Bengali Vegetable Khichuri | Kitchari

Bengal has so many different types of khichuri, its quite mind blowing. They adore their khichuris. This one is a khichuri with the classic combo of peas, cauliflower and potato, together with an onion-spice mix. It is quite a flavoursome dish, and another addition to our 17 or so published and scheduled kitchari (khichuri) dishes.

You might guess that kitchari is also well loved in this house – a more nourishing and comforting dish is hard to find. The vegetables in this one add to its nutritional value as well as flavour and texture. Bengali’s make khichuri on rainy days, and it is popular in the monsoon season, but don’t be held back. Make this dish at any time of the  year.

Khichuri is also very good for babies and invalids. Also, Khichuri has many different spellings around India – a dozen, maybe more. I use Kitchari most often.

It is difficult to get the local Bengali rice unless you have a specialist Indian grocer near you, so use Basmati rice. You might like to begin the recipe by making your own ginger paste and Bengali Garam Masala.

Please do also try other Kitchari recipes – try Barnyard Millet Kitchari, Parsi Kitchari, and Ven Pongal.

And check out our Bengali recipes. Try Bengali Rice Kheer and Bhog Khichuri.

Or explore all of our Kitchari recipes and all of our Bengali recipes. We have a number of Indian mixed rice Recipes. Take some time to browse all of our Indian dishes and Rice recipes. Or explore our Early Autumn collection.

Continue reading “Bengali Vegetable Khichuri | Kitchari”

Kurkuri Bindi | Crispy Okra | Crispy Ladyfingers

Okra, or Ladyfingers, are had best when cooked fresh. They can be stuffed with a tangy masala, deepfried to crisp (great with peanuts), made into raita, cooked in coconut milk or a spicy gravy, or batter-fried as pakoras.  They even pair well with sour tastes – for example, lemon juice or amchur, dry mango powder. Always buy young, bright green, crisp pods free of bruises, tender but not soft, and definitely not if they are wilting. There are a range of varieties – long and thin, short and fat, even red and orange varieties.

Kurkuri means crisp and Bindi is Okra. This recipe is very common in parts of North India, especially in Rajasthan from Jaipur to Udaipur and beyond. They are definitely a great snack served with drinks, and are also served as an accompaniment to rice and curries. The spices used with the okra are varied – here we have used chilli powder, cumin, chaat masala and amchur – but more complex, or simpler combinations can be used.

The okra can be cooked on its own, as we do here. But you can also tart them up somewhat by including slivers of onion (yum), ginger (tangy) and red peppers.

Are you interested in Okra recipes? Try Ladyfingers Recheio, Avial, and Whole Fried Okra.

Or are you looking for Rajasthani recipes? Try Urad Tomatar Dal. We have more recipes planned, so check here for more.

Why not browse all of our Okra recipes, and all of our Indian dishes. Have a look at our range of snacks. Or simply explore our Early Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Kurkuri Bindi | Crispy Okra | Crispy Ladyfingers”

South Indian Cauliflower Soup

This uncomplicated soup is nourishing, comforting and warming, with no other flavours except cauliflower, potato, and black pepper.

South Indian soups need some explaining. The are quite diametrically opposed to dishes that could be called soups but are not – rasam, for example, or thin dhal, or even a sambar. For the most part, the true South Indian Soup is a simple, uncomplicated vegetable soup that is not spiced. Thus the vegetable becomes the feature, not the layers of spices. There is no artifice in these soups at all.

Presumably, these soups are of Anglo-Indian origin and have gained enough popularity to become part of the cuisine, or perhaps they are the result of the occupation of regions by other countries, namely France and Portugal. In many ways they are a little 1950’s, yet beautiful in their pared back simplicity

This uncomplicated Cauliflower Soup is nourishing, comforting and warming, with no other flavours except cauliflower, potato, and black pepper.

Are you after soups? Try Indian Tomato and Potato Soup, Tomato, Lemongrass and Ginger Soup, and Tomato and Dal Soup. See also How to Make a Light, Infused Vegetable Stock/Broth, Indian Style.

Or try some other Cauliflower recipes – A Plate of Cauliflower, Cauliflower Pilaf, and Cauliflower Slow Cooked with Lime and Spices.

Browse our other Indian Soups here.  Our other Cauliflower recipes are here and here. Or explore all of our Soups and all or our Indian dishes.  Be inspired by warming Winter dishes here.

Continue reading “South Indian Cauliflower Soup”

Ladyfingers Recheio | Okra with Chilli-Spice Paste | A Recipe from Goa

Okra is a much maligned vegetable, which, badly cooked, falls into the same category as Brussel Sprouts. But cooked well, it is undeniably wonderful. It is the mucilaginous substance inside okra that gives the favourite okra dish of North America, Gumbo, its characteristic silky, gelatinous texture. It is an essential ingredient of Jambalaya, and a favourite of the Greek kitchen where it is served with fresh tomato and onion.

Okra also form the basis of many a good Indian curry, snack and side dish. In curries, they are often used whole, trimmed only of stalk, but keeping the conical top which is discarded at time of eating. The soft, slightly moist texture of the interior is part of its appeal.

These green-ribbed seed pods are a good supply of Vitamin A and C, calcium and iron. Eat them weekly! At the time of writing, we are conducting an #okracheck each month to track availability and price of okra in different cities.

Okra are slippery little suckers. But this recipe from the gorgeous beaches of Goa overcomes that problem by pre salting and then stuffing the okra with the Goan spicy mix called Rechad Masala. These are great little snacks or side dish to an Indian meal.

Enjoy okra? Try our Goa Fried Okra, Race Kuzhambu and Avial. Or have a look at other Goan recipes – Kidney Bean Feijoada, Potato and Sweet Potato Curry, and Sweet Surnoli Dosa.

Feel free to browse other vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in the Retro Recipes series. You might also like all of our Okra recipes here and here. Explore our Indian recipes here. Or take some time to go through our easy Early Autumn recipes here.

Continue reading “Ladyfingers Recheio | Okra with Chilli-Spice Paste | A Recipe from Goa”

Fried Ladyfingers | Fried Okra | Goa Style

How good is okra! Misunderstood by many, if cooked well it is amazing. This recipe is a crispy, spicy dish that is perfect for a snack. Gorgeous too.

In this recipe, the okra are first salted and drained, and then marinated in a simple spice paste before being drenched in semolina and fried. The semolina makes the okra quite crispy and the spices give them a little heat. It is a simpler version of this stuffed Okra recipe.

Enjoy okra? Try our Goan Ladyfinger Recheio, Race Kuzhambu and Avial.

Or have a look at other Goan recipes – Kidney Bean Feijoada, Potato and Sweet Potato Curry, and Sweet Surnoli Dosa.

You might also like read about Okra, and then browse all of our Okra recipes here. Have a look at all of our Goan recipes. Explore our Indian recipes too. Or take some time to go through our easy Early Autumn recipes. Feel free to browse other vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in the Retro Recipes series.

Continue reading “Fried Ladyfingers | Fried Okra | Goa Style”

Potato Dosa

The range of dosa in South India is infinite, ranging from crispy dosa to soft, handkerchief-like dosa, from plain batters to batters with vegetables, spices and herbs. And each one is so very good.

Dosa is the Indian flatbread, although it is less like bread than perhaps any other country’s flatbread. It is made from a batter, rather than a dough,  that generally includes flour made from rice and lentils, and is cooked on a flat pan. It is often fermented to provide lightness but more and more instant dosas are being made. These are the dosai that can be cooked as soon as the batter is made.

Are you looking for other Dosa recipes? Try Adai – multi lentil dosa, Coconut Dosa, and a beautiful Sweet Dosa.

Perhaps you are looking for potato recipes. Try Potato Subzi, Surprise Tartin, and Potato and Sweet Potato Curry.

Browse our Dosa recipes here, and all of our Indian recipes here. You might be interested in our Indian Essentials articles. Have a look at all of our Potato recipes, and take some time to browse our Early Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Potato Dosa”

South Indian Onion Strings Pickled Salad

Hot, tangy, sweet, salty. The perfect quick pickle.

Such a simple dish, but an amazing accompaniment to South Indian food. This is ubiquitous in South Indian cafes and restaurants, and at home. It takes about 2 minutes to make, and will keep in the fridge. Don’t just save it for Indian food, use it in any way you desire. In salads, sandwiches, wraps, for example.

Are you looking for Onion recipes? Try Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with Mustard, Battered Onion Rings, and Farinata with Tomatoes and Onion.

Are you after Indian recipes? Try Kohlrabi Subzi, Aamti Bhaat, and Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf.

You might like to explore other Onion Salads, or Onion recipes or simply browse our Salads. All of our Indian recipes are here. Please feel free to browse all of our Early Spring recipes as well.

Continue reading “South Indian Onion Strings Pickled Salad”

Moraiya Kitchari | Barnyard Millet Kitdchari | Sama ki khichdi | Khichuri

Moraiya Kitchari is a delightful dish, healthy and nourishing. It is regularly made for Navratri fasting, Ekadashi fasting or any other time of Hindu fasting as it is an easily digestible dish. It is delicious in its own right – lightly spiced and less vigorous of taste than many Indian dishes, but don’t put it aside because of that. Try it with a wet curry like a yoghurt or besan curry, even a Poritha Kuzhambu! You will enjoy.

Moraiya is composed of tiny, white, round grains. In India, cereal grains are not consumed during fasts. Hence, Moraiya is a popular alternative, especially during Navratri. It is often used in place of rice, although it does not cook into separate grains like long grained rice. It is quite sticky when it is cooked and the grains stick together somewhat.

Are you looking for other Kitchari dishes? Try this one with Sago, Peanuts and Potatoes, or Maharashtrian Kitchari with Masoor Sprouts, or a Simple Parsi Kitchari.

You might like to check to see whether we have posted other Moraiya recipes. You can browse all of our other Kitchari recipes here. Our Indian recipes are here. Or explore our Early Spring dishes here.

Continue reading “Moraiya Kitchari | Barnyard Millet Kitdchari | Sama ki khichdi | Khichuri”

Subudana Kitchari with Potatoes and Peanuts | Sago Khichuri | Sago Pilaf

Remember Kurma? If you are of a certain age, and Australian, you will recall his TV shows of vegetarian Indian cooking. He really was the first to bring Indian food to Australians in a way that made it easily comprehensible and easy to cook. He was a stickler for detail, and for this I love him. So many recipes out of India these days are low in detail, low in precision, and that allows others to take liberties with Indian recipes. Soon, Indian food is no longer Indian food, but some mish mash of regional differences and non-Indian preferences.

One small example. I am constantly frustrated by recipes that say “1 cup rice”. Which rice? Basmati? Short grained? Long grained? Red or white? A South Indian variety? or a North Indian Variety? And it can make a huge difference to the end result. Do you need rice that is harder? Soft? Sticks together? Separates beautifully? Kurma would never leave one in doubt.

We don’t use rice in this recipe, even though it is a kitchari. This recipe from Kurma uses sago. But as usual, Kurma is precise.

Are you interested in other Sago recipes? Try Sago Payasam, and Sago Coconut Payasam.

We have quite a number of Kitchari recipes, for example Maharashtrian Kitchari with Masoor SproutsGujarati Kitchari, and Bengali Kitchari.

Feel free to browse all Sago recipes, and all of our Kitchari Recipes. Browse our Indian recipes here. Or take some time to explore our Late Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Subudana Kitchari with Potatoes and Peanuts | Sago Khichuri | Sago Pilaf”

Kohlrabi Subzi | A Punjabi Recipe

Not often used, Kohlrabi now features in an Indian dish

Kohlrabi is not something that I cook with often, so it was a bit of a luxury to get to make a simple Punjabi Subzi with this beautiful purple-skinned vegetable of winter.

Mustardy and warming from the spices, the dish is simple to cook and does not take a lot of effort. The result is a fabulous side dish for Indian or non-Indian meals.

Kohlrabi is a great vegetable to eat raw or cooked. Salads are great with grated or thinly sliced kohlrabi. You could use it in this Jicama and Green Mango Salad, for example, or in this Radish and Jicama Salad with Coconut Milk.

Are you looking for more Punjabi recipes? Dal Makhani is very popular, of course. Or try Baingan Bharta, a smoky eggplant curry. And also this Green Pea Pilaf.

Check for other Kohlrabi recipes here. Explore Punjabi recipes, or browse our Indian collection. Or take some time and browse our easy Winter recipes here.

Continue reading “Kohlrabi Subzi | A Punjabi Recipe”

Zucchini Rice, Indian Style

Anyone who has ever grown zucchini will know that you can get a glut of zucchini very quickly. I planted 4 plants this year, forgetting how large the plants get, and they seem to be taking over the veggie garden. They have already swallowed 2 chilli bushes and a whole lot of radishes!

So I have the opportunity to explore zucchini recipes at this time of year, trying to keep that glut under control. This is an Indian mixed rice – cooked rice is mixed with spices and perhaps a vegetable or other ingredient. Indian mixed rice dishes are flavoursome and healthy!

Would you like to try other Mixed Rice dishes? Try Pepper Cumin Rice, Masala Lemon Rice, or Golden Rice.

Try these zucchini dishes: Zucchini Fry, Zucchini Thoran, and Marinated Zucchini.

You can browse all of our Mixed Rice dishes, all of our Rice dishes, our Zucchini dishes, or our Indian Recipes. Or simply explore our Late Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Zucchini Rice, Indian Style”

Inji Thengai Thayir Pachadi | Ginger Coconut Yoghurt Salad or Chutney

Have I mentioned how important yoghurt is in our kitchen? We use it a lot – from lassi drinks, to salad dressings, to yoghurt curries, chilled soups, to pachadi dishes like this one, to all sorts of Middle Eastern dishes. We drain it to make it thick, we pile it on our overnight oats for breakfast and we drizzle it over fruit salads.

This dish, Ginger and Coconut Pachadi, can be used as an Indian Chutney (ie as a little on the side to eat with the main dishes) or more like an Indian Yoghurt Salad.

Try these recipes too: Spinach Pachadi, Carrot Pachadi, and Cucumber Pachadi.

If you would like some more ginger in your life, try this tea, Pickled Ginger, and a Ginger and Garlic Soup.

Take some time to browse all of our Pachadi dishes, all Yoghurt dishes or all Ginger dishes. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Inji Thengai Thayir Pachadi | Ginger Coconut Yoghurt Salad or Chutney”

Carrots and Green Peas with Green Coriander (Cilantro) | Gajar Matar Sabzi

I miss Priti, who lived in Adelaide for a short while. My friend was such a good cook and teacher. She shared wonderful recipes with me including this easy dish.  She needed to shift suddenly, and we lost contact. Miss you Priti. Hope all is well with you.

Priti introduced me to many of the dimensions of Indian cooking, and particularly the use of Coriander leaves. This dish is cooked with chopped green coriander for 30 mins or so. While this may seem unusual outside of India (coriander is normally used fresh, as a garnish), it is akin to using a coriander paste. The resulting flavours are great. Feel free to garnish with some fresh coriander if desired.

She had other Coriander recipes too, like this Coriander Chutney. You might also enjoy making Pudla with Coriander or Coriander Paste.

What about Peas? Try Stuffed Sandwiches with Potatoes and Peas, Savoury Rice and Green Pea Pilaf, and Tawa Peas.

Are you looking for Carrot recipes? Try Carrot and Blueberry Salad, Carrot Thoran, and a Herby Salad with Carrots.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – our vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2005. You might also like our Carrot recipes here and here. And Pea recipes here and here. The Coriander recipes are here and here. Or you might like to browse Indian recipes here and here. Check out our easy Winter recipes here and here.

Continue reading “Carrots and Green Peas with Green Coriander (Cilantro) | Gajar Matar Sabzi”

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.

Continue reading “Sakkarai Pongal | Sweet Pongal with Milk”

Cumin, Coriander and Ginger Infusion (Tea)

Aahh, relax!

You find the most magical spice infusions in India. Although I still call them “teas”, technically, they are infusions or tisanes. In India, tea (chai) is only made from the leaves of the tea plant, often supplemented with spices.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series of recipes from our first blog which ran from 1995 – 2005. You might also like our Tea recipes here and here. Our Chai recipes are here. Or browse our Indian recipes here.

Continue reading “Cumin, Coriander and Ginger Infusion (Tea)”