There is a trick to cooking with yoghurt in hot dishes such as the range of curries that criss-cross India.
Yoghurt can split when heated and although this does not alter the taste, the appearance of the dish can suffer. Here are a few tips for you to experiment with. Continue reading
Is a sambar a kozhambu, or a kozhambu a sambar? These are the big questions that keep me awake at night.
And there is a difference. Sambar has a base of Continue reading
I have 2 current passions, call them obsessions, in The Kitchen. Miso soup, and the Salad With Everything.
Miso has long been a favourite and recently I found a sweet little Japanese bowl that just smiles sweetly and says “let’s make miso soup” to me every time I catch its eye on the kitchen counter.
My miso soup is home made, although I do keep packets of it at The Office. With about 4 different types of miso in the fridge at home it is easy to vary the flavour to my needs – from nurturing to a pick me up.
I remember the first Continue reading
Today is officially the start of the cold weather in Adelaide I suspect, although warmer temperatures are forecast for the rest of the week. It is cool and raining, although I can’t quite bring myself to close all the windows and doors yet. My toes are cold. I have cleared out the wardrobe and moved cold weather clothes into the spaces where the summer ones were. I am thinking of quinces and pomegranates, spinach and apples, rice puddings and payasams.
Don’t throw away Spinach Stalks.
I found the most exquisite bunch of organic greens the other day, so beautifully fresh and healthy. For many years I only Continue reading
What a beautiful weekend it is! I am focusing on clearing. Clearing the stress from my mind and body, clearing the house. It brings lightness and a sense of groundedness. And as I am writing this, the first Autumn rain has arrived. Very clearing indeed!
Khichadi bubbles on the stove, bright yellow from the turmeric. A wonderful CD is playing, deepening the sense of calm. The washing machine is having a paroxysm all of its own, but no doubt it will right itself shortly and get on with Continue reading
Continuing on the fascination with Khichri (and also fascination with the myriad of different westernised spellings of this endlessly flexible dish).
This version is a very simple dish, Parsi style. Simple it is, but also perfect. It comes from the book “My Bombay Kitchen” by Niloufer King.
Here it goes: Take 1 cup each of rice and mung dal, and soak them together for 10 minutes or more. Then cook the rice and mung dal in about Continue reading
The temptation when you first begin to cook Indian dishes is to find spice laden dishes that take hours to prepare and cook. It took me a while when I was a newby want-to-be maker of passable Indian dishes to discover the rich variety of Indian cuisine that varies from 5 minute, 3 spices dishes, to those of the style of those early forages into the much more complex layers of traditional dishes (often related to festival times).
To be truthful, my standard approach these days is for Continue reading
Talking yesterday about Eliappe prompted @MoniBharadwaj (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 and are Continue reading
Dried Herbs in The Kitchen
Have you ever accidentally dried parsley or mint in the fridge? These herbs that mostly will turn brown if you try to air dry them or go to mush if left in the fridge for too long, will sometimes, rarely, amazingly dry to a green crisp in the fridge. And so it was recently. BOTH a bunch of parsley and a bunch of mint relaxed enough in the cold fridge air to dry whilst also retaining their wonderful green colour.
Just to make sure, they were air dried for a couple more days, and tonight, ground Continue reading
Cookbooks are, in general, written for the people that the author knows well — not personally, but culturally and habit-wise. Especially if recording traditional recipes, many authors do not ensure their recipes are meaningful to the rest of the cookbook-buying world, or perhaps they did not intend their book to go outside of their own … Continue reading
A lovely kitchadi emerged from The Kitchen tonight, a bit of experiment, but it turned out really well. You can make kitchadi in many ways – in a slow over overnight, in a rice cooker, in a thermos too indeed, in a normal manner in a saucepan. Today I decided to steam it.
Reading Vasant Lad’s book on Ayurveda for Self Healing this morning, I thought I might make some kitchadi as we are trying to eat very lightly for a week. At the same time, I was thinking of the buttery steamed rice made so long ago. I wondered if you could make Continue reading
On one hand, learning something is far far easier if you have a structure, an algorithm, to follow. No deviation, one path leading to the perfect outcome.
On the other hand, the journey of discovery, insights, understanding, making meaning out of unrelated bits of information, observation, intuition…. well, this is what is quite amazing about human life and being. Even more joyous and amazing is that 2 people can tread the same path of discovery, yet have very different insights, Continue reading
It’s that time of year again when tomatoes are prolific and sweet tasting. As autumn emerges from under Summer’s cloudless skies and the heat of Ms Summer dissipates a little, tomatoes come into their own.
It is at this time of year that I make my own tomato paste/sauce (recipe here), to be frozen for use throughout winter. I usually freeze it in icecube trays, then pop the blocks into ziplock bags. It is easy to take some cubes for soups and curries that require it.
This year, I am trialling a couple of different approaches. Continue reading
Lunch was a great “salad”.
I was grilling slices of red peppers with the idea of making avocado, roast tomato, roast garlic and grilled red pepper sandwiches. They grilled while I ironed! (Not my fav activity, but someone has to do it! ) But it occurred to me that the tomatoes, garlic, yesterday’s peach salsa and the red pepper would make a great soup! And it would have, but as I mixed them together, the potential of a salad emerged.
So, with some spring onions…. Continue reading
I have loved delving into the making of sambar over the past few weeks, and trying Amma’s various methods. I will eventually post her variations on the classic and traditional sambar recipe: Seasoned Sambar, Method One
Reading further into Amma’s book, she offers the following great advice in addition to that given in my previous posts – you can see below for the various posts about conquering the cooking of an awesome sambar. Continue reading
A great dish at any time, sweet, nourishing and comforting. It is a cooler day today, it has been raining and thoughts of Autumn and winter are in the air. Sunrise is noticeably later and sunset earlier. I will miss summer but am looking forward to Autumn.
This dish is especially good to make for the Pongal Festival in January.
Sweet Mung Dal Kitchdi
For 4 sweet serves: 1/2 cup mung dal
For 4 sweet serves:
1/2 cup mung dal Continue reading
The hot weather continues in Adelaide with stunning sunrises and sunsets. Cold soups are perfect, and I have stumbled across a great way to prepare them quickly and easily.
Fundamental to my method is the use of a cold press juicer. It juices not only without heat from whirring blades, but also does not aerate and foam the juice like other types of juices can do. I use a Hurom, but there are several brands available.
Make the soup by juicing 1 lemon, 5 or 6 juicy tomatoes 1 very large zucchini and a couple of Continue reading
Finally, some relaxed time in the kitchen again. Back from Chiang Mai in Thailand, and taking time to settle again. The photo above is pickled mustard greens in the market in Chiang Mai.
So today is pottering around in the kitchen. Time to clean out the dabas, refill the little pots. Restock the tea daba (yes, I keep one with my teas in it). Make some podi. Juice left over veggies and fruits. Eat those wonderful dark grapes that are available at the moment. Check the stocks of ginger and garlic paste. Make a list of things to buy at the Indian Grocers. You know what it is like.
For so long I have wanted to make a Tomato, Eggplant and Continue reading
This is my “go to any time” dish. Easy and quick to cook, simple and nourishing, can be eaten alone on rice, or with other curry dishes, always satisfying. It is a dish from Kerala, where I first “met” it, and fell in love with it poured over the beautiful red rice of Kerala – Rosa Matta. It took me some time to work out exactly what it was, and even longer to come across a recipe. This one is from Grains Greens and Grated Coconuts, by Ammini Ramachandran. Now it is made very very often in The Kitchen. Continue reading