Begun Pora | Bengali Eggplant Puree | A Rustic Cousin of Baingan Bharta

Baingan Bharta is the well known, Punjabi, wonderful Indian eggplant puree, easy to make, full of spicy flavours and so versatile in its use. This is its rustic cousin from Bengal, less well known than Baingan Bharta but no less well loved. This has the tastes of Bengal and is totally different in flavour to its cousin.

Make both! This one is almost salsa-like in its rustic composition. Wrap it in a roti and bliss out.

Are you after Eggplant recipes? Try BabaganoushSaffron and Rose Scented Eggplant, and Japanese Baked Eggplant.

Or perhaps you would like other Bengali dishes. Try Bengali Vegetable Kitchari and Bengali Rice Kheer.

Have a look at all of our Eggplant recipes, and all of our Bengali recipes. Perhaps you want more Indian dishes. Or simply explore our Early Autumn feasts.

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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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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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Thick Thick Yoghurt with Zaatar, Walnuts and Olive Oil | Labneh with Walnuts and Zaatar

While others may call drained yoghurt as Labneh, I have always made it myself and began calling it Thick Thick Yoghurt all those years ago, before I had ever heard of Labneh and before labneh became trendy.

It is a versatile product that can be used in a multitude of savoury and sweet ways. Salt it and add spices to use as a spread, dip, dressing or filling. Serve with wedges of toasted pita bread. Sweeten it a little (or not) and use it with fruits, jam, on scones, on toast and jam and it is a great alternative to cream.

Countries from India through the Middle East and into the Mediterranean make and use thick thick yoghurt. This dish is one that uses golpar, that tangy, slightly tart powder made from Persian hogweed. Speaking in terms of traditional medicine, the use of golpar with yoghurt counteracts the cold property of yoghurt. You can buy it from Middle Eastern, Afghan and some Asian groceries. You can substitute some grated lemon rind – it is a different flavour but will still be very very good.

Use this as a mezze dish, a dip, with tomatoes and cucumbers (and radishes), a spread in a sandwich or wrap, slavered over baked vegetables, in place of sour cream.

To get you started, this is how you make Thick Thick Yoghurt. And read more about Golpar.

Similar dishes include Yoghurt and Kaffir Lime Spread, Ways to Use Thick Thick Yoghurt, Salty, Garlicky Thick Thick Yoghurt, and Blueberry Shrikand.

Browse all Thick Thick Yoghurt dishes and our Dips and Spreads. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Beetroot and Yoghurt Salad or Dip

The last of this crop of beetroot was picked to make a Chilled Beetroot Soup and a Beetroot and Yoghurt Salad/Dip. It is a heatwave right now, as I write this post – we are in Day 3 of a 4 Day heatwave with temperatures over 40C. Thankfully, the mornings are glorious, so there is time to do a little gardening and get some cold dishes ready for the day.

Can I tell you that I have fallen in love with beetroot this year? Ok, I have eaten it and cooked with it before, but beetroot straight from my garden has made me a lover of this vegetable. You can tell by the number of beet recipes posted from 2006 to mid 2016 (5), and after that date (25 published or scheduled).

Let me share some of those recipes with you. Try some Smoked Beetroot with Yoghurt and Caramelised Nuts, an Indian sautéed Beetroot Curry, another Chilled Beetroot Soup, and a Beetroot Risotto.

We have some other dips perfect for hot weather: the green coriander based Zhug, Moroccan Carrot Dip and Tomato and Chilli Jam.

Yoghurt makes a great base for yoghurt salads that can often also be used as dips. For example: Yoghurt and Cucumber, Yoghurt and Green Peppers, and Yoghurt Tahina Dip.

Please browse all of our Yoghurt dishes, all of our Dips, our Salads, and all of our Beetroot recipes. or simply find some time to explore our Mid Summer Recipes.

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Green Chilli and Coriander Paste | Chilli, Garlic and Coriander Chutney

This recipe is for a chilli, garlic and coriander paste that can be used as an accompaniment to dishes and full meals (like an Indian style chutney), and as a flavouring for food. Stir it into steamed rice, for example, or into any curry. It works particularly well with coconut milk based spicy dishes. Have it on the side of rice or curries, drizzle it into soups, spread a tiny amount on a sandwich, smear a little onto a snack.

Keep it handy too for spreading on your sandwiches and toast (try it with cheese!), and as a dip for snacks and finger food. It also goes well with idli, vada and other Indian snacks. We are claiming this as an Indian style chutney, although it does vary a little. Nevertheless, it is every bit as delicious as any Indian green chutney.

The paste keeps well in the fridge if tightly covered and avoid using a wet spoon when using the paste.

Similar recipes include Balinese Sambal Tomat, Coriander Paste, Zhug, Chilli Jam, and Chilli Paste.

Browse all Chilli recipes, and all Pastes and Purees. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Sweet Chilli Sauce

This is a simple and easy recipe for Sweet Chilli Sauce, a sauce that can be used in so many ways – with noodles or over vegetables, in a stir fry, as a dip, or as a condiment. Use it in sandwiches, add some to pasta sauces, and spread over grilled tofu or haloumi. You will find a million ways to use it.

The recipe’s heat content depends on the chillies that are used. For mild chillies, add more. For firey chillies, stay with 3 or reduce to 2. My latest batch of sauce, made with 3 ripe chillies of the purple cayenne variety, is quite sweet with a delightful mild-medium heat perfect for a dipping sauce. If you like real HEAT, add more chillies. You can also boost up the amount of garlic should you prefer a garlic twist to your chilli sauce.

Similar recipes include Balinese Sambal TomatPreserved Sweet Chillies, Chilli Soy Sauce, Sweet Chilli JamGreen Chilli and Coriander Paste, Chilli Jam, Chilli Paste, and Tomato and Chilli Jam.

Browse all of our Chilli recipes and all of our Sauces. Our Asian dishes are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006.  You can find other recipes from that blog in the Retro Recipes series.

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Fava | Split Pea Puree

Fava is a puree or spread made from yellow split peas, not Fava Beans (Dried Broad Beans).  The naming of these Mediterranean dishes is a mine field! A puree made from dried Broad Beans is known as koukofava.

There are many versions of Fava, some with cumin and sumac, but this one is made from split peas which are topped with capers and caramelised onion, eaten warm and served as a starter dip. Ottolenghi, whose recipe this is, says the dish is soothing yet exciting. It is indeed. It is a delight to see Ottolenghi use white pepper in several of his recipes – a rare thing these days but an exquisite taste.

You know we love pastes, purees, dips and spreads here and this is a delightful addition to our collection.

Similar recipes include Green Olive Tapenade, Cauliflower and White Bean Puree, and Fava Bean Puree with Dill and Olive Oil.

Browse more of our Purees and Spreads. Our Greek dishes are here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Green Olive Tapenade

There are a great number of recipes around for a spread made from green olives, but this is the easiest. Made with ingredients straight from your kitchen, no special purchases required, it is made in seconds, and your family or gang of friends will devour it in minutes.

This tapenade is salty, spicy (from the chilli) and pungent (from the garlic). Just perfect for a cool Early Summer day’ snacks on the verandah with some aniseed tea.

Similar recipes include Fava, Tapenade Bread Salad with Tomatoes and Mozzarella, Tomato Salad with Green Olives, and Olive and Orange Salad with Mint and Basil.

Browse all of our Olive recipes and all of our Spreads. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Garlic Yoghurt Dressing | Garlic Yoghurt Sauce

Yoghurt is used predominately for sweet purposes in my country – it is sold already sweetened (although the yoghurt makers don’t alert us to that fact) and it is often eaten as is, out of the carton. The beautiful French really sour yoghurt is not a thing here. Nor is it used for its sour notes as it is in India. It is spooned over fruit or cereal, made into frozen yoghurt, or incorporated into fruit smoothies. Not so often do we use it in dips, stir it into soups or make dressings and sauces out of yoghurt. It is a sad thing really, as the savoury uses of yoghurt are infinite and wonderful. More enlightened countries include Turkey, Greece, India and Middle East Countries. There, yoghurt is used with abandon.

When buying yoghurt for non-sweet uses, look for a Greek Yoghurt, or an Indian Yoghurt. If you can’t find any in your supermarket, visit your local Greek, Middle Eastern or Indian shop, they will definitely have beautiful, creamy, unsweetened yoghurt for sale.

Garlic and yoghurt go together so well, and the pairing is used across many parts of Europe and the Middle East – think falafel, for example. What would it be without a creamy yoghurt sauce? Often cucumber is added, but this recipe is simple and directly garlicky.

Similar recipes include Creamy Salad Dressing, without Eggs, Miso Sesame Dressing, Umbrian Sauce for a Cure, Roast Capsicum Dressing, and Lemony Yoghurt Dressing.

You might like to explore our other Yoghurt recipes and our Dressings. Our Salad Dressings are here. Or simply explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Young Broad Bean Pod Puree

Did you know that you can make a puree of young, vibrant green Broad Bean pods? They must be young, and the simple puree then can be used as a dip, with grilled vegetables and salads, or as a base for a wonderful soup. It does oxidise very very quickly (to an interesting shade of black), so needs to be covered well or made immediately before use.

The taste is green and fresh. I made this with broad bean pods straight from the garden, from about 6 cm long to 12 cm long. I left the beans in the pods, although you can remove them if you want to use them for a different dish.

We love this top to tail eating with vegetables. With broad beans, the shoots can be eaten, the beans of course, the pods as in this recipe, and also the dried beans. A life-cycle of uses.

Are you after more Broad Bean dishes? Try Umbrian Broad Bean Puree, Glorious Five Bean Salad, Dried Fava Bean Puree with Dill, and Tawa Broad Beans. Also try Fava.

Browse all of our Broad Bean recipes, and all of our Purees. Or explore our Early Spring dishes.

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Broad Bean and Mint Mash | Broad Bean and Mint Dip

Difficult to stop eating this delightful dip

Our love affair with Broad Beans continues with some mashes. Broad beans mash very well – especially later in the season when the beans are not as young and tender as they were earlier in the season.

This is easy to make, but it is necessary to double peel the beans – first remove them from the pod and then peel each bean. For this recipe it is Ok to cook the beans for a few minutes before peeling – they are also easier to peel once cooked.

Similar recipes include Saffron Mograbieh Pilaf with Broad Beans, Umbrian Broad Bean PureeYoung Broad Bean Pod Puree, Spring Pasta with Broad Beans and Mint, Broad Bean and Butter Bean Spread, and Avocado Smash.

You might like to browse our other Broad Bean recipes. Or explore our other snacks. Our Late Spring recipes are here.

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White Bean, Sage and Roasted Garlic Spread

Snacks in this house often include a spread or dip that can be lathered onto crusty bread with some salad greens and tomato slices, or just on its own. Most spreads can be thinned a little and used as a dip with crackers or vegetable sticks. They can even be served as a sauce to accompany falafel, lentil balls or other vegetarian fritters or patties. Try adding them to salad dressing too, for creaminess and flavour. They can even be thinned out to form a great basis for soup!

This recipe is a classic White Bean puree with sage and garlic – some garlic is roasted, and some cooked with the beans for layered garlic flavours. Deborah Madison includes a recipe in her book, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

Similar recipes include Broad Bean Puree with Chilli OilWhite Bean Puree with Harissa, Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree, Broad Bean and Mint Puree, Chickpea, Almond and Sesame Spread, and Fava Bean Puree with Fresh Herbs.

Try other White Bean recipes: White Beans with Tahini, White Bean Soup, and Tuscan Beans with Sage and Lemon.

Or browse all of our Spreads, our Dips, and all of our White Bean recipes. And explore our Late Winter dishes. Continue reading “White Bean, Sage and Roasted Garlic Spread”

Georgian Coriander and Walnut Sauce or Dip

Coriander and walnuts – who would have thought the zingy freshness of coriander would pair well with the earthy brown flavours of walnuts? It seems they do, with a plethora of recipes around for pastes and sauces containing the two ingredients.

This recipe is a little different than most. I first saw in The Guardian newspaper. It includes dried apricots. The sauce is both slightly sweet from the apricots, a little peppery and fragrant from the herbs with a pinch of heat from the chilli and, well, garlicky. This sweet, pungent sauce is a mainstay of Georgian national cuisine. It works beautifully as a marinade – try rubbing it on vegetables before baking or BBQing. Stir into cooked red beans. Marinate some tofu in it. Glaze cooked carrots with it. Put it in your soup. And it is rather good with roasted summer vegetables too. It is great included in your salad dressing. Spread it on your salad sandwiches. You will constantly find more and more ways to use this glorious paste.

My most favourite way to eat it is as a dip. It is non-traditional, but I have to let you into a secret. This is very good with some Middle Eastern flatbread. Put it on your next mezze or tapas plate.

According to Georgian legend, God took a supper break while creating the world. He became so involved with his meal that he inadvertently tripped over the high peaks of the Caucasus, spilling his food onto the land below. The land blessed by Heaven’s table scraps was Georgia.

Georgian of course refers to the country in the Caucasus rather than the southern U.S. state or the period of time when knights roamed England.

Are you looking for other coriander recipes? Similar recipes include Yoghurt and Kaffir Lime Spread, Coriander PasteZhoug, the Middle Eastern Coriander Paste and Dip, White Bean, Sage and Roasted Garlic Spread, Coriander Pesto, and Coriander and Coconut Chutney. Also similar is an Apricot Chutney that can be made with dried apricots.

Or try these: Carrots and Green Peas with Green Coriander, Coriander and Lemongrass Vichyssoise, Pudla with Green Coriander, or Urad Dal with Tomato, Coconut and Green Coriander. Coriander Fritters are pretty good too.

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Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree | Dip, Sauce and Spread

Cauliflowers were so cheap and I bought a huge one, three times bigger than others. After making the Green Pea Soup (which has cauliflower in it), I estimated there were still 6 more dishes possible from this one cauliflower!

Today’s cauli dish is a beautiful puree of roasted cauliflower with cannellini beans. You can also use chickpeas.

Are you looking for other Cauliflower recipes? Try Aloo Gobi, A Plate of Cauliflower, and Cauliflower Slow Cooked with Lime and Spices.

What about some other Purees? Try White Bean Puree with Harissa, Fava Bean Puree with Dill and Olive Oil, Spiced Tomato Puree, Georgian Coriander and Walnut Spread and Home Made Tomato Paste.

White Beans feature in White Bean and Tahini Salad, White Bean Soup, and Glorious Five Bean Salad.

Or browse all of our Cauliflower dishes and all of our Purees. Or take some time to explore our Early Winter dishes.

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