Tofu is a popular ingredient in vegetarian kitchens, but not everyone knows how to use it to best feature its characteristics. It is like a sponge – absorbing the flavours of the ingredients with which it is cooked. There are also a large range of tofu types available – search out your Asian grocery and experiment with fresh, dried, pressed, flavoured, hard, silky and soft tofu.
Green Mangoes are a real gift, and available from Asian groceries almost year round. It is amazing to track the different varieties across the year, many of them unlabelled. In the market today, one variety was labelled Crunchy Green Mango. I loved the images that it conjured up.
Green mangoes are refreshing and tart. Some are sour-tart, and others are sweet-tart. They are particularly good in salads and surprisingly good in dals and with yoghurt sauces. I have included a particularly delicious drink in this collection – one where the green mango is roasted or boiled then mashed with spices to make a cooling and refreshing summer drink.
We have a huge collection of recipes for you today. Which vegetable can be more ubiquitous than Potatoes? Fried or mashed, baked or roasted, salads or soups, street food, take away or home cooked – they make a daily occurrence at out tables.
Of course we have so many potato recipes. Take your time to browse this collection.
Although avocados are native to Mexico and Central America, Australians fell in love with this fruit sometime in the last decade, and it is served in homes and cafes across the country. It is hard to imagine life in the kitchen without them. One would think that they were native to Australia.
Avocados marry beautifully with a wide range of ingredients — the traditional ones from their home lands but also more modern combinations. From Guacamole to Dips and Mashes, Avocado Salads, to Avocado Soups, they are a much loved ingredient.
Avocados are available all year round thanks to the different varieties grown in Queensland and Northern New South Wales, and the imports from close neighbours. The peak season here is from March to November.
The avocado is a pear shaped fruit with many varieties. It is a more recent addition to the cuisine of the Middle East, and is popular in Israel too, where it was introduced from the USA in the 20th century.
Sometimes, simplest things are the best. Avocados shine when perfectly ripe and drizzled with salt, black pepper and freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice. Or spread it on wholemeal toast spread with real butter and drizzle with sweet chilli sauce. They say it’s a good hangover cure!
Potatoes form a huge part of the Cuisines of India and today we bring you a collection of mainly Indian, spicy potato recipes. From snacks to soups to main dishes, you will enjoy every one!
Surely we can do better with Cabbage
That cabbage that usually sits at the bottom of the fridge – you’ve made one dish from it and are now wondering what to do with the rest. Nobody ever rates cabbage at the top of the list of their preferred vegetables. So it is inexplicable that cabbage salad is in every salad bar, pizza shop, pub, fish and chip shop and other take away joints. Even supermarkets. Is this just Australia?
Cabbage is most often served as a trestle-table salad for the BBQ. Chipped with unappetising carrots, mixed with a sweet mayonnaise and left to sit too long in the sun, it softens in its own juices.
Such a variety of possibilities
You are wondering about fresh salad ideas, or cooking it so that it is exciting rather than drab and boring cabbage. What about pickles? Snacks? Baking it? Trying Indian Style or Malay Style dishes?
What about red cabbage? Green/white cabbage? Napa cabbage?
Surely we can do better than we do right now. The Germans, for example, know the value of cabbage – sauerkraut must be close to a national dish. Coleslaw comes from the Dutch. Red cabbage is also a favourite of the German people, cooking it with cloves, juniper berries and an apple or two.
The Irish have Colcannon – boiled cabbage mixed with mashed potatoes with plenty of butter and milk, and served with even more butter.
There is more – bubble and squeak. Lebanese Cabbage Rolls, vegetarian style. Rice filled Dolmades using cabbage leaves instead of vine leaves.
We have collected together our favourite Cabbage recipes for you so that life with cabbage is never again boring.
Here are my favourite cabbage recipes.
What are yours? Really, in Australia we can do better than wilted coleslaw.
Zucchinis are commonly available throughout the year, and a useful addition to the table. But in Summer they proliferate. If you pop a plant or two into your garden you will see what I mean. Zucchini flowers, tiny fruit, medium zukes and the largest of marrows will be the basis of kitchen inspiration. Here is how you can use zucchini will still providing variety in your meals.
India has such classic dishes featuring potato, and each one is full of flavour and delicious. Wet or dry, snacks or main dishes, diced or mashed, each one is very special. Enjoy our 20 potato dishes from India.
Fennel is a vegetable that feels like it should be a Summer vegetable but it is definitely at its best in Winter. It is delicious raw, in salads or nibbled while you potter in the kitchen. But it is also very good when cooked. It loses its strong aniseed taste and becomes creamy and delicious. Baked, grilled, pan fried, simmered into soups or blended into purees. It really is an underutilised vegetable in Australia.
Congee conjours up wintery days and long slow cooking of rice, beans, lentils and/or grains on the stove top. They can be cooked slowly in the oven also – imaging an overnight slow slow cooked congee ready for breakfast when you finally emerge from the doona. One of the delights of Winter is congee.
Jook is another name for congee. I hear that jook means “arrow.” I don’t know about that but a warm satisfying bowl of congee sure goes straight to the heart. When cooked, congee should be soupy, a little runny, not thick enough to hold a spoon. But there’s no standard for consistency, so it’s perfect when it’s as you like it. It will thicken on standing, but can be thinned with some water or stock.
Congee is perfect for breakfast, if you can get up early enough to cook it. Or cook in a low oven overnight. But it also goes down well at any time of the day, especially a cold Winter’s day. I like it best cooked in a Chinese clay pot – it makes a difference and I keep one just for congee.