Cold Cucumber Soup

Gearing up for the heat wave that is Summer in South Australia, we are already thinking about the soups and drinks and other cooling things we will need over those 3 months. Even in Spring we can have had temperatures of 37C. An indication that it will be a long hot Summer.

This soup is cool and refreshing, and is adapted from one from Madhur Jaffrey. In truth it is a down-spiced version of a Cucumber Raita or Cucumber Pachadi, thinned for a soup. It has some delicious cream added as well. Enjoy with lunch, mid afternoon, or in the evening relaxing on the verandah. Serve in small portions in chilled bowls.

Similar recipes include Cucumber Pachadi, Toppings for Soups, Goan Vegetable Soup, South Indian Cold Cucumber Soup, Quick Tomato and Cucumber Cold Soup, and Chilled Asparagus Soup.

Browse all of our Cold Soups, and our Cucumber recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Yoghurt Mustard Dressing

We love our salads and often they are made using whatever is on the kitchen bench. Today it is snake beans (simmered till tender), quarter of a fennel bulb, a couple of radishes, quarter of an onion, fresh dill, some daikon radish shaved thinly, and 4 or 5 spring onions. They are scattered with nigella seeds.

At these times we like to add a delicious dressing. Once you have a few dressing recipes under your belt they can be thrown together very quickly. This one is a yoghurt based dressing that is gorgeous for salads like this. It can be spread over the vegetables, or the veg can be dipped into the dressing.

Similar recipes include Miso and Ginger Dressing, Tahini and Yoghurt Dressing, and Creamy Horseradish Dressing.

Browse all of our Dressings and all of our Salads. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Methi Sprouts Tambuli | Fenugreek Sprouts with Yoghurt and Coconut

Tambuli (or Thambuli, Tambli or Tumbuli) is a type of Pachadi from Karnataka that is normally eaten with rice. Tambuli is derived from Kannada word thampu, meaning cool/cold – it is a Summery cooling food. Generally it is made from vegetables by chopping or grinding them with spices, then mixing them with yoghurt. Generally the ingredients are used raw, but as we see today, they can be lightly sauteed.

Many different seasonal vegetables and herbs are used in the preparation of tambulis, such as doddapatre leaves (ajwain leaves), coriander leaves, poppy seeds, curry leaves and vegetables like greens, carrots and beetroot. It is generally mild and not too spicy.

Today’s Tambuli is made with fenugreek seeds (which you can grow yourself), quickly sauteed with the tempered spices, and added to the spice-coconut-yoghurt mixture.

Similar recipes include Onion Pachadi, Dried Okra Pachadi, and Bitter Melon Pachadi.

Browse all of our Pachadi recipes and all of our dishes from Karnataka. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to explore our Late Spring dishes.

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Collection: Our Best Tofu Recipes

Tofu is a popular ingredient in vegetarian kitchens, but not everyone knows how to use it to best feature its characteristics. It is like a sponge – absorbing the flavours of the ingredients with which it is cooked. There are also a large range of tofu types available – search out your Asian grocery and experiment with fresh, dried, pressed, flavoured, hard, silky and soft tofu.

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

Browse all of our Tofu Recipes, and all of our Collections. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

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Congee with Ginger, Mushrooms and Chilli-Black Bean Sauce

At some point during Winter we long for congee because of its warming and nourishing nature, and because it is the sort of dish that can be eaten from dawn until after midnight. Only the toppings will vary. My first introduction to congee, so many years ago, was through an Asian friend who would take me for mid night bowls in Sydney’s China Town. It was quite a ritual.

Today we make congee cooked with shiitake mushrooms and ginger, and topped with king oyster mushrooms, bean curd bows and a chilli-black bean sauce. We describe the best way to cook congee and make congee bowls here, so have a look before you make today’s recipe.

In our Chilli-Black Bean Sauce we use a Lao Gan Ma Sauce. You can read more about these amazing sauces here.

Similar dishes include Barley, Millet and Mung Congee, How to Make Congee Bowls, and Black Glutinous Rice Congee.

Browse all of our Congee recipes, and our King Oyster Mushroom dishes. Or browse our Mid Winter recipes.

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Zucchini, Makrut (Kaffir) Lime Leaf, Yoghurt Salad

Yoghurt salads are made the world over, except, perhaps, in English speaking and some European countries. It is a puzzle why we don’t make more use of them here in Australia with our temperatures up to 45C in Summer. Yoghurt is one of the most cooling ingredients. Here I use makrut lime leaves (the new name for kaffir limes) with zucchini and garlic to make a great hot day dip or salad. We often have them around afternoon tea time, with some crisp crackers (like our Galletti), with other salads and some flatbread for lunch, or as a precursor to dinner.

Similar dishes include Green Mango Pachadi, Roasted Eggplant with Saffron Yoghurt, and Onion Pachadi.

Browse all of our Yoghurt dishes and all of our Raita.

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Orzo and Eggplant Bake

Food in the oven always signals the arrival of Winter, no matter what the date is. Firstly I make the Rice Pudding that my Grandmothers and Mother made, baked until it forms a crusted top. This is followed by an array of baked dishes, many of them featuring pasta.

Today’s dish is a pasta one – using orzo, that rice shaped  pasta that is divine in salads too. It is a variation of an Ottolenghi recipe that I have converted to a vegetarian dish. It is quite divine! And easy to make with mostly common ingredients. If you don’t have the tamarind, leave it out. Or add a tspn dark miso.

Similar dishes include Three Cheese Eggplant Bake, Spinach and Toasted Orzo, Baked Pasta with Mozzarella, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce, and Pasta Bake with Cabbage and Cheese.

Browse all of our Orzo recipes, all of our Baked Pasta dishes, and all of our Pasta recipes.

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Spinach and Toasted Orzo with Green Chilli Yoghurt

There is something about orzo and spinach – it is a much loved combination, there are lots of variations, and it is easy to pull together. Tamimi has a version in Falastin, his book with Palestinian  flavour combinations and recipes. It combines orzo and spinach with a yoghurt-chilli-herb mix. Simple, yes, Divine, also.

The dish can be a dish in a vegetarian meal, a side dish or something akin to a salad. Throw in some feta, black olives and/or chopped tomato if desired.

Similar recipes include: Orzo and Eggplant Bake, Elegant Orzo and Spinach, Chickpea and Orzo Soup, and Rice and Orzo.

Browse all of our Orzo recipes and all of our dishes from Falastin.

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Roasted Eggplant with Saffron Yoghurt

Eggplant and Yoghurt is very common, even eggplant and saffron yoghurt is not unusual. Ottolenghi has his version in his first cookbook, Ottolenghi. This book is still one of my favourites, given to me as a gift when I was spending a couple of months in London. Lucky for me I was so very close to Islington, and so Ottolenghi’s became my usual haunt. This was long before anyone in Australia had heard of him. So this book brings back many joyful memories.

As usual, I feel free to massage his recipes to suit my preferences at the time and the availability of ingredients. Today I had a deep sticky sauce that I had made sitting on the kitchen bench, so the eggplant slices got smeared in this before roasting. You don’t need to do that, though. This recipe is actually very very simple to make (Yay!) and it is perfect for evening suppers. It doesn’t seem that it has appeared in the Guardian column, so you will need to check his books if you want to check the original.

Similar recipes include Eggplant Kuku with Cauliflower Puree, Noodles with Fried Eggplant, Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce, and Cheesy Baked Eggplants.

Browse all of the recipes from Ottolenghi, and all of our Eggplant dishes. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Sago Pachadi with Yoghurt

Sago, ignored in some countries, used for sweet items in others, is very common in India. It is used in both sweet and savoury incarnations. Today we have a yoghurt Pachadi – sago is deep fried and mixed with yoghurt and spices for a cooling accompaniment to a hot spicy meal.

Deep frying makes the sago puff and expand and taste a little like puffed rice, or even caramelised popcorn. They soften a little in the yoghurt for a delicious and textural dish.

Pachadi is a South Indian dish – quite different to a Raita, but you can say it is the counterpart of Raita. Perhaps they are second cousins. Although appearing similar to some (yoghurt base, chopped vegetables or other small items), the approach and seasoning is different. At least, traditionally. Dishes seem to merge into one another in these days of the internet and Western influence.

This recipe is one from Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See books. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

Read more about Sabudana (sago and tapioca) here.

Similar recipes include Onion Pachadi, Tri Colour Pachadi, and Sago Kitchari.

Browse all of our Sago recipes and all of our Pachadis. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to explore our Mid Spring dishes.

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