Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with Mustard

Another wonderful cucumber salad for hot days. Easy to prep ahead of time.


The morning is hot and still. Clouds dot the blue sky. I love the stillness of the mornings and begin the day in the kitchen with a coffee in one hand and some cucumbers in the other. Red onions and mustard sit on he Kitchen Bench.

Are you looking for other Salads? Try Pawpaw Salsa, Grown up Potato Salad, and Kachumber – Indian Salad.

Or perhaps you are looking for Cucumber dishes. Try Cucumber Salad with Capers and Ricotta, Glazed 5-Spice Tofu with Cucumbers and Radishes, and Cucumber Yoghurt Salad.

Our Onion recipes include Confit d’Oignon (Onion Jam), Farinata with Tomato, Onion and Cheese, and Sweet Onion Salad with Coriander Spice.

We have a wealth of salad recipes. You can browse them here.  Or are you looking for something different to do with cucumbers – check out our cucumber recipes here. Or take some time to browse our Late Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with Mustard”

Hindu Festival: Maha Sivaratri | A Night of Fasting

Shivaratri, or Mahashivratri, is one of the most auspicious occasions for members of the Hindu community. The day holds special significance for pious Hindus all over the world, especially devotees of Lord Shiva. Many of whom observe a strict day-long fast or Upvaas in honour of Lord Siva. The fast is broken only in the early morning of the next day, with the consumption of some traditional food items and drinks. Continue reading “Hindu Festival: Maha Sivaratri | A Night of Fasting”

Moar Kuzhambu | Yoghurt Gravy with Vegetables or Vatral

Beaten yoghurt (Indian Buttermilk) Thin Curry with Vegetables. Both warming (from the spices) and cooling (from the beaten yoghurt) it is a dish for any time of the year.

Moar Kuzhambu is an Indian dish made with churned yoghurt. It can include vegetables, dried pea vatral, or bondas. Deliciously spicy, it is wonderfully cooling at the same time.

Moar (or Mor or Moru) Kuzhambu is commonly prepared in South India and is extremely easy to make, taking almost no time at all to cook. It can be served with hot rice and a vegetable stir fry. Generally green or cluster bean paruppu usili is a wonderful accompaniment, as is a spinach dish such as spinach masiyal or spinach poriyal.

There are also two dishes that derive from this one – both add dumplings made of ground lentils, and you might like to try them also:

Are you looking for other Yoghurt recipes? Try Moar SambarSweet and Sour Mango Curry in Yoghurt Sauce, and Simple Yoghurt Curry.

Or try other Kuzhambu recipes: Grated Coconut Masala Kuzhambu, Simple, Seasoned Kuzhambu, and Kottu Kuzhambu.

You might also like to try a host of different Lassi drinks.

You can find all of our Kuzhambu recipes here, and all of our Indian recipes here. Or explore our collection of Mid Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Moar Kuzhambu | Yoghurt Gravy with Vegetables or Vatral”

Sticky Balsamic Sweet Potatoes with Orange Bitters

Some of Ottolenghi’s dishes are no-brainers. Just tossing some herbs and easy ingredients with some roasted vegetable or carefully steamed grain. In these it is the combination of the ingredients that make exceptional dishes. But others take time, effort and care. While I prefer the first, the arrival of flavours in the various processes of the second can be a matter of awe.

This dish is definitely of the second variety. It is a great dish. The glaze of a reduced, sticky balsamic with orange juice and bitters caramelises as it roasts. The sweet potatoes are left sticky and delicious. Add to the equation the roasted garlic and the sage and thyme leaves and this is a dish to impress.

This is a great dish for Thanksgiving, if you celebrate that US festival. Other Thanksgiving recipes are here.

Are you looking for Sweet Potato recipes? Try Roasted Sweet Potato and Fresh Figs, Madras Curry of Sweet Potato, Eggplant and Spinach, and Creamy Baked Sweet Potato.

All of our Sweet Potato recipes are here. Or browse our Ottolenghi recipes. Be inspired by our Mid Autumn food.

Continue reading “Sticky Balsamic Sweet Potatoes with Orange Bitters”

Urad Dal with Tomato, Coconut and Coriander

Gentle urad dal is cooked with tomatoes and topped with coconut and coriander. Reminiscent of the sub continent, this is a recipe from Ottolenghi.

We love urad lentils, particularly Urad Dal cooked with tomatoes, so when we found Ottolenghi’s recipe for Urad Dal with Coconut and Coriander in his book Plenty More, it sparked interest. He talks about his inspiration, Aasmah Mir from and the Pakistani family recipes on that site.

His recipe treats some ingredients a little differently than my usual South Indian way, so I have modified the recipe to accommodate that.

Are you looking for similar Dal recipes? Try Simple Monk’s Dal, Urad Dal Sundal, Urad Dal Garlic Rice, and Urad Dal with tomatoes.

Explore Urad recipes and our collection of Ottolenghi’s recipes. Or browse our collection of Late Autumn dishes.

This time previous years we were making: Crispy Garlic and Sage, Baked Apricots with Honey and Orange, A Lovely Pumpkin Soup, A Spicy Cucumber Salad with Poppy Seeds, and Japanese Baked Eggplant with Miso and Sesame.

Continue reading “Urad Dal with Tomato, Coconut and Coriander”

Strawberry Lassi | Indian Sweet Yoghurt Drink

Cool off with a Strawberry Yoghurt Drink | Lassi, ice cold of course.

With the weather up around 40C, it is definitely time for an ice cold strawberry lassi, the clasical fruit yoghurt drink of North India that is cooling, nourishing and beautifully flavoured.

We have a wealth of lassi recipes. You can browse them all here. Some favourites are the Simplest Lassi, a Cumin Lassi, and Mango Lassi. Or try a Strawberry Frappe. Explore our other Strawberry recipes here and here. Our Yoghurt recipes are here and here.

Continue reading “Strawberry Lassi | Indian Sweet Yoghurt Drink”

Du Puy Lentils with Feta and Tomatoes

Such a bang of wonderful flavours

This is another Ottolenghi classic. Ottolenghi’s recipes have a reputation for being rather involved but I have also found that the reputation for his recipes being involved is, in the main, unjustified.

This is from my favourite of his set of books – Plenty. It is a relatively simple dish, and adapts easily to some precooking. The tomatoes can be roasted beforehand, for example. You can precook the lentils and onions too, and leave assembly to just before serving.

You might also want to try Cyprian Grain Salad with Freekeh, Du Puy Lentil Soup, Lentil Balls in a Spicy Gravy, or Dal Makhani Nilgiri.

Browse more of Ottolenghi’s recipes, and all du Puy Lentil recipes are here.  Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Du Puy Lentils with Feta and Tomatoes”

Fennel Salad with Fresh Prunes

As soon as fennel comes into season in Autumn, make this salad. The prune plums are an excellent flavour combination with the fennel.

Fennel’s crispness is so summery, it is a wonder that it is an autumn and winter vegetable. They are hard to find in Summer, but keep an eye out for good quality ones that are not too expensive. Otherwise this makes an excellent Autumnal dish on the warm autumn days.

Are you looking for other Fennel dishes? Try Fig and Fennel Salad with Vin Cotto, Fennel cooked in Wine, Grilled Fennel with Mozzarella, Fennel cooked in Oil a la Grecque, and BBQ’d Fennel.

Browse all of our Fennel recipes and all of our Bittman Salads. All of our Salads are here. And enjoy our collection of Late Summer dishes.

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Quick Stir Fried Vegetables with Red Chilli Paste

Don’t leave those veg in the bottom of the fridge at week’s end. Stir them up into a delicious spicy dish.

When you come to the end of the week and look in the bottom drawers of the fridge, the heart sinks as the left over vegetables for that week sit there patiently. Friday is always a good time to look over the overlooked vegetables, sorting out what will be used over the weekend and what should be used now.

One remedy for the left-over-end-of-week vegetables is a quick stirfry with a chilli paste. It will liven up your Friday no end. I hate anything going to waste. Such dishes are a godsend at the end of a week. Continue reading “Quick Stir Fried Vegetables with Red Chilli Paste”

Black Pepper Tofu

With all of the SE Asian flavours that make great food, plus the tofu is deep fried, what is not to like?

Ever since I saw the Black Pepper Tofu in Ottolenghi’s Plenty, I have wanted to make it. It has all of the SE Asian flavours that make great food, plus the tofu is deep fried, what is not to like?

You might like to try Tofu, Spinach and Miso NapoleonsBaked Marinated Tofu, and What to Do with Deep Fried Tofu.

Or browse our Tofu recipes here and, and other Ottolenghi recipes. Our recipes from Asia are here. Or browse our easy Late Summer dishes.

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Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi as you have never tasted before. Very different from restaurant lassi drinks.

You will be surprised when you make Mango Lassi at home. It is very different to the ones in restaurants. Extraordinarily flavoured, thick and mango-y.

We have a range of sweet, fruit and salt lassi recipes for you to browse. Try Black Grape Lassi, Chilli and Coriander Lassi and the Simplest Lassi.

Explore all of our Yoghurt recipes here and here. The Drinks recipes are here and here. Or be inspired by our Summer recipes here and here.

Continue reading “Mango Lassi”

Pepper Rasam | Pepper Broth | Milagu Rasam

Warming and nourishing, pepper rasam will ward off colds and flu too.

I love to layer flavours in my dishes, and I hate to throw anything away. So with some wonderful top water from cooking lentils and also some green coriander-charged water from making another dish, a base was made for a wonderful, peppery rasam. The rasam is dark from the lentils, but so flavoursome that we had a couple of serves each.

You can blend the tomatoes for a smooth broth, but I love the soft tomato bits. And don’t worry if you don’t have lentil water or corainder-charged stock. This will still be awesome.

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 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 Late Summer range of dishes.

Pepper Rasam | Indian | Vegetarian | A Life Time of Cooking

Pepper Rasam | Pepper Broth

Source : Common Recipe
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves: 4 – 6 people, depending how you use it

0.5 Tblspn tamarind concentrate
1 tomato
0.5 tspn turmeric powder
salt to taste
coriander leaves
1 sprig curry leaves

to grind
1 Tblspn black pepper corns
1 tspn cumin seeds
1 tspn coriander seed
0.5 tspn channa dal
0.5 tspn urad dal

1 tpsn dry coconut
1 clove garlic (optional)

2 tspn ghee (use more if you wish)
0.5 tspn black mustard seeds
0.5 tspn cumin seeds
large pinch asafoetida powder
1 sprig curry leaves

Dry roast the grinding ingredients up to dry coconut. Toast the coconut separately. Chop the garlic. Then grind all together.

Dissolve the tamarind in a litre or so of hot water or top water from cooking lentils. Chop the tomatoes and add to the tamarind with turmeric powder and a little salt. Simmer this for 5 minutes.

To this add the ground powder, coriander leaves (save some for garnish) and some curry leaves. Simmer for another 5 minutes.

Make a tadka by popping the black mustard seeds in the ghee, then add the cumin seeds and asafoetida, and after a few moments carefully add the curry leaves. Pour into the rasam.

Remove from the heat, garnish with coriander leaves and serve. I like to serve in a cup, heat proof glass or bowl. It can also be served over rice with pappadum.




Random Dosai | Indian Pan-Cooked Flatbread from Lentil Flours

I love dosa, that pan-cooked flatbread of India. I love it crispy and filled with a potato curry eaten with sambar and chutney. I like it meltingly soft and perfect for soaking up a wet curry with fingers tearing off chunks to sop up the wet dal or gravy and tease it into the mouth. I love the tartness that fermentation of the batter gives, watching it bubble and rise in the bowl sitting next to the stove. I love the vastness of the dosai repertoire, a dosa for every household in Southern India. I love pouring the batter onto the pan, coaxing it to spread with the bottom of the ladle. I love the telltale pattern that this makes. I love the ritual of making it. Dripping ghee on the top side, flipping it, eating the finished product. Continue reading “Random Dosai | Indian Pan-Cooked Flatbread from Lentil Flours”

Green Chilli Kuzhambu | Pacha Milagai | S. Meenakshi Ammal

This is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s hotest dishes.

The Kitchen is a-hum with activity this week. But first things first, a perspiration generating, hot hot dish of green chillies.

Some kuzhambu dishes are like gravies, perfect to eat ladled over rice. This one is a perfect for rice, and very hot, lunch.

Similar recipes include Sodhi.

You might also like How to Make Chilli Paste, Coriander and Chilli Lassi, or Tomato and Chilli Jam.

Browse all of our Chilli recipes. Or explore our Kuzhambu and Sambar recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Green Chilli Kuzhambu | Pacha Milagai | S. Meenakshi Ammal”

Mascarpone and Gorgonzola Torte

Take two rather old fashioned ingredients – mascarpone and gorgonzola – and combine.

I do love cheese. The more French, the more piquant, the smellier even, the better.

This is a recipe that I first made so many years ago, I thought it had gone out of fashion. But a quick search of the web shows that it is still very popular.

While it is interesting, here we prefer our cheeses as they are. My most favourite way of eating this dish is in front of the TV at night with some tart fruit and cheese crackers. Or a little for breakfast covered with juicy passionfruit.

I remember when I used to use mascarpone much more that I do these days. It was around the time it was just making inroads into Australia, becoming fashionable and appearing in cooking magazines. I would travel 30 minutes to buy a container from the only place that stocked it. Then I moved to Sydney and found that not only was mascarpone available in the local supermarket, there were a range of brands to choose from. Truly, I thought that I had reached cheese heaven.

Continue reading “Mascarpone and Gorgonzola Torte”