Brinjal Chidambaram Kothsu | Eggplant Gothsu From Chidambaram

The best Gothsu, they say, is definitely Chidambaram Gothsu, and the Gothsu made in this temple town is certainly different to varieties from elsewhere. Chidambaram Kothsu (also spelt Kosthu), or Gothsu (also spelt Gosthu or Gotsu), is a South Indian curry that is made using roasted and mashed eggplant. The Gothsu was originally made by the Chidambaram Nataraja Temple’s Dikshithars (special priests). They make it with Samba Sadham (lentils and rice) as an offering to Lord Nataraja of Chidambaram. It certainly does taste divine.

They say that Gothsu is a very old Tamil recipe, about 2000 years old. Traditionally the eggplants would be roasted over coals, but sadly today they are deep fried or sautéed. This recipe is without onions, just as the Dikshithars would make it. However, Chidambaram Gosthu is also made for many marriages in Chidambaram and for those occasions sambar onions are included.

This recipe is from Meenakshi Ammal’s treasure of TamBram recipes. It is different to other varieties of Gothsu in that it uses smoky roasted and shredded eggplants along with toor dal. You will see recipes without any dal, but if Ammal was making it this way it is probably more traditional. Ammal also includes this recipe in the chapter on Poritha Kuzhambu because of the dal and the spice mix fried in ghee.

There are other versions of Brinjal Gothsu that claim to be Chidambaram Gothsu, but they are not. The Chidambaram Gothsu includes Toor Dal. Without the dal, it is just Gothsu.

Are you looking for similar Poritha Kootu type recipes? We have some coming up and you should check for them here. In the meantime try Pitlai, and Poritha Kuzhambu with Amaranth Leaves.

Or are you looking for Eggplant Recipes? Try Babaganoush, Potato and Eggplant Curry with Punjabi Wadi, and Madras Curry with Eggplant, Sweet Potato and Spinach.

Want more? Check out our Meenakshi Ammal recipes and all of our Indian recipes. You might like to browse Indian Essentials. Have a look at all of our Eggplant dishes. Or take some time to explore our easy Early Autumn dishes.

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Rice and Orzo

Orzo is petty good, don’t you agree? This little rice-shaped pasta has an elegance that eludes other pastas. I was delighted to find another way to cook this star in Jerusalem, the cookbook by Ottolenghi and Tamimi.

Rice is a staple of many of the communities of the Middle East and features in quite complex dishes as well as very simple ones. Quite often, other ingredients like chickpeas, vermicelli, potatoes, lentils and nuts are are cooked with the rice.

Spices are also used, for example the Bucharan Jews in Jerusalem use ginger, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon with mint, raisins and peas. How delicious!

In this recipe, the usual vermicelli is replaced by Ottolenghi and Tamimi by orzo. Don’t confuse this orzo with the Greek barley – it is the Italian pasta version. You can use vermicelli if you like, just don’t fry them as long as they will burn.

Are you looking for other Orzo recipes? Try Elegant Orzo Salad.

Perhaps you are looking for mixed rice dishes. Try Zucchini Rice, Mango Rice, and Pepper Rice.

We have several Middle Eastern Recipes to try. Beetroot with Yoghurt-Tahini, Saffron and Rosewater Scented Aubergine, and Beautiful Hummus.

Are you looking for more? Explore our Ottolenghi recipes, all of our Orzo dishes, our Rice recipes, and all of our Middle Eastern dishes. Or simply spend some time browsing our Mid Autumn collection of dishes.

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Sampangi Pitlai

We are working through the different types of Poritha Kuzhambu, where the spice paste is fried in ghee before being ground. There are Poritha Kuzhambus, Poritha Koottu and Pitlai, Gothsu and Masiyal. They can be with and without tamarind, stuffed full of vegetables or just one or two.

This is our second Pitlai, Sampangi, which traditionally has drumsticks as part of the vegetable mix, with 3 or 4 others. The spice mix used in this recipe differs from the first Pitlai recipe – it does not include coriander or channa dal (Bengal Gram), but does include peppercorns. The chillies are ground in the paste rather than left whole in the tadka. I have been explaining to some people recently how subtle differences from recipe to recipe results in a different dish, and the taste difference is remarkable IF we allow our tastebuds the time to register. This isn’t so common in our society, we eat so fast, but in India these differences are important. The other key difference in this recipe is the variety of vegetables, as many as 4 can be used in this dish, rather than 1 or 2.

Are you looking for other Pitlai recipes? They are here. And browse other Poritha Kuzhambu and Poritha Koottu dishes. You must definitely try this Pitlai, and Amaranth Greens Soup/Pitlai. (Some of these dishes will be published later. Pop back and check if the link is not returning what you might expect.)

Explore all of our Kuzhambu recipes here and all of our Sambar dishes. You might like to browse our Indian recipes. Or simple take some time to check out our Early Autumn collection.

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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.

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Green Salad with Chickpeas, Preserved Lemon and Feta

A beautiful tangy salad with preserved lemons, which pair well with meltingly soft chickpeas. Used either canned or home-cooked chickpeas.

Salads make up an enormous part of our diet fro Spring to Autumn, adding a huge amount of variety and health benefits. It also adds amazing tastes and textures to the food that we eat daily. We recommend it highly. A salad a day keeps illness at bay 🙂 . Focusing on making a salad per day will change your life.

Want to try some more salads? Try Green Tomato Salsa with Green Coriander and Chilli, Glazed 5-Spice Tofu Salad with Cucumbers and Radishes, and Coconut, White Peas and Green Mango Sundal.

Are you looking for other Chickpea recipes? Try Chickpea and Carrot Salad with a Curry Dressing, Chickpea, Almond and Sesame Spread, and Channa Chaat.

You can also explore all of our Salads here, or just the Bittman Salads here. Browse our Chickpea dishes. Or simply spend some time checking out our Early Autumn dishes.

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Parsley and Barley Salad with Spiced Marinated Feta

A beautiful, fresh and light Salad

Oh how delightful this salad is! It feels healthy and green and very clarifying. It makes you feel so good as you are eating it. The recipe comes from Ottolenhi and Tamimi’s book Jerusalem.

Middle Eastern and Israeli dishes can be substantial and heavy and are accompanied by a sharp, fresh salad such as this one. The herbs and lemon juice cleanse the palate and give a certain sense of lightness. Serve it with other vegetable-based mezze dishes. I like to eat it on its own for lunch with some flatbread. This amount serves 4 – 5 as a side dish and 2 – 3 as a lunch with flatbread.

The flavours of garlic, olive oil, onion, lemon – flavour so familiar from the Middle East – are all there, accentuated by za’atar – and the flavours are carried by the beautiful green tastes of parsley and green capsicum. A delightful, balanced dish.

Are you looking for Barley recipes? Try this wonderful Farmhouse Soup, and Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup with Miso and Parsley.

Or try some Ottolenghi recipes – Roasted Eggplant with a Garlic Sauce, Du Puy Lentils with Tahini and Cumin, and Smashed Garlic and Cucumber Salad.

We even have Parsley recipes for you. Chickpea “Tabbouleh”, Greek style Salsa Verde and Parsley Braised with Tomatoes.

You might like to browse other Parsley recipes here and here, other Barley recipes and other Ottolenghi recipes. Try our Middle Eastern recipes here and here, or explore our collection of easy Spring dishes here and here.

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Chickpea and Carrot Salad with a Curry Dressing

If you soak and cook some chickpeas and keep them in the freezer, you always have chickpeas for recipes that take your fancy. Or when you cook some, cook twice as many and then use them over the following week in salads, pasta sauces, bakes and other dishes.

Chickpeas are great in salads, and this is a simple, easy salad with celery and carrot – two ingredients usually in your fridge. The dressing has a bit of spice with the use of curry powder. I usually keep some Malay Curry Powder in the cupboards, for use in Malaysian dishes. If you don’t have a generic curry powder, use garam masala.

Have a look at some other Chickpea recipes: Glorious Five Bean Salad, Chickpea Tabbouleh, or Chickpea Sundal. You can also make Baked Chickpeas as a snack.

Are you looking for some Carrot Salads? Have a look at Mung Bean and Baked Carrot Salad, Carrot and Blueberry Salad, and Carrot Sambol.

If you are after all Carrot recipes, look here, here for all Celery recipes, and here for all Chickpea recipes.

All of our various Salads are available here, or simply explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Adzuki Beans with Red or Brown Rice and Shiitake Mushrooms

The goodness of Adzuki Beans teams perfectly with the comfort of Mashed Potatoes and creaminess of Mushroom Sauce

This is a wonderful, yet simple, Adzuki Bean dish flavoured with kombu and Shiitake Mushrooms and textured with red or brown rice. My preferred way of serving this dish is with mushroom sauce and some perfect mashed potatoes.

Somewhere between a kitchari and a congee, the rice and adzuki beans are slow cooked for nearly 2 hours. This is a perfect quiet Sunday Afternoon sort of dish. Slow cooking also helps to preserve the taste and health properties of the kombu which should always be simmered and not boiled.

Are you looking for recipes with Adzuki Beans? Then try Red Rice and Adzuki Bean Congee, Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup with Miso and Parsley, and Adzuki Bean Sundal.

Try other Rice recipes as well – Bean Sprouts Rice, Eggplant Rice, or a Parsi Kitchari.

Thee is more! Explore all of our Adzuki dishes, and all Rice dishes here. Or take some time and browse our easy Late Winter recipes.

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White Bean Soup | Zuppa di Fagioli

Here I sit at the (usually) hottest part of the year, and as I write it is a cool day, and wet. So we find ourselves wanting Autumnal food. Having made a risotto yesterday, I am using the remainder of the stock to make a white bean soup – luckily I had the forethought to soak the beans overnight. You have to bless the Italians, right? Simple food with great flavours.

This soup is just gorgeous because the beans just seem to float in this gorgeous broth.

White beans are great – versatile for Summer in Salads, and in Winter for Soups, pasta sauces and more hearty dishes. Use cannellini or haricot beans when white beans are specified. Keep them in your pantry year-round.

Other White Bean recipes include: Grilled Eggplant Salad with Pine Nuts, White Beans and Pita Chips, Florentine Beans, and Tuscan Beans with Sage and Lemon.

All of our Cannellini Bean recipes are here, and our Haricot Bean recipes here.  See all of our Italian recipes. Or browse our wonderful Soups. Our easy Mid Autumn recipes are all here.

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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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Grilled Eggplant Salad with Pine Nuts, White Beans and Pita Chips

Bittman once put together 100 salad recipes in short 2 or 3 line descriptions. I love to turn to these suggestions in the warmer months for inspiration. They are great flavour combinations yet simple and easy to put together, and are great inspiration on hot days when your creativity flags.

Grilled eggplants are always a winner, and I grill them on my covered BBQ. A few red and green capsicums are added alongside, shining from being wiped with oil prior to being placed on the grill. Twenty minutes later the capsicums are charred and the eggplants are soft and collapsed. Perfect bases for salads and soups.

Would you like to try some other Eggplant dishes? Try some BBQ’d Marinated Eggplant, Roasted Eggplant Salad with Verjuice, and Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Spring Onions. All of our Eggplant recipes are here.

The Bittman salads we have beein inspired by are here.  Or take some time to explore all of our Salads.  All of our Eggplant recipes are here. Try some Cannellini Bean Recipes. Or take some time and explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup with Miso and Parsley

Adzuki Beans with Sesame, Tamari and Miso – complimentary flavours for a warming soup

I must admit it. Adzuki beans have not reached the status of being a firm favourite in this household, as the sweetness of the beans can feel a little overwhelming in savoury settings. We had a couple of recipes we stuck to when cooking Adzuki. It was a pity, because we love the name Adzuki, it has such an evocative elegance about it.

That is, until recently. Via Lucy of the most excellent blog, Nourish Me, we discovered the tempering effects of cooking Adzuki with Toasted Sesame Oil, Tamari and Miso, and adding parsley and celery leaves. It makes sense, right? The more Northern Asian flavours to compliment a bean used commonly in Chinese, Korean and Japanese cooking. We also discovered how well Pumpkin goes with Adzuki.

You might like to also try Adzuki Sundal (briefly stirfried with coconut) or Red Rice with Adzuki Bean Congee.

Or are you looking for Barley dishes? Try Parsley and Barley Salad with Spiced Marinated Feta and Italian Farmhouse Barley and Vegetable Soup.

You might like to browse our other Adzuki recipes, all our Barley recipes, other Pumpkin Recipes here, and our Soup recipes here. We hope you enjoy! Or simply spend some time exploring our Mid Autumn dishes.

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