Parsnip Risotto with Rosemary

Parsnips – perhaps Winter’s best vegetable. So sweet, and they keep their flavours whether boiled, steamed or roasted. They take to many different pairings and treatments. Today, a risotto, and the recipe comes from the multi-continented Ilva, the great food photographer and the author of a beautiful blog that sadly no longer exists, Lucullian Delights.

I am very grateful that, before Ilva closed her blog, she allowed me to save my favourite recipes. I like to think that some of her recipes will live on now. This is one of her wonderful risotto dishes – subtle, divine. I have made a few minor adjustments to suit our tastes and availability of ingredients.

I love the use of white pepper in subtle dishes (Asian foods, cauliflower dishes, with parsnips, for example). In this recipe I have layered pepper flavours by using both white and black pepper.

If this is the first time that you are making risotto, read Risotto Basics 101.

Similar recipes include Risotto with Mushrooms, Tomato Risotto, Asparagus Risotto with Basil, and Caramelised Pumpkin Risotto.

You might also like our Parsnip dishes, our Risotto recipes, and our Rice recipes. Our Italian dishes are here. Check out our easy Early Spring recipes too.

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Vendakkai Thayir Pachadi | Crisipy Okra in Yoghurt

Okra in Yoghurt is popular across South India, and it is surprisingly good – more than might be expected if you are used to okra cooked with tomatoes as is common in the Mediterranean, Middle East and the US. This recipe is a Tamil version – the Kerala version is similar but also contains coconut.

This is usually made for festival days or other special occasions, although it is wonderful to eat on any day. It is easy to make, taking no more than 20 mins. You will love it.

Are you after more Okra dishes? Try Okra in Mustard Oil, Stir Fried Okra with Sesame Seed, and Fried Okra.

Browse all of our Okra dishes, and all of our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or find some wonderful recipes to make in our Mid Winter collection.

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Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad with Pomegranate

In this memorable salad from Ottolenghi and Tamimi’s Jerusalem, roasted Cauliflower, Celery and Hazelnuts are combined with Pomegranate, fresh Parsley, and warming spices. A sweet-tart vinaigrette finishes it off.

When we roast cauliflower, we make a whole lot, often 2 – 3 trays, and it is used for Cauliflower Soup, Crispy Cauliflower with Tahini Yoghurt Dressing, and this salad. Roasted cauliflower is one of the best ways to use this gorgeous winter vegetable.

Similar recipes include Roasted Cauliflower, Grape and Cheddar Salad, and Slow Cooked Cauliflower with Spices and Lime.

Browse all of our Cauliflower recipes, all of our Ottolenghi dishes and all of our Salads. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

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Chinese Style Greens with Garlic and Sesame

If you are like me, you love a plate of greens now and again. And if they are straight from the vegetable garden, there is nothing better. This is an easy dish to whip up and is fragrant with the garlic and spring onions.

The recipe can be made with just the leaves, or, if you have an abundance of stems, it is also good made with just the chopped stems. But mostly, I mix the two.

Similar dishes include Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhurji, Spinach Stem Salad with Sweet Raisins, and Orzo Pasta with Wilted Spinach.

Browse our Chinese dishes and our Asian recipes. Our Spinach dishes are here. Or browse our Early Spring recipes.

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Dr. Kilkani’s Ayurvedic Chai

Another wonderful Chai recipe

This is the chai recipe given to me by an Ayurvedic doctor from Pune, India. He would visit Sydney regularly to give courses and I was lucky enough to attend several of them.

His chai recipe is not dependent on ratios, just the ingredients. Mix them to your own taste preferences. The best way is to make a small jar of chai blend, and then use the mix to make your morning cuppa.

Similar recipes include Tim’s Chai, Chai for Colds, Spring Chai, and Illaichi Chai.

You might like to also browse all of our Chai recipes. all of our Drinks, and our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or browse our collection of Mid Spring dishes.

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Ma Karal | Sri Lankan Snake Bean Curry

At last we have a snake bean dish for you. Snake beans are generally available at Asian and Indian groceries. They are long beans, with a tougher outer layer than, say, our green beans. They are terrific in Asian and Indian dishes. Today we make a Sri Lankan curry, using Coconut Milk, Pandan and the Sri Lankan Curry Powder, Badapu Thuna Paha. If you can’t find this spice mix in your Indian and Sri Lankan groceries, and don’t want to make it, use any warming roasted curry powder (as spicy as you like – or not). At a pinch you could use Malay Curry Powder, Sambar Masala or Garam Masala.

Green Beans are a good substitute for Snake Beans if you can’t locate the longer ones.

Similar recipes include Sri Lankan Okra in Coconut Milk, Sri Lankan Mung Dal with Coconut Milk, and Sri Lankan Fenugreek Kuzhambu.

Browse all of our Sri Lankan dishes, and all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. All of our Bean dishes are here. Or explore our Early Spring collection of recipes.

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Kosheri | Lentils, Rice and Vermicelli with Onions and Spices

Kosheri (also spelled Koshari) is a dish with its genesis in Egypt, although it now traverses many time zones. We have some similar recipes, but this one from Ottolenghi (in his book Ottolenghi) is another of his dishes that perfectly layers spices with other ingredients. It is a bit intense, this dish, with several cooking processes on the go at one time, but the effort is worth it. Cook the sauce, cook the lentils, cook the rice and vermicelli, cook the onions – then bring them all together.

Frankly, I love how North Africa, the Middle East and India are much more adventurous with their rice dishes than our English-based cultures. Who would have thought of cooking lentils, various pasta, burghul and/or vermicelli with rice? It seems to break all of our Western rules of food composition. Yet here they are, these mixed rice dishes, such a delicious alternative to plain white rice.

Cheap, easy and filling, kosheri is ubiquitous on Egypt’s streets and thought to be an adaptation of Indian kitchari, brought to Egypt in the late 19th century during the British occupation of both countries. Egypt’s Italian community is held responsible for kosheri’s pasta factor. Lebanon and Palestine have a simple version, a rice with pasta dish that works on the principle that less is more.

The dish can be made with or without the tomato sauce. Although it is a good accompaniment, the kosheri is also good with a Cucumber Raita, or any other Raita, Pachadi, or Yoghurt based salad, for that matter. Or just plain yoghurt.

In Egypt, this dish is sold by street vendors, but it is also very welcome at the dinner table. It can be a side dish, but I prefer it as a main, with the accompaniments tailored to eat on and with the rice. I particularly love it with the tomato sauce, some roasted cauliflower and toasted hazelnuts.

Similar recipes include Orzo and Rice, Cauliflower, Mung and Cracked Wheat Kitchari, and Cracked Wheat and Mung Kitchari.

Browse all of our Egyptian recipes and all of our Ottolenghi dishes. Our Rice recipes are here. Or explore our Late Winter collection of recipes.

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Charred Okra with Spiced Tomato Barley

This is an African influenced dish of barley and okra. We have made it with pearl barley, which is cooked with tomatoes, and then charred okra is added. A warming, Wintery dish.

This is often made with black barley, and there are a number of recipes available for it. As black barley is not yet available here, normal barley is a good substitute. Note that the barely is so very good, it can be cooked on its own, or topped with other vegetables, for example, charred or roasted cauliflower.

Are you looking for other Barley dishes? Try Parsley and Barley Salad with Feta, Barley with Red Kidney Beans, and Adzuki, Barley and Pumpkin Soup.

Or other Okra recipes? Try Slightly Charred Okra with Chilli, Garlic and ThymeWarm Salad of Charred Okra, Whole Okra Stuffed with Onions, and Sri Lankan Okra Curry.

Browse all of our Okra dishes and all of our Barley dishes. Our African dishes are here. Or simply explore our Mid Winter recipes.

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South Indian Baby Sweetcorn and Green Bean Soup

This is our second Baby Corn Soup; this one includes green beans for added crunch and fresh taste. It is another soup from Vol 4 of Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See, written by her daughter Priya Ramakumar. They are reminiscent of, say, 1970’s style soups – simple, no fuss, delicious. many of them (but not this one) are Anglo-Indian. I adore them – they are such a contrast to other elements of Indian cuisine.

As explained in previous posts, Soups as we know them are uncommon in India. But in South Indian, the TamBram community does make some very simple and un-spiced soups, probably influenced by the British, and perfect for using up left over odds and sods of vegetables.

Rather than being served in large bowls like we might serve a soup, it is served in small bowls, unaccompanied by crusty bread, grated cheese, olive oil for drizzling, or croutons. Actually, it is a really nice beginning to a hot and spicy meal.

Several of the soups in this volume of Cook and See show the growing love for Chinese food in India at the time that the volume of recipes was written. The nod to Chinese fare is created by a drizzle of soy sauce on top of the soup. Baby corn, after all, is associated (probably incorrectly) in many countries as being quintessential Chinese. This Indo-Chinese cuisine is very popular.

Baby corn is available at most Asian Grocery shops.

Similar recipes include South Indian Baby Corn Soup, South Indian Spring Onion Soup, and South Indian Cauliflower Soup.

Or browse all of our Indian Soups here, and all of Meenakshi Ammal’s dishes. Our Indian Recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Late Winter dishes.

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Simple Cauliflower Curry | Phool Gobi Curry

Sometimes we want a quick dinner without too much fuss. Here it is. Put the rice cooker on, cut up the cauliflower, and dinner is ready in a trice.

The cauliflower is sautéed with seasoning until tender, and then spiced just with garam masala and chilli. You don’t need to grind spices or make spice pastes. This is a simple curry. My friend Priti shared her recipe with me after preparing it for lunch one day.

Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Aloo Gobi, Cauliflower Pilaf and Cauliflower and Broken Wheat Kitchari.

Browse all of our Cauliflower recipes, and all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or take some time to explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Crispy Cauliflower with Tahini Yoghurt Sauce

This Cauliflower dish is a take on a classic Israeli and Lebanese recipe in Ottolenghi and Tammi’s book Jerusalam. I have twisted it up just a little to suit us and our friends, but I have to tell you that this is a favourite dish in our circle. I love it partly because it is very quick to make if you roast the cauliflower. Ottolenghi deep fries it (and that is delicious) but often time is a real factor in this household. So the cauliflower is roasted when we need awesome dishes in quick-sticks time. We can get on with other things while the roasting happens. I have to say, though, that deep frying gives the cauli beautiful crispy exteriors and cooks the interior just enough to be amazing.

Tahini features in creative ways in Israel, in both simple eateries and upmarket restaurants. For these types of dishes, grab good tahini from your Middle Eastern grocers – you won’t go back to the supermarket shelves, and they have a smoothness not available in the Greek brands. Choose a light-coloured tahini made from hulled sesame seeds.

The tahini sauce, thick and wonderfully rich, is the focal point of this dish. I use about 3/4 of Ottolenghi’s sauce with the cauliflower, and the rest is put to use as dips and salad dressings. This dish fits perfectly in any mezze selection, makes a great substantial meal when served with fresh tomato salad and a warm pitta, or is an excellent side for many meals.

Similar dishes include Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Hazelnuts and PomegranateRoasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree, Cauliflower Slow Cooked with Lemon and Spices, Green Tahini Sauce, White Beans with Tahini, and Tahina Tarator.

Browse all of our Cauliflower recipes, and dishes where tahini features. Our dips and sauces are here. Explore our Israeli dishes, all of our wonderful Salads, and check out or Early Spring collection of recipes.

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Sri Lankan Okra in Coconut Milk, Jaffna Style

Sri Lanka has a wonderful cuisine, layered of course by the cultural backgrounds of the inhabitants. The South Indian influence is strong, and many dishes are similar to the cuisines of Tamil Nadu, but with a twist bought about by local ingredients. This is an Okra Curry, a simple one with only green chillies to spice it, and the okra are simmered in coconut milk. Easy to make and beautiful to eat.

Are you after similar recipes? Try this Sri Lankan Okra Curry, Crispy Okra in Yoghurt (Pachadi), and also Lemak Style Vegetables in a Curry-Coconut Broth.

You can browse all of our Okra dishes and all of our Sri Lankan recipes. Our Indian dishes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time and explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Tim’s Chai

Tim says that

Chai is an art that must be discovered. The ingredients are the map but the combination is your own journey. The secret is in the intention of the heart.

It’s true, and there is much that you will discover as you make Chai. How to bring it together to get the best flavours. Which spices work best with your body. Which spices work best in the different seasons. Whether you have the patience to make chai well. Are you too impatient? How to keep yourself healthy with the combination of spices, and how to bring yourself back to health when you are out of balance. Which milk to use, whether you add ghee or coconut oil at all to your chai. Does a pinch of salt help? Which chai relaxes you and which invigorates you?

All of these and much more is just part of your individual Chai Journey.

Why not take that Chai Journey with us? Try Dr. Kilkani’s Ayurvedic ChaiChai Masala for Relief of Colds, Illaichi Chai, Peppery Chai and Ashram Chai.

Explore all of our other Chai recipes. Or what about our Teas? And browse all of our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Would you like to explore our Mid Autumn dishes?

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Whole Okra Stuffed with Onions and Spices

In this okra dish, the okra are slit and stuffed with an onion-based spice mixture before being quickly sautéed and then steamed until tender. It is a delicious dish that does not pack a chilli heat punch. The spices used are gentle and warming, and it is a good dish for convincing your friends that okra is a special and wonderful vegetable.

This is a Madhur Jaffrey okra dish. She seems to have a special affinity to okra, and loves them with onions.

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

You can browse all of our Okra dishes, all Apricot recipes, and all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or simply explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhurji | Corn and Spinach Stirfry

Bhurji are pan-fried Indian vegetable dishes that are not quite dry, but not really wet dishes. They are dry yet damp dishes. The best known Bhurji is made with eggs and is somewhat like scrambled eggs. But we don’t cook with eggs, so the Bhurji that we make are pure vegetarian. They are similar to the Thoran of Kerala and Poriyal of Tamil Nadu. Bhurji is an Andhra dish.

This one is made with greens and sweetcorn, with spices. Spinach and Sweetcorn is a loved combination in India – the sweetness of the corn playing nicely with the spices against the slight bitterness of the spinach. This dish can be served as it is, a perfect side dish to a meal. Or serve it with cumin rice or some roti for a snack. It is also very very good as a filling for Toasties – Indian style toasted sandwiches. Use it as a filling with some cheese and perhaps sliced tomato.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Sweetcorn Sundal, Spinach Thoran, Cabbage Thoran, and Spinach Poriyal. You might also like Baby Sweetcorn and Green Bean Soup.

Browse all of our Thorans and Poriyals. Try our Spinach dishes and our Sweetcorn recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Late Winter dishes.

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