Kosheri | Lentils, Rice and Vermicelli with Onions and Spices

Kosheri (also spelled Koshari) is a dish with its genesis in Egypt, although it now traverses many time zones. We have some similar recipes, but this one from Ottolenghi (in his book Ottolenghi) is another of his dishes that perfectly layers spices with other ingredients. It is a bit intense, this dish, with several cooking processes on the go at one time, but the effort is worth it. Cook the sauce, cook the lentils, cook the rice and vermicelli, cook the onions – then bring them all together.

Frankly, I love how North Africa, the Middle East and India are much more adventurous with their rice dishes than our English-based cultures. Who would have thought of cooking lentils, various pasta, burghul and/or vermicelli with rice? It seems to break all of our Western rules of food composition. Yet here they are, these mixed rice dishes, such a delicious alternative to plain white rice.

Cheap, easy and filling, kosheri is ubiquitous on Egypt’s streets and thought to be an adaptation of Indian kitchari, brought to Egypt in the late 19th century during the British occupation of both countries. Egypt’s Italian community is held responsible for kosheri’s pasta factor. Lebanon and Palestine have a simple version, a rice with pasta dish that works on the principle that less is more.

The dish can be made with or without the tomato sauce. Although it is a good accompaniment, the kosheri is also good with a Cucumber Raita, or any other Raita, Pachadi, or Yoghurt based salad, for that matter. Or just plain yoghurt.

In Egypt, this dish is sold by street vendors, but it is also very welcome at the dinner table. It can be a side dish, but I prefer it as a main, with the accompaniments tailored to eat on and with the rice. I particularly love it with the tomato sauce, some roasted cauliflower and toasted hazelnuts.

Similar recipes include Orzo and Rice, Cauliflower, Mung and Cracked Wheat Kitchari, and Cracked Wheat and Mung Kitchari.

Browse all of our Egyptian recipes and all of our Ottolenghi dishes. Our Rice recipes are here. Or explore our Late Winter collection of recipes.

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Tomato Risotto

Get your Italian Risotto Mojo on with some loud opera music and a good wine

Italian food is just wonderful! Today is another Great Risotto Dish. Risotto is always a meditation in cooking. A quiet kitchen, a wooden spoon, some rice and a large pot.

From years ago, when I was first making risotto, and still today, I amazed friends who pop in unexpectedly. I pick tomatoes, salad greens, chilli and rosemary from the garden, pull some stock and tomato paste from the freezer, and cook this risotto in approx. 30 minutes. I serve it with a garden salad and fresh fruit for dessert. They are always pretty impressed!

If you haven’t cooked risotto before, here are some basics.

Similar recipes include Risotto with Mushrooms, Asparagus Risotto with Basil, and Caramelised Pumpkin Risotto.

You might also like our Risotto recipes, and our Rice recipes. Our Italian dishes are here. Check out our easy Early Spring recipes too.

This is a vegetarian recipe from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can browse other recipes from this blog in our Retro Recipes series. Continue reading “Tomato Risotto”

Green Mango and Coconut Rice

Perfect for hot weather. Cooling and delicious.

It is easy to have a thing for green mangoes, whether they are the sour type, or just unripe sweet mangoes, or the sour-sweet type. Here, we love them a lot.  (If you love green mangoes, you probably also love ripe, sweet mangoes of any variety.)

When it is green mango season, the local large Asian supermarket stocks all sorts of green mangoes in large boxes, a dozen layers deep, by their front counter. It is difficult to leave the shop without any. But even when it is not prime season, they seem to have some, so we enjoy them pretty much all year round.

This recipe highlights the crispy tartness of the green mango, together with a punch of chilli and a hint of salt – the three flavours that go so well together. It is all combined with rice – slightly hot and salty with the sweetness of coconut, the slight bitter punch of the fenugreek, and toasted peanuts and crispy fried dal for a crunchy texture. What could be better?

This dish works well as a snack, side dish or rice salad. Rice made with green mangoes is popular in South India , with Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu all making it a little differently. This one is Tamil in style.

Similar recipes include Carrot Rice, Mango Rice, and Zucchini Rice. Green Mango dishes include Mung Dal with Green Mango, and Spicy Green Mango in Coconut Milk.

Check our different Coconut Rice Recipes. Browse our Green Mango Recipes, and our Sweet Mango recipes also. Or if you are looking for Rice recipes, they are here. Try our Rice Salads. Our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or simply browse our easy Mid Spring recipes.

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Sweet Pepper and Rice Salad

I have had 2 revelations this week – firstly, how good rice salad is. It is a salad that my Mother made a lot in Summer but some how it has never ever made it onto my radar. Perhaps we ate too much of it as we grew up, perhaps hers never inspired me to make them myself (sorry Mum).

In this 42C (107F) heat, I made a rice salad on a whim, because all I had to do was turn on the rice cooker – no other hot steamy cooking steps required. And the salad was so good, we are now converted.

The other revelation is, how good idli rice is for both stir-fried rice, and for rice salads. Idli rice is the type of rice used in India for making idli, dosa and the like. It is rice with attitude – separate, independent grains, that retain some bite even after cooking (think al dente rice), and that have a bit of swag. Yeah. It is perfect for rice salad.

But any other medium to long grain rice will do – don’t use rice that is sticky when cooked. You are looking for separate grains.

Are you looking for more rice recipes? Try Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf, Eggplant Pilaf, and Mung Sprouts Rice.

Or are you after some Capsicum recipes? Try How to Dry Capsicums, Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato, and Roasted Red Pepper Salad. Elizabeth David has a couple of Red Pepper Salads.

Perhaps you are looking for other Salad Recipes. Try Pasta or Couscous Salads, A Quick Burghul Salad with Olives, Pomegranate and Hazelnuts, and Thai Lettuce Wraps. Our Mid-Summer Salads are here.

Or browse all of our Capsicum Recipes, all of our Rice Recipes, and all of our many stunning Salad recipes. Or take a while to explore our easy Mid Summer recipes.

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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. Or, as often done in parts of India, it is a great breakfast dish.

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 Chaat, 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.

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Carrot Rice | Carrot Pilau

Mixed rice dishes are easy to prepare and quickly become family favourites. They are great lunch or tiffin dishes, and served with a raita/pachadi and a simple salad to make a delicious light meal.

Carrots have an inherent sweetness and it is emphasised when you sauté them in ghee. This recipe compliments that sweetness with the bite of the green chilli, the warmth of sweet spices like cardamom, cloves and cinnamon, and the crunch of onions and nuts. You will really enjoy it.

If you are looking for similar Rice recipes, try Spicy Eggplant Rice, Cumquats Rice, Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf, Lemon Rice, and Pepper Cumin Rice. Barley Pilaf is pretty good too.

Are you looking for Carrot recipes? You will like this Green Bean and Carrot Poriyal, Carrot Poriyal with Coconut Lentil Crumble, Carrot Thoran, and Carrot Sambal.

You can browse all of our Rice dishes here, and find all of our Carrot recipes here. Take some time and explore all of our Indian recipes. Or browse our Early Summer recipes.

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Risotto with Mushrooms

This is a most beautiful risotto with the creaminess of mushrooms combined with the creaminess of a risotto. Mushroom Risotto is a perfect winter-time dish, a cold evening dish, a heater-on-high dish. It is a comfort dish, for when you need a little more love and support in your life. Really, it is divine. Who doesn’t like risotto?

While I specify button and oyster mushrooms, you can make this with any mix of mushrooms. Cut them to size accordingly.

Do be careful about the rice that you use for risotto. You will get the best results using a risotto rice. You can read more about that here. My favourite at the moment, and the one that I used for this dish, is Carnaroli.

If you are new to making risotto, read How to Make Risotto.

Try some other Risottos too – Tomato Risotto, Beetroot Risotto, Caramelised Pumpkin Risotto and Asparagus Risotto are some of our favourites.

Are you looking for Mushroom recipes? Try Henri Toulouse-Lautrec’s Slow Cooked Creamy Mushrooms, French Mushrooms and Tomatoes, Adzuki Beans with Shiitake Mushrooms, and Mushroom and Carrot Salad with Mung Sprouts.

Check out all of our Risotto recipes, and also  all of our Italian recipes. All of our Mushroom recipes are here. You might like to browse our easy Late Summer recipes here.

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Rice and Orzo

Orzo is petty good, don’t you agree? This little rice-shaped pasta has an elegance that eludes other pastas. I was delighted to find another way to cook this star in Jerusalem, the cookbook by Ottolenghi and Tamimi.

Rice is a staple of many of the communities of the Middle East and features in quite complex dishes as well as very simple ones. Quite often, other ingredients like chickpeas, vermicelli, potatoes, lentils and nuts are are cooked with the rice.

Spices are also used, for example the Bucharan Jews in Jerusalem use ginger, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon with mint, raisins and peas. How delicious!

In this recipe, the usual vermicelli is replaced by Ottolenghi and Tamimi by orzo. Don’t confuse this orzo with the Greek barley – it is the Italian pasta version. You can use vermicelli if you like, just don’t fry them as long as they will burn.

Are you looking for other Orzo recipes? Try Beautiful Buttered Orzo, and  Elegant Orzo Salad. You should also try Kosheri – Rice with Vermicelli and Lentils.

Perhaps you are looking for mixed rice dishes. Try Zucchini Rice, Mango Rice, and Pepper Rice.

We have several Middle Eastern Recipes to try. Beetroot with Yoghurt-Tahini, Saffron and Rosewater Scented Aubergine, and Beautiful Hummus.

Are you looking for more? Explore our Ottolenghi recipes, all of our Orzo dishes, our Rice recipes, and all of our Middle Eastern dishes. Or simply spend some time browsing our Mid Autumn collection of dishes.

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Old Fashioned Baked Rice Pudding like My Mother Made

 

Rice pudding is such a traditional dish, born from Mother’s, Grandmothers’  and Great Grandmothers’ Winter collections of recipes. I always know when the best of Glorious Autumn is over because I bake a rice pudding. It varies every year – sometimes it is as early as early April, and sometimes as late as mid May here in the Southern Hemisphere. A dish of extreme comfort and warmth, there is something about it that connects me with my great line of ancestors.

This old fashioned, rustic dish is rather dark from the cinnamon and the brown sugar. Use white sugar if you prefer a lighter version.

Are you looking for Rice Puddings? Try our Greek Rice Pudding and Bengali Rice Kheer. Or try some other desserts – Sago Payasam, Baked Apricots with Honey and Orange, and Baked Strawberries.

Looking for more? Explore all of our Rice Puddings and all of our  other Desserts . Feel free to browse other vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in the Retro Recipes series. Or try our easy Mid Autumn recipes.

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Bengali Vegetable Khichuri | Kitchari

Bengal has so many different types of khichuri (kitchari), its quite mind blowing. They adore their them. This one is a kitchari with the classic combo of peas, cauliflower and potato, together with an onion-spice mix. It is quite a flavoursome dish, and another addition to our 17 or so published and scheduled kitchari dishes.

You might guess that kitchari is also well loved in this house – a more nourishing and comforting dish is hard to find. The vegetables in this one add to its nutritional value as well as flavour and texture. Bengali’s make kitchari on rainy days, it is popular in the monsoon season – but don’t be held back. Make this dish at any time of the  year.

Kitchari is also very good for babies and invalids.

It is difficult to get the local Bengali rice unless you have a specialist Indian grocer near you, so use Basmati rice. You might like to begin the recipe by making your own ginger paste and Bengali Garam Masala.

Similar recipes include Moraiya Kitchari with Yoghurt, Barnyard Millet Kitchari, Parsi Kitchari, and Ven Pongal.

We have other Bengali recipes. Try Bengali Rice Kheer and Bhog Kitchari.

Or explore all of our Kitchari recipes and we have a number of Indian mixed rice dishes. Browse all of our Rice dishes. Our Bengali recipes are here, all of our Indian recipes here and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Early Autumn collection of recipes.

Continue reading “Bengali Vegetable Khichuri | Kitchari”

Zucchini Rice, Indian Style

Anyone who has ever grown zucchini will know that you can get a glut of zucchini very quickly. I planted 4 plants this year, forgetting how large the plants get, and they seem to be taking over the veggie garden. They have already swallowed 2 chilli bushes and a whole lot of radishes!

So I have the opportunity to explore zucchini recipes at this time of year, trying to keep that glut under control. This is an Indian mixed rice – cooked rice is mixed with spices and perhaps a vegetable or other ingredient. Indian mixed rice dishes are flavoursome and healthy!

Would you like to try other Mixed Rice dishes? Try Pepper Cumin Rice, Masala Lemon Rice, or Golden Rice.

Try these zucchini dishes: Zucchini Fry, Zucchini Thoran, and Marinated Zucchini.

You can browse all of our Mixed Rice dishes, all of our Rice dishes, our Zucchini dishes, or our Indian Recipes. Or simply explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Adzuki Beans with Red or Brown Rice and Shiitake Mushrooms

The goodness of Adzuki Beans teams perfectly with the comfort of Mashed Potatoes and creaminess of Mushroom Sauce

This is a wonderful, yet simple, Adzuki Bean dish flavoured with kombu and Shiitake Mushrooms and textured with red or brown rice. My preferred way of serving this dish is with mushroom sauce and some perfect mashed potatoes.

Somewhere between a kitchari and a congee, the rice and adzuki beans are slow cooked for nearly 2 hours. This is a perfect quiet Sunday Afternoon sort of dish. Slow cooking also helps to preserve the taste and health properties of the kombu which should always be simmered and not boiled.

Are you looking for recipes with Adzuki Beans? Then try Red Rice and Adzuki Bean Congee, Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup with Miso and Parsley, and Adzuki Bean Soup with Parsley.

Try other Rice recipes as well – Bean Sprouts Rice, Eggplant Rice, or a Parsi Kitchari.

Thee is more! Explore all of our Adzuki dishes, and all Rice dishes here. Or take some time and browse our easy Late Winter recipes.

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Sakkarai Pongal | Sweet Pongal with Milk

Sakkarai Pongal is short grained, raw rice cooked in jaggery and milk with mung dal, simmered until thick and then garnished with ghee, cashew nuts and raisins. It is not the traditional Milk Pongal cooked completely in milk, but is a definite favourite. It is a distinctive dish from Tamil Nadu, and also cooked in Sri Lanka and some other states in South India.

Pongal is a festival in January where we thank the Sun for the bounty that it brings us. Sakkarai Pongal is cooked in the morning as the sun rises and is presented as part of the devotions. Read more about the Pongal Festival here. And all of our dishes for the Pongal Festival are here.

But Pongal, the dish, can be made at any time. There are sweet versions like this one (called sakkarai), and you might like to try the other versions: Sakkarai Pongal from Jaffna; and Sakkaria Pongal without Milk. Check to see if we have since posted other version.

And there is are savoury versions, and we have a couple of versions of Ven Pongal. You can see recipes here.

Otherwise, browse all of our Rice dishes, and all of our Indian dishes. You might like to take some time and browse all of our Mid Summer recipes.

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Beetroot and Pinot Risotto

Like rubies, real rubies, the Prince of Vegetables – such is the humble beetroot. This is another beetroot risotto, a perfect combination of the earthy taste of beetroot with the creaminess of risotto. Such an unusual colour! It is beautiful served on white or green plates. A splendour of colour! Stand back and wait for the spontaneous applause which is sure to come.

If this is the first time that you are making risotto, read Risotto Basics 101 first.

Similar recipes include Tomato Risotto, Risotto with Mushrooms, and Caramelised Pumpkin Risotto.

You might like to explore other Risotto recipes and our Beetroot recipes are. Our Italian dishes are here. Or explore our Mid Spring dishes here.

Continue reading “Beetroot and Pinot Risotto”

Masoor Sprouts Rice | Maharashtrian Kitchari | Khichuri

Today’s recipe is a kitchari from Maharashtra that incorporates sprouts made from masoor lentils, and which uses Goda Masala. Goda Masala is a spice mix unique to Maharashtra. I should say, one of the several spice mixes unique to that state of India. It is a spice mix that is complex and layered in flavours. There are a whole range of dishes that use it (e.g. Masoor Sprouts Usal), and we intend to make a few over the next weeks.

Goda Masala can be difficult to get outside of Maharashtra – try in North Indian groceries, because those specialising in South Indian ingredients won’t have heard of it. You can try to make your own masala – I generally prefer to do this, but several of the spices used in Goda Masala are hard to find outside of Maharashtra, even in India.

This kitchari is pilaf style rather than the South Indian style which is more porridge-like. It uses the long grained basmati rice rather than the shorter grained rice of South India.

Check out other Goda Masala recipes here. There are many other Kitchari recipes here. You will find more sprouts recipes here. Or explore all of our Maharashtrian recipes and our Indian recipes. Feel free to browse our Late Spring recipes here.

Continue reading “Masoor Sprouts Rice | Maharashtrian Kitchari | Khichuri”