Indian Melon and Tamarind Kuzhambu with Brown Chickpeas | Kadalai Puli Kuzhambu

This is a delicious dish that can be made with Ash Gourd, Winter Melon, Bottle Gourd, Green Squash, Pumpkin, drumsticks or a mix of vegetables. It includes brown chickpeas (kala chana) cooked with toor dal for both silky smoothness with the chunky chickpeas. It is a dish from Tamil Nadu.

Similar recipes include Curry Leaf Kuzhambu, Beetroot Vathakuzhambu, and Poritha Kuzhambu with Tamarind.

Or browse all of our Kuzhambu recipes.

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Easy Pumpkin and Coconut Curry

This Curry can be made with either Butternut Pumpkin or Kent Pumpkin (previously called Jap pumpkin). It is delicious, so flavoursome, and incredibly easy to make. I have paired it with coriander rice and scattered toasted peanuts and crispy onions over the top.

Similar dishes include Sri Lankan Pumpkin and Roasted Coconut Curry, Sri Lankan Coconut Curry, and Pumpkin Milk Kootu.

Browse all of our Pumpkin dishes and all of our  S. E. Asian recipes.

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Root Mash with Wine-Braised Shallots

There’s nothing more marvellously Wintery than orange root vegetable mash; butter is all it needs.It has been icy here in the mornings – the type of morning you wish you had a wood fire to light, one you could put your old coffee pot on top of and have it bubbling away in no time. One you could heat the soup on and dry the clothes in front of.

But the Wintery mash is all I have. Why not jazz it up with lentils and top with a warming shallot stew!

This recipe is from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. Although we’ve cooked enough Ottolenghi to feel free to channel him when we adjust ingredients to suit our tastes, style and pantry, this recipe is pretty much the same as the one that appears in the Guardian.

Similar recipes include Easy Pumpkin and Coconut Curry, Spicy Crushed Carrots with Yoghurt, Sweet Potato Mash with Lime Salsa, Mashed Potatoes, Parsnip Mash, and Carrot and Parsnip Mash.

Browse all of our Celeriac, Carrots, Pumpkin and Sweet Potato recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book.

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Narangi Shorba

Blended soups often turn out frothy in our house, due to the high speed blender. A soup cappuccino. I could use a stick blender, but I love the smoothness of our high speed one, and it has a soup function – it heats the soup as it blends! Got to love such a blender in Winter.

Narangi soup, an orange vegetable soup from the North of India, is loved because of its beautiful colour and its sweet-green-chilli flavour. It is light and lovely – the perfect precursor or accompaniment to a meal.

Red Pumpkin is traditionally used but I haven’t seen one here in Adelaide for years. So I substitute with either butternut or kent pumpkin.

Similar dishes include Goan Vegetable Soup, and Tamatar Shorba.

Browse all of our Pumpkin Soups and Shorbas. All Indian Soups are here. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here.

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Congee with Crispy Garlic Shallots, Crispy Ginger and Butternut Pumpkin

Although the first inhabitants of our country in some locations call the second half of Winter as Pre-Spring, here in Adelaide it still feels like Deep Winter. There is nothing better than congee when Winter blues hit.

Today we make congee cooked with butternut pumpkin and ginger, and topped with king oyster mushrooms, chilli jam, yoghurt, crispy fried garlic shallots and crispy fried ginger. The butternut melts into the congee as it cooks. We describe the best way to cook congee and make congee bowls here, so have a look before you make today’s recipe.

A word about Butternut – we call it Butternut Pumpkin, in the US they call it Butternut Squash. In Australia it is one of our most loved pumpkins and we use it almost exclusively at our place. The pumpkin I grew up with – the Queensland Blue – is so hard it almost needs an axe to cut and is less popular these days.

Similar dishes include Easy Pumpkin and Coconut Curry, Congee with Ginger, Mushrooms and Chilli-Black Bean Sauce, Barley, Millet and Mung Congee, How to Make Congee Bowls, and Black Glutinous Rice Congee.

Browse all of our Congee recipes, and our Butternut/Pumpkin dishes. Or browse our Mid Winter recipes.

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Saffron Couscous with Dried Apricots and Butternut Pumpkin

Lately dishes have been coming together nicely – like this one. I had half a butternut left over from making Sweetcorn and Butternut Fritters, and some beautiful but very hard dried apricots from the Afghan shop that needed to be used up. What better way to do that but with couscous. Those dried apricots, by the way, are such a surprise. They look like nothing when dried, so hard and dark in colour, yet they plump up to flavoursome soft apricots when soaked. I love them.

Roast the pumpkin the evening before if you are looking to save time. This is a very easy dish, and it makes a great salad or side dish. It is from Ottolenghi’s Ottolenghi, the first of his books. It is interesting to go back and browse through Ottolenghi – you can see the journey that Yotham has been on, and the journey that we have been on along with him.

Similar recipes include Couscous Salad with Orange, Couscous with Pinenuts and Sultanas, and Couscous Lunches.

Browse all of our Couscous recipes and all of our Butternut dishes. Or explore our Early Autumn feasts.

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Pumpkin Soup with Lentils

I have numerous Pumpkin Soups that I love, including this definite favourite. But today, as I am on a Clean-out-the-pantry drive, and because I am restricting shopping trips because of COVID-19 (as I write this), and because there are lentils wanting to be used up – it is a day for a soup with pumpkin and lentils.

Use any lentils in this soup. Toor dal, channa dal, chickpeas and split peas are all good candidates. You could use the small split fava beans too. Brown lentils, puy lentils, beluga lentils, whole red lentils (masoor dal), horsegram, matki beans – all are good. I am using some end-of-the-packet beluga today. They make for a dark soup – if this is difficult for you, just add plenty of chopped herbs as a garnish.

Some lentil types will break down and make a thick broth for the soup, others are more likely to hold their shape. Either will work well with this soup.

In the recipe I specify chopped tomatoes – but more often than not I use a tomato puree from the freezer. In Autumn I usually stock up with a variety of cooked and raw tomato purees, pastes etc, for use over Winter when tomatoes are at their least flavoursome. Feel free to use good quality tinned, chopped tomatoes too.

Similar recipes includeEasy Pumpkin and Coconut Curry,  a Lemony, Tomato Lentil Soup, French Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin Soup with Red Peppers, and a Special Pumpkin Soup.

Browse all of our Soups, Pumpkin Soups, and Tomato recipes.

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Pumpkin Milk Kootu

Today we have another of the rare Indian recipes that use milk. This recipe is one that can substitute the milk for coconut milk if that is more to your taste.

In India, milk is usually reserved for desserts, and in Ayurveda the consumption of milk with vegetables is not encouraged. In this recipe, I imagine that home cooks would use milk thickened with rice flour in place of coconut milk if that was not available.

It is best made with Indian tender pumpkin, but I have also made it with a number of our pumpkin varieties and quite love it. It is a very simple dish – pumpkin, seasoned, in milk with a simple tadka. But simple is best, no?

The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from her cook books Cook and See – very traditional Tamil recipes. You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

Similar dishes include Cluster Beans Kootu, Green Bean Kootu, and Brinjal Asadu.

Browse all of our Kootu recipes and all of our Pumpkin dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

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Puy Lentils with Roasted Pumpkin, Sage and Feta

Don’t you love pumpkins especially as they appear with their gorgeous colours in Autumn? For me, they are the very best decoration for the table. Autumn colours, beautiful shapes, a reminder of the delights that Autumn brings.

But eventually it has to be cooked. What is better than a salad or warm dish based on lentils and roasted pumpkin? Butternut can be used.

This is also a very excellent Xmas dish.

This is a recipe from Ottolenghi’s Simple, but I played with it a bit. He recommends butternut, I used pumpkin; he uses dolcelatte, I used feta (as I keep an amazing creamy feta in stock almost constantly), he used Puy lentils, I used a similar one that is deep and delicious in taste – stocked by my whole foods store but unlabelled. It shows how Ottolenghi’s recipes are versatile, so flexible with the ingredients that you have at hand.

The salad can be served warm or at room temperature. It can be made in advance, up to 6 hours. If you want to use tinned lentils, go for it – just skip the cooking step.

Similar recipes include Salad of Butternut and Noodles, Grilled Butternut with Walnut Salsa, and Roast Pumpkin Couscous Salad.

Browse all of our Pumpkin Salads and our Puy Lentil recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Simple are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

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Kootu with Coconut

Kootu (or Koottu) is a simple, yet delicious dish that’s made in most Tamil homes in Tamil Nadu in South India.  While it can be made at any time, it is especially important during some festivals, such as Pongal.

This kootu is different from the traditional Aviyal as the mix of ingredients is different. Each Tamil home has their own style of making this kootu and the vegetables chosen also differ from home to home. Kootu usually includes lentils and is similar to sambar and kuzhambu, but there is a variation that is similar to Aviyal in that lentils are not used but a variety of vegetables are included. Most kootus are spiced with a coconut, cumin and red or green chillies in a paste – sometimes spices are kept to a minimum and just a coconut paste is used.

The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from her cook books Cook and See. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes. You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

Similar dishes include Melon and Tamarind Kuzhambu, and Aviyal.

Browse all of our Kootu recipes and all of our Aviyal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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