Soba Noodles with lime, cardamom and avocado.

This is my contribution to date night / dinner date.

Another recipe from Ottolenghi’s simple. I would not say simple to make but simple, fresh and tasty in concept. I spent a great deal time chopping, so much so the noodles lost a little too much heat. But the whole thing was still delicious. I could taste every flavour – the cardamom, lime, basil, coriander in the most pleasant way. I reduced the chilli content but I might just put the whole chilli in next time. And yes there will be a next time.

There is a version of this recipe that includes garlic and boiled eggs. I might try that next time. As you can see though, I was very happy with my version of events.

I took it to work the next day. It made for a delicious lunch.


  • 200g buckwheat noodles (substitute green tea soba)
  • 12 green cardamom pods
  • 30g basil leaves, picked, roughly chopped
  • 30g coriander leaves, picked, roughly chopped
  • 70g pistachio kernels, roughly chopped
  • 3 limes: finely grate the zest of 2 to get 1 tsp, then juice 2 to get 1/4 cup (60ml); slice the final lime into 4 wedges to serve
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) groundnut oil (substitute grapeseed oil)
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 2 ripe avocados, cut into 1/2-cm slices
  • 1/4 tsp nigella seeds or Urfa chilli flakes (optional), to sprinkle


  • 1.Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet (they vary from brand to brand). Once cooked, refresh under cold running water and set aside in a colander to drain well.
  • 2.With the flat side of a knife, crush the cardamom pods to open them up. Scrape the seeds out into a pestle and mortar and discard the outer husks. Crush the seeds – you should get about 1/2 tsp – and place in a large bowl with the noodles. Add the basil, coriander, pistachios, lime zest and juice, oil, chilli, avocado and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix everything together well, then divide among four bowls. Spoon any avocado, nuts and herbs left in the bowl on top. Sprinkle over the nigella seeds or chilli flakes, if using, and serve with a wedge of lime alongside.

Reference: Ottolenghi, ‘Simple’

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