Cumin and Pepper Baked Potato Wedges

For that little bit of indulgence on a wintery night

A quick snack for evenings when you are craving something a little naughty but not so naughty, and a little spice but not so spicy. This definitely is for you.

These baked potato wedges are flavoured with cumin, black pepper and salt. You can add a little chilli powder if you like. You will love them for a quick  plate of food when you have the munchies.

Are you looking for other potato recipes? Try Tandoori Potatoes – another great snack – or Toasties Stuffed with Potatoes and Peas, or a Grown Up Potato Salad.

Are you after snacks? Try Chickpea Fingers with Tomato Salsa, Deep Fried Bean Curd with Peanut Sauce, and a Gorgonzola Snack.

You might like to browse all of our Snack recipes, and all of our Potato recipes here. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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English Creamed Carrots with Spices

A modern take on an English classic.

Everything old is new again. This is definitely a retro English recipe, the sort of recipe that screams of the cold weather and the need for cream to make you feel comforted and warm and nourished. But it is also a lovely recipe that can be modernised to suit today’s palates.

Other Carrot recipes for you to try include: Carrots with Green Peas and Green Coriander, Green Mung and Baked Carrot Salad, and a Spicy Carrot Side Dish.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series, vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006. You might also like all of our Carrot recipes here and here. Or you might like to explore English/British recipes here and here. Check out our easy Winter recipes here and 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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Adzuki Beans with Red or Brown Rice and Shiitake Mushrooms

The goodness of Adzuki Beans teams perfectly with the comfort of Mashed Potatoes and creaminess of Mushroom Sauce

This is a wonderful, yet simple, Adzuki Bean dish flavoured with kombu and Shiitake Mushrooms and textured with red or brown rice. My preferred way of serving this dish is with mushroom sauce and some perfect mashed potatoes.

Somewhere between a kitchari and a congee, the rice and adzuki beans are slow cooked for nearly 2 hours. This is a perfect quiet Sunday Afternoon sort of dish. Slow cooking also helps to preserve the taste and health properties of the kombu which should always be simmered and not boiled.

Are you looking for recipes with Adzuki Beans? Then try Red Rice and Adzuki Bean Congee, Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup with Miso and Parsley, and Adzuki Bean Sundal.

Try other Rice recipes as well – Bean Sprouts Rice, Eggplant Rice, or a Parsi Kitchari.

Thee is more! Explore all of our Adzuki dishes, and all Rice dishes here. Or take some time and browse our easy Late Winter recipes.

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White Bean Soup | Zuppa di Fagioli

Here I sit at the (usually) hottest part of the year, and as I write it is a cool day, and wet. So we find ourselves wanting Autumnal food. Having made a risotto yesterday, I am using the remainder of the stock to make a white bean soup – luckily I had the forethought to soak the beans overnight. You have to bless the Italians, right? Simple food with great flavours.

This soup is just gorgeous because the beans just seem to float in this gorgeous broth.

White beans are great – versatile for Summer in Salads, and in Winter for Soups, pasta sauces and more hearty dishes. Use cannellini or haricot beans when white beans are specified. Keep them in your pantry year-round.

Other White Bean recipes include: Grilled Eggplant Salad with Pine Nuts, White Beans and Pita Chips, Florentine Beans, and Tuscan Beans with Sage and Lemon.

All of our Cannellini Bean recipes are here, and our Haricot Bean recipes here.  See all of our Italian recipes. Or browse our wonderful Soups. Our easy Mid Autumn recipes are all here.

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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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Zhug | Zhoug | Skhug | A Coriander-Chilli Paste, Dip and Sauce

A versatile Yemini-Israeli paste made from green coriander (cilantro), green chillies and earthy spices

What to do with the left over coriander (cilantro) leaves and stems at the end of the week – a perpetual problem in a family that uses a lot of green coriander. One solution we have is to make Coriander Paste. Another is to make Zhoug, a Yemeni-Israeli sauce or dip full of spices. Traditionally a perfect accompaniment to pita with falafel, it also serves as a sauce, spread and dip. It can be stirred into soups and stews to spark them up. Zhoug can be fiery hot, depending on your chilli level, and Yemenites believe that eating zhoug daily strengthens the immune system, keeps away illness and strengthens the heart.

Once you have experienced the fragrant spiciness of Zhoug, you will be making this weekly with your left over coriander, or, indeed, buying extra coriander each week, just to make this pesto-like sauce. Actually, Zhoug is a green cousin to Shatta, which is a similar dish, except Shatta uses mild red chillies. Zhoug has also been called Israeli Chilli Paste, a green harissa, a Middle Eastern Gremolata and a hot chermoula.

Are you looking for other coriander recipes? Similar recipes include Coriander Paste, Coriander Pesto, and Coriander and Coconut Chutney.

Or try these: Carrots and Green Peas with Green Coriander, Coriander and Lemongrass Vichyssoise, Pudla with Green Coriander, or Urad Dal with Tomato, Coconut and Green Coriander.

Read some more about Green Coriander, and also How to Use Leftover Green Coriander.

You might also like other Coriander dishes and other Coriander Pastes. Middle Eastern dishes are here and here. Or enjoy our easy Late Autumn dishes.

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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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Sakkarai Pongal | Sweet Pongal with Milk

Sakkarai Pongal is short grained, raw rice cooked in jaggery and milk with mung dal, simmered until thick and then garnished with ghee, cashew nuts and raisins. It is not the traditional Milk Pongal cooked completely in milk, but is a definite favourite. It is a distinctive dish from Tamil Nadu, and also cooked in Sri Lanka and some other states in South India.

Pongal is a festival in January where we thank the Sun for the bounty that it brings us. Sakkarai Pongal is cooked in the morning as the sun rises and is presented as part of the devotions. Read more about the Pongal Festival here. And all of our dishes for the Pongal Festival are here.

But Pongal, the dish, can be made at any time. There are sweet versions (sakkarai), and you might like to try the others: Sakkarai Pongal from Jaffna; and Sakkaria Pongal without Milk.

And there is a savoury version, called Ven Pongal. You can see that one here.

Otherwise, browse all of our Rice dishes, and all of our Indian dishes. You might like to take some time and browse all of our Mid Summer recipes.

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A Good Brew – Prunes in Tea with Spices, Mandarin and Lemon

I recently read this characterisation of hot drink imbibers:

Tea drinkers are golden oldies fans. Those who take it from a pot, never from a bag, are classical music snobs. Instant coffee drinkers go for hits from the ’70s and ’80s. Short black aficionados turn into whatever is new and funky. The only people who drink herbal teas are folk singers and old hippies.

That makes me a fan of golden oldies and an old hippie folk singer, yet a lover of the new and funky.

Thank goodness that characterisation is not true today, and along with good espresso coffee, tea has found a rightful place after losing out to coffee for a while. Herbal teas are available in cafes and restaurants, chai is a perfectly acceptable cafe-based low-caffine drink for non-coffee drinkers.

They say tea was discovered in 2737BCE when Chinese Emperor Shen Ning infused dried camellia leaves in water to make a pleasant drink that gave him vigour and focus.

Thank goodness for that. Today we use tea in preparing a dessert or breakfast dish with tea and prunes. You can also browse other breakfast dishes or our deserts here and here. You might also like to check out our tea and chai recipes.

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Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup with Miso and Parsley

Adzuki Beans with Sesame, Tamari and Miso – complimentary flavours for a warming soup

I must admit it. Adzuki beans have not reached the status of being a firm favourite in this household, as the sweetness of the beans can feel a little overwhelming in savoury settings. We had a couple of recipes we stuck to when cooking Adzuki. It was a pity, because we love the name Adzuki, it has such an evocative elegance about it.

That is, until recently. Via Lucy of the most excellent blog, Nourish Me, we discovered the tempering effects of cooking Adzuki with Toasted Sesame Oil, Tamari and Miso, and adding parsley and celery leaves. It makes sense, right? The more Northern Asian flavours to compliment a bean used commonly in Chinese, Korean and Japanese cooking. We also discovered how well Pumpkin goes with Adzuki.

You might like to also try Adzuki Sundal (briefly stirfried with coconut) or Red Rice with Adzuki Bean Congee.

Or are you looking for Barley dishes? Try Italian Farmhouse Barley and Vegetable Soup.

You might like to browse our other Adzuki recipes, other Barley recipes, other Pumpkin Recipes here and here, and other Soup recipes here and here. We hope you enjoy!

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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.

You might also like to try Seva Devi’s Ashram Chai, and Yogi Chai. What about 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. You might also enjoy to take some time and expore our easy Winter recipes or our easy Summer recipes.

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Sago Payasam | South Indian Dessert

A classic dessert of Tamil Nadu

Sago Payasam is a classic dessert in Tamil Nadu in South India, along with Vermicelli and Rice Payasams. Payasams are sweet desserts, the milk condensing and thickening as it cooks and the sugar sweetens this thick mixture to a level almost beyond the experience of cooks outside of India. Hold back on the sugar to begin with if you do not have a sweet tooth.

You might also like our Payasam recipes here and here. Or our Sago recipes here and here. Explore our Indian Desserts here, or the more general Dessert recipes here and here.

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Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato

This dish combines the classic flavours of an Italian pasta dish.

Often a pasta dish is my go-to Saturday or Sunday night fare. With a friend from a good Italian commercial pasta making family, we are never short of good pasta. This dish combines the classic flavours of an Italian pasta dish. Use a great spaghetti, a thick one if you can, or thin if you cannot. Pasta shells work well also.

You might like to read Pasta with Soul – how long to cook pasta. Similar dishes include Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce, Pasta Aglio e Olio, and Pasta with Tomato and Basil. Explore our other Pasta recipes here and here.

Feel free to browse our Eggplant recipes here and here.  We have some Italian recipes here and here. Check out our easy Winter recipes here and here.

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Creamy Baked Sweet Potato and Gratineed Sweet Potato

Ottolenghi has a beautiful Sweet Potato Gratin in his book Ottolenghi. The dish is beautiful, the sweet potato soft, so tender. The success of the dish is the arrangement of a lot of sweet potatoes, overlapping, in a baking dish. What Ottolenghi doesn’t say in the recipe is that it works for just 1 sweet potato as well. Using a small amount of sweet potato means that it is not gratineed, but it is beautiful, tender with a crispy crust.

This is a great dish for Thanksgiving, if you celebrate that US festival. Other Thanksgiving recipes are here.

For all Sweet Potato recipes click here and here. Browse Ottolenghi recipes here, and all Baked recipes here and here. Find inspiration in our Autumn recipes here and here.

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