Collection: Very Special Turmeric Recipes

Turmeric is still the super food of the moment, and that has lead to some terrible misuses of this special spice. In small amounts it adds a special flavour to a dish. In large amounts it is bitter and unpalatable. The key to consuming turmeric is to add a little to each dish you cook – half a tspn is enough.

Today we have our favourite turmeric recipes for you. In addition to these, know that most Indian dishes also include turmeric, so explore them as well. I do hope you love and enjoy these recipes too.

Other Collections include:

Browse all of our Turmeric recipes, and explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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How to Make Quince Molasses

We now have a collection of molasses recipes that we cycle through year-round in our kitchen – pomegranate molasses, tamarind molasses, cumquat “molasses” and quince molasses. They are easy to make and divine with the sweet-sour flavours that can be used in spoon sweets, drizzled over sweet and savoury dishes, and mixed into dressings, soups, bakes and braises. They are essential accompaniments in our kitchen.

Here is the Quince Molasses we’ve been making for some time. It already appears on our Sister site, along with other quince recipes, but we are including it here too as part of our collection of molasses recipes.

Similar dishes include How to Use Quinces, Quince Molasses and Tahini Dip/Sweet, Turnips with Quince Molasses, and Quince Pickle.

Browse all of our Quince Molasses recipes, and our Molasses recipes (more to come). Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce

How we love the eggplant and its versatility. This recipe sautés the eggplant until it is golden and then immerses it in a tangy, spicy tomato sauce before serving garnished with herbs. It is easy to make and the perfect side dish or dish to eat just with rice for a light lunch, snack or supper.

Similar recipes include Smoky Roasted Eggplant in Yoghurt, Smoky Eggplants and Tomatoes, and Babaganoush.

Browse all of our Eggplant recipes. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Special Miso Sauce

This recipe is one that Taste published some time ago and a friend pushed me to have a look at it. I was very sceptical – cooking miso is not something that I do often (heat destroys some of its health properties), and cooking lemon juice is rarer (cooking changes its flavour). But I do like to test recipes, especially if prompted or recommended by friends. So one Saturday afternoon when I was roasting some broccoli and needed a sauce for it, I set about making this special miso sauce. With only 5 ingredients – miso, rice vinegar, sugar, lemon juice and mirim – the result is precisely as you imagine. Dark. Rich. Bright. Chilli-hot. Sweet.

The recipe is originally from Hiroko Shimbo’s Hiroko’s American Kitchen. While it uses Japanese ingredients, it is not something traditionally Japanese – far far too bold and funky for the subtleness of Japanese cuisine.

The premise for this sauce is that

  • it is so very easy to make
  • it freezes really well, but not solid, so you can spoon it out into dishes whenever you want
  • it can be used in almost anything – stirred into sauteed potatoes and into soups and braises. Toss through fried rice. Stir into lentil stews and make miso soup with it. Toss roasted broccoli and cauliflower in it. Add a little to dressings, dips and spreads.

Pretty much the number of uses of this sauce is infinite, guided only by your imagination. Add a little to a dish for full-on flavours, or add just a little for a mysterious undertone.

Actually it is so dark and funky, I’ll use it as a vegetarian substitute in place of fish sauce in some recipes.

Today, we roasted slabs of broccoli and served with the sauce. Broccoli shines when paired with something punchy, formidable and umami-rich, so the combo works divinely.

Similar recipes include Miso Peanut Coconut Sauce, Miso Vegetables and Rice, and  Miso and Tofu Dipping Sauce.

Browse all of our Miso dishes and all of our Japanese recipes. Or explore our Late Autumn food.

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Plantain Moar Koottu | Plantain in Yoghurt Sauce

This dish is a yoghurt sauce served with cooked plantain. It is similar to an aviyal, but made with one vegetable only. Other vegetables that can be used instead of the plantain are amaranth stems, chow chow, ash gourd, and plantain stem.

The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from her cook books Cook and See. 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.

Similar recipes include Moar Kuzhambu, Kerala Aviyal, Pulissery, and Pineapple Pulissery.

Browse all of our Koottu dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Sonth Panak | Tingling Ginger Warmer

In the depths of Winter we turn to hot drinks to warm the body. But there are herbs and spices that will also warm us from the inside. Rosemary is one, ginger another, and black pepper too. This drink uses ginger, cardamom and pepper and will tingle and warm your body in the coldest of weathers. It is consumed either warm or at room temperature, so is a no-fuss recipe.

In India, ginger is well known as a cure for colds and sore throats. Dry ginger powder mixed with water is said to work wonders to relieve stiff joints. You can see that this drink is essential during Winter.

The dry ginger powder is essential to this drink – for maximum effect, don’t substitute with ginger root. The ginger, cardamom and pepper do not dissolve completely. Do as I do and stir while drinking, or allow it to sit for 5 or so minutes, then strain.

Similar recipes include 30 Indian Dishes for Mid Summer, Chai for Winter Colds, Peppery Chai, and Tea for Rainy Weather.

Browse all of our Indian Drinks, our Winter Drinks, and all of our Drinks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Collection: Wintery Gratin Recipes

When Wintery weather finally hits, there is nothing more satisfying than layering vegetables with cheese and baking until the veggies are tender and the cheese is molten and crisped on top. These are quintessential Winter dishes.

Other Collections include:

Browse all of our Gratin, or explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Molasses

We are quite into roasted Brussels Sprouts now – we have eaten more sprouts this year than in total since childhood. I have never really enjoyed Brussels Sprouts as my Mother, bless her cotton socks, overcooked them. Boiled, grey and soggy, and not a drop of lemon juice. Sigh. Brussels Sprouts should never go near water.

This year we discovered roasted Brussels Sprouts (and raw Brussels Sprouts, but that’s another story). They make great snacks too – we will eat them at any time of the day – fingers can be used.

Today we roast them tossed with pomegranate molasses. Deee- vine. The sweet-tart of the molasses against the bitter of the brussels sprouts is very special.

Similar recipes include Brussels Sprouts Slaw, Brussels Sprouts Risotto, and Brussels Sprouts Salad.

Browse all of our Brussels Sprouts recipes and explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Insalata di Peperoni e Capperi | Sweet Capsicum Salad with Tomato Dressing and Capers

Bugialli died recently. He was instrumental in bringing Italian regional food to the US – beginning with his first book in 1977, Food of Italy. Surprisingly, he didn’t become as well known in other parts of the world, but that might have been by design.

When French cuisine was being celebrated in the 1970s, Bugialli argued that Italian cooking also deserved to be taken seriously, beginning with the understanding that it varies by region. This fundamental fact, true of any great cuisine, is so often bypassed as we delve into foreign foods – and today the great internet machine condenses ancient and complex cuisines into a few popular dishes. Bugialli, with his love of his own heritage, scoured Italy for regional dishes and published authoritative books on many sub-cuisines of Italy. When we think about the handful of people who have been instrumental in exciting other countries about the cuisine of their own country, excited enough to alter the supply-and-demand chain of ingredients, it is difficult to more than a couple. Roden, Child, David, Thompson – can I include Oliver in this list? – all English speaking passionate foodies who fell in love with the food and food philosophy of a different country. Bugialli and Jaffrey are two of the few who have successfully translated their own cuisine in a way that not only is acceptable to others but has also driven culinary change.

You might expect there to be more people who have achieved notoriety in this way. The difficulty is, of course, that one needs to be able to view the food – ingredients, processes, techniques, history, associated stories – through the eyes of the intended audience. This is easiest if you are yourself a member of your target audience, and incredibly difficult if you are not. The advantage that Jaffrey and Bugialli had was that they both lived and worked in the UK and/or the US for some time before adopting their culinary careers of writing and teaching.

When I returned home from my shortish working sojourn in the North East of France with its amazing foods, wines and cheeses, I scoured the local bookshops for French cookbooks. In the process I also discovered a number seminal cookbooks from other European cuisines. Not that I knew they were seminal at the time but I did have a nose for great cookbooks. That is why I happen to have a much loved Bugialli, but it was a long time before I came to realise how influential he had been and how classic his books are.  This wonderful eggplant dish is one of his.

So today I am making another simple but wonderful dish from his book – a simple salad of capsicums with capers. I learnt a great technique from this recipe. When roasting capsicums in the oven, include a tray of water in the bottom of the oven. The steam from the water begins to lift the skins from the capsicums without over-charring them, so that the flesh is protected. They are more steamed than grilled, leading to a very delicate flavour.

This colourful salad of silky,sweet capsicums, tangy capers and fresh herbs can be a salad or side dish, appetiser, part of a mezze spread, or an addition to a sandwich or wrap. It can also be layered onto other tossed or composed salads. The combination of tomato, garlic, mint and capers is an amazing pairing with the sweet capsicums. Yum!

Similar recipes include Salad of Pasta and Capsicums with Walnuts, Radiant Autumn Salad of Peppers, and Roasted Red Pepper Salad.

Browse all of our Capsicum Salads and our Italian dishes. Or explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Sesame – Chilli – Soy Dipping Sauce (with my favourite Chinese Vegetable Dumplings)

I do love a good dipping sauce. Think – steamed vegetables, fried vegetables, dumplings, tofu, noodles, spring rolls, summer rolls, sizzling rice squares. The perfect sauce will lift your dish to new heights.

There are many varieties of dipping sauce, and the Japanese or Chinese style ones have their respective core set of ingredients. For Chinese it is soy, toasted sesame oil, Chinese vinegar perhaps, and some ginger and spring onions. Today’s dipping sauce is another variation on that theme. So very very good.

The sauce is perfect with these vegetable dumplings that I get from the Asian grocery in the freezer section – I put them in a flat pan with a little water and a little oil, and cover the pan. As the water simmers, the dumplings defrost and steam, and when the water evaporates they crisp on the bottom. Flip them over if you wish for a nice crispy top. They are also delicious steamed or even very gently microwaved.

Similar recipes include Soy and Sesame Dipping Sauce, Rice Squares in Dipping Sauce, and Chilli Soy Dipping Sauce.

Browse all of our Dipping Sauces and all of our Chinese recipes. Our Late Autumn dishes are here.

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