Cumquat Rasam | Kumquat Rasam | Sweet, Sour, Hot, Delicious

Rasam, that tangy, spicy, soup-like liquid of South India, is commonly made from lemons, limes and oranges, so, with a surfeit of cumquats in the kitchen, we made a delicious Cumquat Rasam to eat over rice.

You may be wondering what a Rasam is. It is a soup-like dish which can be thick or thin, and is usually eaten as part of a meal and served with rice – read more about Rasam here.

Similar recipes include Kottu Rasam, Pepper Rasam, Lemon Rasam, and and Tomato Rasam.

I’ve been discussing the spelling of Cumquat with others. In many places it is spelled Kumquat, but the British (and Australian) spelling is Cumquat. Surprisingly, in India, which has followed the British spellings in other things, has chosen Kumquat. But actually, neither spelling is correct. The name derives from the Cantonese gām-gwāt 金橘, literally meaning golden orange or golden tangerine. Our transliteration of the Cantonese, with the g sound so close to the k sound, had become C(K)umquat. There are parts of the world that call them Chinese Orange – so much simpler.

Cumquat recipes include Cumquat Tea, Cumquat Rice, and Cumquat Chutney.

Browse all of our Rasam recipes, and our Cumquat recipes. Explore our Indian dishes, and our Indian Essentials too. Or check out our delicious Late Winter dishes.

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Steamed Thai Eggplant and Zucchini with Chilli Paste and Cumquat or Lime

I love this!

My friend Kate recently told me how good steamed Thai eggplants are with a chilli paste. In need of a quick snack while prep’ing for the large dinner on Xmas Day, I threw some in the steamer with left over zucchini, grabbed some chilli paste from the fridge and chopped up some cumquats. I love this!

I can imagine these eggplants served in a row on a narrow white plate, each one on a salad green leaf, ready for eating picking up and putting straight into the mouth. Also in this pic are some steamed betel leaves,  and a pea shoots and chopped cumquats salad.

You might also like to cook Indian Eggplant Fry, another version of Indian Eggplant Fry, or Fragrant Eggplant and Yoghurt. Browse all of our Eggplant recipes here and here. Explore our Salads here and here. Be inspired by our Summer dishes here and here.

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Lemon or Lime Rasam | Sweet, Sour, Hot, Delicious

A simple yest satisfying broth-like addictive Kuzhambu.

This Rasam recipe ticks every box – quick to make, easy, tasty, light, satisfying, amazing, addictive. It takes no more than 10 minutes. It is a very thin dish, and perfect to ladle over rice.

If you are new to Indian cooking, you might like to read about the difference between rasam and sambar.

Similar Rasam recipes include Cumquat RasamTomato Rasam, Lemon or Lime RasamKottu Rasam, Pepper Rasam, and Garlic Rasam.

Browse all of our Rasam recipes here. All of our Indian recipes are here and Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Tofu, Sesame and Spinach Napoleons | Tofu Stacks with Spinach and Sesame

A simple dish that delivers more than it promises.

This wonderful dish, full of the flavours of Japan without being Japanese, the flavours of SE Asia without being South East Asian, became an instant family success. We made it often, but somehow, as we no longer all live so close together, it has fallen from our menus. When I do make it again, I recall why we loved it so much, and give myself 2 helpings.

The first time this dish was served to the gathering family, all went silent as they ate, tasted, yet could not get the words from their tastebuds to their brain to their mouths. Silent eating, always the mark of a great dish.

It makes a great first course – or a light meal.

You might like to browse our tofu recipes here and here, or Spinach recipes here and here. Find inspiration in our Summer recipes here and here.

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Fragrant Eggplant with a Garlic-Yoghurt Sauce

Another Nigel Slater dish, from Tender.

I promised you a couple of recipes from Nigel Slater’s book Tender, Vol. 1. Previously I made Stuffed Capsicums, which proved to be a great winner. There is an equally wonderful dish that I have been making along with the stuffed capsicums – Fragrant Eggplant, served with Yoghurt and Sweet Paprika.

There are a couple of eggplant pairings that are so wonderful – eggplant and yoghurt is one, the other, quite different, is eggplant and miso. Nigel’s recipe is one of utmost simplicity, and yet it can form a delicious dinner for one with a small salad, or can be part of a much larger meal. Whatever, however, Nigel has done it again!

Are you looking for more Eggplant dishes? Read more about Eggplants, and try Saffron and Rosewater Scented Aubergine, Babaganoush, Eggplant and Zucchini with a Chickpea and Harissa Sauce, and  Eggplants, Sultanas and Pinenuts with Yoghurt Dressing.

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Cacik | Turkish Cucumber and Yoghurt Mezze

Cool off in hot weather with a classic yoghurt dip from Turkey.

Cacik is a wonderful dish, cooling in summer and endlessly versatile. It can be made very thick with thick thick yoghurt to serve as a dip or along side curries, rice dishes and pastry dishes. Make it with ordinary yoghurt as a sauce to drizzle over vegetables or salads or some filo pastry dish. Or make it thin with some ice cold water and eat as a soup.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Green Tahini Dip and Sauce, Yoghurt Tahina Dip with Herbs, and Green peppers in yoghurt.

Here we love yoghurt, so there is quite a collection of yoghurt recipes, including drinks, dips, raitas, yoghurt curries and salad dressings. I hope something inspires you there. Or our Dips are here, Turkish dishes here and Middle Eastern recipes here. Or be inspired by our Late Spring recipes.

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Asparagus Pesto

A beautiful pesto from a gentle ingredient.

Isn’t it great that there are lots of ways to mush things together and the results taste spectacular? Soups, for example, smoothies, combination juices. The wonderful pesto and hummus. The wonderful mushing together of pastes, oils, nuts, seeds, cheeses, yoghurts, creams, fruits, herbs, spices and vegetables make for an endless variety of goodies. Even lentils and rice, ground together, make amazing fritters and even better fermented or unfermented flatbreads.

Especially great in all things mushed together is that the variety is endless. For example, in the warmer months, I am likely to be seen picking green things from my small pot-garden. Nasturtium leaves, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, cardamom leaf, parsley, curry leaves, basil, lemon  verbena, rosemary, thyme – whatever looks good on that day. My handful of herbs gets chopped finely with some nuts or seeds, maybe some cheese or maybe not, garlic, maybe chilli, sometimes some rocket or spinach, lemon zest and whatever else is fresh and on my kitchen bench at the time.

Asparagus can also be used. Steamed and chopped, it makes a very rustic Asparagus Pesto. Glorious. Gentle.

You might also like to read The Joy of Asparagus, Spring Salads, and Cream of Asparagus Soup. All Asparagus recipes are here and here, and our Dips are here and here. Be inspired by our Spring recipes here and here.

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Yoghurt, Feta and Mustard Dip

Take some yoghurt, feta and mustard and you have a dip for a Summery day.

Gathering the thick thick yoghurt, some home made mustard, a smidgen of honey, and a copy of Turquoise, Greg Malouf’s mustardy creation was manifested. It can be a dip, sauce or dressing and the combination of flavours is quite synergistic – beyond what you might expect.

You might like to try other Yoghurt dishes here and here, and other Dips here and here. All of our Turquoise dishes are here. Be inspired by our Spring recipes here and here.

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How to Make Nut Butters

It is good to minimise the use of margarine type spreads because none of them are very healthy. Still use them, of course, but aim for moderation. It is easy to replace margarine at times with pureed avocado or hummus or other bean-based spreads (home made). Nut butters are another alternative.

Cashew butter, almond butter and peanut butter can all be made – all so very delicious and useful in many ways, not just for spreads. For example, hve cashew butter on my porridge with some coconut oil and fruit. Very good! Use almond butter with sherry vinegar to make a salad dressing. They can be used for dips, or spooned into soups and wet curries. They good well over steamed vegetables. You can mix them with lemon juice or vinegar and thinned with water to make a great dressing. Continue reading “How to Make Nut Butters”

Yoghurt Tahina Dip with Herbs

Thick yoghurt and tahini dip with walnuts.

Try this Yoghurt Tahina Dip with herbs. You might like to eat it with Oatmeal Crackers, or perhaps, just by the spoonful. It is made with Thick Thick Yoghurt, a favourite ingredient in this kitchen.

Turkish in style, it combines two of the most common ingredients – yoghurt and Tahini. The lemon will thicken the tahini quite a bit, and then it is thinned with olive oil and a little water.

Are you looking for yoghurt dishes? You might like to try Shrikhand or Haydari. Or see A Dozen Ways to Use Thick Yoghurt.

Are you looking for more dips? Try Cacik (Yoghurt and Cucumber), Green Tahini Dip and Sauce, White Bean, Sage and Roasted Garlic Spread, a Moroccan Carrot Dip, and Zhug – a Coriander-Chilli Dip.

Or browse all of our yoghurt dishes, or our Turkish dishes, and also Middle Eastern dishes. Find inspiration in our Late Spring recipe collection.

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Marinated Zucchini Salad with Bocconcini

Tiny zucchini marinated with garlic.

A very simple but delicious salad. Easy to make and a great Spring to Autumn salad.

Are you looking for Zucchini recipes – Try Zucchini Preserved in Olive Oil, Making Zucchini Juice, and Zucchini Rice.

Or are you looking for Salads? Try Pomegranate and Banana Salad, Halloumi and Orange Salad, and Kidney Bean Sundal.

Or browse all of our Zucchini recipes and all of our Salads. Our Italian recipes are here. Or explore our Mid Spring dishes.

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A Spicy Cucumber Salad with Herbs and Poppy Seeds

A marvellous cucumber salad, complete with poppy seeds and herbs. Join me for dinner?

A spicy cucumber salad, just in time for a wonderful, summer-on-the-balcony lunch.

This is a recipe from Ottolenghi, and you can see all of our Ottolenghi recipes here.

Are you after other Cucumber Salads? Try Cucumber and Tomato Sunday Salad, Cucumber and Red Onion Salad, and Cucumber and Mung Salad.

You also might like to browse our collection of Cucumber Salads. Or simply browse our Late Summer dishes.

This time in other years I was making Indian Cucumber Salad, Crispy Garlic and Sage, Asparagus in Pastry, Baked Peppers, Red Peppers in Olive Oil, and a Strawberry Frappe.

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Tahina Tarator | Tahini Spread | Tahini Dip or Dressing

A taste of the Middle East

This is a wonderfully simple dip, spread, dressing or sauce, quick to make, healthy and delicious to eat while watching the share prices.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Green Tahini Dip and Sauce, Yoghurt Tahina Dip with Herbs, and Green peppers in yoghurt.

You can browse all of our our Dips are here, Lebanese dishes here and Middle Eastern recipes here. Or be inspired by our Late Spring recipes.

This time in other years I was making a Cucumber Olan Curry, Salt and Pepper Lotus Seeds, Marinated Zucchini, Dal Makhani Nilgiri, Green Mung Dal Soup, Lentil Dumplings in a Spicy Gravy, and Overnight Breakfast Oats.

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Salt and Pepper Makhana | Salt and Pepper Lotus Seeds

A wonderful snack made from Lotus Seeds

Puffed Lotus seeds, or Makhana, are an unusual ingredient that is used in India and SE Asia. Makhana Palak is a wonderful dish of lotus seeds in a spinach gravy. But it is also beautiful to simply saute the puffed seeds in butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Are you looking for recipes for snacks? Have a look here and here. Our favourite snack is Bhajji. See our lotus seed recipes. Other Indian recipes are here and here, or find inspiration in our Spring recipes here and here.

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Haydari | A Turkish Yoghurt Dip

A Turkish Dip

Haydari is a thick dip and spread made from strained yoghurt which is called suzme in Turkish. It is very much like the Middle Eastern labne. Spread it on toast or flat breads, or serve with salads or chargrilled vegetables and tofu.

Looking for other Turkish recipes? Browse them here. Or browse our Dips, Sauces and Salsas here. Our favourites are Cacik and Pawpaw Salsa. You might like our Yoghurt recipes here and here. Or be inspired by our Winter recipes here and here.

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