Kurkuri Bindi | Crispy Okra | Crispy Ladyfingers

Okra, or Ladyfingers, are had 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 even pair 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 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? Try 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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Potatoes Baked with Cumin and Tomatoes

An unashamedly Retro Dish perfect for Modern Times.

Potatoes and Cumin are a great match. This retro baked dish is a great dish for any time of the year, and extremely wonderful in cooler Autumn months and Winter. It layers the potato with black pepper and cumin seed, and tops it with juicy tomatoes, breadcrumbs and parsley. It is a comforting dish, home cooking at its best. Who would not want to come home to a dish like this?

Are you looking for more Potato dishes? Try Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini with Thyme, Potato Subzi, and a Surprise Potato Tartin.

Would you like to try other Gratin recipes? Try Gratineed Sweet Potato, Potato Gratin with Cream and Pomodori Gratinati – Tomatoes Gratineed with Cheese.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – recipes from our previous blog that ran from 1995 – 2005. You might also like our Potato recipes here and our Gratin Recipes. Or you might like to browse Tomato recipes. Check out our easy Mid Autumn recipes.

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Ayran | Middle Eastern Yoghurt Drink

A Summer-time salty yoghurt cooling drink from the Middle East.

I am keen on yoghurt drinks in warmer weather. Somehow they keep me feeling well and balanced. Lassi drinks – India’s contribution to the world of yoghurt drinks – are diverse and wonderful. Smoothies, made with yoghurt, encapsulate the modern trend of blending ingredients together. And the Middle East has much to offer.

This recipe is Ayran/Airyan, a drink claimed by both Turkey and Bulgaria. But it is popular across all of the Middle East. Syrians and Lebanese call it Laban Ayran. In Iraq and Jordan it’s called Shenina. And if you add a little crushed or dried mint to the drink, you’ll have Doogh, the Iranian version of Aryan.

Ayran is a mixture of yogurt, cold water and salt, but there are variations. What makes its Ayran special is that it is quite frothy. For example, one variation, the Susurluk Ayran, comes from a small town, Susurluk, in Turkey. The ingredients are the same, but in Susurluk restaurants cirulate the Ayran through a faucet, using high speed pumps, and this creates a foamy texture with a heavy creamy top. It is very famous, and eaten with a cheese panini-like dish called tost.

Are you after Yoghurt Drinks? Try our Lassis, we recommend Strawberry and Peach Lassi with Basil, Jeera (Cumin) Lassi, and Mango Lassi.

You can find all of our Yoghurt Drinks here – please browse. Also browse our Middle Eastern recipes here, and all of our Yoghurt recipes here. Or explore our easy Early Spring recipes.

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Peter’s Wet Polenta and Tomato Layers

Once I had a lovely older Italian man as a hairdresser. He was amazing. As we molded my hair into some shape and varied colour upon colour, we discussed cooking, fashion and food. Sometimes with a glass of champagne. He was very special and he gave me this great family polenta recipe.

Are you looking for Polenta recipes? Read about Polenta, then have a look at How to Cook Polenta and then try Onion and Chilli Polenta and Grilled Polenta.

Or are you looking for Italian recipes? Try White Bean Soup, Farinata with Onions and Tomatoes, and Roast Pumpkin Risotto.

Please browse all of our Polenta recipes here and here. Our Italian recipes can be explored here. Or simply visit our Early Spring recipes.

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Potato Dosa

The range of dosa in South India is infinite, ranging from crispy dosa to soft, handkerchief-like dosa, from plain batters to batters with vegetables, spices and herbs. And each one is so very good.

Dosa is the Indian flatbread, although it is less like bread than perhaps any other country’s flatbread. It is made from a batter, rather than a dough,  that generally includes flour made from rice and lentils, and is cooked on a flat pan. It is often fermented to provide lightness but more and more instant dosas are being made. These are the dosai that can be cooked as soon as the batter is made.

Are you looking for other Dosa recipes? Try Adai – multi lentil dosa, Coconut Dosa, and a beautiful Sweet Dosa.

Perhaps you are looking for potato recipes. Try Potato Subzi, Surprise Tartin, and Potato and Sweet Potato Curry.

Browse our Dosa recipes here, and all of our Indian recipes here. You might be interested in our Indian Essentials articles. Have a look at all of our Potato recipes, and take some time to browse our Early Autumn dishes.

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South Indian Onion Strings Pickled Salad

Hot, tangy, sweet, salty. The perfect quick pickle.

Such a simple dish, but an amazing accompaniment to South Indian food. This is ubiquitous in South Indian cafes and restaurants, and at home. It takes about 2 minutes to make, and will keep in the fridge. Don’t just save it for Indian food, use it in any way you desire. In salads, sandwiches, wraps, for example.

Are you looking for Onion recipes? Try Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with Mustard, Battered Onion Rings, and Farinata with Tomatoes and Onion.

Are you after Indian recipes? Try Kohlrabi Subzi, Aamti Bhaat, and Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf.

You might like to explore other Onion Salads, or Onion recipes or simply browse our Salads. All of our Indian recipes are here. Please feel free to browse all of our Early Spring recipes as well.

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BBQ’d Spiced Asparagus

This recipe comes from the Asparagus Growers in Victoria, and it is quite a Summer hit. It is the recipe attached to the bunches of Asparagus we buy in the shop. With the BBQ (Grill) heated to roast some eggplant, it seemed perfect to throw the Asparagus on too. The asparagus spears are coated in a yummy dressing with cumin and coriander powder before being quickly grilled on the BBQ hotplate. Straight to the table from there, it is a quick and easy recipe.

AND we put the leftover oil-lemon juice-spice mixture to good use  in the Grilled Eggplant with Tahina (the reason the eggplants were being roasted). A perfectly timed coincidence.

Are you after other Asparagus Recipes? Try Asparagus Risotto, Asparagus Pesto, and Asparagus Soup.

Are you looking for BBQ’d Recipes? Try Stuffed Mushrooms, Spicy Potatoes, and Marinated Eggplant.

Feel free to browse all of our Asparagus recipes and all of our BBQ recipes. Or take some time to explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Parsley and Barley Salad with Spiced Marinated Feta

A beautiful, fresh and light Salad

Oh how delightful this salad is! It feels healthy and green and very clarifying. It makes you feel so good as you are eating it. The recipe comes from Ottolenhi and Tamimi’s book Jerusalem.

Middle Eastern and Israeli dishes can be substantial and heavy and are accompanied by a sharp, fresh salad such as this one. The herbs and lemon juice cleanse the palate and give a certain sense of lightness. Serve it with other vegetable-based mezze dishes. I like to eat it on its own for lunch with some flatbread. This amount serves 4 – 5 as a side dish and 2 – 3 as a lunch with flatbread.

The flavours of garlic, olive oil, onion, lemon – flavour so familiar from the Middle East – are all there, accentuated by za’atar – and the flavours are carried by the beautiful green tastes of parsley and green capsicum. A delightful, balanced dish.

Are you looking for Barley recipes? Try this wonderful Farmhouse Soup, and Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup with Miso and Parsley.

Or try some Ottolenghi recipes – Roasted Eggplant with a Garlic Sauce, Du Puy Lentils with Tahini and Cumin, and Smashed Garlic and Cucumber Salad.

We even have Parsley recipes for you. Chickpea “Tabbouleh”, Greek style Salsa Verde and Parsley Braised with Tomatoes.

You might like to browse other Parsley recipes here and here, other Barley recipes and other Ottolenghi recipes. Try our Middle Eastern recipes here and here, or explore our collection of easy Spring dishes here and here.

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Moraiya Kitchari | Barnyard Millet Kitdchari | Sama ki khichdi | Khichuri

Moraiya Kitchari is a delightful dish, healthy and nourishing. It is regularly made for Navratri fasting, Ekadashi fasting or any other time of Hindu fasting as it is an easily digestible dish. It is delicious in its own right – lightly spiced and less vigorous of taste than many Indian dishes, but don’t put it aside because of that. Try it with a wet curry like a yoghurt or besan curry, even a Poritha Kuzhambu! You will enjoy.

Moraiya is composed of tiny, white, round grains. In India, cereal grains are not consumed during fasts. Hence, Moraiya is a popular alternative, especially during Navratri. It is often used in place of rice, although it does not cook into separate grains like long grained rice. It is quite sticky when it is cooked and the grains stick together somewhat.

Are you looking for other Kitchari dishes? Try this one with Sago, Peanuts and Potatoes, or Maharashtrian Kitchari with Masoor Sprouts, or a Simple Parsi Kitchari.

You might like to check to see whether we have posted other Moraiya recipes. You can browse all of our other Kitchari recipes here. Our Indian recipes are here. Or explore our Early Spring dishes here.

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Kohlrabi Subzi | A Punjabi Recipe

Not often used, Kohlrabi now features in an Indian dish

Kohlrabi is not something that I cook with often, so it was a bit of a luxury to get to make a simple Punjabi Subzi with this beautiful purple-skinned vegetable of winter.

Mustardy and warming from the spices, the dish is simple to cook and does not take a lot of effort. The result is a fabulous side dish for Indian or non-Indian meals.

Kohlrabi is a great vegetable to eat raw or cooked. Salads are great with grated or thinly sliced kohlrabi. You could use it in this Jicama and Green Mango Salad, for example, or in this Radish and Jicama Salad with Coconut Milk.

Are you looking for more Punjabi recipes? Dal Makhani is very popular, of course. Or try Baingan Bharta, a smoky eggplant curry. And also this Green Pea Pilaf.

Check for other Kohlrabi recipes here. Explore Punjabi recipes, or browse our Indian collection. Or take some time and browse our easy Winter recipes here.

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Inji Thengai Thayir Pachadi | Ginger Coconut Yoghurt Salad or Chutney

Have I mentioned how important yoghurt is in our kitchen? We use it a lot – from lassi drinks, to salad dressings, to yoghurt curries, chilled soups, to pachadi dishes like this one, to all sorts of Middle Eastern dishes. We drain it to make it thick, we pile it on our overnight oats for breakfast and we drizzle it over fruit salads.

This dish, Ginger and Coconut Pachadi, can be used as an Indian Chutney (ie as a little on the side to eat with the main dishes) or more like an Indian Yoghurt Salad.

Try these recipes too: Spinach Pachadi, Carrot Pachadi, and Cucumber Pachadi.

If you would like some more ginger in your life, try this tea, Pickled Ginger, and a Ginger and Garlic Soup.

Take some time to browse all of our Pachadi dishes, all Yoghurt dishes or all Ginger dishes. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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The Perfect Shiitake Mushroom Sauce

Shiitake Mushrooms in a creamy sauce

Who does not like a mushroom sauce? Over toast, with mashed potato, poured over steamed vegetables, it is a winner in any language.

This sauce is made with shiitake mushrooms cooked in a creamy sauce with tamari. The sauce is thickened with kudzu, a Japanese starch used to thicken sauces. It is available in supermarkets, Asian grocers and health shops. It makes the most beautiful, smooth and glossy sauce. But if you can’t find kudzu, use cornflour.

Looking for mushroom recipes? Try Mushroom and Carrot Salad with Mung Sprouts and Ginger Vinaigrette, a Mushroom Curry, and Mushrooms for Toast.

You will find other Mushroom recipes here and here. Or explore our easy Winter dishes here and here.

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Malaysian Lemak-Style Vegetables | Vegetables in a Coconut-Curry Broth

Enjoy the flavours of Malaysia with this easy vegetable dish.

Fresh, crunchy and health-giving, a bowl of stir-fried vegetables enriched with a deeply flavoured Coconut Curry broth is a wonderful lunch or light dinner – even an evening snack. A Food Bowl, straight from the source, without following any current food fashion.

You might like to also try : How to Make a Bowl Salad, or some tofu recipes – How to Use Deep Fried Tofu, Tofu Stacks with Spinach, or Marinated Tofu.

How about some other Vegetable Curries? Avial is stunning, or try a Mushroom Curry, or Olan (yum!).

Or explore some spicy soups – Tomato Rasam, Pepper Rasam or Indian Dal Soup.

Please browse other Malaysian recipes here and here, and S. E. Asian recipes here and here. All Tofu recipes are here. You might like to explore our easy Early Spring recipes.

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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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Carrots and Green Peas with Green Coriander (Cilantro) | Gajar Matar Sabzi

I miss Priti, who lived in Adelaide for a short while. My friend was such a good cook and teacher. She shared wonderful recipes with me including this easy dish.  She needed to shift suddenly, and we lost contact. Miss you Priti. Hope all is well with you.

Priti introduced me to many of the dimensions of Indian cooking, and particularly the use of Coriander leaves. This dish is cooked with chopped green coriander for 30 mins or so. While this may seem unusual outside of India (coriander is normally used fresh, as a garnish), it is akin to using a coriander paste. The resulting flavours are great. Feel free to garnish with some fresh coriander if desired.

She had other Coriander recipes too, like this Coriander Chutney. You might also enjoy making Pudla with Coriander or Coriander Paste.

What about Peas? Try Stuffed Sandwiches with Potatoes and Peas, Savoury Rice and Green Pea Pilaf, and Tawa Peas.

Are you looking for Carrot recipes? Try Carrot and Blueberry Salad, Carrot Thoran, and a Herby Salad with Carrots.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – our vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2005. You might also like our Carrot recipes here and here. And Pea recipes here and here. The Coriander recipes are here and here. Or you might like to browse Indian recipes here and here. Check out our easy Winter recipes here and here.

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