Coconut, White Peas and Green Mango Sundal | Thenga Manga Pattani Sundal

Mixing soft white peas with tangy green mango and milky coconut and adding a bit of heat – a wonderful combination.


This is a special Sundal, reminiscent of Summer and the beach, full of tangy goodness of green mango with the softness of the white peas and the comfort of coconut. It is no wonder it is often served on the beaches of Chennai.

Sundals, just to remind you, are often called “salads” but they are pre-cooked lentils and pulses stirfried quickly with spices – black mustard seeds, asafoetida, ginger, red and green chillies.

You might also like to try Rajma (Kidney Beans) Sundal, Mung Bean Sprout Sundal, Sprouted White Pea Sundal, and Sweet Corn Sundal. Or you can make a sundal with Masoor Dal (called red lentils in Australia) or some stir fried mung bean sprouts, equally as delicious. Explore all of the Sundal Recipes, they are all quick and gorgeous.

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Sprouted Green Gram Sundal | Mung Bean Sprout Salad | Paasi Payaru Sundal

A lot of deliciousness in a small bowl. Perfect for Navarathri.

The weather is gorgeous and I am so grateful for so many things in my life. From my teachers and mentors throughout my life, to the birds that sing me awake in the morning, the kookaburras which made an unscheduled stop in our neighbourhood, to the gardeners and garbage men who keep things spick and span around this area.

I am grateful for the simplicity and nourishment of food, and of course for the great tastes.

Here is a very quick dish made with mung (moong) sprouts, great with any Indian meal, any non-Indian meal or simply as a snack. There is another super quick version here, try both and see what you think. Or you can make a sundal with Masoor Dal (called red lentils in Australia) or some stir fried mung bean sprouts, equally as delicious. Explore all of the Sundal Recipes, they are all quick and gorgeous. Continue reading “Sprouted Green Gram Sundal | Mung Bean Sprout Salad | Paasi Payaru Sundal”

How to Grow Mung Bean Sprouts for Sundals, Snacks, Lunches

Get ready for the week.

It is easy to sprout Mung Beans and other beans and lentils. With a weekly rhythm, you can alway have fresh sprouts in the kitchen.

Browse our Hints and How To’s here and here. Continue reading “How to Grow Mung Bean Sprouts for Sundals, Snacks, Lunches”

Simple and Gentle Mung Soup

Relax, take it easy, feel nourished.

For when you need to feel gentle and nourished, take to Mung soup in its simplest version. Although this soup can be layered with spices, vegetables and herbs, in its simplest form it makes you feel calm, gentle and nourished. Have a good day, and take care.

Similar recipes include Kancha Mung Dal, Two Gentle Mung Dals, and Mung Dal with Coconut Milk.

You might like to browse all of our Mung recipes here and here, and all of our Dal recipes here and here. Perhaps also the Indian Lentil and Bean Curries.

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An Indulgent Baked Layered Potato Cake

A Friday Night dish.

There is something very comforting about potatoes. A bit of Friday night easy indulgence after a hard week – throw this potato dish into the oven with some asparagus in foil with wine and butter.

Melt bocconcini  over the asparagus. Make a large herby green salad. Find a good TV program. Welcome in a long weekend.

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

Are you looking for Potato recipes? We like roast potatoes on the BBQ, and Sweet Potato Wedges.

Or try more Potato Gratin dishes: Potato and Cheddar Gratin, Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini with Thyme, and Potatoes Baked with Cumin and Tomato.

Browse all of our Potato recipes, and all of our Baked recipes. Explore our Late Winter recipes for even more inspiration.

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SPRING – The Joy of Asparagus | Seasonal Cooking

Get your asparagus on this Spring.

Spring Asparagus is in a class of its own. Fresh, gentle, spring green and tender stalks – for me, so evocative of hot steamy days and the typical Australian BBQ with a large plate of char grilled asparagus stalks with lemon and sea salt.

I have been baking it lately, wrapping it in foil with butter, lemon juice and sea salt, or with some white wine, butter and sea salt. Popped in an oven for 15 or 20 minutes and the resulting tender and flavoured asparagus is meltingly tender. Asparagus and butter is a perfect match determined by some golden deity many eons ago.

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Grilled Fennel with Fresh Mozzarella

10 minutes and this salad is done.

Are you like me? Hate those 6pm meetings that are catered? Few vegetarian options except for chips and other deep fried snacks. I have one of those meetings tonight, but thankfully I have it licked.

Around 4pm I stopped work and made this salad. It is Nigel Slater’s originally, but I have adopted it as my own over time. I do love his way with vegetables. Simple.

Are you after other Fennel Salads? Try Fennel Salad with Orange Vinaigrette, Fennel, Potato and Tomato Salad with Garlicky Mayo, Fennel and Apple Salad and Fennel and Fresh Prune Salad.

We also particularly like Fennel on the BBQ and Slow Baked Fennel with Chilli, Garlic and Orange.

Also try Fresh Mozzarella Salad with Tomatoes and Cucumbers.

Browse all of our Fennel recipes and all of our many Salad recipes. Explore the Mozzarella recipes here. Or be inspired by our collection of Mid Spring recipes.

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Spicy Kidney Bean Feijoada from Goa

A fragrant vegetarian dish from Goa in West South India.

The Portuguese occupied Goa for some 400 years or so, so the cuisine of Goa is multi-faceted. There is very traditional South Indian/Hindu food, food very much influenced by Portuguese cuisines, Musilm cuisine from the occupiers before the Portuguese, and there are cuisines of other groups in Goa eg migrant workers who come from the North of India. It is fascinating and layered.

Feijoada is a Portuguese dish that has been adopted and adapted by Goa. This is a vegetarian version, pungent with spices and tamarind.

You might like to try our recipes from Goa here and here,  or perhaps Capsicums with Kidney Beans and Feta.  Browse all of our recipes using kidney beans here and here. Explore all of our Indian recipes here and here. Be inspired by our Spring dishes here and here.

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Coconut-y Rice Flatbread | Tandlachi Bhakar | Roti from Goa

A typical Goan Roti

I have such good memories of Goa from many trips over the years. Sitting on a beach, being pampered, eating local food – you can imagine the wonderful heaven I was in.

This is an easy Rice Flat Bread that is common in Goa. They were not pretty roti as the dough is hard to roll out, but they were very very tasty.

Similar recipes include Quick Roti and Sri Lankan Pol Roti.

Browse some Goan recipes, and also Dosa recipes. Or explore all of our Indian Recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Explore our Mid Spring dishes.

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A Gentle, Quick Asparagus Soup

Asparagus Soup – perfect for early spring when asparagus is plentiful and cheap.

A cup of quick asparagus soup will give you a boost on a Spring day. It is so easy, and asparagus is plentiful and cheap at that time of the year.

Browse our asparagus recipes here and here. Or explore Soup recipes here and here. Our favourites are Autumn Vegetables a la Grecque, and du Puy Lentil Soup. Find inspiration in our Spring recipes here and here. Continue reading “A Gentle, Quick Asparagus Soup”

Ginger and Tulsi Tea | Tulasyadi Phanta | For when you need to rest

Phanta Tea is a beautiful, relaxing tea. Just what you need!

Tulsi tea with ginger is very good for you, especially in early spring. Ayurvedically, it is good for sinusitis, flu, hayfever, bronchitis, asthma and some fevers. (Consult your Ayurvedic practictioner.) Phanta is a hot infusion in Ayurveda.

It is gentle and calming, reducing Vata and Kapha, but raising Pitta. Drink it at a time that you can relax and take some bed rest. It is best to avoid cold for a couple of hours after drinking.

Tulsi is the Holy Basil of India, with a taste somewhere between mint and basil. You can often buy Tulsi tea in organic and health shops. If I can’t find Tulsi, I make this tea with ordinary basil and it still works wonders.

You can read more about the extraordinary healthy properties of Tulasi here.  Tulasi can also be spelt as Tulsi or Thulasi, or called Holy Basil. Don’t get it confused with Thai or Sth East Asian Holy Basil, it is an Indian Holy Basil and quite different to the Thai herb. You can see our Tulsi recipes here.

Similar teas include Spring Chai, Dr. Kilkani’s Ayurvedic Chai, Longan and Ginger Tea, Ginger Root and Turmeric Tea, Rosebud and Borage Flower Tea, and Cumin, Coriander and Ginger Tea.

Our Tulasi recipes are here, and our Ayurveda recipes here. You might like to browse our other Teas as well. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Kampung Ghee Rice | Malaysian Village Rice

A warming, fragrant, beautiful rice for cool days.

Ghee and rice go together so well. Ghee Fried Rice is a Malaysian dish that is often called Kampung Ghee Rice. Kampung refers to its rustic village origins. This is a wonderfully fragrant rice, lighting up your whole house with its warm spice fragrance. I was first introduced to the recipe by my friend and cook extraordinaire Franz. Thanks Franz.

You might like to browse our rice recipes here and here. Our favourite is South Indian Coconut Rice. Or explore the S. E. Asian recipes here and here. Read more about Spices here. And find inspiration in our Spring recipes here and here.

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Quick Strawberry Jam

Make delicious jam in 35 minutes.

At another time in my life I used to make Strawberry Jam in the middle of the night. I was going through a period of sleeping difficulties, and, hating lying in bed trying to sleep, I would get up at 1 or 2 or 3am and make jam. It can be made and bottled in just over half an hour, using the microwave. Then I would pop back into bed and sleep like a baby.

This is a “fresh” jam – that is, make it in small batches, store it in the fridge, and make another batch when it is gone. Truly, it is wonderful.

Are you looking for more Strawberry recipes? Try Strawberries with Lemon, Baked Strawberries, and Strawberries with Sticky Balsamic.

Similar Jam recipes include Quick Lemon Marmalade, Quince Jelly, and Cumquat Marmalade.

You might like to browse all of our jam recipes. Or browse our Strawberry recipes. Be inspired by exploring our Early Spring recipes. Continue reading “Quick Strawberry Jam”

Vegetable Sticks with Spices | Kachi Tarkari | Indian Parsi Crudites

Some veg, some spices and some lime juice. A perfect combination for a pre meal snack.

Jicama is a type of yam that is quite gorgeous. It is also called Mexican Yam and is delightful and refreshing when raw – not unlike an apple in texture and flavour.

Just occasionally available in our Central Market, we grab them when we can. The shape is always intriguing. This evening there were Parsi Crudites with salt and spices, featuring Jicama, Green Mango and other vegetables with Celtic Sea Salt, Chilli Powder, Chaat Masala and my Kitchen Bench Podi – mainly home grown curry leaves and chillies at the moment.

Are you looking for other recipes with Chaat Masala? Try Chickpea (Channa) Chaat, Kachumber Salad and Channa Chaat on Kovalam Beach. Also Watermelon Salad, Borlotti Bean Chaat, and Chickpeas and Young Ginger Salad.

Would you like to try other Green Mango recipes? Try Pomelo, Green Mango and Pea Eggplant Salad with Herbs and Tamarind Dressing, Vermicelli and Green Mango Salad, and Pomelo and Green Mango Salad.

Are you looking for more Jicama recipes? Try Pickled Jicama, Spicy Radish and Jicama Salad with Coconut Milk, and A Host of Spring Salads.

Browse all of our Jicama recipes, Green Mango dishes, and all of our snacks. Or explore our collection of Early Spring recipes.

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Sweet Bananas and Coconut | Pazham Varattiyathu | Banana Halwa from Kerala

A 6-minute dessert with Indian flavours. Banana and coconut – a winning combination.

Here it is, Sweet Bananas and Coconut, a tempting decadent siren of a dessert. 6 minutes only to make — easy to whip up after a hot curry or when unexpected guests arrive. It is sweet and buttery, so a small amount is enough.

The recipe came from my pile of hundreds of hand written recipes collected over the years. The scribbled notes came from a cooking session with a Chef at the Leela in Kovalam, Kerala on the West Coast of India. It is a Keralite dish, also common in Tamil Nadu.

Are you after more Banana recipes? You might also like to try Pomegranate and Banana Salad, Banana and Berry Lassi, or Flattened Rice with Bananas and Honey.

Have a look at all of our recipes from Kerala or all of our Indian recipes. Explore some more information about Halwa. Our Banana recipes are all here. You can also browse our Dessert recipes. Or simply explore our Early Spring dishes.

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