Collection: Our Favourite Rasam Recipes

Rasam is the broth of South India – water flavoured with herbs and spices, and sometimes lentils. Despite its simplicity it is an intensely flavoured dish designed to be eaten poured over or mixed with rice. The intensity of the rasam flavour combined with the blandness of rice makes a powerful combination. Rasam can also…

Collection: What to do with Figs

Autumn is Fig Season! We sit on the back porch, a bowl of figs on a table between us, and wax lyrical about this fruit. Figs are one of the easiest fruits to make use of, hardly requiring any recipe. Nothing but a few minutes preparation is necessary and instructions seems superfluous. Whether serving savoury,…

Ingredients: Black Barley

Black Barley is a heirloom grain, and has remained unchanged, farmed for generations in small batches and prized for its flavour, colour and nutritional value. Originating in Ethiopia (but now also grown in several countries), black barley is the only grain that can go from field to fork without being processed. That is because the…

Indian Essentials: Tomatoes in Indian Cooking

One of the best kept secrets of Indian food is the way in which tomatoes are used. Outside of India, when using tomatoes we look for the juciest and sweetest around, often adding a pinch of sugar to dishes late in the season if the tomatoes are not as sweet as we desire them to…

Collection: Watermelon Salads to Beat the Heat

Watermelon has this household hooked in the Summer hot weather – that luscious pink colour going looking so good in the heat, and the juices running down onto one’s plate (or down one’s chin). Eaten with a sucking noise, to extract every piece of juice, it cools and supplies a sugar energy boost at the…

Ingredients: Purslane | Pigweed | Luni-Bhaji

Purslane is that ubiquitous weed that grows almost anywhere, but it is mostly weeded. It is persistent, with seeds being able to germinate even when 40 years old, and plants will spring from tiny pieces of leaf. What is not commonly known is that Purslane is delicious and highly edible with a pleasantly sour taste….

Indian Essentials: How to Dry Chillies and How to Make Chilli Powder

Chilli powder is ubiquitously available in Indian groceries, so little thought is given to grinding your own. But the benefit of making our own chilli powder is that we know that it is unadulterated. Chilli powder is used in many parts of the world, from South America and Mexico, to Italy, through Spain into Hungary…

What are ANZAC Biscuits?

ANZAC Biscuits are classic, traditional Australian biscuits made on ANZAC Day (and any other day of the year). They were commonly sent to the troops in the First World War and are named after the soldiers. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The ANZAC biscuit was called a variety of other names…

Recipe: How to Make Your Own Mustard Seed Paste

At one time in Britain, whole swathes of Lincolnshire & Yorkshire grew black mustard seeds, and acres of Cambridge and Essex grew yellow. But today the major producers of mustard seeds include Hungary, Great Britain, India, Canada (90%) and the United States. Thank goodness! The black and brown seeds are used mainly across India, while…

A Collection of 28 Dishes to Make with Broad Beans

Broad Beans, a little out of fashion except in Italian, Greek, Chinese, South American and Middle Eastern communities, are a speciality of Spring time. Once upon a time, before the green bean varieties came to Europe, Broad Beans were the beans. They are ancient and no one knows exactly where they came from. They are…

Ingredients: Mango Season! | Locally Available Mango Varieties

In Australia, we (sadly) don’t go much for knowing the varieties of fruits and vegetables sold in our Green Grocers and Supermarkets. In fact, some vegetables, like potatoes, are sold under one varietal name, but the suppliers use different potatoes  with similar characteristics, depending on the time of year. But visit a large Asian grocery,…

Indian Essentials: What are Curry Leaves?

Curry leaves add that indefinable flavour to South Indian dishes, without which they are incomplete. Curry leaves don’t taste like curry – they assumed that name because of their ubiquitous use in the curries of South India. The leaves are from the native Sri Lankan Curry Tree (Murraya Koenigii) and have a citrusy aroma. It…

Spices: Seeds of Irani Hogweed | For making Golpar Koobideh

These are the seeds of the Irani Hogweed. Often they are called Angelica seeds, but this is a mistake. Angelica is a herb of another variety entirely. The seeds are available from Afghani and Middle Eastern groceries, and some groceries specialising in German and European products. The whole Irani Hogweed Seed is often used in…

Ingredients: How to Make Vegetarian Dashi | Japanese Stock

Many Japanese soups and noodle dishes require dashi to make their stock, and this makes Japanese cooking difficult for vegetarians (the common dashi type contains dried bonito fish flakes). However, you may find that this simple recipe is sufficient to provide great broth and stock flavours for your Japanese cooking adventures. There are actually 5…

Recipe: Two Ways to Make Quince Leather

Let’s get real about a couple of things. Fruit Leather is delicious.. Fruit Leathers can be made from scratch but are best made from leftover bits of fruit and juice from making pastes, jams, jellies, molasses, etc. And finally, and importantly, when you nibble on fruit leathers it is primarily fruit flavoured sugar. But then,…

Recipe: How to Make Dried Mango and Mango Fruit Leather

If you can buy mangoes by the box in peak season when they are at their cheapest, it is easy to dry them in a dehydrator to make sweet chewy snacks for the rest of the year. Two different snacks can be made at the same time. Slices of the mango cheeks are dried for…

Cooking: How to Freeze Okra

Okra piles up in Late Summer and Autumn – it is abundant and if you have your own plants there is more than you can eat. In the green grocers it is consistently cheap and plentiful, with my local green grocer having a large bin of it that is constantly restocked. One way to use…