Sutta Kathirikkai Thayir Pachadi | Smoky Roasted Eggplant in Yoghurt

As I mention often, my preferred way to char or roast eggplants is on our covered BBQ. It cooks them so much better than over a flame on a stovetop or in the oven. And recently I have started smoking vegetables while they cook in the BBQ, using some rice, tea and herbs – it gives the eggplants a smoky flavour, just as though they have been roasted over a wood fire. To do this, layer some rice, a Tblspn or so of tea leaves and some herbs in a foil pan, and allow to heat with the BBQ. When it begins smoking, add the eggplants. If it smokes too much, add a sprinkling or two of water. Remove the smoking pan from the BBQ after 10 – 15 minutes. It can be left for longer if only smoking a little.

This recipe is Smoky Roasted Eggplant in Yoghurt, a typical South Indian dish, one of many Tamil Pachadi recipes which are generally a cooked and mashed vegetable mixed with yoghurt and spices. It is a South Indian version of the North Indian Raita. Eggplant pairs particularly well with yoghurt. Use it as a side dish or like you might use a salad, for any meal, particularly South Indian meals.

Similar recipes include Crispy Okra Pachadi, Boondhi Pachadi, and Cucumber Pachadi.

Browse all of our Pachadi recipes and all of our Eggplant dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Vendakkai Thayir Pachadi | Crispy Sautéed Okra in Yoghurt

Yoghurt is as important in our kitchen as it is in general in Indian cuisine. Desi yoghurt is used all over India, in different ways, of course, in the different regions. This recipe brings together one of our much loved vegetables – okra – with yoghurt and spice to form the South Indian version of Raita, called Pachadi. There is something very special about okra with yoghurt. Divine.

This recipe takes okra slices and sautés them (which eliminates the sliminess) until crisp before mixing with the yoghurt. This is a great dish for Festival days too. It is a simpler version of this Vendakkai Thayir Pachadi.

Are you looking for other Pachadi recipes? Try Teeny Dried Okra Vathal, Ginger Coconut Pachadi, Nilgiri’s Carrot Pachadi, Eggplant Pachadi, and Spinach Pachadi.

Or try other Yoghurt dishes – Aryan, Green Peppers in Yoghurt, and Yoghurt Curry with Lentil Dumplings.

Browse all of our Yoghurt recipes and all of our Pachadi and Raita dishes. All of our Indian dishes are here. Or try our Late Autumn collection of recipes.

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Yoghurt with Cucumber and Mint

Yoghurt and Cucumber is such a heavenly pairing that it is used around the world to make a cooling accompaniment to meals (and the pair is also often blended together to make cooling Summer drinks).

This recipe is reminiscent of the Middle East, where mint and garlic are added to yoghurt with cucumber. This can be used as a dip (for me, dips never went out of fashion), or a cooling yoghurt salad to have with meals. It can be a sauce or dressing, or make it thick and use it as a spread.

Similar recipes include Cucumber, Feta, Mint and Dill, Cucumber Lassi, and Raita recipes.

Browse all of our Cucumber recipes and all of our Yoghurt dishes. All of our Middle Eastern recipes are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Quick Okra with Coconut and Yoghurt | Okra Raita

A delightfully quick okra dish where okra is sauteed with turmeric and other spices and mixed with yoghurt. There are a lot of dishes originating in India that combine okra and yoghurt in some way. It is such a special pairing. This is another recipe that celebrates that combination.

It is a really quick dish. By the time you have the yoghurt ready, the okra have nearly finished cooking. This time I have used the tiny Egyptian Okra that I get from my local Afghan grocery, no bigger than a thumb nail, and I use them whole. If using the larger okra, halve them lengthwise.

Similar recipes include Kurkuri Bhindi, Okra and Coconut Milk, and Okra Pakora.

Browse all of our Okra dishes, and all of our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. We have some Yoghurt dishes. Or explore our Mid Spring collection of recipes.

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Yoghurt and Kaffir Lime Leaf Spread

We have always loved dips and spreads, despite the dodgy connotations of previous decades. In fact we hear that they are definitely in vogue again. They never went out of fashion in this household, and I have posted many on this site. Share with friends as a snack or mezze dish, and they are also the ultimate comfort food – eaten on the couch binge watching Netflix, with crackers, flat bread, or vegetable sticks. Dips spread easily on toast, or in sandwiches, wraps and tostadas or Quesadillas.

And we adore yoghurt based dips and spreads. What a way to begin a meal!

This Ottolenghi recipe is a take on tzatziki but it includes zucchini, is spiked up with lime juice and kaffir lime leaf, and uses mint or coriander rather than the traditional dill. It is gorgeous and delicious. It is from his book Plenty More.

In fact it is our Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely.

Similar recipes include Yoghurt with Cucumber and Mint.

Browse all of our Dips and our Spreads. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Crisp Okra Pachadi | Fried Okra with Yoghurt and Spices

Okra and yoghurt are pretty good together, as we have seen with other Okra Pachadi recipes. Today’s recipe differs a little in its treatment of the okra and the spices used. It is South Indian in style, with a mustard seed tadka and curry leaves. As well, the okra are split into lengths rather than rounds, giving a different visual appeal. Pachadi is similar to the North Indian raita.

Read more about Okra here.

We have a number of Okra and Yoghurt dishes. Try Quick Okra Raita, Okra in a Spicy Yoghurt Sauce (use okra in place of the pineapple), Okra Pachadi, Okra with Cumin and a Yoghurt Sauce, and Bhindi Raita.

Other Okra recipes include Okra with Mustard Oil, Sri Lankan Okra Curry, and Crispy Okra.

Browse all of our other Okra dishes, and other Pachadi recipes. Our Indian dishes are here and Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Early Spring dishes.

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Thick Thick Yoghurt with Zaatar, Walnuts and Olive Oil | Labneh with Walnuts and Zaatar

While others may call drained yoghurt as Labneh, I have always made it myself and began calling it Thick Thick Yoghurt all those years ago, before I had ever heard of Labneh and before labneh became trendy.

It is a versatile product that can be used in a multitude of savoury and sweet ways. Salt it and add spices to use as a spread, dip, dressing or filling. Serve with wedges of toasted pita bread. Sweeten it a little (or not) and use it with fruits, jam, on scones, on toast and jam and it is a great alternative to cream.

Countries from India through the Middle East and into the Mediterranean make and use thick thick yoghurt. This dish is one that uses golpar, that tangy, slightly tart powder made from Persian hogweed. Speaking in terms of traditional medicine, the use of golpar with yoghurt counteracts the cold property of yoghurt. You can buy it from Middle Eastern, Afghan and some Asian groceries. You can substitute some grated lemon rind – it is a different flavour but will still be very very good.

Use this as a mezze dish, a dip, with tomatoes and cucumbers (and radishes), a spread in a sandwich or wrap, slavered over baked vegetables, in place of sour cream.

To get you started, this is how you make Thick Thick Yoghurt. And read more about Golpar.

Similar dishes include Yoghurt and Kaffir Lime Spread, Ways to Use Thick Thick Yoghurt, Salty, Garlicky Thick Thick Yoghurt, and Blueberry Shrikand.

Browse all Thick Thick Yoghurt dishes and our Dips and Spreads. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Peas with Purslane (or Sorrel) and Mustard

It is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. It is a Pea dish today.

There is an ode to peas (especially frozen peas) in the Guardian as it introduces this dish from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. It goes something like this (with minor alterations):

“Is there a safer bet in the kitchen than that there will be a bag of peas in the freezer? Peas are unlikely to surprise or shock in any way, but they are delightfully reassuring. They will somehow always be there, and always taste as they have and should.

Sure, freshly podded peas have about them a certain romance  – they have, for example, that beautiful texture when thrown raw into a crunchy spring salad. But who has access to fresh peas that haven’t been sitting for far too long on the green grocer’s shelves? No wonder, frozen peas sit comfortably in almost all home freezers.

Peas are incredibly relaxed about whom they sit next to at dinner. Salty and tangy feta or parmesan, creamy yoghurt, nutty potatoes, sweet fresh mint, peppery watercress or bitter leaves: sweet peas will always bring out the best in their companion. Needing little more than a minute’s blanching to cook, followed by a brief drenching in cold water, peas are low-maintenance and offer instant gratification. They are hugely versatile in use, as good at being mashed, pureed, lightly stewed or blitzed as they are left whole and mixed through a salad or pasta, stirred through a risotto, or gently stuffed inside artichoke hearts ready for braising.”

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Beetroot and Yoghurt Salad or Dip

The last of this crop of beetroot was picked to make a Chilled Beetroot Soup and a Beetroot and Yoghurt Salad/Dip. It is a heatwave right now, as I write this post – we are in Day 3 of a 4 Day heatwave with temperatures over 40C. Thankfully, the mornings are glorious, so there is time to do a little gardening and get some cold dishes ready for the day.

Can I tell you that I have fallen in love with beetroot this year? Ok, I have eaten it and cooked with it before, but beetroot straight from my garden has made me a lover of this vegetable. You can tell by the number of beet recipes posted from 2006 to mid 2016 (5), and after that date (25 published or scheduled).

Let me share some of those recipes with you. Try some Smoked Beetroot with Yoghurt and Caramelised Nuts, an Indian sautéed Beetroot Curry, another Chilled Beetroot Soup, and a Beetroot Risotto.

We have some other dips perfect for hot weather: the green coriander based Zhug, Moroccan Carrot Dip and Tomato and Chilli Jam.

Yoghurt makes a great base for yoghurt salads that can often also be used as dips. For example: Yoghurt and Cucumber, Yoghurt and Green Peppers, and Yoghurt Tahina Dip.

Please browse all of our Yoghurt dishes, all of our Dips, our Salads, and all of our Beetroot recipes. or simply find some time to explore our Mid Summer Recipes.

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Rose Strawberries with Sweet Yoghurt Cream

Strawberries are very very cheap at the moment, and it is the perfect time to make a few strawberry dishes. Here we are marinating them in Kewra Water and Rosewater, and they will be served with a thick, drained and sweetened yoghurt. It is a delicious Summer dessert. Pop the colours further with a few blueberries and a couple of basil leaves or shreds of kaffir lime leaf.

The drained yoghurt is delicious and can be used in so many ways. Leftovers will keep a few days in the fridge. Read more about making it here. There are ideas on how to use them here.

Similar recipes include Baked Plums with Marsala or Port, Green Tea, Mint and Strawberry Cooler, Strawberries with Lemon,  and Strawberries with Mint Raspberry Sauce.

Browse all of our Strawberry recipes, and all of our Desserts. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Rose Lassi

Hot days means lassi to me, the Indian thick yoghurt drink that is incredibly cooling. Served in long glasses and sipped in the late afternoons with a snack or a biscuit or three, it makes one feel on top of things, no matter how busy you are.

This lassi is a simple recipe and is flavoured with rosewater. It is blended with ice cubes to make it sufficiently cold for immediate serving. Garnish with rose buds if you have them (they can be bought in Afghan or Middle Eastern shops), or a sprig of mint.

Similar recipes include Banana and Berry Lassi, Sweet and Tangy Lassi and Mango Lassi.

Browse all of our Lassi recipes and all of our Coolers. Our Indian drinks are here, all of our Indian recipes here and the Indian Essentials Series here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Baked Yoghurt Encrusted with Vine Leaves

Ottolenghi believes that Turkish cuisine is one of the most exciting and accomplished in the world. I would argue that Indian is, but the cuisines between Indian and the Mediterranean definitely come close. Ottolenghi’s Book Plenty contains this unusual savoury cake (perhaps a pie) from the Turkish part of Northern Cyprus (where it is called Kibris Böreği).  A version of this dish is also known in Greece, being made in the Drama Region of Greece’s Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, where it’s known as Asmapita. The name comes from the Turkish word Asma, which means grapevine.

Ottolenghi credits a book Classic Turkish Cooking by Ghillie Basan, so I borrowed the book to browse through. It is a great book if you are looking for Turkish recipes. I recommend it.

The recipe caught our attention because we have a Vine Leaf thing going at the moment, using them in a number of ways. We haven’t made dolmades yet, but they are on the list. Have a look at what we have made so far. There are more to come.

This is a dish where a shallow layer of yoghurt mixed with herbs and thickened with rice flour is baked wrapped in vine leaves! Grape leaves impart their exceptional flavour and aroma to the filling as it bakes. The breadcrumbs and sesame seeds add a crunchy layer to each slice. How very delicious! This recipe comes together in minutes, tastes great, and can be eaten warm or cold. It is an excellent contribution to a table of mezze.

Have I mentioned too, how the grape vine leaves are scented, and the kitchen begins to smell like a grape arbour. As you scald them, they release the fragrance. As I dry them in the sun the outside deck is scented with grape vines. As they bake, they have a lovely woody, grapevine aroma.

Similar recipes include Dolmades, Grape Leaf Encrusted Rice Pie, Burghul Dolmas, Grape Vine Leaf Powder, Grilled Pecorino in Vine Leaves, and Mushrooms Baked in Vine Leaves.

Browse our Turkish dishes and all of our Vine Leaf recipes. All of our Yoghurt dishes are here. Or explore our other Early Summer recipes.

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Beetroot Salsa with Yoghurt

The first beetroot from the new garden had me looking for a simple yet dynamic way to treat them. This tangy salad has the wonderful flavours of cumin and coriander, and has yoghurt rippled into the salad. Treat it like a salsa, as a side to your main dish or curry. Summery and special, I love this fusion of east and west flavours.

You might also enjoy Smoked Beetroot with Yoghurt and Caramelised Nuts, Simple Beetroot Soup, Slightly Pickled Beetroot Salad with Mustard, Beetroot, Orange and Black Olive Salad, and a Warm Carrot and Beetroot Salad with Spices.

Our Beetroot recipes are all here and our Salsas here for you to explore. Or try our easy Early Summer recipes.

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Okra with Cumin and a Yoghurt Sauce

This next recipe in our Okra series combines the okra with cumin seed (or use caraway seed) and other spices, and cooks it in a thickened sauce which glazes the okra. It is then mixed with yoghurt, or the yoghurt is drizzled over the top of the okra. It is Indian in style, but not a traditionally Indian dish.

Okra is available for such a long period of the year, and is reasonably priced in most areas, so it makes sense to include it in your diet. It is rather a healthy food too.

Are you after other Okra dishes? Try Bhindi Raita, Baked Okra with Gingery TomatoSpicy Dried Okra, Crispy Okra, and Plain Kuzhambu with Okra.

Browse all of our Okra dishes, or explore our Late Autumn collection of recipes.

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Pomelo Raita

We adore Pomelo when it is in season and have a range of salads and snacks that we make with it. It takes some effort to peel, but it is worth it! This particular pomelo, in season now, has bright pink flesh, and the dishes look amazing.

Today we make an Indian dish with the Pomelo. Pomelo is called different things in different parts of India, but mainly have spellings similar to Chakkotha. We mix it in the yoghurt with some other cooling ingredients – tomatoes and cucumbers – and spice it up with some chaat masala. I can’t claim all the credit for this. I saw a recipe some time ago that was similar, and the thought has stayed with me. Now that Pomelos are back in the shop, it is a chance to make this dish.

Similar recipes include Pomelo with Avocado, Three Citrus Salad, and Pomelo and Green Mango Salad.

Browse all of our Pomelo dishes and all of our Raitas. Our Indian dishes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or browse our Late Spring dishes.

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