Plantains are delicious, a variety of banana that is eaten while green. India uses them a lot, far more than Western cuisines which tend to ignore them completely. Enjoy these spicy dishes and snacks.
From the moment that pineapple hits the shops in late Spring or Summer, it is a regular feature in our kitchen. Salads of course, or just wedges to suck at. But then there are curries, grilled when BBQing, and endless cooling juices.
Peas have been part our diet for hundreds of years and are used all over the world. Strictly speaking, green peas are not vegetables. They are part of the legume family, which consists of plants that produce pods with seeds inside. Lentils, chickpeas, beans and peanuts are also legumes. There are many varieties of peas, but here we are focusing on the humble, oft overlooked Green Pea.
Pears are as ubiquitous in Autumn and Winter as stone fruits are in Summer. They are my afternoon snack in these months, and my preference is the brown beurre bosc. The yellow pears of my childhood are no longer the same – mushy when ripe instead of gorgeously juicy with a touch of crispness. I do miss them. But there is now a wide variety of pears from which to choose – red, green, yellow, and brown. Nachi, William Bartlett, Packam, Corella, Anjou, Asian and more.
Summer means Peaches, the loved stone fruit above all others. The gentleness of the white peach and the juiciness of the yellow peach. The joy of eating them as they are! They are suitable not only for sweet temptations but also for salads, salsas, chutneys and drinks.
One of the dishes that I grew up with is tomatoes, halved, and seared in a frying pan, cut side down, until soft and caramelised. Is it an Australian thing? or maybe a rural Australian thing? These were served as a side dish or with a breakfast spread. They are really great with baked beans, for example.
Today I love them just as they are. Great tomatoes, good olive oil, some crunchy bread and a little salt. Perfection. They are also great on flatbread type bases – use wraps, tortillas, socca or pudla. Squish them, or not, and use on toast, in salads, on nachos type dishes and pizzas, or spread a puree and top with these yummy tomatoes. They can also be squished into a pasta sauce, or normal sauce, or Indian style chutney. Which ever way, scatter with lots of chopped herbs and spring onions (scalliions).
The flavour of this dish belies its simplicity.
This dish is also an excellent one for the BBQ.
A favourite of our family
Purslane is abundant in our garden even in Autumn. All season, since early December, it appears in different parts of the garden. We have followed it around, pulling out the plants and using the leaves. A nice way to keep it under control.
Today we have used it in an urad dal, and it turned out to add that beautiful lemony flavour to the dish as well as a little texture against the creamy urad. I hope you like this dish.
Are you looking for similar Dal recipes? Try Ghol Takatli Bhaji, Urad Dal with Onions Four Ways, Simple Monk’s Dal, Urad with Tomato, Coconut and Coriander, Urad Dal Sundal, and Urad Dal Garlic Rice. Or try Moolangi Tovve (Daikon Dal).
Also browse How to Use Purslane in Salads.
This recipe is a riff on one by Ottolenghi in his book Ottolenghi. He also riffs it, with numerous variations on the Guardian website and elsewhere. It just proves how addictive broccoli is when it is char-grilled and tossed with garlic and chilli. We have been making this salad periodically for years – my daughter was the first to put me on to how good it is.
This time, I add beans to the mix, as (ssshhh, this is a little known secret) are also addictive when char-grilled. I’ve used a delicious sweet-hot chilli paste, and the garlic is sliced and crisped. An optional extra is to add flaked almonds to the salad.
Sadly, there are no pics tonight, an increasing trend on this blog when we cook at night. You will have to trust sight-unseen on how good this dish is. Photo is from Unsplash.
I am a great fan of wasabi – anything hot for that matter. Horseradish, mustard, wasabi. I like it when it gets up your nose and leaves you breathless with its heat. Now you don’t have to like it as hot and pungent as I do – in this snack/salad you can temper the taste to your own preferences.
It is a lovely dish, put together in 3 or 4 minutes, perfect for Summer evenings or any time the weather has a bit of heat in it. Use zucchini or red or white radishes – they work equally well.
The idea came from one of my loved books – Jam Today Too, by Tod Davies. A treasure trove of easy to make dishes with at-hand ingredients.
Daunker Pachadi, also known as Dangar, Danger, Daanger, or Urad Dal Pachadi, is a simple pachadi that is very famous in Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. It is not made very often now, one of the forgotten recipes of Tamil Nadu. It is a pity because it has quite a unique flavour from the black gram powder mixed into the pachadi.
This Pachadi is a great accompaniment for Vathal Kuzhambu, Rasam or Sambar with rice or just with a mixed rice dish. There are some variations from other parts of Tamil Nadu and beyond, such as Chettinadu.
In Thajavur, there are couple of different versions of this – one with unroasted urad flour, and one where the flour is roasted. I have included both recipes below.
These recipes are from Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See books. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.