Two years ago, we were finishing up our trip through Turkey. Since then, I’ve been obsessed with making dishes we had on the trip, and ones found in the cookbook I bought there.
This dish is a disturbingly simple carrot and yogurt salad/dip. If you saw it in a cookbook, you would think it was boring. You would be wrong.
Continue reading Turkish Carrot and Yogurt Dip (Yoğurtlu Havuç) →
Aviyal is a South Indian dish that is made up of thin strips of any crisp vegetables you can get your hands on. I found this in a cookbook, and it looked interesting, so I thought I would Google it to see if the recipe was anywhere near authentic. It’s safe to say that this recipe is a North Americanized version of the dish, as many of the ‘acceptable veggies’ that are often used in this dish are probably not easy to find. We go to Little India, here in Toronto, every once in a while, so I may just try to make Aviyal the ‘real’ way sometime this summer.
The one thing that is intact in this recipe is the inclusion of coconut. Coconut seems to be a primary ingredient in the sauce. I am a little bit skepical, however, as many comments about Aviyal is that it also has a lovely sour taste to it (sometimes introduced by tamarind). There was nothing sour about this dinner. I did take one ingredient out of the dish. After reading up on the dish, and the “rules” for making it, I really couldn’t bring myself to put in any tomato. The #1 rule is to use only vegetables that would remain crisp when cooked. That means you shouldn’t use tomato, eggplant, okra, or even regular onions (which the recipe also called for). Luckily, I had some green leek on hand, which gave a nice onion flavour without the mushy fried onion texture.
The dish was a hit! The veggies were still crisp and fresh tasting, and the sauce was light and coconutty. The sauce is actually a little hard to describe — the coconut meat, which makes up the bulk of the ‘sauce’ was really not saucey at all. Some coconut milk did come out of the coconut, however, and nicely mixed with the spices to make a yummy sauce.
This recipe is from the book “Simple Vegetarian Recipes” by Rosemary Wadey et al. (p.45)
This is one of my favourite soups in the winter. It’s fresh and gingery, a little spicy and very hearty. For a more brothy, soupy soup, you can reduce the amount of barley to 1/2 cup. The introduction of either chipotle pepper (a smoked pepper), or smoked paprika gives it a rich, rounded flavour. Fresh ginger gives a bit of a bite, but also a slight citrusy flavour that cannot be replicated with dried ginger.
Feel free to add in any random veggies, or leftover stuff in the fridge (within reason). This kind of soup can be a great ‘use it up’ meal!
- 1-2 tsp oil
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped (plus some of the celery leaves, if you like)
- 6 medium mushrooms, halved or quartered (depending on size and preference)
- 1-2 medium carrots, cut into thick slices
- 1-2 large potatoes, cut into big chunks
- 2tbsp fresh grated ginger (dried will be quite different, so I do not recommend it)
- 2 cloves of garlic, pressed or finely chopped
- 1 tsp chipotle pepper, powdered (if you don’t want spicy, you can use smoked paprika instead)
- 1 cup corn kernels (can use fresh, frozen or canned)
- 1 796 ml can of diced tomatoes
- 4+ cups of broth (a lightly flavoured one, like vegetarian or chicken, can substitute with water if needed)
- 1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup of barley, dried
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Heat oil in a pot on medium heat.
- Once heated, add onion and celery. Cook until golden and soft – can add a tablespoon or so of broth or water to help with this. Be sure to cook off any extra liquid before the next step.
- Add the mushrooms, and saute until soft and lightly browned.
- Add the carrots, potatoes, ginger, garlic and chipotle (or paprika). Stir, and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the corn. If you’re using frozen or cold corn, cook until the corn warms up a little.
- Add the diced tomatoes.
- Add 4 cups of broth (or water). Make sure the liquid covers the vegetables completely. Add more broth or water if necessary.
- Cover. Let this cook for about 20 minutes on low heat.
- Add the barley. Cover, and cook for 30 minutes, or until barley is cooked through. Stir occasionally, and check to make sure everything is still covered in broth. Add more broth or water as needed.
- Add the chopped parsley and chopped peppers. Cook for another 10 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper, to taste.