Komorebi. Language: Japanese. Meaning: The interplay between light and leaves when sunlight shines through trees.
The Japanese word komorebi has no real English equivalent, it’s a romantic word that describes the sunshine filtering through the leaves of trees and for me, a sign that fall has fallen. As the autumnal sun drops in the sky like heavy eyelids after a summer of activity, the light it casts is thick and low. Picture a walk through the woods at this time of year; golden orbs of light shining through the trees, hanging above your head, convincing you that the forest is alive with ancient tree spirits.
Close, summer air has been replaced with something crisper and calmer. Technicolour forests, harvest skies, cascading leaves, the resurgence of socks, and cosy reading nooks – I welcome in Autumn each year with the same giddy anticipation.
For me though, the most exciting thing about the change of season is the promise of foraged treats. With the change in temperature outside comes a natural change in the kitchen climate. The stove becomes alive again with pots of bubbling jams and chutneys, slow cooked stews and mulling cordials; recipes require more time to match the slower pace of life that follows after bustling summer days. Damsons, rose hip, chestnuts, wild mushrooms and crab apples and blackberries are in abundance this time of year.
And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.Oscar Wilde
Here’s a collection of Autumnal recipes using seasonal ingredients to see you through this cosy season.
Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry
This hearty curry is perfect for colder months and one of the most delicious things you can do with a pumpkin
Marrow & Kale Cheese
Think classic cauliflower cheese, sans cauliflower, but replaced by two deliciously seasonal veggies of Autumn.
Bhinda Bateta Nu Shak (Gujarati Potato & Okra Fry)
Think of this more of a dry stir-fry kind of dish, as apposed to the more typical wetter-style dishes that you might associate with British-Indian curries.
Lamb Chops, Squash and Crispy Sage
Gamey lamb, sweet butternut squash, earthy sage, sharp blue cheese, nutty browned butter — these are big, impactful flavours that compliment each other so well.
Ghati Masala Chicken Wings
“The best fried chicken ever…and my sister has a fried chicken shop.” Those were the words of a guest at one of my most recent private dinner parties and who this recipe is dedicated to.