Seasonal Cooking | 11 Simple Beautiful Summer Salads

Sometimes we forget that simplest is bestest.

Elizabeth David is the best source of simple but utterly delicious salads. I love to read her books, and today I have taken the liberty of reproducing some of her beautiful salads.

Similar posts include 30 Great Salads for Early Summer.

Browse all of our Salad recipes and all of our Early Summer dishes.

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Salad of Sprouts

This salad sounds quite virtuous, but in reality it is very delicious. Made with a range of sprouts that are supported by herbs, spinach, radish, tiny tomatoes, and carrots. It IS healthy, but tastes like it could be really addictive.

In this Salad of Sprouts, an Ottolenghi recipe from his book Plenty More, various oils and vinegars are used to add a richness. However, you can use just one of each if you like.

Similar recipes include Matki Sprouts Misal, Simmered Daikon Radish with Miso and Sesame Sauce, Sprouts Sundal, Sprouts Rice, and Mushroom and Carrot Salad with Mung Sprouts.

Browse all of our Sprouts recipes and all of our Salads. Our Ottolenghi dishes are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Tri Colour Pachadi

We make raita and yoghurt pachadi often at home – they are easy, no fuss dishes that can be served with an Indian meal or used as sauces and dressings for baked and steamed veggies, in wraps, over simple salads etc.

This raita uses carrots, cucumbers or zucchini, and tomatoes for a colourful raita that brings a happy note to the table. The vegetables are just grated or chopped and incorporated into the yoghurt with some chillies, ginger and a tadka. Enjoy! You could sub other vegetables – finely grated cabbage (red or green), or red or green peppers, for example.

Similar recipes include Dried Mango Pachadi, Asparagus Raita, Okra and Coconut Raita, and Spinach Pachadi.

Browse all of our Raitas and Pachadi recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

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Aviyal | Avial | Vegetables in a Coconut and Yoghurt Sauce

It is interesting to compare the Madhur Jaffrey version of Kerala’s Aviyal (delicious) with this traditional Tamil version from Meenakshi Ammal (also delicious). Madhur Jaffrey wrote for Western audiences, and used commonly available ingredients and vegetables, while Meenakshi Ammal wrote for Indian wives using locally available produce. There will also be regional differences. The first thing I noticed is that Ammal specifically excludes okra from the recipe list, while Jaffrey includes it. (I did put a few in this time, I quite enjoy them.)

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.

Avial can be made with a liquid sauce of coconut and yoghurt, or the sauce can remain thick and just coats the vegetables. It is generally eaten with rice.

The word aviyal (aka avial) is also used to denote ‘boiled’ or ‘cooked in water’ —this sense being derived from the way the dish is made. They say that the origins of this recipe is from the Nambudiri cuisine but it is now common throughout South India.

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

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

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Peppery Multi Coloured Salad | Kachumber

Chopped salads are so easy to make with a food processor. Simply add the ingredients and pulse until a perfect texture is achieved. This salad is a breeze with the food processor, and can be made in 2 minutes once the vegetables have been peeled.

The recipe is an Indian salad – salads of this sort are not common but also not unusual. They are a spicy take on English food no doubt. In this one we add black pepper and chilli powder to the salad, and it is dressed with lime juice.

You might like to read What is a Kachumber?

Similar recipes include Spring Onion Kachumber, Capsicum Salad with Tomato Dressing, Chopped Salad, Brown Lentils Sundal, Daikon, Carrot and Coconut Salad, and Maharashtrian Cucumber Salad.

Browse all of our Indian Salads, and our Coleslaw recipes.  All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Indian Carrot Salad | Kosumalli

Western style salads are not so common in India because Ayurveda, the underlying philosophy of lifestyle, health and wellbeing, recommends against eating raw ingredients. But there are some, and they are delicious. I have noticed that they are also becoming more common as the influence of the West is stronger than ever via the internet and increased travel.

I say Western style salad, because there are some Indian dishes that play the part of salads in a traditional Indian meal. Raita/Pachadi, for example. Indian chutneys. Sundals. Sprouted lentils.

Anyway, today’s salad is an Indian Salad somewhat after the Western style – grated vegetables topped with chilli and a spice tadka. There is nothing easier, and it is delicious.

You might like to read What is Kosumalli aka Koshambari.

Similar recipes include Cucumber Kosumalli, Indian Cucumber Salad, Indian Beetroot and Carrot Salad, and Onion Strings Pickled Salad.

Browse all of our Indian Salads, and all of our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Sea Spaghetti, Ginger and Carrot Salad

I have been looking for seaweeds in my local neighbourhood, and have been surprised at the scarcity and price! The range seems to be dictated by the “superfood” label rather than considering them as ingredients. The range is also limited to Dulse, Nori and Wakame, with nare a piece of kombu in sight (one shop owner even asked me what kombu was!). Sigh. A quick search online finds them at half the store price but the range remains the same in most cases. I found an online shop stocking Seaweed Spaghetti (The Essential Ingredient) and quickly ordered some.

It is a pity that it is not more common, as this recipe, one of Ottolenghi’s in Plenty More, makes great use of Sea Spaghetti. It looks like dark fettuccine and has a similar texture. Perhaps it should be called Sea Fettuccine, to be more precise. If you are keen to try this, but find it is impossible to find Sea Spaghetti, and if you have wakame in the pantry, use that. Or use any seaweed that you have or can find locally. You will just have to prepare it specifically for the type of seaweed, rather than cooking it as described in this recipe.

Similar recipes include Pomelo and Carrot Salad, Mung Bean and Carrot Salad, and Chickpea and Ginger Salad.

Browse all of our Carrot Salads and all of our recipes from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Roasted Carrots with Coriander Seeds and Garlic

Ottolenghi’s book, Nopi, has an undeserved reputation of being to chefy, too difficult for a home kitchen. While that is sort of true for some recipes, there are also so many dishes in this book that are either simple to make, or can be adjusted to suit your kitchen and pantry.

This recipe falls into the first category. It is just roasted carrots, but the mixture that the carrots are tossed in makes all the difference. Quite divine. We ate a plateful each.

For this dish I did three things differently. I used some Quince Honey that I made earlier this year – quite divine in its own right. I layered white and black pepper in the dish – using both in dishes is my current obsession, as it gives layered peppery flavours. And thirdly, our garlic cloves here are large and fat and luscious, so I avoid mincing or dicing them. They have a right to be present in the dish, front and foremost. So I slice them whenever I use them, but you could also use them whole.

Similar dishes include Leeks and Carrots a la Grecque, Carrots Glazed with Honey and Ginger, and Hot Roasted Carrot Salad.

Browse all of our Carrot dishes, all of our Ottolenghi recipes and our collection of Late Spring recipes.

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Carrot Poriyal | Stir-fried Carrot with Coconut

Once you have your pantry set up for cooking Indian food regularly, recipes with long lists of ingredients are no longer terrifying. The reason that some recipes seem to have a kitchen-bench full of ingredients is that many of them are small amounts, less than a teaspoon. These spices produce the characteristic tastes of Indian food. For example, not counting the spices, this dish has only 3 main ingredients – carrots, coconut and onions. There, that seems much simpler than a list of 15!

The best way to approach long lists of spices is to prepare them before you begin to cook, using tiny bowls or containers to hold them. Alternatively, grab a couple of dabbas, Indian spice boxes, from your Indian shop, so that your commonly used spices are all in one container.  Either method will eliminate your need to search the cupboard for a spice while cooking – and the panic that ensues when you can’t find it and the onions are over cooking as you search.  We have all been there! So be organised, both in your spice cupboard and in preparing your ingredients.

This is a simple recipe today, despite the list of ingredients – a quick stir-fry of carrots with spices and coconut from the South of India. Poriyals embody the South, and can be made with many different vegetables and vegetable combinations.

Similar recipes include Green Bean and Carrot Poriyal, Sweet Potato Poriyal, and Carrot Thoran.

Browse all of our Poriyals, and all of our Carrot recipes.  All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Carrot and Cashew Salad | Carrot Kachumber

We try to keep up our Salad consumption all year. It is easy to forget about salads in cold weather, moving instead to soups and broths, roasted and baked dishes and hot snacks. But salads bring a freshness into the diet, lifting the day with its flavours, and complimenting the hotter dishes. We will eat them as a snack or a course before the main meal. In Summer, naturally they are cooling and refreshing.

This one is special – an Indian salad of carrot, capsicum and cashews and can be made any time of the year. It is  dressed with yoghurt and tempered black mustard seeds.

You might like to read What is a Kachumber?

Similar dishes include Spring Onion Kachumber, Salads for Mid Winter, Peppery Multi Coloured Kachumber, Carrot Kosumalli, Sea Spaghetti and Carrot Salad, Apple and Yoghurt Kachumber, Kachumber, and Mooli Kachumber.

Browse all of our Kachumber recipes and all of our Carrot Salads. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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