Moong Dal Tadka

1 cup moong dal dhuli, 200 grams, also known as split petite yellow lentils
3 cups water, 24 oz
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste
3/4 teaspoon salt, or adjust to taste

Tempering/Tadka
1 tablespoon oil, 15 ml, or you can also use ghee
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon hing, asafoetida
5-6 large garlic cloves, sliced
1-2 dried red chilies
6-7 curry leaves
Juice of half a lemon
chopped cilantro

To you Instant Pot or regular stove top pressure cooker, add the dal, 3 cups water, chopped tomato, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine.

If using Instant pot, cook for 5 minutes at high pressure. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then do a quick release.

If using traditional pressure cooker, cook for 2-3 whistles on high heat. Let the pressure release naturally.

Once the pressure is released, open the lid of the cooker and give the dal a stir. Adjust the consistency of dal at this point to your preference.

To make the tempering, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and the mustard seeds.

Let the seeds sizzle, wait until the mustard seeds pop. Then add the hing.

Add the sliced garlic and dried red chilies and saute for 2 to 3 minutes until garlic become light brown in color.

Then add the curry leaves and saute for few seconds.

Transfer tempering to the cooked dal and stir.

Add in the lemon juice, chopped cilantro and mix. Serve moong dal over rice for a comforting meal!

Dal Fry

3/4 cup toor dal, pigeon pea lentil, 150 grams
1/4 cup masoor dal, red lentil, 50 grams
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt, divided
4 cups water, divided
1 tablespoon oil, or can use ghee
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 whole dried red chili, broken
1/4 teaspoon hing, asafoetida
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
7-8 large garlic cloves, crushed using mortar & pestle
1.5 inch ginger, crushed using mortar & pestle
1 green chili, sliced, or more to taste
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/8 teaspoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste
1 teaspoon kasuri methi, dried fenugreek leaves, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, + more to garnish

Rinse the dal and transfer to an instant pot or pressure cooker. Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 3 cups water. Stir.

Boil the dal using either-
Instant Pot: cook on high pressure for 8 minutes with natural pressure release.
Stove-top pressure cooker: cook for 4 to 5 whistles on high then lower the heat and let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.

Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Then add dried red chili and hing and saute for few seconds.

Add onions (also add 1/4 teaspoon salt for the onions to cook faster) and cook for around 4 minutes until soft and light golden brown in color.

Add crushed garlic-ginger and sliced green chili. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the raw smell goes away.

Add the chopped tomatoes and stir.

Then add the garam masala, red chili powder and mix. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes until tomatoes are very soft and cooked and oil oozes from the side of the masala. This step is important, don’t rush it. Stir in between (can also add around 2 tablespoon water so that the masala doesn’t burn).

Now add the boiled dal to the pan and mix. Add water to thin out the dal to your taste.

Add kasuri methi, chopped cilantro. Also add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and mix.

Let the dal simmer for 3 to 4 minutes on low-medium heat.

Note: You can use toor dal only or use a combination of toor, moong and masoor dal too.

Gobi Manchurian

1 tablespoon avocado oil, or any oil of choice
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon grated garlic
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1-2 green chilies, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2-3 stalks scallions , chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce, I used 1 tablespoon regular and 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sriracha or any hot sauce, adjust to taste
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon white pepper powder
salt, to taste, if needed

For the cauliflower florets
1 small head cauliflower, cut into medium size florets, around 2.5 cups cut cauliflower florets
6 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder
water, to form a flowing batter, around 1/2 cup + 2-3 tablespoons
oil, for frying, I used avocado oil

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a skillet on high heat. Once hot, add the grated garlic, ginger, green chili and chopped celery.

Saute for 1 minute until ginger-garlic start changing color.

Then add the chopped onion, green pepper and scallions. Cook for high heat for around 3 minutes.

Then add the soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, hot sauce (like sriracha), sugar and white pepper powder. Taste test and add salt if needed. Set aside.

Meanwhile cut and clean cauliflower florets and drop them in hot salted water. Simmer on medium heat for around 4 minutes.

Drain water and place florets on a paper tissue. Pat dry each individually.
To a large bowl, add the flour, cornstarch, ginger-garlic paste, salt and pepper. Whisk and start adding water, little by little.

Form a smooth, free-flowing batter. It should not be too thick or thin.

Heat oil for frying on medium heat in a kadai or pan. Once oil is hot, dip the florets into the batter. Make sure they are well coated with the batter.

Drain off the excess batter and carefully drop florets into the hot oil.
Fry on medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes, until crispy and browned.

Transfer the fried cauliflower florets into the sauce (sauce should be warm when you do this).

Toss to combine until all the florets are well coated with the sauce.

Garnish with scallions and serve gobi manchurian with hakka noodles or enjoy as it is!

If you want to make Gobi Manchurian with gravy: add 1 cup water to the sauce. after adding all the sauces (soy sauce, ketchup etc.). Then in a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water.
Add the cornstarch slurry to the gravy and stir. Let it simmer for a minute or two, the gravy will thicken. Add florets and serve.

Herbed White Bean Stew with Sausage

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, sliced 3/4-inch thick
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 medium carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pound dried great Northern beans, rinsed and picked through
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
2 thyme sprigs
1 large rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, plus more for serving
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high. Add the sausage and brown until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.

Add the tomato paste and cumin to the pot. Cook, stirring, until dark golden, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beans, 8 cups water, salt, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer gently until the beans are tender, about 2 hours, adding more water if needed to make sure the beans remain submerged.

When beans are tender, return the sausage to the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Ladle into warm bowls and serve drizzled with more vinegar and olive oil.

Japanese-Style Tuna Noodle Salad

FOR THE SALAD:
8 ounces dried udon noodles
1 to 2 tablespoons furikake or sesame seeds
10 to 12 ounces tuna in oil, drained
2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced

FOR THE DRESSING:
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sweet miso

Cook the noodles according to the package instructions.

Meanwhile, prepare the dressing: In a measuring cup or bowl, whisk to combine the sesame oil, canola oil, rice wine vinegar, mirin, soy sauce and miso; set aside.

In a small skillet, lightly toast the sesame seeds, if using, over medium-low heat until fragrant; set aside.

Drain the cooked noodles in the colander, then transfer to a wide, shallow serving bowl. Add the wakame and about 3/4 of the dressing, and toss to coat. Divide the noodles among 4 bowls. Top each portion with tuna, drizzle with the remaining dressing, then sprinkle with the scallions and furikake or sesame seeds. Serve hot, cold or anywhere in between.

Pasta with ‘Nduja Sauce

1 tablespoon (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 large shallots (about 3 ounces; 90g), thinly sliced
Kosher salt
One (24.5-ounce; 700g) bottle tomato passata (see note)
4 ounces (1/2 cup; 115g) ‘nduja (see note)
1 pound (450g) dried ziti, candele (broken into 3-inch pieces) or other short tubular pasta
2 ounces (60g) finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallots, season lightly with salt, and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until shallots are softened but not browned, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add passata, and make sure to use up all of the tomato in the bottle by adding 1/4 cup (60ml) water to the empty bottle, screwing on the lid, shaking the contents, and then adding tomato-water mixture to the skillet. Bring to simmer, season lightly with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally until sauce is slightly thickened, 12 to 15 minutes.

Add ‘nduja, and use wooden spoon to break up and stir into sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, until ‘nduja is fully emulsified and incorporated in sauce, about 1 minute.

Meanwhile, in a pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until just softened on the exterior, but well shy of al dente, and still uncooked in the center (about 3 minutes less than the package directs). Using a spider skimmer, transfer pasta to sauce, along with 1/2 cup (120ml) pasta cooking water. Alternatively, drain pasta using a colander or fine-mesh strainer, making sure to reserve at least 1 cup (240ml) pasta cooking water.

Increase heat to high and cook, stirring and tossing rapidly, until pasta is al dente and sauce is thickened and coats noodles, about 2 minutes, adding more pasta cooking water in 1/4 cup (60ml) increments as needed. Remove from heat, add half of grated cheese, and stir rapidly to incorporate. Season with salt to taste. Serve immediately, passing remaining grated cheese at the table.

Curry Mee

2 tablespoons oil
1 onion (minced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tablespoon ginger (minced)
1 tablespoon lemongrass (minced)
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (thinly sliced)
3 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
13.5 ounces coconut milk (400 ml)
4 cups chicken stock (950 ml)
3 tablespoons fish sauce (optional for vegetarians)
1 teaspoon sugar
8 ounces egg noodles (225g)
salt (to taste)
2 handfuls raw bean sprouts (washed and trimmed)
Cilantro leaves (for garnish)
1 lime (cut into wedges)

Heat the oil in a pot over medium high heat and add the onion, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass. Cook for about 6 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Stir in the red curry paste.

Turn the heat up to high and add the chicken. Stir-fry until the chicken turns opaque. Add the curry powder, turmeric, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package directions. Divide between 2 soup bowls and set aside.

Taste the soup and season with salt to taste. Divide the soup among your 2 bowls of noodles, and garnish with raw bean sprouts, cilantro, and a squeeze

Chicken Khao Soi (Thai Coconut Curry Noodle Soup)

For the khao soi paste:
2 Thai bird’s eye chilies
2 medium shallots
6 cloves garlic
1-inch piece ginger (peeled and sliced)
1/4 cup cilantro (stems and leaves, rinsed)
zest of 1 lime
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons shrimp paste (Thai, filipino, or Chinese shrimp pastes will all work; can substitute laksa paste)

For the soup:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (sliced)
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 teaspoons brown sugar
14 ounces unsweetened coconut milk
3 tablespoons fish sauce (or to taste)
1 pound fresh Chinese egg noodles (thick wonton noodles work well)

To garnish:
thinly sliced shallots
lime wedges
pickled mustard stems/greens
crispy noodles
chopped cilantro
Thai chili paste (Nam Prik Pao)

Add all the curry paste ingredients to a food processor and pulse until you get a smooth paste.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and stir-fry the chicken until browned. Remove from the pot and set aside. To the fat left in the pot, add the paste. Fry for 3-5 minutes, until fragrant. Add the canned Thai red curry paste, broth, and brown sugar, and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low. When the broth is at a low simmer, add the coconut milk and fish sauce. Add the chicken back to the broth.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package instructions.

To serve, divide the noodles among 4 bowls. Cover with chicken and broth, and garnish with sliced shallots, lime wedges, pickled mustard greens, fried noodles, cilantro.

Ginger-Garlic Spiced Cashew Rice

1 1/2 cups basmati rice
3 tablespoons salted butter, cut into 3 pieces
1 cup roasted cashews
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
6 white or green cardamom pods
3 bay leaves
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1-2 Fresno or serrano chilies, stemmed, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
5 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
1/4+cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

In a large saucepan over medium, heat the butter until foaming. Add the cashews, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, bay and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the onion, chili(es), ginger, garlic and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.

Cook, stirring, until the onion is softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring to coat the grains with butter.

Indian Vermicelli with Peas and Cilantro

3 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
2 medium shallots, halved and thinly sliced
2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced (1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 Fresno or jalapeño chili, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped, stems and leaves reserved separately
12 ounces vermicelli pasta, broken into 1-inch pieces
Kosher salt and ground back pepper
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

In a large pot over medium, heat the oil until shimmering.

Add the shallots and ginger, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the cumin and turmeric, then cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the chili, cilantro stems and pasta.

Add 3 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt and  teaspoon pepper, then bring to a simmer over medium-high. Cover, reduce to medium- low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente.

Off heat, add the cilantro leaves, peas, lemon zest and juice, and half the peanuts, then toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining peanuts.

Crispy Tofu

If you’ve had really great tofu, you know that it is a complete game-changer: perfectly golden on the outside, wildly soft and spongey on the inside, with the most amazing ability to soak up the sauce without getting soggy. It feels like a tiny miracle — and you can 100% make it at home.

There are a few tricks to perfect tofu. First, tossing cubed tofu with cornstarch will help you get a crispier exterior when baking or stir-frying. Pressing the block of tofu to eliminate excess moisture also helps. And you’ll want to make sure you’re using high enough heat. However, there is one trick that basically guarantees success.

The key to getting restaurant-style tofu texture at home is your freezer. Yes, freezing tofu is the very best strategy for cooking up perfectly soft, chewy tofu that soaks up sauce like a sponge.

As mentioned above, pressing tofu is essential for removing liquid. But no matter how long you press that block of tofu or how much weight you pile on top, it still seems to hold onto a lot of water. When you freeze the tofu overnight, and then thaw it at room temperature, all of the water basically pours right out — no extra pressing necessary.

While you can freeze any variety of tofu, extra-firm is the best option when you want to replicate the texture of the tofu from your favorite Chinese place. First, you’ll want to cut the tofu. Take your pick between cutting it into cubes, triangles, slabs, or just tearing it into pieces. Place the tofu pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then store in a freezer bag or container until you’re ready to use. Thaw the tofu at room temperature before cooking.

Game-Changing Crispy Topping

3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup fresh coarse or panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, plus more for serving

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add bread crumbs and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re evenly toasted and golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add cup pecorino and toss to coat, letting the cheese melt and clump among the bread crumbs (think granola-like clusters).

Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl or plate. Use on mac and cheese or anything that needs a crispy topping.

Perfect Doctored Ramen

1 pack ramen noodles with flavor packet
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon butter
2 slices American cheese
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1/2 scallion, green part only, thinly

Bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the noodles and cook for 2 minutes. Add the flavor packet, stir, and continue to cook for another 30 seconds.

Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the egg. Do not stir; pull the noodles over the egg and let sit for one minute to poach.

Carefully transfer everything to a serving bowl, add the butter, cheese and sesame seeds and mix. Garnish with the scallions if desired.

Icebox Pudding Cake

2 vanilla pound cakes (about 12 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
2 cups vanilla pudding (chilled or at room temperature)
1 cup organic heavy whipping cream, whipped

Optional toppings: tropical fruit; toasted coconut flakes and blueberries; shaved dark chocolate; banana slices and Nilla Wafers

Layer 1/3 of the cake slices on the bottom of an 8 x 8-inch baking dish. Top with half of the pudding. Repeat with second third of cake, and remaining pudding.

Add the last third of cake slices and top with whipped cream, adding desired toppings. (Unless using fruit toppings, which can be added to the top of the cake when serving.)

Cover with plastic wrap and chill in freezer for at least 3 hours.

Soba Noodles with Peanut Chutney

Peanut chutney:
1 cup raw peanuts
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon red chile powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Indian peanutty noodles:
8 ounces udon or soba noodles
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup broccoli florets, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, divided
2 tablespoons peanut chutney, prepared above
1 to 2 tablespoons light soy sauce, to taste

Optional: Feel free to substitute with vegetables of your choice as long as the vegetables retain some bite, shape and do not become mushy. Carrots, red onions, snap peas, zucchini, water chestnuts, baby corn, mushrooms, french beans are great substitutes.

Roast the peanuts in a 350°F oven (or toaster oven) for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the nuts have turned dark brown, a shade darker than golden brown. Keep an eye on them! (After 3 minutes, turn the pan in such a way that the peanuts in the back come to the front.) Turn the oven off, take the peanuts out, and let cool.

In a food processor or blender, blitz all of the chutney ingredients (cumin powder, red chile powder, and salt) along with the peanuts into a coarse powder. Keep in a zip-top bag or tightly sealed jar.

Cook the noodles according to the instructions on their packet and set aside. Keep half a cup of water in which you boiled the noodles.

Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet. Add broccoli and saute for 5 minutes. Feel free to add broccoli stems too.

Follow with red bell pepper for about 3 to 4 minutes. (We want both these vegetables to lose their raw flavor, yet still have a bite.)

Add half of the scallions and let cook for a minute.

Add peanut chutney and mix well, followed by the soy sauce, and sauté till the sauce coats all of the vegetables.

Add boiled noodles and mix till the noodles are coated evenly with the soy sauce/peanut chutney mixture. Pour some of the starchy noodle water if you like your noodles wetter.

Garnish with rest of the scallions and serve hot with fresh red pepper chile garlic sauce on the side.

Angel Corn Casserole

Ingredients send grocery list
2 (16-ounce) bags frozen corn (or about 4 1/2 to 5 cups fresh corn kernels)
2 large eggs
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives, plus more for optional garnish
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup plus a heaping 1/3 cup crumbled Ritz crackers, divided
Salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a large 9×13-inch casserole dish.
If using frozen corn, steam and drain the kernels. If using fresh, scrape kernels off the cob.

Beat the egg, cream, and brown sugar in a large bowl until just blended. Stir in chives and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in corn kernels.

Combine 1 cup of the crumbled Ritz crackers with 6 tablespoons of the melted butter. Add to the corn mixture. Stir until combined. Pour into the casserole dish.

Toss remaining cracker crumbs with the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter.

Sprinkle buttered crumbs over the top of the pudding.

Bake uncovered until golden brown and slightly firm to the touch, about 45 minutes.

Optional: Garnish with more snipped fresh chives.

Sheet Pan Fried Rice with Bacon and Broccoli

2 tablespoons rice bran oil (or other high-heat-friendly oil), divided
3 cups cooked, leftover rice (the more dried out, the better)
1/3 cup soy sauce, plus more for drizzling
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli (in bite-sized florets)
1 cup green chopped cabbage (in roughly 2×1/2-inch strips)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped scallions (the green and light green parts), divided into 1 cup and 1/2 cup
1/2 cup frozen green peas
6 ounces thick-cut bacon, sliced into roughly 1×1/2-inch pieces
1 sunny-side-up fried egg with a runny yolk per person you’re serving (optional)
Chili sauce of your choice

Heat oven to 475°F.

Drizzle an 11×17-inch rimmed sheet pan with one tablespoon of oil and spread it around, to grease the pan.

Add the following to the pan: rice, the remaining tablespoon of oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, onion, carrot, broccoli, cabbage, and 1 cup of the scallions. Use clean hands to mix and break up the rice clumps with your fingers. (You could do this with a fork instead, but you’d be more likely to spray rice all over your kitchen.) Spread into an even layer.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes—until there are lotttts of crispy rice bits, and the carrots have just lost their bite—giving everything a gentle stir every so often to avoid letting the cabbage or the rice around the edges burn. Then, add the peas and bacon pieces, stir again, and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the bacon is crisped up.

Remove from the oven. To serve, drizzle with more soy sauce to taste, and top with a fried egg (if using), plus some of the reserved scallions, and chili sauce of your choice.

Pressure Cooker Mattar Paneer

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup chopped paneer (soft Indian cheese) or firm tofu (if you are dairy-free)
1/4 cup heavy cream or full-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
1 (12-ounce) package frozen peas

Directions
In the Instant Pot, combine the onions, tomatoes, 1/4+cup of the water, the oil, ginger, garlic, turmeric, garam masala, and cayenne. Stir well to combine.

Secure the lid on the pot. Close the pressure-release valve. Select MANUAL and set the pot at HIGH pressure for 5 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, allow the pot to rest undisturbed for 5 minutes, then release any remaining pressure.

Select SAUTÉ. Add the remaining ½ cup water, the paneer, cream, cilantro, and peas. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, 5 to 8 minutes. Select CANCEL.

Baked Chicken Parmesan

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can of crushed or pureed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon pepper, divided, plus more as needed
2 large eggs
1 cup panko
3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, plus 4 tablespoons
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved horizontally (like you’re slicing a layer cake into two layers), then pounded to 1/2-inch thick (so you have 4 roughly 5-ish-ounce cutlets total, 1/2-inch thick each)
2 tablespoons avocado oil (or other high-heat-friendly neutral oil)
1/2 cup grated low-moisture, whole-milk mozzarella

Make the sauce. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a pot set over medium heat, then add the onions. Cook until the onions are just becoming translucent, then add the garlic. Continue to sauté another 1 to 2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant.

Add tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and stir to combine. Cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, until it’s thickened and tastes rich and a little sweet. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, while the sauce is cooking down, get a large bowl, and two plates. In the large bowl, lightly beat the eggs until there are no big streaks of egg white visible.

On one of the plates, sprinkle the panko, 3 tablespoons Parmesan, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and use a fork to mix thoroughly.

One at a time, take your chicken pieces and dredge them through the egg, letting any excess drip off back into the bowl. Once dredged in egg, press each side of the chicken firmly to the panko-Parmesan mixture to coat. Set aside on the second, clean plate.

Turn on your broiler. (If your broiler is on the inside-top of your actual oven, before you turn it on, move your highest oven shelf as close as possible to the broiler, and use this top shelf for the remainder of the steps). Place your largest cast iron skillet under your broiler. Let it heat up under there for 5 minutes. Use this time to mix together the mozzarella and remaining 4 tablespoons of Parmesan, and set that aside.

Using oven mitts (it’ll be very hot!), take out the skillet. Add the avocado oil and the four chicken pieces—spaced out, in a single layer—into the pan.

Place the pan under broiler. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until the tops of the cutlets are crispy and golden brown. (Peek after 3 minutes to avoid burning. If, after 4 minutes, the tops still aren’t getting golden, leave it for another minute or so.)

Remove the skillet from the broiler. Use a spatula to flip over the chicken, and top each piece with several spoonfuls of sauce, and a heavy sprinkling of mozzarella and Parmesan. Place back under broiler for another 2 minutes until cheese is bubbling and dotted with brown spots.

Remove from the broiler. Serve hot, preferably with big hunks of buttered bread.

Turmeric-Roasted Cauliflower with Pistachio Gremolata

1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed and cut into bite-sized florets
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh turmeric (from about three 3-inch pieces), or 1 teaspoon ground (or as needed to fully coat the florets)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
6 to 8 dates, such as Medjool, pitted and halved (or quartered if large)
1 large lemon (finely grated zest plus juice)
1/3 cup shelled pistachios, raw and unsalted are ideal but roasted work too
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup pomegranate arils
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, or to taste

Heat oven to 425°F.

Toss the cauliflower with the turmeric and olive oil on a sheet pan, season with salt, and arrange in a single, even layer. Roast for 15 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven.

Add the dates, toss everything together, and redistribute in a single, even layer. Continue roasting until the cauliflower is nicely browned and tender, and the dates and little bits of grated turmeric are starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes more.

Remove pan from oven, and squeeze half a lemon (zest it first—you’ll need it for the gremolata in Step 3!) over the whole dish; add more lemon juice and salt, to taste.

Meanwhile, to make the pistachio gremolata: Toast the pistachios in a small skillet over medium heat, until they’re fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and when cool enough, chop them into fine yet irregular pieces with a knife.

In a small bowl, toss together the pistachios, lemon zest, parsley, pomegranate arils, and Aleppo pepper; season with a pinch of salt.
Arrange the cauliflower and dates on a large serving platter, and scatter the pistachio gremolata over the top. Serve warm or at room temperature.