Bisi Bele Bhath (Rice with Lentils and Spices)

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Bisi Bele Bath (Rice with Lentils and Spices)

This combination of rice, toor dal, vegetables and spices is essentially a south Indian variation of north Indian kitcheree — the classic one-pot meal — with the use of tamarind, coconut, aromatic spices and a tempering characteristic of south Indian cooking. The bisi bele spice mix is a rather unique and wonderfully aromatic blend of coriander, fenugreek, dried chiles and cinnamon that is a snap to make up. A fragrant and warming dish with a bit of heat and a delightful sweet and sour flavor, bisi bele bhath is all you need for a satisfying and nourishing meal. Throw in some crunchy vegetables and roasted cashews for a nutty taste, bisi bele bhath is a south Indian comfort food and gentle for tender tummies.

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Chickpea Olive Salad with Za'atar and Cherry Tomatoes

Chickpea Olive Salad with Za'atar and Cherry Tomatoes

With temperatures soaring at the end of May, a simple salad was just what I wanted for dinner. Of course, simple is very often the tastiest, especially when it's simple that you want and you're using great ingredients. I've been enjoying finding ways to use za'atar lately — a highly aromatic and uniquely delicious Middle Eastern blend of dried herbs, sesame seeds and salt, za'atar goes wonderfully well with tangy foods like tomatoes as well as with bread. So substitute bread for buttery soft chickpeas, toss in the cherry tomatoes and some olives for good measure and za'atar. There you have an easy and simply wonderful summer salad.

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My Legume Love Affair #96 - June Edition 2016

I'm excited to host My Legume Love Affair this month. As many of my readers will know, this is a long running event focusing on the goodness of legumes, started by lovely Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook and now administered by me of Lisa's Kitchen. Each month we have a different host but it's my turn now for the month of June. We are at edition #96 this month. I look forward to more legume recipes as legumes are an important and plentiful source of protein, especially if you are a vegetarian or vegan.

It is easy to participate. All you need to do is prepare a legume-centric dish. Link back to this announcement, my blog and also Susan's blog, as she is the original founder of the event. Share your creation using the linky tool at the end of this post by the end of the month. Use of the lovely logo, designed by Susan, is optional, but appreciated.

Only one entry per blogger please and it must be vegetarian. Recipes from archives will only be accepted if reposted and updated with the links required.

For your dish to be included in the roundup, it must contain more than just a few tablespoons of legumes. The slight exception to this are legumes such as fenugreek or tamarind that typically are used in smaller quantities. Fresh or dried beans, lentils, pulses, and the sometimes edible pods that contain these seeds, and derivative products such as tofu or besan, along with fenugreek, carob, and peanuts are all acceptable. The possibilities are endless. Please just ensure that your shining ingredient is in fact a member of the legume family. All types of cuisines and courses are welcome, meaning appetizers, sides, mains and desserts are all acceptable so long as the mighty legume is the key ingredient.

Thanks in advance for your participation and inspiration. I am looking for guest hosts for 2016. Send me an email at legume.lisa AT gmail DOT com or leave a comment on this post if you would like to host. I still have a few spots left for this year.

No Croutons Required Soup and Salad Roundup for May 2016 - Early Summer Edition

It was my turn to host No Croutons Required this month. As many of my readers will know, this is a monthly roundup of vegetarian and vegan soups and salads alternately hosted by my dear friend Jacqueline and myself. We had a nice turnout this month and so I have 15 mouthwatering dishes to present. As expected, the majority are salads. Settle in and have a look at the contributions this time around. A special thanks to everyone who took the time to submit a dish.

Orange, Beet and Goat Cheese Salad
Recipe: Orange, Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Chef: Erica
Blog: Healthy Life Lessons
Location: Toronto, Canada

Our first submission is this lovely tart, tangy and cheesy salad. Mixed greens, navel orange, beets and creamy goat cheese are all dressed up with Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, orange juice and white wine vinegar. Just perfect for the season.

asparagus salad
Recipe: Warm Asparagus & Mushroom Salad

Chef: Rachel
Blog: Rachel Cotterill
Location: Traveller

Asparagus and mushrooms do come together so well. Inspired from a Chinese restaurant, this salad features asparagus, mushrooms, spring onion, walnuts, soy sauce, rice vinegar and fresh coriander. A wonderful mix of flavours.

Griddled courgette, mozzarella & mint salad with a pesto, lemon & yogurt dressing
Recipe: Griddled Courgette, Mozzarella & Mint Salad with a Pesto, Lemon & Yogurt Dressing

Chef: Ema
Blog: Detoutcoeur Limousin
Location: France

Another early summer recipe that is sure to stimulate the appetite. Here we have zucchini, mozzarella cheese, fresh mint, olive oil, fancied up with a zesty pesto. Yet another seasonal salad and we can never have enough ideas for salads in this heat, can we?

Butternut Squash Quinoa Risotto
Recipe: Butternut Squash Quinoa Risotto

Chef: Caroline
Blog: Caroline Makes
Location: UK

Risottos are quite popular in my kitchen, and this one features quinoa, roasted squash, spring onion, fresh herbs and this delicious dish is topped with feta. Certainly could be served as a cold salad.

vegan gumbo
Recipe: Zucchini and Quinoa Cajun Stew (Vegan Gumbo without Okra)

Chef: Janet
Blog: The Taste Space
Location: Canada

Next up is an intriguing version of vegan gumbo. Here zucchini is the star instead of okra and is combined with quinoa, onion, red pepper, celery, tomatoes, file powder, cajun seasoning, thyme, bay leaves, Ayocote Morado beans and Gordo. That is surely a complete and nourishing meal.

Tomato And Halloumi Salad
Recipe: Tomato And Halloumi Salad

Chef: Lucy
Blog: Cheese and Chickpeas
Location: UK

A luxurious lunch or light dinner indeed, this gorgeous salad features golden fried halloumi, sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, basil and some fresh lemon juice. Served up with some crusty bread, this surely would be one satisfying meal.

mason jar salad
Recipe: Giant Cous Cous, Chickpea and Feta Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Dressing

Chef: Kat
Blog: The Baking Explorer
Location: UK

Next up is a roundup of mason jar salads. Kat's contribution is a lovely portable salad. The idea is to layer the ingredients, beginning with the dressing, vegetables and proteins in the middle, and salad greens on top. Shake before you are ready to eat. No mess, and little fuss.

Orange and Olive Salad
Recipe: Orange and Olive Salad

Chef: Helen
Blog: Roast Chicken and a Country Walk
Location: UK

This sweet and tangy salad would be sure to stimulate my appetite. Although it might be considered a different combination of flavors with the olives throw in with the orange, tomato, lettuce, herbs, olive oil and lemon juice, I am sure this would be a wonderful salad and quite a refreshing one too.

Summery Gazpacho with Crostini
Recipe: Summery Gazpacho with Crostini

Chef: Jessica
Blog: Jess Cantoni
Location: UK

Here we have another ideal summer time meal. Soaked crusty bread is whizzed together with red onion, garlic, some cucumber, red pepper, tomatoes and sherry vinegar. Served up with toasted crostini, you need nothing else for a satisfying summer dinner.

kale salad
Recipe: Only-kale-can-save-us-now Salad

Chef: Johanna
Blog: Green Gourmet Giraffe
Location: Australia

I could get excited about this salad too. Johanna tweaked the recipe and got it just right. Kale is dressed up with nutritional yeast, tahini, lemon juice, tamari, maple syrup, flax meal, a few onion granules, some garlic powder and then garnished with some hemp seeds. I will certainly be trying this one.

Roasted Cherry Tomato and Basil Soup
Recipe: Roasted Cherry Tomato and Basil Soup

Chef: Katie
Blog: Feeding Boys
Location: UK

Homemade bread is especially nice with soup. A caramelised onion rosemary bread is paired with a lovely soup made up of cherry tomatoes, oregano, basil, balsamic vinegar, stock and some pesto to serve. Just imagine dipping that bread into the soup. Just yum!

Israeli vegetable salad
Recipe: Israeli Vegetable Salad

Chef: Helen
Blog: Family Friends Food
Location: UK

This colourful salad is sure to please. Based on her Dad's recipe, this is a simple side that goes well with a number of dishes. Tomatoes, cucumber and yellow peppers are all dressed up with parsley or cilantro, lemon juice, olive oil and a bit of zaatar.

Miso Minestrone
Recipe: Miso Minestrone

Chef: Shaheen
Blog: Allotment to Kitchen
Location: UK

I love miso in soup and this one seems a special treat. Onions, leeks, chestnut mushrooms, brown miso, courgette, frozen edamame, peas and broad beans and spinach are all simmered together. I would enjoy more than a spoonful of this soup no matter the time of year.

Wild Rice & Watercress Salad
Recipe: Wild Rice & Watercress Salad

Chef: Kate
Blog: The Veg Space
Location: UK

This salad is substantial enough to serve as a main meal. Wild rice, asparagus, radish, spring onion and watercress are tossed with parsley, lemon juice, french dressing, pine nuts and pumpkin seeds. Surely a nice patio dish.

Cannellini Bean and Asparagus Salad with Mushrooms
Recipe: Cannellini Bean and Asparagus Salad with Mushrooms

Chef: Lisa
Blog: Lisa's Kitchen
Location: Canada

My submission this month is a seasonal salad that features local asparagus, cannellini beans, curry leaves and sauted white mushrooms. I dressed it with fresh tarragon, garlic, lemon juice and zest and some Dijon mustard. It's a snap to make up and satisfying.

That concludes the May edition of No Croutons Required. Jacquline is hosting the June edition for 2016, so to be sure to check her blog for the announcement.