffee drinkers.

They say tea was discovered in 2737BCE when Chinese Emperor Shen Ning infused dried camellia leaves in water to make a pleasant drink that gave him vigour and focus.

Thank goodness for that. Today we use tea in preparing a dessert or breakfast dish with tea and prunes. You can also browse other breakfast dishes or our deserts here and here. You might also like to check out our tea and chai recipes.

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Sago Payasam | South Indian Dessert

A classic dessert of Tamil Nadu

Sago Payasam is a classic dessert in Tamil Nadu in South India, along with Vermicelli and Rice Payasams. Payasams are sweet desserts, the milk condensing and thickening as it cooks and the sugar sweetens this thick mixture to a level almost beyond the experience of cooks outside of India. Hold back on the sugar to begin with if you do not have a sweet tooth.

You might also like our Payasam recipes here and here. Or our Sago recipes here and here. Explore our Indian Desserts here, or the more general Dessert recipes here and here.

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Strawberries with a Mint Raspberry Sauce

Nigel Slater with a dessert of strawberries and raspberries.

I love Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries II and perhaps it is even better than the first volume. While browsing through the June recipes (ie those suitable for December in Australia), it was his pairing of strawberries and raspberries that grabbed my attention. The festive season is notoriously hot in many parts and it is beach and BBQ weather every day. Berries are prolifically available in Australia at this time, and their gorgeous colours and flavours suit the season well.

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Eliappe, Sweet and Delicious Pikelet-like Dosa

A delicious, surprising Indian pancake style dish

This recipe is adapted from Festival Cookbook by Vilma Patil. Eliappe recipes vary wildly. Some cook Eliappe in molds, some in a wok, some cook them free-form. Some ferment the batter, some do not. Some cook over a very hot pan, some cook them more slowly. Some include additional ingredients.

This is my interpretation of Eliappe, sweet and delicious pikelet-like dosa snacks. If you cook it differently, I would love to hear. If you like this, you should also check out the Goan Surnoli.

This is especially good for Pongal Festival in South India.

You might also like to browse all of our Desserts. Or you might be interested in our Poha (flattened rice) recipes. Explore our Dosa recipes too.

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Seasonal Cooking | Teas and Drinks, and Sweet Desserts for Mid Spring Enjoyment

Inspiration for Mid Spring Healthy Living

At all times of the year, sweet things are important to balance the other tastes. As the warmth comes in, the longing for sweet bites decreases a little. Spring fruits and early Summer fruits hit the market, and we are content.

Celebrating Spring

Some gorgeous inspirational Desserts for you this Mid Spring. You can also browse

Other gorgeous Springtime posts include:

If you have difficulty with any links, please let us know. We would love to fix them for you.

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Seasonal Cooking | Teas and Drinks, and Sweet Desserts for Mid Autumn’s Sweet Tooth

Sweetness for Healthy Mid Autumn Living

At all times of the year, sweet things are important to balance the other tastes. As the cold comes in, the longing for sweet bites increases. Perhaps it has to do with the energy provided.

Enjoy some Indian inspiration for Autumn deliciousness. You can also browse Salad and Vegetable Dishes for Mid Autumn; Indian Deliciousness; Breads, Grains, Lentils and Pasta; Soups; Teas and Sweet Desserts; and Tips, Hint and How To’s for Mid Autumn. (Some of these might not be available now but will be published in the next few days.)

If you have difficulty with any links, please let us know. We would love to fix them for you.

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Seasonal Cooking | Sweet Things and Drinks for Early Spring

Sweetness brings comfort in Early Spring fickle weather

Sweet things comfort us during this move from wintery weather to spring warmth and spring rains.

Enjoy our Sweet and Liquid Inspiration for Early Spring. You can also browse Soup Recipes for Early Spring; Salads, Dips, Dressings, BBQs and Vegetables; Indian Deliciousness; Goodies, Grains, Lentils, Preserves and More; Drinks and Sweets; and Helpful Hints for Early Spring. (Some of these will be published over the next few days.)

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Seasonal Cooking | Sweet Things and Drinks for Fun Early Autumn Times

Sweet things to carry us through any transition, especially this transitional month.

Sweet things and a good cuppa always bring comfort. As Summer wanes, we miss her and grieve for the long days of Summer. Yet Autumn also brings great pleasures in her simpler and slower rhythms. A few sweet things punctuate the days and our teas and drinks still hold importance

Enjoy our Sweets and Drinks Inspiration for Early Autumn.

You can also browse other Early Autumn recipes:

If you notice any links that have problems, please let us know – we’d love to fix them for you.

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Nachi’s Payasam

Thankful to my friend for this wonderful dessert recipe

I have had this recipe since forever. It is the kind of dessert you want to eat on a night you are feeling a little vulnerable and out of sorts with the world. It will make you feel great again.

It is so easy, so simple, very wonderful, especially after a hot Indian meal. Given to me by an Indian friend, I believe this recipe is much much better than one published in a recent popular large book on India and Indian food. It is very special.

Nachi made this often and taught me to make it, although he was never too keen to have me cook it for him. He was very particular, and I was still learning, particularly about the precision needed in traditional Indian dishes. One cardamon pod either way, and you could spoil the dish. I had to lose my free-form, flexible Australian ways. We also often made his favourite vegetable dish, Sweet Potato, Eggplant and Spinach Madras Curry.

You might like to browse our Payasam recipes here. Or our other Desserts here and here. Our collection of Indian recipes is here and here.

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Seasonal Cooking | Tempting Sweets and Cooling Drinks for Late Summer Relaxing

Although the mornings and evenings are still balmy, and days can be terrifyingly hot, the first signs of Autumn begin to appear. We still need cooking dishes and drinks. Fruit gradually changes away from stone fruits as Autumn fruits begin to appear later in the month. During Late Summer, food gains more body, as if the physical body wants to stock up for the approach of cold weather.

Enjoy some special Tempting Sweets and Cooling Drinks Inspiration for Late Summer. You can also browse S0up Recipes for Late Summer; Salad, Vegetable and BBQ Recipes; Indian Deliciousness; Goodies, Grains, Lentils and More; Cooling Drinks and Sweet Things; and Tips and Hints for Cooking in Late Summer. (Some of these will be published over the next few days.)

If you find any broken links, please let us know.

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Seasonal Cooking | Sweet Things and Drinks for Late Winter

Even if you don’t eat a lot of desserts, there is something about winter that desires sweet, hot dishes. Inspiration for balanced, healthy living in Late Winter.

Although it is still cold, we begin to look forward, hugging the promise of future warmth to our chest. Yet we still desire dishes warm and sweet after a meal – it is at this time of year that desserts come into their own. And we seek drinks that are warming, and those that keep winter ills at bay.

Celebrating Winter

Enjoy some inspiration for Sweet Love and Hot Drinks in Late Winter.

You can also browse other Late Winter recipes:

If you have difficulty with any links, please let us know. We would love to fix them for you.

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Sakkarai Pongal | Sweet Pongal from Jaffna (without milk)

A dish for Thai Pongal especially, but also wonderful at home.

Pongal is a creamy rice and mung dal dish from South India (and from the Tamil cuisine in Sri Lanka) which can be made savoury and sweet.  In many ways, pongal is similar to the kitchari dish of North India.

Sweet pongal is made at home, but also made as naivedyam and prasadam – gifts to the gods during the different festivals. It is the essential dish for Thai Pongal, a festival each January where families cook sweet pongal over an open fire (if possible).

I love it for breakfast, particularly in the coldness of Mid Winter.

You might like to browse other Pongals, and some Kitcharis. Have a look at our other Naivedyam and Prasadam dishes, and other Thai Pongal dishes. Read about Thai Pongal, or browse other Rice dishes.

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Sevai Kheer | Vermicelli Payasam

A delicious dessert from a Parsi lady.

There is a fabulous cook in Sydney, a Persian (Irani) lady from the North of India, who cooks a mean yoghurt curry and this lovely dessert. She is an Ayurvedic healer and Bowen therapist and I love her work. You will enjoy this dessert.

You can browse our other Payasam recipes here and here, and the Dessert recipes here and here. Explore our Summer recipes here and here.

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