Normally cheesy gratin dishes would be Winter fare in this house, but it is late Spring as I write, and we have the heating on and three layers of clothes. It is cold and wet. It might be 10 days from Summer but it feels like mid Winter. It HAS to be potatoes and cheese. Plus the oven warms the kitchen nicely.
A recipe that has formed a chain as it goes from one person to another
Fiona was a twitter friend some time ago. As often happens, life changes, and it had been some time since we have connected,. But a quick search located her in Berlin! Today I came across her recipe for Chai which she sent to me in 2009! It seems so long ago. Fiona made a note that this recipe was given to her by her friend Peta. I love how food and recipes create this chain of people across the world. I am now making you a link in the chain!
So, with great memories of Fiona, I made her chai again this afternoon. The recipe is for a mix, which you can then use to make your chai each day. It is unusual in that it includes dried orange peel and a vanilla bean as well as the usual spices.
You might like to browse our other Chai recipes – we have a few. Or explore our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. You might also like to browse our easy Mid Spring recipes. I hope you enjoy them.
Chai – a sweet, milky black tea with spices – begins the day for many Indian households. The spices and herbs added to the tea adds flavour but an oft-ignored benefit is that it also increases medicinal benefits. The daily supplement – better than popping a pill.
From Chai Masala, to a simple Chai with Ginger, the variations are endless. Here are some common ones to experiment with.
Because of the health giving properties of turmeric, we recommend adding a little turmeric to each cuppa chai that you make – about a pinch per cup.
As Winter marches on, we want dishes that we can cook in the oven, to add another source of heat to warm the kitchen. Baked dishes are also usually hearty, so they warm and nourish the body in a way that we only seek in Winter. Gratin dishes are so perfect, ticking every box.
This dish layers potatoes with cheese, covers them with milk and cream, and bakes it until bubbling and golden. Delicious!
Rice pudding is such a traditional dish, born from Mother’s, Grandmothers’ and Great Grandmothers’ Winter collections of recipes. I always know when the best of Glorious Autumn is over because I bake a rice pudding. It varies every year – sometimes it is as early as early April, and sometimes as late as mid May here in the Southern Hemisphere. A dish of extreme comfort and warmth, there is something about it that connects me with my great line of ancestors.
This old fashioned, rustic dish is rather dark from the cinnamon and the brown sugar. Use white sugar if you prefer a lighter version.
Looking for more? Explore all of our Rice Puddings and all of our other Desserts . Feel free to browse other vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in the Retro Recipes series. Or try our easy Mid Autumn recipes.
Thankful to my friend for this wonderful dessert recipe
I have had this recipe since forever. It is the kind of dessert you want to eat on a night you are feeling a little vulnerable and out of sorts with the world. It will make you feel great again.
It is so easy, so simple, very wonderful, especially after a hot Indian meal. Given to me by an Indian friend, I believe this recipe is much much better than one published in a recent popular large book on India and Indian food. It is very special.
Nachi made this often and taught me to make it, although he was never too keen to have me cook it for him. He was very particular, and I was still learning, particularly about the precision needed in traditional Indian dishes. One cardamon pod either way, and you could spoil the dish. I had to lose my free-form, flexible Australian ways. We also often made his favourite vegetable dish, Sweet Potato, Eggplant and Spinach Madras Curry.
Made with Love
Long ago, my beautiful friend Sevadevi and I were talking about Chai, and she shared her recipe with me. Today I share it with you. Her Chai takes time, and it is in the time that the spices and tea release their flavours and your love and attention is infused into the chai. Make it while you are pottering around in the kitchen in the morning.
This dish can be made at any time, and it is also a favourite sweet at Diwali.
This beautiful Indian dessert is a favourite dish made at Diwali, but it can be made at any time. It is quite wonderful, an Indian take on a rice pudding. One of the beautiful traditions of Diwali is the making and sharing of sweet things.
A sweet Indian dessert.
This style of the Indian versions of Halwa are made of fruit or sweet vegetables such as beetroot and carrot, which are cooked down for a long time in ghee and sugar. They are intensely flavoured and delicious.
Halwas are very sweet, so they are meant to be eaten in small servings. This one would be good on its own or, in a Western style, with some cream or plain icecream. Because it is very jam-like, it is also great on thick Turkish toast, or stirred through a plate of porridge.
Are you looking for Halwa recipes? Try our delicious Banana Halwa.
A satisfying and easy curry.
Indian potato recipes are some of the best in the world. From mashed potato to deep fried potato, to potato in toasted sandwiches, the addition of spices something special from these dishes made from humble ingredients. This recipe is a lovely, home cooking, comforting dish of potatoes in milk.
Many cuisines combine milk or cream with potatoes – the French in Potatoes Dauphinois, Germany has Potato Salad made with cream, the Danish love Brændende Kærlighed, and then there is English Mashed Potato and French Mashed Potato, both with milk or indulgent with cream. Potato and milk is definitely a thing.
Aaah, chai. Perfect for wintery days.
Yogi Chai is a tea best made with mindfulness and care. Although it takes some time, a pot or thermos full can be made to sip during the day. And the base ingredients can be refrigerated and used again for tomorrow’s brew.
This Chai is not only delicious, but also detoxifying, good for those who have been under stress. The Chai is more like a tonic, incredibly healthy. Enjoy!
Refreshingly cool in hot weather
Would you believe, I first made this in December, 1998? Some recipes never date. And today I sit here, in 44C heat, without power or air-conditioning except for one power point. The electrician can’t come tonight. I need to have something to cool me down, and give me some sustenance. I can’t cook without electricity. I can’t eat – too hot. This cooling drink comes to mind.
The truth is, I love cooking things that I was making almost a decade ago. For a person who loves to experiment, loves to learn new things, it brings a sense of solidity, continuity, the expected, the sameness, the timelessness of life. Food fashions may have changed, we may have new ingredients, new cuisines, new tools and implements to explore. But the timelessness of some food is priceless.