Quince Paste

Quince paste is as old as the hills, being made in the Middle East and slowly spreading across Europe and indeed into Australia, primarily through our foodie icon, Maggie Beer. It must be one of the best uses of quinces.

You will find quinces in the green grocers in Autumn and again in Spring. They are long-keeping, so the appearance in the shops in Spring is a bit of an artifice, I am afraid, as their fruiting time is Autumn. I have such a love of this fruit – perhaps they remind me of my Grandmother. Years ago, I knew of a wonderful, neglected quince tree in the Clare Valley in South Australia, and each Autumn I would spend a weekend in this delightful region and come home with a bucket of quinces. One year, the tree had been removed, and I was devastated.

Since then, I have found that one of my friends has a quince tree, and every Autumn I still get my bucket of quinces. I feel blessed at this time of year, there is such an abundance of produce. It is as though nature is also preparing for Winter.

There are many recipes for quince paste. I use this one. I like the way that the long cooking intensifies the flavour. Serve with the creamiest of cheeses, or eat on its own as a sweet – sneak some for your midnight snack.

We have other Quince recipes too. Try Quince Jam/Jelly, Indian Quince Pickles, and Slow Cooked Sweet Spiced Quinces.

Other recipes that use the dehydrator include Sweet Potato Crisps, Beautiful Dried Capsicum, and Dried Mango.

Or browse all of our Quince recipes, and you might like to read about Autumn Preserving. Also, explore our Mid Autumn collection of dishes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2005, and is part of our Retro Recipes series.

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Sweet Potato Crisps

TV snacks are always needed, especially on those nights after long, hard days. The good news is, you can make your own crisps. We have begun making them from sweet potatoes. They are especially easy to make, and store well in airtight containers.

Are you after other dried snack recipes? Try Spicy Dried Okra, and Dried Capsicum Snacks. On the sweeter side, there is also Dried Mango and Quince Paste.

Why not browse all of our Snacks and all of our Sweet Potato recipes. Have a look at our Dehydrated recipes, or take some time to explore our Early Winter dishes.

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Spicy Dried Okra Snack

I have fallen in love with okra and it is all my internet friend Jude’s fault – her love of okra got me checking them out at the supermarket and Asian grocers and thinking about recipes.

The season is nearly ended, I am guessing, so thoughts are turning to pickling Okra and to drying them. Some must be frozen as well. I am going to play with 2 or three ways to dry the okra, to see what we like best. I do have a dehydrator, but you can also dry okra in the sun, or in the oven.

Okra are easy to grow too, and drying okra is a great way to preserve an abundant crop. It also avoids the slimy nature of okra, definitely a plus. I have to be truthful and say that this is not a pretty item. But is it a light and crunchy snack with an amazing taste. They say it tastes of the garden and it is definitely more-ish. You have a great combination with some Dried Capsicum and Dried Okra.

In this recipe the okra is tossed with mustard or olive oil, salt and a little cayenne for a hint of spice. Select pods that are small – no larger than 6 – 8 cm. Larger okra can be stringy and tough.

Are you looking for more Okra dishes? Try Crispy Okra, Okra with Chilli Spice Paste, and Goan Fried Okra. Read more about Okra here.

Or perhaps you are looking for dried items? Have a look at these: Dried Capsicum, Dried Mung Bean Nuggets, Sweet Potato Crisps, and Dried Mango.

You might like to browse all of our Okra dishes, and all of our Dried Vegetables. We have a guide to preserving Summer and Autumn fruits and vegetables for Winter. Or simply explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Mango Vathal | Dried Mango for Indian Dishes

Dry Mango for year round summer flavours

South India, I guess all of India, has a culture of drying vegetables, mixtures of lentils and spices, and pastes made from rice, sago and similar. This is sensible of course – it preserves summer produce for use throughout the year, and thus in leaner seasons it extends freshly available ingredients.

Although terms are used interchangeably, strictly speaking:

  • Vathal are dried vegetables and fruits
  • Vadagam are dried balls of lentils and spices
  • Vadam is a paste or dough made from rice, sago etc that is dried and then fried before using. Also called Fryums.

Looking for similar recipes? Learn how to Dehydrate Sweet Mango and make Mango Leather.

Other recipes that use the dehydrator include Sweet Potato Crisps, Mung Wadi, and Crispy Spiced Dried Okra.

You might also like other Mango recipes here and here. Browse our Indian Recipes here. Or try a collection of easy Late Summer dishes.

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Mung Wadi | Mung Vadi | Mangodi | Mung Dal Badis | Dried Mung Dal Nuggets

Indian cuisine has a wealth of sun dried ingredients.

Mmmm, mangodi. I have a fascination at the moment with all things dried in Indian cuisine. Traditionally, the drying is done in the sunshine, but we often don’t have that luxury. However, with a dehydrator we can make dried wadi, vadagam, and other goodies.

Mung Wadi are a type of wadi and are special dried lentil dumplings usually made with mung dal, but other dals (yellow, red, split green or urad dal) can be used. They can be made quite plain (allowing more versatility in the spicing of their final dish) or spices can be added before drying. Like any canvas, they can take quite a range of spices and even some herbs.

On their own, these wadi are not edible, but deep fried, sauteed in a little oil or dry roasted they can be used on their own as a snack; in curries, adding spices and texture; in stirfries, soups and sambars; and in rice dishes etc. Cooked in a sauce, these dry brittle nuggets soak up the flavor and the sauce and becomes spongy and tender. Even crushed, they can be added to salads, sprinkled over the tops of soups or over steamed or BBQ’s vegetables.

You might also like to try Tomato, Eggplant and Potato Subzi with Wadi (Aloo Baingan Wadi Ki Subzi), or Masala Mung Wadi – in a Tomato-Garlic Sauce.. Or browse all of our Indian recipes here and here.  You might get inspiration from our Spring time recipes here and here.

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How to Oven Dry Capsicums

Such intense flavours

It is so helpful in the kitchen to have bibs and bobs that you can munch on while cooking (or watching TV, or changing the baby, or reading that novel). And lots of bibs and bobs that you can add to the dishes that you are cooking to add more flavour, texture, colour and bulk.

This is one of those recipes. It produces not only great snacks, but also a treasure trove for adding to soups, vegetable stews, curries and other dishes.

You might be looking for Capsicum recipes here and here. Or find some inspiration from our Summer recipes here and here.

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