Panch Phoran Potatoes (Aloo Bhaji)

1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon panch phoron (see Note) or 1/4 teaspoon each of fennel, cumin, fenugreek and mustard seeds
2 dried red chiles
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch matchsticks
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Salt

In a medium skillet, heat the oil.

Add the panch phoron, cover and cook over high heat until the spices crackle, about 20 seconds.

Add the dried chiles and cook, shaking the pan, for 20 seconds longer.

Add the potatoes and cook, stirring, just until lightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes.

Add the turmeric and season with salt.

Cover tightly and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked through and lightly browned, about 15 minutes longer.
Serve immediately.

Panch Phoran

Ingredients
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon nigella seeds (also called black cumin or kalonji)
1 1/2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds

Combine the seeds in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container.
Depending on what kind of dish you make with these seeds, they can either be fried briefly in oil or dry roasted to coax out their rich flavors.

Sunday Rice

3 tablespoons canola oil
One 1-inch piece cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
1 cup finely chopped white onion
4 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
2 bay leaves 2 cups white basmati rice, rinsed, soaked, and drained (see here)
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
2 small or 1 large chicken bouillon cube, preferably Maggi brand
3 cups boiling water
Kosher salt

Heat the oil in a 4-quart stew pot over medium heat until shimmering.

Add the cinnamon stick and cloves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the onion and scallions and cook, stirring, until softened (don’t let them color), about 3 minutes.

Add the bay leaves and drained rice, stirring to coat the rice with the oil. Cook, stirring frequently, until the rice starts to stick to the bottom of the pot, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, bouillon cube, and water, taste, and add salt as necessary.

Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Gently stir the rice with a silicone spatula a couple of times and cover the pot.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let the pilaf stand, covered, for 15 minutes.

Gingery Pickled Carrots

1 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon white sugar
Kosher salt
3 medium carrots, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a box grater
2 -inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into thin rounds

In a large bowl, stir together the vinegar, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in the carrots and ginger. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

Miso-Gochujang Pulled Pork

5 pound boneless pork butt, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
3/4 cup gochujang, divided
6 tablespoons white miso, divided
1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems minced, leaves left whole, reserved separately
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
3 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 3 chunks
2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. In a large Dutch oven, combine the pork, 1/2 cup of gochujang, 2 tablespoons of miso, the cilantro stems, the hoisin, ginger and 1 cup water; stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, then cover and place in the oven. Cook until a skewer inserted into the meat meets no resistance, about 3 hours.

Meanwhile, in a nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then reduce to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons miso and cook, stirring frequently, until the miso begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a large bowl. When cool enough to handle, shred into bite-size pieces, discarding any fat; set aside. Remove and discard the ginger chunks from the cooking liquid. Tilt the pot to pool the liquid to one side and use a wide spoon to skim off and discard as much fat as possible from the surface. Bring to a simmer over medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by about half and a spatula drawn through the sauce leaves a trail, 5 to 7 minutes.

Whisk in the remaining 4 tablespoons gochujang. Stir in the pork and onions. Reduce to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in the vinegar, then taste and season with pepper.
Serve with cilantro leaves, pickled carrots and pickled jalapeños.

Tip: Don’t forget to skim the fat off the cooking liquid so the pulled pork doesn’t end up greasy. But make sure to allow the liquid to settle before skimming so all the fat has time to rise to the surface.

Paneer and Cauliflower Makhani

Ingredients send grocery list
3 quarts fresh tomatoes
1 serrano chilli
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon chili powder (he uses Kashmiri chilies)
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup honey
2 cups water, plus more according to preference
1 dash salt, plus more to taste
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 piece 2-inch ginger knob, cut in 1/2-inch long julienne strips
1/4 cup toasted fenugreek leaves, crushed
4 cups roasted cauliflower florets
3 cups soft paneer, cut into cubes
2 handfuls cilantro, to stir in and for garnish
8 servings steamed long grain basmati rice
8 servings Indian flatbread like naan

In a large blender, puree tomatoes, garlic, and chili. If your blender won’t accommodate all the tomatoes at once, work in batches.

Add the ground spices and honey to the pureed tomato, garlic, and chili mixture.

Place a large pot on moderate heat. Add the puree, along with the water, and bring up to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 1 hour.

After an hour, strain the mixture into a pot. Season and add the heavy cream, butter, julienned ginger, and crushed fenugreek. (This sauce can be prepped a couple of days in advance. At this point, store in the refrigerator until ready, or proceed to next steps for serving).

For serving: Add the cauliflower to sauce and bring the sauce up to a boil. Lower the heat, add the paneer and continue to cook for a few minutes. Stir in the cilantro (and garnish on top), and serve with Indian flatbread and/or long grain basmati rice.

Scrambled Eggs Patia

For the spice paste:
1 jalapeño (less spicy) or serrano (more spicy), stem and seeds removed
2 garlic cloves
1-inch piece peeled ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground chile powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

For the finished dish:
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup canola or other neutral oil, divided
one 15-ounce canned diced tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar or jaggery
12 eggs
Black pepper
1 cup roughly chopped cilantro, plus more for garnishing

Combine all ingredients for the spice paste in a food processor or mini blender with 1/4 cup water.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the oil and the onions. Cook until deeply golden but not yet brown, about 10 to 12 minutes, then add the spices and the rest of the oil and continue to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and salt and cook for another 8 minutes, until the tomatoes juices are a bit reduced and thickened. Then add the tamarind paste, vinegar, and brown sugar and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a large bowl just to break up the whites and yolks.

Reduce the heat to the lowest possible sitting, add the eggs, salt, and pepper, and cilantro, and cook gently, stirring constantly with a Silicone spatula in a figure-8 motion, until the eggs thicken and are soft and silky, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot with more cilantro.

Note: Feel free to halve the recipe, but keep a close eye on the eggs, which will (obviously) cook in less time.

Bien Cuit’s Masala Pecan Sandies

150 grams (1 cup plus 3 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
125 grams (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, at room temperature
90 grams (1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon) granulated sugar
90 grams (scant 1 cup) toasted, ground pecans (see Notes)
25 grams (1 1/2) egg yolks
5 grams (1 teaspoon) masala (see Notes)
3 grams (1/2 teaspoon) kosher salt
1/4 vanilla bean, scraped

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl by hand or in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until a dough just begins to form.

Transfer to a work surface and form into a rectangle, wrap with plastic or a reusable alternative, and refrigerate until chilled but still pliable enough to impress a dent when poked. (Alternatively, at this point you can refrigerate for up to a couple days, then let temp up on the counter until soft enough to roll.)

Using a rolling pin on a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough to about 1/2 inch thick, then cut into squares (figure 2×2-inch, or smaller if you’d like). Transfer to lined baking pans, evenly spaced out by a couple inches, and refrigerate or freeze until firm.

Bake at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes, or until deeply golden brown all over. Let cool completely until firm before digging in and dust with confectioners’ sugar, if you want.

Notes:

Bien Cuit chef and owner Zachary Golper uses the sweet masala (with cardamon, fennel, cinnamon, dates and vanilla) from Moji Masala, which sells small-batch Indian spice blends. You can either order it directly from their website, or go off-road with your own mix of two parts warming ground cardamom to two parts ground cozy cinnamon and one part earthy ground ginger. For even more flavor, try adding some smashed fennel seeds or freshly cracked black pepper or both. With all the butter, lots of spice blends will work beautifully here.

With respect to the pecans, put them on a sheet pan and toast in a 350°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until browned and fragrant (just check on them frequently toward the end, because nuts can burn quickly). Let them cool completely before grinding in a food processor, or mincing with a knife by hand; if you’re working with a food processor, opt for short bursts, so you don’t accidentally end up with nut butter. If you want to underscore the sweetness even more, Chef Golper likes to sift a little confectioners’ sugar on top of the cookies; you could even upgrade that dusting sugar with some of the masala spices, too.

Bien Cuit’s Shortbread

302 grams unsalted butter
93 grams confectioners’ sugar
3.5 grams kosher salt
302 grams all-purpose flour
1/8 cup regular or raw sugar, for sprinkling

Cut the cold butter and reserve at room temperature to temper slightly. Line a 13×9-inch baking sheet or baking dish with parchment paper.

Mix the confectioners’ sugar, salt, and flour in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix for a few seconds to combine the dry ingredients.

Add the cubed butter and mix on low speed until a smooth dough is formed and butter is fully incorporated. At first, the dough will look extremely flaky and dry; let it keep mixing and it will eventually come together into a dough.

Dump the dough into the baking sheet ordish and spread it evenly to the corners. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.

The next day, heat the oven to 300°F. Dock the dough every inch or so with a fork. Bake until the shortbread is golden brown, 60-75 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Turn the shortbread out onto a cutting board, and slice into 4-inch x ¾-inch slices. Sprinkle with raw sugar and transfer to a baking rack to cool completely. Store in airtight containers.

Soto Ayam

1/2 pack rice noodles (8 oz)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 skinless and boneless chicken breast, cut into cubes
1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 3 strips
1 can coconut milk, 13.5 fl oz (400 ml)
1 can chicken broth, 14.05 oz (411 g)
1 cup water
Salt, to taste

Spice Paste:

1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 shallots, peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 piece turmeric (2-inch), peeled or 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 piece galangal, peeled and sliced (2-inch)
1 piece ginger, peeled and sliced (2-inch)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Toppings:

2 cups bean sprouts
2 cups sliced cabbages, optional
2 hard-boiled eggs, cut into wedges
1 stalk spring onion, cut into rounds
2 limes, cut into wedges
Fried shallot crisps

Soak the rice noodles in warm water to soften them. Set aside.
Blend the Spice Paste in a food processor. Add some water if needed.
Add the oil in a pot on medium-high heat. Add in the Spice Paste and stir with spatula back and forth until aromatic.

Add in the chicken broth, coconut milk, lemongrass and water. Bring it to a boil. Add in the chicken breast cubes. Cover the pot and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Blanch the rice noodles, bean sprouts, cabbages (if using) in another pot of boiling water. Transfer them to a bowl once they are cooked. Add the Toppings of hard-boiled eggs, spring onions and add the hot chicken broth into the bowl. Serve hot with lime wedges and shallot crisps on top of the noodles.

Instant Ramen Fried Rice

One 2.5-ounce (71g) cup instant ramen noodles, such as Cup Noodles, in flavor of your choice
Boiling water
3 tablespoons (45ml) canola oil or other neutral oil
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup (7 3/4 ounces; 220g) cooked medium- or short-grain rice (see note)
Kosher salt

Transfer contents of instant noodles cup (dried noodles plus all seasonings and mix-ins) to a zipper-lock bag or mixing bowl. Crush noodles well into roughly rice-size pieces, but don’t obsess about it.

Return crushed noodles and seasonings to cup.

Add just enough boiling water to wet contents of cup but no more than that. Cover and let stand while you continue with the recipe.

In a large nonstick skillet, wok, cast iron, or carbon steel pan, heat oil over high heat until shimmering. Add egg and cook, stirring, until just scrambled.

Add rice and cook, stirring constantly and breaking up any small lumps, until heated through and glazed in the oil, about 2 minutes.

Add soaked ramen along with any liquid and cook, stirring and tossing constantly, until excess moisture has cooked off and rice and noodles are lightly golden and toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt.

Transfer to a serving platter or pack into a heatproof bowl, then invert bowl on a plate to make a compact mound of rice.

Note:
If a heartier meal is desired, you can whip up a 4-egg omelette and unfurl it on top of the mound of rice; top with ketchup and anything else you want.

Paneer (or Chicken) Tikka Masala

Paneer Tikka:

250 gms paneer (or chicken… see note)
3 tablespoons yogurt, preferably thick curd
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon paprika powder
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste
salt, to taste

Masala/Curry:
1 large onion, roughly chopped
3-4 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 inch ginger, cut into small pieces
1.5 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves, and some more to garnish
1 cup water, or as required
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon salted butter
salt, to taste

Paneer Tikka:
Cut the paneer into small cubes, add in the chopped ginger, garlic, coriander powder, garam masala powder, paprika powder, salt and red chilli powder.

Add in the yogurt and mix till all the paneer pieces are well coated with the spices and yogurt.

Cover and keep this marinated paneer in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes.

Masala/Curry:

Heat 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of oil in a pan. Once hot add cinnamon stick and cumin seeds.

Once the seeds crackle, add the chopped onions, crushed garlic pods and chopped ginger. Fry till onions turn golden brown in color.

Once onions are done, add the tomatoes and the curry powder and mix. Also add the the salt and sugar.

Cook the tomatoes on medium flame till they are soft, around 6-7 minutes.

Once the mixture is cooked, switch off the flame and allow it to cool a bit.

Pour the mixture into a blender and puree it. Set aside.

Roast (or grill… see note) the marinated paneer till golden brown in color from both sides.

Pour the pureed masala in a wok/kadhai and add water to it. Stir and add cream and chopped coriander leaves.

Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes on medium-low flame.

Add the roasted paneer pieces, let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Switch off the flame and garnish with chopped coriander leaves and cream.
Serve hot with butter naan or any bread of your choice.

Recipe Notes:

Use 1/2 teaspoon paprika powder in the curry for a deep red/orange color.

The quantity of butter and cream in the recipe depends on your taste and preference.

The paneer should ideally by grilled so in case you have a griller use that to make the tikka.

You can also drizzle around 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice on the curry once it’s done.

If you want, you can strain the pureed mixture before putting it back in the pan. This will just make the curry totally smooth.

You can make this recipe exactly the same, but with chicken.

Kadai Paneer

Kadai Masala:

2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 dried red chilies
4 green cardamom
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
3 cloves

Kadai Paneer:

1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
1 tablespoon oil, 15 ml, I used avocado oil
1 medium red onion, 150 grams, finely chopped
1 green chili, sliced
2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
3-4 medium tomatoes, 450 grams, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste, optional
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
3/4 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
1 inch ginger, julienned, divided
1/2 cup water, 4 oz/120 ml
2 tablespoons heavy cream, 30 ml
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 large green bell pepper (capsicum), cut into 1-inch pieces
225 grams paneer, cubed, if using store-bought paneer soak it in warm water for 20-25 minutes before using
1 teaspoon kasuri methi, dried fenugreek leaves
cilantro, to garnish

Make the Kadai Masala:

To a small kadai or pan, dry roast the spices for kadai masala for 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat until fragrant. Add more red chilies for a spicier masala.

Remove kadai from heat and transfer the roasted spices to a spice grinder.
Let it cool down a bit and then grind to a fine powder. Set aside. You can also make this kadai masala in advance and store it.

Make the Kadai Paneer:

In a large kadai or any other pan, now melt butter with oil on medium heat.

Add the chopped onion and saute for 3 minutes until softened. Then add the sliced green chili and ginger garlic paste and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes.

Then add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Mix and cook for around 6 minutes until tomatoes are really soft.

Then add 3 to 4 teaspoons of the kadai masala that you prepared earlier (or add the whole thing if you like it spicy). Also add the garam masala, kashmiri red chili powder.

Add half of the ginger julienne. Stir the spices and cook for 30 seconds.
Then add 1/2 cup water and stir.

Add cream, salt and sugar and mix. Cook for one minute.

Add in the paneer and bell peppers (capsicum) and mix. Cover the pan or kadai with a lid and cook for 5 to 6 minutes on medium heat until bell peppers are slightly softened. You only want them half cooked here.

Crush kasuri methi and add to the pan.

Garnish with remaining ginger julienne and cilantro. Serve kadai paneer with naan or paratha.

To make this Kadai Paneer spicier:
• use double the amount of red chilies while making the kadai masala.
• use the entire kadai masala in the recipe. I have used 3 to 4 teaspoons of the masala and was left with some.
• use 1/2 teaspoon garam masala in place of 1/4.

Paneer Butter Masala (Paneer Makhani)

2 teaspoons oil, 10 ml, divided, (use any flavorless oil)
1 bay leaf
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
3-4 cloves
6-7 large garlic cloves, 25 grams, roughly chopped
1.5 inch ginger, 15 grams, roughly chopped
1 large white onion, 180 grams, roughly chopped
3-4 large tomatoes, 460 grams, roughly chopped
10-15 whole cashews, raw
1 cup water, 8 oz
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala, + 1/4 teaspoon, if needed
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste, optional
3-4 tablespoons cream, 45-60 ml
250 grams paneer, cut into cubes
2 teaspoons crushed kasuri methi, dried fenugreek leaves
chopped cilantro, to garnish

Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves and saute for few seconds.

Then add the the onion, garlic, ginger and saute for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion is translucent.

Add the tomatoes and cashews and mix. Then add 1 cup of water. Cover the pan and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, remove the pan from heat. Remove the bay leaf, cinnamon stick and cloves.

Let the mixture cool down a bit and then transfer to a blender. It’s important to let it cool down a bit else it will all blow up from the mixer. Grind the masala to a smooth paste and set aside.

To the same pan now add 2 tablespoons butter along with remaining 1 teaspoon oil on medium heat.

Once the butter melts, add the red chili powder and the Kashmiri red chili powder and fry for few seconds. This will give the curry a nice orange-red color.

Then add the ground paste back into the pan along with the garam masala (start with 1/2 teaspoon and add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon at the end only if you feel like the curry needs that extra bit of garam masala), cardamom powder, sugar, salt and tomato paste (if using). Mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Then add the cream and mix.

Add in the paneer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat. Finally add crushed kasuri methi.

Garnish paneer butter masala with cilantro and serve hot with naan or rice!

Chana Masala

1 cup white chickpeas, raw, 200 grams, soaked overnight or use 2.5 cups canned chickpeas
3/4 + 1/8 teaspoon salt, or as needed, divided
2.5 cups water, to boil the chickpeas, skip if using canned chickpeas
1 inch ginger
3-4 large garlic cloves
1 green chili, or more to taste
2 tablespoons oil, 30 ml, I use avocado oil
1 bay leaf
4 whole green cardamoms
3 cloves
1 inch cinnamon stick
7-8 whole black peppercorns
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, pureed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon kasuri methi, crushed, dried fenugreek leaves
1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Soak 1 cup raw white chickpeas (200 grams) overnight in 3 cups (24 oz) water. In the morning, drain the water and transfer the soaked chickpeas to a pressure cooker along with 1/2 teaspoon salt. After soaking overnight, the volume of chickpeas increased to 2.5 cups (425 grams)!

Instant Pot: Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes with natural pressure release.

Stove-top pressure cooker: cook on high heat for 2 whistles, them lower heat to medium and cook for additional 10 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
Once pressure cooked, the chickpeas will break easily when pressed between your thumb and index finger.

If using canned chickpeas, you can skip these steps, use 2.5 cups canned chickpeas and directly move to cooking the chana masala in the pot.

Using a mortar and pestle, crush the ginger, garlic and green chili. Set it aside.

Heat a pot/pan over medium heat on stove-top. Once hot, add the oil and then add the whole spices- bay leaf, green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns and cumin seeds.

Let the spices sizzle for 30 seconds and become fragrant.

Add the finely chopped onion and stir. Cook for 3 minutes until the onions soften. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt here so that onions cook a little faster. Meanwhile puree 2 tomatoes using a blender and set aside.

Add the crushed ginger-garlic and green chili. Stir and cook for a minute or two until the raw smell of the ginger-garlic goes away.

Add the pureed tomatoes along with 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. Stir and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring often.

Then add the ground spices- coriander powder, cumin powder, paprika, turmeric and garam masala. Cook the spices for 30 seconds. The oil should ooze out of the sides of the masala at this point.

Stir in the boiled chickpeas and mix. Also add 2 cups of water and stir. I used the same water in which the chickpeas were boiled. You can add more water here if you prefer more gravy in your chana masala.

Taste test and adjust the salt at this point, I added 1/8 teaspoon more salt here.

Cover the pot with a lid, set heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes for the flavors to mix-in together.

Stir in crushed kasuri methi and chopped cilantro.

Garnish with more cilantro and serve Chana Masala with rice or naan! You may also squeeze some fresh lemon juice if desired (see notes).

Recipe Notes:

You can use a can of diced tomatoes if you don’t have fresh tomatoes. Just cook the tomatoes for 2 minutes only then compared to 5 minutes with fresh pureed tomatoes. If your tomatoes aren’t that tangy, squeeze some lemon juice before serving.

If you prefer spicy food, add 1/4 teaspoon (or even more) of red chili powder for that extra-kick. You can even increase the green chilies in the recipe.

I haven’t done this in the recipe, but to elevate the flavors, you can do that extra-step of frying ginger julienne in ghee and adding it to the chana masala. Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee in a small pan on medium heat. Once hot, add sliced ginger julienne (from 1-inch ginger) to it. Fry until the ginger julienne starts changing color, then add this to the chana masala.

Chole

To pressure cook:

2 cups + 2 tablespoons raw chickpeas
5-6 green cardamom pods
4-5 black peppercorn
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tea bags
salt, to taste
5 cups water

For the chole masala:
1 tablespoon oil
3-4 cloves
3/4 cup pureed onion , from 2 small onions
2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
2.5 cups pureed tomatoes , from 4 medium tomatoes
3 teaspoons chole masala
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon paprika powder
3/4 teaspoon cumin powder
salt, to taste

To garnish:
1 tablespoon ghee
1 inch ginger, cut into julienne
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 tablespoon crushed kasuri methi, also known as dried fenugreek leaves
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Soak the chickpeas overnight in enough water to cover them. In the morning, drain the water.

In a pressure cooker add the soaked and drained chickpeas, 2 tea bags, bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, salt and 4 to 5 cups water. Pressure cook at high flame till you get 1-2 whistles. After that lower the flame to medium and let the chickpeas cook for another 10-12 minutes.

In a wok, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add cloves and grated onions. Fry the onions till the raw smell goes away and they are light golden brown in color.

Add ginger-garlic paste and cook for 3-4 minutes till the smell of ginger-garlic goes away.

Now add the tomato puree , stir and let it cook for 12-15 minutes on medium-low flame. Cover the pan to prevent the splash all around.

Add the chole masala, red chilli powder, paprika powder, cumin powder, salt and mix for a 1-2 minutes.

Add the chickpeas next and stir will all the chickpeas are coated with the spices, around 2 minutes.

Add water (which was used for boiling the chickpeas), cover the pan and let it simmer at medium-low flame for around 30 minutes. The gravy will thicken after 30 minutes so add water accordingly.

To temper, heat 1 tbsp of ghee in a pan and the ginger julienne to it.
Fry till the juliennes are golden brown in color but do not burn them. Add to the chole curry, mix and switch off the flame.

Sprinkle some garam masala, kasuri methi and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve with roti, paratha or plain rice.

Notes: freezes well.

Gobi Matar Masala

1 cauliflower head, small
1/3 cup green peas
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, sliced
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
1/4 teaspoon paprika powder
1/3 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon sugar [i used vegan granulated white sugar]
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
cilantro leaves, chopped
garam masala powder, to sprinkle [optional]
salt, to taste

To be roasted and ground
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 cloves
2 green cardamom
1 black cardamom
3 peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick, small
1 whole dry red chili
1/3 teaspoon ginger powder
Instructions

Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cauliflower florets.

Cook the florets till they start turning very light golden brown in color. Remove from pan and set aside.

In another pan, dry roast all the spices listed under “To be roasted and ground”. Roast for 2-3 minutes till you start getting a nice aroma of all the spices.

Once the spices are roasted transfer the mixture to a spice grinder, add ground ginger and grind to a fine powder and set aside.

In the same pan heat 2 teaspoons of oil. Once the oil is hot, add sliced onions.

Saute till raw smell goes away and onions become translucent. Add the ginger garlic paste.

Cook the ginger garlic paste for 2-3 minutes till the raw smell goes away.
Add in the sliced tomatoes, mix and cover and cook for 5-6 minutes on medium flame till tomatoes are cooked and mushy.

Add the ground spices that we had kept aside +turmeric powder +paprika powder and mix.

Cover and cook again for 3-4 minutes. [Tip: Overall you should cook the tomatoes on medium heat for 10-15 minutes for best flavor]

After the spices are cooked, add the tomato ketchup, sugar and mix.

At this point add 1/2 cup of water and the half cooked cauliflower and blanched green peas and mix.

Cook the veggies on medium-flame for 5-8 minutes without covering it till cauliflower is cooked and soft but not mushy. You should still be able to bite it.

Add the salt now and mix. Also add in the fresh lemon juice and sprinkle some garam masala on top [optional].

Garnish with chopped coriander/cilantro leaves and serve hot with naan or roti.

Aloo Matar

2 medium boiled potatoes, cut into cubes
3 medium tomatoes, pureed
1/2 cup green peas, I used frozen green peas
2 teaspoons oil, use any oil of choice
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder, or adjust to taste
1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
1.5 teaspoon coriander powder
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 cups water
salt, to taste

Heat oil in pan on medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let them crackle.

Then add ginger garlic paste and cook for 1-2 minute till the raw smell goes away.

Add the pureed tomatoes. Add little salt, give a stir and cover and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.

Remove cover and add turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, red chili powder. Adjust spice levels to taste.

Add more salt as required at this point. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
After the tomatoes have cooked for more than 10 minutes, add 2 cups water.

Let it all come to a boil and then add cubed boiled potatoes and green peas to it.

Cover the pan and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add chopped cilantro and mix.
Serve aloo matar with any bread of your choice. It’s also great with plain rice.

Chana Aloo

Ingredients

2 tablespoons oil, I used avocado oil
1 bay leaf
3 green cardamom pods
2 whole cloves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 large onion, 200 grams, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 inch ginger, finely chopped
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, adjust to taste
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
30 oz can chickpeas, 850 grams/2 x 15 oz
1 large potato, 320 grams, cut into 1/2″ cubes, around 1.5 cups cubed potatoes
1.5-2 cups water
2 tablespoons cilantro, plus more to garnish
juice of 1/2 lime

Heat oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the bay leaf, cardamom pods, cloves and cumin seeds. Saute for few seconds until the cumin seeds sizzle and the spices are fragrant.

Add the chopped onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 4-5 minutes until the onions turn light golden brown in color.

Then add in a can of diced tomatoes and stir well.

Add the spices- coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, ground cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and stir. Also add the salt, mix well and let it all cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add in the chickpeas and cubed potatoes. Mix well until the chickpeas and the potatoes are coated with the masala.

Add 1.5 to 2 cups of water to the pan and stir.

Close the pan with its lid and let the curry cook on medium heat for around 12 to 15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked and the curry thickens up.

Once the curry is done, add in the cilantro and the lime juice and mix.
Serve chana aloo over rice for a comforting meal!