Cutting Chai | Ginger and Cardamon Chai

That quintessential roadside chai from Mumbai and throughout South India

Ah, how I miss the road side stalls in India and their piping hot Cutting Chai. Cutting is the transliteration of the Hindi word for half – Cutting Chai is served in half glasses (or smaller, often) as it has a strong flavour, and half a cup of this strong sweet liquid is enough to get you moving for the day! You have to buy it from the road side stalls – restaurants and hotels do not get the same taste.

The flavours are predominantly ginger and cardamon, simmered for some minutes with sugar so that the maximum flavour is extracted. The black tea, too, breaks every Western tea-brewing rule and is simmered for 5 or 6 minutes for the flavour extractions. Then milk is added to create this addictive drink.

Are you looking for similar Chai recipes? Try Chai Masala for Relief of Colds, Cardamom Chai and Peppery Chai.

You might like to browse all of our Chai recipes, or our general Tea recipes. All of our drinks can be found here, and our Indian Recipes here. You might also enjoy our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Sweet Potato Crisps

TV snacks are always needed, especially on those nights after long, hard days. The good news is, you can make your own crisps. We have begun making them from sweet potatoes. They are especially easy to make, and store well in airtight containers.

Are you after other dried snack recipes? Try Spicy Dried Okra, and Dried Capsicum Snacks. On the sweeter side, there is also Dried Mango and Quince Paste.

Why not browse all of our Snacks and all of our Sweet Potato recipes. Have a look at our Dehydrated recipes, or take some time to explore our Early Winter dishes.

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Pan Fried Broad Beans with Lime, Chilli and Salt

A quick, healthy snack.

I am here to tell you that these are delicious. A great snack, quickly prepared, is pan fried broad beans. You can use peas or edamame as well. You can even use peas and edamame in their pods. Simply suck them out of the shell between your teeth after cooking.

Broad beans, once out of their pod, still have a thick, tough coat on each bean. Removing this improves their flavour enormously. Yes, it is a little fiddly, but worth the effort. Take a small sharp knife and make a slit in the side of the bean, then coax the coat off. Sometimes they just pop out. You are left with tender, vibrant green beans.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Pan Fried Broad Beans with Tomato and Thyme, and Tawa Broad Beans.

Browse all of our Broad Bean recipes, and all of our Snacks here and here.  Be inspired by our Mid Spring recipes.

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Maddur Vadai

When the rains come, then snacks are needed, and it is the same here as it is in India, even though the temperatures are about 20C less than what they might be in India. Snacks means deep-fried too, but it it is a treat, who is to mind?

These are flat vadai, a little like thattai, and very delicious. Grab your flours from your Indian grocery and don’t substitute all purpose flours.

Maddur Vadai, named after the town of Maddur in South Indian, are also sometimes spelt Maddur Vadai.

Are you looking for other Vadai? Try Paruthithurai Vadai – a Thattai Vadai from Sri Lanka, and Kothimber Wada. There are also Gram flour Vada that are made to go into a Kuzhambu, but can be eaten as snacks as well.

Browse all of our Vadai, and all of our Indian recipes. Our Snacks are here. Or relax and browse our Late Autumn dishes.

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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.

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 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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Spicy Dried Okra

I have fallen in love with okra and it is all my internet friend Jude’s fault – her love of okra got me checking them out at the supermarket and Asian grocers and thinking about recipes.

The season is nearly ended, I am guessing, so thoughts are turning to pickling Okra and to drying them. Some must be frozen as well. I am going to play with 2 or three ways to dry the okra, to see what we like best. I do have a dehydrator, but you can also dry okra in the sun, or in the oven.

Okra are easy to grow too, and drying okra is a great way to preserve an abundant crop. It also avoids the slimy nature of okra, definitely a plus. I have to be truthful and say that this is not a pretty item. But is it a light and crunchy snack with an amazing taste. They say it tastes of the garden and it is definitely more-ish. You have a great combination with some Dried Capsicum and Dried Okra.

In this recipe the okra is tossed with mustard or olive oil, salt and a little cayenne for a hint of spice. Select pods that are small – no larger than 6 – 8 cm. Larger okra can be stringy and tough.

Are you looking for more Okra dishes? Try Crispy Okra, Okra with Chilli Spice Paste, and Goan Fried Okra. Read more about Okra here.

Or perhaps you are looking for dried items? Have a look at these: Dried Capsicum, Dried Mung Bean Nuggets, Sweet Potato Crisps, and Dried Mango.

You might like to browse all of our Okra dishes, and all of our Dried Vegetables. We have a guide to preserving Summer and Autumn fruits and vegetables for Winter. Or simply explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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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? Read more about Okra here. And try Stir Fried Okra with Sesame Seed, 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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Ladyfingers Recheio | Okra with Chilli-Spice Paste | A Recipe from Goa

Okra is a much maligned vegetable, which, badly cooked, falls into the same category as Brussel Sprouts. But cooked well, it is undeniably wonderful. It is the mucilaginous substance inside okra that gives the favourite okra dish of North America, Gumbo, its characteristic silky, gelatinous texture. It is an essential ingredient of Jambalaya, and a favourite of the Greek kitchen where it is served with fresh tomato and onion.

Okra also form the basis of many a good Indian curry, snack and side dish. In curries, they are often used whole, trimmed only of stalk, but keeping the conical top which is discarded at time of eating. The soft, slightly moist texture of the interior is part of its appeal.

These green-ribbed seed pods are a good supply of Vitamin A and C, calcium and iron. Eat them weekly! At the time of writing, we are conducting an #okracheck each month to track availability and price of okra in different cities.

Okra are slippery little suckers. But this recipe from the gorgeous beaches of Goa overcomes that problem by pre salting and then stuffing the okra with the Goan spicy mix called Rechad Masala. These are great little snacks or side dish to an Indian meal.

Enjoy okra? Try our Goa Fried Okra, Race Kuzhambu and Avial. Or have a look at other Goan recipes – Kidney Bean Feijoada, Potato and Sweet Potato Curry, and Sweet Surnoli Dosa.

Feel free to browse other vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in the Retro Recipes series. You might also like all of our Okra recipes here and here. Explore our Indian recipes here. Or take some time to go through our easy Early Autumn recipes here.

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Fried Ladyfingers | Fried Okra | Goa Style

How good is okra! Misunderstood by many, if cooked well it is amazing. This recipe is a crispy, spicy dish that is perfect for a snack. Gorgeous too.

In this recipe, the okra are first salted and drained, and then marinated in a simple spice paste before being drenched in semolina and fried. The semolina makes the okra quite crispy and the spices give them a little heat. It is a simpler version of this stuffed Okra recipe.

Enjoy okra? Try our Goan Ladyfinger Recheio, Race Kuzhambu and Avial.

Or have a look at other Goan recipes – Kidney Bean Feijoada, Potato and Sweet Potato Curry, and Sweet Surnoli Dosa.

You might also like read about Okra, and then browse all of our Okra recipes here. Have a look at all of our Goan recipes. Explore our Indian recipes too. Or take some time to go through our easy Early Autumn recipes. Feel free to browse other vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in the Retro Recipes series.

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Babaganoush | Roasted Eggplant with Tahina

Suddenly the eggplants in the garden have found their mojo and are producing so many eggplants. It has me scrambling to find different ways to prepare them. Today they are grilled and the flesh is combined with tahini. It is another lovely mezze or tapas dish, or an any-time snack with flatbreads. You will love this. A take on Babaganoush, it is rich, smoky, and creamy.

You can grill/bake the eggplant in several ways. Cook it under the griller, turning often until the skin is blistered and blackened, and the flesh is soft. Or it can be cooked over a gas flame in the same way. But my favourite way is to grill it whole in a covered BBQ (grill) until the skin is blackened and the flesh collapsed. It is the easiest and quickest way at our place.

Are you looking for other Eggplant recipes? Try Eggplant Simmered in a Beautiful Broth, Grilled Eggplant Salad with Pinenuts and Pita Chips, and Deep Fried Eggplant.

Is it Dip Recipes that you are looking for? Try Zhug – Coriander-Walnut Dip, Georgian Coriander, Apricot and Walnut Spread, Tomato and Chilli Jam, or Tahina Tarator.

You can explore all of our Eggplant recipes here, and all of our Dips here. Browse the Middle Eastern recipes, or take some time to explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Cumin and Pepper Baked Potato Wedges

For that little bit of indulgence on a wintery night

A quick snack for evenings when you are craving something a little naughty but not so naughty, and a little spice but not so spicy. This definitely is for you.

These baked potato wedges are flavoured with cumin, black pepper and salt. You can add a little chilli powder if you like. You will love them for a quick  plate of food when you have the munchies.

Are you looking for other potato recipes? Try Tandoori Potatoes – another great snack – or Toasties Stuffed with Potatoes and Peas, or a Grown Up Potato Salad.

Are you after snacks? Try Chickpea Fingers with Tomato Salsa, Deep Fried Bean Curd with Peanut Sauce, and a Gorgonzola Snack.

You might like to browse all of our Snack recipes, and all of our Potato recipes here. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Cheese and Eggplant Torte | Cheesy Eggplant Layers

Yet another divine use for eggplant – such a versatile vegetable. This time it is a cheesy torte – eggplants layered, Italian style, with cheeses, baked, allowed to rest and firm up, then cut into wedges to serve. What could be better? It makes a great lunch or supper, or works very well in a tapas spread, mezze or antipasto. It even makes a great any-time snack.

Eggplant is so flexible, and very variation tastes so good. You can bake it, simmer it, stuff it, crumb it, steam it, BBQ it, grill it, roast it, saute it and deep fry it. I hope you try some of these recipes.

It makes great Indian style Chutney, Curries, Salads, Fritters, Pasta Sauces, Rice dishes, and gentle dishes.

As well as all of these Eggplant recipes, you might like to also browse our Italian recipes and our easy Late Summer dishes.

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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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Green Peppers in Yoghurt

The Middle East has a variety of flavours and dishes that are amazing and under-explored in other countries. And yoghurt, one of my favourite food stuffs, features strongly there as it does in India. The recipes using yoghurt are often simple – take a vegetable, some yoghurt, garlic, dried mint and some spices, mix and serve.

Traditionally it is used as a pre-dinner snack or appetiser, generally served with pita bread., but you can use any flat bread. We get a great Afghan flatbread cooked fresh on the tandoor from our local shop, and it is amazing.

You can use the Green Peppers in Yoghurt as you might use a salad. If you use thick, drained yoghurt they can be used as a dip or spread, or it can be used as a sauce or dressing.

If you are looking for other Middle Eastern dishes, try Fragrant Eggplant with a Garlic-Yoghurt Sauce, Cucumber and Yoghurt Mezze, Green Tahini Dip and Sauce, and Chickpea “Tabbouleh”.  All of our Middle Eastern dishes are here.

Capsicum recipes you might like to explore include Grilled Peppers and Eggplant Salad, Roasted Red Pepper Salad, and Baked Peppers with Cherry Tomatoes. All of our Capsicum dishes are here. All of our Salads are here.

Our Dips are here if you are after dips and sauces. Or simply take some time to explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Chickpea Fingers with Tomato Salsa

Shallow fried chickpea flour bite sized snacks

A really nice snack to have when you are hot or tired or jet lagged, made with chickpea flour. It takes about 30 mins including cooling time.

Chickpea flour, also called besan or gram flour, is an essential ingredient in the kitchen, especially for Indian cooking. It makes a great batter, thickener, thin fritter or pan cake style pudla/cheela, and other goodies. Why not also try Pudla with Green Coriander and Mung Sprouts, Crispy Battered Onion Rings, and Gram Flour Vada. Going Italian, try the wonderful Farinata with Tomatoes and Onion. If it is desserts that you are after, try this Besan Custard.

Feel free to browse all of our Chickpea Flour recipes here and here. Our Salsa recipes are here. Or you might like to browse Snack recipes here and here. Check out our easy Mid Summer Recipes.

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