Anyone wishing to explore the wide and creative arrays of colors, flavors and textures that make up south Indian cuisine could not do much better than to pick up a copy of Chandra Padmanabhan's lavish and informative Dakshin cookbook. A large assortment of exotic and beautifully illustrated dal, rice and vegetable dishes are clearly explained and … most importantly … delicious every time.
Simple and quick but delicious, these soft and slightly custard-y baked pancakes make as wonderful a treat on a weekend morning with a mug of hot coffee as they would for dessert, and are best eaten hot out of the oven. Made with coconut milk, fresh mango pieces and just a hint of cardamom, this is another and slightly more exotic variation on the baked strawberry pancakes that proved to be so popular last summer.
The warmth and comfort found in a hot bowl of cream of potato soup has staved off winter chills for generations of Canadians, and few kitchens are without a basic recipe at hand. But the use of creamed white beans in place of the standard milk and flour base found in most recipes makes this cream of potato soup a filling and nourishing meal all on its own, while adding a depth of flavor that is all the more satisfying for the addition of turnips as well.
When I saw this recipe for these chickpea flour fritters with a creamy filling of ricotta, sun-dried tomatoes and olives at Ilva's lovely blog, I immediately decided to try them … I never can resist olive, sun-dried tomato pairings, especially when there is cheese thrown into the mix!
In fact, I made them twice, as the photos didn't turn out the first time and it took little to persuade me to make them again. The crispy little fritters make for a delightful meal and my sweetie said it was almost like eating a savory dessert for dinner. The possibilities for toppings and fillings are endless, and I'm thinking of trying them with goat cheese next time, or a creamy mushroom filling. I should also note this recipe is gluten-free, so consider this as an alternative to traditional flour-based fried savories.
Savory biscuits and muffins are an ideal solution for filling out a meal to share with friends. I served these flavorful olive muffins with sun-dried tomatoes and ricotta and Cheddar cheese with spicy green lentils and yellow plit peas for a most satisfying meal.
Packed with vitamins, proteins and fiber, this simple Italian winter minestrone adapted from Martha Rose Shulman's delightful Mediterranean Harvest is as nourishing a lunch or light dinner on a cold day as it is warming, comforting and delicious.
My trusted copy of 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer has once again come to the rescue when I needed a quick but satisfying meal solution to end a particularly dreary and trying week. In times of woe, it's easy to resort to restaurant meals, but I never forget that home cooked meals are not only more nourishing, but cheaper and generally superior in taste. The spicy kick of this dish is pleasantly balanced by the muted sweetness of the brown sugar.
There's almost no end to the variations in flavors that can be added to white basmati rice, but there really couldn't be anything much simpler than cooking up a pot on its own to enjoy its unique lightly sweet and popcorn-y taste, as I frequently like to do. If you're of the same mind, this slight variation on the ordinary cooking method should be guaranteed to appeal — not least for the rich warm aroma of hot buttered popcorn as the rice is first sautéed for a couple of minutes in butter, but also for the fresh but mellow piquancy which the lime juice adds. Taken from Yamuna Devi's indispensable Lord Krishna's Cuisine, this is an astonishingly good way to enjoy basmati rice for the extra minute it takes in preparation.
It is often said that mushrooms are meat to vegetarians, and after eating this mushroom bourguignon that I adapted from Smitten Kitchen, I think you just might be convinced that vegetarians do just fine. Tender chunks of plump portobellos and chewy dried lobster mushrooms are simmered into a thick sauce highlighted by some robust red wine and served over a bed of steaming egg noddles. This filling dinner is sure to satisfy even the most ravenous mushroom fiends and your carnivorous friends won't miss a thing either.
Rather like a savory and earthy whole wheat cookie with salty and tangy Feta cheese and aromatic, spicy ground roasted cumin seeds, these crackers puff up a bit in the oven but hold together perfectly, while maintaining a delightful chewiness. They are an ideal accompaniment to soups, such as with spicy sweet potato and peanut soup with black beans.