Indian Essentials: What is Kosumalli aka Koshambari?

Kosumalli (aka Koshambari) is a simple spiced yet cooling salad. There are many varieties, but the most common is made by mixing soaked mung dal or channa dal with cucumber and/or carrot, with coconut, and tempering the salad with spices.  It is a South Indian specialty, eaten as a snack or made to accompany a…

Indian Essentials: What is Kachumber?

Kachumber, or cachumber, is the Indian version of a chopped  salad, originally using tomato and cucumber. Although there are many variations now, it usually consists of freshly chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and onions with a pepper and lemon or lime dressing. It often includes fresh chilli peppers, or chilli powder can be added to the dressing….

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…

Ingredients: Mango Season! | 16 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: What is Cocozella Zucchini?

Cocozelle is a type of Zucchini that is closer to a squash. It’s skin is medium-green with wide, light green or white stripes. The flesh is tender and its flavour is considered more pronounced than many other zucchini. Choose ones that are less than 35cm (14 inches), ideally around 18 to 30 cm long. Before…

Ingredients: How to Preserve Grape Vine Leaves

If you are a fan of the Greek dish dolmada (dolma) – stuffed grape leaves – or of baked vine leaves with cheese, you will be glad to know that you can easily preserve the young and tender vine leaves for cooking with throughout spring and summer. They won’t be salty, like the store-bought tins…

Ingredients: How to Use Leftover Green Coriander (Cilantro)

Have you ever bought a few bunches of coriander with thoughts of herby salads and Indian dishes topped with coriander, and then found yourself with most of it left at the end of the week? We have your back – here are some ways to deal with that fragrant bunch of greenery. We have  hints…

Ingredients: How to Make Flavoured Oils

Oils ain’t oils, so the old saying goes. It means that you should watch the quality of the oils that you buy. That saying was once often applied to oils for automobiles, but the same applys in the kitchen, right? On the kitchen bench there are so many oils — ghee of course, and some…

Recipe: How to Make a Strawberry Pink Frappé

Would you believe, I first made this in December, 1998? Some recipes never date. It came to mind this summer when I sat in 44C heat, without power or air-conditioning except for one power point. The electrician couldn’t come that night. I needed something to cool me down, and provide some sustenance. I couldn’t cook…

Recipe: How to Make Gado-Gado

There is nothing like a good Gado-Gado – an Indonesian dish with a spicy peanut sauce. Make it at home for that special taste.