Moringa Leaf Podi | Drumstick Leaf Spice Powder

One last item we are making in this particular focus on Moringa leaves is a podi, or South Indian spice powder. For this, the leaves are dried quickly and then powdered. Simple, easy and quick.

We like to make our own seasoning from Moringa Leaves. Moringa Leaves are the next big superfood to come to the West from India, but available mainly in pill form. Many will never have seen a fresh Moringa Leaf! We love to cook with them, dry them, and use them as a seasoning in a powdered form. Our Moringa tree is growing well and we hope to have our own leaves next season.

Similar recipes include Moringa Leaf Thoran, Sundakkai Vathal Paruppu Podi, Grape Vine Leaf Powder, and Sambar Powder.

Browse all of our Moringa Leaf recipes and all of our Podis. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Chai Masala

I do love a good cup of Chai, and now that the evenings are cooling I find myself making Chai rather than a herbal tea late at night. There are infinite ways of making Chai, and so far we have a dozen or so of them here. This one is a nice mix too, and I recommend that you try it.

The composition of Chai spices differs from region to region. For example, in Western Indian, cloves and black peppers are avoided. In Kashmir, green tea is used instead of black tea, and they include almonds, cardamom, saffron, cloves and cinnamon in their spice flavourings. In Bhopal a pinch of salt is added to the tea.

Are you looking for more Chai recipes? Try Sukku Malli Coffee, Chai Masala for Relief of ColdsGentle Chai and Yogi Chai.

You can browse all of our Chai recipes here. Or have a look through our Indian recipes. Or spend some time checking out our Early Autumn dishes.

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Aromatic Lemon and Curry Leaf Rice

This rice dish, very delicious I must say, is cooked in the oven. This method is  very handy if you are cooking a large meal and want to leave the stove top for other dishes. The general method can be used without the addition of the aromatics. Ottolenghi has this recipe in his book Plenty More but I have tarted it up just a little. As much as I love Yotham and crew, they need to get a better handle on Indian ingredients (IMO), so I have added or changed out a couple of things in this dish.

Try to get hold of fresh curry leaves on the stem for this dish – they freeze or dry well, so don’t worry if you end up with a big bunch. One of the ways in which curry leaf flavour is layered into a dish is to use them in several different ways in the same dish. Flavour a broth with them, as Ottolenghi does, saute/fry them in ghee or some other oil because the flavour is most easily transported by oils, and add crushed leaves to the final dish. I have used the last two methods in my version of this dish.

Serve the dish with an Indian pickle and a vegetable or lentil curry.

We have several ways of cooking rice, and this oven method is one more. Also try Oven Finished Rice, Buttery Steamed Rice, and The Absorption Method.

Similar recipes include Turmeric Rice, Saffron, Date and Almond Rice, Carrot Rice, and Lemon Rice.

Browse all of our Rice dishes, and our Indian Recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. All of the Ottolenghi dishes we have made are here. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Sri Lankan Chai

Tea is a big thing in Sri Lanka and is one of its main export crops. Drinking tea is a national pastime and it is served at any time of the day. Unlike South India, where tea is always milky, tea in Sri Lanka is either black or white, and sweetened with sugar or jaggery, and spices such as cinnamon or ginger can be added

Visitors are always served tea – perhaps this chai with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Rather than make it with milk in the South Indian way, this tea is made black and then evaporated milk is added to both sweeten and add a milky flavour. Who can resist?

We love chai here, and have quite a number of different recipes. Try our Yogi ChaiLiquorice Ginger Chai, Heavenly Gentle Chai, and Ashram Chai. Or browse all of our Chai recipes here.

We also love herbal teas, and you can explore our Tea recipes here.

Browse all of our Sri Lankan recipes, or our Indian dishes. Or simply take some time to browse our Mid Summer recipes.

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Golpar Namak

Persian Hogwood seeds, ground into a powder called Golpar, makes an interesting spice – slightly bitter, earthy, woody.  You will find it quite aromatic too. It is used a lot in Middle East countries, and you can buy the seeds Middle Eastern or Afghan grocers. You might be able to buy the powder, but I can only get the seeds and grind them myself.

I got chatting to a gentleman in the local Afghan shop, and he says that Golpar is known and commonly used in Eastern European countries too. It is sometimes called Angelica seeds, but that is incorrect.

Golpar Namak is the powder mixed with salt. It is a great seasoning, useful for almost anything, and especially good with beans, grains, rice and lentils. Try it sprinkled over cucumbers and pomegranates. If you can find sour plums, use it with them too. Put some in your preserves and chutneys.

Read more about Golpar here.

Browse all of our recipes using Golpar, and all of our Middle Eastern recipes. Or try our Early Summer recipes.

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Grape Vine Leaf Powder

Lately, I have been using a powder made from blanched, dried and ground grape vine leaves as a spice and flavouring. It has a deep red grape, woody flavour. We use grape leaves in cooking – e.g. dolmades, cheese wrapped in grape vine leaves, casseroles and baked dishes lined with grape leaves – AND that they dry easily, so I thought that powdering them might work. It does. It is still an experiment and work in progress, but I am sharing the beginnings with you.

It goes well mixed with ghee and stirred through rice, sprinkled over feta cheese, and scattered over vegetables before they are roasted. Mixed with salt it is an excellent seasoning and into yoghurt as you make a sauce, dressing or dip. It is an interesting umami type flavour.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Grape Leaf Encrusted Rice Pie, Burghul Dolmas, Baked Yoghurt in Vine Leaves, Grilled Pecorino in Grape Vine Leaves, and Mushrooms Cooked in Grape Vine Leaves. Other spice mixes/powders include Sundakkai Podi, and Chaat Masala.

Browse all of our Grape Vine Leaf recipes, and all of our Spice Mixes. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Sundakkai Vathal Paruppu Podi | Dried Pea Eggplant, Spice and Lentil Mix | Dried Turkey Berry Spice Powder

Sundakkai Vathal are dried pea eggplants (also called turkey berries), and they have a salty, slightly bitter taste. They are quite addictive, but are an adult taste. You have to grow into them. We adore them.

One way to use them is to grind them into a powder. Sometimes we do this without mixing them with anything else – saute them in a tiny bit of ghee until the puff a little, then grind into a powder, and sprinkle on rice and into dishes. It is amazing!

This recipe is a podi, or a South Indian spice mix, which includes lentils, pepper and chillies. You can add cumin as well. Curry leaves are crisped and ground with the other ingredients. It tastes great with hot rice mixed with ghee, and used to make Sundakkai Vathal Kuzhambu.

Other Spice Mixes include Garam Masala, Chaat Masala, Grape Vine Leaf Powder, and Sambar Powder.

Browse our other Podi recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to browse our Late Spring recipes.

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Fiona’s Beautiful Chai

A recipe that has formed a chain as it goes from one person to another

Fiona was a twitter friend some time ago. As often happens, life changes, and it had been some time since we have connected,. But a quick search located her in Berlin! Today I came across her recipe for Chai which she sent to me in 2009! It seems so long ago. Fiona made a note that this recipe was given to her by her friend Peta. I love how food and recipes create this chain of people across the world. I am now making you a link in the chain!

So, with great memories of Fiona, I made her chai again this afternoon. The recipe is for a mix, which you can then use to make your chai each day. It is unusual in that it includes dried orange peel and a vanilla bean as well as the usual spices.

Are you looking for more Chai recipes? Try Sri Lankan ChaiChai Masala for Relief of Colds, Peppery Chai, and Illaichi Chai.

You might like to browse our other Chai recipes – we have a few. Or explore our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. You might also like to browse our easy Mid Spring recipes. I hope you enjoy them.

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Whole Okra Stuffed with Onions and Spices

In this okra dish, the okra are slit and stuffed with an onion-based spice mixture before being quickly sautéed and then steamed until tender. It is a delicious dish that does not pack a chilli heat punch. The spices used are gentle and warming, and it is a good dish for convincing your friends that okra is a special and wonderful vegetable.

This is a Madhur Jaffrey okra dish. She seems to have a special affinity to okra, and loves them with onions.

Are you after other Okra dishes? Try Okra with Chilli Spice Paste, Sri Lankan Okra Curry, Warm Salad of Charred Okra, and Sambar with Okra.

You can browse all of our Okra dishes, all Apricot recipes, and all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or simply explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Ousback’s Grilled Pepper and Apple Relish / Chutney

I am not sure where I first came across Ousback’s recipe — he was very popular with Vogue Entertainment Magazine around the mid 1990, so perhaps it was there. Anders Ousback was well known as a lover of food and wine, and this relish of his was also well known and loved. He was influential in the Sydney food scene, and influenced many chefs and restaurant owners. This recipe of his has stood the test of time, and is as wonderful today as it was back then.

There were several variations of the Grilled Pepper Relish. The one below is the one that I love because of its freshness and the wonderful taste of the spices it includes.

I am sure the recipe that Anders used has provenance. You can see the origins in Elizabeth David’s Red Pepper Relish. And there are infinite purees and pastes of roasted red peppers, such as  Serbian Ajvar, an Eggplant and Roasted Red Pepper Relish.

Similar recipes include Harissa, Roasted Red Pepper Sauces, and Red Pepper, Eggplant and Tomato Pasta Sauce. Or try Fennel and Lemon Chutney, and Char Grilled Banana Chillies Stuffed with Tomatoes and Spices.

You might also liked to browse our Preserves recipes and our Capsicum recipes. Our Apple dishes are here. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006.  You can find other recipes from that blog in our Retro Recipes series.

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Indian Chai Variations

Chai – a sweet, milky black tea with spices – begins the day for many Indian households. The spices and herbs added to the tea adds flavour but an oft-ignored benefit is that it also increases medicinal benefits. The daily supplement – better than popping a pill.

From Chai Masala, to a simple Chai with Ginger, the variations are endless. Here are some common ones to experiment with.

Because of the health giving properties of turmeric, we recommend adding a little turmeric to each cuppa chai that you make – about a pinch per cup.

Are you looking for more Chai recipes? Try Fiona’s Beautiful Chai, Spring Chai, Chai Masala for Relief of Colds, Heavenly Gentle Chai, and Ashram Chai.

You might like to browse all of our Chai recipes, and our general Tea recipes. All of our drinks can be found here. You might also enjoy our Late Winter recipes here and here.

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Chai Masala for Relief of Colds

Chai Masala – how beautiful at dawn on cold mornings, in the evenings of cooler days, and at any time with friends and a biscuit.

Chai can be made with a huge range of spices, herbs and tea leaves, so selecting one to meet your need, the weather, the time of day or your health concerns is quite easy. Check out our range of recipes.

This one is gingery and peppery, right up my ally! It is perfect for cold mornings – both of these spices will warm you up. But it is also perfect for helping you through your coughs and colds of winter. Drink it with abandon.

Are you looking for Chai recipes? Try another Chai Masala, Sri Lankan ChaiFiona’s Beautiful ChaiDr. Kilkani’s Ayurvedic Chai, Peppery Chai, Cardamom Chai, Cutting Chai, and Chai Masala.

You can browse all of our Chai recipes, and all of our Teas. Or simply explore our collection of Late Autumn dishes.

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Peppery Chai

Expect a swathe of new Chai recipes now that the cooler weather comes. Not only do I adore Chai during the winter, it is a great help when suffering from a cold. Right now I have a head cold, so I am making chai and adding a good dose of turmeric to it. Have you also found that turmeric-laden chai makes a difference when you have a cold? It is my form of Golden Milk or Turmeric Latte which is quite fashionable at the moment.

The Tulsi in this Chai is also helpful for colds and flu.

As the name suggests, this chai is quite peppery – we do love a chai laced well with ginger and pepper. As the weather deepens, I take to adding powdered ginger for an extra sharp zing. Right now, though, in Mid Autumn, we are happy with using the fabulous fresh ginger we pick up from our Asian Grocery near-by.

Are you looking for more Chai recipes? Try Chai Masala for Relief of Colds, Illaichi Chai, Ashram Chai, and Yogi Chai.

You might also like to try Tulsi Rasam, and Tulsi and Ginger Tea.

Explore all of our other Chai recipes. Or try our Teas. Maybe browse all of our Indian recipes. Or take some time to explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Fragrant Persian Rosebud and Borage Flower Tea

Persian food is pretty extraordinary, and one of the more unusual ingredients that features in it is the Dried Persian Borage Flower. This is different to the European Borage flower which is quite tiny compared to the Persian one. Beginning life as a pink flower, it turns blue as it dries. It has such a relaxing quality, that making tea from it is a perfect evening task.

You can find Persian Borage Flowers online, at Persian shops or at Afghan shops. I found mine recently at a local Afghan shop. Also close to the Borage Flowers you will see the Persian Dried Rosebuds. I like these better than the Chinese ones as the Chinese ones currently available have had a strange colour and no flavour or aroma (I think they are dyed). The Persian ones are so fragrant and a natural pink in colour.

While you are at the Afghan or Middle Eastern shop, pick up Dried Limes as well – they will be near the spice section. Intensely lemony, they feature often in Persian and Middle Eastern food, and we put some in this tea. They come in black and yellow-brown colours. Either will do. I love the look of the black ones and the slight smoky flavour they add.

Also near the dried ingredients you will find Dried Mint. You will need a pack of this as well. Also pick up coriander seeds, saffron and cinnamon sticks if you don’t have any at home. And for a treat, grab a packet of nabāt, crystalised rock sugar on sticks. It is a beautiful sweetener with a lovely clear flavour, without any taste of caramel.

You might like to try our other teas made from herbs and spices. Try Cardamon, Cinnamon and Clove Tea, Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea, or Balinese Lemongrass and Ginger Tea.

You will find all our our Teas here, or just browse our Late Summer recipes.

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A Revitalising Cardamon, Cinnamon and Clove Tea

Make a herbal tea to revitalize you. I love this one.

Spiced tea is always intensely interesting. Do try it. This is a take on a similar tea served in India. It is very special both with and without the optional black tea.

You might also like to try Phanta (Basil) Tea, Ayurvedic Teas, or Herbal Teas. Or browse our complete set of tea recipes here and here.  Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series of recipes from our first blog which ran from 1995 – 2005.

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