Sweet Onion Salad with Roasted Red Peppers

I am on a mission – each day in the warmer months, I make a salad which we take to have with our lunches, or eat at home if we are home, and leftovers are used for snacks or with the evening meal.

The salads vary from day to day, and I get inspiration from all sorts of places. As I have mentioned before, I do love Bittman’s 101 salads, and am gradually working my way through the vegetarian ones. Others can often be adapted, leaving out or substituting the non-vegetarian ingredients. This is my second Summer using his beauties, and I am probably about half way through.

Today’s salad is an onion salad, with some roasted peppers. It is simple, but glorious on this 36C day (as I am writing this), and at those sorts of temperatures, all you want is simple. To make the salad, sometimes I have charred, roasted eggplant and capsicums that were cooked on the BBQ, and other times I slice the capsicums lengthwise into straight pieces which I grill on a grill pan on the stove. That is what I have done today, as I used the fully roasted ones to make Harissa.

Try some other Bittman Salads. There is a Glorious Five Bean Salad, Wombok and Radish Salad with Peanut Dressing, and Tomato and Strawberry Salad with Basil and Balsamic.

Or explore other Onion Salads. Try Sweet Onion Salad with Coriander Spice, Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with Mustard, and Kachumber.

You can browse all of our Salad recipes here, all of our Bittman Salads, and our Onion dishes. Or simply take the time to explore our easy Mid Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Sweet Onion Salad with Roasted Red Peppers”

Caramelised Onion Salad with Bitter Greens and Pinenuts

I classify this recipe as an Easy Salad, but you do need to plan ahead to have enough time to caramelise the onions. Depending on your onions and your preference, this can take up to 45 mins of slow cooking. But don’t be dictated to by me – cook the onions to your preferred level of caramelisation. The longer you cook them, the sweeter they are, and this pairs nicely with the bitterness of the greens.

Add some orange segments if you care too – they are so nice with this salad. I particularly like this salad with with the Slightly Pickled Jicama and Citrus Salad.

Are you after other Onion recipes? Try Sweet Onion Salad with Roasted Rd Peppers, South Indian Spring Onion Soup, Onion Marmalade, and Sweet Onion Salad with Coriander Spice.

You can browse all of our Salads (there are quite a few, take your time), or you can check our Salads for different seasons by clicking on the Seasonal Cooking menu item at the top of this page. All of our Onion dishes are here, or you can browse our Radicchio recipes, Endive and Belgian Endive recipes, and Escarole dishes. Or simply explore our Early Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Caramelised Onion Salad with Bitter Greens and Pinenuts”

Kanda Poha | Onion Poha | Flattened Rice with Onions

Such a delicious snack from Northern India

Poha, a steamed and flattened rice (“steamrolled” I call it) is a great base for Indian snacks. In this poha recipe, it is teamed with onions and peanuts. Kanda Poha goes great mid afternoon with a cup of milky sweet tea (chai). Or it can be a great quick supper dish when you arrive just a little too late home from work.

There are several thicknesses of poha – Nylon (very thin and crisp), Paper, Thin, Medium, Thick and Dagdi (thick and chewy). This recipe uses medium or thick poha, which you can buy from your Indian grocery. Thick is preferred. Thin poha is not suitable for this dish.

Are you looking for other Poha dishes? Try Poha with Potatoes and Peanuts, Kolache Poha, and Poha with Banana, Honey and Coconut.

Browse all of our other Poha recipes and all of our Indian recipes. All of our Snacks are here. Or simply explore our easy Early Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Kanda Poha | Onion Poha | Flattened Rice with Onions”

Onion Jam | Onion Marmalade | Confit d’Oignon

The deep richness of this onion jam with its spicy undertones is a perfect winter condiment.

Onion Jam (aka Onion Marmalade or, as the French call it, Confit d’Oignon) is a great condiment to have on hand. Rich and deep with a spicy undertone, it is a great accompaniment to cheese, baked dishes, curries, roasted vegetables and more. It is a rich, gutsy mixture, great added to soups, on sandwiches with layers of grilled vegetables, or in a vegetable stack with lasagne sheets, at BBQs, or in toastie cheese sandwiches –  you will find lots of uses.

Are you looking for other Onion recipes? Try Onion Salad with Sesame Oil, Farinata with Tomato and Onions, Kanda Poha and Onion Pakora.

Perhaps you are looking for recipes for Relish? Try this Roasted Red Pepper and Apple Relish and Caponata Siciliana.

Feel free to browse our Onion recipes and Relish recipes. Or you might like to browse Sweet and Savoury Jam recipes. Check out our easy Early Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Onion Jam | Onion Marmalade | Confit d’Oignon”

Onion Salad with Sesame Oil

A surprise flavour combination.

My friend Franz gave me this recipe, and it is used a lot with left over half onions from other recipes. The combination of Sesame Oil and salted onions is quite amazing.

This salad is a great use of left over half onions, after cooking another dish. A great accompaniment to any meal, I also love it with steamed rice and an Indian chutney.

Are you after Onion recipes? Try these: Onion Strings Pickled Salad, Sweet Onion Salad with Roasted Rd Peppers, Caramelised Onion Salad with Bitter Greens and Pine Nuts, and Farinata with Onions and Tomatoes. There is also a deeply flavoured Confit d’Oignon (Onion Jam).

Perhaps you are looking for easy Salads. Try Carrot Sambol, Simple Celery Salads, and Bok Choy with Capers and Tomatoes.

You might like to browse all of our Onion Salads, and  all of our Onion Recipes, and all of our Salad recipes. Or explore our easy Mid Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Onion Salad with Sesame Oil”

South Indian Onion Strings Pickled Salad

Hot, tangy, sweet, salty. The perfect quick pickle.

Such a simple dish, but an amazing accompaniment to South Indian food. This is ubiquitous in South Indian cafes and restaurants, and at home. It takes about 2 minutes to make, and will keep in the fridge. Don’t just save it for Indian food, use it in any way you desire. In salads, sandwiches, wraps, for example.

Are you looking for Onion Salad recipes? Try Onion Strings Pickled Salad, Caramelised Onion Salad with Bitter Greens and Pine Nuts, and Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with Mustard, and Battered Onion Rings.

Are you after Indian recipes? Try Kohlrabi Subzi, Aamti Bhaat, and Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf.

You might like to explore other Onion Salads, or Onion recipes or simply browse our Salads. All of our Indian recipes are here. Please feel free to browse all of our Early Spring recipes as well.

Continue reading “South Indian Onion Strings Pickled Salad”

How to Cook Vegetables for Sambar

Removing the confusion around cooking vegetables for Sambar

Once you are experienced at cooking sambar, it is quite easy. However, while mastering the skill it can be confusing. Here is some advice on making sambar, and particularly on cooking the vegetables for sambar.

The advice is based on my experience and the writings of S. Meenakshi Ammal who wrote the Cook and See series of books on traditional South Indian cooking.

Browse all of our sambar recipes here. and Meenakshi Ammal’s recipes here.

Continue reading “How to Cook Vegetables for Sambar”

Farinata with Tomato, Onions and Cheese

A beautiful Italian snack

The use of chickpea flour for endless varieties of dishes fascinates me. Having made pudla again for lunch yesterday, I remembered that we hadn’t made farinata for a long time. It is great for a brunch with some salads.

The toppings for farinata are endless and only limited by your imagination. The key is to avoid juicy toppings. Today we added olive paste to the batter and topped the farinata with cheese.

You might also like to make Simple Farinata, and Farinata “Pizza”.

Are you after other Onion recipes? Try our deeply flavoured Confit d’Oignon (Onion Jam), Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with Mustard, and Onion Bhajji (Onion Fritters).

Browse all of our Farinata recipes here. Or explore our Italian recipes here and here. We have other Chickpea Flour recipes here and here.

Continue reading “Farinata with Tomato, Onions and Cheese”

Sweet Onion Salad with Coriander Spice

Use up left over onion with this simple, healthy salad.

This is a great, quick onion salad that I often make to use up those half onions remaining from another dish. It retains the onion’s bite yet softens its intensity.  It is such a perfect accompaniment to Indian curries too.

Would you believe that I first made this in 1998? It is also cross posted as part of the retro recipes on our sister site, Heat in The Kitchen.

Are you looking for Onion Salad recipes? Try Sweet Onion Salad with Roasted Rd Peppers, Onion Strings Pickled Salad, Caramelised Onion Salad with Bitter Greens and Pine Nuts, and Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with Mustard..

Are you after salads? Please browse here and here. There are also onion recipes here and here. Explore our Summer recipes here and here.

Continue reading “Sweet Onion Salad with Coriander Spice”

Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with Mustard

Another wonderful cucumber salad for hot days. Easy to prep ahead of time.

The morning is hot and still. Clouds dot the blue sky. I love the stillness of the mornings and begin the day in the kitchen with a coffee in one hand and some cucumbers in the other. Red onions and mustard sit on he Kitchen Bench.

Are you looking for other Salads? Try Pawpaw Salsa, Grown up Potato Salad, and Kachumber – Indian Salad.

Or perhaps you are looking for Cucumber dishes. Try Cucumber Salad with Capers and Ricotta, Glazed 5-Spice Tofu with Cucumbers and Radishes, and Cucumber Yoghurt Salad.

Our Onion recipes include Confit d’Oignon (Onion Jam), Farinata with Tomato, Onion and Cheese, and Sweet Onion Salad with Coriander Spice.

We have a wealth of salad recipes. You can browse them here.  Or are you looking for something different to do with cucumbers – check out our cucumber recipes here. Or take some time to browse our Late Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with Mustard”

Bhajji | Vegetable Fritters | Indian Style

Oh the joys of Bhajji

Oh the joys of Indian snacks, of that (often) deep fried combo of flavours, of the special chutneys and spices, the lip smacking, breath taking joy that goes on and on and on.

Bhajji is truly tremendous. I made today’s afternoon nosh with potato, eggplant (brinjal), red capsicum and onion. I thoroughly recommend this, eaten in the sunshine with a cool ale or iced tea, and friends.

It is accompanied with fresh mango cheeks with chaat masala. Bhajji can be served as breakfast although I don’t recommend it, snacks or as an appetiser. I like to accompany it with diced fruit, a green salad or kachumber.

Looking for bhaji? Try our Crispy Battered Onion Bhaji. Or for snacks, try the Channa Chat with Chat Masala, or Baked Chickpeas. Browse all of the bhaji here and all of the Indian Snacks here. Or explore our Indian recipes here and here. Be inspired by our Summer recipes can be found here and here.

Continue reading “Bhajji | Vegetable Fritters | Indian Style”

Kachumber | Chuchumber | A Tangy, Spicy Salad from India

Such a simple salad, yet such a huge explosion of flavour.

Oh how the amazing spicy sweet tangy sour tastes of Indian food bring happiness as their flavours burst in the mouth. Ashoka brand mixed pickles had me almost giggling last week as I almost ate them by the spoonful at the local Indian cafe.

I have been chatting about Chat Masala this week with friends — it is a spice mix that embodies spicy sweet tangy and sour. It is sprinkled on raw (and sometimes cooked) fruit and vegetables — and chickpeas — for that burst of amazing flavour. Try it on grilled sweet corn!

This salad captures all of that. Such a simple salad, yet such a huge explosion of flavour.

You might like to try other Indian Salads and Indian Snacks. Or explore our Indian recipes here and here. Other Summer recipes can be found here and here. Try other recipes with Chaat Masala: Chickpea (Channa) Chaat and Channa Chaat on Kovalam Beach. Also Watermelon Salad, Borlotti Bean Chaat, Spicy Vegetable Sticks and Chickpeas and Young Ginger Salad.

Continue reading “Kachumber | Chuchumber | A Tangy, Spicy Salad from India”

Plain Kuzhambu | Kottu Kuzhambu | South Indian Vegetables with Spicy Gravy

This plain kuzhambu is milder than some others, but is anything but plain.

Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See books, has a Plain Kuzhambu (Kottu Kuzhambu) in Book 1 of her 4 book series. The Plain Kuzhambu is milder indeed, but is anything but plain. It is a gravy like dish without the toor dal, and with the addition of vegetables. I used pumpkin. Kottu, meaning plain, indicates the presence of vegetables but without cooked lentils.

This recipe is very similar to Vatral Kuzhambu, but uses fresh vegetables instead of dried ones (vathal).

You can find recipes for the other Kuzhambus here, including Green Chilli Kuzhambu, Fenugreek Kuzhambu, and Masala Kuzhambu with Gram Flour Vadai. If you are looking for traditional Sambar Recipes, they are here – the list includes the Kuzhambu Recipes. Or explore our Indian dishes here and here. Other Winter recipes can be found here and here.

Continue reading “Plain Kuzhambu | Kottu Kuzhambu | South Indian Vegetables with Spicy Gravy”

Classic Seasoned Sambar, Method Four

This is the fourth of four methods that Ms Ammal presents for her basic sambars.

Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See Part 1 has four methods for cooking basic, classic seasoned sambar. This is the fourth method that she describes for that dish.

There are other types of sambar – Yoghurt and Buttermilk sambars, kuzhambu and others that stray from the classic approach. This recipe sticks to that classic, seasoned approach.

Are you wondering what defines a sambar? You might like to read this post that answers that question. If you like to explore sambars, you could browse all sambar recipes, kuzhambu recipes, and these helpful posts – Sambar, Method One, Method Three, and Method Four.

For how to cook vegetables for sambar, read On cooking Vegetables for Sambar. For making sambar powders, go to Sambar Powders and a Simple Sambar. Finally this one will also help –  Sambar – hot, sour or salty?. A lot of info for a simple dish:)

You can see the other methods here – Method 1, Method 2, Method 3. Continue reading “Classic Seasoned Sambar, Method Four”

Classic Seasoned Sambar, Method Three

This is the third of four main ways of cooking sambar.

We have four main methods of cooking Sambar, and this one is the third. The difference in this method  from previous ones is that a delicious paste of chillies, coriander and channa dal is made, instead of using dry spices.

Are you wondering what defines a sambar? You might like to read this post that answers that question. If you like to explore sambars, you can browse these helpful posts – Sambar Method One, Method Two, and Method Four, and then all sambar recipes and kuzhambu recipes.

A lot of info for a simple dish:)

This recipe is different to Methods One and Two in that it introduces a lovely paste as a part substitute for individual spices.

Are you looking for other Sambar recipes? Try Sundakkai Sambar, and Moru Sambar.

Browse all of our Sambar and Kuzhambu dishes, and all of our Indian recipes. Or eat seasonally and explore our collection of Early Spring dishes.

Onion Sambar II

Seasoned Sambar Method THREE a la S. Meenakshi Ammal

Source : adapted from Method Three, Seasoned Sambar in Cook and See Part 1, by S. Meenakshi Ammal
Cuisine: South Indian
Prep time: 15 mins or so
Cooking time: 30 mins + time of cooking the toor dal (about 1.5 hrs)
Serves: 4 people

0.5 cup Red Gram Dal = Toor Dal
1 large Tblspn Tamarind
1 tspn salt or to taste
0.5 tspn rice flour or chickpea flour
6 dried red chillies, depending on heat and your preference. I use 3 or 4.
0.5 tspn fenugreek seeds
0.5 tspn black mustard seeds
3 tspn Gingelly Oil = Indian Sesame Oil (a very light sesame oil without a sesame taste. Use ghee or vegetable oil if you can’t get Indian Sesame Oil)
2 Green chillies
1 pinch asafoetida
6 or so curry leaves
coriander leaves
0.33 tspn Turmeric powder
1 cup chopped vegetable (see below)

for chilli paste
6 dried red chillies
1.5 tspns coriander seeds
1 tspn bengal gram (channa dal)

for vegetables
Vegetables like carrot, pumpkin, french beans, runner beans, cluster beans, eggplant, okra, chow chow and drumstick can be used.  It is best to use only one vegetable. Prepare the vegetable by washing and cutting into chunks or lengths. ADD THESE VEGETABLES WHEN THE TAMARIND IS ADDED.

If you prefer, you can briefly par-boil any harder vegetables, like eggplant, okra, pumpkin or any of the beans before using in the recipe. ADD THESE VEGETABLES BEFORE ADDING THE TAMARIND.

You can also use Amaranth stems, radish, white radish or onions, which can be par-boiled in a little water along with the tamarind water before adding to the recipe AT THE POINT THE TAMARIND IS USUALLY ADDED. (Add the cooking water as well). Don’t add extra tamarind to the recipe.

Or Amaranth stems, radish, runner beans, cluster beans or pumpkin can be cooked separately with a little salt, drained an ADDED AFTER ADDING THE TAMARIND.


Wash the dal. Boil about 4 cups water, add the dal and 1 tspn gingelly oil or ghee. Cover with a lid and cook until a soft mass. Add more water as it cooks if needed. It will take at least 30 mins and up to 90 mins to cook until very soft, depending on the age of the dal.

Towards the end of cooking, add the turmeric powder.

Make the paste. Shallow fry 6 dried red chillies or to taste, coriander seeds and bengal gram in a little ghee. Grind to a paste in a spice grinder or small processor.

Get ready the remaining 6 dried red chillies. Take a small pan and heat with the remainder of the gingelly oil or ghee. Break the dried chillies in half and add to the oil with the mustard seeds first, then the fenugreek seeds and asafoetida. Allow the mustard seeds to pop and fry the seeds till they are a dark brown but not burnt.

Slit the green chillies into 2 and add to the spices with the curry leaves. The curry leaves will splatter so stand back!

Check when your vegetables should be added to the sambar – either now, with the next step or after the next step.

Strain the tamarind water, removing the seeds and strings and keeping the pulp, and add to the spices with the salt.

By now the vegetables are added, so add enough cooking water to make a soupy consistency. Stir, cover and cook on medium-low heat until the vegetables are cooked.

Now add the spices, the chilli paste and vegetables to the dal and mix very well. Allow the sambar to boil well for 3 or 4 minutes.

Mix the rice flour or chickpea flour in some water, mixing well to remove lumps. Stir into the dal, mixing it well. Boil again for a few minutes. Remove from the stove.

Once off the heat, garnish with coriander leaves and curry leaves.



recipe notes
Grated coconut can be roasted to a golden brown and added to the spice paste, but the keeping properties of the Sambar might be reduced.

Always consider the heat and size of your chillies (dried for red and fresh for green) when selecting how many you will use in the recipe. If the chillies are large, reduce to 4 for the spice paste and 4 for the sambar.

I like to add 2 tomatoes, chopped well, with the vegetables.

Green chillies are optional and may be replaced by red chillies.

If you use more toor dal than specified, the sambar will be thick enough without the need for rice flour or chickpea flour.

If masalas are liked, saute in ghee or gingelly oil: 1 tspn poppy seeds, 0.5 tspn anise, 2 cm cinnamon stick, 4 cloves and 4 cardamon pods, and add for extra flavour to the sambar.