English Creamed Carrots with Spices

A modern take on an English classic.

Everything old is new again. This is definitely a retro English recipe, the sort of recipe that screams of the cold weather and the need for cream to make you feel comforted and warm and nourished. But it is also a lovely recipe that can be modernised to suit today’s palates.

Other Carrot recipes for you to try include: Carrots with Green Peas and Green Coriander, Green Mung and Baked Carrot Salad, and a Spicy Carrot Side Dish.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series, vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006. You might also like all of our Carrot recipes here and here. Or you might like to explore English/British recipes here and here. Check out our easy Winter recipes here and here.

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Falafel | Ta’amia | Spicy Middle Eastern Chickpea Patties or Balls

Using cooked or tinned chickpeas, falafels are very easy to make.

Who can resist a good falafel? Wonderful for snacks, meals, in wraps or topping salads, they are wonderfully tasty, textural and healthy. Whip them up using chickpeas you have previously cooked and  frozen, for an easy supper.

Home made falafel are a huge cut above store-bought ones, or even those from some restaurants that must purchase them in bulk and keep them frozen for a long time. One has to wonder why, they are so easy to make, whereas many pre-prepared ones taste like cardboard. Who hasn’t had a wrap or roll with cardboard-tasting falafel stuffed into them for a “vegetarian option” when it would have been more flavoursome to leave them out?

Worry no more, we have your back. These are fantastic. Crispy crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. You can grind the chickpeas coarsely or more finely, which ever is your preference. But they must be ground enough to hold together as fritters.

You might like to also try hummus, which goes well with falafel. Chickpeas make a whole range of dishes. Try Chickpea Fingers, for example (it uses chickpea flour). Or Chickpea “Tabblouleh”Chickpeas can be baked, or made into a spread, or smashed and made into a salad.  They are really healthy – have a look at this article.

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Carrots and Green Peas with Green Coriander (Cilantro) | Gajar Matar Sabzi

I miss Priti, who lived in Adelaide for a short while. My friend was such a good cook and teacher. She shared wonderful recipes with me including this easy dish.  She needed to shift suddenly, and we lost contact. Miss you Priti. Hope all is well with you.

Priti introduced me to many of the dimensions of Indian cooking, and particularly the use of Coriander leaves. This dish is cooked with chopped green coriander for 30 mins or so. While this may seem unusual outside of India (coriander is normally used fresh, as a garnish), it is akin to using a coriander paste. The resulting flavours are great. Feel free to garnish with some fresh coriander if desired.

She had other Coriander recipes too, like this Coriander Chutney. You might also enjoy making Pudla with Coriander or Coriander Paste.

What about Peas? Try Stuffed Sandwiches with Potatoes and Peas, Savoury Rice and Green Pea Pilaf, and Tawa Peas.

Are you looking for Carrot recipes? Try Carrot and Blueberry Salad, Carrot Thoran, and a Herby Salad with Carrots.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – our vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2005. You might also like our Carrot recipes here and here. And Pea recipes here and here. The Coriander recipes are here and here. Or you might like to browse Indian recipes here and here. Check out our easy Winter recipes here and here.

Continue reading “Carrots and Green Peas with Green Coriander (Cilantro) | Gajar Matar Sabzi”

Hand Made Pesto | Zeffirino Pesto

Hand made, home made pesto is the most exquisite of creations. Do try it.

I first made it long ago, when I took a cooking class with Bill Grainger of the famous Bills Restaurants in Sydney, and author of many Sydney-style cookbooks. He made pesto by hand in the class. At home, Bill didn’t keep a lot of gadgets in his kitchen and didn’t have a blender!! So at home he always made it by hand. A man after my own heart – Meditation in the kitchen through manual grinding. There is something about pesto that you make yourself, especially if you grow your own basil.

This recipe is enough to make you reach for the basil plant, and bring the mortar and pestle out of the cupboard. You can smell the basil even while reading the recipe…. and taste the pasta.

Are you looking for pasta sauces? Try Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce, and Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato.

You might also like our Pesto recipes here and here. All of our Pasta Sauce recipes are here. Or you might like to browse our Italian recipes here and here. Alternatively, take some time to check out our easy Mid Summer recipes.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.

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Garlic Soup | For Cold Wintery Weather

Garlic Soup guaranteed to warm the cockles of your heart.

Feel that vampires are on the loose? Is it a full moon? Or do you just feel like a touch of Spain tonight? Is it extra cold where you are? Whatever, cook Garlic Soup for no reason at all.

Are you looking for warming soups? Browse our soup recipes here and here. Our favourites are Simple Mung Dal Soup and Spicy Rustic Red Lentil Soup. Have a look at the Garlic recipes here and here.  Find inspiration in our Winter recipes here and here.

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Currant Mint Pastries

In celebration of the birthday of this blog, I am publishing some of my old recipes. We began blogging in 1996, and this blog was created in 2007.

 

To cook is to be a sorcerer. – Alma Lach

Original quote from the front page of my first Recipe and Cooking Blog

Way back in 1996 I began putting my recipes online. Things were different then. The internet was still young. There were no blogging platforms. You needed to know how to write html and debug funny little errors in the postscript that was generated for printer files. There was no food porn. No photographs. Just words to describe your dishes.

You may like to browse all of the Retro Recipes. Our Dessert recipes are here and here. Be inspired by our Winter recipes here and here.

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Caramelised Roast Pumpkin

A particularly Winter-y dish

In Autumn, the pumpkins arrive and thoughts of beautiful Autumnal pumpkin salads, risottos, mashes, curries, soups, BBQ’d pumpkin, pasta and other dishes swim around in a cook’s mind.

In Australia, we are not familiar with the huge variety of pumpkins available in other countries, so everything yellow and round is a pumpkin to us. We only have a few varieties. Queensland Blue pumpkin, for example. Need to take an axe to that one. Butternut, my favourite. Sweet natured and thin skinned, easy to deal with and delicious in taste. Jap, a sweet beauty. Sometimes in markets I might find a red pumpkin.

This is a great dish for Thanksgiving, if you celebrate that US festival. Other Thanksgiving recipes are here. Continue reading “Caramelised Roast Pumpkin”

Dukkah and Zahtar (Za’atar)

Imagine a piece of bread dipped in lovely golden olive oil, then into a bowl of ground nuts, spices, lentils and seeds.

Imagine a piece of bread dipped in lovely golden olive oil. Then, dripping still, is dipped in a bowl of ground nuts, spices, lentils and seeds. The wonderful aromas. The extraordinary flavours. Popped right into your mouth. Over a cup of coffee. For breakfast.

This mix is Middle Eastern in origin, where it is served at breakfast with bread. One takes a piece of bread, dips it first into a bowl of very good olive oil and then into the mix and then eaten.

Dukkah is a real textural treat, blended from nuts such as pistachio, hazelnut or almond with spices such as cumin, toasted sesame and coriander seeds.

In Australia it is quite popular to serve with drinks before a meal. But it is perfect at any time. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. As a salad topping. Sprinkled over roast or steamed vegetables. Sprinkled over soups. Covering bread dipped in olive oil. Divine. For vegetarians it adds a little protein via the sesame seeds and chick peas.

By contrast, Za’atar is a herbaceous mix of thyme and oregano, sometimes marjoram, that is grounded by toasted sesame seeds and lifted by sumac. It’s brilliant sprinkled over homemade hummus, mixed with olive oil for a paste that you can slather over Lebanese bread and used in baked vegetables and salads.

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Fagioli Stufati | Tuscan Beans Baked with Sage and Lemon

An Italian baked beans dish full of goodness and taste.

I love beans. Give me Italian or Indian bean dishes and I am in heaven. Without much ado today, this is a baked dish full of goodness and taste. Italian in origin, it is something we have been cooking for years. Fagioli Stufati means Stewed or Baked Beans. Continue reading “Fagioli Stufati | Tuscan Beans Baked with Sage and Lemon”

Broad and Butter Bean Spread or Dip

The secret to great tasting broad beans is double peeling

It is easy to develop an aversion to Broad Beans. Prolific bearers and easy to grow, they are an easy choice for home gardeners and country kitchen gardens. Yet the poor bean is often misunderstood. Instead of being treated tenderly, cooks mistakenly overcooked them to a green-grey mush with a strong taste only masked by other strong tasting ingredients. Unaware that each individual bean has its own skin that needs to be peeled, they were being boiled until that outer skin reached a level of tenderness – and that mean that the inner bean was overcooked.

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How to Make Ghee | Nature’s Fabulous Food

An Ayurvedic ritual

I have been making ghee for myself and others since around 2000. It does take a few practice attempts to perfect, but once you have done it you will never buy ghee again. It is quite different.

All it requires is butter and mindfulness – it does need to be watched continually. The end point tricky to judge the first couple of times that you make it. But after that, you are a pro. It takes about 30 minutes all up. The amount of time that it takes depends on the amount of water in the butter, and different brands of butter will take different times.

Feel free to browse our Indian recipes here and here. Or try recipes using ghee here and here. Our Spring recipes are here and here.

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