Baingan Ka Salan | Eggplants in a Creamy Peanut Gravy

Salan is a very popular spicy peanut sauce from Hyderabad, often an accompaniment to biriyani (veg of course) and roti, paratha and parotta. It is a dish that looks complicated from the number of ingredients, but don’t let that deter you. It is actually simple to make once you have organised your spices. Here it is paired in the famous dish with eggplants, Baingan Ka Salan.

The sauce is amazing, the peanuts and coconut cook down into a lovely creamy sauce that compliments the eggplants so well. Who would have thought that eggplants and peanuts would go together so well. And I love the way that it layers flavours with roasted and raw spices, and whole and powdered spices. Delicious!

For this dish, use the smaller type of eggplant – the small, fat, slightly circular ones. I happen to be growing them, but you can also find them at Asian shops if your local Green Grocer does not stock them.

Are you looking for other Indian Eggplant Recipes? Try Sampangi Pitlai, Potato and Eggplant Curry with Punjabi Wadi, and Brinjal Fry.

Or general Eggplant recipes? Try Cheese and Eggplant Torte, Japanese Simmered Eggplant in a Beautiful Broth and Steamed Thai Eggplants.

You might like to browse all of our Eggplant recipes, and all of our Indian dishes. Or take some time to explore our Mid Autumn collection of recipes.

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Roasted Beetroot and Roasted Garlic Salad with Walnuts

A salad for Autumn, Winter and early Spring, where the roasting of the garlic and beetroot warms the kitchen, and the earthiness of the beetroot suits the weather. Even though beetroot is available year round, it seems to taste so much better in cooler weather.

The beetroot is roasted with the garlic, intensifying the beetroot flavours and mellowing the zip of the garlic. They become a perfect flavour pair.

Are you after Beetroot Salads? Try Beets in a Herb Dressing, Beetroot, Orange and Black Olive Salad, Slightly Pickled Beetroot Salad with Mustard, and Beetroot Salad with Honey Orange Dressing.

Or perhaps just Beetroot recipes. Beetroot and Pinot Risotto, Roast Beetroot with Cumin, and Beetroot Halwa.

Feel free to browse all of our Beetroot Salad recipes, and all of our Beetroot dishes. Our Salad recipes are here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Warm Salad of Charred Okra with Tomato, Garlic and Preserved Lemon

I love this recipe – it is so versatile, and the sort of recipe you can pre-prepare the ingredients, charring the okra and tossing it with the other ingredients at the last moment. The preserved lemon and fresh lemon juice contrast so wonderfully with the charred but still crunchy okra. This dish is GOOD.

The okra can also be charred on the BBQ (grill), tossing them on the hot plate as you sip wine and talk to friends. Then throw them into a pan and toss them with the other ingredients and place on the table for your guests to munch on (try with some flat bread) while you get on with BBQing the rest of the meal. I use a kadhai (Indian wok, flatter than a Chinese one) to make this dish, it is perfect for it.

It is an Ottolenghi recipe, of course, born of the Israeli and Palestinian roots of Sammy and Yotham. Okra features well in these cuisines, from the sun dried okra hanging from strings, to being served in dishes heavy with tamarind syrup. What a divine thought!

For this dish, use short, young, fresh, crisp okra only.

Are you looking for other Okra dishes? Try Crispy Okra (Kurkuri Bhindi), Goan Fried Okra, and Lemak-Style Vegetables.

Perhaps you are looking for Salads? Try Tomato Salad with Green Olives, Chickpea and Carrot Salad with Curry Dressing, and Cucumber and Avocado Salad.

Perhaps try some other Middle Eastern dishes: Babaganoush, Falafel, Parsley and Barley Salad with Spiced Marinated Feta and Chickpea “Tabbouleh”.

We have a wealth of Ottolenghi recipes that we have tried. Or have a look at all of our Okra recipes and all of our Salad recipes. Our Middle Eastern Dishes are here. Or spend some time browsing our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Brinjal Chidambaram Kothsu | Eggplant Gothsu From Chidambaram

The best Gothsu, they say, is definitely Chidambaram Gothsu, and the Gothsu made in this temple town is certainly different to varieties from elsewhere. Chidambaram Kothsu (also spelt Kosthu), or Gothsu (also spelt Gosthu or Gotsu), is a South Indian curry that is made using roasted and mashed eggplant. The Gothsu was originally made by the Chidambaram Nataraja Temple’s Dikshithars (special priests). They make it with Samba Sadham (lentils and rice) as an offering to Lord Nataraja of Chidambaram. It certainly does taste divine.

They say that Gothsu is a very old Tamil recipe, about 2000 years old. Traditionally the eggplants would be roasted over coals, but sadly today they are deep fried or sautéed. This recipe is without onions, just as the Dikshithars would make it. However, Chidambaram Gosthu is also made for many marriages in Chidambaram and for those occasions sambar onions are included.

This recipe is from Meenakshi Ammal’s treasure of TamBram recipes. It is different to other varieties of Gothsu in that it uses smoky roasted and shredded eggplants along with toor dal. You will see recipes without any dal, but if Ammal was making it this way it is probably more traditional. Ammal also includes this recipe in the chapter on Poritha Kuzhambu because of the dal and the spice mix fried in ghee.

There are other versions of Brinjal Gothsu that claim to be Chidambaram Gothsu, but they are not. The Chidambaram Gothsu includes Toor Dal. Without the dal, it is just Gothsu.

Are you looking for similar Poritha Kootu type recipes? We have some coming up and you should check for them here. In the meantime try Pitlai, and Poritha Kuzhambu with Amaranth Leaves.

Or are you looking for Eggplant Recipes? Try Babaganoush, Potato and Eggplant Curry with Punjabi Wadi, and Madras Curry with Eggplant, Sweet Potato and Spinach.

Want more? Check out our Meenakshi Ammal recipes and all of our Indian recipes. You might like to browse Indian Essentials. Have a look at all of our Eggplant dishes. Or take some time to explore our easy Early Autumn dishes.

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Rice and Orzo

Orzo is petty good, don’t you agree? This little rice-shaped pasta has an elegance that eludes other pastas. I was delighted to find another way to cook this star in Jerusalem, the cookbook by Ottolenghi and Tamimi.

Rice is a staple of many of the communities of the Middle East and features in quite complex dishes as well as very simple ones. Quite often, other ingredients like chickpeas, vermicelli, potatoes, lentils and nuts are are cooked with the rice.

Spices are also used, for example the Bucharan Jews in Jerusalem use ginger, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon with mint, raisins and peas. How delicious!

In this recipe, the usual vermicelli is replaced by Ottolenghi and Tamimi by orzo. Don’t confuse this orzo with the Greek barley – it is the Italian pasta version. You can use vermicelli if you like, just don’t fry them as long as they will burn.

Are you looking for other Orzo recipes? Try Elegant Orzo Salad.

Perhaps you are looking for mixed rice dishes. Try Zucchini Rice, Mango Rice, and Pepper Rice.

We have several Middle Eastern Recipes to try. Beetroot with Yoghurt-Tahini, Saffron and Rosewater Scented Aubergine, and Beautiful Hummus.

Are you looking for more? Explore our Ottolenghi recipes, all of our Orzo dishes, our Rice recipes, and all of our Middle Eastern dishes. Or simply spend some time browsing our Mid Autumn collection of dishes.

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Quick Lemon Marmalade

Late Autumn sees the first lemons, and jam is a perfect way to begin using them.

Autumn brings such a wealth of fruits that can be preserved in some way – Pomegranates, Quinces, Tomatoes, Crab Apples and new Ginger are abundant, and a few lemons are becoming available.

One easy way to use up a surfeit of lemons and provide breakfast jam for the coming winter is to make this quick lemon marmalade. No tedious slicing involved – it is all done by the food processor.

Are you looking for recipes that use lemons? Try Quick Pickled-Preserved Lemon Slices in Oil, Lemon Rice, and Lemony Sago with Coconut Milk.

Other jams that you might like to try are Quick Strawberry Jam, Tomato and Chilli Jam (savoury), and Cumquat Marmalade.

You might like to browse all of our Jams and all of our recipes for Lemons.  Or be inspired by our collection of easy Mid-Autumn recipes.

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Illaichi Chai | Cardamom Chai

The weather is cooling and Chai is back on our mind. Early morning, late evening, or in between it is a beautiful, relaxing drink. Meditative in its making, the joy and love that goes into it can be tasted in the end result. I love to make it while I am cleaning the kitchen in the evening, stirring periodically, and loving the aroma of the brewing chai. Then to cuddle up on the lounge with a cuppa – ah, heaven on a cold night.

Try some other Chai recipes too. Try Heavenly Gentle Chai, Ashram Chai, and Yogi Chai.

All of our Chai recipes are here. You might like to browse all of our Teas, and our Indian Recipes too. Or simply explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Caramelised Sweet Potatoes

This is a delicious dish – it can be a side dish or, as I like to do, eat it as a mid afternoon snack! Pretty healthy (as much as butter and some sugar can be – everything in moderation, right?) and they are definitely delicious. You can make this same recipe with carrots or pumpkins such as Butternut or Jap.

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

Are you looking for Sweet Potato recipes? Why no try Creamy Baked Sweet Potato, Madras Curry of Sweet Potato, Eggplant and Spinach, British Potato and Sweet Potato Vindaloo,  and Sweet Potato Wedges. You might also like Caramelised Roasted Pumpkin.

Have a look at our other Sweet Potato dishes here. Or check out our easy Mid Winter recipes.

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Old Fashioned Baked Rice Pudding like My Mother Made

 

Rice pudding is such a traditional dish, born from Mother’s, Grandmothers’  and Great Grandmothers’ Winter collections of recipes. I always know when the best of Glorious Autumn is over because I bake a rice pudding. It varies every year – sometimes it is as early as early April, and sometimes as late as mid May here in the Southern Hemisphere. A dish of extreme comfort and warmth, there is something about it that connects me with my great line of ancestors.

This old fashioned, rustic dish is rather dark from the cinnamon and the brown sugar. Use white sugar if you prefer a lighter version.

Are you looking for Rice Puddings? Try our Greek Rice Pudding and Bengali Rice Kheer. Or try some other desserts – Sago Payasam, Baked Apricots with Honey and Orange, and Baked Strawberries.

Looking for more? Explore all of our Rice Puddings and all of our  other Desserts . Feel free to browse other vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in the Retro Recipes series. Or try our easy Mid Autumn recipes.

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Butternut Pumpkin Cooked with Lashings of Butter and Black Pepper

Such soft buttery butternut, perfect for late Autumn

Vegetables like potatoes and pumpkin can be slow cooked very successfully. It works best with lots of butter, and of course that adds to the flavour A LOT. In this recipe, the butter helps to produce meltingly soft Butternut Pumpkin.

We began making this dish a long time ago, and it is a recipe from our Retro Recipe series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006. It began as a quick, no fuss way to cook pumpkin while we were doing other things in and out of the kitchen, an a great vegetable to serve for Sunday lunches and winter BBQs. It has now come into its own, and we love it at any time.

Are you looking for Pumpkin recipes? Try French Cream of Pumpkin SoupRoast Pumpkin Couscous Salad, Lasagne with Spinach, Ricotta and Pumpkin, and Roasted Pumpkin Risotto.

You might also like to check out all of our Pumpkin recipes. Or browse Slow Cooked recipes. Take some time to explore our collection of easy Mid Winter recipes.

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Pitlai | Toor Dal with Vegetables

Pitlai is a South Indian recipe using some basic vegetables and cooked in a coconut-based gravy with specific spices that have been fried in ghee. It sits close to Poritha Kuzhambu and Poritha Kootu, but the spice mix varies from these.

South India adores its rice, and so the different cuisines of the South include a huge range of gravy-like dishes that are ladled over warm rice to be mixed and enjoyed. It makes sense, right? Rasam, Sambar, Kuzhambu, Kootu etc are the most common. Pitlai sits in that group too, and some will say it is a type of Sambar and others will say it is a type of Kuzhambu. Meenakshi Ammal sits her Pitlai recipes within her Poritha Kuzhambu and Poritha Kootu section – those with a fried spice mix/ paste. The dish varies slightly from any of the above – in consistency, spices used, and the vegetables that are added – bitter gourd and eggplant are definite favourites. Like the other Poritha dishes, it is the ground paste of spices, the coconut, and the predominance of lentils, that serve to thicken the dish. A tiny amount of rice flour can help if needed.

Pitlai includes coriander and Bengal Gram in its coconut-based spice paste, and this is the difference from the Poritha Kootu and Poritha Kuzhambu pastes. As I say about South Indian dishes – change out one spice and the dish has a different name, a different way of eating, a different time of day to eat it and different vegetables to include in it. 🙂

Pitlai is made all over South India and each region will have its own interpretation of the dish. This is a recipe from the Tamil Brahmin Cuisine.

Are you looking for other Kuzhambu? Check out our Poritha Kuzhambu dishes. Also try Green Chilli Kuzhambu, Masala Kuzhambu with Gram Flour Vadai, and Tomato Kuzhambu.

You might like to try some Sambar. We recommend Moru Sambar, Classic Seasoned Sambar, and Sambar Powder and Paste.

Why not have a look at all our Kuzhambu dishes, and all Kootu. All of the Sambar dishes are here. Browse the Meenakshi Ammal recipes. Or take some time to explore our easy Early Autumn dishes.

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Carrots Glazed with Cumin and Ginger

A touch of spice turns carrots into something wonderful. Not that there is anything wrong with carrots as they are – delicious to munch on, wonderful grated into salads, carrot soups are amazing, pickles are so good, even in dips they shine. They can be poached, roasted, sautéed, mashed, curried, pureed and steamed or boiled.

Glazing carrots is quite retro, but as everything old is new again, we are re-introducing some of the techniques of last century.

Are you looking for similar Carrot recipes? Try Spicy Carrot Side Dish, English Creamed Carrots with Spices and Moroccan Carrot Salad.

Feel free to browse all of our Carrot recipes here and here. Or explore Ginger recipes. Check out our easy Early Spring recipes here. There are also more recipes from our Retro Recipes series.

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Soupe au Potiron | Cream of Pumpkin Soup

A French Soup so good that your friends will request the recipe

In the days when my kids were growing up, I really was famous for this soup. People would request it if they were coming over for a meal. I would keep copies of the recipe handy for people. We make it still today, and it is still just as good.

I love the way that the colour of this soup mirrors that of the falling autumn leaves at my house.

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

Are you looking for Pumpkin Soups? Try these: Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup, Italian Pumpkin Soup and Pumpkin Soup with Red Peppers.

Or try some other Pumpkin recipes, like Pumpkin Couscous Salad, Caramelised Roast Pumpkin, and Pumpkin Cooked in a Covered BBQ.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006. You might also like our Pumpkin recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Soup recipes here and here. Check out our easy Winter recipes here and here.

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Bengali Vegetable Khichuri | Kitchari

Bengal has so many different types of khichuri, its quite mind blowing. They adore their khichuris. This one is a khichuri with the classic combo of peas, cauliflower and potato, together with an onion-spice mix. It is quite a flavoursome dish, and another addition to our 17 or so published and scheduled kitchari (khichuri) dishes.

You might guess that kitchari is also well loved in this house – a more nourishing and comforting dish is hard to find. The vegetables in this one add to its nutritional value as well as flavour and texture. Bengali’s make khichuri on rainy days, and it is popular in the monsoon season, but don’t be held back. Make this dish at any time of the  year.

Khichuri is also very good for babies and invalids. Also, Khichuri has many different spellings around India – a dozen, maybe more. I use Kitchari most often.

It is difficult to get the local Bengali rice unless you have a specialist Indian grocer near you, so use Basmati rice. You might like to begin the recipe by making your own ginger paste and Bengali Garam Masala.

Please do also try other Kitchari recipes – try Barnyard Millet Kitchari, Parsi Kitchari, and Ven Pongal.

And check out our Bengali recipes. Try Bengali Rice Kheer and Bhog Khichuri.

Or explore all of our Kitchari recipes and all of our Bengali recipes. We have a number of Indian mixed rice Recipes. Take some time to browse all of our Indian dishes and Rice recipes. Or explore our Early Autumn collection.

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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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