Cumquat Tea | Kumquat Tea

The season of cumquats are upon us, and not only are we able to get gorgeous ones from our local Asian Grocery, but friends who are not so kitchen-friendly as me, arrive with baskets of them.

For many years we have made our beautiful go-to cumquat recipes. Marmalade, Chutney, Pickles, Oils, and Soaked in Gin.

But a conversation with a Fijian friend changed, or rather, expanded, the way we think about this tiny, semi-sour globular fruits. He related how they use cumquats like lemons, squeezing the juice into dishes that need that bit of tang. Now not only are they squeezed, we cut them in halves and nestle them into oven baked dishes, they are floated in stocks, soups and stews to infuse, we char grill them for salads, and they find their way, chopped into 2 or 4 or 6, into warm vegetable mixes.

And they are made into tea.

What a delicious infusion this is. Just cumquats, or with mint and/or other herbs added, it is a perfect mid morning or mid afternoon pick-me-up. Surprising. Wonderful.

In terms of herbs, use your favourites, and don’t be afraid to experiment with a leaf here and there. Tulsi, basil, mint, thyme, parsley. Add honey if you need a sweetener. I don’t. But some Cumquat varieties are more sour than others.

We have some similar teas for you to try – Longan and Young Ginger Tea, Rosebud and Borage Flower Tea, and Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea.

Are you looking for other Cumquat recipes? Try Cumquat Rice, Steamed Thai Eggplant with Cumquat, and Cumquat and Pea Shoot Salad.

Browse all of our Cumquat recipes, and all of our Teas. Or take some time to explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Indian Chai Variations

Chai – a sweet, milky black tea with spices – begins the day for many Indian households. The spices and herbs added to the tea adds flavour but an oft-ignored benefit is that it also increases medicinal benefits. The daily supplement – better than popping a pill.

From Chai Masala, to a simple Chai with Ginger, the variations are endless. Here are some common ones to experiment with.

Because of the health giving properties of turmeric, we recommend adding a little turmeric to each cuppa chai that you make – about a pinch per cup.

Are you looking for more Chai recipes? Try Chai Masala for Relief of Colds, Heavenly Gentle Chai, and Ashram Chai.

You might like to browse all of our Chai recipes, and our general Tea recipes. All of our drinks can be found here. You might also enjoy our Late Winter recipes here and here.

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Adzuki Bean and Parsley Soup

A transitional soup that is perfect for the period where Winter moves into Spring – a soup with the warmth of winter in Adzuki Beans, Sesame Oil and Mirin, and the promise of Spring in the fresh parsley added at the end of cooking. The herby goodness of the parsley nicely balances the inherent sweetness of the Adzuki Beans.

I have been re-reading the wonderful writings of Lucy (Nourish Me) with her beautiful kitchen photos. With some adzuki beans already soaking, this recipe sparked interest. Of course it is tweaked a little from the original.

Similar recipes include Adzuki Beans with Shiitake Muhrooms, Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup, and Red Rice and Adzuki Bean Congee.

If you are looking for Adzuki Bean recipes, you can browse all of ours here. Or explore all of our Soup recipes . There are Parsley Recipes too. Or try our easy Late Winter recipes.

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Jerusalem Artichokes with Halloumi and Basil Oil

A beautiful dish from Ottolenghi – one that takes time to produce a marvellous dish

Pottering in the kitchen today, I had a little more time so brought together Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem Artichoke recipe from his book Plenty. Simple to make, it takes just a little time as you need to roast the artichokes, make the charred tomatoes, blend up the basil oil and grill the halloumi. It appears a random combination of ingredients, but it is not so. A perfect combo of bitter, sour, sweet, crispy, crunchy, soft and creamy.

Sometimes bitter greens are not available, so I substitute nasturtium leaves which are always plentiful here. And some rocket leaves.

Are you after other Jerusalem Artichoke recipes? Try Jerusalem Artichoke and Cumin Salad. We have some others  planned, so check back here later for updates.

Or some Halloumi dishes? Try Halloumi and Orange Salad, Halloumi Pizza and Halloumi and Watermelon Salad.

Browse all of our Halloumi recipes, our Tomato recipes, and our Jerusalem Artichoke dishes. Explore all of 0ur Ottolenghi recipes. Or browse our Late Autumn dishes.

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Quince with Split Peas | Afghani Channa Dal with Quinces

This dish is a vegetarian version of a stew from Afghanistan, Quince Stew or Qorma-e-Behi. It uses lentils in place of the non-vegetarian items. It is a perfect Winter dish, fragrant from the quinces, and comforting and warming. Deeply, deeply warming.

I often use soft chard or other greens in this dish in place of the spinach, it works just as well.

Are you looking for more Quince recipes? Try Quince Pickle and Spiced Quinces. Check out some ways to use Quince in sweet recipes as well.

Or browse all of our Quince recipes, and our Afghani dishes, or explore our delicious Mid Winter dishes.

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Vegetable and Barley Soup

Let’s face it, Barley is primarily a winter grain, cooked into soups, pilafs, “risottos” and vegetable stews. Its creamy texture is divine in winter, pairing well with parsnips in particular, with winter hard herbs and parsley, with tomatoes, and, well, with me. I fell in love with barley this year.

Having experimented with making barley water and roasting barley to make barley coffee, I can now leave those uses behind – I am not a terrific fan of either although they are interesting. But wintery barley uses – sign me up.

This is a huge vegetable and barley soup, full of goodness and just right for a day when the temperature doesn’t get over about 9C. Best to take some books and a bowl of soup and curl up in bed on those days.

Similar recipes include Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup, Parsnip and Barley Soup, and Barley and Root Vegetable Soup.

You might like to explore our other Barley recipes. Our Soup recipes are here. Or browse our easy Mid Winter recipes.

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Roasted Cauliflower, Grape and Creamy Cheddar Salad

A perfect wintery cauliflower salad

A lazy Sunday Lunch with my Father included this great Wintery salad with roasted cauliflower. Easy to make, this Ottolenghi salad can be partly prepared earlier, to mix and serve at the table. It is from Ottolenghi’s book Plenty.

You might like other Cauliflower recipes – Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, A Plate of Cauliflower, and Cauliflower Slow Cooked in Oil with Lime and Spices.

Browse all of the Cauliflower recipes, all of our Salads, and all of our Ottolenghi recipes. Or find inspiration in our easy Early Winter recipes.

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Caramelised Onion and Salad Greens

This salad is rather unusual but rather nice. It is a great salad for Autumn and early winter. Caramelised onions are mixed with bitter greens.

Take time to caramelise your onions. They will take between 30 and 45 minutes, depending on your stove, your pan, the onions and the heat that you used. These were cooked for 45 mins, but usually I cook them with a little more heat and they take 30 mins. Watch them carefully as they cook, stirring often.

Are you looking for other Onion Salads? Try Onion Salad with Sesame Oil, Onion Strings Pickled Salad, and Sweet Onion Salad.

Browse all of our many Salads and all of our Onion recipes. You can also check our recipes for Radicchio, Endive, and Escarole. Or simply explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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South Indian Baby Corn Soup

Oh how cute – baby corn in a creamy base. It makes a great soup. Fresh baby corn is easy to find in Asian groceries if your local green grocer does not stock it.

This is another soup recipe from Vol 4 of Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See iconic books. All the soups in this section are simple, unspiced and almost 1970’s in style. This is not surprising, given the era that Meenakshi Ammal wrote the rest of the books. Soups like this are not common in South India, but not rare either. Baby corn is quite popular – going with the love of all things Indo-Chinese – and as I said, are really cute.

Are you after other South Indian Soups? Try South Indian Spring Onion Soup, Beetroot Soup, and Cauliflower Soup.

Would you like more Sweetcorn dishes? Try Sweetcorn Sundal, and Roast Tomato and Sweetcorn Soup.

All of our South Indian Soups are here and all of our Soups here. Browse our Sweetcorn dishes, and all of our Indian recipes. Or simply explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Masoor Dal with Green Chillies

The thing about Vegetarian food is there is not much that is fast food, unless you look in the processed aisle of the supermarket. But if you are cooking from scratch, there is generally a reasonable amount of time needed to soak, bake, cook, spice, grind, roast, toast and so forth. Pasta is one laudable exception, and masoor dal (split red lentils as they are called here) another. They are fast in as much as 20 – 30 mins can be called fast. Longer than it might take for some non-veg meals, but quick in the terms of veg feasts.

This dal, made from masoor dal, is as quick as it gets. I hope you enjoy it.

Similar recipes include Dal Tadka, Mung Dal with Cumin and Spices, and Amritsari Dal.

Browse all of our Dal recipes and all of our Masoor Dal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here. Or take some time to explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Pasta Bake with Cabbage and Cheese

Cabbage and Carbs always go well together, right? And this dish of cabbage with pasta is divine. It is a great cold weather dish, and perfectly good for any time of the year as a Sunday Supper. It is a rustic dish, but don’t let that dissuade you.

Sometimes I cook this dish and the family aren’t home yet, and I pick at it in the kitchen until there is a definite hole in the side. It is so delicious with the nutty, slightly stretchy Emmental cheese. So easy to make just 3 ingredients – I cook the pasta and use the pasta water to blanch the cabbage. A few minutes assembly and into the oven it goes for about 20 mins – faster if you have a good fan forced oven. Take it bubbling to the table – your family will be begging for it again and again.

Truly, this dish almost needs a wood fire and a large glass of red. Eat on its own, with salads, or as an accompaniment to other dishes. Left overs are good fried up for breakfast! You could almost say that this comfort dish is NOT a Sydney dish. It is built for Melbourne and Adelaide, and all year round in Tassie. 🙂

Similar dishes include Potatoes and Cheddar Gratin, Baked Eggplant Steaks, and Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini.

Are you looking for Pasta dishes? First, check out our home made eggless pasta. Then try Pasta with Zucchini and Parsley Pesto, Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Pepper and Tomato, and Light Pasta Salad.

Or are you looking for Cabbage Recipes? Try Malaysian Lemak Style Vegetables, Nappa Cabbage Salad with Peanut Dressing, and Cabbage Thoran.

You might also like to browse all of our Cabbage recipes. All of our Pasta dishes are here. Or browse Baked recipes. Take some time to check out our easy Mid-Winter recipes.

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

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Bamia b’Mishmosh | Okra in Tamarind Sauce with Apricots and Prunes

Okra and Orzo Rice go so well together. Some time ago, we made Orzo Pasta Rice, a version of Vermicelli Rice, and the mixture of the two (rice with either orzo pasta or vermicelli) is utterly delicious. Today, we are pairing it with some simply cooked but oh so delicious okra, cooked on the stove top.

The okra, with Middle Eastern Flavours, is cooked with tamarind, dried apricots, prunes and spices, for that special Middle Eastern sweet-sour taste.

Are you after more Okra dishes? Try Okra with Chilli Spice Paste, Sri Lankan Okra Curry, Warm Salad of Charred Okra, and Okra with Mustard Oil.

You can browse all of our Okra dishes, all Apricot recipes, and all of our Middle Eastern dishes. Or simply explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Orange and Walnut Salad

It so happens that both oranges, fresh from the tree, and fresh, whole walnuts, are far more delicious than their shop-bought counterparts. More amazingly, oranges and walnuts go very well together. Pair them in a salad for a gorgeous luncheon or light supper salad, even in Winter.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Roast Beetroot, Garlic and Walnut Salad, Olive, Walnut and Pomegranate Salad, and Orange and Olive Salad.

You can browse all of our Orange recipes and all of our Walnut dishes. Our vast collection of Salads are here. Or take some time to explore our Mid Winter collection.

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Baked Parsnips with Parmesan

We all love Parmesan sprinkled over baked dishes – that leathery melted sheet that results is chewy and yummy, the result of direct heat. But the complex flavours of parmesan are better preserved when, grated, it hits food still warm from the oven or stove. In fact, in Italian food, Parmesan is used widely but sparingly and rarely sees direct heat.

We use that practice with these gorgeously roasted Parsnips. It is Winter, and Winter = Parsnips. A simple dish to make but oh how very wonderful.

Are you after similar recipes? We have Roasted Parsnip Soup with Spices, and  Mashed Parsnips with Olive Oil and Parmesan.

If you would like to browse all of our Parsnip recipes, they are here. Or take some time to explore our Mid Winter delights.

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Andhra Spinach Chutney | Palakoora Pachadi

Serve with rice and a dollop of ghee

Andhra Pradesh is well known for its chutneys, and for the love that Andhra people have for their chutneys. Called pachadi, the chutneys are not to be confused with the pachadi dishes from Tamil Nadu, which are generally yoghurt based like a raita. An Andhra Pachadi is more like a Tamil Thogayal. I hope that clears the confusion.

Andhra Pachadis are ground vegetables and spices, made to be eaten with rice and a dollop of ghee. But you can use them in sandwiches, stirred into yoghurt, or with snacks, chapatti, idli or dosa.

This is a Spinach Andhra Pachadi, and you have never tasted spinach so delicious. Spicy from red and green chillies, and cooling from the ground sesame seeds, it all comes together into an awesome dish.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Spinach Thogayal, Green Chutney, and Coriander and Coconut Chutney.

You can see our Tamil Pachadi dishes here and here, and our Andhra Pachadi dishes here. Or browse all of our Spinach recipes and our Indian dishes. You might also like to explore our Early Winter recipes.

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