Narangi Pulao with Pistachios

It is orange season and so all of our orange recipes come out to add delight to our kitchen menus again. This beautiful pilaf is so good – full of orangey flavours and a visual delight.

We made this recently in one of our late night COVID-19 lockdown cooking sessions, around 10pm after endless zoom meetings. Luckily the rice had been soaked and dried, so the cooking was not a chore. There are no photos for this recipe yet – almost a travesty in this visual era. But we wanted to share it with you and keep it on our blog as a record of our best loved dishes.

Similar dishes include Matar Pulao, Orange and Date Salad, Orange and Green Chilli Relish, and Quinoa Salad with Orange.

You can also browse all of our Pilafs and our Orange Recipes.

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Beetroot, Potato and Eggplant Oven-Baked in Wine with Gremolata

First, I must let you know that during the time of COVID-19, we are cooking and eating much later than our usual routine, and therefore some dishes have not been photographed. But no apologies – this is a chance for us to use our imagination, not only for the visual appeal of the dish but also the aroma it floods the kitchen with as it cooks. This was made in April, after a few weeks of the lockdowns, and it brought joy to the table! The gremolata with the gratin lifts the baked dish, and we all became quiet as we ate the dish with our meal.

This recipe really makes use of a mandolin – a trusty and much loved tool in my kitchen. Daily it slices, grates, shreds or juliennes ingredients for salads, chips, bakes, and a hundred other uses. Slice a fennel thinly and add olive oil and lemon juice. Divine. Shred potatoes for latkes and rosti. Thinly slice cucumber for translucent salads. Julienne carrots, turnips, jicama, zucchini, kohlrabi for salads, fritters and stir-frying. Slice pears and apples for tarts for just for glazing beautifully in butter and sugar. Shred cabbage for coleslaw. Onions or other soft vegetables so thinly sliced for quick pickling.

Food processors are equally as useful, and mine has an adjustable slice so that it will produce thick slices for baking or see-through whispy slices for salads. You should see my daikon salad with such thin slices! But the processor is such a large machine, most times it is simpler to use the mandolin. Mine is 20 years old or more, a German brand, and I hope it lasts me another 20 years.

The mandoline makes swift work of this dish. Slice beetroot, potatoes and eggplant, layer with some garlic, and cook with wine and stock. Top with Gremolata as you bring it to the table. Special.

Of course, if you don’t have a mandoline, the food processor or a sharp knife can easily be used instead.

Similar recipes include Eggplant Pahi, Burghul and Beetroot, Turnip and Swede Gratin, Winter Bake of Carrots and Parsnips, and Gratin of Potato and Zucchini.

Browse all of our Gratin recipes and all of our Beetroot dishes.

The images in this post are from Unsplash.

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Longan and Green Mango Salad with Chilli Lime Dressing

Longans are new to me, the result of a quick trip to the Asian grocer on the way home from work. Rather than the two things I wanted to come home with, I found jicama, longans, and such incredible young fresh ginger. Oh my!

Longan in Mandarin means “dragon’s eye”. Such beautiful names meanings Chinese words have.

Longans are sold fresh at the end of summer and, interestingly, their availability marks the end of the lychee season. They look a bit like lychees with white flesh, hard brown seed, a thin brown leathery shell that easily peels off, and they grow in clusters in tropical climates. But the flavour, texture and moisture content are completely different. Lychees are fleshy, juicy, and are light tasting, but longans have a thinner, drier flesh that is firm in texture with a honey like flavour, and which is deeply perfumed. Fresh longans are smaller than lychees.

Similar recipes include Green Mango DalPomelo and Ruby Grapefruit Salad with Avocado, Longan and Young Ginger Tea, Jicama and Green Mango Salad, and Pomelo and Green Mango Salad.

You might like to browse other Asian recipes, or browse our Salad recipes. Perhaps you would like to browse our Late Summer recipes.

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Crisp Okra Pachadi | Fried Okra with Yoghurt and Spices

Okra and yoghurt are pretty good together, as we have seen with other Okra Pachadi recipes. Today’s recipe differs a little in its treatment of the okra and the spices used. It is South Indian in style, with a mustard seed tadka and curry leaves. As well, the okra are split into lengths rather than rounds, giving a different visual appeal. Pachadi is similar to the North Indian raita.

Read more about Okra here.

We have a number of Okra and Yoghurt dishes. Try Quick Okra Raita, Okra in a Spicy Yoghurt Sauce (use okra in place of the pineapple), Okra Pachadi, Okra with Cumin and a Yoghurt Sauce, and Bhindi Raita.

Other Okra recipes include Okra with Mustard Oil, Sri Lankan Okra Curry, and Crispy Okra.

Browse all of our other Okra dishes, and other Pachadi recipes. Our Indian dishes are here and Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Early Spring dishes.

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Saag Aloo | Spinach with Potatoes

A classic Indian Dish, one you will see everywhere. It is a surprising dish really – take some spinach, a few potatoes, and a few spices and the result is a dish that is easy to make and amazingly delicious.

There are two ways of making saag aloo one is a dry saag aloo – and the other has the potato coated in a wet, smooth spinach gravy. Today’s recipe is the dry version – potatoes are mixed with sautéed spinach and spices.

Sauce-free Indian curries like these are really just slightly-more-elaborate vegetable sautés—toast spices in some oil, add in your vegetables, and finish with salt and sometimes a touch of sugar to season the simple, healthful spicy glaze that coats the vegetables. Simple, but deceivingly flavour-packed and delicious.

Also check Aloo Palak Subzi, a version of this dish without the tomatoes and with fried potatoes.

You might also like Dum Aloo, Indian “Mashed Potatoes” – Potato PallyaSesame Potatoes, Malabar Spinach in Spicy Gravy, Mint Paneer, Makhana Palak (Lotus Seeds in Spinach Gravy), Sweet Potato, Eggplant and Spinach Dry Curry and Palak Pachadi (Spinach and Yoghurt).

Browse other Spinach Recipes and other Potato Recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here.  Or find inspiration in our Mid Spring recipes.

Never a pretty dish, the dry version of Aloo Saag is always packed full of flavour. I made this dish with mixed greens including some reddish ones, which darkened the spinach base a little.

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Cucumber, Feta, Mint and Dill Salad

Quick salads, they make my heart beat faster. Quick, tasty salads faster still. Salads with the creamy, beautiful feta from the local Afghan shop, that is almost a heart attack! Here is your 3 minute salad, plus one more minute to slice up the crusty bread or tear the tafftoon or Nan-i Afgani flatbreads into bits and set up your place under the tree outside for a perfect light lunch.

Similar recipes include Chinese Pickled Cucumbers, Feta Salad, Parsley and Barley Salad with Marinated Feta, Broad Beans with Feta and Preserved Lemon, and Artichoke Hearts and Feta Salad with Tomatoes.

Browse all of our Feta dishes and all of our Salads. Our Middle Eastern recipes are here. Or browse our Early Summer dishes.

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Grilled Mushroom and Red Onion Salad

Summer is on its way!

Yay for warm weather! And as soon as the weather turns the slightest bit warm, I begin making Summery salads again. I find them the most healthy type of dish for Spring, Summer and into Autumn. As each year passes, we eat salads further into winter, roasting our ingredients, or incorporating barley, freekeh, quinoa and other filling and satisfying ingredients.

Today’s salad is definitely a Spring dish, a Mushroom Salad. Spring Mushrooms are grilled with some red onion and then dressed. It is gorgeous.

Similar dishes include Roasted Red Onions with Walnut Salsa, Pearl Mushrooms with Thyme, Mushroom Salad with Parmesan, Mushroom, Spinach and Blue Cheese Salad, Mushroom and Carrot Salad with Mung Bean Sprouts, Mushrooms Baked in Vine Leaves, and Stuffed Mushrooms.

You might like to also browse our other Salads – over a hundred! Or just the Mushroom Salads. Have a look at all of our Mushroom recipes here. And explore our easy Early Spring recipes too.

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Fig Salad with Hazelnuts and Mesclun

Fig Salads are extremely Autumnal, and beautiful, enlivening. They make you forget about the cold weather to come, and just add joy to the table.

Figs and almonds go very well together, and so do figs and hazelnuts. In this salad, hazelnut oil is used to sizzle some sliced hazelnuts before adding them to figs that have been warmed through in the oven.

Are you looking for other Fig Salads? Try Three Ways to Caramelise Figs, Caramelised Fig and Orange Salad, Fig and Roasted Onion Salad, White Fig and Rocket Salad, Baked Figs with Thyme, Figs with Rosewater and Almonds, and Fig and Almond Salad.

Similar Salads include Locquat Salad.

You can also browse all of our Fig recipes, and indeed all of our many many Salads. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Simple Poritha Kuzhambu | A South Indian Lentil Based Gravy with Vegetable for Over Rice

A beautiful, flowing-textured dal-based dish perfect over rice.

Poritha kuzhambu  or Poricha kuzhambu is a style of kuzhambu that often includes coconut in its ground spice mix – this is the most defining characteristic of a Poritha Kuzhambu. This recipe is lentil based which can be made with either Toor Dal as we do here, or Green Gram Dal (Mung Dal). Although some Poritha Kuzhambu recipes can contain tamarind, this one does not.

This dish is not spicy, with very little spice added. It celebrates the taste and textures of the dal and the vegetable. You will enjoy it. It uses a per-prepared Sambar Powder, which you can purchase at an Indian grocery, or make your own.

Sometimes Poritha Kuzhambu is called a Lentil Vegetable Stew. That is not entirely accurate. There is no real equivalent in our cuisine – perhaps it can be described as a Lentil Based Gravy with a Vegetable, to eat over rice. It flavours the rice and the rice compliments the kuzhambu. I love kuzhambu so much, I will also eat a small bowl of it like a soup.

Are you looking for other similar recipes? Try Moringa Leaf Dal, Drumsrick Leaves Sambar, Poritha Kuzhambu with Tamarind and Amaranth, Poritha Kootu with Sambar Powder, Pitlai, Poritha Kuzhambu with Chilli and Cumin,  and Chidambaram Brinjal Kothsu.

Or Drumstick recipes? Try Sampangi Pitlai, Race Kuzhambu and Drumstick Kadhi.

Feel free to browse all of our Poritha Kuzhambu recipes, all of our Kuzhambu recipes, and our Indian recipes. Drumstick recipes are here. You may also like to browse our easy Early Winter recipes.

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Kathirkkai Rasavangi | Brinjal Rasavangi | Eggplant in a Toor Dal-Coconut Gravy

Rasavangi is a spicy, tamarind based eggplant dish that is a wonderful change from a regular sambar. It is similar to a Kootu or Pitlay and is very common in South Indian households.

Rasavangi is also a close cousin of the Arachuvitta Kootu/Sambar, but with different spices. (Arachuvitta means “to grinding the spices and add”, i.e. the dish is made by grinding fresh spices rather than using a pre-prepared powder.) It is a good example of how a small change in spices can make a dish taste very different. Rasavangi has a wonderful flavour profile of coriander and toasted coconut. Some recipes include peppercorns.

This recipe is from the doyen of authentic South Indian TamBram cooking – S. Meenakshi Ammal, and her books Cook and See.

You might like to browse our Sambar Recipes or all of our Eggplant recipes . Our Kuzhambu recipes are here. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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