Dried Apricot Pachadi

Our local Afghan shop has the most gorgeous dried apricots. They are as hard as a rock and really uninviting, but once soaked, their flavour is sweet and intense. We make a range of dishes with them, often long, slow cooked dishes of a Middle Eastern style, but we also make a South Indian pachadi (pureed vegetable or fruit in yoghurt with spices).

You might expect this dish to be sweet, but the sourness of the yoghurt and the heat of the chillies counterbalances any sweetness that the apricots retain. You can also use apricots that you have dried yourself.

Similar recipes include Bitter Melon Pachadi, Pomelo Raita, and Cucumber Pachadi.

Browse all of our Pachadi recipes and all of our Mango dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Dried Mango Pachadi

Yoghurt is an essential part of meals in Tamil Nadu, and Pachadi recipes are a way to deliver the health benefits of yoghurt while adding another vegetable (or fruit) to the meal. Win-win! This pachadi uses dried mango; it’s common in households as Summer is spent sun-drying vegetables, mixed vegetable purees and lentil pastes.

Meenakshi Ammal has this recipe in her Cook and See volumes (Volume 1). Perhaps using dried mango for pachadi is not as common as it was, but it is a delicious addition to the table, and easily made from readily available ingredients.

You might expect it to be sweet, but the sourness of the yoghurt and the heat of the chillies counterbalances any sweetness that the mangoes retain. I used mangoes that I dehydrated last year in the midst of mango season.

One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through Meenakshi Ammal’s 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 recipes include Dried Apricot Pachadi, Bitter Melon Pachadi, Pomelo Raita, and Cucumber Pachadi.

Browse all of our Pachadi recipes and all of our Mango dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Tri Colour Pachadi

We make raita and yoghurt pachadi often at home – they are easy, no fuss dishes that can be served with an Indian meal or used as sauces and dressings for baked and steamed veggies, in wraps, over simple salads etc.

This raita uses carrots, cucumbers or zucchini, and tomatoes for a colourful raita that brings a happy note to the table. The vegetables are just grated or chopped and incorporated into the yoghurt with some chillies, ginger and a tadka. Enjoy! You could sub other vegetables – finely grated cabbage (red or green), or red or green peppers, for example.

Similar recipes include Dried Mango Pachadi, Asparagus Raita, Okra and Coconut Raita, and Spinach Pachadi.

Browse all of our Raitas and Pachadi recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

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Dried Okra Pachadi | Crispy Dried Okra in Yoghurt

Some time ago I dried some okra to see us through the non-okra season, and it is time to use them.  These are teeny crispy dried okra, tiny little rounds of okra and today we pair them with yoghurt in a Dried Okra Pachadi.

The dried okra is flash fried in some ghee and added to yoghurt which has been flavoured with spices. It is totally delicious, and can be used as a snack or as a side salad to a meal. We have even used it as a sauce or dressing for other dishes.

Are you after more Okra dishes? Try Yoghurt Curry with Okra, Spicy Dried Okra SnackOkra with Apricots and Lemon, Dried Turmeric Okra, and Fried Okra.

Also try Tri Colour Raita.

Browse all of our Okra dishes, and all of our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or find some wonderful recipes to make in our Early Summer collection.

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South Indian Cold Minty Cucumber Yoghurt Soup

If you follow us on twitter or instagram you will know that in January we had the hottest day on record – over 47C – and temperatures into the 40c until midnight. It was manageable, and our local wild bird population crowded into the cool of the verandah where we made sure water was available for them. I made this crispy fried green bean dish for afternoon snacks that went well with beer (sadly I don’t drink beer, not even when it is 47), and this most excellent Feta and Pistachio Dip and Spread. I also made our recipe today, an Indian take on a cold cucumber soup. It is quite gorgeous. Simple. Easy.

Actually, this soup can also be sipped like a gorgeous lassi with ice. I love it this way too, on a terribly hot afternoon, sitting in the shade of the verandah.

Similar recipes include Tamatar Shorba, Cucumber Lassi, Cucumber Raita, and Tomato and Cucumber Cold Soup.

Browse all of our Cold Soups and all of our Cucumber dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Cucumber and Tomato Raita with Lemon-Chilli Paste

Picture a Tunisian grandmother, a master at cooking kofta, making them with Ottolenghi. This scene from his Mediterranean series is a classic. She gets fully ticked off with his faffing around, the time he takes, the number of ingredients he uses. She sits on a stool in the corner, rolling her eyes and muttering under her breath. Ah, Grandma, we know, we KNOW.

It must have been a trial for Ottolenghi to bring out Simple, his latest book. Recipes pared down to their bare essentials. No more layerings of flavour upon flavour upon flavour. No more dishes that can be a meal in themselves. HE must have been the one rolling his eyes and huffing and puffing as testers and editors stripped yet another ingredient from a dish.

I am in 2 minds about Simple. Yes, there is a level of difficulty in his other books, and not all of those recipes are for typical week night cooking. But there is something in the Simple recipes that I miss. An undefinable something. It is as though every recipe in his other books stretches us in the kitchen somehow. A new ingredient, a new technique, a new way of cooking, a new combination of ingredients. Not so Simple. Some dishes are quite ordinary by comparison, albeit delicious.

Still, they are as visually pleasing as the dishes from his other books, and a delight in their own way (just a different way to the Ottolenghi we have been used to). This raita, a riff on an Indian dish, is quite good. I’ve said before that Ottolenghi does not yet understand Indian food very well – perhaps he doesn’t care about that. He has been known to use Indian ingredients in ways that don’t showcase them to their best. But in this dish, although not typically Indian, it is a pretty jolly good plate of food.  Love the inclusion of preserved lemon in the chilli paste which is layered on top of the raita. Brilliant.

Raita is traditionally served with an Indian meal as a salad and as a cooling agent, contrasting well with the spiciness of the rest of the meal.  Leave off the chilli paste if you want to serve it this way. But raita is very versatile. It is lovely as a dip, gorgeous with some warm pitta, and excellent spooned on top of spiced rice.

You can find the original recipe for this dish here.

Similar dishes include Pomegranate Raita, Pomelo Raita, and Carrot Raita.

Browse all of our Raita recipes. Our dishes from Simple are here, and all of our Ottolenghi recipes are here. You might like to check out our Indian dishes and our Indian Essentials. Or explore our Late Spring dishes.

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Cucumber Raita

Amongst non-Indians, Cucumber Raita must be the most well known accompaniment to Indian meals. It is not a surprise, really. It is a tasty and cooling dish that easily cuts through the heat of Indian food. Because of it’s popularity, the wealth of different Raita and Pachadis (Sth India’s version of the raita) sadly do not feature in restaurants.

In Summer, in this 42C heat of recent days, even we reach for this cucumber cooling goodness. I hope you enjoy it.

Similar recipes include Cucumber and Tomato Raita with Lemon-Chilli Paste, Cucumber Pachadi with Coconut, Spinach Pachadi, and Carrot Sambol.

Browse all of our Pachadi and Raita. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or browse our Mid Summer collection of recipes.

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Asparagus Raita

This raita is a very simple one – the spices are in the tadka rather than layering them as powders in the yoghurt. But my, it is delicious. The recipe was given to me by a Maharashtrian friend who was making it for a special event at their home.  I do love to make recipes that are given to me, as the chain of links formed by people and recipes is something special and important. In days gone, the passing of recipes from person to person was very important – no social media, few books, rare magazines. So word of mouth was the conduit, along with the Saturday paper Ladies Section and locally printed books compiled by Women’s groups.

Enjoy this raita, it is special for several reasons.

Similar recipes include Cucumber Raita, Spring Salad, Pomegranate Raita, Carrot Pachadi, and Bhindi Raita.

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

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Pomegranate Raita

We’ve come a long way in Australia, foodwise, in the past decade or two. Not far enough – we have lost the wide variety in each vegetable, and do not yet have proper labelling of variety, growers and location. But when it comes to pomegranates we do have edible ones now! Thank goodness! When I first brought them into our kitchen the only locally available pomegranates here were sour and hard to the point of being inedible. It was after a beautiful road trip in India, eating pomegranates in Kerela with every breakfast (piled onto my plate).  Now, edible varieties are commonly available, frozen kernels are stocked by supermarkets (with all the dangers of eating mass processed frozen foods, sadly), and this year a tree will grace our garden.

Locally, I find 2 types of pomegranate – the usual bright red one with bright red kernel, and a larger pomegranate with a pink skin and paler kernels. Both are great.

Pomegranate kernels are perfect garnishes for almost anything Middle Eastern, much North Indian food, and any salad. They turn an Ok salad into something instagram-worthy.

Today, we make a Raita, a glorious use of both pomegranate kernels and yoghurt. Serve as you might any salad, with any Indian meal, or just with Indian flatbreads or a little rice.

Similar recipes include Cucumber and Tomato Raita with Lemon-Chilli Paste, Asparagus Raita, Pomelo Raita, Carrot Raita, and Okra Raita.

Wondering what to do with your pomegranates? Here is how to extract pomegranate juice, and use it to make Pomegranate Honey, Pomegranate Vinegar and Pomegranate Molasses.

Browse all of our Pomegranate dishes and our Raitas and Pachadis. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.
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Vendakkai Thayir Pachadi | Crispy Sautéed Okra in Yoghurt

Yoghurt is as important in our kitchen as it is in general in Indian cuisine. Desi yoghurt is used all over India, in different ways, of course, in the different regions. This recipe brings together one of our much loved vegetables – okra – with yoghurt and spice to form the South Indian version of Raita, called Pachadi. There is something very special about okra with yoghurt. Divine.

This recipe takes okra slices and sautés them (which eliminates the sliminess) until crisp before mixing with the yoghurt. This is a great dish for Festival days too. It is a simpler version of this Vendakkai Thayir Pachadi.

Are you looking for other Pachadi recipes? Try Dried Okra Pachadi, Vendakka Khichadi, Teeny Dried Okra Vathal, Ginger Coconut Pachadi, Nilgiri’s Carrot Pachadi, Eggplant Pachadi, and Spinach Pachadi.

Or try other Yoghurt dishes – Aryan, Green Peppers in Yoghurt, and Yoghurt Curry with Lentil Dumplings.

Okra recipes include Crispy Battered Okra in Tomato Sauce.

Browse all of our Yoghurt recipes and all of our Pachadi and Raita dishes. All of our Indian dishes are here. Or try our Late Autumn collection of recipes.

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