We can never have enough pachadi and raita. Cooling and refreshing, they are prefect on a hot Summer’s day. Tasty and delicious, they are an excellent way to include yoghurt in your diet and to include another vegetable in your daily mix of food. Indian food is an excellent vehicle for including more veg in your meals than you ever thought possible.
We adore a thick puree of cashews and call it cashew cream – a thick puree flavoured with cardamom, blitzed until it is as smooth. It is similar to cashew yoghurt which is all the rage for vegans as a substitute for dairy yoghurt. My cream and their yoghurt are really thick unstrained versions of cashew milk. (The yoghurt is often cultured by adding probiotics and leaving it to ferment. I have not done this, but my version can be vegan if you avoid the optional dairy additions.)
I find that the best result is with a high speed blender like a Vitamix or similar. I experimented with my pretty powerful food processor too, but even after 5 mins of processing the result was still gritty. The blender made short work of it and the result is as smooth as a baby’s you know what!
The cream is very easy to make, and we use it with fruit, Asian desserts and in some of our rare desserts. Imagine it stirred through a rice pudding, for example. Drizzled over your muesli. Topping your eggless custard. Forming a base for poached or roasted fruits. Stirred through sago. Drizzling over payasam, or over some jam on Aussie Scones. On roasted figs.
If the cashews are soaked overnight it is quick to whip this up in the morning, and drizzle over muesli and fruits. Or make banana toast by spreading toast with the cashew cream and adding a layer of sliced or mashed banana.
This Pachadi is a lovely one, flavoured with sauteed onions, green chillies and creamy coconut. Delicious! The play of flavours and textures – I know you will love it. It is another recipe to add to our Raita and Pachadi series.
You might like to read What is a South Indian Pachadi?
It is loquat season as I write, and luckily our tree is laden down with fruit. Funny little things the fruit needs to be used straight off the tree, otherwise they bruise easily and can turn brown.
We make lassi with locquats, and they are delicious. Ice cold on a hot day, there is nothing better.
By the way, Loquats can also be spelt Locquats. Go figure.
We have a range of sweet, fruit and salt lassi recipes for you to browse. Explore all of our Yoghurt recipes too. The Drinks recipes are here. Explore our Indian recipes and our Indian Essentials. Or be inspired by our Late Spring recipes.
A glorious mix of fried vegetables in yoghurt – indeed exquisite, and direct from Istanbul (via Ottolenghi). Most of the veg are deep fried, but don’t let that put you off as it is indeed glorious. It works well with baked, roasted and grilled veg as well.
The original recipe is one of Ottolenghi’s from Plenty More, but I have changed the cooking times and included some Thai round green eggplants. We always feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area, or to massage Ottolenghi’s recipes to suit our preferences and what is available in our garden and pantry. You can see the original recipe in The Guardian here.
Browse all of our Eggplant recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes are here and here are the recipes from Plenty More. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes
Truth be told, making Indian batters from lentils or pulses is a challenge. The Indian grinder is not available here, nor the ubiquitous mixi with its multiple contains all for a different purpose. My Indian friends pop over to India at least once a year, so their kitchens are purpose built for Indian cuisine.
You will find numerous people advise high speed blenders, like Vitamix, for grinding batters, and I bought one with this in mind (and my old blender had had its day). It was Ok, I have to say, but still hard work. At the same time I bought a popular high-mid-range food processor – high speed with a twin blade. I decided to experiment with it to make batter for these vadai, and am really happy with the result. Quick and easy, no need to use a tamper to push, as with the blender, and I wiped the batter down only twice. There was no need to add extra water. To say I am over the moon is an understatement.
These deep fried vadai, a simple form of Medhu (Medu) Vada, are made from Urad dal with a few spices. They are the type that are soaked in yoghurt for 30 mins – on their own they are a little dry. They can also be soaked in Sambar, or, as I do when I am in a hurry, serve with a bowl of seasoned yoghurt and dip each bite into the yoghurt so that you get a luxurious amount over the vadai.
My first ever yoghurt curry experience was from a Parsi lady from India. It was a life changing experience – the creaminess of the yoghurt with the spices is a wonderful pairing, and once you’ve had a yoghurt curry, there is no looking back. This recipe is very very simple – few spices, and not much chilli. It lets the yoghurt shine.
I recommend reading these posts before cooking with yoghurt or buttermilk:
Note that Indian Buttermilk is very different to the product called Buttermilk outside of India. Confused? Read the second of the two links above.
This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can find other recipes from that blog in the Retro Recipes series.
This dish is a yoghurt sauce served with cooked plantain. It is similar to an aviyal, but made with one vegetable only. Other vegetables that can be used instead of the plantain are amaranth stems, chow chow, ash gourd, and plantain stem.
The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from her cook books Cook and See. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.
Okra and yoghurt are a common pairing and here is another such recipe, flavoured with mustard oil and red and green chillies. The okra is fried until crisp and then served with the kadhi or yoghurt curry.
It is a typical dish from Odisha. Odia cuisine uses less oil and is less spicy than many other parts of India while nonetheless remaining flavourful. Mustard oil is often used as the cooking medium.
We make raita and yoghurt pachadi often at home – they are easy, no fuss dishes that can be served with an Indian meal or used as sauces and dressings for baked and steamed veggies, in wraps, over simple salads etc.
This raita uses carrots, cucumbers or zucchini, and tomatoes for a colourful raita that brings a happy note to the table. The vegetables are just grated or chopped and incorporated into the yoghurt with some chillies, ginger and a tadka. Enjoy! You could sub other vegetables – finely grated cabbage (red or green), or red or green peppers, for example.