A quick dessert celebration of Autumn. Apples, Pears and Pomegranates are brought together with yoghurt and a touch of spice for a quick, easy and delicious dessert. It’s also wonderful at breakfast time (top your cereal or oats with it) and an any-time snack. Try it also with our Bondi Bircher Muesli.
Beetroot is back on the menu, our earthy flavoured friend. In this salad, the beets are grated and mixed with a classic yoghurt and tahini dressing. To keep up the Middle Eastern theme, we add some za’atar.
This is a perfect Autumn Salad, although it does work really well in all other seasons. I love it in Autumn because we are moving from the cool blue colours of Summer into the oranges, golds, reds and crimsons of Autumn. It seems to fit well somehow.
A Summer-time salty yoghurt cooling drink from the Middle East.
I am keen on yoghurt drinks in warmer weather. Somehow they keep me feeling well and balanced. Lassi drinks – India’s contribution to the world of yoghurt drinks – are diverse and wonderful. Smoothies, made with yoghurt, encapsulate the modern trend of blending ingredients together. And the Middle East has much to offer.
This recipe is Ayran/Airyan, a drink claimed by both Turkey and Bulgaria. But it is popular across all of the Middle East. Syrians and Lebanese call it Laban Ayran. In Iraq and Jordan it’s called Shenina. And if you add a little crushed or dried mint to the drink, you’ll have Doogh, the Iranian version of Aryan.
Ayran is a mixture of yogurt, cold water and salt, but there are variations. What makes its Ayran special is that it is quite frothy. For example, one variation, the Susurluk Ayran, comes from a small town, Susurluk, in Turkey. The ingredients are the same, but in Susurluk restaurants cirulate the Ayran through a faucet, using high speed pumps, and this creates a foamy texture with a heavy creamy top. It is very famous, and eaten with a cheese panini-like dish called tost.
I have the Ottolenghi book Nopi, and have been determined to make something out of it if just to prove that a cookbook from a restaurant is not necessarily out of reach of someone who loves simple home cooking. While the recipes are a notch up from Ottolenghi’s other books, I enjoyed making this dish.
This really is a stunning dish. I mean, really very very good.
NOTE that this baked eggplant is so delicious, and could be used in a variety of ways. Bake the eggplant and top salads, use with pasta, remove the flesh and mix with yoghurt. Even in this recipe it won’t hold its shape once you begin to handle them, but don’t worry if they are a little mushier than expected. All the better to mop up with flatbreads.
Have I mentioned how important yoghurt is in our kitchen? We use it a lot – from lassi drinks, to salad dressings, to yoghurt curries, chilled soups, to pachadi dishes like this one, to all sorts of Middle Eastern dishes. We drain it to make it thick, we pile it on our overnight oats for breakfast and we drizzle it over fruit salads.
This dish, Ginger and Coconut Pachadi, can be used as an Indian Chutney (ie as a little on the side to eat with the main dishes) or more like an Indian Yoghurt Salad.
Madhur Jaffrey’s recipes, although not always traditional, are always tasty, easy and no-fail. This is another one – I found it in my pile of saved recipes, scribbled out. Any mushrooms are good with this yoghurt -tomato gravy/sauce, just cut them large enough so they don’t get lost in the sauce.
The Middle East has a variety of flavours and dishes that are amazing and under-explored in other countries. And yoghurt, one of my favourite food stuffs, features strongly there as it does in India. The recipes using yoghurt are often simple – take a vegetable, some yoghurt, garlic, dried mint and some spices, mix and serve.
Traditionally it is used as a pre-dinner snack or appetiser, generally served with pita bread., but you can use any flat bread. We get a great Afghan flatbread cooked fresh on the tandoor from our local shop, and it is amazing.
You can use the Green Peppers in Yoghurt as you might use a salad. If you use thick, drained yoghurt they can be used as a dip or spread, or it can be used as a sauce or dressing.
Capsicum recipes you might like to explore include Grilled Peppers and Eggplant Salad, Roasted Red Pepper Salad, and Baked Peppers with Cherry Tomatoes. All of our Capsicum dishes are here. All of our Salads are here.
You know what? In hot weather I love a lassi, particularly a fruit lassi, for breakfast. Indian in origin, fruit lassi drinks mix yoghurt with fruit, spices and jaggery or sugar.
Today, there were peaches on the kitchen bench, strawberries in the fridge and basil in the garden. A beautiful breakfast was born in the shape of a lassi.
We have a range of sweet, fruit and salt lassi recipes for you to browse. You can explore all of our Yoghurt recipes here and here. The Drinks recipes are here and here. Or be inspired by our Early Summer recipes.
The joy of yoghurt is beautifully expressed in this flavoursome recipe for Cucumber Raita. Cucumber Raita is a dish known all over the world, and if you must equate it, it is the Indian version of Tzatziki. The combination of cucumber and yoghurt, in what ever form or from what ever cuisine, is well known all over the world. Both ingredients are cooling, so it makes it a special dish for hot weather, but this does not mean that you need to forgo it on cooler days. An essential part of an informal gathering, Cucumber Raita always wins over your guests.
You might like to read more about Pachadi. Browse our Pachadi recipes here and here. Or explore our Yoghurt recipes here and here. Our Indian dishes are here and here. Be inspired by our Summer dishes here and here.
The colour of this soup is enough to bring joy to the heart.
A glorious and colourful start to a meal. Royal red beetroot transformed into a soup. I had fennel flowers sitting on the kitchen bench so these went into the soup as well, with some plain yoghurt.
A cousin to Eliappe, the Surnoli is equally as delicious
Talking about Eliappe prompted Moni Bharadwaj (who is the daughter of one of the authors of Festivals of India) to remind me of Surnoli. Surnoli is a Konkani pikelet-like dish made from fermented rice batter in a similar way to Eliappe. How wonderful to have two very similar dishes, from different parts of India.
Surnoli is a Kokani dish from Goa eaten for breakfast or as a tiffin or even for dinner. Yellow in colour, they have a puffy texture with holes due to fermentation, and are eaten with home made butter. They can be sweet (as here) or made without jaggery for a savoury pikelet. When sweet, surnoli have a porous and soft texture due to the jaggery, and they taste very good.
This dish uses poha, an Indian rolled rice. It is easily obtainable from your Indian shop. There are several different thicknesses of poha – Nylon (very thin and crisp), Paper, Thin, Medium, Thick and Dagdi (thick and chewy). There are also poha types made from red rice and brown rice. For this dish, use a white, medium or thick poha for better results.
Have a look at our Sweet Dosa recipes. All of our Breakfast dishes are here. You might also like to browse all of our Desserts. Or check out our Poha (flattened rice) recipes and Dosa recipes. All of our Goan dishes are here. Or simply explore our Mid Spring recipes.
An unusual use of verjuice in a Greek eggplant dish
In Greece, I hear that one of my favourite ingredients, verjuice, is used as a replacement for lemon juice when the fruit is out of season or unavailable. What a great idea!
A sweet and sour yoghurt curry from the tropical lands of Kerala
Mambazha Kalan, or Mambazha Pulissery is a sweet and sour curry simmered in a yogurt and coconut sauce. It originates from Kerala, where mango curries are a real treat. It has the sweetness of the mango contrasted against the sourness of the yoghurt.
Mambazha Pulissery really is a signature Kerala dish, where ripe mangoes are plentiful and are cooked with tangy curd (yogurt) and coconut gravy. This sweet and slightly sour curry is also called Pazhamanga Pulissery in places in Kerala.
You might like to read How to Cook with Yoghurt.
Pulse balls, or lentil dumplings, are added to the moar kuzhambu (spicy yoghurt gravy) to make a delicious South Indian dish.
S. Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See books have a Moar Kuzhambu (Buttermilk/Yoghurt spicy gravy), this time Moar Kuzhambu with Lentil Dumplings.
Moar (or Mor or Moru) Kuzhambu is commonly prepared in South India and is extremely easy to make, taking almost no time at all to cook. This one includes the lentil dumplings and so takes a little longer. The base for this dish with the lentil dumplings is Moar Kuzhambu, but rather than add vegetables or vatral, balls of ground lentils and spices are made (pulse balls) and added to the base.
You might also like to try Avail – Veggies in a Yoghurt and Coconut Sauce, Yoghurt Curry with Drumstick Vegetables, Moar Sambar, or a host of different lassi drinks. You can find other Kuzhambu recipes here and here. All of our Indian recipes are here and here.
Black grapes give this lassi a wonderful sweet tang.
Lassis are cooling drinks in the summer, refreshing yet satisfying. I often have a large lassi for breakfast. That is the case today – a quiet morning after a full week. Some fresh fruits and a grape lassi. The world is good!