Travel | Psar Leu | The “New” Market in Siem Reap | Cambodia

Cambodia. Still recovering from decades of turbulance and land mines.

I was in Siem Reap for over a week. It sure is an amazing place. Very cheap. Full of tourists, but not annoyingly so. Hundreds of kilometers of Hindu and Buddhist temples that are thousands of years old.  People generally have heard of Ankor Wat, but there are so so many more…

I had some very special experiences there. Continue reading “Travel | Psar Leu | The “New” Market in Siem Reap | Cambodia”

Two Gentle Golden Mung Soupy Dals | Sada Moong Dal and Kara Moong Dal

Especially good for sensitive times.

Sometimes we want a break from spice heat, right? We want to be coddled by our food. We are feeling a little sensitive, a little vulnerable, and long for something gentle and delicious that will make us feel loved and supported and a little bit in heaven.

I have the dish for you.

You might like to browse all of Yamuna Devi’s recipes here, or check our Mung recipes here and here. We have a wealth of Indian recipes here and here, or use our index as a guide.

Continue reading “Two Gentle Golden Mung Soupy Dals | Sada Moong Dal and Kara Moong Dal”

Chickpeas and Young Ginger Salad | Kabli Chana Adrak Kachamber

A seasonal salad to make when young ginger is available.

Oh new ginger! So soft and sweet, without the strong ginger bite of its older sister. In this salad use only young ginger, without any fibres – it is gentle enough for this dish whereas the older ginger, brown in colour and more fibrous, will overwhelm the dish and be tough to eat.

You might also like to try a Simple Chickpea Salad, Creamy Pearl Hummus Salad, or Chickpea, Almond and Sesame Spread. You can always browse our complete chickpea collection here and also here. Explore the Salad recipes here and here or find inspiration in the Spring recipes here and here.

Try other recipes with Chaat Masala: Chickpea (Channa) Chaat, Kachumber Salad and Channa Chaat on Kovalam Beach. Also Watermelon Salad, Borlotti Bean Chaat, and Spicy Vegetable Sticks.

Continue reading “Chickpeas and Young Ginger Salad | Kabli Chana Adrak Kachamber”

Halloumi and Watermelon Salad

An outstanding marriage of textures.

This is an unusual recipe, using raw halloumi. It might be quite a surprise to find that fresh, uncooked halloumi partners very well with watermelon.

You might also like to try Haloumi and Orange Salad, Jerusalem Artichokes with Haloumi, or Haloumi Pizza. You can find watermelon salads here. Or browse our Haloumi recipes here and here, or our Salad recipes here and here. Find inspiration in our Summer recipes here and here.

Continue reading “Halloumi and Watermelon Salad”

Strawberry Frappe

Refreshingly cool in hot weather

Would you believe, I first made this in December, 1998? Some recipes never date. And today I sit here, in 44C heat, without power or air-conditioning except for one power point. The electrician can’t come tonight. I need to have something to cool me down, and give me some sustenance. I can’t cook without electricity. I can’t eat – too hot. This cooling drink comes to mind.

The truth is, I love cooking things that I was making almost a decade ago. For a person who loves to experiment, loves to learn new things, it brings a sense of solidity, continuity, the expected, the sameness, the timelessness of life. Food fashions may have changed, we may have new ingredients, new cuisines, new tools and implements to explore. But the timelessness of some food is priceless.

Continue reading “Strawberry Frappe”

Seasonal Cooking | Staying Cool in Summer Heat | Cooling Drinks with Juices and Herbs

How to stay cool on hot days

Our Summers are hot and dry. Today, as I write it is over 40 C for the third day in a row, and the forecast is for 44. That is around 111F.

But is so quiet in the mornings. There is something about hot weather that subdues noise. Have you noticed? The morning is so peaceful – but still full of joy and expectation for the day.

In those peaceful couple of early morning hours, my thoughts turn to what to drink during the day. Is there ice in the freezer? Spring water available? What flavour of drink for today?

In the evenings, it can be so still, with nere a breath of wind, lit only by the moon. Looking for coolness, we sit outside, but it is only the cooling drinks which bring relief. Continue reading “Seasonal Cooking | Staying Cool in Summer Heat | Cooling Drinks with Juices and Herbs”

Sweet Potato, Eggplant and Spinach Madras Curry

A great dish from Ol’ Madras, in South India.

I have a good friend, Narasimhan, who used to live in Adelaide. He is from Tamil Nadu but resides in Bangalore. When he was in Australia, he would regularly arrive at my place, bearing this curry and a bunch of roses, asking only that I cook some rice and maybe (under his guidance) some payasam. This curry is so easy and so good, or maybe it is the smell of the roses that biases my tastebuds.

Narasimhan, I miss you. Thank you for this recipe, and the tons of roses.

Sauce-free Indian curries like these are really just slightly-more-elaborate vegetable sautés—toast spices in some fat, add in your vegetables, and finish with salt and sometimes a touch of sugar to season the simple, healthful spicy glaze that coats the vegetables.

You might like to try other Subzi recipes. Perhaps you will be interested in Sticky Balsamic Sweet Potatoes, Sweet Potato Wedges, and Sweet Potato Vindaloo.

Other Pumpkin recipes are here and here, Spinach recipes here and here and Eggplant recipes here and here. Our Sweet Potato recipes are here and here. Or browse all our Indian recipes here and here.  Our Autumn recipes are here and here.

Continue reading “Sweet Potato, Eggplant and Spinach Madras Curry”

How to Make Sambar Powder and Paste

Making spice powders at home is simple

Sambars are those beautiful unctuous creamy soupy dishes quintessentially South Indian. A sambar consists of pureed toor dal lentils cooked with fresh vegetables, tamarind and spices. Eaten daily, the spice mixes used vary in content and flavour from house to house. Everyone claims to have the best recipe, and of course they are right. It is a very important dish to all South Indians, and vada sambar and idli sambar are popular breakfast foods.

Sambar Powder is usually, but not always, a fairly warming masala or mix of spices blended to particularly suit sambar.

You can find all of our Sambar Recipes here and Sambar information here.

Continue reading “How to Make Sambar Powder and Paste”

Japanese Baked Eggplant with Miso and Sesame

You won’t believe that this is eggplant!

There are a couple of Japanese dishes that I make over and over again. A couple of eggplant dishes, a tofu dish and a noodle dish. This eggplant dish is quite amazing and may change your mind about eggplant all together (in a good way).

Have a look at all of our Japanese recipes here and here. We love eggplant and have a wealth of recipes for you. You can browse them here and here. They include Thai Steamed Eggplant, Saffron and Rose Scented Aubergine, and Eggplant, Sultanas and Pine Nuts with Yoghurt.

Continue reading “Japanese Baked Eggplant with Miso and Sesame”

Rosemary Focaccia

A beautiful focaccia from the experts.

The act of eating focaccia is traditional and almost primal – tearing pieces from a large focaccia slab, dipping it into oil or gravy, and relishing the flavours both baked into the focaccia and those which adorn it at the table. For years our special family dinners included a large focaccia that sat in the centre of the large table, with family helping themselves during the meal. It is also great to take on picnics.

You might like to browse our Bread recipes here and here, and perhaps the Italian recipes here and here. Find inspiration in our Summer dishes here and here.

Continue reading “Rosemary Focaccia”

Caramelised Roast Pumpkin Risotto

A beautiful partnership

When caramelised pumpkin and risotto come together it is a beautiful partnership. The deep intense and slightly sweet flavours of butternut pumpkin with the creaminess of the risotto rice create a dish that will feature in your kitchen again and again.

Risotto is made by meditatively stiring risotto rice as it cooks, which brings out its creaminess. Read more about the Risotto Basics, and how to caramelise pumpkin.

You might also want to try Asparagus Risotto, Risotto with Tomato, Eggplant Risotto or Beetroot Risotto. All of the Risotto recipes are here and here. Or browse our Italian recipes here and here. Or browse the Pumpkin recipes here and here.

Continue reading “Caramelised Roast Pumpkin Risotto”

Caramelised Roast Pumpkin

A particularly Winter-y dish

In Autumn, the pumpkins arrive and thoughts of beautiful Autumnal pumpkin salads, risottos, mashes, curries, soups, BBQ’d pumpkin, pasta and other dishes swim around in a cook’s mind.

In Australia, we are not familiar with the huge variety of pumpkins available in other countries, so everything yellow and round is a pumpkin to us. We only have a few varieties. Queensland Blue pumpkin, for example. Need to take an axe to that one. Butternut, my favourite. Sweet natured and thin skinned, easy to deal with and delicious in taste. Jap, a sweet beauty. Sometimes in markets I might find a red pumpkin.

This is a great dish for Thanksgiving, if you celebrate that US festival. Other Thanksgiving recipes are here. Continue reading “Caramelised Roast Pumpkin”

How to Cook Basic Risotto

A great Italian classic.

Risotto is a wonderfully versatile Italian rice dish whose creaminess depends on the selection of the rice. The basics of cooking risotto are very very easy. Take rice. Add stock gradually. Stir for 20 minutes. Serve. Enjoy! Of course, there is slightly more to it than that.

You might also want to read Caramelised Roast Pumpkin Risotto, Asparagus Risotto, Eggplant Risotto and Tomato Risotto. All of the Risotto recipes are here and here. Or browse our Italian recipes here and here.

Continue reading “How to Cook Basic Risotto”

Crimson Beetroot Fry

A beautiful, crimsom curry.

When you have beetroot in the fridge and you are tired of boiled, roasted or pickled beetroot, try this spicy, crunchy Indian recipe.

You could also try Beetroot Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing, Beetroot Halwa, Indian Beetroot and Carrot Salad. Or simply browse our beetroot recipes here and on our sister site here.

Continue reading “Crimson Beetroot Fry”

Gin and Tonic with Chilli

Sometimes, a gal just needs a gin and tonic.

Tonight, for the first time in ages, I am sitting outside in a 30C lovely summer’s evening, on the balcony overlooking the hills, sipping a (Bombay) Gin and Tonic. But with a twist.

Did you know that a a piece of chilli added to a jug of cold water adds a refreshing taste without adding chilli heat? It does the same to a glass of Gin and Tonic.

So with the twist of lemon, add a twist of chilli.

Continue reading “Gin and Tonic with Chilli”