Creamy Tomato Soup with Lemongrass and Ginger

This soup is a little bit Indian, a little bit S. E. Asian, a little bit English, and very divine.

A soup that has stood the test of time. Fragrant and beautifully flavoured, it is treasured still by my family. It is a little bit Indian, a little bit S. E. Asian, a little bit English, it is divine. It is light enough to have in Summer and Autumn.

Similar recipes include Tomato-Garlic Soup with Tamarind and Spices, and Cream of Potato and Tomato Soup with Leeks.

You might also like our Tomato Soup recipes here. Indian Soups are here. Or browse Tomato recipes here. Check out our easy Autumn recipes here.

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Mugh Ni Dal | Dry Spicy Mung Dal | A Mung Dal Dish from Gujarat

Rice or Mung Dal? A great Gujarati accompaniment to other Indian dishes.

In this Gujarati dish, the grains of the Mung Dal remain separate and look quite like rice, if you squint a little. Serve this with any Indian meal.

You might like to browse our Mung recipes. And the Indian recipes. Be inspired by a range of Autumn dishes.

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Amritsari Dal from the Punjab

A gentle Punjabi dish from Urad and Channa lentils

If I wasn’t such a fan of South Indian food, culture, arts, music, temples, rituals and everything else that is predominately from Tamil Nadu, I might have fallen in love with the Punjab. Punjabi food is wholesome and full of rustic flavour. The custom of cooking in community ovens or tandoors can still be found in rural areas even today. The cuisine is characterised by a profusion of dairy products in the form of malai (cream), paneer and dahi (yoghurt). And also the dals are a speciality of Punjabi cuisine, made of whole pulses like black gram (urad), green gram (mung) and Bengal gram (channa).  They are cooked in covered earthen pots on a slow fire clay oven fueled with dung-cakes, often simmered for hours till they turn creamy, and then flavoured with spices and rounded off with cream and butter for that rich finish. The food is simply delicious. Thanks to Sanjeev Kapoor for part of this information.

Urad lentils are favourites in the Punjabi cuisine, and take so well to the long slow cooking. This dish is soothing and gentle, despite the large amounts of garlic and ginger. Their assertiveness is overcome by the long slow cooking time. The dish is generally quite mild in its spiciness.

You might like to explore our Urad Lentil recipes here, especially all of the Dal Makhani-style dishes. Browse the Punjabi recipes. Or check out our Slow Cooking dishes.

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Simple Indian Dal Soup

A nourishing soup for a cooler night

“Soups” are an interesting concept in South India. Soups do exist, although I suspect they are a relatively modern concept influenced by the British occupation. Contrasted with this are many soupy South Indian dishes like rasam, sambar, kuzhambu, kootu, dals etc that are not soups as we understand them, yet appear to be soup-like to non-Indian eyes.

Recently in India I was eating at a large canteen. The food was great. One counter in the canteen offered us small bowls of liquid. I asked Rasam? No, he said, Soup. I thought I did not understand his accent. Rasam? I asked again. Soup he said again. Ok, soup.

They were generally thin stocks without vegetables, but perhaps with a little body from undetectable lentils. Not as thin as a broth, not as thick as, say, a creamed soup. Highly delicious, and we often had 2 or 3 small bowls of it at the end of our meal, as we sat outside reviewing the day’s activities. In the cool of the evening, after a hot hot day, it was delicious.

These memories came back when I came across a Dal Soup as I was browsing what turned out to be an Anglacised Indian cookbook today. I wanted to make something similar, but I laughed when I saw that the recipe used yellow split peas. Oh boy, there is no real equivalant in India. It equates either to mung dal or toor dal (both mushy when cooked) or channa dal (holds its shape when cooked).

So I adopted and adapted this recipe to suit my needs. It is rather delicious.

You might like to also try Lemon Dal, Spicy Tomato and Dal Rasam-Style Soup, A Gentle Asparagus Soup, South Indian Baby Corn Soup, and a Simple Mung Soup.

Browse all of our Indian Soups, and all of our Soups. Or enjoy our Early Autumn recipes.

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Manga Kalan | Mambazha Pulissery | A Kerala Sweet and Sour Mango Curry

A sweet and sour yoghurt curry from the tropical lands of Kerala

Mambazha Kalan, or Mambazha Pulissery is a sweet and sour curry simmered in a yogurt and coconut sauce. It originates from Kerala, where mango curries are a real treat. It has the sweetness of the mango contrasted against the sourness of the yoghurt.

Mambazha Pulissery really is a signature Kerala dish, where ripe mangoes are plentiful and are cooked with tangy curd (yogurt) and coconut gravy. This sweet and slightly sour curry is also called Pazhamanga Pulissery in places in Kerala.

You might like to read How to Cook with Yoghurt.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Plain Pulissery, Pineapple Pulissery, and Pineapple Pulissery with Green Peppercorns.

You might also like to try Jicama and Green Mango Salad, Mango Lassi, or Mango and Lemon Rice.

Browse all of our Pulissery dishes, Mango recipes, and our Yoghurt dishes. Our Kerala recipes are here, all of our Indian dishes here and our Indian Essentials here. Or simply explore all of our Late Summer recipes.

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Avial | Aviyal | Vegetables in a Coconut and Yoghurt Sauce | From Kerala, India

Avial is a gentle dish from Kerala, made with vegetables and coconut.

Avial is a gentle dish from Kerala. It is a thick mixture of vegetables and coconut, seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves. In essence, the vegetables are boiled or steamed and then dressed with the coconut-cumin-yoghurt sauce. Each family’s sauce is different from the next family’s. In our recipe today we are using cumin in the sauce.

Avial is considered an essential part of the Sadya, the Keralite vegetarian feast. It is commonly made with elephant yam, plantain, pumpkin, carrots, beans, Eggplant, cucumber, drumsticks and snake gourd. Carrots and beans are recent but delicious introduction. Bitter gourd can be included in some regions also.

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Indian Style Slightly Sweet and Sour Pumpkin and Sweet Potato | Kaddu ki Sabzi | Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Subzi

A great use for left over pumpkin. Or cook from scratch.

The challenge of every xmas – and Thanksgiving, for that matter – is how to use the left over roasted pumpkin. I have found the solution.

Inspired by The Back Yard Lemon Tree, I took the Delhi Style Sweet and Sour Pumpkin and mixed it up a little to use up several different xmas leftovers. It was delicious. Do read the original recipe – it is from Madhur Jaffrey.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Pumpkin Curry, Pumpkin Soup and Pumpkin Risotto. And try these Sweet Potato dishes: Sweet Potato Subzi with Yoghurt, and Potato and Sweet Potato Spicy Curry.

Try other Subzis – Kohlrabi Subzi, Carrots and Green Peas Subzi, and Potato and Spinach Subzi.

You might also like to explore all of our Subzi recipes, all of our Pumpkin recipes and all of our Sweet Potato dishes.  Have a look at all of our Indian Vegetable Curries, and all of our Indian recipes. Or simply explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Aubergines in Coconut Milk | Thenkapal Varadhiniya | A Dish from Kerala

Another delicious recipe from Kerala.

There is something amazing about aubergine. Not only their colours and shininess, their taste varies from dish to dish. This recipe is from Kerala, a coastal Western state of India, where coconuts and bananas abound. Kerala is an amazing state, cleaner than many others with a very high literacy rate, and the only communist state in India. It is an easy state to be in, to visit and stay in, and the food is as good as anywhere. Several of my favourite Indian dishes come from Kerala.

Aubergines cooked in Coconut has a beautiful and flavoursome base of onions, garlic, ginger & spices, which is turned into a sauce with coconut milk. The sautéed aubergines soak up the sauce and the thickened gravy coats the pieces.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Pineapple Pulissery.

You might also want to try other dishes from Kerala, such as Avail, Aubergines in Coconut Milk, Cabbage Thoran and Neyyum Parippum.

All of the Kerala recipes are here, and our Eggplant Recipes here. The inspiration for this recipe is Madhur Jaffrey and you can see her recipes here. Browse all of our Indian dishes. Or simply explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Goan Rechad Masala | Rechiado/ Rechieo Paste | Chilli Spice Paste from Goa

This spice mix has lots of uses amongst non-vegetarians, but it is also great used to stuff small vegetables like okra, small zucchini, baby eggplants etc. It is hot, so just a little is used.

This is the spicy, chilli paste of Goa, a thick paste of red chillies, garlic and spices ground in vinegar. Recipes vary from household to household and village to village. It is spicy, tangy and hot.

In Goa, Rechad Masala is very common. Rechad means stuff, and comes from the Portuguese recheado.

This spice paste is used to stuff small vegetables like okra, small zucchini, baby eggplants etc. It goes particularly well with Stuffed Okra. It is a very hot paste – made from chillies with a few spices – so just a little is used. It can also  used as a chilli paste, added to dishes to give them heat, or use in place of chillies in recipes. Add a little to yoghurt to make a spicy accompaniment to snacks. It keeps in the fridge for months and will freeze well.

Enjoy Goan Dishes? Try Kidney Bean Feijoada, Potato and Sweet Potato Curry, and Sweet Surnoli Dosa.

Looking for other Chilli Pastes? Try Chilli Paste, Zhug and Deeply Flavoured, Hot Chilli Jam.

Looking for more information on Chillies?

Have a look at all of our Chilli Pastes. Feel free to browse other vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in the Retro Recipes series. You might also like our Goan recipes here. Or you might like to browse Stuffed recipes here. Check out our easy Mid Spring recipes.

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Whole Unhulled Urad and Rajma | A Slow Dish with Urad and Kidney Beans

Urad is one of my favourite lentils, comforting and nourishing, but you do have to know and respect its properties.

I would not have known it when I first made this recipe, but it is a sister of Dal Makhani. It uses yoghurt instead of butter and cream and whole urad rather than split. I reckon it might be a good slow cooker dish. It isn’t a traditional Dal Makhani, and diverts somewhat from the traditional recipes, but it is delicious and is very very easy. I first made it to use up the Urad Dal in the pantry. And what a surprise it was! This is a slow cooked dish – taking around 5 hours – but they are effortless hours. No need to do more than the odd stir or two.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series. You might also liked our Madhur Jaffrey recipes. There are a number of Dal Makhani recipes also.

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