Burrata with Leeks and Za’atar

The sad news regarding ingredient availability near my home is that the new huge supermarket that opened with an amazing array of cheeses has downsized that section to about 1/4 its original size. So cheeses like burrata – I was so excited when they originally stocked it – are no longer part of their inventory. This means it became a luxury item once again and I have to travel into the city if I need it. I adore burrata as a replacement for eggs in dishes where the eggs would be nestled into a base or served on top of, say, a salad.

I cannot complain too much, though. There is an extraordinary range of Asian, SE Asian and Middle Eastern ingredients available in this area, including hot Middle Eastern flatbread straight from the oven. I am blessed!

This is a quick way to get a very comforting meal on the table in a wonderfully short amount of time. It’s a dish as happily eaten for brunch, with coffee, as it is for a light supper with some crusty white bread and a glass of wine. The leeks and spinach can be made a day ahead and kept in the fridge, ready for the burrata and feta.

After a trip to Adelaide’s Central Market and a fresh stock of burrata, I went back to Ottolenghi’s Simple to make his brunch dish of Leeks, Spinach and Za’atar. It is divine – you should try it. I made the usual adjustments, which I share below, but the link will take you to the original recipe.

Similar recipes include Eggplant, Potato and Tomato, Sweet and Sour Leeks with Burrata, Celeriac Hummus with Spiced Cauliflower and Burrata, and Slow Cooked Tomato Chickpeas with Burrata.

Browse all of our Leek recipes and all of our Burrata dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Simple are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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The Life Changing Loaf of “Bread”

My daughter put me on to this loaf many years ago – it’s a nutritionist’s dream as it is packed with all things good. Fibre plus, nuts, seeds, chia, turmeric, and raw honey (or use sweetner of choice).

There are a few variations on the bread, but the one I make is based on My New Root’s recipe. I have made a couple of alterations over the years and have reproduced it below.

Similar recipes include Overnight Oats, Bondi Overnight Oats, and Sweet Quinoa and Oats Congee.

Browse all of our Oats recipes. Or explore our Early Winter dishes.

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Upma and Fried Upma with Ricotta

Upma is a delicious breakfast dish and snack from South India. Rava (also called Rawa, Sooji, Suji or Upma grain) is a semolina product that is cooked with spices and sometimes finely chopped vegetables for a stunningly delicious dish.

Ottolenghi, in his book Plenty More takes his version of Upma and allows it to set before pan frying wedges. It is a delicious way to use Upma and a great use of left-overs. Rather than use his recipe, I cook Upma in a more traditional South Indian way, using his method to pan fry it, then serve it with either seasoned yoghurt or ricotta.

Rava, like semolina, is a granulated wheat flour that have a grainy and coarse texture to it. There are two types available, a fine-grained version and a coarser-grained one that is better for making Upma. In general, sooji will have a finer grain than rava. If you use the fine grained one for Upma, you might have to reduce the water so that you don’t get a pasty texture.

I cook Upma until it is thick and holds shape.  One variation is to add more water to get a looser consistency. If making the fried upma, cook until it is quite thick.

As an aside and just for your information if you are interested: There are many different types of rava, perhaps thousands of regional variations. Some of the variations are because different wheats are used. One of them called Bansi Rava and also known as samba wheat in many parts of India, is a very fine powdered flour unlike the more coarsely granulated Rava. It is made from a variety of wheat called samba godumai that has a long body and slightly sharp edges on both sides.

Another famous Rava is the Bombay Rava which has a very coarse texture that is a little bigger than regular Rava. It is made from whole wheat grains of a wheat called mottai godumai. There is another type, chamba rava, which is a by-product of wheat flour. Semolina, on the other hand, is always made from Duram wheat.

Similar recipes include Buckwheat Upma, Polenta Crisps and Lemony Poha.

Browse all of our Semolina recipes and all of our Breakfast dishes. Indian Snacks are here. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Kanda Batata Poha

There is a quick and easy Batata Poha that I make – the flattened rice flakes mixed with herbs and fried potatoes, yum! This recipe is no more difficult, still quick and easy, very similar to the recipe that Tim and Saun gave me – just a few extra spices. It includes onions, steamed potatoes and peas, cashews and peanuts, coconut and warming spices. It is a light dish that is eaten for breakfast or tiffin snacks. It is perfect just with a cuppa. It can also be served for brunch, lunch or a light dinner – add some coconut chutney or a bowl of yoghurt for a quick,light and delicious meal. It can be packed into lunch boxes, taken on picnics or taken on trips as travel food. We love poha and have nearly a dozen recipes that use it.

Take note that this is made with the thick poha – poha is steamed and rolled/flattened rice – make sure that you buy poha and not puffed rice. When you visit your Indian grocery you will see that Poha comes in different thicknesses  – Nylon (very thin and crisp), Paper, Thin, Medium, Thick and Dagdi (thick and chewy). There is also poha made from red rice and brown rice as well as white rice. The thicker types are soaked before use.

Similar dishes include Poha with Coconut and Cashews, Upma and Fried Upma, Lemony Poha, Poha Chaat, and Coconut-Tamarind Poha.

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

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Black Rice (or other Grains) with Curry Leaves and Tomato

There are so many different rices in India – what we see here is one small fraction of the varieties across India. Many varieties are regional and rices are not only white, but brown, black and red too. There are other grains very common in areas, ones that we never hear of here, sadly. For example there are a dozen or more varieties of millet. And here? One or two varieties.

However we can cook our locally grown grains with Indian flavours, there is nothing to stop us doing that, right? For example, I will often cook up a grain with tomatoes, onions, chillies and curry leaves. It is that easy. This method can be used with quinoa, millet, buckwheat, freekeh, pearl barley, many rices, amaranth, and so on. Today I have cooked up a pot of glutinous black rice and given it the same treatment. It is a hearty and gorgeous accompaniment to the meal. Because black rice is quite assertive, we have paired it with more subtle dishes, but if you are using quinoa or moriya, for example, you can boost up the flavour levels of the accompaniments.

BTW India has black rices too, and from what I gather they are very similar to the black rice that we can get from our Asian stores here.

Most people I know associate glutinous rice with a sweet, divine pudding from S. E. Asia. But glutinous rice can be used in savoury dishes as well. I love the nutty crunchiness of it. If you are a kindred spirit in that you love breakfasts that break the mould of cereal-and-toast, then this is the best of breakfast dishes. Black rice is very warming to the body, so it is a great Winter Morning dish. You could add mushrooms.

Similar recipes include Black Rice with Chinese Flavours, Eggplant, Potato and Tomato, Black Rice Congee, and Mushrooms with Black Rice.

Browse all of our Black Rice recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Poached Oranges with Vanilla Ricotta

There was a recipe I had been wanting to try for a while during Winter when the oranges hung large and gorgeous on the tree. But it was one of those times when the recipe sat on my kitchen bench for weeks before finally making it. Originally I had considered making it as a stand-alone dessert, but finally made it as a topping for a very special sweet congee. Since then, we have also topped our favourite rice pudding with these poached oranges and ricotta, and served it as-is, as a delicious dessert at the end of a long cold day. It really is divine, incredibly quick and easy to make, and can be served warm or cold.

The recipe comes from An Honest Kitchen an e-magazine that was produced by my friends Kathryn and Lucy. I have modified the recipe only a little from the original.

Similar recipes include Frozen Berries with White Chocolate Cream, Banana Porridge with Glazed Apples, Orange and Pecan Cream Cheese, Orange and Date Salad, and Baked Apricots with Honey and Orange.

Browse all of our Orange recipes, and our Ricotta dishes. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

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Indian French Toast (Eggless) with Baked Strawberries | Egg Free

Summer time and strawberries. The scent of fresh strawberries is intoxicating – have you noticed?  We tend to eat them fresh, make Strawberry Icecream, we might bake them, they might go into a salad, or we blitz them into a lassi or frappe or smoothie. Occasionally we make strawberry jam.

But today we are having a special breakfast, making an Indian version of French Toast (no eggs involved), that is topped with slightly baked strawberries. The toast is encased in a sweet, cinnamon flavoured, chickpea flour batter, and is topped with baked strawberries. You can make the same French Toast and serve with strawberry jam – that is pretty good too.

Similar recipes include Banana Porridge with Glazed Apples, Poached Oranges with Vanilla Ricotta, Baked Strawberries, Strawberries with Lemon, and Strawberries with Sticky Balsamic.

Browse all of our Strawberry recipes, and all of our Toasties. Or explore our easy Early Summer dishes.

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Easy Summery Weekend Breakfast and Brunch Dishes

Think outside the box for Breakfast, especially in Summer.

Prepare your breakfast dishes, make a large pot of coffee, set the table on the verandah, deck, or under the grapevines, take the newspaper or a book, and enjoy a leisurely Summer breakfast.

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Lemony Poha (Aval)

This delicious poha dish makes a beautifully nurturing breakfast or meal at any time. The poha is quickly cooked with spices and lemon juice – it is quickly made after soaking for 15 mins. It is so easy you could (almost) do it with your eyes closed.

Poha is available at your Indian grocery store – it is rice that has been steamed and pressed or rolled flat. There are at least half a dozen varieties, including thin, very thin, medium and thick.  For this recipe, use thick or medium poha in this recipe so that it holds its shape after soaking. Thick poha is preferable.

Similar recipes include Poha with Coconut and Cashews, Kanda Batata Poha, Poha Chaat, Onion Poha, and Kolachi Poha.

Browse all of our Poha recipes. Browse our Indian recipes here and our Indian Essentials are here. Or take some time to explore our Late Spring dishes.

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Poha with Crispy Potatoes | Batata Poha

Another recipe from my cooking sessions in India, scribbled almost illegibly as I tried to keep up with the dishes appearing in front of me. It is a simple Poha dish with potatoes. It’s also a common dish, probably because it is so very delicious and relatively cheap to make. Eaten primarily as a snack with coffee or chai, it is dish for the monsoon season – excellent in rainy weather.

Are you looking for similar dishes? Try Poha with Coconut and Cashews, Aloo Matar, Sweetcorn ChaatKanda Poha and Lemon Poha.

You can browse all of our Poha recipes and all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or browse our Early Winter collection of recipes.

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