Cucumber and Pea Salad 

Who would have thought this odd couple would be so good together…

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I love the idea of summer. Why wouldn’t you when you think of summer you think of the beach, pina colada, flowy summer dresses and perhaps sailing across the seas on an all indulgent yacht. Then summer comes and you are nothing but a giant mess of grime and sweat!

On hot days my tip is eat well to feel good and stay hydrated. Lots of salads and greens to chill your insides. Moreover when they come in the form of this lip smackingly delicious salad, you will instantly go from hating summer to loving summer.

Ingredients: 10  Preparation time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4

  • One continental cucumber, finely sliced
  • 125 gms of peas, steamed
  • One tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
  • One teaspoon dried mint leaves
  • One teaspoon smoked paprika
  • One tablespoon black sesame seeds,toasted
  • 125 gms of goats cheese, crumbled 
  • One tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt and pepper to season

In a bowl combine sliced cucumber, steamed peas, dill and mint. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.

For the dressing, in another bowl combine EVOO, lemon juice, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Pour the dressing over the salad. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and goats cheese. Toss well before serving.

Enjoy this summer salad and feel thanda thanda cool cool!

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Crisp Asian Coleslaw

Give summer a chill pill with this…

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The summer gods have unleashed their fury across Australia. With temperatures soaring in the early 40s, the only place to be is inside the blast freezer or as my Australian counterparts would say, the beach. 

Call it my obssession with being fair and lovely or sheer lack of tolerance for heat, I prefer to coup up at home with the aircon cranking. Strangely during summers eating is actually the last thing on my mind, oh no wait its cooking. Yes, even a devout cook and foodie like me struggles battling in the kitchen to whip up a meal. 

Such heated moments need something quick, easy and definitely chilled. So checkout my crunchy Asian coleslaw recipe . Definitely going to serve this at the family Christmas lunch.

Ingredients: 12  Preparation time:

Serves: 4

  • Quarter cabbage, finely sliced
  • Half a continental cucumber, sliced
  • 250 gms sugar snap peas, ends removed
  • Handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • Half a bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
  • Juice of one lemon
  • One tablespoon Tom Yum paste
  • Two tablespoons black sesame seeds, toasted
  • One tablespoon sesame oil
  • One tablespoon honey
  • Half a teaspoon sugar
  • Salt to season.

Combine all the vegetables and herbs in a bowl. Place the bowl in the fridge for 15-20 minutes and let the ingredients chill.

For the dressing, combine Tom Yum paste, lemon juice, honey, sesame oil, sugar and salt. Mix them well. If you don’t like Tom Yum paste, you can replace it with soy sauce. 

Remove the coleslaw from the fridge and pour the dressing over it. Toss it well and ensure the dressing evenly coats all the ingredients.

Finally add toasted sesame seeds and give the salad a finally toss. Serve chilled.

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Cucumber Raita

Stay cool as a cucumber this summer…

This year the sun has decided to turn up the heat a bit early here in Australia. It’s only the start of October and already the temperatures are soaring in the high thirties. Despite coming from India, a country with long, hot summers, I have never been one to enjoy the heat. Anything beyond 28 degrees and you will struggle to get me out and about without an a/c. 

With that said, heat or no heat, I can never give up my curry. However in summer across India curries are served alongside various preparations made from yogurt, such as plain or flavoured lassis, buttermilk, raitas, dips, etc. Yogurt or what we call dahi in Hindi is definitely a superfood. Packed with loads of protein, calcium and vitamins, it also has fantastic cooling properties.

So today’s recipe is the quintessential Indian chiller, cucumber raita. When you combine yogurt and cucumber together you have got on hand the coolest dish in the world (pun intended). Raita is usually served as a condiment alongside lentil, vegetable and rice preparations. I sometimes like to eat it just by itself. Checkout the recipe below.

Ingredients:  7     Preparation time: 10 minutes 

Serves: 6

  • 500ml natural yogurt ( I use low-fat Greek natural yogurt)
  • Two medium cucumbers, peeled and grated
  • 100gms fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • One teaspoon cumin powder
  • Half teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to season
  • Pinch of sugar

In a bowl add yogurt and whisk it until smooth. 

Now add the herbs, spices, sugar and salt. Mix well. Feel free to add these ingredients to suit your taste.

Finally add the grated cucumber. Some prefer to squeeze out the juice from the cucumber before adding it to the yogurt. However I recommend keeping the juice as it gives the dish a great flavour and also improves the consistency. 

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Garnish with a sprinkle of cumin powder and some fresh coriander. 

Serve this lip smackingly delicious raita at your next party. Serve it with a curry or some vegetable sticks, there’s definitely more than one way to enjoy it.