Begun Pora with Bori | Bengali Eggplant Puree with Fried Urad Dumpling Crumbles

Begun Pora is the Bengali rustic cousin of the Punjabi Baingan Bharta, less well known than Baingan Bharta but no less well loved. This has the tastes of Bengal and is totally different in flavour to its cousin. We have already posted one recipe for Begun Pora – but today’s recipe is a different version of that dish.

The idea for this particular dish came from Bengali Cooking: Seasons and Festivals, a wonderful and highly readable book on the amazing food of that state. The author describes how he uses bori in his Begun Pora. What a great idea! It may not be traditional, but it is full of flavour.

Similar recipes include Smoky Aubergine with Tahini and Pomegranate, Begun PoraBaingan Bharta and our Wadi recipes.

Are you after Eggplant recipes? Try BabaganoushSaffron and Rose Scented Eggplant, and Japanese Baked Eggplant.

Or perhaps you would like other Bengali dishes. Try Bengali Vegetable Kitchari and Bengali Rice Kheer.

Have a look at all of our Eggplant recipes, and all of our Bengali recipes. Perhaps you want more Indian dishes. Or simply explore our Early Autumn feasts.

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Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips

Are you in the same boat as me – have never before jumped on the Kale Chip bandwagon? Phew! Glad we are friends. But at some time we have to try them, and when we do, we wonder why we ever waited so long.

Fresh from making Garlic Chilli Curly Kale, there was half a bunch of Curly Kale sitting sadly in the fridge. So late one afternoon, they became our afternoon snack. There are as many recipes as there are people in the world, but this one has the wonderful salt-vinegar combo that is quite mouth watering.

Similar recipes include Burnt Spring Onion Dip with Chilli-Garlic Kale, Fava Bean Falafel, Crispy Fried Okra, and Cauliflower Pakora.

Browse all of our Kale recipes and all of our Snacks. Or browse our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Paprika Oven Chips

One of our favourite things to do with potatoes is to cut them into wedges, coat them in cumin powder, black pepper and oil, and bake until crispy. Ottolenghi has a variation on that theme in his book Nopi which are equally delicious. They are easy to make, a Friday night delight if you make a large plate of them. Munch in front of a streamed movie, perhaps with a salad, or some salsa verde. Of course they also go very well with any main dish or Summer lunch. Under the gum tree. Or just with some yoghurt or even pickle as a snack. Any which way.

These chips are SO amazing, if you haven’t made them yet, put them on the list for this week.

Similar dishes include Salt and Vinegar Kale ChipsCumin and Black Pepper Potato Wedges, and Sweet Potato Wedges with Lemongrass Creme Fraiche.

Browse all of our Potato recipes, and all of our Ottolenghi dishes. Or explore our Mid Summer collection of recipes.

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Aussie Scones

Scones, those English and Australian afternoon-tea essentials, slathered with strawberry jam and whipped cream, are often the star of our afternoon snacks. From a young age, I would make scones for visitors. As soon as I could, I would slip away and leave them to chat with others in the house. I would head for the kitchen and whip up a batch of scones, bringing them out still hot from the oven to the delight of everyone who happened to be there at that time.

In fact, it takes only 15 minutes to produce a basket full of lovely hot scones that are feather light.

Sometimes you can eat them just with butter, or without sugar but with cheese mixed into the batter and sprinkled over the top before baking. Jam and cream is very traditional. Sultanas can be added to the dough. Pumpkin scones have a reputation in Australia but they are not something that I make more than once a decade. Or omit the sugar and add a little black pepper, and serve them with a large bowl of soup.

These favourites are not, take note, *not* the American scone, pronounced scoh-n, more like our biscuits than this light and fluffy delicacy. Ours is pronounced sco-n, a short “o”, as in pond.

Similar recipes include Oatcakes and Griddle Cakes.

Browse all of our Biscuits (there are not many, we don’t have a sweet tooth), and our Desserts. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Egyptian Dried Fava Bean Falafel with a Mint Yoghurt-Tahini Sauce

Falafel come in all shapes, sizes, ingredients and countries. In Australia, we are very familiar with the Lebanese version made from chickpeas and less familiar with the ones made with dried fava beans (dried broad beans). In Egypt, for example, this variety is very common.

Some people, Claudia Roden is one example, believe that the best falafel are found in Egypt. The reason is that the fava bean is lighter and moister than chickpeas. And in this latter point they are correct – chickpeas, especially pureed chickpeas or chickpea flour, are especially drying. You may have noticed when making Pudla. Once you have tasted fava bean falafel, you may never go back.

These can be made beforehand and kept in the fridge until needed. Either form the falafel, pop them in the fridge and cook them just before serving. Or cook them and keep for later. They will loose outer crispness but are still absolutely delicious.

Just a word on the fava beans. Look for the smaller, yellow, split fava beans, not the large, brown beans. They are easily available in Greek and Middle Eastern groceries.

Similar recipes include Paprika Oven Chips, Broad Bean Falafel, and Middle Eastern Falafel.

Browse all of our Fava Bean dishes and all of our Egyptian food. Our snacks are here. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Stuffed Vine Leaves | Dolmades

Dolmas, or Dolmades, are little parcels wrapped in grape vine leaves and simmered until the filling is cooked and the vine leaves are tender. Although there is always a rush to make them in Spring as the vine leaves appear, they can be cooked right through to Autumn. Indeed, if you are diligent enough to freeze or preserve vine leaves, they can also be made in Winter. Of course, if home preserving is not your thing, you can always purchase preserved vine leaves (I’ve seen large jars of them). The leaves can be stuffed with many things, but rice, burghul, or a mix of the two, are common.

These dolmas are stuffed with burghul (bulgar, or cracked wheat) and rice in a typically Middle Eastern version with currants and pine nuts. They are delicious. Serve with lemon wedges.

Similar recipe include Burghul Wrapped in Vine Leaves, Grape Leaf Encrusted Rice Pie, and Grilled Pecorino Wrapped in Vine Leaves.

Browse all of our Grape Vine Leaf Recipes, and all of our Dolmas. All of our Middle Eastern dishes are here. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Kurkuri Bhindi | Crispy Spicy Fried Okra

This recipe is a variation of this other Kurkuri Bhindi recipe. Instead of carefully removing the seeds, this time the seeds are left in place, and the okra are halved or quartered rather than carefully splintered.

In this Rajasthani recipe, the okra slices are marinated in spices and, just before frying, are coated in chickpea flour and rice flour. The flours form a self-battered coating on the okra. After frying, they are a crispy snack that can be eaten with a meal or any time that you have the munchies.

Are you interested in Okra recipes? Read more about Okra here. And try Teeny Dried Okra Vathal, Crispy Okra in Yoghurt, Salad of Charred Okra with Tomato, Ladyfingers Recheio, Avial, and Spicy Dried Okra.

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

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

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Yoghurt and Kaffir Lime Leaf Spread

We have always loved dips and spreads, despite the dodgy connotations of previous decades. In fact we hear that they are definitely in vogue again. They never went out of fashion in this household, and I have posted many on this site. Share with friends as a snack or mezze dish, and they are also the ultimate comfort food – eaten on the couch binge watching Netflix, with crackers, flat bread, or vegetable sticks. Dips spread easily on toast, or in sandwiches, wraps and tostadas or Quesadillas.

And we adore yoghurt based dips and spreads. What a way to begin a meal!

This Ottolenghi recipe is a take on tzatziki but it includes zucchini, is spiked up with lime juice and kaffir lime leaf, and uses mint or coriander rather than the traditional dill. It is gorgeous and delicious. It is from his book Plenty More.

In fact it is our Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely.

Similar recipes include Burnt Spring Onion Dip with Chilli-Garlic Kale, Yoghurt with Cucumber and Mint.

Browse all of our Dips and our Spreads. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Grilled Green Tomatoes Tostadas with Black Beans, Avocado and Coriander Leaves

Tostada is a Spanish word meaning toasted. In Mexico and other parts of Latin America, it is the name of various local dishes which are toasted or use a toasted ingredient as the main base of their preparation. It usually refers to a flat or bowl-shaped tortilla that’s toasted – it is perfect as a base for other foods.

Today’s tostada is topped with crunchy grilled green tomatoes, soft avocado and delicious black beans, topped with coriander leaves. It is a great snack or informal lunch and reasonably easy to prepare. We love to eat it sitting on the steps of the decking (with large napkins), folding the tortillas together and eating with our hands. Summer eating! We make this style of snack a lot, and the inspiration for this combo comes from Food52.

Similar recipes include Green Tomato Pachadi, Green Tomato and Pineapple Salsa, Avocado and Black Bean Salad with Green Tomatoes, and Green Tomato and Mozzarella Salad.

Browse all of our Snacks and our Green Tomato recipes. Our Black Bean dishes are here. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Red Onion and Green Chilli Bhajji

Looking for quick and easy snacks? These Onion Bhaji are feather light and so more-ish – you had better make quite a few. Heat from the chilli, the beautiful citrusy warmth of the coriander seed and the chickpea flour coating make these a great go-to accompaniment to a strong cuppa Indian tea either morning or afternoon on a cool day.

This is a treasure of Bengal, north of India. The original recipe comes from Christine Mannfield in her collection of Indian recipes Tasting India. I adapted it a little. The beauty of this recipe is that the onions are not coated in a batter, but the chickpea flour is worked into the onions, using its own moisture, to form a delicious crispy light coating.

Have a look at this other style of Onion Bhaji and these Vegetable Bhaji. Or try this Greek-Indian Tomato Pakoras. Other Onion dishes you could try include Confit d’Oignon (Onion Jam), Onion Salad with Sesame Oil, and South Indian Onion Strings Slightly Pickled Salad.

Browse all of our Bhaji/Pakoras here, or have a look at our Indian Snacks. All of our Onion recipes are here, and Indian dishes are here. Or you might like to explore all of our easy Mid Autumn dishes.

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Crispy Cauliflower with Capers

This dish of deep fried cauliflower is from Spain. The cauliflower is dusted in chickpea flour (gram flour) and deep fried  until crisp. Then, like the old fashioned beach-made fish and chips, sprinkled with plenty of salt and vinegar. In a modern day twist, capers are added. It makes a great snack, mezze dish, entree (starter) or side dish.

There are a range of traditional dishes that deep fry cauliflower. Think of Cauliflower Pakora, for example. Even Ottolenghi makes a salad or side dish of deep fried cauli with a tahini sauce. There’s Southern Fried Cauliflower, Fried Cauliflower Steaks, Moroccan Fried Cauliflower, Cauliflower Tempura, and many more such recipes. There is a simple reason for so many dishes. It tastes very very good. This recipe will knock your socks off.

Similar dishes include Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips, Cauliflower and Okra Pakora, Roasted Cauliflower Soup, and Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree.

Browse all of our Cauliflower dishes. All of our Snacks are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Sticky Kaffir and Tamarind Tofu

Sadly, many people believe tofu is boring. Perhaps recipes like this one are secret, locked away from view unless you have the password or know the secret phrase to say. An easy dish to make, the tofu is marinated in tamarind, kaffir leaf and lemongrass with sweet soy sauce for half an hour, and then sauteed until it forms a crust on the outside. The marinade is reduced to a sticky sauce which coats the seared tofu.

Similar recipes include Curry Laksa with Fried Tofu, Black Pepper Tofu, Baked Marinated Tofu, and Deep Fried Tofu with Peanut Sauce.

Browse all of our Tofu recipes and all of our Asian dishes. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Buttery ANZAC Biscuits

Generally I use my Grandmother’s recipe for ANZAC Biscuits, but was curious about a recipe that increases the amount of coconut and butter. Other than that, the recipe is the same – a traditional one without the additions that the US variety of these “cookies” include. Good grief, USA, leave our beloved ANZAC biscuits alone.

The result of the slight alterations is a blonder biscuit, but otherwise a delightful one, perfect for a cuppa for afternoon tea on any day of the year. The biscuit is quite buttery with a definite coconut flavour.

It is the day after New Year, and it is likely to be one of my 2 or 3 baking efforts per year. I don’t have a sweet tooth, thankfully, and also do not use eggs in my recipes. Thus, the options for baking are limited on both accounts!

Originally, ANZAC Biscuits were made for the troops in the World Wars, and did not contain coconut (as it deteriorates rapidly, and possibly it was not readily available). The biscuits were “flat packed” for transport to the troops. Then, it seems, a little coconut was added to the recipe, and as times became easier, the amount of butter and coconut increased. Thus we have the buttery biscuits of today.

See this post for some notes about the use of bicarb soda in the recipes for ANZAC Biscuits. Don’t substitute the use of bicarbonate of soda with Self Raising Flour or Baking Powder, as its use is essential to the biscuit. The other essential element is Golden Syrup. There is no substitute, and this Australian ingredient gives these biscuits their beautiful caramelised taste.

You can read more about the history of ANZAC Biscuits here.

Similar recipes include Scones, Oatmeal Crackers, and Traditional ANZAC Biscuits.

Browse all of our Biscuits, and explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Spiced Burghul Wrapped in Vine Leaves | Yaprak Sarma

Today we have a variety of Dolmades (stuffed vine leaves), of which there are many types across the Mediterranean and Middle East. This Turkish recipe uses Burghul, which forms a bright red and a little firey stuffing for the vine leaves. I like to use a type of Burghul available in Middle Eastern grocers, where burghul is mixed with vermicelli. Its a delicious alternative.

Use fresh vine leaves (my preference) or preserved vine leaves, but rinse the preserved ones well to get rid of any saltiness.

The recipe, which I have altered a little, comes via the SBS site which credits the book Istanbul: Recipes From the Heart of Turkey, by Rebecca Seal, for the original. Vine leaves can be stuffed with a number of fillings, but rice and burghul are the most common. The vine leaves are wrapped around the filling, and the little fat cigar-shaped dolmas are simmered in water, olive oil and lemon until the vine leaves are tender. In Turkey they are often served for mezze with yoghurt.

Similar recipes include Vine Leaf Powder, Pecorino in Vine Leaves, Grape Leaf Encrusted Rice Pie, and Mushrooms Baked in Grape Vine Leaves.

Try also Burghul with Pinenuts and Sultanas, and Spicy Chickpea and Burghul Soup.

Browse all of our Grape Vine Leaf recipes and all of our Turkish dishes. Our Burghul recipes are here. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Marinated Roasted Mushrooms

This is a favourite recipe for mushrooms – shiitake, portabello, field mushrooms, brown mushrooms – and the mushrooms can be roasted in the oven, cooked in a covered BBQ, or grilled. Your choice. Today, they have been made in the oven, but BBQing them is a real favourite.

To BBQ them, they go into a foil pan that has been oiled lightly. They can even go straight on the grill for the BBQ. For the oven they perch on a baking paper lined tray.

Before cooking, the mushrooms are marinated in a mixture of garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander, with a touch of honey.

Similar recipes include Stuffed Mushrooms on the BBQ, Grill Mushroom and Red Onion Salad, Shiitake Mushroom Sauce, and Mushrooms for Toast.

Browse more recipes for the BBQ, and other Mushroom dishes. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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