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.

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 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 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 Mint and Lemon Verbena Iced Tea, Watermelon Juice with Mint and Ginger, 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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Masala Kuzhambu with Gram Flour Vadai | S. Meenakshi Ammal

A delicious kuzhambu with gram flour dumplings / vadai

Some time ago I had a revelation about Indian food. It is this – European food, and those cuisines that derived from Europe, focus on the vegetables (or meat if you are non veg) as the basis of a dish, and on how to incorporate flavours into the base through the use of herbs, some few spices, browning of ingredients, stocks, sauces etc.

However Indian food is the other way around – the basis of a dish is the spice mix, and the vegetables are the carrier of the spices and add texture. Flavours are deepened through the roasting of spices, the use of oil to enhance and prolong the spice flavours, even spices to thicken liquid components of a dish. When you begin to think this way about Indian food your cooking style will change and many flavours will open up for you.

This dish from Cook and See Part 1 by Meenakshi Ammal typifies this, with 4 different spice combinations added to the dish to create a layered flavour profile. The “sauce” or “gravy” for this dish is just water, tamarind and spices. The texture is created through little balls of besan/gram flour, deep fried into vadai which are dumpling-like.

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Ginger and Tulsi Tea | Tulasyadi Phanta | For when you need to rest

Phanta Tea is a beautiful, relaxing tea. Just what you need!

Tulsi tea with ginger is very good for you, especially in early spring. Ayurvedically, it is good for sinusitis, flu, hayfever, bronchitis, asthma and some fevers. (Consult your Ayurvedic practictioner.) Phanta is a hot infusion in Ayurveda.

It is gentle and calming, reducing Vata and Kapha, but raising Pitta. Drink it at a time that you can relax and take some bed rest. It is best to avoid cold for a couple of hours after drinking.

Tulsi is the Holy Basil of India, with a taste somewhere between mint and basil. You can often buy Tulsi tea in organic and health shops. If I can’t find Tulsi, I make this tea with ordinary basil and it still works wonders.

You can read more about the extraordinary healthy properties of Tulasi here.  Tulasi can also be spelt as Tulsi or Thulasi, or called Holy Basil. Don’t get it confused with Thai or Sth East Asian Holy Basil, it is an Indian Holy Basil and quite different to the Thai herb. You can see our Tulsi recipes here.

Similar teas include Longan and Ginger Tea, Ginger Root and Turmeric Tea, Rosebud and Borage Flower Tea, and Cumin, Coriander and Ginger Tea.

Our Tulasi recipes are here, and our Ayurveda recipes here. You might like to browse our other Teas as well. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Kampung Ghee Rice | Malaysian Village Rice

A warming, fragrant, beautiful rice for cool days.

Ghee and rice go together so well. Ghee Fried Rice is a Malaysian dish that is often called Kampung Ghee Rice. Kampung refers to its rustic village origins. This is a wonderfully fragrant rice, lighting up your whole house with its warm spice fragrance. I was first introduced to the recipe by my friend and cook extraordinaire Franz. Thanks Franz.

You might like to browse our rice recipes here and here. Our favourite is South Indian Coconut Rice. Or explore the S. E. Asian recipes here and here. Read more about Spices here. And find inspiration in our Spring recipes here and here.

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Vegetable Sticks with Spices | Kachi Tarkari | Indian Parsi Crudites

Some veg, some spices and some lime juice. A perfect combination for a pre meal snack.

Jicama is a type of yam that is quite gorgeous. It is also called Mexican Yam and is delightful and refreshing when raw – not unlike an apple in texture and flavour.

Just occasionally available in our Central Market, we grab them when we can. The shape is always intriguing. This evening there were Parsi Crudites with salt and spices, featuring Jicama, Green Mango and other vegetables with Celtic Sea Salt, Chilli Powder, Chaat Masala and my Kitchen Bench Podi – mainly home grown curry leaves and chillies at the moment.

Are you looking for other recipes with Chaat Masala? Try Chickpea (Channa) Chaat, Kachumber Salad and Channa Chaat on Kovalam Beach. Also Watermelon Salad, Borlotti Bean Chaat, and Chickpeas and Young Ginger Salad.

Would you like to try other Green Mango recipes? Try Pomelo, Green Mango and Pea Eggplant Salad with Herbs and Tamarind Dressing, Vermicelli and Green Mango Salad, and Pomelo and Green Mango Salad.

Are you looking for more Jicama recipes? Try Pickled Jicama, Spicy Radish and Jicama Salad with Coconut Milk, and A Host of Spring Salads.

Browse all of our Jicama recipes, Green Mango dishes, and all of our snacks. Or explore our collection of Early Spring recipes.

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