Easy Cumquat Marmalade

Beautiful cumquats make beautiful jam, and so it is to the stove top that we turn this morning. Some cherry tomatoes are drying in the oven, taking the chill off of the kitchen, and we chop, soak and simmer cumquats before turning them into the most delicious marmalade. Breakfasts are going to be amazing this month!

This jam is also an exceptional accompaniment to hot Indian curries. The sweetness tempers the heat of the dish, and the cumquat tartness is beautiful with the spices.

Similar recipes include Cumquats in Gin, Cumquats Pickle, Cumquat Olive Oil, and Cumquat Vanilla Marmalade.

Browse all of our Cumquat recipes, and our other Jam recipes. Or explore our Late Winter dishes.

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The Huge Vine Leaf Pakora | Angoor Patta Pakora

Fresh grape vine leaves are a rarity, unless you have a vine in your yard, or are surrounded by vineyards, or live in an Italian neighbourhood. If you can, grab some fresh ones (more than you need and freeze the rest). We have quite a number of recipes for them. If you can’t find them locally, you can purchase them preserved in water, salt and citric acid. They are available at most gourmet stores or Greek groceries.

In this recipe, the leaves are blanched, drained, finely shredded and folded into a spiced chickpea flour batter. The mixture is then poured into a sauté pan and shallow-fried into a large round cake that is golden brown, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. It is like making one pakora from the batter. You could of course, make individual pakoras the usual way.

This recipe is adapted from Lord Krishna’s Kitchen, a beautiful book full of Vedic cooking.

Similar recipes include Eggplant and Kale Pakora, Malabar Spinach Pakora, and Crispy Battered Onion Rings.

Browse all of our Vine Leaf recipes and all of our Pakoras. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Char Grilled Vine Leaves Stuffed with Goat’s Cheese and Pinenuts

There is so much to celebrate in Spring, so many spring things that it is hard to keep up with them. One such abundant item in Spring is Grapevine Leaves. Of course, you think of Dolmades, but there are also other ways to enjoy this green taste of spring. For example, Mushrooms Baked in Vine Leaves (delicious) and Grapevine Leaf Pecorino Parcels. Then there are rice mixtures, baked in vine leaves, and, of course, feta or goat’s cheese wrapped in vine leaves.

This recipe also uses goat’s cheese – I love a goat’s milk feta too – which is mixed with herbs, pinenuts and preserved lemon, and wraps the mixture in vine leaves before grilling. My preference is to make these when the BBQ is lit, perhaps to roast red peppers, and we make them as a snack with a squeeze of lemon juice. Grab your goat’s milk feta from your local Middle Eastern shop.

If you are using fresh vine leaves, the leaves from a fruiting grape vine are softer then those of an ornamental grape vine. I have used the ornamental vine leaves, and they are great, particularly for baking, but fruiting vines are better for stuffing and wrapping.

Do you have mixture left over? No worries, it is great on crusty bread or crackers.

Browse all of our Grapevine Leaf recipes, our Snacks, and all of our Greek dishes. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Grilled Goat’s Milk Feta Wrapped in Vine Leaves

There is so much to celebrate in Spring, so many Spring things that it is hard to keep up with them. One such abundant item in Spring is Grapevine Leaves. Of course you think of Dolmades, but there are also other ways to enjoy this green taste of spring. For example, Mushrooms Baked in Vine Leaves (delicious) and Grapevine Leaf Pecorino Parcels.

This recipe uses goat’s cheese – I love a goat’s milk feta especially – and wraps it in vine leaves before grilling. My preference is to make these when the BBQ is lit, perhaps to roast red peppers, and we make them as a snack with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Left over filling is wonderful in toasted sandwiches with tomatoes, or spread on crusty bread or crackers. Top the spread with thin slices of cucumber or tomatoes.

Similar recipes include Vine Leaves Stuffed with Goats Cheese and Pine Nuts.

Browse all of our Grapevine Leaf recipes, our Snacks, and all of our Greek dishes. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Deep Fried Potato and Carrot Strings with Chilli Powder and Lemon | An Indian Snack

Once upon a time, it is hardly believable now, we didn’t eat much fried food. Falling in love with Indian food changed that, as their snacks and street foods are over the top delicious. Not all are deep fried, of course, but there are a fair number that are.

This is a simple dish – it just takes time to fry the strings of potato and carrot in batches. It is moreish and you may have to make more than you anticipated. It makes a great afternoon snack with a cuppa, or a late night supper. But note that the vegetable strings need to soak for 30 mins before cooking.

Similar dishes include Malabar Spinach PakoraMadhur Vadai, and Crispy Onion Rings.

Browse all of our Indian Snacks and all of our Potato and Carrot dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

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Crispy Battered Okra with Tomato Sauce and Herb Oil

Okra lends itself to crispy frying, and here is another recipe that batters and fries it until crispy, before nestling it on a tomato sauce. It reminds me of fish and chip shop battered potatoes and other vegetables. This is a recipe from Ottolenghi, so it is definitely a modern take on the crispy okra and okra with tomato sauce themes. The okra in the fish-and-chip-shop style batter is topped with sour cream, a tomato and bread sauce, and a gorgeously green herb oil. The batter is made with a touch of polenta, and mixed with buttermilk which gives it a lovely tang.

There will be more herb oil than you need, but it is infinitely versatile. Use the remainder to drizzle onto soups or over roasted vegetables.

Are you looking for other Okra dishes? Read more about Okra here. And try Stir Fried Okra with Sesame Seed, Warm Salad of Charred Okra, Tomato and Preserved Lemon, and Pickled Okra.

Browse all of our Okra recipes, and all of the Ottolenghi dishes that we have made. All of our Ottolenghi dishes are here. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Autumn collection of recipes.

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Polenta Crisps with Avocado and Yoghurt

Polenta crisps and polenta chips are the modern way to cook polenta, and both are jolly good. The polenta is cooked to a thick mass which is spread out on trays to firm up. It is then cut to shape and fried. I can’t tell you how moreish they are, totally addictive. And when used to scoop up an avocado, yoghurt and lime dip they are even more so.

This is an Ottolenghi recipe from his book Plenty More. In the scheme of Ottolenghi recipes, it is relatively easy, just needing time to let the polenta cool. We are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area, but the only change we have made to this recipe is to add some chopped curry leaves into the polenta. You can leave them out if you wish.

Not using polenta very much? Grab that packet from the back of the cupboard; these polenta crisps should do the trick: they’re very easy to make and even easier to eat.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Butternut with Buckwheat Polenta, Peter’s Wet Polenta and Tomatoes, and Pea and Mint Croquettes.

Browse our Polenta dishes, our Dips, and our Avocado recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

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Malabar Spinach Pakoda

Malabar Spinach is a thick spinach like leaf that grows on a vine – it is often confused with other greens, but look for leaves that are thick, a little mucilaginous, and are on twining stalks.  It may also have white or purple flowers and seeds on the vine. These leaves are common in India and throughout S. E. Asia. It has various names in India and may be called Basella Spinach, Poi leaf, Bacchalikura or Vasalakkirai.

Malabar Spinach is not really a spinach at all, but the taste is similar and it is better suited to summer growing than real spinach.

Similar dishes include Huge Vine Leaf Pakora, Crispy Fried Potato and Onion Strings, Red Onion and Chilli Pakora, Bhajji, and Okra and Cauliflower Packora.

Browse all of our Malabar Spinach recipes and Pakora dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Grilled Corn on the Cob with Miso Tamarind Mayonnaise

As I write, sweetcorn is very cheap, so we have been indulging ourselves in sweetcorn dishes. Such a versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw, simmered, grilled, roasted and pureed. In particular, corn on the cob is a special snack, bringing back memories of childhood and eating corn fresh from the vegetable garden, the juicy corns as sweet as sweet can be.

For this recipe, the corn is blanched then char grilled before being smothered in a mayonnaise with tamarind and miso. It is delicious. I use an eggless mayo as we do not cook with eggs, but use the base mayo that you prefer. I will leave that to your choice. The tamarind and miso mayonnaise is utterly delicious!

This is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.

In fact it is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Miso Vegetables and Rice with Sesame Dressing, Roasted Sweetcorn and Avocado Salad, and Sweetcorn and Tomato Salad with Greens.

Browse all of our Sweetcorn recipes and our Miso dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Eggplant and Kale Pakora

Pakora are a favourite street food in India, and one that can easily be made at home. Recipes use a chickpea flour batter into which vegetables are dipped and then deep fried. I like to serve these Pakora with sea salt and lemon juice only, but they are commonly eaten with Indian sauces and chutneys.  One word describes them. Delicious. Incredibly delicious. Have a glass of chai with them – I also love them with a small cup of spicy rasam.

In frying the pakora (also called pakoda, bhajji and bhajiya) the aim is to cook the vegetable in the same amount of time that the batter takes to become crispy. It is about temperature, so it is a good idea to test-fry a few pieces before cooking the whole batch.

The types of vegetables that can be used include potatoes, onion rings, eggplant, sweet potatoes, softer pumpkins, lotus root, cauliflower and greens such as spinach, kale and amaranth leaves. Make sure that any greens are really dry before using.

Similar recipes include Malabar Spinach Pakora, Red Onion and Green Chilli Pakora, Okra and Cauliflower Pakora, and Vegetable Fritters.

Browse all of our Pakoras and all of our Snacks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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