Braised Fresh Black-Eyed Peas With Baby Turnips

1 bunch baby white turnips with greens, such as Hokkaido (8 ounces)
4 tablespoons French-style unsalted butter
2 small red onions, diced
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2 pounds fresh black-eyed peas in pods, shelled
Fresh mint leaves

Remove the green tops from the turnips, and cut the turnips into quarters or sixths depending on size. Separate leaves from stems and discard stems; wash leaves.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 3- to 4-quart shallow stovetop braiser over medium heat. Sweat onion in butter for 1 minute, until translucent. Add turnips and sweat 2 minutes, until glossy and starting to “shine.”

Run a knife through the leaves once, maybe twice, and add to the pot. Season with a healthy pinch of salt and stir until leaves are also starting to sweat and wilt.

Add peas and 1 cup of water. Season with two large pinches of salt (restaurant-chef pinches, not home-cook pinches). Cover. Reduce heat. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes.

Stir. Add 1 cup water. Add pinch salt. Re-cover. Simmer for 10 more minutes.

Stir. Simmer for 10 to 15 more minutes, or until beans are cooked and soft and starchy inside, turnips are cooked and water has turned grayish purple. Taste for salt and season. Let cool completely on stovetop with heat off.

Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow everything to meld and settle. Serve the next day, reheated over low until tepid, stirring in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to melt gently into the broth. Finish with a shower of fresh mint and ground black pepper.

Coconut Milk Rice

2 cups rice (any fragrant rice)
1 1/2 cup coconut milk or (1 cup coconut chopped or grated + 1 ½ cup water)
2 cups Water (adjust as needed, you can use 1/4 cup more)
2 tsp ginger grated or crushed or paste or ginger garlic paste
1 to 2 green chili slit
1 medium carrots chopped (optional)
1 cup green peas frozen or fresh (optional)
6 beans chopped (optional)
2 tbsp oil , Ghee or butter
Salt as needed
Spices for coconut milk rice
1 bay leaf or tej patta
4 cardamoms or green cardamoms
6 cloves or laung
2 inch cinnamon piece or dalchini
1 tsp cumin or jeera
optional for garnish
10 cashews
4 tbsp Grated coconut or coconut flakes

Wash and soak rice for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Optional – Skip this step if you are using store bought coconut milk. Blend chopped coconut pieces with 1 1/2 cup water. Filter to extract the milk and use 1 1/2 coconut milk in the recipe.

Add ghee or butter to a cooker or pot. Fry cashews until golden. You can set aside if you like crunchy cashews.

To the same pan, add spices and fry till they turn fragrant. Add ginger paste and fry until it smells fragrant.

Add slit green chili, chopped vegetables and fry for 2 to 3 mins.
Pour the coconut milk along with the water and add salt. Taste and check the salt.

When the coconut milk begins to boil, add rice and mix well.

Cover and cook until fully done on a medium flame.

Little water can be sprinkled if rice is still not cooked well. If cooking in a pressure cooker, allow to whistle once.

Allow the coconut milk rice to rest for 15 mins then fluff it up with a fork.

Toast the coconut until golden and garnish it over the rice. You can also garnish with cashews.

South Indian Coconut Rice (Thengai Sadam)

1 cup uncooked rice (any kind, or 3 to 4 cups cooked rice)
1 to 1 1/2 cup coconut grated (fresh or frozen) (adjust to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
1 to 2 green chili (slit or chopped)
1 dried red chili (broken to 2 pieces) (optional)
2 tablespoons oil or ghee
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)
1 pinch hing (asafoetida)
1 tablespoon chana dal (bengal gram)
1/2 tablespoon urad dal (skinned split black lentils)
1 teaspoon ginger (fine chopped)
12 to 15 cashewnuts or peanuts

Wash rice at least thrice and drain the water. If using basmati rice, soak it for 20 to 30 mins.

To cook rice in pot, bring 2 cups water to a rolling boil and add the rice. Cook covered on a low heat until fully done but not mushy.

To pressure cook basmat rice, pour 1¾ cups water & pressure cook for 1 whistle. To pressure cook normal rice, pour 2 cups & pressure cook for 2 whistles. The rice must be grainy and not mushy. When the pressure releases, open the lid.

Fluff up the cooked rice with a fork and cool completely.

Slit the green chilies, fine chop ginger, and grate the coconut. If using frozen coconut, break up the lumps and loosen the coconut.

Making coconut rice:

Pour 2 tablespoons ghee or oil to a pan and heat it.

Fry cashews or peanuts until golden. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chilli, chana dal and urad dal. Saute them and fry until the dals turn golden and aromatic.
Then add ginger, slit green chilli & curry leaves. Saute for 30 to 60 seconds until the curry leaves turn crisp. Add hing.

Optional – Quickly pour 2 to 3 tablespoons water to the pan. This will soften the dals and bring out the flavors of the ginger and curry leaves. If you want your dal to be very soft, then you can add little more water. Cook until all of the water evaporates.
Then add fresh coconut and sprinkle salt on it. Then add rice. Off the heat. If using frozen coconut, then saute the coconut a bit until it becomes hot. Then add the rice.

Mix well and taste test. Add more salt if needed. Serve coconut rice with a simple curry or plain yogurt.

Chickpea Vegetable Soup With Parmesan, Rosemary and Lemon

1 whole clove
1/2 onion, sliced root to stem so it stays intact, peeled
1 pound dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
1 sprig rosemary, plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped leaves
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 fresh bay leaves or 1 dried
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, more to taste
1 small Parmesan rind, plus 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup diced tomatoes, canned or fresh
2 medium carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
2 celery stalks, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Insert the clove into the onion. Put the onion in a large pot with the chickpeas, rosemary sprig, garlic, bay leaves, olive oil, salt and cheese rind. Add 5 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about an hour, or until chickpeas are tender.

Add the tomatoes, carrots and celery, cover loosely, and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 25 minutes longer. While soup simmers, mix the chopped rosemary, grated Parmesan, lemon zest and pepper in a small bowl.

Season the soup to taste and ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan mixture.

Roasted Tomato and White Bean Stew

1/2 cup roughly chopped Italian parsley leaves and tender stems
2 teaspoons lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
2 (10-ounce) containers cherry or grape tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons and more for drizzling (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
2 (15-ounce) cans white beans (such as butter or cannellini), rinsed
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth, or water
Flaky salt, for serving (optional)
Toasted bread, for serving

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, gently toss together the parsley and lemon zest with your hands until well combined; set aside.

In a large baking dish or on a sheet pan, toss the tomatoes with 1/4 cup oil and thyme; season well with salt and pepper. Roast tomatoes until they have collapsed and begin to turn golden around the edges, 20 to 25 minutes.

When the tomatoes are almost done roasting, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large (12-inch), deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium. Add the onion, garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook until the onion is softened and the garlic is fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes.

Stir in the rinsed beans and broth and bring to a simmer. With the back of a spoon or spatula, gently smash about 1/2 cup of the beans so they slightly thicken the broth. If you want a thicker stew, crush some more of the beans. Season with salt and pepper.
When the tomatoes are finished roasting, add them directly to the stew along with any juices that have been released. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more so the flavors become friendly; season to taste with salt.

Ladle into shallow bowls. Top each serving with some of the lemon-parsley mixture and drizzle with some more olive oil, and season with flaky salt, if you like. Serve with toasted bread.

Reader ideas:

Add sage and swiss chard.

Add tomato paste for a richer flavor and red color (as was shown in tbe picture).

Add sausage.

Creamy Braised White Beans

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
1 cup whole milk
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, with their liquid
1 (15-ounce) can white beans, such as cannellini or Great Northern, drained and rinsed
1 thyme sprig, 2 sage leaves or 1 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, allspice or garam masala
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 slices crusty bread or thick toast
Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
Aleppo pepper or red-pepper flakes, for serving

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, cut side down, and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the milk, chickpeas and their liquid, white beans, thyme and nutmeg and stir to combine. Season generously with salt and pepper. When the mixture begins to bubble around the edges of the pan (you don’t want it to come to a full boil), reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened and tastes great to you, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Use a fork to remove the garlic halves from the beans. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then use the fork to remove the cloves from the skins. Spread the cloves on bread or toast.
If you would like the beans to be more stew-like, mash some of the beans using a potato masher or the back of a spoon. Serve beans and milk in bowls. Garnish as you wish, with a drizzle of oil, a sprinkle of Parmesan and a pinch of Aleppo pepper and black pepper. Serve with the bread alongside for dipping.

You can reheat leftovers the next day over low heat; the sauce will have thickened, but the beans will still be delicious.

Reader ideas:

Add bacon, pancetta, or sausage.

Add basil pesto and sundried tomato pesto before serving.

Add kale, rainbow chard, or arugula.

Add some lemon.

Pressure Cooker Khichdi with Mixed Lentils and Vegetables

2 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon ginger
1 carrot peeled and sliced
1/4 cup green beans chopped
1/4 cup frozen green peas
1 red potato cubed
1 tomato diced
1 cup cauliflower chopped
1 cup cabbage chopped
1 cup spinach chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup white rice
1 cup mixed lentils moong, masoor, toor and chana daal
6 cups water
1/4 cup cilantro chopped, for garnish

Turn the Instant Pot to Saute Mode and heat ghee. Add cumin seeds and ginger.

Cook for 30 seconds. Add all the vegetables – carrots, beans, peas, tomato, potato, cauliflower, cabbage, and spinach.

Add turmeric, red chili powder, and salt. Mix well.

Next add the rice and mixed lentils. Add 6 cups of water. Give a quick stir and close the Instant Pot lid with the pressure valve to Sealing.

Press the rice button followed by natural pressure release. (Note, for short-grained rice, I dropped the Breville rice pre-set to three minutes. This gave a nice mushy texture that could be thinned for a porridgy texture.

Open the Instant Pot and garnish with cilantro.

Serve hot with roasted papad and pickle.

Substitute the 4 different lentils with any lentils you may have on hand. It could be just 1 cup of moong daal or 1/2 cup of moong daal and 1/2 cup of chana daal. Just make sure you use 1 cup of lentils.

You can use any combination of vegetables. Just make sure to add about 4 cups of chopped veggies. Frozen mixed vegetables also work well in this recipe.

The water ratio in this recipe is 3 times the rice and lentils together which makes a soft, porridge-like consistency for the final dish. To make dry-ish khichdi reduce the water to 4 cups.

Pressure Cooker Chickpea Coconut Curry

1/4 cup water or broth or use 1 tsp oil
1/2 onion chopped
4 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 hot green chili ,chopped (such as serrano, jalapeno) or use mild chili or omit
1 tsp each ground cumin, , ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp each cinnamon , ground cardamom
1/3 tsp cayenne or to taste
1/4 tsp grouond sage or dried oregano
1 red bell pepper ,chopped or sliced
1 tbsp minced ginger
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup dry uncooked chickpeas ,soaked for atleast 30 mins in boiling hot water (4 hours to overnight soaking works best)
13.5 oz can coconut milk , reserve 2 tbsp for garnishing
1 cups water ,depends on curry consistency preference., use 1/2 cup for thicker, 1.5 cups for soupier
lemon/lime juice , cilantro, pepper flakes for garnish

Press saute on the Instant Pot. Add onion, garlic, chili and a good pinch of salt. Cook for 3 to 4 mins until translucent. Deglaze with more broth if needed. (See notes for saucepan)

Add the spices and mix in. (You can add spice blends of choice here such as curry powder, garam masala, berbere or jamaican curry powder, or curry pastes instead of listed spices).

Add the bell pepper and ginger and mix in. Drain the chickpeas and add to the pot. Add salt, coconut milk and water and give it a good mix to pick up any stuck bits.

Cancel saute, Close the lid to sealing. Pressure cook at high pressure for 40 to 45 mins (30 mins for overnight soak)**. Let the pressure release naturally then open the lid.

Taste and adjust salt and flavor, add more spices if needed. If the mixture is thin, Mash some of the chickpeas to thicken or blend half cup of the curry and mix in, saute for a few mins if needed. (Fold in some baby spinach at this point while the chickpeas are still hot).

Garnish with lemon, pepper flakes, remaining coconut milk and cilantro and serve over rice or grains.

Saucepan (dried chickpeas): Soak the chickpeas overnight or atleast 4 hours and drain. Follow steps 1,2,3 in a saucepan over medium heat. Add only half the salt, add 1 to 1.5 cups water. Cook partially covered for 50 minutes. Then check the chickpeas for doneness. Add more salt, more water if needed and continue to cook for another 10-15 mins.

Saucepan(canned/pre-cooked) chickpeas: Follow steps 1,2,3 in a saucepan over medium heat. Add only 1/4 cup water and 2.5 cups cooked chickpeas. Partially cover and cook for 20 mins. Taste and adjust flavor, mash some chickpeas to thicken and serve.

Instant Pot (Canned Chickpeas): Follow steps 1,2.3. Use just 1/4 cup water, 2.5 to 3 cups cooked chickpeas and pressure cook for 5 mins.

Variations: Use other beans such as brown chickpeas (pressure cook 50 mins), black eyed peas(pressure cook 30 mins), kidney beans or white beans(pressure cook for 45 mins).
Add a cup of chopped tomatoes with the chickpeas.

** times are for creamy curry with soft chickpeas. Chickpeas that are just done have a bite and clash with the creamy profile i am going for. Adjust the times based on preference if needed.

Imli Chile (Sweet and Sour Chickpeas with Tamarind)

15 oz can garbanzo beans/chickpeas drained and washed or 1 cup dry chickpeas washed and soaked overnight
2 teaspoons oil
1 small onion chopped
1/4 teaspoon asofetida (hing – omit to make gluten-free)
1 teaspoon ginger paste or a Tablespoon chopped ginger
2 teaspoon garlic paste or 2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes or more for a spicier version
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon cloves powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon raw sugar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of tamarind concentrate or 2 teaspoon of tamarind pulp (less or more according to taste to adjust the sourness)
1.5-2 cups water
1/2 tsp chaat masala or amchur for garnish

In a pressure cooker or a deep pan, add the oil and keep it on medium heat.

Add in the onions and the asofetida(hing) and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. (you can puree the onions after this and cook the puree for another 6-7 minutes and proceed with the next steps. This will help make a thicker curry).

Add in the spices, ginger garlic paste, red chili flakes and mix well. Cook for another 3 minutes.

Add in the washed chickpeas, salt, sugar, tamarind concentrate and water and mix well.

Pressure cook the beans for 10 minutes if using canned beans, and 20 minutes once the pressure has reached ( 3 to 4 whistles), if using dry beans that were soaked. (cook longer if you want softer beans).

If cooking in a deep pan, add another half cup water, cover and cook on low-medium heat until chickpeas are tender. about 30 minutes.

Wait for the pressure in the pressure cooker to release naturally before opening. Check and adjust salt and spice according to taste. Mash the beans a little bit. Sprinkle chaat masala or Amchur(dry mango) powder.

Serve hot with Naan or Rotis, or as topping for chaat snacks.

Edamame Kara Kuzambu (South Indian Edamame Curry)

2 teaspoons safflower or any neutral oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon urad dal split black gram, or use petite yellow lentils
10 curry leaves coarsely chopped
Pinch asafetida omit to make gluten-free
1/2 cup chopped red onion or pearl onions
4 cloves garlic chopped
2 medium tomatoes chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon sambhar powder or use 2 teaspoons ground coriander *
1 teaspoon tamarind paste concentrate
3/4 teaspoon cayenne or to taste
1 1/2 cups edamame fresh or thawed if frozen, or other fresh or cooked beans like fava beans, butter beans, or lima beans
3/4 cup coconut milk canned or culinary
1 cup or more water
3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard, fennel, and fenugreek seeds, and the urad dal. Cook until the seeds start to sizzle and the urad dal changes color, about 30 seconds. Stir in the curry leaves and asafetida.

Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.

Add the tomato, sambhar powder, tamarind, and cayenne, and mix well. Cook until the tomatoes are saucy, 6 to 7 minutes.

Add the edamame, coconut milk, water, and salt. Cover and cook until the edamame are tender, about 25 minutes. Taster and adjust salt, heat (cayenne), tang (add lemon juice if needed). For thinner curry, add more water and bring to a boil. Serve hot with Dosa crepes, idli rice cakes or over rice.

Pressure Cooker/ Instant Pot: Follow steps 1 to 3 on saute mode. Add the edamame, coconut milk, water, and salt and cook for 6 to 8 minutes at high pressure. Natural release. Taste and adjust salt, tang and heat.

* Sambhar powder is a South Indian spice blend of coriander seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek, red chilies, urad dal and toor dal. It is easily available in Indian stores or online. Or find the recipe in my cookbook.

Pressure Cooker Vegetable Lentil Dhansak

Dal and Veggies:
3/4 cup total split dals combination of red lentils(masoor dal and yellow lentils(mung dal) or toor and moong dal)
2 cups chopped vegetables (heaped) such as cauliflower, eggplant, zuchhini, opo squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, broccoli etc)
1 cup packed chopped greens such as spinach, fresh fenugreek leaves, mustard leaves, chard or amaranth
1 tbsp minced ginger
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 hot green chile minced
1/2 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp dhana jeera powder* or 1/2 tsp garam masala + 1/2 tsp coriander powder + a good pinch of ground cloves

1 tsp oil
3/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup chopped onion (heaped)
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt and garam masala or more as needed

Soak the dals for 15 mins to half hour. Drain and combine in a pressure cooker/Instant pot with the vegetables, and the rest of the ingredients under Dals and Veggies(ginger, garlic, spices)and 2.5 to 3 cups water. Cook for 3 minutes on manual (high pressure). Let the pressure release naturally.

Meanwhile, make the tempering. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add mustard and cumin seeds and let them start to pop. Add onion and garlic and cook until golden, stirring occasionally. (a heavy bottom pan, a pinch of salt and stirring at regular intervals gives an even golden onion).

Once the pressure has released, open the lid. At this point you can mash the veggies and lentils for a more traditional version..
Mix in half the tempering into the lentil vegetable mixture in the Instant Pot. Taste and adjust salt and heat(cayenne). Add more salt and garam masala if needed. Garnish with the remaining half tempering, cilantro and lemon juice and serve.

Serve with rice, flatbread, toasted bread or garlic bread, garlic naan and kachumbar salad (cucumber tomato onion salad).

*Dhana Jeera powder: Add 1 heaping tbsp coriander seeds, 1.5 tsp cumin seeds to a skillet over low heat. Slow roast for 6 to 8 minutes until they start to get fragrant. Cool and blend to a powder. Mix in a good dash of cinnamon, clove and black pepper and mix in. Use this mixture to garnish dals just before serving.
Saucepan: Combine all the ingredients for the dal and veggies in a saucepan. Partially cover and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until the lentils and veggies are tender to preference. Proceed to make the tempering.

Pressure Cooker Black Eyed Pea Curry with Potato and Cauliflower (Gobi Aloo Lobia)

3/4 cup (129 g) black eyed peas soaked for atleast half an hour in warm water
1 tsp oil
1/2 a medium onion chopped
5 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 inch ginger finely chopped
1/2 tsp garam masala or 1 tsp sambhar masala, or use 1/2 tsp cumin + 1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric use less if you are sensitive to the flavor
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne
2 tbsp shredded coconut dried or fresh
2 juicy tomatoes pureed or 1¼ cup
1.5 cups or more veggies chopped small (small cauliflower florets and cubed potato or sweet potato)
3/4 tsp or more salt
2 cups water
lemon for garnish

1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
10 curry leaves fresh are best

Press Saute on Instant Pot and let it get hot. Add oil and spread using a spatula. Add onion, garlic, ginger and cook for 5 mins.
Add the spices and coconut and mix in. Cook for a minute.

Add pureed tomato. Mix and bring to a good boil. Add the veggies and mix in.

Add drained black eyed peas, water and salt and mix in. Close the lid and cook on Manual for 12 to 15 minutes.

Let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid, add a dash of lemon. Taste and adjust salt, spice and heat.

Make the tempering. Heat oil in a small skillet. When hot, add cumin seeds and let them change color. Add curry leaves carefully, (they will splutter) then take off heat. Add the tempering over the curry.

Serve as a soup in a bowl or over rice or other grains of choice, or with flatbread, Naan or pita bread.

Quick option: At Step 1, after the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and let them start to change color. Add the curry leaves carefully, if using and mix. then add the onion and continue.

Saucepan: Make sure to soak the black eyed peas for an hour.

Follow steps 1 to 3 in a saucepan over medium heat.

Add the drained black eyed peas, salt and 3 cups of water.

Partially cover and cook for 40 to 45 minutes or until black eyed peas are tender to preference. (add veggies half way through to reduce chances of overcooking).

Garnish with tempering and serve.

Variation: Use other beans or chickpeas and other spices.Use cilantro to sub curry leaves in the tempering.

Pressure Cooker Aloo Gobi

1/2 small onion
2 tomatoes
6 to 7 cloves of garlic
1 inch ginger
1/2 hot green chile
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 to 1 tsp garam masala
3/4 to 1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
2 medium potatoes cubed small
1 small cauliflower chopped into large florets
cayenne/pepper flakes, garam masala, cilantro and lemon for garnish

Blend the onion, tomato, garlic, ginger, green chile until smooth.

Put the Instant Pot on saute mode. When hot, add oil. (* At this point you can add 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and cook until they darken slightly.) Add the onion tomato puree to the pot. Rinse the blender using 1-2 tbsp of water and add to the pot.

Add the spices and potato and mix well. Cover with a glass lid that fits the pot and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Add the cauliflower and mix in well. Close the Pot lid to sealing. Select Manual 2 minutes for low pressure(preferred) Or 0 minutes on high pressure. (0 mins or half whistle with Stove top pressure cooker).

Release the pressure with quick release carefully. Add cayenne, a sprinkle of garam masala, cilantro and lemon juice to taste.

Serve hot with Dals or Curries and flatbread or rice.

Pressure Cooker Chana Ghassi – Mangalorean Coconut Onion Sauce with Chickpeas (and Tomato Rice)

3/4 cup dried chickpeas soaked for atleast 4 hours
2 dried red chilies
2 tsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp black peppercorns less for less heat
1/3 cup shredded coconut, dried or fresh/frozen
5 cloves garlic
1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup water to blend
1/2 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp salt divided
1 cup water
1/2 to 1 tsp tamarind paste
Lemon and cayenne for garnish

1 tsp oil , organic safflower or other neutral oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/8 tsp fenugreek seeds
8 to 10 curry leaves

Soak the chickpeas if you havent already, See notes for making with cooked chickpeas.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Toast the coriander seeds, chilies and black pepper until the seeds start changing color. Add coconut and mix in. Roast for half a minute or until coconut starts to get golden.

Transfer to a blender. Add onion, garlic, cinnamon, water and blend until the coconut breaks down. *(Some onion and garlic can turn bitter on blending for long. When in doubt, blend the coconut,water and spices, then add onion and garlic and blend in short pulses till a coarse mixture, or use finely chopped onion and garlic instead of blended).

Add the blended mixture to Instant pot or pressure cooker. Add turmeric and 1/2 tsp salt and mix in.

Drain and wash the chickpeas, add to the pot with 1 cup water and mix in. Cook on Manual (hi) for 35 to 40 minutes. Release the pressure after 10 mins.

Add in the tamarind, lemon, and additional salt if needed. Add cayenne if needed and mix in.

Make the tempering. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and cook until the mustard seeds splutter. Add curry leaves carefully. Take off heat and mix into the chickpeas. Serve hot with rice or flatbread.


In a saucepan: Add blended onion coconut mixture to a saucepan. Add turmeric, and cook for 7 to 9 minutes until the onion doesnt smell raw. Add tamarind, chickpeas/veggies (1.5 to 2 cups of cooked beans or chopped veggies), 1/2 cup water, salt. over and cook for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and flavor. Cook for a few minutes longer until veggies are tender to preference. Add lemon and the tempering and serve.

Make the Tomato rice:

Wash 1 cup long grain white basmati rice and soak for 15 mins.

Blend 2 tomatoes with 1 cup of water.

Heat 1 tsp oil over medium heat in a saucepan.

When hot, Add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds and let them start to splutter.

Add 4-5 curry leaves and mix in.

Add blended tomato mixture and bring to a boil.

Add the drained rice, 3/4 cup more water, 1/3 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cayenne/paprika and mix in.

Partially cover and cook for 8 minutes. Reduce heat medium low, cover completely and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

Let the mixture sit for 2 mins, then fluff.

Add 1 to 2 tsp lemon juice, mix and fluff. over and let sit for another 2 mins before serving.

Curry Fried Rice

2 cups cooked cooled rice , Or 3/4 cup uncooked rice, see notes for cooking instructions.
2 tsp oil
1/2 medium onion chopped
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced ginger optional
1/2 green pepper chopped
1/2 red bell pepper chopped
1 zucchini chopped
1/2 cup carrots sliced
1/3 cup or more peas
1 tbsp or more curry powder or 1 tsp turmeric + 1 tsp coriander powder+ 1 tsp garam masala, or use berbere or jamaican curry blend
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
lime or lemon juice to taste

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, serrano pepper and a dash of salt. Cook until translucent. 2 mins. Add the ginger, garlic and mix well.Cook for a minute.

Add the peppers, zuzzhini and carrots and a dash of salt. Cook for 2 minutes. Then mix, cover and cook for another 2 mins or until al dente. Add the peas and curry powder or other spices and mix in. (At this point you can also add in yellow or red curry paste for variation and cook for a minute. You can also add in some chickpeas or baked/crisped tofu at this point to make it into a meal. )

Add the rice and salt and toss well. Taste and adjust salt and spice. Add more spices as needed. Add a dash of cayenne and some lime/lemon juice and mix in. (Variation: add in some roasted nuts and mix in)

Cover and cook for 2 mins. Then let sit covered for another 2-3 mins for the flavors to develop.

Garnish with cilantro and lemon juice. Serve with chutneys or dips or as a side with curries or stir fries.


Cook the rice: Rinse 3/4 cup long grain rice really well. Then soak for 20 mins. Drain and add to a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 18 to 19 mins. Let it sit covered for another 5 mins, then fluff well. Cool completely and refrigerate or use. (this cooking time is for long grain white rice).

Bengali Cholar Dal

1 cup chana dal or Bengal gram lentils
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 bay leaves
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp mustard seeds
4 cloves
3 green cardamom pods
1- inch stick cinnamon
1 tbsp grated ginger
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup thick coconut milk
2 tbsp coconut sugar or jaggery
3-4 slivers of fresh coconut, optional
Salt to taste
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped

Combine the lentils with bay leaves and turmeric. Cover the lentils with an inch of water, bring to a boil, and let the lentils cook at a simmer, covered. Check frequently to ensure they don’t dry up and add more water if needed. Cook the lentils until they are really soft and tender.

In a saucepan, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds and, when they sputter, add the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. Saute a minute until the cardamom looks puffy, then add the slivers of coconut, if using, and saute until they get lightly golden brown.

Add the raisins and ginger, saute for 30 seconds, then add the cooked dal. Stir well to mix. Add some water if the dal is too dry. You want it to have a thicker consistency than most dals do, but not so thick that it’s dry.

Add the jaggery and coconut milk and heat the dal through.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Pressure Cooker Masoor Dal

1 tbsp coconut oil (or any vegetable oil. To make the dal oil-free, use 1/4 cup of water to saute)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 large onion (finely diced)
1 sprig curry leaves (optional, can be replaced with 2 tbsp chopped cilantro)
4 medium tomatoes (finely diced)
1-inch piece ginger (grated or crushed into a paste)
4 cloves garlic (minced or crushed into a paste)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp ground coriander
1/2 to 1 tsp red pepper flakes (or if using dry red chili peppers use one or two based on how much heat you can tolerate)
1 cup red lentils (masoor dal)
1/2 cup coconut milk
Salt to taste
Lemon juice for squeezing on top

Heat the oil in an Instant Pot set to the “saute” function set to “normal”. Add the mustard seeds and when they begin to sputter, add the onions, curry leaves, ginger and garlic. (If making this oil-free, add the mustard seeds to the dry IP liner after it heats up, then, when they sputter, add the onions, ginger and garlic and then add in 1/4 cup water)

Saute, stirring frequently, until the onions soften and just start to brown. Add the tomatoes, turmeric, coriander powder and red pepper flakes and mix well. You can use an Instant Pot glass lid or any glass lid that fits to cover the pot at this time and let the tomatoes cook 3-4 minutes until they are broken down and very pulpy. Stir a couple of times during cooking.

Add the dal to the pot and stir to mix, then add in 4 cups water. Give everything a good stir then click in the Instant Pot lid. Set the IP at manual pressure for 10 minutes.

After cooking, wait either until pressure releases automatically, or, if you’re in a rush, wait 10 minutes after the end of cooking, then carefully quick-release according to instructions.
Using a ladle, stir in the coconut milk and salt to taste. At this point you can garnish with more cilantro, if you like, or serve as is. Always top the dal with a final squeeze of lemon juice for the perfect finish!

To make this dal with my basic tomato onion masala sauce, add the mustard seeds to the oil, and after they sputter, add 2 cups of the masala sauce. Mix well, then proceed with step 3 of the recipe and continue. This will cut down almost all of your hands-on sauteing time.

Extra Lemony Lemon Rice

2 cups basmati rice (uncooked. Rinse the rice thoroughly under running water, then cook until just done)
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tbsp urad dal (split black gram dal)
2 dry red chili peppers (broken into 1-inch pieces. Or use red pepper flakes)
2 sprigs curry leaves (coarsely chopped)
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds (optional. These are bitter so don’t use too much)
4 tbsp cashew nut pieces
4 tbsp peanuts
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup lemon juice (from about 4-5 large lemons. Start out by adding about half of this to the rice and add more depending on how lemony you want the rice to be)
Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
Salt to taste
2 tbsp cilantro (finely chopped)

Heat the oil in a pot large enough to hold the cooked rice. Add the mustard seeds.

When the mustard seeds sputter, add the curry leaves followed by the urad dal, dry red chili peppers and curry leaves.

As soon as the dal is lightly blonde, lower the heat and add the fenugreek seeds and the nuts. Saute until the nuts just start to turn color. Keep an eye on the fenugreek and don’t let it brown because it can char and turn intensely bitter.

As soon as the nuts are lightly golden, add the turmeric and salt and stir. To the pot add the rice and the lemon juice.

Turn off the heat and mix gently, taking care not to mash the rice. Add salt as needed.

Garnish with cilantro and serve hot or at room temperature.

Turmeric Rice (with Brown Rice Variaion)

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves (roughly chopped. Use 2 tbsp cilantro as a substitute)
1-2 green chili peppers (like serrano or jalapeno. Deseed for less heat. Use red pepper flakes as a substitute)
1/4 cup turmeric root (grated. Measure after grating. Alternatively, use 1 tsp turmeric powder)
2 cups basmati rice (or other long-grain rice, washed in running water)
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp cilantro (chopped, for garnish)
1/4 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the mustard seeds and when they sputter, add the curry leaves and green chili peppers. Saute a few seconds. (Make sure your exhaust fan is on)

Add the grated turneric or turmeric powder. If you are using the grated turmeric, saute a couple of minutes. If using the powder, saute for just about 30 seconds. Sauteing lightly in oil will help the turmeric bloom and take away the astringency, but any longer and the ground turmeric could burn.

Add the washed, drained rice to the pot. Stir to mix and continue sauteing for a couple of minutes until the rice grains start to turn opaque.

Add salt and ground black pepper to taste, then add 4 cups water. Mix well.

If using brown rice, add 6 cups water.

Let the rice cook until the water comes to a boil. Let it continue cooking until most of the water has evaporated. At this point stir the rice once more, then cover with a tight lid and let it cook over the lowest heat setting on your stove for 15 minutes.

If using brown rice, cover once the water comes to a boil, turn heat to low, and cook 45 minutes or until tender.

Let the rice stand 10 minutes at least, without uncovering, after turning off the heat. Then take the lid off and stir in the coconut and cilantro using the tines of a fork to mix them in and fluff the rice.

Serve hot.

Pressure Cooker Creamy Moong Dal

1 1/2 cups mung lentils (split yellow moong dal, without the skin)
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 green chile peppers (like serrano, split down the middle)
1 tbsp ginger (grated)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
10 cloves garlic (you can use more for an even more garlicky dal.
Peel the garlic cloves and crush the whole cloves with the flat portion of the knife. Chop roughly–there should be some large pieces of garlic in the dal)
Salt to taste
2 tbsp cilantro (optional. Chopped, for garnish)

Wash the lentils in running water, then place in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot with the turmeric, chile peppers and ginger. Add water to cover by two inches. Cook the lentils for three whistles in the pressure cooker or 10 minutes in the Instant Pot set to manual pressure.

If you don’t have an IP or pressure cooker, you can cook the dal on the stovetop. Place the lentils in a pan with the ginger, turmeric and water. Bring to a boil, cover, and let the lentils simmer until done. Check frequently and add more water if it starts to look dry.

Once the lentils have cooked, remove half of them to a blender and puree until creamy. Add water if needed. This is not absolutely necessary but it gives the dal a really creamy, velvety texture that’s amazing.

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the black mustard seeds and, when they sputter, add the garlic. Saute the garlic over medium-low heat until it begins to turn golden-brown and fragrant, but don’t let it burn. Stir constantly.

Once the garlic turns brown, add the cooked moong–both the blended and non-blended portions. Mix well and add more water if needed. Dal should be a little runny and soupy–it shouldn’t be too thick and gloppy.

Bring the dal to boil and add salt to taste. Let the dal continue cooking another 5 minutes.

Turn off heat and garnish with cilantro. The dal thickens quite a bit as it stands, so add water if it thickens too much before serving. Always check for salt and add more if needed after you add water to the dal.