Cumquat Tea | Kumquat Tea

The season of cumquats are upon us, and not only are we able to get gorgeous ones from our local Asian Grocery, but friends who are not so kitchen-friendly as me, arrive with baskets of them.

For many years we have made our beautiful go-to cumquat recipes. Marmalade, Chutney, Pickles, Oils, and Soaked in Gin.

But a conversation with a Fijian friend changed, or rather, expanded, the way we think about this tiny, semi-sour globular fruits. He related how they use cumquats like lemons, squeezing the juice into dishes that need that bit of tang. Now not only are they squeezed, we cut them in halves and nestle them into oven baked dishes, they are floated in stocks, soups and stews to infuse, we char grill them for salads, and they find their way, chopped into 2 or 4 or 6, into warm vegetable mixes.

And they are made into tea.

What a delicious infusion this is. Just cumquats, or with mint and/or other herbs added, it is a perfect mid morning or mid afternoon pick-me-up. Surprising. Wonderful.

In terms of herbs, use your favourites, and don’t be afraid to experiment with a leaf here and there. Tulsi, basil, mint, thyme, parsley. Add honey if you need a sweetener. I don’t. But some Cumquat varieties are more sour than others.

We have some similar teas for you to try – Longan and Young Ginger Tea, Rosebud and Borage Flower Tea, and Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea.

Are you looking for other Cumquat recipes? Try Cumquat Rice, Steamed Thai Eggplant with Cumquat, and Cumquat and Pea Shoot Salad.

Browse all of our Cumquat recipes, and all of our Teas. Or take some time to explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Roast Beetroot Salad with Sweetcorn

A salad perfect for late Winter and early Spring – and the rest of the year too.

Salads, what wonderful variety they add to life. The number of salads on this blog (150 different salads either posted or scheduled to be posted) says something about our commitment to them. Hot or cold, cooked ingredients or raw, we adore the variety, usefulness, tastes and textures of salads.

Today, it is a Roasted Beetroot salad. We were roasting beetroot for risotto, and threw a few more into the oven to use in salads.

Similar recipes include Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad, also Beetroot, Orange and Black Olive Salad, and Beets with a Yoghurt-Tahini Dressing.

You might also like to try Roast Beetroot with Cumin Seed, and Roasted Beetroot with Garlic and Walnuts.

Feel free to explore our other Salads, and to browse our Beetroot recipes. Our easy Mid-Spring recipe collection is available here.

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Adzuki Bean and Parsley Soup

A transitional soup that is perfect for the period where Winter moves into Spring – a soup with the warmth of winter in Adzuki Beans, Sesame Oil and Mirin, and the promise of Spring in the fresh parsley added at the end of cooking. The herby goodness of the parsley nicely balances the inherent sweetness of the Adzuki Beans.

I have been re-reading the wonderful writings of Lucy (Nourish Me) with her beautiful kitchen photos. With some adzuki beans already soaking, this recipe sparked interest. Of course it is tweaked a little from the original.

Similar recipes include Adzuki Beans with Shiitake Muhrooms, Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup, and Red Rice and Adzuki Bean Congee.

If you are looking for Adzuki Bean recipes, you can browse all of ours here. Or explore all of our Soup recipes . There are Parsley Recipes too. Or try our easy Late Winter recipes.

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Jerusalem Artichokes with Halloumi and Basil Oil

A beautiful dish from Ottolenghi – one that takes time to produce a marvellous dish

Pottering in the kitchen today, I had a little more time so brought together Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem Artichoke recipe from his book Plenty. Simple to make, it takes just a little time as you need to roast the artichokes, make the charred tomatoes, blend up the basil oil and grill the halloumi. It appears a random combination of ingredients, but it is not so. A perfect combo of bitter, sour, sweet, crispy, crunchy, soft and creamy.

Sometimes bitter greens are not available, so I substitute nasturtium leaves which are always plentiful here. And some rocket leaves.

Are you after other Jerusalem Artichoke recipes? Try Jerusalem Artichoke and Cumin Salad. We have some others  planned, so check back here later for updates.

Or some Halloumi dishes? Try Halloumi and Orange Salad, Halloumi Pizza and Halloumi and Watermelon Salad.

Browse all of our Halloumi recipes, our Tomato recipes, and our Jerusalem Artichoke dishes. Explore all of 0ur Ottolenghi recipes. Or browse our Late Autumn dishes.

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Pomelo and Carrot Salad

Once again we head to Ottolenghi land, and again play with that delightful and under-used fruit, Pomelo. This time the pomelo is complimented by the sweet-tart pickled carrots and heaps of Asian green herbs. If you can’t find Pomelo (Asian groceries often have them), use Pink Grapefruit.

This is a lovely side for a vegetarian BBQ, a herby bowl of steamed rice, or some Japanese Noodles. Pair it with some freshly deep fried tofu or grilled halloumi. It is a very special salad.

Similar recipes include Pomelo with Avocado, Pomelo and Green Mango Salad, Glazed Carrots with Cumin and Ginger, and Three Citrus Salad.

Similar Carrot Salads include Chickpea and Carrot Salad, Moroccan Carrot Salad, and Carrot and Blueberry Salad.

Have a look at our other Pomelo recipes and our Carrot Salads. You might like to explore other Ottolenghi recipes. All of our Salad recipes are here. Or browse our recipes for Mid Spring.

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Quick Carrot Pickle

A gorgeous carrot pickle that will last in the fridge for a week.

Here is another quick Carrot Pickle, quite different to the last Quick Carrot Pickle which had dark Asian flavours. This one is bright and fresh with a touch of sweetness, and the tartness that only cider vinegar can provide. I hope that you enjoy it.

This pickle is lovely with a bowl of steamed rice drizzled with the marinade juices.

Are you after other Carrot Recipes? Try a Sri Lankan Carrot Salad, and Carrot and Blueberry Salad.

Are you looking for other Quick Pickles? Try Onion Strings Salad and Cucumber and Red Radish Quick Pickles.

Have a look at our other Quick Pickles, all of our Pickles, and our Chutneys too. You might like to browse all of our Carrot recipes, or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Tulsi and Mint Chai with Cinnamon | Tea with Herbs and Spices

Relax with a beautiful, health giving, herbal Chai

In many parts of India, tea is a daily preoccupation. But whereas in the West, tea is consumed as-is, with only perhaps some milk and sugar, it is common in India to brew it strongly with a range of spices and herbs. It is always served sweet and very milky.

Masala Chai and Cutting Chai are well known tea drinks, but every Indian family will have their own range of herbs and spices that they include. It is very common to use ginger, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, perhaps mint and Tulsi (Indian Holy Basil). I have heard of curry leaves being added. Lemongrass, vanilla, black pepper, fennel, nutmeg, tej pata (Indian Bay Leaves), ashwagandha leaf, pepper, galangal are other possible additions.

Today’s Chai is Tulsi and Mint with Cinnamon Chai. It was such beautiful winter weather this morning, I drank chai in the garden.

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

You might like other Tulsi recipes – Tulsi Chai, and Tulsi Rasam. Or read more about the Tulsi Herb here.

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

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Kombu and Carrot Quick Pickle

An Asian flavoured Quick Pickle

Quick pickles are the go when time is rushed and there are no pickles ready at hand. They can be made in a matter of minutes but do take an hour or three to pickle and develop their flavours. They are wonderful mixed in the morning and eaten for lunch or in the evening.

This pickle is unusual as it combines kombu, that salty seaweed from Japan, with crispy carrots. It is pickled in a mixture of sake and rice vinegar, sweetened with mirin and salted with soy sauce. It is allowed to pickle for a few hours before being ready to serve.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Quick Carrot Pickle, Celery Quick Pickle, Onion Quick Pickle, and Cucumber and Radish Quick Pickle Salad.

Have a look at our other Pickles, and our Chutneys too. You might like to browse our Asian recipes, and explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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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 Onion Salad with Roasted Red Peppers

I am on a mission – each day in the warmer months, I make a salad which we take to have with our lunches, or eat at home if we are home, and leftovers are used for snacks or with the evening meal.

The salads vary from day to day, and I get inspiration from all sorts of places. As I have mentioned before, I do love Bittman’s 101 salads, and am gradually working my way through the vegetarian ones. Others can often be adapted, leaving out or substituting the non-vegetarian ingredients. This is my second Summer using his beauties, and I am probably about half way through.

Today’s salad is an onion salad, with some roasted peppers. It is simple, but glorious on this 36C day (as I am writing this), and at those sorts of temperatures, all you want is simple. To make the salad, sometimes I have charred, roasted eggplant and capsicums that were cooked on the BBQ, and other times I slice the capsicums lengthwise into straight pieces which I grill on a grill pan on the stove. That is what I have done today, as I used the fully roasted ones to make Harissa.

Try some other Bittman Salads. There is a Glorious Five Bean Salad, Wombok and Radish Salad with Peanut Dressing, and Tomato and Strawberry Salad with Basil and Balsamic.

Or explore other Onion Salads. Try Sweet Onion Salad with Coriander Spice, Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with Mustard, Caramelised Onions and Greens Salad, and Kachumber.

You can browse all of our Salad recipes here, all of our Bittman Salads, and our Onion dishes. Or simply take the time to explore our easy Mid Summer dishes.

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Barley and Red Kidney Beans

Hearty and filling

Another addition to our Barley recipes is this dish with either Red Kidney Beans or Cannellini Beans. Hearty and filling, this is served piping hot as an accompaniment to your other dishes. It goes very well with vegetable dishes, for example, Stir Fried Vegetables with Red Chilli Paste.

It is definitely a Winter dish, with beautiful flavours of sage and onion and the heartiness of the beans and barley. There is nothing better than this simmering on the stove on a wet and cold Winter afternoon.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Barley with Crispy Tofu, White Bean Soup, and Kidney Bean Sundal.

We have other Barley recipes that you might like to browse, and other Red Kidney Bean recipes. Or explore our easy Late-Winter recipes.

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Celery Quick Pickle with Chilli

I am always looking for celery recipes to fill that void that a lack of celery dishes creates. An unassertive vegetable – it always plays second fiddle to other vegetables rather than feature in its own right – it deserves much more prominence.

This is a quick pickle is a perfect accompaniment to meals (I like to have a pickle with each meal, it balances the other flavours), and a perfect ingredient in other salads or even sandwiches. It keeps well in the fridge, so make a double batch. I like to add chilli and spring onions to the mix.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Celery Yoghurt Salad, Spicy Celery Salad, and Simple Celery Salads.

Try also Quick Carrot Pickle, Carrot and Kombu Quick Pickle and Onion Strings Pickled Salad.

You might see our other Celery Dishes. Or browse all of our Salad recipes here. And explore our easy Mid Spring recipes.

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Barley Pilaf with Mushrooms

An easy, nutritious and warming dish.

A simple barley pilaf with mushrooms is a nutritious and warming accompaniment to a meal. Dark and hearty, it is definitely a winter dish. A sweet note is added with the sultanas and texture with the walnuts. Easy to cook, it can be made beforehand and gently warmed when you need it. It also makes a great breakfast dish if, like me, you prefer to explore savoury breakfast items rather than sweet options.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Barley and Root Vegetable Soup, Barley and Red Kidney Beans, and Parsley and Barley Salad with Feta.

You  might like to browse all of our Barley Recipes here, and other Mushroom Recipes. Our easy Mid Winter Warmers are here.

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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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South Indian Green Peas Soup

Have you ever before seen serve hot with soy sauce as an instruction for a soup? Well, now you have. In this Green Pea Soup recipe from Tamil Nadu, South India, that is exactly the serving suggestion. South Indian soups are unspiced but flavoursome soups that are probably hang-overs from the British occupation. Somehow they have snuck into parts of the South Indian cuisine. This one has a slight Indo-Chinese influence – thickened with cornflour and topped with soy sauce.

In my experience, South Indian soups are served in small amounts. I have had them both before a main meal and after, so traditions must vary across South India.

This soup is made from peas, carrots and cauliflower, and thickened slightly with cornflour. It’s delicious, in a 1970’s sort of way. I love it.

Are you looking for other South Indian Soups? Try South Indian Beetroot Soup, South Indian Summery Tomato Soup, South Indian Baby Corn Soup, and South Indian Cauliflower Soup.

Or perhaps you are after other (more spicy) Indian soups? Try Mung Dal with Coconut, Creamy Tomato Soup with Lemongrass and Ginger, and Simple Indian Dal Soup.

Or some Pea recipes? Try Carrots and Green Peas with Green Coriander, Green Pea Pilaf, and Buttermilk Sambar.

You can also browse all of our South Indian Soups, and all of our Indian Soups. Or have a look at our Pea recipes.  Perhaps you would like to explore all Indian dishes. Or maybe all of our Soups. Or simply take some time to have a look at our Late Spring dishes.

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