Pad Thai

For the Pad Thai sauce:
1.5 ounces tamarind pulp (plus 1/2 cup boiling water)
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons Thai black soy sauce (look for the “Healthy Boy” brand)
1 teaspoon Thai sweet soy sauce (optional)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (to taste)

For the rest of the dish:
8 ounces dried Pad Thai rice noodles
8 ounces chicken breast (thinly sliced)
1 teaspoon Thai thin soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon water
1/3 cup small dried shrimp (minced or processed into a coarse powder)
3 cloves garlic (sliced)
2 large shallots (thinly sliced; can substitute red onion)
2 tablespoons preserved Thai salted radish (preferred) or Chinese mustard stem (rinsed in warm water and julienned; optional — preserved salted radish is a product of Thailand; if you can’t find it, zha cai, works well)
3 large eggs (beaten, preferably at room temperature)
2 cups mung bean sprouts (washed and drained)
1 cup Chinese garlic chives (cut into 1-inch pieces)
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts (finely chopped)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)

First, make the sauce. Take the tamarind pulp (a block about 1 x 2 in (2.5 x 5 cm) and mix it with ½ cup boiling water (you can add a little more if needed to dissolve the paste). Break up the pulp in the hot water, and then press the mixture through a fine-meshed strainer. Discard the solids. To the liquid tamarind concentrate you just made, add the sugar, fish sauce, Thai black soy sauce, Thai sweet soy sauce (if using), and white pepper. Set aside.

Soak the pad thai noodles in hot water for about 20 minutes, and drain in a colander. If the noodles are in really long strands, you will want to cut them into 10- to 12-inch lengths to make stir-frying easier.

Marinate the sliced chicken by combining it with 1 teaspoon each of Thai thin soy sauce, cornstarch, and water. Set aside.

Next, prepare the dried shrimp, mincing them down into a coarse powder (we used a food processor). Prepare the garlic, shallots/red onion, preserved Chinese mustard stems (zha cai), eggs, mung bean sprouts, garlic chives, and peanuts. You want to have everything ready to go before you turn on the stove.

Now you’re ready to cook! Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in your wok over high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken, and sear until golden and just cooked through. Remove from the wok and set aside.
Add another 3 tablespoons of oil to the wok. Over medium heat, add the shrimp powder. Fry until fragrant and crisp, 2 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the shallots and zha cai. Stir-fry for another 30 seconds.

Turn the heat up to high, and add the noodles and sauce. Stir-fry to combine, lifting the noodles with your wok spatula to spread them out and break them up.

Make a space on the side of the wok, pushing the noodles to one side. Drizzle 1 more tablespoon of oil in the open space, and pour in the beaten eggs. Use your spatula to fold them gently, scrambling them without breaking up the egg too much. When the eggs are about 70% done, stir-fry to distribute them into the noodles.

Next, add the bean sprouts and the chives. Stir-fry to combine, letting the chives wilt. Add the chicken back in, and stir-fry to combine until everything is incorporated. Plate, top with the

Baked Aloo Gobi

1 small head of cauliflower , 2 heaping cups
2 medium potatoes (yukon gold or white), about 2 cups cubed

Spicing:
1 tsp turmeric , divided
1 tsp ground cumin (1/2 tsp if you dont like cumin)
1 tsp ground coriander , optional, but nice
1/3 tsp (0.33 tsp) cayenne or paprika
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) garam masala or curry powder or berbere(1/2 to 1 tsp to preference), or use more of ground cumin and coriander
3/4 tsp (0.75 tsp) salt
1 tbsp minced ginger , (1 inch ginger minced)
1 tbsp minced garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp water
1 tsp oil
cilantro and lemon juice for garnish

Other flavor additions:
1/2 tsp amchur(dry mango powder)
1/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves(kasoori methi)
a good pinch of asafetida (hing)

Chop the cauliflower into small florets and put in a large bowl.

Chop the potatoes into small cubes (less than 1/2 inch) and add to the bowl.

In a small bowl. Mix the 1/2 tsp turmeric and the rest of the ingredients under spicing until well combined. Add the spice mixture to the large bowl and toss to coat.

Alternatively, Add the minced ginger, garlic, oil to the bowl and toss well. Combine the turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala, cayenne, salt in a small bowl, mix well. Sprinkle over the cauliflower, potatoes and toss well.

Let the cauliflower and potatoes sit for a minute.

Sprinkle some more turmeric and mix lightly (optional).

Spread the veggies in a stoneware or ceramic baking dish. Spray oil. See Tips above on how to spread the veggies and pan size to choose.

Bake at 400 deg F (204 C) for 20 mins, then cover with parchment and bake for another 15 mins or until tender to preference. Taste carefully and adjust salt and spice and mix in. garnish with cilantro and some lemon juice.

Variations: Add 1 hot green chili, finely chopped with the ginger and garlic.

Change up the spices, use panch phoron blend instead of garam masala for achari aloo gobi.

Add thawed peas in the last 10 minutes of baking for Aloo Gobi Matar.

Add 1 to 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas to amp up the protein. Increase the spices and salt to preference to accommodate the added chickpea volume.

Add 1/2 tsp toasted cumin seeds instead of ground cumin

Oilfree: Omit the oil. Cover the Veggies half way through(about 5 mins longer).

Aloo Gobi

2 medium russet potatoes, cut into 2″-long sticks
1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp. cumin seeds
½ tsp. ground turmeric
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. thinly sliced ginger
Pinch of asafetida (optional, but really great)
Pinch of red chili powder
1 tsp. (or more) kosher salt
1 Tbsp. (or more) fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves with tender stems

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Toss potatoes and cauliflower with 3 Tbsp. oil on prepared sheet. Spread in an even layer and roast, tossing once halfway through, until cauliflower and potatoes are browned and slightly crisped, about 30 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high until it begins to shimmer. Add cumin and cook, stirring frequently, until they turn a medium shade of brown, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium and swirl in turmeric. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, 4–6 minutes. Add ginger, asafetida (if using), and chili powder and cook, stirring, until heated through and well combined, about 1 minute longer.

Stir in roasted potatoes and cauliflower, including any charred bits from the foil, and gently mix (don’t overmix, or the cauliflower will fall apart). Add salt and cook, tossing occasionally, until potatoes and cauliflower are tender (but not soggy!), 5–6 minutes. Remove from heat and add lime juice. Taste and add more lime juice or salt, if needed.

Transfer potatoes and cauliflower to a platter. Top with cilantro.