Quince is a beautiful, fragrant fruit that is definitely underutilised. This is a pickle using Rice Vinegar (although this can be replaced with other vinegars) and some spices. It showcases how beautiful quince can be.
To make these Okra Fryums they are soaked in yoghurt for 2 days and then dried. Traditionally they would be dried on rooftops in the hot sun, but as that is not possible here, a dehydrator will substitute. I used Vidhyas Home Cooking as a guide for making these.
Browse all of our Okra dishes, and all of our Vathal. Have a look at our Autumn Preserving article. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or simply explore our Early Autumn recipes.
Italians and Greek people have a wonderful approach to produce, treasuring the flavours of the individual items and almost reverently preparing them. Traditionally, the approach has been seasonal, and many of the practices continue even today. I love my semi-local Greek Warehouse and their range of not only produce but also equipment – for baking, drying, preserving, squishing, squashing, rolling, and flavouring. From there I get the best jars for all sorts of storage, but also for my pickles and preserves. Recently they also gave me a small booklet of preserving recipes, Mediterranean style.
The recipes are very simple, but it prompted me to share one or two with you. For example, this one. We dry tomatoes routinely – it is a great way to use up excess produce – and often use cherry tomatoes. Sometimes we keep them dried in a jar, ready for nibbling or for intense flavour injections into dishes. Other times we put them under oil, where the tomatoes flavour the oil and the oil flavours the tomatoes.
Now, there is nervousness in the US about keeping foods under oil. Certainly do your research, I won’t recommend a practice one way or the other. It is up to you.
Preserving this way is a traditional and very common practice in parts of Europe. In the rest of the Western world sun dried tomatoes came into fashion in the 1990’s, went out of fashion by 2000 due to over production of poor quality dried and semi dried tomatoes, and are now, apparently, making a comeback. In my kitchen, they never went out of fashion, but we make our own. We do use the dehydrator at times, but I find the moist atmosphere of a low gas oven gives a much better result. Using sun power is the best of all.
There are lots of ways of drying Okra in South India, from the plain – salted and dried, to the curd-soaked okra similar to yoghurt chillies, to okra that is pre-cooked in chilli and tamarind and then dried.
This version partially dries the okra and then blanches them in salt and turmeric (how healthy!) before finishing the drying process. Like all Vathal, the dried okra are fried before use, and can be eaten as snacks, with yoghurt as a pachadi or raita, or included in dishes such as Vatral Kuzhambu.
Traditionally, in India, drying would be done on a roof top terrace in the hottest of suns. I once saw my neighbours put a whole sack of onions out in the sunshine for months to fully dry. Sadly, in other parts of the world, this is not possible. So here, I use a dehydrator with excellent results. You can also dry them in the oven.
You can check out all of our Okra dishes, and all of our Vathal and Vadagam. We have a guide to preserving Summer and Autumn fruits and vegetables for Winter. Or simply explore our Mid Autumn recipes.
Glen Ewin Estate is a function centre in the Adelaide Hills that is a venue for weddings, conferences and other events. It also has cellar door tastings for small boutique wineries, it features a nice restaurant, and has a small fig orchard or two. In fig season, you can arrange to visit and pick your own figs. It is a lovely activity on a warm Late Summer or Autumn day, for those of us who love to eat and cook with figs. I had a leisurely drive through the hills, always a pleasure, to arrive about 20 minutes prior to their closing time, but that was all that I needed. Armed with enough figs for jam and a weeks worth of eating/cooking, I ambled home again. There is nothing like fresh figs straight from the tree.
The jam I made with the figs is similar to other jams I love to make. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, so they are generally on the tart side, and are flavoured with spices. So today’s Fig Jam has black pepper, cinnamon, ginger and a hint of chilli, as well as a couple of slurps of some red wine that was sitting, ignored, in the fridge.
Two parts figs. One part sugar. Cook and cook. Be gentle. Bottle.
(I read this recipe a while ago, with a nice story about a Grandmother and her jam making.)
This jam is so easy to make. I make small quantities of jam and keep the jars in the fridge, so am not overly concerned about the fruit-sugar ratio. If you are making large quantities to store for longer periods, please adhere to appropriate fruit-sugar ratios.
Also try Boozy Baked Figs.
These sweet chillies are a variation on Sweet Chilli Sauce, – red chillies are simmered in a sugar solution until tender, and then stored in a glass jar. I will usually make small portions as it is an easy recipe, using a dozen or so ripe chillies from the garden. The preserve is then used over the next few days as an accompaniment to dishes. It is pretty delicious, especially with anything involving rice.
The syrup thickens like a jam or jelly, creating an interesting texture as well as flavour. The trick is to avoid over cooking otherwise you will have chilli toffee. The clearish jelly is strongly chilli flavoured, and the chilli pieces add texture and more heat. You will really enjoy this one. Today I used ripened chillies from the purple jalapeno chilli plant in the garden.
I love to serve this preserve on a cheese board (you have to be a chilli lover) and also mix it into creamy salad dressings.
Some years ago my friend Franz shared the recipe for a chilli jam he was making, and as I had chillies everywhere (in the freezer, on the bush, dried, drying), I made a couple of jars too. One I gave to my Thai friends, and they ate the whole (large) jar within a week. Oh my goodness! They loved the heat and the sweetness.
The other jar has been in the fridge all of those years. The reason is, we are always making chilli jams, pastes, purees…. There are always multiple jars open in the fridge and more containers in the freezer. This particular one came to the fore the other day when a sambal was needed for some okra with coconut rice. After the intervening time, the jam was still absolutely excellent (perhaps better for the maturing), and tasted incredible. I mixed it with some Chinese Chilli-Blackbean paste for an instant sambal.
Chatting with Franz, I told him the story and asked him to send me the recipe again. Catastrophe! Neither of us could find a copy! That made me search deeper and longer until I found it. Not wanting to lose the recipe again, we are posting it here so we know where it is! Please make and enjoy, it is amazing. I have tweaked the recipe a little to suit my preference and available ingredients.
I am not sure where I first came across Ousback’s recipe — he was very popular with Vogue Entertainment Magazine around the mid 1990, so perhaps it was there. Anders Ousback was well known as a lover of food and wine, and this relish of his was also well known and loved. He was influential in the Sydney food scene, and influenced many chefs and restaurant owners. This recipe of his has stood the test of time, and is as wonderful today as it was back then.
There were several variations of the Grilled Pepper Relish. The one below is the one that I love because of its freshness and the wonderful taste of the spices it includes.
I am sure the recipe that Anders used has provenance. You can see the origins in Elizabeth David’s Red Pepper Relish. And there are infinite purees and pastes of roasted red peppers, such as Serbian Ajvar, an Eggplant and Roasted Red Pepper Relish.
Similar recipes include Harissa, Roasted Red Pepper Sauces, and Red Pepper, Eggplant and Tomato Pasta Sauce. Or try Fennel and Lemon Chutney, and Char Grilled Banana Chillies Stuffed with Tomatoes and Spices.
This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can find other recipes from that blog in our Retro Recipes series.
A gorgeous carrot pickle that will last in the fridge for a week.
Here is another quick Carrot Pickle, quite different to the last Quick Carrot Pickle which had dark Asian flavours. This one is bright and fresh with a touch of sweetness, and the tartness that only cider vinegar can provide. I hope that you enjoy it.
This pickle is lovely with a bowl of steamed rice drizzled with the marinade juices.
The cheery colour of Pomegranate Vinegar brightens any Winter Salad Dressing
When pomegranates are plentiful in late autumn and early winter, I love to make pomegranate honey for the winter, pomegranate molasses and pomegranate vinegar. The vinegar is great in salad dressings or over roasted vegetables, and the colour is cheery in the midst of winter.
Also try our Roast Capsicum Sauce and Dressing.