Quince Paste

Quince paste is as old as the hills, being made in the Middle East and slowly spreading across Europe and indeed into Australia, primarily through our foodie icon, Maggie Beer. It must be one of the best uses of quinces.

You will find quinces in the green grocers in Autumn and again in Spring. They are long-keeping, so the appearance in the shops in Spring is a bit of an artifice, I am afraid, as their fruiting time is Autumn. I have such a love of this fruit – perhaps they remind me of my Grandmother. Years ago, I knew of a wonderful, neglected quince tree in the Clare Valley in South Australia, and each Autumn I would spend a weekend in this delightful region and come home with a bucket of quinces. One year, the tree had been removed, and I was devastated.

Since then, I have found that one of my friends has a quince tree, and every Autumn I still get my bucket of quinces. I feel blessed at this time of year, there is such an abundance of produce. It is as though nature is also preparing for Winter.

There are many recipes for quince paste. I use this one. I like the way that the long cooking intensifies the flavour. Serve with the creamiest of cheeses, or eat on its own as a sweet – sneak some for your midnight snack.

We have other Quince recipes too. Try Quince Jam/Jelly, Indian Quince Pickles, and Slow Cooked Sweet Spiced Quinces.

Other recipes that use the dehydrator include Sweet Potato Crisps, Beautiful Dried Capsicum, and Dried Mango.

Or browse all of our Quince recipes, and you might like to read about Autumn Preserving. Also, explore our Mid Autumn collection of dishes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2005, and is part of our Retro Recipes series.

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Urad and Red Rice Kitchari | Khichuri

An unusual kitchari, oven cooked, slow cooked, or stove top.

Rediscovering a wonderful ceramic oven dish with lid, it was put to use cooking another kitchari, this time made with red rice. Most Indian and some Asian groceries will stock red rice. Red rice is a very healthy rice – I use Rosa Matta rice from Kerala, but there are several different varieties.

This kitchari originates from Korea, but I have made it more Indian than Korean. It is not a traditional Indian kitchari, but is very tasty, and can be cooked on the stove top, in the oven or in a slow cooker.

Are you looking for Kitchari recipes? Browse them here. Have a look at our rice recipes also. Explore the Urad recipes too. And read about Rosa Matta Rice as well. Our Indian recipes are here, and Indian Essentials here. Or browse all of our Early Autumn dishes.

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Chilli Jam with Deep and Complex Flavours | A HOT Chilli Paste

A Chilli Jam with extraordinary depth of flavours.

This Chilli Jam is more complex and refined that many others. Slow, slow cooking gives it an enduring and lingering natural sweetness which is enhanced with the addition of jaggery.

Although it is called a jam, it is not a spread. It is closer to a Chilli Paste. It is as hot as you can imagine chillies to be, and spread it on your toast at your peril.

Feel free to browse our Chilli recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Sweet and Savoury Jam recipes here and here. Check out our easy Autumn recipes here and here.

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Amritsari Dal from the Punjab

A gentle Punjabi dish from Urad and Channa lentils

If I wasn’t such a fan of South Indian food, culture, arts, music, temples, rituals and everything else that is predominately from Tamil Nadu, I might have fallen in love with the Punjab. Punjabi food is wholesome and full of rustic flavour. The custom of cooking in community ovens or tandoors can still be found in rural areas even today. The cuisine is characterised by a profusion of dairy products in the form of malai (cream), paneer and dahi (yoghurt). And also the dals are a speciality of Punjabi cuisine, made of whole pulses like black gram (urad), green gram (mung) and Bengal gram (channa).  They are cooked in covered earthen pots on a slow fire clay oven fueled with dung-cakes, often simmered for hours till they turn creamy, and then flavoured with spices and rounded off with cream and butter for that rich finish. The food is simply delicious. Thanks to Sanjeev Kapoor for part of this information.

Urad lentils are favourites in the Punjabi cuisine, and take so well to the long slow cooking. This dish is soothing and gentle, despite the large amounts of garlic and ginger. Their assertiveness is overcome by the long slow cooking time. The dish is generally quite mild in its spiciness.

You might like to explore our Urad Lentil recipes here and here, especially all of the Dal Makhani-style dishes. Browse the Punjabi recipes. Or check out our Slow Cooking dishes.

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Indian Bazaar Dal Makhani | Home Style Dal Makhani

A simple but exceptional Dal Makhani

The story of this Dal Makhani goes like this:

Some time ago in Bangalore, India, I had a Dal Makhani to die for. It was just a hotel room service meal ordered at a very busy at the time, yet it made me sink back into my couch with a wonderful smile on my face – as if I had transitioned and gone to Dal Heaven.

I rang through to the kitchen and asked for the recipe. Oh what hilarity that caused in the kitchen – much laughter and giggles, and simply hours later, I received a typed up recipe from the chef at the Oberoi in Bangalore. It is the most wondrous dish, full of butter and cream and takes some time, so a dish for special occasions. Continue reading “Indian Bazaar Dal Makhani | Home Style Dal Makhani”

Du Puy Lentil Soup | Slow Cooked or Stove Top

Du Puy Lentil Soup recipe with Parmesan Toasts or Middle Eastern Tafoon

There is a a Middle Eastern flatbread, fresh Taftoon – Persian flatbread. It can be found in any Middle Eastern store. A little like Naan, but huge, round and soft, thicker than lavash, yeasted and made from a mix of wholewheat and plant flour. Just right for soups. So to fit in one more soup before the end of winter, and to use up any du Puy lentils left in the cupboard, make a slow cooked Du Puy Lentil Soup.

Those little black disks are great in winter slow cooked soups (but can of course be cooked on the stove top too). Throw some into the slow cooker and then go to the office. Arrive home to wonderful soup and soft taftoon to mop up the juices.

You might also like to browse our other Du Puy Lentil recipes. Our favourite is Du Puy Lentils with Feta and Tomato. Have a look at our Slow Cooker recipes here and here. Explore our Lentil Soups here or here, or all of our Soups here and here. Find some inspiration in our Winter recipes here and here.

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Eggplant Makhani | Slow Cooked

Eggplant/Brinjal in a makhani style sauce – the only thing better is cooking it in a slow cooker. Delicious!

A slow cooker recipe with Eggplant and a buttery tomato sauce.

We have some more slow cooker recipes, and please browse our collection of delicious eggplant recipes here and here. Find inspiration in our Autumn recipes here and here.

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Mung Bean Soup with Asparagus and Tomatoes

Some people LOVE a glass of wine when they get home from work. I love a cup of whole green mung bean soup.

Some people LOVE a glass of wine when they get home from work. I love a cup of whole green mung bean soup. This version is definitely suited for Spring.

Before work, I will put the mung beans in the slow cooker with spices, to cook until I get home. When I arrive home, I tip the contents into a saucepan and let it simmer for 10 minutes – I think it improves the flavour to do this – and add any vegetables that I fancy (this is an optional step) and adjust flavours of the spices. Sometimes I want it hot and tangy, sometimes without heat and more warming and nourishing. Either way, this is a comforting, detoxing, healthy and definitely delicious soup.

You might like to also try Green Mung Bean Soup, Gentle Mung Dal, or Simple Mung Dal Soup. All of the Mung recipes are here and here. Be inspired by our Spring recipes here and here.

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Mah di Dal | Kaali Dal | Creamy Black Lentils

Urad lentils are mostly used in Nth Indian dishes, and it enjoys long and slow cooking.

Most Indian lentils come in four ways:

  • Skinned, whole
  • Skinned, halved
  • Unhulled, whole
  • Unhulled, halved

and amazingly, each one has a different taste, different properties, are best for different dishes. I was out of urad (black gram) this week, and my trip to the Indian grocer yielded four different packages.

Urad dal is quite special indeed. I love it a lot. Mostly Nth Indian in style, it takes to long and slow cooking very well. For Mah ki Dal we use whole unhulled lentils.

You might like to try different Dal Makhani recipes, and other Mah ki Dal Recipes.

There is also a Unhulled Urad and Rajma recipe, another sister to Dal Makhani. For more information on Urad, go here.

Other Urad Dal recipes include Urad Dal Rice, Amritsari Dal, and Urad with Coconut, Coriander and Tomatoes.

Try other Dals as well – Masoor Dal with Green Chillies, Mung Dal with Ghee and Spices, and Aamti.

Browse all of our Dal recipes and all of our dishes using Urad Dal. Our Indian recipes are here. Or find inspiration in our Late Winter recipes.

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Dal Makhani Nilgiri

The original recipe from Nilgiri’s in Sydney

Anything with a hint of warmth certainly gives me much much joy.

 Dal Makhani is a Punjabi dish beloved all over India, indeed all over the world. There are a few Dal Makhani recipes that I love, all different and of varying degrees of difficulty. The Dal Makhani Oberoi Style Recipe that I received from the Kitchen of the Oberoi in Bangalore is a classic, a beauty, one that never fails to bring happiness to the lives of those who eat it.

This one is from the well known restaurant Nilgiri‘s in Sydney. Another classic, quite different to the Bangalore dish, and with its own beauty and inner sense of happiness. Try it, you will love it.

Our various Dal Makhani recipes can be found here. Browse our Dal Recipes here and here. Or explore our Winter recipes here and here.

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Dal Makhani | Restaurant Style | Recipe from the Oberoi Hotel

Makhani is the Punjabi word for “buttery”, and this sure lives up to its name of Buttery Lentils!

One thing always guaranteed to melt the heart of everyone at your table is Dal Makhani. Boy is it good! This is one of several versions of Dal Makhani in our recipe collection. Another favourite is Nilgiri Dal Makhani – I hope that you try it too.

Makhani is the Punjabi word for “buttery”, and this sure lives up to its name of Buttery Lentils! I had this in India at the Oberoi hotel in Bangalore and it was so very very good. Along with their dosa, it was one of my first great discoveries when I began travelling to India.

Asking the Chef for the recipe, he kindly typed it out for me. It caused much hilarity in the kitchens – I am not sure whether that was because I asked for the recipe or their difficulty in translating it into English and/or into servings for 6 people when they are used to cooking for 600.

Are you looking for Dal Makhani recipes? Why not try some others too. We recommend Nilgiri Dal Makhani, Indian Bazaar Dal Makhani and Ma di Dal (Kali Dal). You might be interested in reading Why Mah di Dal is not Dal Makhani.

Or perhaps you are looking for Punjabi recipes. Try Quince Pickle, Potato and Eggplant Curry, and Baingan Bharta.

You might also browse all of our collection of Dal Makhani and similar recipes.  Our Punjabi recipes are here and our Indian recipes are here. Or find some inspiration in our Mid Winter recipes.

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