Caramelised Sweet Potatoes

This is a delicious dish – it can be a side dish or, as I like to do, eat it as a mid afternoon snack! Pretty healthy (as much as butter and some sugar can be – everything in moderation, right?) and they are definitely delicious. You can make this same recipe with carrots or pumpkins such as Butternut or Jap.

This is a great dish for Thanksgiving, if you celebrate that US festival. Other Thanksgiving recipes are here.

Are you looking for Sweet Potato recipes? Why no try Creamy Baked Sweet Potato, Madras Curry of Sweet Potato, Eggplant and Spinach, British Potato and Sweet Potato Vindaloo,  and Sweet Potato Wedges. You might also like Caramelised Roasted Pumpkin.

Have a look at our other Sweet Potato dishes here. Or check out our easy Mid Winter recipes.

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Carrots Glazed with Cumin and Ginger

A touch of spice turns carrots into something wonderful. Not that there is anything wrong with carrots as they are – delicious to munch on, wonderful grated into salads, carrot soups are amazing, pickles are so good, even in dips they shine. They can be poached, roasted, sautéed, mashed, curried, pureed and steamed or boiled.

Glazing carrots is quite retro, but as everything old is new again, we are re-introducing some of the techniques of last century.

Are you looking for similar Carrot recipes? Try Spicy Carrot Side Dish, English Creamed Carrots with Spices and Moroccan Carrot Salad.

Feel free to browse all of our Carrot recipes here and here. Or explore Ginger recipes. Check out our easy Early Spring recipes here. There are also more recipes from our Retro Recipes series.

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Kurkuri Bhindi | Crispy Okra | Crispy Ladyfingers

Okra, or Ladyfingers, are best when cooked fresh. They can be stuffed with a tangy masala, deepfried to crisp (great with peanuts), made into raita, cooked in coconut milk or a spicy gravy, or batter-fried as pakoras.  They are even great when dried and served with spices as a snack. Okra pairs well with sour tastes – for example, lemon juice or amchur, dry mango powder. Always buy young, bright green, crisp pods free of bruises, tender but not soft, and definitely not if they are wilting. There are a range of varieties – long and thin, short and fat, even red and orange varieties.

Kurkuri means crisp and Bhindi (or Bindi) is Okra. This recipe is very common in parts of North India, especially in Rajasthan from Jaipur to Udaipur and beyond. They are definitely a great snack served with drinks, and are also served as an accompaniment to rice and curries. The spices used with the okra are varied – here we have used chilli powder, cumin, chaat masala and amchur – but more complex, or simpler combinations can be used.

The okra can be cooked on its own, as we do here. But you can also tart them up somewhat by including slivers of onion (yum), ginger (tangy) and red peppers.

Are you interested in Okra recipes? Try Ladyfingers Recheio, Avial, and Whole Fried Okra.

Or are you looking for Rajasthani recipes? Try Urad Tomatar Dal. We have more recipes planned, so check here for more.

Why not browse all of our Okra recipes, and all of our Indian dishes. Have a look at our range of snacks. Or simply explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Japanese Simmered Sautéed Eggplant in Beautiful Broth

This dish has to be eaten to be believed! How can eggplant taste so not-like-eggplant?

Eggplant always surprises.

This is one of those dishes things that is an absolute surprise! The sort of recipe that makes you want to rush out to plant your own huge eggplant patch! This is more of a summer dish in Japan as eggplants are one of the best antidotes to Japan’s hot and sultry summers. But it can be cooked at any time that eggplants are in season. The broth is heavenly, and the eggplant acts like tofu, soaking up all of the flavours.

Browse our Eggplant recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Japanese recipes here and here. You might also like our Kombu recipes. Check out our easy Summer recipes here and here.

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Vellarikkai Thayir Pachadi | Cucumber Yoghurt Salad

The joy of yoghurt is beautifully expressed in this flavoursome recipe for Cucumber Raita. Cucumber Raita is a dish known all over the world, and if you must equate it, it is the Indian version of Tzatziki. The combination of cucumber and yoghurt, in what ever form or from what ever cuisine, is well known all over the world. Both ingredients are cooling, so it makes it a special dish for hot weather, but this does not mean that you need to forgo it on cooler days. An essential part of an informal gathering, Cucumber Raita always wins over your guests.

You might like to read more about Pachadi. Browse our Pachadi recipes here and here. Or explore our Yoghurt recipes here and here. Our Indian dishes are here and here. Be inspired by our Summer dishes here and here.

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Mushrooms a la Grecque | Mushrooms Cooked with Herbs

Versatile Greek style mushrooms

A quick lunch that does not miss out on flavour. A gorgeous brunch for a Spring day. Or part of a tapas style meal. Or a snack under the grape vines. This recipe even works well with mushrooms that are, well, a little tired and still sitting in the bottom fridge drawer.

Read more about a la Grecque cooking. Feel free to browse our “a la Greque” recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Mushroom recipes here and here. Check out our easy Spring recipes here and here.

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Mung Dal Usli | Muga Dali

Mung dal is a perfect dish – an eat anytime dish but also very good for those sensitive times. Here it is roasted then cooked with coconut for a flavoursome breakfast or side dish.

A dry spicy dish of mung dal is very popular with the people of the mid West Coast of India, for example, Goa and further south into Kerala. It is easy to make and brings the beautiful and gentle taste of mung dal to the fore.

Mung dal is very easily digested and so is a favourite ingredient in Ayurveda and also for invalids. But there is no need to wait until you are on an Ayurvedic regime or are unwell, this is a dish that can be eaten any time. Often served for breakfast, it is also used as a side dish at a Konkani meal. It is also very good as a snack with chapathi too.

You might like to browse our other Mung recipes here and here, and our other Goan recipes here and here. Try other Usili dishes, and sample our Indian recipes here and here.

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Kothimbir Wada | Coriander Vada | Coriander Fritters

Delicioius!

An excellent snack – Kothimbir is the Marathi word for Green Coriander, which is the main ingredient in this recipe. Kothimbir Wada are basically coriander fritters. In this recipe, the chickpea flour batter with coriander leaves is first steamed and then cut into rings to be fried till crisp.

Use really fresh coriander for best results, and serve with chai or coffee. They can also be served as a side dish with a meal.

Vada are traditional Indian dishes. They are commonly prepared at home and as typical street food, being popular tiffin snacks. Wada are generally crisp on the outside and soft inside.

You might like to browse all of our Snacks here and here, and all of our Indian Recipes here. Try our Chai recipes here, or our general Tea recipes here. You might also enjoy Wada recipes, and our Summer recipes here and here.

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Sticky Balsamic Sweet Potatoes with Orange Bitters

Some of Ottolenghi’s dishes are no-brainers. Just tossing some herbs and easy ingredients with some roasted vegetable or carefully steamed grain. In these it is the combination of the ingredients that make exceptional dishes. But others take time, effort and care. While I prefer the first, the arrival of flavours in the various processes of the second can be a matter of awe.

This dish is definitely of the second variety. It is a great dish. The glaze of a reduced, sticky balsamic with orange juice and bitters caramelises as it roasts. The sweet potatoes are left sticky and delicious. Add to the equation the roasted garlic and the sage and thyme leaves and this is a dish to impress.

This is a great dish for Thanksgiving, if you celebrate that US festival. Other Thanksgiving recipes are here.

Try our other Sweet Potato recipes here and here. Or browse our Ottolenghi recipes here. Be inspired by our Autumn food here and here.

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Carrot Thoran | From Kerala

Colourful coconut-y carrot goodness.

Thorans are dishes from Kerala that go with anything. A side dish to any meal of any cuisine, a lunch by itself or with a green salad, a meal with some rice and perhaps some dal.

The beauty of this mighty coconuty dish is that it can be made with almost any vegetable. There are traditional vegetables, of course – cabbage and carrot, to name a couple. But try thinking tender asparagus stalks. Jicama. Turnip. Snow Peas. The beauty of Thorans is that they enhance the vegetable, and do not overwhelm it with spices.

You might also want to try other dishes from Kerala, such as Avail, Aubergines in Coconut Milk, Cabbage Thoran and Neyyum Parippum.

You might like to browse all of our Kerala recipes are here and here. Perhaps you are looking for other Thoran/Poriyal recipes here and here, or other Vegetable Fry recipes. Explore our Carrot recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Indian recipes here and here, and be inspired by our Spring recipes here and here.

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Spicy Carrot Side Dish

Spicy goodness for a side dish of carrots.

We have a yummy North African Carrot Dip, but did you know that you can use the same ingredients to make a lovely Moroccan side dish for any meal?

You might also like to try Moroccan Carrot Salad, delicious Carrot Thoran, or a Hot Roasted Carrot Salad. Perhaps some Moroccan recipes here and here. You can browse carrot recipes here and here. Be inspired by our Winter recipes here and here.

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Courgettes a la Grecque | Zucchini Cooked in Greek Style | A Rustic, Cold dish.

A perfect dish for hot weather

I love early morning cooking on hot days, if cooking must be done at all.  5 or 6 am is really the only comfortable time to put pot on stove. So dishes that can be eaten cold later in the day are ideal.

This recipe is a cracker. I found some scribbled notes once when I was going through my recipe paper files. And I can tell you this is good! One of Greece’s amazing and simple dishes.

Are you looking for zucchini dishes? Please browse our collection here and here. And we have a number of a la Grecque recipes here and here too. Our favourites are Fennel a la Grecque and Zucchini Curry. Or browse our Greek recipes here and here. Be inspired by our Summer dishes here and here.

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Steamed Thai Eggplant and Zucchini with Chilli Paste and Cumquat or Lime

I love this!

My friend Kate recently told me how good steamed Thai eggplants are with a chilli paste. In need of a quick snack while prep’ing for the large dinner on Xmas Day, I threw some in the steamer with left over zucchini, grabbed some chilli paste from the fridge and chopped up some cumquats. I love this!

I can imagine these eggplants served in a row on a narrow white plate, each one on a salad green leaf, ready for eating picking up and putting straight into the mouth. Also in this pic are some steamed betel leaves,  and a pea shoots and chopped cumquats salad.

You might also like to cook Indian Eggplant Fry, another version of Indian Eggplant Fry, or Fragrant Eggplant and Yoghurt. Browse all of our Eggplant recipes here and here. Explore our Salads here and here. Be inspired by our Summer dishes here and here.

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Caramelised, Marinated King Oyster Mushrooms | With an Asian Twist

A wonderfully surprising dish.

How do you use King Oyster Mushrooms? Slice these giant beauties and marinate them before cooking  in a heavenly caramelisation of the marinade. The stems look amazing place on a plate on their own.

I have had a dish similar to this in Thailand, where the mushrooms are served on blocks of the softest tofu you can ever imagine. It was gorgeous.

King Oyster Mushrooms are also known as King Trumpet Mushrooms and Eryngii. 

You might also like to try Pasta with Porcinin Mushroom Sauce, or Vic’s Mushrooms. All our mushroom recipes are here and here, and our Salads here and here. Be inspired by our Summer dishes here and here. Continue reading “Caramelised, Marinated King Oyster Mushrooms | With an Asian Twist”

Thai Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Soy Dressing

And Nigel Slater said eggplants can’t be steamed!

A very simple and easy recipe for a lovely snack on its own, with rice or part of a larger Thai meal. Ottolenghi has published a Japanese recipe that is nearly identical (see  Ottolenhi’s version) some years after this one post appeared. It shows how wide spread dishes can be over Asia, retaining similar characteristics with regional variations.

You might also like to cook Kerala Eggplant in Coconut, Saffron and Rosewater Scented Eggplant, Eggplants, Sultanas and Pinenuts, or Steamed Thai Eggplants and Zucchini. Browse all of our Eggplant Recipes here and here, and all of our Asian recipes here and here.

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