Saturday, 2 May 2009

Weekend Herb Blogging

I have so many herbs growing at my plot right now: lovage, lemon balm, chives, mint, sage, and rosemary. But for the Weekend Herb blogging challenge hosted by Maninas and Cook Almost Anything Once, I decided to go back to my South Asian roots and the herb most familar from my childhood, yes, the mighty coriander.

With the popularity of the Indian Take Away especially in the UK many of us know how fresh coriander is used to perk up savoury dishes, but how many of us use coriander seeds as an ingredient to our savoury dishes? It tastes and smells very different from its fresh sister leaves. When crushed, the coriander seed has a pleasant sweet and peppery taste. Coriander seeds were used by many South Asian communities in the Indian sub-continent as natural toothpaste by chewing on the seeds to sweeten the breath (similar to that of cardamon). The coriander seed is also reputed to have antibacterial properties. It is also one of the main ingredients for the Indian spice mixture known as Garam Masala, but you knew that didn't you?
Although I love trying out different recipes from various cookbooks and cooking with new ingredients, I am not one for coming up with recipes, but this one I have been tinkering around with for awhile and I think I am now quite proud to showcase it, and what a better opportunity than the Weekend Herb Blogging event No 181.

So may I present to you my Quiche. 'A quiche! I hear you exclaim, 'what's the big deal about quiche?' Let me assure you that this is no ordinary quiche. This quiche has flavours reminisce of my childhood. It came about from memories of my limited vegetarian school dinner options, which was mashed potatoes with peas, or chips with beans; or chips with cheese quiche; and then when I returned home, it was my mothers cooking which often included these three flavours cumin, coriander and chilli. So I decided to combine the two flavours into one dish and this is what we have.

The pastry base will remind some of you of the samosa pastry which sometimes has cumin seeds in it. Also let me forewarn you that this quiche is packed with taste and punch. You may want to serve it with chips - I did!
Coriander, cumin and chilli quiche
For the cumin pastry base
250g plain four
1 tsp cumin seeds
125g butter
About 4-6 tbsp of cold water

Put flour and cumin seeds into bowl, add butter and rub with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add enough water to combine into a dough. Chill for 30 minutes.Turn dough onto floured surface and roll out to fit a deep greased 12 inch tin. Carefully place the pastry into the tin, pressing gently down and trim the edges. Prick the base with a fork.
Cover with non-stick paper and weigh down the pastry with dried beans. Bake in a preheated oven at gas mark 6 for 20 minutes. Then remove paper and beans and bake for another 10 minutes till crisp. Leave to cool.
For the cumin and chilli Quiche filling
1 tbsp olive oil
2 white onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp freshly ground cumin
½ tsp of chilli flakes
Salt and pepper
Heat oil in a frying pan and add onions until soft and tender, add chilli flakes, ground cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Leave to cool.
For the coriander paste
25g coriander
1 tsp olive oil, add more if necessary
In a pestle and mortar, pound coriander and olive oil until you achieve a spreadable consistency. Spoon coriander paste onto base of pastry. Then spoon over onion mix.
Egg mixture
2 medium eggs, beaten
50 g mild cheddar cheese, grated
½ pint/300 ml of milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk eggs and milk together, then add the cheese. Stir until well combined, season to taste. Then pour over the filling.
Cook for a further 20 - 25 minutes or until set. Then remove from the oven, allow to cool before cutting into six slices.


  1. What a fabulous quiche recipe! I am jealous of all your fresh herbs.

  2. This looks like such a lovely take on quiche. Cumin is one of my favourite spices and I can imagine the chilli and coriander work really well together. When my coriander plants get going I'll have to give this a try.

  3. Thank you goodshoeday,
    It was really a deliciou quiche, if you do decide to make it, just go easy on the coriander. It has such a dominant flavour.

    I want to make this quiche for my mother the next time she comes up to visit me. I think she will like it too.


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