Poritha Kootu with Simple Spices

Here is another Poritha Kootu – Mung Dal with vegetables – for a quick and delicious meal. This version is not spicy, very little spice is added, just chillies and cumin with coconut. It celebrates the taste and textures of the dal and the vegetables.

Sometimes Poritha Kootu is called a Lentil Vegetable Stew. It is a reasonable description, as it is thicker than Poritha Kuzhambu, and contains multiple vegetables rather than just one.

Are you after other Kootu recipes? Try Poritha Kootu without Tamarind, and Poritha Kootu with Sambar Spices.

Or perhaps you prefer Mung Dal recipes. We recommend Amaranth Leaves Masiyal, Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach, Gentle Mung Soup, and Mung Soup with Amaranth Greens.

You can find all of our Kootu recipes here, all of the Sambar and Kuzhambu recipes here, and all of our Mung recipes here. Our Indian Dishes are all here. Or simply explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Yoghurt with Cucumber and Mint

Yoghurt and Cucumber is such a heavenly pairing that it is used around the world to make a cooling accompaniment to meals (and the pair is also often blended together to make cooling Summer drinks).

This recipe is reminiscent of the Middle East, where mint and garlic are added to yoghurt with cucumber. This can be used as a dip (for me, dips never went out of fashion), or a cooling yoghurt salad to have with meals. It can be a sauce or dressing, or make it thick and use it as a spread.

Similar recipes include Cucumber, Feta, Mint and Dill, Cucumber Lassi, and Raita recipes.

Browse all of our Cucumber recipes and all of our Yoghurt dishes. All of our Middle Eastern recipes are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Poritha Kootu

We have been posting some Poritha Kootu recipes recently and (at least for a while) this is our last recipe for a Poritha Kootu that does not include tamarind. In the future we will post a few recipes that do contain tamarind, but for now our focus has been with those that don’t, as it is the most common way to make this dish.

This version uses toor dal for a change. Our previous recipes have used mung dal, but Meenakshi Ammal recommends toor dal for this one as it is a better fit for the flavours used.

Are you after other Kootu recipes? Try Poritha Kootu with Simple Spices, Poritha Kootu without Tamarind, Poritha Kootu with Simple Spices and Poritha Kootu with Sambar Spices.

Are you after Sambar and Kuzhamu recipes? Try Moar Kuzhambu (with yoghurt), Fenugreek Kuzhambu, and Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu (Lentil Balls in Spicy Gravy). Try these Sambar recipes: Classic Seasoned Sambar Version 1, Version 2, Version 3 and Version 4. You can also try a Buttermilk/Yoghurt Sambar.

Browse all of our Kootu recipes, all of the Sambar and Kuzhambu recipes, and all of our Toor Dal recipes. Our Indian Dishes are all here and our Indian Essentials are here. Or simply explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Yoghurt and Kaffir Lime Leaf Spread

We have always loved dips and spreads, despite the dodgy connotations of previous decades. In fact we hear that they are definitely in vogue again. They never went out of fashion in this household, and I have posted many on this site. Share with friends as a snack or mezze dish, and they are also the ultimate comfort food – eaten on the couch binge watching Netflix, with crackers, flat bread, or vegetable sticks. Dips spread easily on toast, or in sandwiches, wraps and tostadas or Quesadillas.

And we adore yoghurt based dips and spreads. What a way to begin a meal!

This Ottolenghi recipe is a take on tzatziki but it includes zucchini, is spiked up with lime juice and kaffir lime leaf, and uses mint or coriander rather than the traditional dill. It is gorgeous and delicious. It is from his book Plenty More.

In fact it is our Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely.

Similar recipes include Yoghurt with Cucumber and Mint.

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

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Khamang Kakdi Koshimbir | Maharashtrian Cucumber Salad

Another beautiful Koshimbir from Maharashtra – one that is cooling and exquisitely suited to hot summery days.

Koshimbir is Maharashtrian term for saladKosambari in Kannada and Kosumalli in Tamil are other names that you will see for Indian salads.

Many different combinations of vegetables are used to make different varieties of Koshimbir. In Maharashtra there are 2 main types of salads (although you will often see these confused, or equated):

  • Khamang Kakdi – a salad with roasted and ground peanuts, with yoghurt just as a coating or dressing
  • Kadichi Koshimbir – a salad without the crushed peanuts and with a reasonable amount of yoghurt.

This recipe is for the first type, made with cucumber, green coriander leaves, a touch of yoghurt and crushed peanuts. It is incredibly cooling, so is perfect for hot summery days. It can also be made with boiled or steamed pumpkin or potato.

Why not try some other Indian Cucumber Salads? Try Warm Cucumber Salad with Sesame (Cucumber Kosumalli), Kachumber (Chuchumber), Cucumber Kosumalli #2, and Cucumber Kosumalli #3.

Other Cucumber dishes you can try are Cucumber Raita, Cucumber Lassi and Olan (Cucumber and Coconut Curry).

Explore all of our Indian Salads, or all of our Indian recipes. Browse all of the Cucumber recipes too, or simply spend some time with our Early Autumn dishes.

This is a great fasting dish if made without the asafoetida (hing) and coriander leaves.

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Poritha Kootu | Recipe Without Tamarind

Mung dal has that immediate effect of making you feel good – supported, nourished, loved. Because of this quality – Miso Soup has it as well – dishes with Mung dal have become our go-to recipes after late nights and missed sleep, when work is far too busy and when there is disruption in our lives. Often it is a simple Mung Soup or Mung Dal, or Kitchari, all made in under 30 minutes, but today we make Poritha Kootu.

Kootu (Koottu, Kothsu) is a type of Kuzhambu, and is any vegetable combination with Mung Dal and freshly ground mild spices (but usually without sambar powder). Occasionally Toor Dal is used. Cumin is considered the defining spice for Kootu. Sometimes black pepper is used, but it seems fenugreek is never used. Kootu is a thicker dish than Sambar or Kuzhambu. You could say that Poritha Kuzhambu and Poritha Kootu are very similar, except that Poritha Kootu is made with Mung Dal, has more vegetables and is much thicker.

Many kootus are spiced with a coconut, cumin and green chillies paste but this recipe, from Meenakshi Ammal, uses red chillies in the paste. As usual, her recipe takes some unpicking as it a little maze-like. It always takes a bit of a detective work to unravel some of her recipes in Vol 1 of Cook and See. I feel like a sleuth as I work my way through her complex instructions.

Recipes for Kootu vary from region to region, town to town, household to household. Some places define Poritha Kootu by the inclusion of pepper and urad dal in its seasoning, which makes it a variation of Kootu. This is at odds with the way Meenakshi Ammal makes Poritha Kootu – her recipe does not include pepper.

I have used zucchini with other vegetables in this dish – zucchini is still a slightly exotic vegetable in India where it was only recently introduced. I have paired it with potatoes and drumstick. It’s kinda special, as the zucchini and drumsticks are home grown.

Similar recipes include Poritha Kootu with Coconut Chilli Paste.

Or perhaps you prefer Mung Dal recipes. We recommend Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach, Gentle Mung Soup, and Mung Soup with Amaranth Greens.

You can find all of our Sambar and Kuzhambu recipes here, and all of our Mung recipes here. Our Indian Dishes are all here. Or simply explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Cucumber, Feta, Mint and Dill Salad

Quick salads, they make my heart beat faster. Quick, tasty salads faster still. Salads with the creamy, beautiful feta from the local Afghan shop, that is almost a heart attack! Here is your 3 minute salad, plus one more minute to slice up the crusty bread or tear the tafftoon or Nan-i Afgani flatbreads into bits and set up your place under the tree outside for a perfect light lunch.

Similar recipes include Parsley and Barley Salad with Marinated Feta, Broad Beans with Feta and Preserved Lemon, and Artichoke Hearts and Feta Salad with Tomatoes.

Browse all of our Feta dishes and all of our Salads. Our Middle Eastern recipes are here. Or browse our Early Summer dishes.

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Indian Fresh Green Apple Pickle

My beautiful Mahrashtrian friend makes this pickle that is amazingly delicious! Whenever we have big groups over for dinner, she makes this. The first time I tasted it, I begged her for the recipe. It was delicious and it turned out to be so very easy! She uses a store-bought Aachar Masala powder, and all it takes is some extra spices, the apples, some mustard oil and the powder.

I had forgotten the recipe as I hadn’t made it for a while, so I have to thank my twitter friend Dee, for helping me out.

You can also make this with cucumber, carrots, green mango, celery, lemons or caperberries too!

The spice mix is called Achar Masala and is the RamDev brand. This is the brand my friend recommends, and I do not receive anything for mentioning it.

Similar recipes include Carrot Pickle, Onion Strings Pickle, and Quince Aachar.

Browse all of our Indian Pickles. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to browse our Late Spring recipes.

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Fresh Mozzarella Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumber and Pomegranate Molasses

This dish of beautiful fresh buffalo mozzarella balls has saved me many a time, late at night, tired from a long day, collapsed in front of the television. Mozzarella balls are torn apart, tomatoes, cukes and herbs added, and pomegranate molasses drizzled over.

Tearing the fresh Mozzarella adds great texture, great mouth-feel, and a much more interesting look than slicing. Never slice the large balls unless absolutely necessary.

Try these other fresh Buffalo Mozzarella recipes: Green Tomato and Mozzarella Salad, Roasted Red Pepper Salad with Fresh Mozzarella, Mozzarella and Cucumber Salad with Caperberries, and Marinated Zucchini Salad with Bocconcini.

Or try Cucumber, Feta, Mint and Dill Salad.

Browse all of our Mozzarella recipes here, and all of our many many Salads. Or explore our beautiful Late Summer dishes.

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Quick Gazpacho

Cold soups are all the rage at our place in Summer – the hot Summer days of over 35C, often over 40C, demand cooling foods, yet we still want them to be nourishing and healthy. In our garden there are often tomatoes to spare, and so making Gazpacho, that Spanish delicious cold soup, makes such sense.

This is a quick version, takes no more than the time it takes to wash the tomatoes and peel the cucumber. I like these ratios, but nothing is fixed and you can play around with this delicious blender formula. Add a few herbs, lemon instead of vinegar, a small amount of fresh green or red chilli. Enjoy yourself as you make variations on this theme.

Are you looking for cold soups? Try this quick Tomato and Cucumber Cold Soup, Beautiful Cold Avocado Soup, Chilled Beetroot Soup, and Roast Tomato and Corn Cold Soup.

What about Cucumber recipes? Try Cucumber Salad with Ricotta and Capers, Cucumber Raita, and Cucumber Lassi.

Try these Tomato recipes – Red Pepper and Tomato Salad with Crispy Flatbread, Chilli and Lime, Italian Tomato Sauce, and Tomato and Peach Salad.

You can browse all of our Cold Soup recipes, all of our Tomato recipes, and all of our Cucumber recipes. Have a look at our Tomato Soups, Cucumber Soups, or all of our Soups, hot and cold. Or take some time to browse our Late Summer dishes.

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Poritha Koottu with Sambar Powder

Kootu (Koottu) is a type of Kuzhambu, and contains a combination of vegetable combined with Mung Dal and freshly ground mild spices. Varieties of Kootu include Poritha Kootu and Kothsu (Gothsu).

Sometimes Kootu is called a Lentil Vegetable Stew. It certainly is thicker than Poritha Kuzhambu, with more vegetables. It is generally eaten with rice, without any need for an accompanying vegetable dish. You could say that Poritha Kuzhambu and Poritha Kootu are very similar, except that Poritha Kootu is made with Mung Dal rather than Toor Dal, has more vegetables and is much thicker than Kuzhambu.

This Kootu is slightly unusual. It uses a little Sambar Powder which is rarely used in Kootu. And although some Kootu recipes contain tamarind, this one does not.

Cumin is considered the defining spice for Kootu. Sometimes pepper is used. Many kootus are spiced with a coconut, cumin and green chillies paste but this recipe, from Meenakshi Ammal, varies that by using red chillies.

The dish is not spicy – very little spice is used. It celebrates the taste and textures of the dal and the vegetables. You will enjoy it. You can purchase your Sambar Powder at an Indian grocery, or better still, make your own.

As usual, Meenakshi Ammal’s recipe takes some unpicking as it does contradict itself. It always takes a bit of a detective work to unravel the recipes in Vol 1 of her 4 volume set of Cook and See.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Poritha KootuPoritha Kootu with Simple Spices, Drumsrick Leaves Sambar, Poritha Kootu without Tamarind, Brinjal Chidambaram Kothsu, and Pitlai.

Are you after Kuzhamu recipes? Try Moar Kuzhambu (with yoghurt), Fenugreek Kuzhambu, and Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu (Lentil Balls in Spicy Gravy).

Or perhaps you prefer Mung Dal recipes. We recommend Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach, Gentle Mung Soup, and Mung Soup with Amaranth Greens.

Or browse all of our Kootu, our Sambar and Kuzhambu recipes, and all of our Mung recipes. Our Indian Dishes are all here and our Indian Essentials here. Or simply explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Pineapple Pulissery | Pineapple in a Spicy Yoghurt Sauce from Kerala

This is another recipe from my cooking session in Kovalam in Kerala. My scribbled notes have recently come to light again – Chef cooked and I helped and observed and tried desperately to copy down the recipes.

This recipe can be made with okra, Indian cucumber, green mango and plantain (green banana), but today we use pineapple. It is easy to make, and so very delicious – I am sure that you will love it.

Pineapple Pulissery is a delicate dish with aromatic flavours of mustard seed, cumin seed and curry leaves with chilli and black pepper. It is from Kerala, that beautiful tropical state on the West Coast of India.  Pineapple curry is also a traditional dish from the Sri Lankan cuisine, and there it is also a delightful sweet and spicy curry.

Are you looking for other Pineapple dishes? We don’t cook with it very often so don’t have anything to offer you right now. But check back here in the future – I am sure there will be more.

Would you like more Pulissery dishes? Try Plain Pulissery, Pineapple Pulissery with Green Peppercorns, and  Mambazha Pulissery – a sweet and sour Mango dish. Why not also try Crispy Okra in Yoghurt (Pachadi).

Our other Kerala dishes include Green Mango in Coconut Milk, Simple Cabbage Thoran, Olan and Avial. Or try Mango and Pineapple Salad.

Similar dishes include Bhindi Raita.

Browse all of our Pineapple dishes, Pulissery recipes, Kerala dishes and all of our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or if you would rather, explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Cucumber and Tomato Sunday Salad

Brunch, that late breakfast or early lunch, really a replacement for both, so that its identity is that it has elements of both. Whether you are doing more lunchy elements for your brunch, or more breakfasty elements, a salad always goes down a treat. Think Avo on Toast with a Brunch Salad. Perfect.

Are you looking for Salads? Try Quick Tomato Salad with Mustardy Mayo, Tofu and Chilli Salad, and Fennel Salad with Fresh Prunes.

Are you after just Tomato Salads? Try Salad of Marinated Zucchini and Tomatoes, Tomato and Pomegranate Salad, and Bok Choy with Capers and Tomatoes.

Or try some Cucumber SaladsSpicy Cucumber Salad with Herbs and Poppy Seeds, Cucumber Salad with Sesame Seeds, and Smashed Garlic and Cucumber Salad.

You can browse all of our Tomato Salads and all of our Cucumber Salads. All Salads are here. Or simply explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Cucumber Salad with Capers and Ricotta

Cucumber Salads never fail to remind me of the British and their cucumber sandwiches. There is something elegant, simple, yet refined and luxurious about cucumbers. The taste is subtle and it is their water content that provides the perception of being cooling and wonderful.

Featuring them in salads is tough, given that subtlety. They can easily be overwhelmed by the ingredients that you pair them with. One of the ways to circumvent this is to use something creamy – feta, ricotta, avocado, for example, and then highlight the flavours with a contrasting tang from an ingredient or the dressing.

That is exactly what this salad does. It relies solely on the quality of the olive oil (must have an excellent taste), the cucumbers (not late seasons, make this in early or mid Summer) and the ricotta (to maximise the creaminess). I do hope that you enjoy it.

Are you looking for other Cucumber Salads? Try Yoghurt with Cucumber and Mint, Cucumber, Feta, Mint and Dill Salad, Cucumber and Tomato Sunday Salad, Cucumber and Avocado Salad, Translucent Cucumber Salad, and my Mother’s German Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Creamy Dressing.

All of our Cucumber Salads are here, and all of the Cucumber Recipes are worth browsing. Otherwise, perhaps browse our Mid Summer recipes.

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Cucumbers and Avocado Salad with Japanese Style Dressing

A salad with a Japanese influenced dressing.

A soft and gentle, quick and easy salad where the crunch of fresh cucumber partners with the soft creaminess of the avocado.

Try some other cucumber recipes – Cucumber Yoghurt Salad (Raita), Tomato and Cucumber Cold Soup, or Mozzarella and Cucumber Salad with Caperberries and Lemon.

Perhaps you are looking for Avocado Salads? Have a look at Black Bean and Avocado Salad with Green Tomatoes, Avocado and Strawberry Salad, Avocado and Celery Cold Soup, and Pomelo with Avocado Salad.

You can browse our other Cucumber recipes, Avocado dishes, and all of our Salad recipes. We have a collection of Bittman Salads here. Or be inspired by our Mid Summer recipes.

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