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 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 Chai 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 Fiona’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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Heavenly Gentle Chai

There is something about Chai that makes everything Ok again.

Chai. Aaah, the very word invokes relaxation. In colder weather it comes into its own with its warming, comforting and nourishing emotive qualities.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Tim’s Chai, Chai Masala for Relief of Colds, Seva Devi’s Ashram Chai, Peppery Chai, and Illiachi Chai.

What about trying Cardamom Spiced Coffee? Or for a herbal tea, there is Ginger and Tulsi Tea.

Feel free to browse all of our Chai recipes here, or our general Tea recipes here. All of our drinks can be found here. Explore our Indian Recipes and our Indian Essentials. You might also enjoy to take some time and explore our Mid Winter recipes.

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Jal Jeera | Indian Minty Iced Summer Drink

It took me a long time to find the balance of flavours in Jal Jeera that suited me. Some attempts, carefully following recipes in some books picked up in India, were undrinkable. Knowing those books better now, they do tend to get ratios in their recipes out of balance. This recipe is a cracker and works well.

You do have to love your Indian spices though. Jal Jeera is a cooling Summery drink full of spices, with cumin and mint featuring. Do try it – it is a unusual drink for Western palates, but worth trying in hot weather if you do love spices.

Other cooling drinks you might enjoy are Kewra Sherbet, Mint and Lemon Verbena Iced Tea, Watermelon Juice with Mint and Ginger, Ginger Cooler, and Jeera Lassi.

All of our Cooling Summer Drinks are here, or explore all of our Indian recipes. Our easy Early Summer Recipes are here.

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Cranberry Tea with Fennel, Cardamom and Coriander Seed

A summery tea, an inspiration from a trip to Kauai.

Summer time is the time for sweet refreshing herbal infusion teas of an evening. You can make them from ingredients that you have in your kitchen. This one came about on a hot summery night on the Island of Kauai.

You might like to also try The Making of Herbal Teas, The 5 C’s Golden Spiced Tea, and Yogi Tea. You can browse all our tea and infusion recipes.

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Sevadevi’s Ashram Chai

Made with Love

Long ago, my beautiful friend Sevadevi and I were talking about Chai, and she shared her recipe with me. Today I share it with you. Her Chai takes time, and it is in the time that the spices and tea release their flavours and your love and attention is infused into the chai. Make it while you are pottering around in the kitchen in the morning.

Are you looking for more Chai recipes? Try Peppery Chai, Yogi Chai, Cutting ChaiHeavenly Gentle Chai, and Illaichi Chai. There are Chai Variations here.

What about Cardamom Spiced Coffee? Or for a herbal tea, there is Ginger and Tulsi Tea.

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

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