Collection: Kosumalli Salads

A Kosumalli is a simple spiced yet cooling salad. There are many varieties, but the most common is made by mixing soaked mung dal or channa dal with cucumber, carrot, and coconut, and tempering the salad with spices.  It is a South Indian specialty, eaten as a snack or made to accompany a meal. The crunch of the cucumber, the sweet flavour of coconut, and the tang of lemon balances the earthiness of the lentils for a deliciously flavoured and textured salad.

It is said that the dish originated in Karnataka where it is called Kosambari in Kannada. However the dish is now common across South India with many community cuisines (eg Upadi and Chettinand) have adopted it and adapted it to local tastes.

It is rather rare to have raw ingredients in South Indian cuisine. At the least, most ingredients are sautéed. There are a couple of exceptions including  Kosumalli which is closer to a Western version of a salad than Sundals and Pachadi  and Raita dishes which are often referred to as salads but differ from their Western counterparts. Although the modern preference is to use raw ingredients, in older recipes you will find that the dal is semi cooked, and the vegetables quickly sauteed.

Although made day to day in many households, Kosumalli is also made for festivals such as Navarathri and Ramanavami, and can feature at weddings.

There are many variations of Kosumalli that that differ with the vegetables being used. It can be as simple as cucumber with spices or with lentils and cucumbers. Cucumber can be replaced another vegetable, commonly carrots or sprouts. Or, as mentioned, it can be made with a combination of vegetables  (finely chopped cucumbers, plantain stem, sweetcorn, zucchini, green mango, onions, peppers, carrots, sprouts and/or tomatoes), coconut, spices and lentils.

Kosumalli makes an excellent light lunch with a bowl of yoghurt or steamed rice, or can be stirred into yoghurt to be eaten as a dip or in a similar way to raita. It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or with dinner. It’s also a great tiffin dish and kid’s lunch dish.

Continue reading “Collection: Kosumalli Salads”

40 of Our Best Coolers for Summer Heat Waves | Drinks for Seriously Hot Weather

In heatwave conditions there is nothing like something cool and refreshing to drink and to help to keep our liquid intake at good levels. My routine each morning is to make our juice, tea or infusion (to be iced), coolers, iced coffee or lassi drinks ready for the day. Our afternoon tea, in the hottest part of the day, is usually in the shade of trees (if the temperature allows) or in the air conditioned kitchen by the large windows. Sipping something cool or icy on these days is heaven.

Many of our hot teas and infusions are perfect in Summer when iced. Just adjust the recipe to infuse, cool, then refrigerate. Use spices or herbs for iced infusions.

Enjoy these recipes, they just might inspire you and change the way that you think about cooling drinks on hot days.

Continue reading “40 of Our Best Coolers for Summer Heat Waves | Drinks for Seriously Hot Weather”

30 Great Salads for Mid Summer

Summer is here and it is HOT! We need refreshing and cooling salads. Don’t get stuck with boring ones – Be inventive!

Here are 30 of our best salads for Mid Summer.

Continue reading “30 Great Salads for Mid Summer”

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.

Continue reading “Easy Summery Weekend Breakfast and Brunch Dishes”

A Collection of 30 Salads for Early Summer

Summer is here! So gradually the warm weather comes this year. But salads are definitely on the table. Don’t get stuck with boring salads. Be inventive!

Here are 30 of our best salads for Early Summer.

Continue reading “A Collection of 30 Salads for Early Summer”

10 Recipes Using Grape Vine Leaves | Going Beyond Dolmades

Did you know that grape vine leaves are delicious? They have a green earthy flavour that is imparted to the ingredients that they are cooked with. The most commonly known dish is Dolmades (Dolmas) – vine leaves stuffed with a rice or burghul mixture which are slowly steamed.

However, vine leaves can be used to wrap food, line pies and, shredded, added to batters. It can be used as a flavouring by drying the leaves and grinding them to a powder.

Enjoy these recipes, they will expand the way that you use vine leaves.

Continue reading “10 Recipes Using Grape Vine Leaves | Going Beyond Dolmades”

30 Salads for Mid Spring

Mid Spring is still capricious – as I sit here writing a thunderstorm passes, leaving us as quickly and as unexpectedly as it came. At last we don’t need the heating on at all, and doors and windows can be opened during the warmer parts of the day. The bird life is wonderful, and the garden looks a treat.

Salads still have some substance for the cooler days of this season, but they are definitely getting lighter. Grains are there but fresh Spring produce creeps in – Asparagus, Broad Beans, Pomelo, for example. Light salads appear on the table.

Continue reading “30 Salads for Mid Spring”

31 Dishes to Make with Broad Beans (Fava Beans)

Broad Beans, a little out of fashion except in Italian, Greek, Chinese, South American and Middle Eastern communities, are a speciality of Spring time. Once upon a time, before the green bean varieties came to Europe, Broad Beans were the beans. They are ancient and no one knows exactly where they came from. They are also often called Fava Beans.

Broad beans are synonymous with Spring, with their presence so fleeting. Here in Australia, that is from September through mid November. It is a great example of true seasonal vegetables. Catch them when harvested young and sweet, as towards the end of their season they can become very mealy. They have a flat, fur-lined pod enclosing seeds that are used in soups, purees, stews, salads, stir-fries and combined with rice and pasta.

Look for them in green grocers who cater for the Italian, Greek or Middle Eastern food requirements, as soon as Spring arrives. An acceptable alternative is frozen Broad Beans, and they can be found in the Supermarket, or in the freezer sections of Middle Eastern groceries. The benefit of the Middle Eastern ones over the supermarket ones is that the ones stocked by Middle Eastern stores have been double peeled. We will explain that later.

Check out some of our other collections:

Continue reading “31 Dishes to Make with Broad Beans (Fava Beans)”

30 Salads for Early Spring

Early Spring sees the arrival of Spring rains and windy weather. While the beginning of Spring can still be cold, there are also glorious sunny days with mild temperatures. Gardens begin to bring a bounty of colour. And Spring vegetables arrive – greens, peas, broad beans, asparagus – all delicious.

Salads still have some substance for the cooler days, but begin to get lighter. Grains are there but fresh Spring produce creeps in. Light salads might appear on the table. Certainly salads are more common than during the depths of Winter.

Check out some of our other collections:

Continue reading “30 Salads for Early Spring”

30 Soups for Early Spring

Oh the joy at the arrival of Spring. But truth be told, despite longer days and gorgeous gardens, the weather is in transition and can still be quite cold.

Our soups for this season straddle the heartier soups that reflect our transition from Winter, and the fresher, herb laden soups that echo the emergence of Spring.

To help you on your way with stocks for your soups, here are the ones that we use the most

Now that you have your Spring menu organised, let’s get cooking! Many of these soups will freeze well.

Here are 30 of our best Soups for Early Spring.

Continue reading “30 Soups for Early Spring”