Pilafs, pulaos, pulau, mixed rice dishes – many names for a delicious technique for smartening up a plain grain (usually rice) to use as a flavoursome side dish. It can be simple – just a few spices added – or a complex layering of flavours. They are usually without a dressing although they are sometimes topped with a dollop of yoghurt. Today we bring you a collection of our favourite pilaf recipes.
A wonderfully surprising dish.
How do you use King Oyster Mushrooms? We love them – they are easily purchased in Asian shops if you can’t find them in your regular grocery. Slice these giant beauties and marinate them before cooking – forming a heavenly caramelisation of the marinade. The stems, how cute they are when sliced, and they look amazing placed 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.
King Oyster Mushrooms are also known as King Trumpet Mushrooms, Trumpet Royale and Eryngii.
Feel free to browse all of our mushroom recipes, or check out our Salad recipes. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes. Continue reading “Baked Marinated King Oyster Mushrooms”
Who else can eat half a cauliflower by themselves? If the dish is delicious it is all I might make for a meal, and between the two of us a whole cauli will disappear. This is one of those recipes. I make it with any of my tomato sauces that are sitting in the freezer, so it is an incredibly easy dish to pull together. Great for coming home late from work or a day out – it can be on the table in about 30 mins if you prepare the cauli quickly. (Or chop it ready to roast before you go out.)
We adore this dressing with brussels sprouts – roast the sprouts, add lemon juice, enough that it provides the tang that brussels sprouts demand, and toss with this dressing for a heavenly salad or side dish.
It is also divine with salads, drizzled on soups and over baked vegetables. It adds colour, tang and zing to any dish you pair it with.
Similar recipes include Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Molasses, Lemony Yoghurt Dressing, Green Tahini Dressing, and Miso-Seed Dressing.
My thinking about broths or stocks for soups has changed over the years. Once I regularly made vegetable stock from off-cuts and peelings, supplemented by chopped vegetables to get the right balance. I made loads of light Asian style broths and more layered all-in stocks for soups, risottos, and the like. There were miso based stocks, SE Asian coconut-curried stocks and Indian flavoured stocks. Keeping them in the freezer meant that they were always at hand.
Don’t get me wrong, I still use these regularly, but more often I use a different technique.
A new approach
No matter what, vegetable stocks are still “light” when compared to the earthy groundedness and depth of flavour of non-vegetable stocks. So, after pondering this for some time, I began to make stocks that included such treasures as bay leaves (European, Indian and/or West Indian), juniper berries, brown cardamom pods, cumin seeds or powder, coriander seeds or powder, black peppercorns and allspice berries. What a difference these made.
Again over time – some years – miso began to make an appearance in my Continue reading “Indian Spicy Tomato Soup”
Through Spring, Summer and Autumn we regularly make and drink juices as part of our morning routine. We are lucky enough to have 2 orange trees which fruit at different times, so we have fresh oranges from late Autumn one year through Winter, then Summer, to early Autumn the next year. That is, unless we eat them so quickly there are none left on the tree. Oranges pair well with other fruit and vegetables like Summer stone fruits, apples, other citrus and beetroot. Try our delicious combos listed below.
I think every country person of my era grew up eating junket as cows were aplenty and therefore milk was abundant. How easy to make a dessert with a couple of cups of milk, a junket tablet and some sugar? Easy, mostly healthy, cheap.
It is decades since I ate junket and, to be honest, I didn’t know if the supermarket would still stock the tablets. But they did, to everyone’s surprise! Junket is a little like custard, a little like flan filling, a little like sweet tofu, but it is none of these. It is a milk-based dessert, made with vegetable rennet, usually sweetened and flavoured. Today I am topping it with some macerated strawberries and passionfruit.
I think it’s about time for junket to make a come back, for it’s a delicious dessert, with a fantastic texture. Junket can be flavored with a variety of milk spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom, or allspice, ginger, and mace. It can be made with any type of milk, be it cow, goat or sheep. And it can be spike with cream or spirits to make a more celebratory dessert. – David Asher.
Did you know that junket actually used be served to the sick in hospitals? It is so nutritious and also easy to digest, so it was perfect hospital food. Why have so many hospitals changed to unhealthy desserts these days?
The name of junket comes from the fact that it used to be made in a rush basket, the Medieval Latin word for which is iuncāta, the French jonquette and the Middle English jonket.
Predecessors of junket were made as early as Medieval times where a cream-and-rennet mixture, sweetened and flavoured with rosewater, sugar, and spices, was an upper-class food, served to those among noble ranks. Since then it has fallen in and out of flavour. But I can tell you it is back in favour at our place!
Horse Gram is highly nutritious and in fact we have fallen in love with its earthy taste. We love that the lentils hold their shape even when cooked really well – it makes them so perfect for salads.
You can make herby salads with horse gram, with loads of chopped soft herbs, lemon and garlic. Or use them as a base for Wintery roasted vegetables. Mix them with feta, onion, tomato and radish. Today we make a kosumalli style salad with the lentils.
Kosumalli is usually a light and refreshing salad. This salad is great in transitional seasons or Winter, or on cooler Summer days. It is REALLY good, and we hope you enjoy it.
Read more about Horse Gram (aka Kulthi Bean). It is easily purchased in Indian shops.
Horse gram is much loved in South India as a particularly healthy lentil. One easy way to cook and serve these elongated brown skinned beans is to make thoran (Upperi in Malabar). Thoran is a dish from Kerala where vegetables, lentils, beans or sprouts are sauteed with spices and perhaps coconut, for a special side dish or Indian salad style dish. There are several ways to make a thoran with horse gram:
- with or without coconut – either way is good. Many people prefer to add coconut as horse gram is considered a hot pulse and coconut helps to moderate the heat.
- cooked until al dente tender, so the beans remain separated, or cooked until the beans are very tender and beginning to break down – either way is good.
- made as a dry dish, or as a dish with a little gravy from the cooking water.
Generally we make our thorans with coconut so for variety we make this one without.
Read more about Horse Gram (aks Kulthi Bean). It is easily purchased in Indian shops.
These baked, sliced oyster mushrooms, liberally seasoned, were an eye opener the first time I made them. They are salty, peppery and crispy, and are highly highly addictive. They make a great afternoon snack, but also have quite a few other uses.
Top salads with them, or hot bowls of soup. Crumble them and sprinkle over salads or fritters, or roasted vegetables. Put them into sandwiches and burgers and wraps. Place on top of a thick lentil dish. Break into pieces and mix through a salad.
And best of all, make yourself a cuppa and snack on the mushrooms in the afternoon sun.