Moringa Leaf Podi | Drumstick Leaf Spice Powder

One last item we are making in this particular focus on Moringa leaves is a podi, or South Indian spice powder. For this, the leaves are dried quickly and then powdered. Simple, easy and quick.

We like to make our own seasoning from Moringa Leaves. Moringa Leaves are the next big superfood to come to the West from India, but available mainly in pill form. Many will never have seen a fresh Moringa Leaf! We love to cook with them, dry them, and use them as a seasoning in a powdered form. Our Moringa tree is growing well and we hope to have our own leaves next season.

Similar recipes include Moringa Leaf Thoran, Sundakkai Vathal Paruppu Podi, Grape Vine Leaf Powder, and Sambar Powder.

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

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Spinach with Roasted Sesame Seeds

Since beginning a vegetable garden around 11 months ago, we have been eating far more greens. All sorts of greenery thrives in the garden – dozens of herbs, lettuces, spinaches, chards and other spinach-like greens. Salads have become de rigueur, and delicious concoctions of green leaves appear more often on our table. I make a mean Spinach Rice, for example, a wonderful 1-pot dish that cooks itself in the rice cooker, and a beautiful Spinach Thoran from the West Coast of India.

But the recipe today is quite a straight forward dish that mixes Spinach with a dressing of soy and sesame seeds. It is really quite delicious and goes well with any meal. For meals at home on my own, I will even pair this with rice and eat it with chopsticks while watching my favourite night time TV drama. I must admit to often adding chilli as well. Sometimes I even forget the rice.

Are you after other Spinach recipes? Try Mushroom, Spinach and Blue Cheese Salad, Madras Sweet Potato, Spinach and Eggplant Curry, and Mung Dal with Spinach and Cumin.

What about Sesame Seed recipes? Try Steamed Japanese Eggplant with Sesame Seeds and Spring Onion, Warm Cucumber Salad with Sesame, and Dukkah and Zaathar.

Or you might like to browse all of our Spinach Recipes, or all of our Sesame recipes. Alternatively, take some time to explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Sambal Tomat | Vegetarian Version of Balinese Tomato Chilli Sambal

This is a great Balinese Sambal based on tomatoes and shallots. It has been vegetarianised, using miso and seaweed flakes to add the salty sea taste to the sambal. This is not so unusual as miso, tofu and tempeh are made in Bali backyards. You can add other items to this sambal, such as diced eggplant, ginger, curry leaves, even watercress and nuts. This is the basic version, and it can be served with any meal e.g. white rice, nasi lemak (Balinese Coconut Rice), nasi minyak (Balinese ghee rice), thosai, roti chanai.

Similar recipes include Chilli Jam, Chilli PasteSweet Chilli Sauce, and Balinese Sambal Iris.

All of our Chilli dishes are here, or you might like our Balinese recipes. We have some Sambals here too. Or explore our Early Autumn collection of dishes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can browse more of the Retro Recipes series, our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.

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Persian Barberry Saffron Rice with Almonds and Pistachios

We are so in love with our long stranded saffron from Saffron Only. With our delivery we also received several recipe cards including the recipe for this rice dish which has also been mentioned by an Irani work colleague. As beautiful soft barberries are available at the local Afghan shop, the recipe was added to our must-cook list.

The recipe simmers long grained rice until al dente, then steams it on a bed of potatoes or pita bread (optional) until the bottom is crispy and the rice is perfectly cooked. It is then served with saffron water, the toasted barberries, almonds and pistachios.

Berberis, commonly known as barberry, is a large shrub that has yellow flowers and red or blue-black berries. The berries, rich in vitamin C, have a distinct sharp acid flavour. The country in which they are used the most is Iran where they are used in rice pilafs.. Due to their inherent sour flavor, they are often cooked with sugar before being added to rice. Iranian markets sell barberry dried. In Russia they are sometimes used in jams and extract from them is a common flavouring for soft drinks and candies/sweets. They are rarely used in Europe in modern times. (Thanks wikipedia.)

Barberries are also such a beautiful colour that they make a great garnish to rice dishes and salads.

Similar recipes include Saffron Mograbieh Pilaf, Saffron, Date and Almond Rice, and Golden Saffron Tea.

Browse all of our Saffron dishes and all of our Persian recipes. Our Middle Eastern dishes are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.
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Fig and Halloumi Salad

Fig season is mostly over, but I have a green grocer who knows where to get the latest of varieties of figs. You might know of a shop or tree that still has some sweet fruits as well.What a joy fig season is!

Pairing figs with halloumi makes a beautiful and substantial salad. The sweetness of the figs with the saltiness and rubbery texture of the halloumi is delightful. I know that you will enjoy it.

Are you looking for other Halloumi Recipes? Try Halloumi and Orange Salad, Halloumi Pizza, and Halloumi and Watermelon Salad.

Or perhaps you are looking for Fig recipes. Try Fig Salad with Almond Butter Dressing, Gorgonzola and Figs, and Figs and Fresh Pecorino Salad.

Perhaps you would like to browse all Halloumi dishes, and all Fig dishes. Explore all of our Salads. Or simply spend some time browsing our Mid Autumn dishes.

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So Easy Tomato Risotto

We know that we are slipping into Autumn when we begin to cook more rice dishes. Rice puddings and risotto begin to feature at the table, just as long sleeves and light jackets begin to feature in our wardrobe.

Risotto is so easy to make – about 10 mins max prep time, and 20 mins to cook. One pot, little action, just stirring stirring stirring. It is relaxing and meditative. Heaven. Autumn. The pace of life is slower this month.

Similar recipes include Radicchio Risotto, Risotto with Mushrooms, and Parsnip Risotto with Rosemary.

Browse all of our Risotto recipes and all of our Tomato dishes. Our Italian recipes are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Sutta Kathirikkai Thayir Pachadi | Smoky Roasted Eggplant in Yoghurt

As I mention often, my preferred way to char or roast eggplants is on our covered BBQ. It cooks them so much better than over a flame on a stovetop or in the oven. And recently I have started smoking vegetables while they cook in the BBQ, using some rice, tea and herbs – it gives the eggplants a smoky flavour, just as though they have been roasted over a wood fire. To do this, layer some rice, a Tblspn or so of tea leaves and some herbs in a foil pan, and allow to heat with the BBQ. When it begins smoking, add the eggplants. If it smokes too much, add a sprinkling or two of water. Remove the smoking pan from the BBQ after 10 – 15 minutes. It can be left for longer if only smoking a little.

This recipe is Smoky Roasted Eggplant in Yoghurt, a typical South Indian dish, one of many Tamil Pachadi recipes which are generally a cooked and mashed vegetable mixed with yoghurt and spices. It is a South Indian version of the North Indian Raita. Eggplant pairs particularly well with yoghurt. Use it as a side dish or like you might use a salad, for any meal, particularly South Indian meals.

Similar recipes include Crispy Okra Pachadi, Boondhi Pachadi, and Cucumber Pachadi.

Browse all of our Pachadi recipes and all of our Eggplant dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Tomato Salad with Parsley Oil

Such a simple salad – tomatoes with a parsley dressing, or make it a basil dressing if you prefer. Salads are such an easy way to get a few extra healthy ingredients into your body to work their magic. Even a simple salad like this one is perfect for adding tomatoes, perhaps a few greens and anything else that you care to add, to your count of the number of fruit and veg you’ve consumed today.

It is easy to whip up a salad. With over 200 salads on this site as I write, and even more scheduled, I hope I have convinced you. Most of these are very, very easy – that’s my style. A few take a bit more forethought, but again they act as a hugely flavoursome way of adding more goodness to your body.

Are you after other Tomato Salads? Try Red Pepper and Tomato Salad with Crispy Flatbread, Chilli and Lime, Cherry Tomato with Soy Dressing, and Quick Tomato Salad with Mustardy Mayo.

Why not browse all of our Tomato Salads, indeed explore all of our Salads. Or simple spend some time with our Mid Autumn Recipes.

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Creamy Mushroom Soup

Who doesn’t have a love for mushrooms, so divine and surprising in taste and texture? Mushroom soup is especially good, creamy and buttery, and it’s even better on a cold night. Nothing beats it.

Come Mid Autumn, that longing for more warming dishes arrives all of a sudden. One day you are eating cucumber salads and the next day it is rice pudding, risotto and soup. You look outside and the delicious yellow light of Autumn has arrived, bringing its long shadow and the rays of light that play amongst gaps and in-between leaves. And all of a sudden your pantry fills with barley and beans and lentils. Ah yes, Summer is well gone, and Winter cometh. Here we are, twixt and between.

And it is so good. This is one of our first soups of the season this year, and it is this retro recipe, still good in it’s simplicity. Let’s face it though, mushroom soup is never pretty in its brown-ness. So don’t forget to brighten it up with lots of chopped parsley and sprinklings of black pepper.

Are you looking for Mushroom recipes? Try Mushroom, Spinach and Blue Cheese Salad, Mushrooms for Toast, Adzuki Beans with Rice and Shiitake Mushrooms.

Or are you seeking some Soup dishes? Try White Bean Soup, Hungarian Mushroom Soup, Mung Bean Soup with Spinach and Cumin, and Cauliflower Walnut Cream Soup.

Why not browse all of our Mushroom recipes? Or or all of our Soup recipes. Or check out our easy Mid Autumn recipes.

Also, explore recipes from our Retro Recipes series, vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.

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Stuffed Vine Leaves | Dolmades

Dolmas, or Dolmades, are little parcels wrapped in grape vine leaves and simmered until the filling is cooked and the vine leaves are tender. Although there is always a rush to make them in Spring as the vine leaves appear, they can be cooked right through to Autumn. Indeed, if you are diligent enough to freeze or preserve vine leaves, they can also be made in Winter. Of course, if home preserving is not your thing, you can always purchase preserved vine leaves (I’ve seen large jars of them). The leaves can be stuffed with many things, but rice, burghul, or a mix of the two, are common.

These dolmas are stuffed with burghul (bulgar, or cracked wheat) and rice in a typically Middle Eastern version with currants and pine nuts. They are delicious. Serve with lemon wedges.

Similar recipe include Burghul Wrapped in Vine Leaves, Grape Leaf Encrusted Rice Pie, and Grilled Pecorino Wrapped in Vine Leaves.

Browse all of our Grape Vine Leaf Recipes, and all of our Dolmas. All of our Middle Eastern dishes are here. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Avocado and Capers Salad

A quick salad came together tonight, using the ingredients we had available. Greens from the garden, an avo from the kitchen bench and onion and capers from the fridge. A melon too, a few spices, some herbs.

This salad is great with crispy bread for lunch, or as a side for any meal. It even makes a good mid afternoon snack. Its adjustable and versatile. Use what you have in your kitchen and garden. As a bonus, how beautiful it is!

Are you looking for other Avocado Salads? Try Cucumber and Avocado Salad, Avocado and Strawberry Salad and Retro Recipes with Avocado.

We have some other Avocado recipes too. Try Avocado and Celery Cold Soup, Avocado Soup and Guacamole.

Or, if you’d rather, browse all of our Avocado Salads,  all of our Avocado recipes, and all of our many Salads. Or take some time to explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Poritha Kootu with Simple Spices

Here is another Poritha Kootu – Mung Dal with vegetables – for a quick and delicious meal. This version is not spicy, very little spice is added, just chillies and cumin with coconut. It celebrates the taste and textures of the dal and the vegetables.

Sometimes Poritha Kootu is called a Lentil Vegetable Stew. It is a reasonable description, as it is thicker than Poritha Kuzhambu, and contains multiple vegetables rather than just one.

Are you after other Kootu recipes? Try Poritha Kootu without Tamarind, and Poritha Kootu with Sambar Spices.

Or perhaps you prefer Mung Dal recipes. We recommend Amaranth Leaves Masiyal, Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach, Gentle Mung Soup, and Mung Soup with Amaranth Greens.

You can find all of our Kootu recipes here, all of the Sambar and Kuzhambu recipes here, and all of our Mung recipes here. Our Indian Dishes are all here. Or simply explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Sukku Malli Coffee | Chukku Kaapi

This is a recipe for a tonic (kashayam) that is like a tea, but is called a coffee. Indeed some recipes actually include coffee powder, but the version that we make will leave that as an option. The reason that it is called a coffee, we believe, is that a powder is made and then a teaspoon or so of the powder is used to make the hot drink. Just like making instant coffee.

It is a South Indian recipe, and is excellent to drink at any time (once per day), and 2 or 3 times a day if you are ill. It is good for a number of ailments – colds, nasal congestion, fever, headaches, and digestion issues.

The amount of dry ginger (Sukku) in the drink may be too much for first time users. The Malli (coriander seeds) tempers it, but reduce the amount of powder used until you get used to the heat.

Similar recipes include Yogj Chai, Ayurvedic Chai, and Ginger and Tulsi Tea.

Browse all of our Indian drinks, and all of our Drinks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Chickpea and Butter Bean Noodle Soup | Ash-e Reshteh

This dish is a fabulous, heart warming and thick soup from the Middle East – it seems like it is an Iranian echo of Minestrone or perhaps of the noodle soup your mother served you as a child when you were poorly. In Iran it is called ash-e reshteh, and it is the sort of soup that makes you feel happy, wholesome and nourished, all at the same time.

You might find resteh noodles at a Middle Eastern grocery, but if not, use linguine or Asian flat noodles. Japanese noodles will work too. In fact the noodles can even be left out and the soup will still be deliciously amazing.

Make sure that you purchase the type of reshteh noodles that are specifically for soup – there is another variety that has been toasted for use in rice dishes. My local Afghan grocery has the soup noodles called Pottage Macaroni even though they are long noodles rather than the short tubes we usually think of as macaroni. The instructions for cooking are cute. It directs you to:

Add the content of package to the stuff of cooking and boiling pottage. After nearly 10 mins of your favourite time, eat the prepared pottage.

Another alternative is to make your own noodles. They are made from a wheat flour dough without eggs, and cut flat and not very wide.

This is an Ottolenghi recipe from Plenty More. It combines chickpeas, lima (butter) beans and yellow split peas with noodles, herbs and spices for a filling, interesting soup that even has an aroma of the Middle East. In fact this soup can be made with a variety of lentils and legumes – red kidney beans are very common.

Today it is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often slightly massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.

Similar recipes include Spicy Chickpea and Burghul Soup, Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Zaatar, Dried Fava Bean Soup, and Parsnip and Barley Soup.

Browse all of our Soups, Noodle Dishes, Chickpea Dishes and Butter Bean Dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Spicy Chickpea and Bulgar Soup

A friend and I recently hit the local Greek Warehouse and then the Central Market in Adelaide, and I found myself stocking up on Wintery food – lots of dried beans, lentils and grains, different flours, Greek herbs, and some new baking trays. It is a fairly subconscious thing that we do, change our diet as the seasons change. At this time our body starts to crave soups, salads with beans and lentils, and rice puddings. Baked dishes. Gratineed vegetables. Bulghar (Burgul) dishes. Slow cooked food a la Grecque. Ah the joys of Winter in the kitchen.

So overnight some chickpeas are cooked in the slow cooker. I find that the best ways to cook them is to slow cook them, unsoaked, for 9 hours, and they are perfect for any dish.

This recipe is one from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. It is one that has done the rounds in various publications and Ottolenghi modifies it slightly each time. In the book, he pairs it with a feta-creme fraiche paste, and elsewhere he replaces it with coriander oil, or salbitxada – a sharp and lightly sweet Catalan sauce. I’ve included all options here, so choose one that suits your mood or the weather. One option is to make a huge pot of soup, and serve with feta-creme fraiche paste one day and with salbitxada the next. The soup does need a little something stirred into it at the end, to liven it. Use lemon juice if you don’t have the time to make the paste or the sauce.

This recipe is a mid-week Soup, substantial enough to be eaten with heaps of flatbread and a green salad. It is hearty and comforting. The flavour improves even more if you allow it to stand for a few hours. Ottolenghi says it feeds four, but I say it will feed 6 or 8, depending on the hunger levels.

It is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have made in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often slightly massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.

Similar recipes include Chickpea, Lima Bean and Noodle SoupRoasted Cauliflower Soup, Dried Fava Bean Soup, and Barley and Vegetable Soup.

Browse all of our Soups, all of our Chickpea recipes, and all of our Burghul dishes. We have other Chickpea Soups. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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