Farinata with Onions and Tomatoes | Baked Chickpea Flour Batter

Devilishly more-ish.

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Farinata is simply wonderful. It is a Besan (chickpea flour)-based baked dish that is wonderfully flexible with the ingredients that can be incorporated. Much like the Indian Pudla (Cheella/Puda), except farinata is baked in the oven rather than pancake-like fritters cooked on the stove top.

Today a simple dish indeed, using what was available on the kitchen bench. Simple maybe. Delicious definitely. Devilishly More-ish.

Farinata is good as a snack, for lunch with a salad, or even for breakfast.

Chickpea flour (besan, or gram flour) is very versatile. Have a look at our recipes using chickpea flour. Or browse our Italian recipes here and here. Be inspired by our Summer dishes here and here.

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Simple Celery Salads | Fall in Love with Celery Again

Celery is one of those veggies that is often ignored. Here are two ways to use it up.

Celery is one of those vegetables that is often ignored. It goes into wintery vegetable stews, into stocks as they brew on the stove, and into the juicer. Occasionally a stick is munched quite loudly as one wanders around the kitchen wondering what else there is to eat. But rarely, rarely is it used in other ways.

These simple ways of eating celery will make you fall in love with the humble vegetable again.

Are you looking for similar Celery recipes? Try Quick Pickled Celery with Chilli, Celery Yoghurt Salad, Avocado and Celery Cold Soup, and a Gorgonzola snack with Celery.

Our Celery Salads are here, or browse all of our Celery dishes and all of our Salad Recipes. Be inspired by our collection of Mid Summer dishes.

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Baked Apricots with Honey and Orange

I remember that back yard apricot tree with fruit full of sweetness and flavour.

I remember that back yard apricot tree with fruit full of sweetness and flavour. I remember picking the fruit, and eating them still hot from the sun with juice running down my chin. I remember picking them, twisting the fruit in half and throwing them onto a hot BBQ to cook just enough to melt some icecream over and eat on a stinking hot, 40 degree C day.

Times have changed. Rather than full and ripe, the interior is like cotton wool. These dry’ish, cardboard-y apricots that we get locally are not really worth the investment.  The only saving grace is that one or two shops sell the good ones – but you have to hunt those shops out yourself, because those in the know are not telling!

You can browse our Apricot recipes here. Explore Dessert recipes here and here. Be inspired by our Summer dishes here and here.

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Easy Pickled Cumquats

A bag of cumquats still lay languishing in the fridge, so a quick salty pickle is the answer. It is very simple.

A bag of cumquats still lay languishing in the fridge, so a quick salty pickle is the answer. It is very simple.

You might find other interesting recipes amongst our cumquat recipes. Explore all of our preserves here and here. Find inspiration in our Spring recipes here and here.

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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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Cumquat and Pea Shoots Salad

A quick snack or salad.

The day before Xmas, I was doing some pre-prepping of food for Xmas lunch, and I needed a snack badly. I had been shopping during the morning, and picked up some pea shoots on a whim. As I continued to work, I threw together a couple of quick dishes to keep the hunger at bay. The surprise was the cumquats with pea shoots. This is how it went: Continue reading “Cumquat and Pea Shoots Salad”

Mango and Lemon Rice with Mango Seeds

Mango seeds can be used to add flavour to dishes like rice and rasam – a method used in India, parts of SE Asia and in some parts of Hawaii too.

Truly I don’t like to waste anything, so when I realised that Mango seeds can be used to add flavour to dishes like rice and rasam, I was there. This method of flavouring dishes is used in India, parts of SE Asia and in some parts of Hawaii too.

Are you after other Mixed Rice recipes? Try Carrot Rice, Urad Dal Garlic Rice, Tamarind Rice (Puliyodharai Saadham), and Kampung Ghee Rice.

Are you also after Mango dishes, try Spicy Green Mango in Coconut Milk, Mango Lassi and Mango Rice.

Browse all of our Mixed Rice dishes, and all of our general Rice dishes. Checkout all of our Mango recipes too. Explore our Indian recipes here , or find inspiration in our Late Spring recipe collection.

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Caramelised, Marinated King Oyster Mushrooms | With an Asian Twist

A wonderfully surprising dish.

How do you use King Oyster Mushrooms? Slice these giant beauties and marinate them before cooking  in a heavenly caramelisation of the marinade. The stems look amazing place on a plate on their own.

I have had a dish similar to this in Thailand, where the mushrooms are served on blocks of the softest tofu you can ever imagine. It was gorgeous.

King Oyster Mushrooms are also known as King Trumpet Mushrooms and Eryngii. 

Maybe you are looking for Caramelised dishes? Try Caramelised Sweet Potatoes, Caramelised Roast Pumpkin, and Caramelised Belgium Endive.

Are you after Mushroom Recipes? Try Risotto with Mushrooms, Pasta with Porcini Mushroom Sauce, Mushroom Curry, and Vic’s Mushrooms.

Feel free to browse all of our mushroom recipes, or check out our Salad recipes. Or explore our Early Summer dishes. Continue reading “Caramelised, Marinated King Oyster Mushrooms | With an Asian Twist”

A Wicked Tamarind and Lime Dressing and a Thai Betel Leaf Salad

A wicked, wicked salad.

I remember my first trip to India, travelling the back-roads of Goa with a gorgeous Indian tourist guide for the day. He pointed out some betel nuts drying on the sides of the roads. In all of my naivety, I said to him “Don’t betel nuts make you go funny?” With a sage wiggle of his head, he replied “My dear, there are many things in India that make you go funny.”

How right he is, and not all of them in the hallucinogenic way.

Actually, betel leaves have many uses in India and beyond. Some of them spiritual, some of them artistic, some of them culinary.  Today’s use is in a salad, and it is not Indian, but Thai, with the telltale flavours of sour, sweet and hot melded perfectly together.

I have heard that Betel Leaves are not from the same plant as Betel Nuts, but rather a plant closely related to pepper. They can be eaten raw, and are often used as a wrapping for food in India and Thailand.

You might also want to try Steamed Thai Eggplant and Zucchini, Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Soy, and Ottoleghi’s Steamed Eggplant and Soy Dish. Our Thai dishes are here and here, and our Salads here and here. Be inspired by our Summer dishes here and here.

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Diet and Consciousness

It is wise to have a free mind, a clear, serene and relaxed attitude toward life before partaking of food. Ancient wisdom from India.

Searching through some old files this morning, I found this piece on diet and consciousness from my beloved Guru, Sivaya Subramunyaswami.

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Mangoes in a Spiced Syrup

A treat for Summer

The Endless Meal – a notion embodies the way in our Kitchen. Always putting food away to be consumed at another time. Using the freezer. Preserving, pickling and fermenting. Dehydrating. Pre-cooking. And today, putting in a sugar syrup.

I come from a family where my mother and grandmother (and many before her, no doubt) “put up” vegetables and fruits in Spring, Summer and Autumn for consumption in later parts of the years. I still remember those bottled beans and cucumbers, and those sweet sugary preserved grapes that my grandmother used to make.

You might also like to try Mango Lassi, and Mango Yoghurt Curry. Or learn how to Dehydrate Mango and make Mango Leather.

You can browse all of the mango recipes here and more here. Explore all of our preserves here and here. Find inspiration in our Summer recipes here and here.

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Mung Bean Soup with Amaranth Greens

Green Mung Dal Soup is well known to be soothing, nourishing and detoxifying. Recently it was made in our kitchen with Amaranth Greens.

You might like to look at other Mung and Mung Dal recipes here and here. Also some of our dal recipes here and here, and Amaranth recipes.  Our favourite dal is Gentle Golden Dal. Find inspiration in our Spring recipes here and here.

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Kimchi, my style | Vegetarian Kimchi

It is a special and easy thing to make Kimchi.

It is a special and easy thing to make Kimchi – soaking the vegetables in brine, then mixing them with chilli, garlic, ginger and onion, adding a sweetener to feed the fermentation and add complexity to the flavour.

The final result is a tart, salty, hot pickle with a hint of sweetness that can be eaten on its own, mixed in to dishes such as rice or soup, or cooked into a recipe. I mostly eat it as an accompaniment to a meal, although I have been known to stand at the fridge with a pair of chopsticks and have a mid night or mid afternoon snack.

Try our other kimchi recipe also. Browse all of our pickles here and here, and our Cabbage recipes here and here. Find inspiration in the Spring recipes here and here.

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Masala Mung Wadi | Golden Lentil Drops in a Tomato Garlic Sauce

With the pile of Mung Wadi sitting on my kitchen counter, tonight was the night to transform them into a wonderful, but simple curry.

As our late spring weather continues to be cold, and I feel doubts about the heat of Summer that I longingly anticipate, we still look  for warming dishes in the evenings. With the pile of Mung Wadi sitting on my kitchen counter, tonight was the night to transform them into a wonderful, but simple curry.

You might like to browse our extensive Indian Recipe Collection, and also read how to make Mung Wadi.  We have a few wadi recipes. Or browse all of our Indian recipes here and here.  You might get inspiration from our Spring time recipes here and here.

Also, don’t confuse wadi with vada. Vada (which, confusingly, can sometimes be called wadi) are South Indian, savory, deep fried fritters, generally made of ground lentils. They are super soft and squishy. Wadi can be found all over India, but vary from place to place. They are hard, sun-dried ground lentil mixtures, and some are made from seeds and vegetables (these latter ones are usually called vathral rather than wadi).

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Halloumi and Orange Salad | Two Variations

A lovely Sunday Brunch.

I love to be inspired by reading recipes. I truly do. But unless I am making something quite new I don’t always stick to a recipe. I think that we all have that tendency, right? Adapt to our tastes, and to whatever is in our pantry and fridge.

Today I read an old NZ recipe from the magazine Cuisine and thought, mmm, yes, a lovely Sunday Brunch. And then I made it my style. We give you the two versions today, so that you can see how to adopt and adapt from within a recipe framework.

Our similar recipes include Orange and Walnut Salad, Jerusalem Artichokes with Halloumi and Basil Oil, and Three Citrus Salad with Chilli and Ginger.

Or are you looking for Halloumi recipes? Try Halloumi and Watermelon Salad, and Halloumi Pizza.

Browse our collection of easy Salads, explore our orange recipes, and check out all of our recipes using Halloumi. Or have a look at our Late Spring dishes for even more inspiration.

Continue reading “Halloumi and Orange Salad | Two Variations”