Bhindi Masala

1 1lb okra/bhindi
3 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, sliced thinly or ? cup sliced onions
1 large tomato, chopped or ½ cup chopped tomatoes
2 green chilies, slit
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste or ½ inch ginger along with 3 to 4 medium garlic crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle
1/4 tsp turmeric powder/haldi
1/4 tsp red chili powder/lal mirch powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder/dhania powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder/jeera powder
1/2 tsp dry mango powder/amchur
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves, crushed
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves/dhania patta
salt as required

Rinse the bhindi/okra in water. then wipe dry them with a kitchen towel or just allow to dry them naturally in a plate. (making sure they are completely dry eliminates the gelatinous texture of okra)

Slice off the crown and tip of each bhindi. then slice them vertically.
also slice 1 medium onion. chop 1 large tomato and slit 2 green chilies. crush the ginger and garlic in a mortar-pestle.

Heat 3 tbsp oil in a thick bottomed shallow frying pan. add the sliced onions.
saute them till they start turning light brown.

Add 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste and the green chilies. Saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.

Add the chopped tomatoes. stir well.

Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin and dry mango powder. Mix the spices with the rest of the onion-tomato masala. Saute this mixture till the tomatoes become pulpy and you see oil releasing from the sides.

Add the chopped bhindi/okra, season with salt, and stir very well. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and cook on a low flame or simmer. Check after 4 to 5 minutes a couple of times. Continue to cook the bhindi fry on a low flame till the bhindi is done. You will have to check after every 4 to 5 minutes so that the bhindi does not get too browned or burnt. Stir every time when you check it. If the okra is becoming too browned or getting burnt, then sprinkle 1 to 1.5 tbsp water all over. stir, cover and continue to cook.

Once the bhindi is done, add garam masala powder and kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves, and cilantro, and stir well.

Sri Lankan Coconut Sambol

1 coconut grated
5 dried chilies
6 small shallots
2 limes juice of
1 teaspoon Maldive fish (Optional)
salt

Using a mortar and pestle make a paste with the dried chilies and a pinch of salt.

In a bowl, mix together the shallots, coconut, and chili paste.

Add the Maldive fish if using.

Add the fresh lime juice.

Add salt to taste.

Mix everything together and taste, adjust as your palate dictates. The end result should be sweet, sour, savory, hot, and a heavenly bite.

Serve alongside curry.

Sri Lankan Shrimp Curry

Prawns /Shrimp
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and cleaned
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Sri Lankan Curry Powder

Prawn/ shrimp Curry
3 tbsp coconut oil
4 garlic cloves minced
1 inch piece ginger, minced
1 medium sweet onion chopped finely
1 Tbsp Sri Lankan Curry Powder
1/2 tsp ground fennel
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
12 curry leaves
3 pandan leaves
1/3 cup coconut milk
2/3 cup water
2 fresh red chili peppers more or less to your heat tolerance
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp Cilantro chopped, finely

Sprinkle the salt and curry powder over the shrimp and mix well and set aside to marinate while you cook the curry.

Heat a frying pan over medium high heat, and add the coconut oil. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, a generous pinch of salt and reduce the heat to medium and cook the shrimp heads until they soften – a few minutes.

Add the curry powder, fennel powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, curry leaves and stir frequently for about 5 minutes, until the spices are fragrant and have formed a paste with the onion, garlic and ginger.

Add the coconut milk, 2/3 cup water, fresh red chili pepper, lime juice and stir to combine. Bring to a boil.

Cover and simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes until the mixture is thick.

Add the peeled prawns/shrimp into the curry base and gently mix to combine and completely coat the prawn/shrimp with the sauce. Add a bit of water if the sauce is too thick, or you would like more sauce.

While stirring, bring the mix to a boil. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, or just until the prawns/shrimp is cooked through and is pink. Season with salt to taste.

Turn off the heat and cover the pan with a lid and let the prawns/shrimp sit in the sauce for a few minutes.

Sprinkle cilantro to garnish if using, and serve with steamed Basamati rice.

Sri Lankan Roasted Curry Powder

4 Tbsp coriander seeds
3 Tbsp cumin seeds
2 Tbsp black peppercorns
2 Tbsp basmati rice
1 Tbsp black mustard seeds
3 tsp whole cloves
2 tsp green cardamom seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds

Place the rice in a non-stick pan.

Heat over medium heat until the rice starts to turn light brown.

Add the rest of the spices and roast for few more minutes until the spices start to become aromatic. Keep moving the pan to prevent the spices from burning.

Remove from the heat and let the spices cool down.

Once cool, use a spice grinder (or a mortar and pestle) to grind the spice mix into a powder.

Store in an air tight container.

Sri Lankan Spiced Chickpeas (Kadala Thal Dala )

2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
10 curry leaves
4 dried red chilies chopped into large chunks
1 large onion finely diced
2 15 oz. chickpeas cans (drained)
Salt to taste
Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan.

Fry the mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves and chilies for around 30 seconds until you hear the seeds pop.

Add the onions and cook until soft and golden.

Stir through the chickpeas and add salt to taste. Sauté for a few minutes until heated through.

Serve warm as a snack or as a side to your meal.

Beef and Tomato Salad

1/4 cup very finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
Pepper
1 1/2 pounds cherry and medium-size heirloom tomatoes—cherry tomatoes halved, heirloom tomatoes cut into chunks
1 pound leftover grilled steak, cut into strips
2 medium avocados—peeled, pitted and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup snipped dill
1/3 cup tarragon leaves

In a large bowl, whisk the red onion with the Champagne vinegar and let stand for 10 minutes. Whisk in the olive oil and Dijon mustard and season with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes, beef and avocados and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Fold in the dill and tarragon and serve right away.

Cantonese Ginger Scallion Oil

Ingredients
2 scallions (must have white parts, 50g)
10 thin slices fresh ginger (20g)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (120 ml)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
light soy sauce (to taste; OPTIONAL)
Instructions
Wash the scallions and pat them thoroughly dry. Thinly slice them into rounds, and then use your knife to mince them further.
Next, slice 10 rounds of ginger very thinly. Julienne them into matchsticks and mince them finely. (These steps could be done with a food processor.)
Combine the scallion, ginger, oil, and salt in a bowl. Mix thoroughly, and it’s ready to serve!

Notes:

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN USE IT:

As a condiment to chicken or any meat of your choice – poached, pan-fried, or even grilled

As a dip for tofu, for our vegans out there

In cold noodles

As a flavoring or topping for leafy green vegetable stir-fries

Over plain rice with a fried egg, or fried rice!

If we are enjoying poached chicken (bai qie ji), we split it into two small bowls, and add light soy sauce to one of them to taste.

Roasted Fish (or Scallops, Chicken, or Tofu) with Miso Rice and Ginger Scallion Sauce

1/4 cup white or sweet miso
1 1/2 cups basmati or other long-grain rice
4 (6-ounce) skin-on fish fillets (or other protein; see note)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped scallions, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
4 cups finely shredded cabbage, such as green, Napa or savoy (about 8 ounces)
Roasted sesame oil, for serving

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium saucepan, whisk miso with 2 1/4 cups water until dissolved. Stir in rice and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork (it will be a little sticky).

On a rimmed baking sheet, rub salmon all over with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and arrange skin-side up. Roast until fish is just opaque and cooked to medium, 8 to 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, scallions, vinegar and ginger, and season with salt and pepper.

Divide miso rice and cabbage among bowls. Top with salmon, ginger-scallion vinaigrette and sesame oil.
Notes:
The rice complements other seafood, too, like cod, shrimp and scallops. It’s also a great accompaniment to grilled steak and roasted chicken. And if it’s a satisfying plant-based meal you’re after, miso rice is a natural match for delicious tofu-vegetable bowls. Use the versatile ginger-scallion vinaigrette as the sauce.

Shredded cabbage brings freshness and crunch to the finished dish, but use whatever crispy vegetable you have on hand: shredded brussels sprouts, carrots, snap peas, radishes and iceberg lettuce are all great options.

Some readers suggest waiting until almost the end of the cooking time for the rice to add a watered down miso mixture. Miso is full of great enzymes that are good for digestion that can be destroyed when boiled.