Tempe Penyet (Smashed Tempeh With Sambal)

FOR THE TEMPEH:
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
16 ounces/455 grams tempeh, cut into 1/4 inch-by-2 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup canola oil, plus more as needed

FOR THE SAMBAL:
1/4 cup canola oil
4 medium tomatoes, halved and thinly sliced
7 medium shallots, peeled and sliced
10 long, red, medium-spicy chiles (such as serrano, red finger or cayenne), deseeded and sliced
7 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

FOR SERVING:
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (preferably from makrut lime, calamansi or Key lime), plus lime wedges for serving
1 to 2 tablespoons kecap manis (see Tip)
Steamed jasmine rice
1/2 medium English cucumber, thinly sliced

Marinate the tempeh: In a large bowl or resealable freezer bag, combine the garlic, coriander and 1 teaspoon salt with 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water. Add the tempeh and massage the marinade into all the pieces. Set aside while you make the sambal.

Prepare the sambal: Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet over high. Once the oil is shimmering, add the tomatoes, shallots, chiles and garlic. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring the ingredients every so often. When the shallots begin to brown slightly after 10 to 15 minutes, reduce the heat to medium as the sambal continues to caramelize. Cook the sambal, stirring often, until it has caramelized and reduced and the tomatoes have softened, with a few crispy, browned bits, around 5 minutes. The sambal should not be burned, however, so regulate the heat as needed. Remove from the heat and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. (This makes about 1 1/2 cups, and will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.)

While the sambal cooks, pan-fry the tempeh: Carefully remove the tempeh from the marinade and set it in a colander to drain excess liquid. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large nonstick skillet over high. When the oil is shimmering, but not smoking, add the tempeh to the pan in a single layer using tongs. Be careful, as the oil will spit because of the water in the marinade. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden and crispy all over. You may need to fry in batches, adding extra oil as needed. Transfer the tempeh to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain; season with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

To serve, transfer the sambal to serving plates. Lay the tempeh on top of the sambal. Using a pestle, rolling pin or wooden spoon, gently flatten each piece of tempeh, massaging it into the sambal. The idea is to gently create small cracks and crevices where the tempeh meets the sambal so they can combine, rather than completely destroying the tempeh. Squeeze lime juice over the tempeh pieces, then drizzle kecap manis on top. Serve with steamed white rice, slices of cucumber and extra wedges of lime.

Herby Tomato Salad With Tamarind-Maple Dressing

FOR THE SALAD:
2 pounds mixed tomatoes, such as cherry, heirloom, Sungold or beefsteak
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves picked and stalks finely chopped
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves, preferably Thai
12 perilla, shiso or mint leaves, finely chopped
2 scallions, finely sliced

FOR THE FRIED SHALLOTS:
3/4 cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed or vegetable
4 shallots, sliced into 1/16-inch-thick rounds
Sea salt

FOR THE DRESSING:
4 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, grated
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt

Start the salad: Cut the tomatoes into different shapes — this creates different textures and visual interest — and place them in a colander. Sprinkle with a big pinch of salt, and set in the sink to drain as you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Place a strainer over a heatproof bowl. Line a baking sheet or large plate with paper towels.

Prepare the fried shallots: Add the oil and shallots to a medium saucepan, and place over low heat. Bring the oil to a simmer, stirring the shallots with a fork to separate the rings. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the shallots are light golden brown, watching them closely, as they will brown quickly toward the end of their cooking. (Don’t let the shallots brown too much, as they will continue to cook after you take them out of the oil.)

Remove the shallots to the strainer to drain, then transfer them to the paper towels. Season with salt and allow to cool. Reserve the oil. Shallots can be fried 5 days ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Prepare the dressing: Whisk together all the ingredients.

Assemble the salad: Combine the tomatoes, two-thirds of the herbs and scallions, and half the dressing. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. To finish, top with the remaining dressing, a drizzle of the shallot cooking oil and the rest of the herbs and scallions, then finally with the fried shallots. (Reserve remaining shallot oil for other uses, like vinaigrettes, stir-fries and soups.)

Creamy Tofu Noodles

FOR THE NOODLES:
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
12 ounces thick Chinese wheat noodles
1 (14-ounce) package firm tofu, broken into pieces
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems, plus a few sprigs for serving
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Toasted white sesame seeds, for garnish

FOR THE TOPPING:
2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar (black vinegar), or a combination of 4 teaspoons rice wine vinegar plus 2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon chile oil or chile crisp, such as Chiu Chow chile oil
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger

Prepare the noodles: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook according to package instructions until the noodles are just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain well again.

As noodles cook, prepare the topping: Add vinegar, soy sauce, chile oil, scallion, ginger and 1 tablespoon water to a small bowl and stir to combine.

Place the tofu, garlic, sugar, five-spice and 3/4 teaspoon salt into a blender or food processor and blend, adding about 6 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the sauce is completely smooth and creamy. (You may need up to 12 tablespoons of water, depending on your tofu.)

Place the noodles in a large bowl and pour the tofu sauce on top. Add the cilantro and sesame oil, and toss until coated.

To serve, divide the noodles among bowls. Top with the spicy soy-vinegar sauce, sesame seeds and cilantro sprigs.

Corn Salad with Halloumi

FOR THE VINAIGRETTE:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Black pepper

FOR THE SALAD:
3 ears of corn, husks removed
2 (8-ounce) blocks halloumi cheese, drained and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large just-ripe mango, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
3 Persian or mini cucumbers (about 1/2 pound), unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 scallions, finely sliced
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 ounces pita chips, crumbled

To make the vinaigrette, place the olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, cumin and smoked paprika in a large bowl and whisk until combined. Taste, and season with pepper and also more salt if needed.

To prepare the salad, place the ears of corn on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil, massaging to coat.

Heat a medium (10-inch) skillet over medium-high. When hot, add the corn and allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, so they char. (The ears don’t need to be completely blackened, just parts of them.) Set aside. When cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to cut the corn from the ears and add to the bowl with the vinaigrette. When the pan has cooled, wipe it out.

Pat the halloumi cheese with a kitchen towel to remove excess moisture. Heat the same pan you used for the corn over medium-high. When hot, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then add the halloumi pieces and cook for 30 to 60 seconds on each side, turning frequently, until they are golden on all sides. Transfer to the bowl with the corn.

To the bowl, add the mango, cucumbers, mint, cilantro and scallions and toss to combine. Taste and add salt and black pepper to your liking. When you are ready to serve, top with pita chips and toss gently.

Xian Cumin Tofu Stir-Fry

FOR THE MARINATED TOFU:
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry, mirin or white wine)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into ¾-inch cubes
3 tablespoons potato starch or cornstarch

FOR THE SPICE MIX:
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons gochugaru (Korean red chile flakes), red-pepper flakes or Sichuan chile flakes
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

FOR THE STIR-FRY:
Vegetable or other neutral oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 (1/2- to 1-inch) red chile, such as serrano (or jalapeno), sliced diagonally (seeds removed if you like less heat)
1 (1-inch) piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
10 1/2 ounces cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets (about 3 ½ cups)
Big handful of cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon toasted white sesame seeds
Kosher salt
Rice, for serving

Prepare the marinated tofu: Combine the tamari or soy sauce, shaoxing rice wine and salt in a bowl. Add the tofu cubes and toss to coat. Allow to marinate at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the spice mix: Combine cumin, gochugaru, sugar and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Drain the tofu. Place the potato starch or cornstarch in an even layer on a plate, add the marinated tofu cubes and turn gently to coat.

Heat a large frying pan over high for 3 minutes. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and add a tofu cube. If the oil sizzles, it’s hot enough. Add all the tofu cubes, being careful of spattering, arranging them in one layer and separating them from one another. Reduce the heat to medium and allow the tofu to cook, undisturbed, for 1 to 2 minutes, until the bottom is golden. Flip the tofu and cook until golden on all sides. Transfer the tofu to a plate lined with paper towels. Wipe out the pan.

Add a little more oil to the pan, toss in the onion, chile, ginger and garlic, and stir-fry for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add the cauliflower, season with salt and stir-fry for 4 to 6 minutes, until the cauliflower is just tender. (Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water, if needed, to help move it along, while still keeping the dish dry.) Add the tofu, along with the spice mix, and stir to combine. Take the pan off the heat.

Taste and season with a touch of salt, if needed. Top with the cilantro and sesame seeds, then toss everything together, and serve with rice.

One-Pan Fish With Bacon and Sweet Corn

4 (6-ounce) fish fillets, such as tilapia, snapper, trout or striped bass, skin on or off
Kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves (from 5 to 6 sprigs)
1 lemon
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 bacon slices, chopped
2 small shallots, finely chopped
2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears of corn)

Lightly season both sides of the fish fillets with salt. In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup parsley with the red-pepper flakes, garlic and thyme. Zest the lemon into the bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Transfer the fish to the bowl and turn to coat. Cover and marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes. (The fish can be covered tightly and refrigerated for up to 12 hours.) Cut the zested lemon into 8 wedges and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium. Add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until crispy, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.

Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the bacon drippings in the skillet. Lay the marinated fish fillets in an even layer (skin-side down if your fillets are skin-on) and cover fish with any leftover marinade from the bowl. Cook until the fish is firm, opaque and flakes easily when poked with a fork, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the fish to a serving platter; keep the skillet on the stove.

Lower the heat to medium, and add the shallots and reserved bacon. Cook, stirring, until the shallots soften, about 2 minutes. Add the corn, stir and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and squeeze in the juice from 3 lemon wedges. Add the remaining 1/4 cup chopped parsley, stir and spoon over the fish. Serve with the remaining lemon wedges for squeezing.

Tomato Salad With Cucumber and Ginger

3 Persian cucumbers
Kosher salt
3 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime zest plus 3 tablespoons juice (from 2 limes)
4 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon coconut oil or canola oil
1 tablespoon very thinly sliced green serrano chile (about 1/2 large chile)
1 garlic clove, finely grated
12 ounces multicolored cherry tomatoes and small tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size
1/2 cup torn fresh basil
1/2 cup small sprigs cilantro
1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1/4 cup roasted salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Create stripes on the exterior of the cucumbers by running the tines of a fork along the length of the skin. Halve the cucumbers lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer to a colander and toss with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar.

Meanwhile, make the dressing: In a large bowl, whisk together the lime zest and juice, fish sauce, coconut oil, chile, garlic and the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar.

Just before serving, add the tomatoes, basil, cilantro, red onion, ginger, cucumbers and half the nuts to the dressing; toss to coat. Transfer to a bowl or platter, top with remaining nuts and serve immediately.

Summer Vegetables in Spiced Yogurt Sauce

3 tablespoons neutral oil or ghee
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and grated
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
1 serrano chile, thinly sliced (use less, or remove seeds, for a milder stew)
1 medium onion, diced small
Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
4 cups diced summer squash, such as zucchini, pattypan or romanesco, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
3 cups baby turnips, halved or quartered
2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
1/2 cup almond flour
2 cups shelled peas or cut green beans
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 3 ears corn)
5 ounces baby spinach
Roughly chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish
Cooked basmati rice, for serving (optional)

Put oil in a deep, wide skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, turmeric, cayenne and the serrano chile. Stir-fry the mixture until it begins to sizzle a bit, about 1 minute.

Add onion to pot, and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season well with salt.

Stir in garam masala, squash and turnips, along with 1 cup water. Cover and simmer briskly until vegetables are just done, about 3 minutes.

Add yogurt and almond flour. Stir well to combine. Add peas and corn. Simmer gently, uncovered, until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Taste sauce for salt and adjust as needed.

Add the spinach, and let wilt into the mixture. Turn off heat. Sprinkle with cilantro, and serve with rice, if desired.

Notes: Feel free to substitute or add other garden gifts as available. Eggplant, green beans, small potatoes or okra would all be welcome.

Apricot Noodle Soup

Pulled noodles, cut to desired length

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup unsulfured apricots, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried chile pepper flakes
8 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Yogurt, for serving
1/2 cup slivered almonds, for serving

Heat oil in large pot. Add onion and garlic, lower heat to medium-low, and cook 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add apricots, chile flakes, and chicken broth, increase the heat, and bring to a boil. Add lemon juice.

Bring soup back to boil, add salt and pepper, then drop in noodles. Boil until al dente.

Serve hot with yogurt and slivered almonds.

Panch Dal

Dal:
1/4 cup channa dal
1/4 cup urad dal
1/4 cup masur dal
1/4 cup toovar dal
1/2 cup mung dal
5 cups wter
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Spices:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or ghee
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon salt or more to taste

Rinse dals.

In large pot, bring water to boil. Add dals, stir, and bring back to boil, then remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 2 hours.

Add turmeric and cayenne to dal and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until dal is tender (approximately 35 minutes).

10-15 minutes before dal is ready, heat oil or ghee in skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion and garlic and fry 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add cumin and garam masala and cook another minute. Add tomatoes and salt and cook about 10 minutes until tomatoes have reduced.

Add onion mixture to dal, stir well, and cook 2-3 minutes to blend flavors. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Sri Lankan Coconut Roti

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen grated coconut
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon oil

In a medium bowl, combine coconut, flour, and salt. Make a well in the center, add water, and mix gently. The consistency will be somewhere between a batter and bread dough.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and spread it evenly with a paper tow. Drop 4 or 5 tablespoons of batter onto hot skillet, leaving adequate space between them. Flatten each roti with a spatula so that they are no more than a 1/4 inch thick and cook until browned on the bottom, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook 3-4 minutes on the other side. Remove and cool on a rack. Repeat with remaining batter.

Serve with any soupy lentil dish for light meal or on their own with tea or coffee for breakfast.

Makes 8-10 roti.

Avocado Chutney

1 or 2 small ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
1/4 cup shredded fresh or frozen unsweetened coconut
1 small tomato, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic, whole and unpeeled
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 serrano chile, finely chopped
2 tablespoons dry-roasted shredded coconut

In a medium bowl, mash the avocado. Add coconut, tomatoes, and lime juice and mix well. Set aside.

In a small dry skillet, dry roast the garlic cloves over medium heat about 5 minutes until the skins start to turn brown. Remove sins and place in a mortar. Add shallots and salt and pound to a paste. (Alternatively, use a blender.)

Add garlic mixture, cilantro, and chile to the other ingredients. Garnish with toasted coconut.

Spicy Tomato Chutney

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (approximately 4 cloves)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 fresh green chilies, chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
3 fresh green chilies, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seed, dry roasted and ground
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed, dry roasted and ground
2 large tomatoes (about one pound), coarsely chopped
1 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped

Heat oil in skillet over medium hight heat. Add garlic, onion, ginger, and chilies, and fry for 1 minute. Add fenugreek and cumin and cook 1 minute more, stirring. Add tomatoes and salt and bring to a boil. Lower heat, partially cover, and cook for another 15 minutes or until almost thickened to a paste.

Turn into bowl and stir in coriander leaves.

Will keep for about a week in well-sealed container in the refridgerator.

Raita with Sweet Corn

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seed
2 tablespoons minced green or red chilies
1 teaspoon gratede fresh ginger
1 cup cooked fresh corn (about 2 ears)
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon coriander seed, dry roasted and ground
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro

Heat oil in small skillet. Add cumin seed and fry until brown.

Combine with all remaining ingredients in serving bowl and stir well. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Indian Ginger and Tomato Salad (Adrak aur Tomate Salat)

3-inch piece of ginger cut in paper thin slices (about 1/3 cup)
1 medium banana chile, seeded and cut in paper thin slices (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 1/4 pounds medium ripe tomatoes (about 4)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint

Place ginger, chilies, lime juice, and half the salt in a small, non-reactive bowl. Let stand 20 minutes, tossing once or twice.

Slice the tomatoes onto a serving plate. Sprinkle with mint, salt, and pepper, then arrange ginger and chilies over them.

Serve slightly chilled with kebabs or other grilled meats, or just with some fresh naan.

Pressure Cooker Pulled Butter Chicken

2 tablespoons ghee
1 large yellow onion finely diced
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, patted dry
1 cup canned tomato puree
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon garlic paste
2 teaspoons Kashmiri red chili powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 cup canned coconut cream
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves
2 teaspoons sugar optional
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Cucumber Raita
3 persian cucumbers
1 cup greek yogurt or plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon cilantro chopped

To Serve
6 to 12 Brioche buns

Select the high Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and heat the ghee. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Press the Cancel button to turn off the Instant Pot. Add the chicken, tomato puree, water, ginger, garlic, chile powder, salt, garam masala, and turmeric and stir to combine.

Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Poultry setting and set the cooking time for 13 minutes at high pressure. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then move the Pressure Release to Venting to release any remaining steam. Open the pot. Allow chicken to cool down for a few minutes and then using a hand mixer shred the chicken. Note: You can also take the chicken breasts out and shred then using forks. Then return the shredded chicken back to the pot.

Add coconut cream, tomato paste, fenugreek, and sugar and stir to combine. Select the high Sauté setting and cook until the curry comes to a boil and is heated through, about 2 minutes. Press the Cancel button to turn off the Instant Pot.
To make the cucumber Raita, in a small bowl, add peeled and grated cucumbers and whisked yogurt. Stir in salt and ground cumin and garnish with cilantro.

Serve pulled butter chicken on brioche buns or rolls. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with cucumber raita.

Pressure Cooker Basics: Dal

No matter what kind of dal you are making, the general formula is roughly the same: add 1 cup rinsed lentils, water (the amount depends on the type of lentil), turmeric, and salt to the pot, set to high (or, in some cases, as you’ll see below, low) pressure, and cook for anywhere between six to 20 minutes with natural pressure release.

Separately, melt some ghee (or butter) in a pan and add a teaspoon of cumin seeds, dried chiles, red chili powder, and asafoetida (like Indian MSG)—you want to do this separately because it adds that nice jolt of richness and fat to the dal, similar to adding grated Parmesan over pasta or a drizzle of olive oil over soup. Spoon the fried spices (also known as the tadka) over the finished dal, and complete with a generous squeeze of lime juice and cilantro.

You can also add tomatoes, cubed zucchini, spinach, rice, or garlic to the pot. And caramelized onions are a great topping.

Cooking times:

Kali masoor dal: 1 cup lentils, 3 cups water, 20 minutes high pressure, natural release

Pink masoor dal: dal: 1 cup lentils, 4 cups water, 7 minutes high pressure, natural release

Split moong dal: 1 cup lentils, 6 cups water, 12 minutes low pressure, natural release

Chana dal: 1 cup lentils, 2 cups water, 6 minutes high pressure, natural release

Ema Datshi

10 oz. chili peppers (spicy Thai green/red chilies and jalapeño)
1 red onions, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
10 oz cheese, grated (a combination of feta, cheddar or farmers cheese)
Salt to taste
1 cup water (to cook the veggies)

Heat a pan and add butter. Add the sliced onion, tomato and chillies. Give them a quick toss and the water. Season them with salt. Cover and cook until the peppers become tender.

Turn off the flame and add the cheese and let it melt in the residual heat.
Serve it over a bed of red or white rice.

Notes
For a flavorful dish, use a combination of chillies like Anaheim, jalapeño, and green chilies (Thai or Indian variety).

Increase or reduce the amount of chillies based on your tolerance for heat. You can also remove the pith and ribs to reduce the heat quotient.

You can use any type of cheese especially one that melts. Avoid using stringy cheese like mozzarella. A combination of farmer’s cheese, blue cheese & cheddar would be good.

Bhutanese Potatoes and Cheese (Kewa Datshi)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or as desired
4 chile peppers, slit and coarsely chopped, or more to taste
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups water, or more if needed
1/2 teaspoon chile pepper powder
Salt or to taste
1 cup grated fresh cheese
1 pinch red pepper flakes, or to taste

Heat oil in a pot over medium heat; cook and stir chile peppers and garlic until golden and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion; cook and stir until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir potatoes into onion mixture until potatoes are coated in oil.

Pour water over potato mixture and season with chile pepper powder and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, adding more water if needed but keeping the gravy thick, 10 to 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to low and sprinkle fresh cheese over the gravy; slowly stir until cheese melts and spreads evenly, about 5 minutes. Garnish dish with red pepper flakes.

Bhutanese Pork with Potatoes (Kewa Phagsha)

3/4 pound pork chopped into small chunks
2 potatoes peeled and cut lengthwise into 8 pieces each
3 green chilies cut in half
1/2 onion diced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 piece Ginger minced
1/2 tablespoon canola oil
Szechuan pepper to taste
Cilantro, for serving

In a sauce pan put in the pork and cover with 1 3/4 cups of water and a pinch of salt.

Cook pork through about 20 minutes.

Add in the chilies, potato, onion and canola oil.

Cook until the potato is just shy of fork tender.

Add in remaining ingredients and cook for three more minutes.

Add in some Szechuan pepper and cilantro to taste.