Fennel, Potato and Tomato Salad with Garlicky Mayo

After years of not using mayonnaise in my salads (I don’t eat eggs so don’t make my own and don’t love it enough to buy it), I whipped up my Mother’s very retro eggless mayo that she always made with a can on condensed milk, white vinegar and mustard (or other flavouring).

Now we have a couple of salads that use mayo – A Quick Tomato Salad with Mustardy Mayo, and today’s salad which is sort of a wild variation on Salade Niçoise.

Are you after other Tomato Salads? Try Artichoke Hearts and Feta Salad with Tomatoes, Tomato Salad with Balsamic and Majoram, and Tomato Salad with Parsley Oil.

Or perhaps Fennel Salads? Try Fennel Salad with Orange Vinaigrette, Fennel Salad with Fresh Prunes, and Nashi Pear, Celery and Fennel Salad with Panch Phoron Crunch.

Or are you after just Salads? Try Onion Salad with Sesame Oil, Green Salad with Chickpeas, Preserved Lemon and Feta, and Vermicelli and Green Mango Salad.

Why not browse all of our Tomato Salads, indeed explore all of our Salads. Or simple spend some time with out Mid Autumn Recipes.

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Sampangi Pitlai

We are working through the different types of Poritha Kuzhambu, where the spice paste is fried in ghee before being ground. There are Poritha Kuzhambus, Poritha Koottu and Pitlai, Gothsu and Masiyal. They can be with and without tamarind, stuffed full of vegetables or just one or two.

This is our second Pitlai, Sampangi, which traditionally has drumsticks as part of the vegetable mix, with 3 or 4 others. The spice mix used in this recipe differs from the first Pitlai recipe – it does not include coriander or channa dal (Bengal Gram), but does include peppercorns. The chillies are ground in the paste rather than left whole in the tadka. I have been explaining to some people recently how subtle differences from recipe to recipe results in a different dish, and the taste difference is remarkable IF we allow our tastebuds the time to register. This isn’t so common in our society, we eat so fast, but in India these differences are important. The other key difference in this recipe is the variety of vegetables, as many as 4 can be used in this dish, rather than 1 or 2.

Are you looking for other Pitlai recipes? They are here. And browse other Poritha Kuzhambu and Poritha Koottu dishes. You must definitely try this Pitlai, and Amaranth Greens Soup/Pitlai. (Some of these dishes will be published later. Pop back and check if the link is not returning what you might expect.)

Explore all of our Kuzhambu recipes here and all of our Sambar dishes. You might like to browse our Indian recipes. Or simple take some time to check out our Early Autumn collection.

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Pitlai | Toor Dal with Vegetables

Pitlai is a South Indian recipe using some basic vegetables and cooked in a coconut-based gravy with specific spices that have been fried in ghee. It sits close to Poritha Kuzhambu and Poritha Kootu, but the spice mix varies from these.

South India adores its rice, and so the different cuisines of the South include a huge range of gravy-like dishes that are ladled over warm rice to be mixed and enjoyed. It makes sense, right? Rasam, Sambar, Kuzhambu, Kootu etc are the most common. Pitlai sits in that group too, and some will say it is a type of Sambar and others will say it is a type of Kuzhambu. Meenakshi Ammal sits her Pitlai recipes within her Poritha Kuzhambu and Poritha Kootu section – those with a fried spice mix/ paste. The dish varies slightly from any of the above – in consistency, spices used, and the vegetables that are added – bitter gourd and eggplant are definite favourites. Like the other Poritha dishes, it is the ground paste of spices, the coconut, and the predominance of lentils, that serve to thicken the dish. A tiny amount of rice flour can help if needed.

Pitlai includes coriander and Bengal Gram in its coconut-based spice paste, and this is the difference from the Poritha Kootu and Poritha Kuzhambu pastes. As I say about South Indian dishes – change out one spice and the dish has a different name, a different way of eating, a different time of day to eat it and different vegetables to include in it. 🙂

Pitlai is made all over South India and each region will have its own interpretation of the dish. This is a recipe from the Tamil Brahmin Cuisine.

Are you looking for other Kuzhambu? Check out our Poritha Kuzhambu dishes. Also try Green Chilli Kuzhambu, Masala Kuzhambu with Gram Flour Vadai, and Tomato Kuzhambu.

You might like to try some Sambar. We recommend Moru Sambar, Classic Seasoned Sambar, and Sambar Powder and Paste.

Why not have a look at all our Kuzhambu dishes, and all Kootu. All of the Sambar dishes are here. Browse the Meenakshi Ammal recipes. Or take some time to explore our easy Early Autumn dishes.

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Potatoes Baked with Cumin and Tomatoes

An unashamedly Retro Dish perfect for Modern Times.

Potatoes and Cumin are a great match. This retro baked dish is a great dish for any time of the year, and extremely wonderful in cooler Autumn months and Winter. It layers the potato with black pepper and cumin seed, and tops it with juicy tomatoes, breadcrumbs and parsley. It is a comforting dish, home cooking at its best. Who would not want to come home to a dish like this?

Are you looking for more Potato dishes? Try Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini with Thyme, Potato Subzi, and a Surprise Potato Tartin.

Would you like to try other Gratin recipes? Try Gratineed Sweet Potato, Potato Gratin with Cream and Pomodori Gratinati – Tomatoes Gratineed with Cheese.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – recipes from our previous blog that ran from 1995 – 2005. You might also like our Potato recipes here and our Gratin Recipes. Or you might like to browse Tomato recipes. Check out our easy Mid Autumn recipes.

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South Indian Cauliflower Soup

This uncomplicated soup is nourishing, comforting and warming, with no other flavours except cauliflower, potato, and black pepper.

South Indian soups need some explaining. The are quite diametrically opposed to dishes that could be called soups but are not – rasam, for example, or thin dhal, or even a sambar. For the most part, the true South Indian Soup is a simple, uncomplicated vegetable soup that is not spiced. Thus the vegetable becomes the feature, not the layers of spices. There is no artifice in these soups at all.

Presumably, these soups are of Anglo-Indian origin and have gained enough popularity to become part of the cuisine, or perhaps they are the result of the occupation of regions by other countries, namely France and Portugal. In many ways they are a little 1950’s, yet beautiful in their pared back simplicity

This uncomplicated Cauliflower Soup is nourishing, comforting and warming, with no other flavours except cauliflower, potato, and black pepper.

Are you after other Indian Soups? Try South Indian Spring Onion Soup,  Indian Tomato and Potato Soup, Tomato, Lemongrass and Ginger Soup, and Tomato and Dal Soup. See also How to Make a Light, Infused Vegetable Stock/Broth, Indian Style.

Or try some other Cauliflower recipes – A Plate of Cauliflower, Cauliflower Pilaf, and Cauliflower Slow Cooked with Lime and Spices.

Browse our other Indian Soups here.  Our other Cauliflower recipes are here and here. Or explore all of our Soups and all or our Indian dishes.  Be inspired by warming Winter dishes here.

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Potato Dosa

The range of dosa in South India is infinite, ranging from crispy dosa to soft, handkerchief-like dosa, from plain batters to batters with vegetables, spices and herbs. And each one is so very good.

Dosa is the Indian flatbread, although it is less like bread than perhaps any other country’s flatbread. It is made from a batter, rather than a dough,  that generally includes flour made from rice and lentils, and is cooked on a flat pan. It is often fermented to provide lightness but more and more instant dosas are being made. These are the dosai that can be cooked as soon as the batter is made.

Are you looking for other Dosa recipes? Try Adai – multi lentil dosa, Coconut Dosa, and a beautiful Sweet Dosa.

Perhaps you are looking for Potato recipes. Try Aloo Gobi, Potato Subzi, Surprise Tartin, and Potato and Sweet Potato Curry.

Browse our Dosa recipes here, and all of our Indian recipes here. You might be interested in our Indian Essentials articles. Have a look at all of our Potato recipes, and take some time to browse our Early Autumn dishes.

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Gratin de Pommes de Terre et Courgettes | Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini with Thyme

Gratin – sometimes written as gratinĂ©e or au gratin—is a very flexible recipe where an ingredient is cooked in a shallow dish – a gratin dish which is an  oval-shaped oven-safe baking and serving pan. The Gratin is topped with cheese or buttery breadcrumbs that will crisp up when the dish is baked in a hot oven or placed under a grill. Adding just cream will also produce a lightly browned crust if baked in high heat. Gratins are usually served straight from the dish.

Gratin originated in French cuisine. The best known gratin dishes are Potato Gratin  and Pommes Dauphinoises. Many Tians are gratins too, only in disguise! Also Baked Pasta dishes! Often vegetables are covered with cheese, cream, and/or breadcrumbs and baked or grilled for a beautiful gratin dish.

This recipe is a beautiful, buttery, creamy gratin that combines zucchini with potatoes and flavours it with thyme. A wonderful match.

Are you looking for other Gratin dishes? Try Gratinéed Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes Gratinéed with Tomatoes and Cumin, and  Endive/Witlof with a Cheesy Topping.

Would you like to try other Potato dishes? Try Cumin and Pepper Baked Potato Wedges, Perfect Roast Potatoes, and Surprise Potato Tartin.

Or try some Zucchini recipesZucchini Preserved in Olive Oil, Making Zucchini Juice, Zucchini Rice, Steamed Thai Eggplant and Zucchini, and Zucchini Fry with Spices.

You might also like to browse all of our Gratin dishes here, and all of our Potato recipes here. Or all of the Zucchini recipes here and here. Check out our easy Early Autumn recipes. Also, feel free to browse vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in our Retro Recipes series.

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Cumin and Pepper Baked Potato Wedges

For that little bit of indulgence on a wintery night

A quick snack for evenings when you are craving something a little naughty but not so naughty, and a little spice but not so spicy. This definitely is for you.

These baked potato wedges are flavoured with cumin, black pepper and salt. You can add a little chilli powder if you like. You will love them for a quick  plate of food when you have the munchies.

Are you looking for other potato recipes? Try Tandoori Potatoes – another great snack – or Toasties Stuffed with Potatoes and Peas, or a Grown Up Potato Salad.

Are you after snacks? Try Chickpea Fingers with Tomato Salsa, Deep Fried Bean Curd with Peanut Sauce, and a Gorgonzola Snack.

You might like to browse all of our Snack recipes, and all of our Potato recipes here. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Moraiya Kitchari | Barnyard Millet Kitdchari | Sama ki khichdi | Khichuri

Moraiya Kitchari is a delightful dish, healthy and nourishing. It is regularly made for Navratri fasting, Ekadashi fasting or any other time of Hindu fasting as it is an easily digestible dish. It is delicious in its own right – lightly spiced and less vigorous of taste than many Indian dishes, but don’t put it aside because of that. Try it with a wet curry like a yoghurt or besan curry, even a Poritha Kuzhambu! You will enjoy.

Moraiya is composed of tiny, white, round grains. In India, cereal grains are not consumed during fasts. Hence, Moraiya is a popular alternative, especially during Navratri. It is often used in place of rice, although it does not cook into separate grains like long grained rice. It is quite sticky when it is cooked and the grains stick together somewhat.

Are you looking for other Kitchari dishes? Try this one with Sago, Peanuts and Potatoes, or Maharashtrian Kitchari with Masoor Sprouts, or a Simple Parsi Kitchari.

You might like to check to see whether we have posted other Moraiya recipes. You can browse all of our other Kitchari recipes here. Our Indian recipes are here. Or explore our Early Spring dishes here.

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Subudana Kitchari with Potatoes and Peanuts | Sago Khichuri | Sago Pilaf

Remember Kurma? If you are of a certain age, and Australian, you will recall his TV shows of vegetarian Indian cooking. He really was the first to bring Indian food to Australians in a way that made it easily comprehensible and easy to cook. He was a stickler for detail, and for this I love him. So many recipes out of India these days are low in detail, low in precision, and that allows others to take liberties with Indian recipes. Soon, Indian food is no longer Indian food, but some mish mash of regional differences and non-Indian preferences.

One small example. I am constantly frustrated by recipes that say “1 cup rice”. Which rice? Basmati? Short grained? Long grained? Red or white? A South Indian variety? or a North Indian Variety? And it can make a huge difference to the end result. Do you need rice that is harder? Soft? Sticks together? Separates beautifully? Kurma would never leave one in doubt.

We don’t use rice in this recipe, even though it is a kitchari. This recipe from Kurma uses sago. But as usual, Kurma is precise.

Are you interested in other Sago recipes? Try Sago Payasam, and Sago Coconut Payasam.

We have quite a number of Kitchari recipes, for example Maharashtrian Kitchari with Masoor Sprouts,  Gujarati Kitchari, and Bengali Kitchari.

Feel free to browse all Sago recipes, and all of our Kitchari Recipes. Browse our Indian recipes here. Or take some time to explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Tandoori Aloo | Spicy Marinated Potatoes Roasted, Fried or BBQ’d

More’ish, this dish will not last long in your kitchen

Who doesn’t like tandoor-style dishes? Although we can’t normally have a tandoor oven at home, cooking tandoor dishes in the oven or on the stove top, even on the BBQ, is very possible. These Tandoor Potatoes are amazing – don’t expect them to last very long in your kitchen. A perfect snack, or a side dish for your meal.

Are you are looking for Potato recipes? Try Aloo Gobi, Potato Subzi, and Aloo Palak Subzi.

You might like to browse our other Potato recipes, and our Snack recipes. You will find all of our Indian recipes here. And explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Indian Toasties | Stuffed Sandwiches with Potato and Peas

Sandwiches are serious business in India as snacks and street foods.

You have to love a country that is serious about its sandwiches. Italy with its open sandwich type bruschettas, laden with seasonal ingredients. France with their bountiful baguettes, and India with its spicy mixtures stuffed between layers of bread and often coated with chickpea batter before pan toasting or frying. India has a commitment to sandwiches as serious snacks and street food.

Browse the Toastie recipes here. Are you after snack recipes? Try here and here. Or browse our Indian recipes here and here. Explore our easy Autumn recipes here and here.

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A Light Summery Tomato Soup | South Indian Tomato and Potato Soup

Take this soup on summer picnics.

A gorgeously summery tomato soup that is perfect for Autumn too. Good tomatoes are generally available from Early Summer to Mid Autumn, and light soups suitable for the weather are wonderful.

This is an Indian soup. As I understand it, soups are more recent additions to South Indian cuisine, probably as a result of the British dominance. Not a rasam, generally not spicy, they are nevertheless flavoursome. On one trip to Kerala we got into the habit of having soup after our meal, sitting outside and chatting the evening away.

Are you after other Indian Soups? Try South Indian Spring Onion Soup,  Indian Tomato and Potato Soup, and Light Summery Tomato Soup. Madhur Jaffrey also does a wonderful tomato soup in one of her books – full of lemongrass and Indian spices and it is a real keeper.

We have other Tomato Soups. Try Rustic Tomato Soup with Feta, Carrot and Roasted Tomato Soup, and Roasted Capsicum, Tomato and Peanut Soup.

Explore all of our Tomato Soup recipes, all of our Indian Soups, and all of our Indian recipes . Or browse our Late Summer dishes.

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Potato Subzi | Dry Potato Curry

Who can go on a carb-free diet when dishes like this exist?

When Yamuna Devi studied Vedic Cooking, she studied with Srila Prabhupada for 3 months. She tells that in the study of vegetables, they spent  weeks on potatoes, exploring basic methods of cooking, learning how to control the taste and appearance of a dish without diminishing its nutritive value.

When I was in India recently I heard one visitor bemoaning the fact that there seemed to be so few vegetables in Indian food. Of course that is not true, but if you eat in restaurants only, it may appear that way. There is a wealth of vegetables – many more than we are used to here – including countless varieties of greens and innumerous salad style dishes. India produces one of the largest assortments of vegetables, fruits and legumes in the world. You only have to visit any market to see how this is true.

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

Are you looking for other Subzi recipes?.Try Kohlrabi Subzi, Carrot and Peas Subzi, and Sweet Potato Subzi.

Are you are looking for Potato recipes? Try Aloo Gobi, Arai Puli Kuzhambu (Potatoes in Tangy Gravy), Potato and Sweet Potato Vindaloo,  Doodh Wale Aloo (Milkman Potatoes), Aloo Palak (Potatoes and Spinach), and Nachi’s Sweet Potato and Eggplant Madras Curry.

Browse all of our Potato recipes, our Subzi recipes, and all of our Indian recipes. Find inspiration in our Late Summer recipes.

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Aloo Baingan Wadi Ki Subzi | Potato and Eggplant Curry with Punjabi Wadi

An excellent curry from the Punjab region.

There are many types of wadi/vadai from all over India — this dish takes large Punjabi ones made of sundried lentils and spices (urad dal, mung dal, black pepper, cumin, chillies etc.)

The wadis add flavour, but they also add a wonderful texture to dishes, and being so dry they soak up the wettest of gravies making the dish perfectly composed with a thickness that is delectable. You can get them at your Indian Grocer, but you might like to call first and ask if they stock them. Ask for the large Punjabi Wadi. Or you can make your own!

You might also like to try our Punjabi Dal Makhani recipes. You might also like to try other Subzi recipes. Browse all of our Potato recipes here and here, all Eggplant recipes here and here, or all of our Indian recipes here and here. Find inspiration in our easy Autumn recipes here and here.

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