Carrot Poriyal | Stir-fried Carrot with Coconut

Once you have your pantry set up for cooking Indian food regularly, recipes with long lists of ingredients are no longer terrifying. The reason that some recipes seem to have a kitchen-bench full of ingredients is that many of them are small amounts, less than a teaspoon. These spices produce the characteristic tastes of Indian food. For example, not counting the spices, this dish has only 3 main ingredients – carrots, coconut and onions. There, that seems much simpler than a list of 15!

The best way to approach long lists of spices is to prepare them before you begin to cook, using tiny bowls or containers to hold them. Alternatively, grab a couple of dabbas, Indian spice boxes, from your Indian shop, so that your commonly used spices are all in one container.  Either method will eliminate your need to search the cupboard for a spice while cooking – and the panic that ensues when you can’t find it and the onions are over cooking as you search.  We have all been there! So be organised, both in your spice cupboard and in preparing your ingredients.

This is a simple recipe today, despite the list of ingredients – a quick stir-fry of carrots with spices and coconut from the South of India. Poriyals embody the South, and can be made with many different vegetables and vegetable combinations.

Similar recipes include Green Bean and Carrot Poriyal, Sweet Potato Poriyal, and Carrot Thoran.

Browse all of our Poriyals, and all of our Carrot recipes.  All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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South Indian Plantain Dish | Vazhakkai Poriyal

There are advantages and disadvantages to living in downtown outer-suburban capital city. It is countrified living, but the access to specialist products such as good cheeses, excellent olive oils etc is limited. I found out the other day that I can’t buy Bitter Lemon around here – there goes my Gin and Bitter Lemon. Is that out of fashion now?

What I am eternally grateful for, you don’t know how much, is the range of fruit and vegetables that are common in my area but not seen in the inner-suburban groceries and supermarkets where I used to live. Plantains. Mangoes all year. Pomelo. Mustard Greens. Chilli Leaves. Betel Leaves. Pea Eggplants. Apple Eggplants. Okra. Green Mangoes.  FRESH PINEAPPLES FOR $1!! I could go on and on. This availability has radicalised our kitchen’s menu. Every trip I want to bow down to the owners of the Vietnamese grocery in particular. Total gratitude.

So today the dish is a quick curry of plantain, stir fried and then simmered in spices to make a Poriyal from Tamil Nadu in South India. It is very very delicious with some rice (mix with a little ghee and a pinch or two of poppy seeds), some sambar (plantain can be a bit dry in texture, so it is good to have it with a wet dish) and some chutney. Finish with some curd/yoghurt if you wish.

Similar dishes include Plantain Moar Kootu, Plantain in Tamarind Gravy (make this dish with plantain instead of eggplant in the recipe), Plantain Pulissery (make this dish with plantain instead of pineapple in the recipe), Carrot Poriyal, and Carrot and Bean Poriyal.

Browse all of our Plantain recipes, and all of our Poriyal dishes. You can browse all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer of recipes.

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Winter Curry | Cauliflower, Turnip and Swede Subzi

Some of the quickest and really good spicy dishes from India are those that take a vegetable or two and stir fry them with a few spices. These subzi dishes are wonderful side dishes, or make a simple lunch or supper served with rice or Indian flatbread.

Many of our Winter root vegetables are not as common in India, and most uses of them take existing recipes and replace the vegetable (e.g. carrot) with turnip, swede, parsnip, etc. As the Indian diaspora settles around the world, and as European and American vegetables make greater appearances in India, this will change over time.

This recipe takes a bunch of Winter vegetables and magics them into a subzi. Turnip, Swede and Cauliflower are used. Mixed with onions and spices, it makes a curry worthy of Winter. For freshness, scatter loads of coriander on top and finish with a squeeze of lemon or lime.

Similar dishes include Punjabi Turnip Curry, Turnips in Coconut Milk, Turnip and Swede Gratin, Turnip with Spices, Okra and Onion Subzi, Kohlrabi Subzi, and Aloo Palak Subzi.

Browse our Turnip dishes, Swede recipes and our Cauliflower dishes. Our Indian dishes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore all of our Late Winter dishes.

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Potato Bhaji

I love the book Tiffin by Srinivas. It is a terrific read with lots of lovely food-related stories. The recipes are full flavoured and perfectly balanced. It is a book I highly recommend. I have cooked a few dishes from the book and all are exceptional.

Today’s recipe is Potato Bhaaji, a warm spicy potato dish. It can be served as a snack, entree (starter) or side dish. It is perfect with dosai.

Similar recipes include Potato Poha, Green Tomato Bhaji, and Okra Bhaji.

Browse all of our Bhaji recipes and all of our Potato dishes. You can browse all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring collection of recipes.

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Chilli Leaves with Peas

It was news to me that chilli leaves could be eaten, and now I rue all of those chilli plants over the decades that could have also provided the occasional green dish as well. Chilli leaves are a little earthy, a little bitter, and not at all hot. They are vibrant green when they are cooked – hence they are often included in Thai Green Curry Paste to enhance the colour without adding more green chillies.

My Asian green grocer had these in stock today, so a luscious bunch of large leaves that could not be avoided. She recommended soup, but in fact different countries use them in very different ways – from salads with soy sauce and sesame seeds (blanch the leaves first), to stir fried with garlic, to steamed with tofu. They also go well with noodles, topped with some crispy fried garlic and onion.

I have to thank my Asian green grocer – since I moved into this area we have a number of greens now available to us that were difficult to source or unknown to us previously – tamarind leaves, betel leaves, mustard leaves, amaranth leaves and chilli leaves are the ones that are now part of our kitchen.

Chilli leaves are used from Korea down through Asia and India to Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and other parts of SE Asia. They are not an everyday green, but common enough. Here we cook them in a very simple Indian dish with peas and spices. You can make it in under 10 mins.

Similar dishes include Eat Your Greens Every Day, Khar, Steamed Mustard Greens with Sambal, Simple Greens for Every Meal, and Chinese Greens with Garlic and Sesame.

Browse all of our Chilli Leaf recipes and all of our stir fries. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Spinach Bhaji | Spinach Stir Fried with Ginger and Spices

Greens are another vegetable that are cooked so wonderfully in India. With many varieties grown locally in all regions, often the Indian cook has a choice of a couple of dozen different greens to cook. Pity us, with our small choice in our green grocers. Half a dozen varieties if we are very lucky, and only 3 or 4 varieties used commonly.

Use spinach for this recipe. It is a dry dish flavoured with mustard seeds, chilli and a grating of nutmeg. Nice! You can also make this dish with just the stems of spinach if you have them left over and are looking for something to do with them. I am all for no-waste.

Are you looking for similar dishes? Try Spinach Thoran and Spinach Poriyal.

Browse all of our Bhaji dishes, and all of our Spinach dishes. Our Indian recipes are here. Or explore our Early Winter dishes.

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Bhindi Bhaji | Stir Fried Okra

This recipe for Okra is another simple, stir fried one that combines the okra with cumin and green chillies for a great afternoon snack, or as a side dish for a larger meal.

It is an easy recipe, one that you can cook in under 30 mins, perhaps under 20 if you are organised. These are the best recipe, don’t you agree? I know you will enjoy this one. Wonderful flavours.

Are you after other Okra dishes? Try Potato Bhaji, Sri Lankan Okra Curry, Stir Fried Okra with Sesame Seeds, and Spicy Dried Okra.

Browse all of our other Okra recipes, and explore our Indian dishes. Or take some time to explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Vendakkai Poriyal | Stir Fried Okra

It’s been more than 18 months since I began a crush on okra, and developed a project to explore this incredible vegetable which is available here all year round via Asian and Middle Eastern shops. In that time, we’ve made 60 or more Okra dishes, and,totally fallen in love with the long tapered “fingers” known cutely in India as Lady’s Fingers. Many of those recipe posts are in the queue to be published over the coming months.

Okra has become an important part of our life, but perhaps it is time to release the obsession and cook it less often. Admittedly, there are still quite a few recipes in the okra pile to tinker with, so there might be more….

One of the greatest finds of this project has been the number of ways that the Middle Eastern countries and India uses Okra. We have boiled, steamed, fried, deep fried, sauteed, baked and dehydrated Okra. Each dish has been a revelation. We have pared, chopped, slit and diced okra. We have learned to control the sliminess. We have battered okra. We have hand dried dozens of the tapered Lady’s Fingers over the course of a year.

Today’s dish is a very simple, but gorgeous, South Indian treatment of Okra. It is a remarkable, fresh dish. Another stir fried recipe, just with a few simple spices. The wonder of Tamil cooking is how simple easy dishes can taste amazing. There are variation upon variation of stir fried okra dishes – see here and here – but each is different and delightful.

Similar recipes include Cauliflower, Turnip and Swede Subzi, Parsi Okra Patia, Stuffed Okra, Crispy Okra in Yoghurt, Lady Finger Masala, and Bhindi Subzi.

Browse all of our Okra dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Mustard Greens with Mooli | Daikon Radish with Mustard Greens

Our local green groceries, run by a cohort of Vietnamese and Middle Eastern families, has recently begun stocking Mustard Greens. So we are making the most of them. Today’s recipe pairs them with daikon, the Japanese white radish that is also used extensively in India. When it is cooked, it loses the intensity of its bite and becomes soft and textural with a slight bitterness that is delightful. Matched with some chilli and the mustardy overtones of these greens, the result is a very morish side dish from India.

Similar recipes include Sarson ka Saag, Sri Lankan Mustard Greens with Coconut, Steamed Mustard Greens with Shiitake and Sambal, South Indian Daikon DalMooli and Pumkin Curry, and Daikon Salad.

Browse our Mustard Greens recipes and our Radish dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Cauliflower with Ginger, Garlic and Green Chillies | Sukhi Gobi | Cauliflower Fry

This cauliflower dish is a simple, every day but glorious dish. Allowing the cauliflower florets to brown slightly brings that beautiful depth of flavour to the dish.

Cauliflower is such an under-rated vegetable. Cooked well, it really is a vegetable to yearn for. Recipes from the sub continent and the Middle East are especially respectful of cauliflower, bringing out its flavours and adding interest with spices and herbs.

This dish is simple, yes, but it lets the cauliflower shine. Serve with Lemon Rice.

Are you looking for more Cauliflower recipes? Try Achari Gobhi, Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf, and Cauliflower Walnut Cream Soup.

For Indian Cauliflower Dishes, try Cauliflower Pilaf, South Indian Cauliflower Soup, and Aloo Gobi.

Would you like other Indian Vegetable dishes? Try Eggplants in a Creamy Peanut Sauce, Crispy Okra, and Spinach Thoran.

Browse all Cauliflower recipes and all Indian dishes. Or take some time to browse all of our Late Autumn collection of recipes.

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