Aloo Tikki | Spice-Stuffed Potato Patties

One of the most wonderful tastes on this planet is the tangy spice, chilli and tamarind mix of Indian street food. It is glorious, addictive, and quite mind blowing. The flavours have a party in your mouth. No, truly! If you are doubting me, head off to your nearest good Indian restaurant and try Pani Puri, or Samosa Chaat – any chaat for that matter – and even Rasam will give you a sample of the hot and sour tastes that make up Indian food.

This recipe takes the notion of the hot, sour, salty and sweet flavour mix and stuffs it inside a potato cake made from mashed potatoes. It mimics the Aloo Tika and Potato Cutlet snacks of India, Podimas recipes of South India, and more recently I saw a fabulous BALL of mashed potato full of North Indian street-food flavours.

This is a recipe from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More – we are making our way through this book, cooking as we go.  I always feel free to play with his recipes to suit our tastes, and the ingredients in our pantry, kitchen and garden (especially now that I have made so many of them). I made minor alterations to this one. If you want to see the original recipe check out his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Zucchini and Sweetcorn Fritters, Poha Chaat, Channa Chaat, and Aloo Baingan Bharta.

Browse all of our Chaat recipes and all of our Indian Snacks. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Stewed Blueberries with Bay Custard and Gin

This is a pretty wicked Summer dessert, definitely for hot Summer days. The beauty of it is that the custard and blueberries can be prepared ahead of time – eg the day before – and then it takes but a few minutes for the dessert to come together.

As the title suggests, blueberries, slightly stewed, are served with icecream, a bay-flavoured custard, and savoiardi biscuits soaked in gin, rosewater and blueberry syrup. It sounds amazing, right? And it is (the gin-soaked biscuits are out of this world), but the title belies the ease with which this dish is created. Best to note that it is an adult dessert only!

Of course, it is an Ottolenghi dessert, from his book Plenty More which we are trying to cook all the way through. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit our preferences and what is available from our garden, fridge and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column. In the recipe below we have substituted a custard made with custard powder for the egg-based one, as we don’t cook with eggs. It sounds horrific, I know, but I assure you it tastes just as good. Feel free to use your favourite method.

Also, blackberries are originally used by Ottolenghi but they are notoriously difficult to find here, so we have used blueberries. It might be Ok to use frozen blackberries – but warm them through with the sugar rather than cook them.

Similar recipes include Strawberry and Black Pepper Icecream, Poached Oranges with Vanilla Ricotta, and Sweet Rhubarb with Cloves and Black Pepper.

Browse all of our Blueberry recipes and all of our Desserts. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Root Mash with Wine-Braised Shallots

There’s nothing more marvellously Wintery than orange root vegetable mash; butter is all it needs.It has been icy here in the mornings – the type of morning you wish you had a wood fire to light, one you could put your old coffee pot on top of and have it bubbling away in no time. One you could heat the soup on and dry the clothes in front of.

But the Wintery mash is all I have. Why not jazz it up with lentils and top with a warming shallot stew!

This recipe is from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. Although we’ve cooked enough Ottolenghi to feel free to channel him when we adjust ingredients to suit our tastes, style and pantry, this recipe is pretty much the same as the one that appears in the Guardian.

Similar recipes include Easy Pumpkin and Coconut Curry, Spicy Crushed Carrots with Yoghurt, Sweet Potato Mash with Lime Salsa, Mashed Potatoes, Parsnip Mash, and Carrot and Parsnip Mash.

Browse all of our Celeriac, Carrots, Pumpkin and Sweet Potato recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book.

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Sweetcorn and Butternut Fritters with Spicy Peppers

Sweetcorn fritters have a special place in my heart – they are quite divine, despite the fact that fresh kernels will explode if the heat is too high! (Be careful!) Often this property of sweet corn is not mentioned in recipes, leading to disastrous or painful results. Pulse fresh corn kernels very briefly in a small blender or chopper to lessen this property, steam them (altho I’ve also had problems with steamed ones) or use tinned corn kernels.

Ottolenghi is in the group of recipe authors that do not mention the potential of vigorous explosions when cooking sweetcorn kernels over heat. This recipe is from Plenty More and is made absolutely delightful with the inclusion of a small chilli (as mild or as hot as you like) in each one. Use one with a little heat if you like.

You could put a whole chilli into each fritter, but that is pretty brutal unless you have an exceptional tolerance for heat. I also found that strips of the chilli cooked much better. A compromise is to use small padron or similar capsicum that is mostly innocuous. You can also leave out the chilli altogether – the fritters will still be very tasty.

Note that we feel free to play with Ottolenghi’s recipe to suit what is in our garden, pantry and fridge or to suit our dietary preferences. We have made over 200 of Ottolenghi’s recipes, so we feel we have earned this right. In this recipe, as we don’t cook with eggs, we’ve replaced them with our usual fritter egg replacement mix – cream and chickpea flour. For his original recipes check out his books and Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Sweet Potato Fritters, Spinach Fritters, and Chickpea Fries with Tomato Salsa.

Browse all of our Sweetcorn recipes and all of our Fritters. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Crispy Couscous and Saffron Cakes

What a beautiful dish! Couscous is soaked with saffron and mixed with barberries and feta to form wonderful patties that are cooked until crisp and utterly delicious. They have an addictive flavour of mint and saffron. You will love them.

The patties are quite easy to make – relatively easy for an Ottolenghi recipe. The couscous is soaked, the barberries infused, the mixture made and the patties cooked.

Couscous is the tiny hand-rolled semolina pasta of North Africa that immigrants introduced to Israel and the Middle East. Semolina is made from the first milling of the heart of the durum wheat kernel, and so is halfway between wheat and flour.

These patties have a sweet and salty edge which make them very popular. It is the rice flour and yoghurt that makes them crispy.

This is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column. We have modified this recipe to eliminate the eggs.

Similar dishes include Broad Bean Burgers, Falafel, and Vegetable Cutlets.

Browse all of our Couscous dishes and all of our Patty recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Eggplant, Potato and Tomato

I love a good brunch, right? Lazy mornings, catching up with friends, relaxed, easy, informal and chatty – untroubled, comfortable being. It’s a long meal that takes up a large chunk of the middle of the day. So very delightful with a touch of indulgence.

This is a lovely brunch dish. The sort that you can centre your brunch spread around. Everything else should come out of the fridge, cupboard or bakery: bread and real butter, home made jams, fresh coffee and full cream milk, fruit juice from the fruit in the trees in the garden, sliced fresh fruit or perhaps baked fruit, a few cheeses (including a blue with bite), overnight oats or bircher muesli, yoghurt and some buttery pastries. This, plus the weekend papers and some good gossip, is all you need to spend half a day in unadulterated bliss.

Of course, it also makes a great supper dish – I might make it on a cold Spring evening. Who doesn’t want something deep fried on a cold night?

There’s a fair bit of preparation involved in this but it is a stunning, unusual dish that you can easily get hooked on. There is also quite a bit of washing up!

This is an Ottolenghi dish of course – it takes a while to make and has 8 or 9 processes. He floats eggs on top of the fried vegetables – I use burrata, bocconcini or buffalo mozzarella. Actually the dish is somewhat similar to Mixed Vegetables with Green Chilli Oil, another dish from Ottolenghi.

This is a recipe from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that we don’t eat (e.g. eggs), and ones that are not readily available in our local area.

If you are keen to reduce the frying in this dish, bake the eggplant until cooked. There won’t be any loss of flavour. You could also bake the slices of potato.

I couldn’t make this dish look nice, but boy, the combination of potato, tahini sauce, eggplant and tomato is so. very. good.

Similar dishes include Sweet and Sour Leeks with Burrata, Slow Cooked Tomato Chickpeas with Burrata, and Purslane Salad with Burrata.

Browse all of our Brunch and Breakfast dishes, and all of our Ottolenghi dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Barley and Lentils with Mushrooms and Fried Onion

You couldn’t get a more Wintery dish than this. Barley and Brown Lentils with Mushrooms and Crispy Fried Onions. And today is quite warm! What am I thinking? Haha, still, it is great comfort food.

For this dish I have used horse gram lentils, a favourite lentil from India, but you can use any brown or dark lentil. The recipe, one of Ottolenghi’s, specifies pot barley and you should use that if it is available. Here it has gone out of fashion in recent times and I could not find any for love or money.  So I used pearl barley – almost as good in my opinion. Pot barley is the love of the UK, where it is readily available.

As mentioned, this is a recipe from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. Note that we always feel free to use whatever is in our garden, pantry, fridge or kitchen bench in his dishes. For this one, the barley is the only substitute we have made. However if you wish to see his original recipe check his books or his Guardian column.

What is Pot Barley

Whole (as opposed to rolled or ground) barley comes three ways: as a whole grain, as pot barley or as pearl barley. The difference between them is the degree to which their tough outer shell has been removed. Pot, or Scotch, barley has its outer casing hulled. Pearl barley also has it removed, and is then polished clean. The hull is left on for whole grain, which gives it an inherent nuttiness and bite that allows it to stand more alone in a dish.

Pot barley takes longer to cook than pearl, but an overnight soak in water will speed things along. It’s a robust grain that, if overcooked, won’t collapse but will become more tender. It’s wonderfully versatile, too: try it instead of pasta, rice, couscous or bulgur wheat next time you reach for those cupboard staples.

This dish is very versatile – have it with a green salad in Summer or some roast veg in Winter.  I am be happy to have this by itself as a light lunch or supper.

Similar recipes include Pan Fried Mushrooms in Butter, Barley, Millet and Mung Congee, Toasted Barley with Pistachios and Raisins, and Butternut with Roasted Mushrooms and Roasted Garlic.

Browse all of our Barley dishes and all of our Mushroom recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Grilled Figs with Pomegranate Molasses and Orange Zest

The joy of life in Autumn is definitely lead by figs. Poaching, grilling and salads feature strongly, and I can’t emphasize enough how crucial it is to choose good, sweet, squidgy figs, no matter what you do with them. It makes all the difference.

All sorts of things go well with figs – cinnamon, star anise, for example. Nuts. Orange. Almond butter. In this recipe we are using pomegranate molasses for a marinade then a rich, sticky sauce, orange peel and thyme.

Need I mention that this deliciousness is the product of Ottolenghi from his book Plenty More. We are slowly cooking our way through this book, but he keeps putting out new ones so fast we can’t keep up! :).  We will often massage his recipes to suit what is cost effective locally, and what is in my garden, pantry and kitchen at the time. We haven’t played with this one, but you can check his original recipe in his books or on his site.

Similar recipes include Boozy Baked Figs, Baked Figs with Cheese and Honey, and Baked Figs with Thyme.

Browse all of our Fig recipes and all of our dishes from Plenty More. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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plenty more cracked, by ottolenghi | an ode to chickpea flour

The Cracked chapter of Plenty More was difficult work. This chapter focuses on cooking with eggs, and we do not use eggs in our kitchen. So I translated the recipes into ones that kept the main flavours of the dishes but did not use eggs. It was a bit of trial and error, but mostly successful.

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Frozen Berries with White Chocolate Cream

In the extreme weather of Summer in Australia – temperatures of 47C in Adelaide and catastrophic fires across Australia – we made this beautiful dish. It was a change from consuming copious amounts of icecream and fruit lassi. It really is beautiful – sweet, chocolaty with overtones of the bitters used to dress the fruit. It is my new favourite Ottolenghi dish.

It is a dish from the Dessert section of Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. We don’t often make dessert but this one is one of the best, now on our Summer rotation. With all Ottolenghi recipes I feel free to substitute whatever is in our fridge or pantry at the time. For this recipe, I bought a bag of mixed frozen berries, and used primarily the berries other than the strawberries. It was delicious and a cost effective way of making this dish in Australia. He suggests using a lot of red and black currents, but they are hard to get and expensive here. If you find your fruit too sweet with the chocolate cream, add some lemon juice to them.

You can check Ottolenghi’s original recipes in his books and in his various print columns.

The berries in fact are very useful for other dishes – serve them with Rice Pudding, Besan Payasam, for instance, or with French Toast.

Similar recipes include Blueberries with Bay Custard and Gin, Creme Fraiche Icecream, Junket with Macerated Strawberries and Passionfruit, and French Toast with Baked Strawberries.

Browse all of our Desserts, Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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