Dried Apricot Pachadi

Our local Afghan shop has the most gorgeous dried apricots. They are as hard as a rock and really uninviting, but once soaked, their flavour is sweet and intense. We make a range of dishes with them, often long, slow cooked dishes of a Middle Eastern style, but we also make a South Indian pachadi (pureed vegetable or fruit in yoghurt with spices).

You might expect this dish to be sweet, but the sourness of the yoghurt and the heat of the chillies counterbalances any sweetness that the apricots retain. You can also use apricots that you have dried yourself.

Similar recipes include Bitter Melon Pachadi, Pomelo Raita, and Cucumber Pachadi.

Browse all of our Pachadi recipes and all of our Mango dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Snake Bean Sambar

Sambar! That one word is enough to have us running to the table. Today’s sambar is made with Snake Beans, also called Long Beans. It has a base of onion, carrot and potato. I have broken one of Meenakshi Ammal’s cardinal rules – only one vegetable per sambar – but I’ve kept the onion, carrot and potato to small amounts. I don’t think she will mind.

Similar recipes include Okra Sambar, Drumstick Sambar, and Green Tomato Sambar.

Browse all of our Sambar recipes and all of our Snake Bean dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Buttery Dal, with Urad and Tomatoes

In Northern India, there is a deep love for urad lentils, those hard back bullets that are white when skinned. Recipes vary from deeply spiced and complex, like Dal Makhani, to gentle, subtle and glorious, like Urad Tamatar, and Amristari Dal.

What all (or most) of them have in common is an enrichment with butter and/or cream. Urad lentils are particularly comfortable with surprising amounts of this dairy fat, so there is a need to get over any qualms – just dive in and add. After all, you are not eating it every day, right? This is a restaurant style dish (ie lots of butter and cream), but if you do want to minimise the quantities, you can get by with adding about 1/2 or 1/3 of the amount. In homes similar dishes are made for breakfast, particularly in the countryside and probably with smaller amounts of butter and cream.

The recipe is one of the gentle, subtle, earthy urad dishes. You will adore it. I have added a chilli-cumin finishing oil which is gorgeous, but optional.

Similar recipes include Amristari Dal, Dal Makhani Nilgiri, and Urad Dal with Onions.

Browse all of our Urad recipes and all of our Dals. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Brinjal Dosai Masiyal | Eggplant Masiyal

This Masiyal made with eggplants is so good with Dosai that is has been given the name Dosa Masiyal. It is thick and gorgeous, tangy and spicy, and easy to make.  But don’t keep it only for dosa – it is also good as a side dish, or with rice. It is surprisingly good in wraps and on toast! Or thin it somewhat, and it is perfect for rice and idli.

I have cooked without onions, but onions can be added – see the notes at the end of the recipe.

The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from her cook books Cook and See. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

Similar recipes include Brinjal Kootu, Brinjal Asadu, and Brinjal Kootu with Tamarind.

Browse all of our Eggplant recipes and our Masiyal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.
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Capsicums Baked with Feta and Tomatoes

Feta is delicious baked – when I discovered this Mediterranean dish, we were over the moon, baking it for friends and family for quite some time. We love feta – did you notice? – and our local Afghan shop has the best, soft and smooth feta that you could hope to find. It is more Danish style than Greek style feta, and we love it.

This year’s interpretation of that dish is to stuff capsicums with feta, onions, tomatoes and olives and bake. This makes a substantial dish – a feature of a meal – but also we have used it for after-work and after-school snacks. It is pretty good with some crunchy bread or Middle Eastern flatbread.

For a different version of this dish, use creme fraiche instead of the feta, and mix it with the tomato, onion, and olives.

Have a look at our Very Best Feta Recipes, a collection of dishes that we put together.

Similar recipes include Capsicums Baked with Feta and Tomatoes, Baked Feta, Baked Dakos, Baked Pimentos with Feta, and Baked Ziti with Feta.

Browse all of our Feta dishes and our Baked recipes. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Dried Mango Pachadi

Yoghurt is an essential part of meals in Tamil Nadu, and Pachadi recipes are a way to deliver the health benefits of yoghurt while adding another vegetable (or fruit) to the meal. Win-win! This pachadi uses dried mango; it’s common in households as Summer is spent sun-drying vegetables, mixed vegetable purees and lentil pastes.

Meenakshi Ammal has this recipe in her Cook and See volumes (Volume 1). Perhaps using dried mango for pachadi is not as common as it was, but it is a delicious addition to the table, and easily made from readily available ingredients.

You might expect it to be sweet, but the sourness of the yoghurt and the heat of the chillies counterbalances any sweetness that the mangoes retain. I used mangoes that I dehydrated last year in the midst of mango season.

One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through Meenakshi Ammal’s books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

Similar recipes include Dried Apricot Pachadi, Bitter Melon Pachadi, Pomelo Raita, and Cucumber Pachadi.

Browse all of our Pachadi recipes and all of our Mango dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Most Heavenly Coconut Sweet Corn Soup with Chilli and Cumin

Tim was a great friend of mine when I lived in Sydney and we spent a lot of time together. Since I moved away, he has lived in Europe with only the rare visit back to Australia. Always a wanderer, Tim is also a great cook, a yogi and an ayurvedic master in the kitchen.

A wonderful light, healthy soup made from sweetcorn emerged from one of Tim’s  Ayurvedic cooking class. It is exceptional. It is so simple and cheap, but beautiful. Wonderful. Amazing.

Tim always warned that the coconut milk might split, and to be honest, I had it split on me once, many years ago. But, if you consider Thai cuisine, coconut milk can be boiled easily without splitting, and I have never had a problem with other recipes using coconut milk. So I believe it is more to do with the quality of the coconut milk – as this soup depends on the coconut milk for its intrinsic qualities, get the best that you can. I have also included a step in the recipe that will totally minimise any chance of splitting, if it is at all prone to it.

Similar dishes include Indo-Chinese Sweetcorn Soup, Baby Corn Soup, and Baby Corn and Green Bean Soup.

Browse all of our Sweetcorn recipes  and all of our Soups. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Çoban Salatası | Turkish Shepherd’s Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Olives and Feta

Çoban Salatası or Choban salad (Turkish for Shepherd’s Salad) is a Turkish salad consisting of finely chopped tomatoes (preferably peeled), cucumbers, long green peppers, onion, and flat-leaf parsley. The dressing is made from of lemon juice, olive oil, and salt.

It is another take on the ubiquitous global Tomato and Cucumber Salad. The lovely twist to this one is the finely chopped ingredients, the tang of lemon, and the peeled tomatoes. It is rare that I peel tomatoes, but for this salad I break my own rule. Today we only had large olives in the pantry, but normally I would use smaller ones.

Similar recipes include Tomato Salad with Lemon, Tomato Salad with Parsley Oil, and Warm Tomato Salad.

Browse all of our Tomato Salads and all of our Turkish dishes. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Tomato Crème Fraîche Pasta Sauce (and Dip, Sauce and Salad Dressing)

Years ago, around 1998, I made a spur of the moment dish that turned out to be a winner.  It came together on a Spring evening while hunting around for something to serve with dinner. It is amazing!

The sauce for this dish takes about 3 minutes to prepare and 3 minutes to make – less time than it takes to cook your pasta. It is a dish that has multiple uses and you will love it for its simplicity, clean fresh taste, and versatility. You can even make your own Crème Fraîche.

I rarely use the microwave except for defrosting items from the freezer. You too? Yet this dish is so non-fiddly if it is made in the microwave I am loathed to change the method. 1 dish only – no oil, no sauteing, no mess. We need more such dishes!

Similar recipes include Avocado Salsa, Green Tomato Salsa, and Salsa Verde.

Browse all of our Salsa recipes and all of our Tomato dishes. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Indian Soup with Drumstick Leaves

We have a drumstick leaf fest going on in our house. I brought home two bunches of them when there are fewer of us here than normal, so it is drumstick leaves each day. Not that this is a problem as they are the new “super food”, although outside of India it is more likely that you will find them in a pill rather than as a delicious bag of greens in your Green Grocer’s shop.

We have had Sambar and Dal and Thoran with the leaves, and so today we are making an Indian style soup. These soups are simple, and allow the wonderful tastes and textures of the vegetables to shine through, enhanced and supported with a few spices.

Similar recipes include Moringa Leaf Thoran, Indian Pumpkin Soup, Indian Baby Corn Soup, and Indian Beetroot Soup.

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

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