Pressure Cooker Khichuri

4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium red onion thinly sliced
3/4 cup red split lentils (masuur dal)
1/2 cup Basmati or kalajeera rice
1 tsp powdered cumin
1 tsp powdered coriander
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp red cayenne pepper powder
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 medium sized Yukon gold potato peeled and cubed
1/2 cup frozen green peas

For tempering
1 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper (optional)
2 whole dried red chillies
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp chopped cilantro

Set the Instant Pot® on Sauté mode and heat the oil for about 1 minute, then add the onion and sauté until they turn golden, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the lentils, rice, cumin, coriander, ginger, cayenne pepper powder, salt, and turmeric. Add the cauliflower, potato, and 4 cups of water and stir well.

Press Cancel to turn off Sauté mode, close the lid, and set the Instant Pot® on Manual Low Pressure mode for 4 minutes.
When cooking time is complete, allow for Natural Pressure Release for 10 to 15 minutes, then use Quick Release for any residual pressure.

Once pressure is released, open pot and stir rice mixture well. Set the Instant Pot® to Sauté mode and stir in the green peas and cook for 1 minute.

To finish, heat the ghee or coconut oil in a small pan, add the cumin seeds, crushed red pepper, if using, and whole dried red chilies and cook until the mixture crackles and is fragrant, being careful not to burn the crushed red pepper. Pour the fragrant mixture over the khichuri and gently stir. Sprinkle on the lime juice and garnish with cilantro before serving.

Coconut Curry with Chickpeas and Pumpkin

3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as sunflower or canola
1 large onion, chopped
2 jalapeños, seeded or not, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
1 knob ginger (about 1 inch), minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed
1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk (do not use light coconut milk)
1 (13.5-ounce) can pumpkin purée
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt, more as needed
3/4 cup chopped cilantro, more for serving
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving
Cooked rice or couscous, for serving (optional)

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in onion, jalapeño and bay leaf. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden on the edges, about 8 minutes.

Add ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in garam masala, cumin and turmeric; cook for an additional 30 seconds.

Stir in chickpeas, coconut milk, pumpkin, ½ cup water and 1 ½ teaspoons salt. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, to let the flavors meld. (Add more water if it starts to look too thick.) Stir in cilantro and lime juice to taste. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Serve over rice or couscous if you like, and top with more cilantro and lime wedges on the side.

Garlic-Ginger Chicken Breasts with Mint and Cilantro

8 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon amchur (dry mango powder), optional
1/2 teaspoon red chile powder, like ground cayenne
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Make the marinade: Add the garlic, ginger, mint, cilantro, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons oil to a large resealable bag. Seal the bag and massage to combine the ingredients into a paste. Add the coriander, turmeric, amchur (if using), red chile powder and salt, and seal the bag. Shake or massage to combine.

Place the chicken breasts in the marinade and seal the bag tightly. Use your hands to gently massage the marinade onto the chicken breasts until each breast is coated. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Warm a large lidded skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is quite hot, add the oil, swirling the pan to coat the entire surface. Reduce the heat to medium, remove the chicken from the marinade and shake gently to remove any excess marinade. Add it to the pan. Working in batches if necessary, cook the breasts, undisturbed, until lightly golden underneath, 1 to 2 minutes, then flip them and cook until lightly golden on the second side, 1 to 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook the chicken for 10 minutes (no peeking!). Turn off the heat (if you have an electric stove, take the pan off the heat) and let the chicken sit, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breasts. Don’t lift the lid, or you’ll release the hot steam that finishes cooking the chicken.

Check to make sure the breasts are cooked through: There shouldn’t be any pink in the middle. If you have a meat thermometer, the chicken should register at least 165 degrees. Place the chicken on a cutting board, and slice each breast into strips. Garnish with mint and cilantro.

Indian-Seasoned Baked Potatoes

1 pound small new potatoes or baby red potatoes
Kosher salt
3/4 cup sour cream
4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
2 small Indian green chiles or Serrano chiles, finely chopped
2 teaspoons chaat masala
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro stems and leaves, for garnish

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until they are easily pierced with a fork. Let the potatoes cool until they can be handled.
Without cutting all the way through to the bottom, slice each potato lengthwise and crosswise into four sections. Use your hands to push down and pull apart the four sections like a blooming flower. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on top of each potato, followed by a dollop of sour cream.

Evenly divide the ginger, onion, green chiles, and chaat masala among the potatoes. Make it rain with chopped cilantro and serve.

Curried Chicken Salad with Mango Chutney

3/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
3/4 cup mango chutney
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons mild curry powder
1 small rotisserie chicken—meat shredded, skin and bones discarded (4 cups)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup baby arugula leaves 4 brioche rolls or other rolls, split (optional, for sandwiches)

In a food processor, pulse the yogurt, chutney, lime juice and curry until blended but not completely smooth. Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl, add the shredded chicken, scallions and cilantro and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Lay the arugula on the rolls, spoon the pulled chicken salad on top and serve.

Khichuri

1/2 cup mung dal (skinned and split mung beans)
1/2 cup Basmati rice
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 tejpatta (Sold in Indian grocery stores as “Indian bay leaf”)
6 cups water
1 Russet potato, cubed into 1″ pieces
1/2 head of a large cauliflower, cut into small florets
1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut (could substitute with unsweetened dessicated coconut)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Vegetable oil for sauteing
1-2 tablespoons Ghee (could be substituted with butter)
2 tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
1 teaspoon sugar

On medium heat, in a dry wok, add the mung dal and toast until it changes color to a light brown and becomes very aromatic. Keep stirring frequently while you toast the dal – don’t let it burn! Once the dal changes color, add 3 cups of water, add the bay leaves, bring it to a boil, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, add the rice, one teaspoon of Kosher salt and another 3 cups of water, bring to a boil, cover with a lid and cook for another 10 minutes.

While the dal starts boiling, start sauteing your vegetables. In a large skillet, on medium heat, add about 1/4 cup of vegetable oil. When the oil starts shimmering, add the cumin seeds and ginger paste and saute for a few seconds. The ginger is going to splatter like crazy, so be careful! Add the potatoes, cauliflower, turmeric, cayenne and one teaspoon of Kosher salt and saute until the veggies are evenly browned on all sides. This should take about 20 minutes or so.

Once the rice has cooked for 10 minutes, add all the vegetables into the wok, scraping the skillet to get all the spices. Add the tomatoes, mix well, cover with a lid and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Check frequently to make sure that there is enough water in the wok and the khichuri is not getting stuck at the bottom.

Meanwhile, in the same skillet, add another teaspoon of oil and saute the coconut until it gets browned at the edges and becomes very aromatic. Set aside.

After the vegetables have cooked in the wok for 10 minutes, check to see if they are done. At this point, both the rice and dal should be cooked through and about to turn mushy, and the tomatoes should have disintegrated. Add the sauteed coconut, raisins, peas, sugar, zest and juice of the lime. Mix well. I like my khichuri to have the consistency of risotto, so I let it cook with the lid off until the texture is just right. Taste for seasoning. Mix in the ghee just before serving. Enjoy immediately with your favorite vegetable fritters, papads and extra wedges of lime!

Khichuri (Stovetop or Pressure Cooker)

1/2 cup white rice
1/2-cup moong dal (split yellow mung bean)
Half of a small cauliflower, cut into about 10 florets (not so small that they will melt)
2 or 3 small potatoes, peeled and cut in half, or 1 medium potato cut into 4-6 pieces
1/3 cup of frozen peas
1 bay leaf
2 green cardamom
2-3 cloves
1 thin sticks of cinnamon
1 or 2 dry red chili (I often use green chili instead)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon grated ginger
Ghee (clarified butter)
Turmeric and salt as needed

Dry roast the moong dal on medium flame till it starts to brown and you can smell its nutty aroma. (Other khichri recipes use a range of lentils that don’t involve this step.) Stop when about half the beans have become light brown in color, then set aside in a bowl with 2 cups of warm water in it.

Into a pan add a tablespoon of ghee (or mustard oil or vegetable oil) and heat on high or medium till the ghee looks hot.

Throw in the bay leaf. As it starts to brown, lower the flame to medium and add the cardamom pods, clove and cinnamon. Stir with a spoon. Then add the cumin seeds and the chilies. Once the cumin seeds start to sputter, throw in the grated ginger, and stir.

Now add the potato, carrots and cauliflower. Sprinkle some turmeric till veggies turn light yellow. Stir fry for a few minutes.

At this stage, add the dal with the water and salt to taste. Cover the pot and cook till water starts to boil.

Cook for 4 more minutes so that the dal, which takes longer to cook, starts to soften.

At this point, you can transfer everything to a pressure cooker, add the frozen peas, rice and one more cup of water and cook it using the rice setting. (If you’re using a stove top pressure cooker, wait for two whistles before you switch off of the stove.)

Or if not using a pressure cooker, add the rice and two more cups of water to the pot once the dal starts to soften. Cook with a lid on medium or low with occasional stirring to make sure rice and mung beans don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Frozen peas will cook quickly, so add them 5-10 minutes after the rice. Add more water along the way if it starts to look too dry.

Consistency should be like that of a thick porridge, although some people like it drier.

Cook till rice, dal and vegetables look cooked, but not too mushy. Serve with a teaspoon of ghee on top, mango or lime pickle on the side.

This very well with papad or papadum, which are flat, round, tortilla shaped crispy snacks that are usually deep fried or roasted over the fire.

Curry Butter

1/4 pound (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice

Melt the 1 tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When it bubbles and froths, add the shallot and cook for 2 minutes. Add the ginger and curry powder and cook for 1 minute more. Then add the lime juice, stir to combine, and remove from the heat. Set the mixture aside to cool to room temperature.

In a small bowl, mix the remaining stick of butter with the sautéed shallot, ginger, and curry. Mix well, then place the mixture in a jar and refrigerate

Quick Cilantro Chutney

1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon peeled, grated ginger
2 pieces Thai chile peppers, destemmed
3 teaspoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Untie the bunch of cilantro. Wash thoroughly. Pick the leaves and the top, delicate part of the stem. (Save the lower stems to use for soups and broths later.)

Combine the cilantro leaves and top stems, peppers, salt, lime juice, and ginger and blend until fine. Feel free to add a teaspoon or two of water to facilitate blending.

Store in a clean glass bottle in the refrigerator. This will last for 2 to 3 weeks.

Quick Tamarind Chutney

1/4 cup tamarind paste
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon corn starch

Mix all the ingredients except the cornstarch in a thick-bottomed pan. Turn the heat on to medium.

Meanwhile, in a separate small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 1 teaspoon water. Add this mixture to the chutney.

Once the chutney starts boiling, turn the heat off. Turning the heat off after the first boil will ensure that the cornstarch imparts a slight thickness to the chutney. (We do not want the chutney turning into a paste.)

Once the chutney cools down, store in the refrigerator in a clean glass bottle.

Serving Suggestion: Add 2 teaspoons chutney to a cup of crispy rice cereal. Mix a pinch of salt and red chile powder, a spoonful of diced red onions, and chopped cilantro for a quick snack. Or enjoy with aloo chaat.

Aloo Chaat

4 medium-sized Yukon Gold or russet potatoes
3 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chaat masala
1/2 teaspoon red chile powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 teaspoons cilantro chutney, for serving
3 teaspoons sweet tamarind chutney, for serving
1/2 cup plain yogurt, mixed well with a spoon
1/2 cup sev
3 teaspoons chopped cilantro, for garnish

Peel potatoes and cut them into pieces about 1/2″ wide and 1/2″ long. Place them in a microwaveable bowl and fill with water in such a way that all the potatoes are submerged in water. Microwave for 3 minutes.

Pour the potatoes carefully in a sieve and drain the water. After the potatoes have cooled down, wipe them dry on a kitchen towel or paper napkin.

Heat a cast-iron or any thick-bottomed skillet. Pour half the vegetable oil. Divide the potatoes into two batches to ensure that the pieces get heated in a single layer without crowding each other. Insert the potatoes in the cast-iron pan.

Sauté the potatoes and stir every 2 to 3 minutes to prevent them from sticking to the pan. The goal is for the potatoes to acquire a taut, golden-brown skin on all the surfaces. This takes about 15 to 18 minutes. Repeat the process with the next batch.

Put the roasted potatoes in a mixing bowl. Add salt, red chile powder, cumin powder, and chaat masala. Mix well. Add cilantro chutney and sweet tamarind chutney. Mix well.

Divide potatoes between two serving plates. Pour the yogurt on the potatoes. Layer sev on top and garnish with cilantro. Serve right away.

Note: Potatoes can also be oven roasted.

Vegetable and Cashew Curry

6 medium shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-inch piece ginger root, peeled and grated (about 1 tablespoon)
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 medium tomatoes, quartered
8 fingerling potatoes (may substitute very small new potatoes)
4 spicy dried red chile peppers
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup large whole cashews, roasted and unsalted
1 teaspoon black mustard seed (see headnote)
6 to 8 fresh curry leaves (optional; see headnote)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon light or dark brown sugar
14 ounces (1 can) reduced-fat coconut milk
1 lime (optional)

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cashews and shallots; cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the nuts just start to brown.

Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves to taste, if using; cook for a few minutes, until the seeds start to pop and crackle. Add the garlic, ginger, dried chile peppers, red bell pepper and turmeric. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until aromatic, then stir in the brown sugar.

Add the tomatoes, potatoes and coconut milk. Once the milk is heated through and is bubbling at the edges, partially cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and reducing the heat as needed if the curry bubbles too vigorously or appears to be burning on the bottom. The shallots and potatoes should be tender. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Remove the chile peppers.

Divide among individual bowls; if you haven’t used curry leaves, cut the lime into quarters and sprinkle each portion with lime juice.

Serve hot, with basmati rice.

Quick Dressings for Vegetables, Salads, Meat, or Fish: Other Asian

Simple Chinese Sauce:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Chinese chile garlic sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Perfect Chinese Sauce:
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon hot water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon chili oilh
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Supreme Soy:
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon oyster sauce

Simple Soy:
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup no-salt-added vegetable broth
1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced

3-2-1 Sauce:
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil

Ginger Scallion:
one bunch scallions
one knob fresh ginger, about 2 1/2 ounces
2 tablespoons neutral-flavored vegetable oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Scallion Ginger:
1 tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
1/2 cup neutral oil, like canola or grape seed
1/4 cup trimmed scallions, white and green parts combined, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons good soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Odd Flavor Sauce:
3 T soy sauce
2 T tahini or almond or peanut butter
1 T Chinkiang vinegar (preferable!) or red-wine vinegar
1 T sesame oil
2 t sugar
1/4 t kosher salt
Heat through and add:
3 T neutral oil
1 small scallion, finely chopped (about 1 T)
1 T minced fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped (about 1 t)
1/2 t chili flakes (or more to taste)
1/2 t crushed Sichuan peppercorns

Sesame Ginger:
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Fresh ginger, cut into a 1-inch cube, peeled, and grated
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup unseasoned brown-rice vinegar
1/3 cup shoyu sauce (wheat-free soy sauce)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette:
1 garlic clove, finely minced or pureed
1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar or agave nectar
5 tablespoons canola oil or light sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Ponzu Ginger:
8 tablespoons ponzu sauce
4 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
4 teaspoons grated fresh peeled ginger
4 teaspoons mirin
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Tonkatsu:
1 Tbsp. ketchup
2 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (or Usutah So-su)
1 1/2 tsp. oyster sauce
1 1/8 tsp. sugar

Japanese Carrot Ginger:
1 carrot (65 grams), roughly chopped
1/2 small onion (35 grams)
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger, to taste
1/4 cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
1 tablespoon (scant) sugar
2 teaspoons white or yellow miso
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
Salt, to taste

Miso Carrot Ginger:
1/4 cup peanut or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons white miso, sold at Asian markets and specialty stores
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into big pieces
1 inch-long piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into coins
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Carrot Ginger Coconut:
1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric, or more to taste
5 tablespoons peeled ginger, chopped to measure
3 medium carrots, scrubbed
1/2 of a serrano pepper, stemmed, or to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon miso (optional)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 cup / 60 ml brown rice vinegar
4 medium shallots, peeled (or less if your shallots are strong

Miso Citrus:
2 teaspoons miso paste
Juice of one lime or lemon, or half an orange

Rhubarb Ginger Tahini:
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1-2 tablespoons (or more;) Brooklyn Delhi Rhubarb Ginger Achaar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons pure sesame oil
1 tablespoon tahini paste

Spiced Yogurt:
1/4 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1/4 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 cup Greek-style yogurt
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp white wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Kosher salt
3 Tbsp water, or as needed

Tamarind:
2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
3 teaspoons dark brown sugar or jaggery crushed
1/4 teaspoon toasted coriander powder, freshly ground (see notes above)
100mL cup water
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Date Tamarind:
(Boil, then puree)
2 cups water
1 cup soft pitted dates
1/4 cup tamarind
1/4 cup jaggery sugar
salt, to taste

Potatoes Spiced with Panch Phoron (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.

Smashed Cucumbers with Turmeric, Coconut, and Peanuts

4 Persian or mini seedless cucumbers, or 1 small English hothouse cucumber (about 12 ounces total)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
Freshly ground black pepper

Smash the cucumbers with the bottom of a heavy pan, then tear into one- or two-bite pieces. Place in a medium bowl, add the lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and toss to combine. Set aside for at least 5 minutes or up to an hour, then drain and transfer to your serving plate or bowl.

Heat 2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add the peanuts and cook until they turn slightly darker brown, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut, turmeric, and a generous few grinds of black pepper. Cook, stirring, until the coconut is lightly toasted, just 30 seconds. Immediately pour the peanut-coconut mixture on top of the cucumbers. Season generously with salt and pepper and serve right away.

Soba Salad with Rhubarb-Ginger Tahini

(adapted from Otsu Recipe on 101 Cookbooks)

Dressing (makes more than what you need for the recipe, but nice to keep around):

1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1-2 tablespoons (or more;) Brooklyn Delhi Rhubarb Ginger Achaar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons pure sesame oil
1 tablespoon tahini paste

Soba noodle salad
8 oz. soba noodles, cooked according to package directions
6 oz baked tofu or 8 oz extra firm tofu, cubed (directions below)
1 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 scallion, green and white part, cleaned and thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut in half lengthwise then cut across into thin half-moons.
sesame seeds
more cilantro for garnishing

If using extra firm tofu: Add tofu to a large non-stick skillet without any oil and toss over high heat until all water has evaporated. Add canola oil, reduce heat to medium-high and fry, tossing frequently until tofu is firm and bouncy. Drain over paper towels.

In a blender, combine all the dressing ingredients. Blend well. Add tahini and blend together.

In a large mixing bowl combine drained soba noodles, cilantro, scallions, cucumber. Slowly add dressing and toss Add more dressing to your taste. Arrange salad in center of large plate and top with baked or fried tofu. Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro sprigs. Serve with more dressing on the table just in case!

Spicy Roasted Garlic Aioli

1 tablespoon Brooklyn Delhi roasted garlic achaar
1/2 cup mayo (can sub with vegenaise or aquafaba mayo)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Mash roasted garlic achaar. Whisk in mayonnaise, olive oil, and lemon juice. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper.

TIP: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Majjige Huli (Cucumber Yogurt Curry)

1-3 green Serrano chilies (to taste based on size and desired “hotness”)
1/2 bunch green coriander leaves washed and cleaned
1/4 cup of a fresh coconut OR 1/3 cup unsweetened desiccated dry coconut
1/4 cup roasted channa dal*
1/8 to 1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2-3/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 red chilies
2 sprigs curry leaves (optional)
3 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1” wide pieces
1 1/2 cups of plain yogurt** (natural style without gelatin or other additives)
Salt to taste***
1 tsp oil for tempering

*You can use chenna dhal soaked in hot water for 15 mins. if you don’t have roasted channa dal.
**The amount of yogurt can be adjusted to taste based on spiciness.
***Cucumber water has salt in it, so taste before adding more salt

Peel the cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and cut in half again lengthwise. Then cut into 1” wide pieces.

Boil in salted water until tender (about 10-15 mins.). Cover for the last 3-4 minutes. Drain but retain about 1 cup of the water and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a blender container add the following ingredients in the following order: roasted channa dal, coconut, green chilies, coriander leaves, turmeric, cumin seeds, and leaves from 1 sprig of the curry leaves. Now slowly add the cup of cooled cucumber water and blend to a smooth paste – add just enough of the remaining cucumber water as needed to keep the blender blades moving.

Whisk the yogurt to a smooth consistency and add the blended mixture to it. Continue to whisk until well blended. Taste to adjust salt. Add the cooled cucumber pieces and stir to mix.

In hot oil, fry the mustard seeds till they pop (use lid to prevent spattering). Immediately reduce the heat, add curry leaves from the remaining curry leaf sprig and the red chilies. Heat for about 30 seconds. Immediately add to the yogurt mixture and mix well.

This can be served either cold or at room temperature.

Other vegetables that can be used: boiled potatoes; boiled Chinese winter melon (ash gourd); stir fried okra pieces; or stir fried Japanese eggplant.