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.

Continue reading “Cumquat Rasam | Kumquat Rasam | Sweet, Sour, Hot, Delicious”

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 Smoky Aubergine and Asparagus Salad, Eggplant Fry with Spices, Indian Eggplant, or Fragrant Eggplant and Yoghurt.

Also try Balinese Sambal Iris and Zucchini, Lemon and Dill Salad, .

Browse all of our Eggplant recipes . Explore our Salads here. And be inspired by our Late Summer dishes too.

Continue reading “Steamed Thai Eggplant and Zucchini with Chilli Paste and Cumquat or Lime”

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

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.

Continue reading “Lemon or Lime Rasam | Sweet, Sour, Hot, Delicious”

Tofu and Spinach Layers with Chilli Miso and Sesame Sauce

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 (in 2001), 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.

Similar recipes include Miso and Tofu Dipping Sauce and Dressing, Miso Soup with Wakame, Black Pepper Tofu, and Sticky Tamarind and Kaffir Tofu.

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

Continue reading “Tofu and Spinach Layers with Chilli Miso and Sesame Sauce”

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.

Continue reading “Fragrant Eggplant with a Garlic-Yoghurt Sauce”

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.

Continue reading “Cacik | Turkish Cucumber and Yoghurt Mezze”

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.

Continue reading “Asparagus Pesto”

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.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try our Roast Capsicum Sauce and Dressing and Chickpea, Almond and Sesame Sauce.

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.

Continue reading “Yoghurt, Feta and Mustard Dip”

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). Check out our growing list of purees of all sorts, dips too, that can be used in place of butter. Nut butters are another alternative.

Cashew butter, almond butter, pistachio butter and peanut butter can all be made – all so very delicious and useful in many ways, not just for spreads. For example, try cashew butter on 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.

Are you a peanut butter addict? The peanut butter is so fresh and vital made this way, I urge you to try it and compare the taste with your purchased one.

It is so easy to make them. Imagine the kids coming home from school and you say “let me whip you up a fresh batch of peanut butter for your snacks!”

Similar recipes include Fava (Split Pea Puree), White Bean Puree with Harissa, and Spiced Tomato Puree.

Also try Fig Salad with Almond Butter Dressing and Chickpea, Almond and Sesame Spread.

Check out our growing list of purees of all sorts, dips too. Browse some more How To recipes here. Or find inspiration in our Late Spring recipes.

Cashew and Peanut Butters

Nut Butters

Take a cup of raw, unsalted nuts (cashews, walnuts, peanuts, macadamias, pinenuts, pistachios, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, or a combination) and place into the food processor. Let the processor run for 2 minutes or so until the nuts are ground and forming a paste. They will look a little grainy. At this point, add a little oil and a pinch of salt (optional), and then continue to process until ground and creamy.

Almond Butter | Nut Butters | Vegetarian | A Life Time of Cooking

Use a tasteless oil if you can – grapeseed or peanut oil would be fine. Cashews will take 1 – 2 Tblspns of oil, but peanuts, being oilier nuts, may take less. Pistachio butter is quite dry and grainy but can be combined with thick yoghurt or cream cheese.

Cashew and Peanut Butters

Nut Butters in the vitamix

Nut butters are especially easy to make if you have a high speed blender like a Vitamix. Place 1 – 4 cups of nuts in the Vitamix – use the smaller jug if you have one for smaller amounts. Blend on high for 1 minute, using the tamper to keep the nuts moving. Switch the machine off if it begins to labour – it is time to add the oil. Almonds will take 2 minutes of grinding.

Add the oil (canola, grapeseed or peanut), according to the nuts, and blend on high again for 30 seconds.

As a guide, use 15-20ml oil per 1 cup nuts for almonds, and vary the oil level according to the oiliness of the nuts. Pistachios might need more – 15-25ml per cup nuts, less for peanuts – about 0.5 Tblspn per cup nuts.

What is the best way to clean a Vitamix after making nut butters? Make a smoothie.

Almond Butter

recipe notes and alternatives
A little sugar or honey can be added with the oil, but is not strictly necessary.

Nuts can be roasted or toasted prior to blending into butter for a deeper taste.

A pinch of salt can be added per cup of nuts, but is also optional.

Try making peanut and sesame seed butter.

This is cross posted to our sister site, Heat in The Kitchen. It appears there as part of the Tips and How To’s series.

browse some recipes with Nuts and Seeds

 

 

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.

Continue reading “Yoghurt Tahina Dip with Herbs”