Mid Summer! It is holiday time. Normally we’d travel, take it easy, visit the beach, read books and go to movies. Not this year though. But we can still cook, eat and drink. And there is nothing better to eat than Indian food. Enjoy these highlights from our Mid Summer Indian recipes.
You can browse all of our Mid Summer recipes here:
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A fresh South Indian Chutney made from pureed coconut and coriander.
This is a simple but totally delicious Indian coconut chutney.
There are three varieties of Indian chutneys: fresh chutneys, cooked chutneys, and dry chutneys. Fresh South Indian chutneys are smooth purees made from uncooked ingredients, perhaps seasoned with a tadka of mustard seeds, dal, and curry leaves. They are best freshly made, but they stay good for a couple of days if refrigerated. Made from raw ingredients this type of chutney is unlike most other Indian dishes which have at least some degree of cooking.
Chutneys add zing to a meal and are an essential part of a South Indian meal. They can be prepared with a limitless variety of ingredients. This one is a variation on a Coconut-Coriander Chutney that we shared a while ago. In this one, tamarind is used as the souring agent and some fried gram is added for flavour and thickness. We haven’t added a tadka but you can if you prefer.
Coconut Chutney can be made without herb additions, or, like in this case, coriander can be added, or the same recipe used with mint leaves, garlic, tomatoes, onions, almonds, carrots, beetroot, green mangos, peanuts, capsicums, and greens. Tamarind is added in today’s recipe but it can be omitted or lime juice used.
Similar recipes include Fresh Radish and Mint Chutney, Coriander and Coconut Chutney, and Ginger, Coconut and Yoghurt Chutney.
Browse our Indian Chutneys. Our Coriander dishes are here. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.
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Kachumber, the chopped salad of India, comes in many varieties. Usually the salad is chopped finely but today I made a colourful kachumber with wedges of cucumber and red radish. It is fresh and lively, a perfect salad for Summer and into Autumn while the weather is still warm. Kachumber is the perfect, no fuss accompaniment to any Indian meal.
Similar recipes include Carrot Kachumber, Beetroot and Carrot Kachumber, and Tangy Kachumber.
Or have a look at our collection of Kachumber recipes.
Browse all of our Kachumber recipes and all of our Indian Salads. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.
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One of my enduring memories of Kerala is the proliferation of freshly cooked plantain chips – delicious deep fried slices of raw banana, crispy and salty. Even when I was staying in Mylapore in Chennai, the wallah was making huge woks-full of fresh plantain chips right there on the street, so you’d get them straight from the pan.
They can be made at home of course – quite easily in fact. Just like the street wallahs, you can slice the plantain right into the hot oil if it is safe to do so. Otherwise slice them onto a plate and add to the oil. As they cook the flavourings are added to the layer of chips, or they can be salted as they come out of the pan. Madhur Jaffrey also adds curry leaves and green chilli to the oil before removing the chips – the oil does erupt a bit when you do this so I often leave it out. You can add chilli powder to the chips as they come out of the oil if you wish.
Similar recipes include Paprika Oven Chips, Polenta Crisps and Potato Wedges.
Browse all of our Indian Snacks and all of our Plantain recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.
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Have you heard of White Pea Bhatura? Chole Masala is a very popular north Indian dish. White Pea Bhatura is very similar except that it uses vatana or dried white peas in place of the chickpeas. As you can imagine, it is very delicious! Bhatura – oh my, a delicious puffed bread.
White peas are very popular in North India. They are smaller than chickpeas, white in colour and smooth and round. Bhatura is a deep fried puffed bread made from a fermented dough.
Chole Bhatura is often eaten as a breakfast dish, sometimes with lassi. It is also a street food snack and even a complete meal. It is often accompanied by onions, tomatoes, carrot pickle, green chutney and pickles.
This is truly delicious! Even without the Bhatura, but especially with them.
Similar recipes include White Peas Curry, White Peas Sundal, and White Peas, Coconut and Green Mango Sundal.
Browse all of our White Pea recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Winter recipes.
Continue reading “White Pea and Potato Bhatura | Vatana Bhatura”
Kaffir Lime, now referred to as Makrut lime due to the previous name having racial connotations in South Africa, is close enough to Narthangai for the sake of making pickles. I will also use Makrut Lime in pickles in place of Kitarangai.
My Makrut lime tree is now bearing well enough to make a couple of types of pickles, and this first recipe is from Meenakshi Ammal in the first volume of her books Cook and See. It is a raw pickle (the lime is not cooked before making the pickle). The chopped limes are macerated in salt and turmeric powder for a day before more spices and sesame oil is added. It is a pickle that will keep for a long time.
Similar recipes include Green Mango Pickle, Green Apple Pickle, and Quince Aachar.
Browse all of our Indian Pickles. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.
Continue reading “Makrut (Kaffir) Lime Pickle with Oil | Narthangai Oorugai”
Here is another Mung Soup, one of the most grounding and nourishing soup there is. This recipe is based on one from the Ayurvedic guru, Vasant Lad. I saw him once in Coimbatore, working with his students and his techniques of deep readings the pulses. He certainly is an amazing teacher and practitioner.
He says that this soup is balancing for all doshas. It is cooling and energising. It is also very light on the digestion, and a couple of cups of this with rice and chapatis or with the main meal is beneficial.
Similar recipes include Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach, Simple Mung Soup, and Mung Soup with Asparagus.
Browse all of our Mung Bean recipes and all of our Indian Soups. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.
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Very occasionally I come across some fresh tamarind in our local Asian shops. Sometimes it is ripe, sweet ripe tamarind, dark and luscious to eat. But more often it is green, unripe tamarind. The green tamarind has the most intense sour taste that you can imagine. It is eaten as a snack in India with salt and chilli – a hard but padded surface next to you is essential, to bang your fist on when the tartness fully hits you 🤣.
I love to capture that tartness, or the essence of it, by making a Tamarind Molasses (aka Tamarind Syrup). While I make this most of all with the green Tamarind pods, the recipe can also be used for ripe pods.
If you wanted to you can even make this from a block of dried Tamarind or some Tamarind Concentrate. See the recipe notes. It won’t be AS good as using pods, but will still be amazing.
Similar Recipes include Pomegranate Molasses and Quince Molasses.
Browse all of our Tamarind dishes. Or browse our easy Early Winter recipes.
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There are two types of soups in India -those that are more like Western soups, full flavoured and hearty and eaten by the bowlful, and subtle, almost bland soups served in small amounts almost like a hot vegetable beverage or healthy shot of goodness. I am really interested in the latter, and they are still quite controversial. Although being around for at least 100 years, they are not common but also not rare. Being fairly regional, there are many who deny their existence. But there you go – even Meenakshi Ammal has soups in her classic Cook and See volumes.
So I collect a range of them – they are delicious even though they are relatively bland (ie unspiced) compared to other Indian food, although they are still full of flavour. Subtle. Well cooked. Healthy. (I sip and sip them.) Reading the very simple recipes for these soups, I think “no way will this work” but the results are always wonderful.
This one is interesting in that it is based on a “white sauce” – not the western flour-roux sauce, but a puree of potato, cabbage, onion and white pumpkin or yam. On this is layered corn kernels. It is flavoured with only salt and pepper! A real shot of vegetable goodness without the distraction of spices. The base is one that you could use for different soup varieties. The sweet crunch of the corn against this base is delightful.
Similar recipes include Indo Chinese Sweetcorn Soup, Baby Sweetcorn Soup, and Roasted Tomato and Sweetcorn Soup.
Browse all of our Indian Soups, and our Sweetcorn Soups. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.
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Amaranth Leaves are the leaves of the varieties of edible amaranth plants. They are very easy to grow, and come up year after year, so keen gardeners are never without this vegetable in their gardens. The leaves can vary from green to red, and you will often see bunches in Asian green groceries.
I cook them in Indian dishes, as the leaves are quite common in India so there is a great variety of recipes. However, Amaranth varieties are used in Asian cooking too. Known as Chinese Sinach or Een choi, it is often sold as whole plants with roots. It is exceptionally high in protein.
You can also browse these (and any new recipes) here. And check out our 100 Vegetable Series.
Continue reading “100 Vegetables: #1 Amaranth Leaves”