This is a lovely mash of potatoes and sweet potatoes, and it can be made with either just potatoes or just sweet potatoes. It is simple to make once they are cooked – the mash is mixed with chilli, onion and spices. Delicious. It is a version of Podimas – a peeled and mashed vegetable, tempered with spices, green chillies and onion. Podimas means mash in Tamil. It is a traditional type of Poriyal.
Are you weary? Stressed? In need of some relaxation? I have a rasayana for you – saffron in milk with honey and ghee. Amazingly, this drink relaxes and destresses. You feel your breath ease and deepen and worries vanish.
The art and science of rasayana is about lengthening the lifespan, and individual rasayana recipes can be considered as tonics or something that enhances well being. Rasayanas not only include food but behaviours and practices.
This is a very precious recipe.
Mint Sambol is a Sri Lankan recipe akin to Pachadis or Thogayals of South India. It takes mint leaves, onion, garlic and chilli and grinds them with sultanas and coconut for sweetness, and lime juice for tang. It is a great accompaniment to rice or any Indian or Sri Lankan spicy dish.
I have blended this to a smooth paste, but you can also grind it to a more chunky mixture. That is also very nice.
Wow! When you need a taste bomb to add real spark to your day, this is the dish for you. Cauliflower is cooked in a paste of liberal amounts of pepper with garlic, ginger and warming spices. It has plenty of bite from the pepper and ginger and tang from lime juice. You will adore it. This dish is commonly known as the Cauliflower Pepper Fry and there are many variations of the dish. Serve with rice or chapati with yoghurt.
Although it might sound unusual to cook cauliflower with oranges, it is not unknown in Indian and relatively common in China. This is an Indian dish in which I have found a use for the abundance of cumquats in our garden. The oranges adds a beautiful sweetness to the dish while the cumquats balance the sweetness by adding a delightful sweet-sour tang. The cauliflower is coated in turmeric and sauteed before adding to the sauce.
Similar dishes include Pepper and Turmeric Cauliflower, Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin and Sumac, Roasted Cauliflower with Green Tahini Dressing, Cauliflower Fry, and Cauliflower Roasted with Black Mustard Seed.
My thinking about broths or stocks for soups has changed over the years. Once I regularly made vegetable stock from off-cuts and peelings, supplemented by chopped vegetables to get the right balance. I made loads of light Asian style broths and more layered all-in stocks for soups, risottos, and the like. There were miso based stocks, SE Asian coconut-curried stocks and Indian flavoured stocks. Keeping them in the freezer meant that they were always at hand.
Don’t get me wrong, I still use these regularly, but more often I use a different technique.
A new approach
No matter what, vegetable stocks are still “light” when compared to the earthy groundedness and depth of flavour of non-vegetable stocks. So, after pondering this for some time, I began to make stocks that included such treasures as bay leaves (European, Indian and/or West Indian), juniper berries, brown cardamom pods, cumin seeds or powder, coriander seeds or powder, black peppercorns and allspice berries. What a difference these made.
Again over time – some years – miso began to make an appearance in my Continue reading “Indian Spicy Tomato Soup”
Horse Gram is highly nutritious and in fact we have fallen in love with its earthy taste. We love that the lentils hold their shape even when cooked really well – it makes them so perfect for salads.
You can make herby salads with horse gram, with loads of chopped soft herbs, lemon and garlic. Or use them as a base for Wintery roasted vegetables. Mix them with feta, onion, tomato and radish. Today we make a kosumalli style salad with the lentils.
Kosumalli is usually a light and refreshing salad. This salad is great in transitional seasons or Winter, or on cooler Summer days. It is REALLY good, and we hope you enjoy it.
Read more about Horse Gram (aka Kulthi Bean). It is easily purchased in Indian shops.
Horse gram is much loved in South India as a particularly healthy lentil. One easy way to cook and serve these elongated brown skinned beans is to make thoran (Upperi in Malabar). Thoran is a dish from Kerala where vegetables, lentils, beans or sprouts are sauteed with spices and perhaps coconut, for a special side dish or Indian salad style dish. There are several ways to make a thoran with horse gram:
- with or without coconut – either way is good. Many people prefer to add coconut as horse gram is considered a hot pulse and coconut helps to moderate the heat.
- cooked until al dente tender, so the beans remain separated, or cooked until the beans are very tender and beginning to break down – either way is good.
- made as a dry dish, or as a dish with a little gravy from the cooking water.
Generally we make our thorans with coconut so for variety we make this one without.
Read more about Horse Gram (aks Kulthi Bean). It is easily purchased in Indian shops.
By the late 1990’s I was beginning to cook Indian food or at least attempting to make a fair representation of some dishes. Many of my early attempts came from Goa as that was my first port of call on my first trip to India. Later I expanded my love of Indian food to Tamil cuisine and South Indian in general.
Saar is similar to the Tamil dish Rasam, but with Goan twists. The recipe is from Tasty Morsels; Goan Food Ingredients and Preparation by Maria de Lourdes Bravo Da Costa Rodrigues. I picked it up on one of my early trips to Goa. It is like the Green and Gold of Goan Cuisine. I love to look through the book and remember my many visits to Goa over the years. I adore exploring the different areas of Goa, away from the tourist attractions, and dive into the different cultures. There were many times I travelled with a friend on his motorbike, exploring off-road areas and little-known beaches, as well as the local food markets, food stalls and tiny shops. Sleeping in thatched huts, eating at restaurants right on the beach, talking to women on the beach picking up inhabited shells to cook with rice. The smell of morning fires ready for cooking the day’s meals, the pink sands on the beaches, the sunsets, spice farms, hills, temples, music. Oh, Goa – I miss you!
Tickle My Senses has a wonderful description of Saar.
Well, saar needs to be eaten in the right way for maximum pleasure. Pour the piping hot tomato saar over your rice (for me the rice has to be swimming in the saar) then using your finger tips coat the rice with the piping hot saar, making sure you do not burn yourself ! then scoop mouthfuls of this delicious mixture into your mouth, accompanied with fried foods and vegetable. When all is done, lift up the plate to your lips and drink off any remaining saar, the orphaned bits can be polished off by licking your fingers….slurpp!!!
Note the Portuguese name of the author – there are at least 3 distinct cuisines in Goa – that heavily influenced by the Catholic Portuguese cuisine which is also non-vegetarian, that of the Hindu Goans which is more vegetarian and more traditionally South Indian. Finally there is the Muslim cuisine from the Muslim invaders and immigrants over the years.
Often Saar is described as a soup, which is a misnomer. While it is a thin but strongly flavoured broth, traditionally it is not eaten with a spoon from a bowl. See the description of Saar on the sidebar here. It really does capture the essence of Saar and Rasam.
We have a lovely collection of rasam recipes that we have put together as a collection. You can see the collection here.
This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can see more of the Retro Recipes series, our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.
There are several recipes for Tulasyadi Phanta. This is one that is not so common – perhaps more recent as it includes lemongrass. It is a infusion that is good for colds and fevers, and also if you are exhausted from work or illness, and need to feel comforted and rested.
The infusion is made with Tulsi, the Indian holy basil, seeped with lemongrass, cloves and cinnamon. It really is relaxing – as you sip it in the afternoon you feel your body beginning to relax and your breath deepen. It is a gorgeous way to wind down.