Buckwheat and Broccolini Salad

I happily eat this buckwheat salad as is for a light lunch or snack. You know I love my salad snacks. It is lovely just on its own. Or it is great served with, say, some fritters, herby new potatoes and roasted beetroot. Yum.

This is an excellent dish for the cooler days of Summer and Autumn. The recipe is based on one from Ottolenghi’s Simple. He uses beans in the salad. After the devastating bushfires in Australia, fresh beans are difficult to source. Broccolini makes a great alternative. We cook a lot of Ottolenghi dishes but always feel free to use what is in our pantry, on our kitchen benches, in our garden, or available locally. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Some say buckwheat is an acquired taste. But I think of it as a creamy quinoa, and adore the flavour and texture. You will too. It has a slightly earthy and nutty flavour.

Similar dishes include Butternut with Buckwheat Polenta, Broccolini and Sweet Tahini, and Buckwheat Salad.

Browse all of our Buckwheat recipes and all of our Broccolini dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Simple are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Broccoli and White Bean Soup with Rosemary

I have been lying in bed this morning – a cold morning of Autumn where it is nice to be sipping coffee and reading under the warm blankets. I have been watching the sky as I read, wondering what kind of day it will be, and it has varied from bright blue and cloudless, to dark and stormy, and back to few clouds and a bright blue sky. Such are the joys of our Australian weather. We watch the sky in Summer to see what heat levels we need to endure during the day, in Autumn we watch the sky for much needed rain, in Winter it is about how cold and wet it will be, and in Spring we wait for the first warm to hot day to arrive.

So it is nearly Winter and the soup pot has emerged from the depths of the cupboard again. We made an awesome spicy tomato soup the other day, quite Indian in style, and today we turn towards Italy and the simple but awesome products that come out of kitchens. I have heard the food of Tuscany particularly is called Poor Man’s Food, that is, food that is made from locally grown produce without fanciness or pretension. Exactly my kind of food. I remain a country girl at heart despite living in various cities for the majority of my life. The influence of those first 15 – 20 years never leaves you.

I have roasted the broccoli in this dish, but you can just add it to the onions if you prefer to skip that step.

Similar dishes include Broccoli and Chickpeas, Greek White Bean Soup, and White Bean and Leek Soup.

Browse all of our Soups and all of our Broccoli dishes. Or explore our Late Autumn food.

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Chickpea and Parsley Soup with Turmeric

Here is another of my loved rustic soups. It is a health-boost in a bowl, this soup. I usually don’t make it until later in the Wintery cough-and-cold season, but here we sit, at the beginning of the coronavirus scare. It is early March as I write, so I am putting attention to boosting the immunity of family and friends – and myself of course.

This is a very easy soup to make, and the chickpeas can be cooked the day before if you wish. Tinned chickpeas can be used – just skip the instructions for cooking them.

Similar recipes include Freezing Ginger and Making Ginger Paste, Chickpea and Pasta Soup, Turkish Spinach Soup with Chickpeas, and Parsley Braised with Tomatoes.

Browse all of our Soup recipes and all of our Chickpea Soups. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Ginger Spring Onion Claypot Rice

Claypot rice is something very special. I urge you to try it. This recipe is a slow cooked one, cooked until the rice is quite soft – not quite congee – just softer than your usual rice. Cooking it in a clay pot gives a special flavour and texture to the dish. You will really enjoy this.

Similar recipes include Congee, Tomato Rice, and Sizzling Rice Squares.

Browse all of our Rice dishes and all of our Chinese recipes. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Collection: Delightful Pilafs

Pilafs, pulaos, pulau, mixed rice dishes – many names for a delicious technique for smartening up a plain grain (usually rice) to use as a flavoursome side dish. It can be simple – just a few spices added – or a complex layering of flavours. They are usually without a dressing although they are sometimes topped with a dollop of yoghurt. Today we bring you a collection of our favourite pilaf recipes.

Similar articles include What to Do with Daikon Radish, A Collection of Kitchdi Recipes, and Delicious Recipes with Green Tomatoes.

Browse all of our Pilaf Recipes, and all of our Collections. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Indian Horse Gram and Pomegranate Salad

Horse Gram is highly nutritious and in fact we have fallen in love with its earthy taste. We love that the lentils hold their shape even when cooked really well – it makes them so perfect for salads.

You can make herby salads with horse gram, with loads of chopped soft herbs, lemon and garlic. Or use them as a base for Wintery roasted vegetables. Mix them with feta, onion, tomato and radish. Today we make a kosumalli style salad with the lentils.

Kosumalli is usually a light and refreshing salad. This salad is great in transitional seasons or Winter, or on cooler Summer days. It is REALLY good, and we hope you enjoy it.

Read more about Horse Gram (aka Kulthi Bean). It is easily purchased in Indian shops.

Similar dishes include Sprouts and Pomegranate Kosumalli, Cucumber Kosumalli, and Sprouts Usal.

Browse all of our Horse Gram 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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Muthira Upperi | Horse Gram Thoran

Horse gram is much loved in South India as a particularly healthy lentil. One easy way to cook and serve these elongated brown skinned beans is to make thoran (Upperi in Malabar). Thoran is a dish from Kerala where vegetables, lentils, beans or sprouts are sauteed with spices and perhaps coconut, for a special side dish or Indian salad style dish. There are several ways to make a  thoran with horse gram:

  • with or without coconut – either way is good. Many people prefer to add coconut as horse gram is considered a hot pulse and coconut helps to moderate the heat.
  • cooked until al dente tender, so the beans remain separated, or cooked until the beans are very tender and beginning to break down – either way is good.
  • made as a dry dish, or as a dish with a little gravy from the cooking water.

Generally we make our thorans with coconut so for variety we make this one without.

Read more about Horse Gram (aks Kulthi Bean). It is easily purchased in Indian shops.

Similar recipes include Horse Gram and Pomegranate SaladMoringa Leaf Thoran, Carrot Thoran, and Sprouts Usal.

Browse all of our Thoran recipes and all of our Kerala dishes.All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Kanda Batata Poha

There is a quick and easy Batata Poha that I make – the flattened rice flakes mixed with herbs and fried potatoes, yum! This recipe is no more difficult, still quick and easy, very similar to the recipe that Tim and Saun gave me – just a few extra spices. It includes onions, steamed potatoes and peas, cashews and peanuts, coconut and warming spices. It is a light dish that is eaten for breakfast or tiffin snacks. It is perfect just with a cuppa. It can also be served for brunch, lunch or a light dinner – add some coconut chutney or a bowl of yoghurt for a quick,light and delicious meal. It can be packed into lunch boxes, taken on picnics or taken on trips as travel food. We love poha and have nearly a dozen recipes that use it.

Take note that this is made with the thick poha – poha is steamed and rolled/flattened rice – make sure that you buy poha and not puffed rice. When you visit your Indian grocery you will see that Poha comes in different thicknesses  – Nylon (very thin and crisp), Paper, Thin, Medium, Thick and Dagdi (thick and chewy). There is also poha made from red rice and brown rice as well as white rice. The thicker types are soaked before use.

Similar dishes include Lemony Poha, Poha Chaat, and Coconut-Tamarind Poha.

Browse all of our Poha recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Matki Sprouts Misal

Both Matki sprouts and Horse Gram sprouts are highly nutritious, and fairly easy to sprout if you are careful. For these sprouts, I prefer to wrap the soaked lentils/beans in muslin cloth and place in a dark cupboard for 24 – 48 hours, sprinkling with water occasionally.

One way of using the Matki sprouts is to make Misal – a gravy based dish that is often eaten with bread but can be served with rice. The matki sprouts don’t take as long to cook as the horse gram sprouts do – under 15 mins to be soft but with a little texture still. Just how I like it.

Similar dishes include Carrot and Mung Sprout Kosumalli, Sprouts Usal, and Black Gram Sprouts Sundal.

Browse all of our Matki dishes, and all of our Misal recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Collection: So Freekeh’ Good – Our Freekeh Recipes

Freekeh is so freakin’ good. If you are not familiar with Freekeh, it is a cereal grain made by roasting and cracking immature and soft green wheat. The wheat is parched, roasted, dried and rubbed. It’s an ancient Arabian/North African food that has become trendy to eat in some places. It has an almost smoky, nutty taste and beautiful chewy texture.

Freekeh is easy to cook. Melt a tablespoon of olive oil with a little butter in a pan, toast 1 cup freekeh and add 350ml water. Bring to a boil, cover, turn the heat to very low and let the freekeh steam about 20 to 25 minutes until plumped and tender.

How to Use Freekeh

 This grain is all about texture and flavour. Use as you would other grains and rice in such things as pilafs, soups, stuffings and salads. Add it to your next congee. It is also a great Winter alternative for breakfast, either as a hot cereal or as a parfait that’s layered with yoghurt and fruit. It can also be used as an alternative to rice, quinoa, farro, barley and other hearty grains.

Freekeh is also wonderful in stuffings to fill vine leafs, roasted capsicum or rolled slices of grilled eggplant. Or use some in scrumptious veggie burgers. It is wonderful as a base for summer salads; add your pick of cherry tomatoes, olives, grilled vegetables, feta, shallots, and anything else at hand, and dress with a light vinaigrette. It loves a citrusy or mustardy dressing.

Freekeh actually has more goodness than quinoa yet has not achieved the same levels of popularity. It has lots of health benefits including loads of protein and fibre.

Similar articles include What to Do with Daikon Radish, A Collection of Kitchdi Recipes, and Delicious Recipes with Green Tomatoes.

Browse all of our Green Mango Recipes, and all of our Collections. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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