Masala Bhath

2 cups basmati rice (washed under running water or in several changes of water)
1 tbsp coconut oil
5 pods green cardamom (crushed slightly but left whole)
5 cloves
2 bay leaves
1 large potato (cut into 1/2-inch dice)
1 large carrot (cut into 1/2-inch dice)
1/2 small head cauliflower (separated into small florets)
1 medium zucchini (cut into 1-inch strips)
1 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne (optional –the goda masala has some heat)
2 tbsp goda masala (you can substitute with garam masala; see my recipe tips above for details on how to do that)
1 heaping tbsp coconut sugar (or jaggery, or regular sugar. Piloncillo, if you have some, is a fine replacement for jaggery)
1/4 cup coconut (grated. I don’t mean the dry shredded coconut you use for baking, but either freshly grated coconut, or grated coconut available in frozen packets. The coconut shreds have to be juicy, not dry)
1/4 cup cilantro (minced)
Salt to taste

Heat the oil. Add the cardamom, cloves and bay leaves and saute until the bay leaves start to change color and become lightly golden.

Add the potatoes and carrots and saute, stirring frequently, until the potatoes have a light brown crust.

Add the cauliflower and zucchini and continue sauteeing another couple of minutes.

Add the powdered spices–turmeric, coriander powder, cumin and goda masala–and saute for a minute to coat the spices with the oil and toast them.

Add the washed rice and stir until the rice begins to turn opaque.

Add 4 cups water to the rice, and add enough salt to make the water a bit saltier than you’d like your final dish to be.

Stir well, bring to a boil, then cover the rice with a tight-fitting lid. Let the rice cook over medium heat for five minutes, then lower the heat and continue cooking for 10 more minutes, never opening the lid once during cooking.

Turn off the heat and let the rice stand another 10 minutes. Open and sprinkle on the coconut and cilantro.

Serve hot or warm.

Mexican Pinto Beans

1 lb dry pinto beans (2 1/2 cups dry), soaked 6-12 hours, then drained
1 teaspoon salt
——-
1–2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
1 dry Mexican Guajillo Chile (optional, see notes), seeds removed, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 bay leaves (optional)
2 quarts water
1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from canned chipotles)

Place pinto beans in a med bowl, and cover with 2-3 inches of water. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt and let soak overnight – or for a minimum of 6 hours. Drain.

After soaking: In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic until tender and fragrant, 4-5 minutes. Add the dried chili, cinnamon stick and all the spices. Saute one minute to toast the spices. Add the water, tomato paste and DRAINED beans. Stir in the 1/2 salt and bring to a rapid boil.

Lower heat to maintain a gentle simmer (on low or medium low) and simmer uncovered for 45-60 minutes, until beans are tender.

Stir in the tablespoon of Chipotle Adobo Sauce and the vinegar.

Taste, adjusting salt if needed.

Notes:
Feel free to substite 1-2 canned chipotle peppers (chopped) instead of the dried Mexican chili. Or leave out both for a milder version. Or experiment with other dried Mexican chilies taking not of heat level. One Guajillo chili makes this MEDIUM SPICY.

Using the The Adobo sauce from the Canned Chipotle Peppers really elevates and adds a lovely smokiness to the whole dish. Freeze the leftover chipotle chilies (individually) for later use!
You could also use a little smoked paprika for the smoky flavor without the spiciness.

INSTANT POT: Cook according to above, using the saute function for sauteeing. Reduce water to 4 cups. Pressure cook the soaked pinto beans on high for 25 minutes, naturally release. If you’d like to reduce liquid further, cook on saute function for a few minutes until it thickens up.

HAM HOCK: Feel free to add a smoked ham hock to the top of the simmering beans. After it’s tender, shred the meat and stir into the beans.

Pressure Cooker Basics: Rice

For all rice other than Black and Arborio, the ratio of water to rice when using a pressure cooker is 1:1. For Arborio and Black rice, the ratio will be 1 cup rice and 1.5 cups water.

Rinse and drain rice well. Consider using 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of ghee, Niter Kibbeh, or oil.

For basmati & Jasmine Rice, 1c water + 1 cup rice. 4 mins HP, 10 mins NPR

For brown rice: 1 cup brown rice + 1 cup water: 22 mins HP, 10 mins NPR

For Arborio rice, 1 cup arborio rice + 1.5 cups water: 5 mins HP, 10 mins NPR minutes + more liquid after cooking

For sushi rice, 1 cup sushi rice, 1.25 cups water, 10 mins HP, 10 mins NPR.

For black rice: 1 cup black rice + 1.5 cups water: 22 mins HP, 10 mins NPR + more liquid after cooking. Alternatively, try one to one rice, 18 HP, 10 minutes NPR.

For red rice: 1 cup red rice + 1 cup water: 22 mins HP, 10 mins NPR

For congee rice: 1 cup glutinous rice + 4 cup water: 20 mins HP, 10 mins NPR

For wild rice blend, 1 cup Wild Rice Blend + 1 cup water: 22 mins HP, 10 mins NPR

Troubleshooting:

If the rice is too mushy, reduce the water then, if need be, reduce the time.

If it’s too chewy, try increasing the cooking time first and if that doesn’t work, try increasing the liquid.

If the center of the rice is hard but the outer portion isn’t, try increasing the water by a tad and if need be, increase the cooking time.

Always ensure you’re doing a 10-minute NPR (natural pressure release).

If the rice is sticking to the bottom, try adding ghee or butter first, then reduce the cooking and NPR time or try using a ceramic liner.

Garlic Fried Rice

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (75ml) canola oil or other neutral oil
8 garlic cloves, crushed and sliced thinly
4 cups cooked white rice (24 ounces; 700g), preferably long-grain, but any variety will do

In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until garlic softens, becomes very aromatic, and turns lightly golden, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Strain oil through a fine-mesh strainer directly into a wok; reserve cooked garlic and set aside.

Heat wok over high heat until oil is shimmering. Add rice, breaking up larger clumps with a spatula and tossing to coat with garlic-flavored oil. Cook, stirring and tossing frequently, until no clumps of rice remain and rice is warmed through, about 4 minutes. Add reserved garlic to rice and toss to combine.

Serve with chicken adobo.

Khichdi

1 to 2 tablespoons GHEE or clarified butter
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cumin or jeera
1 bay leaf or 1 sprig of curry leaves (optional)
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ginger grated or ginger paste
1 small onion chopped (optional)
1 green chili slit or 1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 small tomato deseeded & chopped
1/8 teaspoon turmeric or haldi
salt as needed
1/2 cup rice (or quinoa, steel cut oats, millets)
1/2 cup MOONG DAL or skinless petite yellow lentils (or any other dal)
3 to 4 cups water (use 4 cups for porridge consistency)
1 pinch asafoetida or hing (optional)
1/2 tablespoons GHEE for topping
optional ingredients
1 medium carrot cubed
8 french beans cut to 1 inch length
1 small potato cubed

Add rice and dal to a pot. Wash them at least thrice & drain water completely.

Heat ghee in a pressure cooker or pot on a medium heat. Saute bay leaf & cumin on a low flame for 1 min. Then fry ginger until fragrant & sprinkle hing.

Fry onions and green chilies until the raw smell of onions goes away.

Add tomatoes, carrots, beans, salt and turmeric and saute for 3 to 4 mins. Then add drained daal and rice. Saute for 3 to 4 mins.

Pour 3 cups water for mushy consistency and 4 cups for porridge like consistency. Stir well & taste the water. Add more salt if needed.

Pressure cook for 2 whistles on a medium flame for a mushy khichdi. Cook for 4 to 5 whistles on a low to medium flame for porridge consistency.

If cooking in a pot, cook until soft adding more water if needed.

Pour 1 tsp ghee on the hot khichdi. Serve with papad and pickle.

Instant pot Khichdi:
Press saute button (medium) & pour ghee. When the ghee melts, add in bay leaf and cumin. When it sizzles then add in onions & chili. Fry until transparent.

Next add in ginger, hing, tomatoes, all veggies & turmeric. Saute for 2 to 3 mins until tomatoes turn mushy.

Add & saute drained rice & lentils for another 2 to 3 mins.

Next add in salt & pour water. Deglaze the pot by scraping the bottom with a spatula to remove bits of food stuck in there if any. Mix well & taste the water. Add more salt if needed. Secure the lid & move the steam release handle to sealing.

Press the pressure cook or manual button (high pressure). Set the timer to 8 mins. Or you can also press porridge button & set timer to 9 mins.

Once it is done, the instant pot beeps, then press cancel and switch off. Wait for a natural pressure release for 10 minutes & release the rest manually. When the float valve drops, open the lid & stir gently.

If you like soupy khichdi, add some hot water to bring to consistency you like.

Top with some ghee & serve khichdi with plain yogurt, pickle or papad.

Sri Lankan Spiced Chickpeas (Kadala Thal Dala )

2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
10 curry leaves
4 dried red chilies chopped into large chunks
1 large onion finely diced
2 15 oz. chickpeas cans (drained)
Salt to taste
Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan.

Fry the mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves and chilies for around 30 seconds until you hear the seeds pop.

Add the onions and cook until soft and golden.

Stir through the chickpeas and add salt to taste. Sauté for a few minutes until heated through.

Serve warm as a snack or as a side to your meal.

Spanish White Bean Soup with Bacon and Herbs

1 1/4 pounds thick-sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely diced
2 celery ribs, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 fresh bay leaf
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
1 pound Great Northern beans, soaked overnight and drained
10 cups chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large soup pot, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until browned and crisp, about 7 minutes. Drain, reserving the fat and bacon separately.

Heat the olive oil in the soup pot. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf and 1 teaspoon each of the chopped thyme and rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the drained beans, stock and 3 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat and bring to a boil. Simmer the soup over moderately low heat until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

Discard the bay leaf and stir in the remaining thyme and rosemary. Season the soup with salt and pepper and transfer to shallow bowls. Garnish the soup with the bacon and serve.

Sunday Rice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chana Masala

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let the spices sizzle for 30 seconds and become fragrant.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stir in crushed kasuri methi and chopped cilantro.

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

Recipe Notes:

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

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

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

Chana Aloo

Ingredients

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dal Tadka

1 cup toor dal, 200 grams, also known as arhar dal/split pigeon peas lentil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1.5 teaspoon salt, divided, adjust to taste
3.5 cups water, divided
4 large garlic cloves, divided
1 inch ginger
1 green chili
1.5 tablespoons ghee, 22 ml, also known as clarified butter or use oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed in mortar pestle
2 cloves
1 medium red onion, 150 grams, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
1/8 teaspoon red chili powder, or adjust to taste
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon kasuri methi, crushed, dried fenugreek leaves

Tempering/Tadka
2 teaspoons ghee , 10 ml
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon hing, also known as asafoetida
2 dried red chilies
1/4 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder, optional

To a pressure cooker add toor dal along with turmeric, 1 teaspoon salt and 3 cups water.

Pressure cook for 4 whistle on high heat then lower the heat and let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. If using an Instant Pot, cook on high pressure for 8 minutes with natural pressure release. Set it aside.

Meanwhile crush 4 large garlic cloves, 1-inch ginger and green chili in a mortar pestle and set it aside.

In a heavy bottom pan, heat ghee on medium heat. Once hot, add the cumin seeds, crushed coriander seeds and cloves. Saute for few seconds until fragrant.

Then add onions, cook for around 3 to 4 minutes until they are soft and start changing color.

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

Add the chopped tomatoes along with 1/2 teaspoon salt and mix. Cover and cook for 7 to 8 minutes until tomatoes are very soft and cooked.

Then add the coriander powder, garam masala, kashmiri red chili powder, red chili powder, cilantro and kasuri methi. Stir the spices with the masala for few 30 seconds.

Add the boiled dal to the pan and mix. I also added 1/2 cup water here as dal looked very thick to me. Let the dal simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.

For the tempering/tadka, heat 2 teaspoons ghee in a small pan. Once the ghee is hot, add 2 chopped garlic cloves. Also add hing and dried red chilies.

Cook for one minute until the garlic starts changing color. Add kashmiri red chili powder remove pan from heat.

Pour tempering over the dal and mix.

Garnish dal tadka with more cilantro and serve!

Recipe Note: You may use a combination of lentils to make dal tadka. Commonly used- toor dal + moong dal or toor dal + masoor dal (red lentils).

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.

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.

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.

Coconut Dal with Turmeric Rice

Coconut Dal:
1 cup red lentils
2 tablespoons ghee, or sunflower oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 pinch asafetida
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 cups water
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch half discs
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
1 can of coconut milk

Turmeric Rice:
1 cup basmati rice
1 3/4 cups water
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder

Coconut Dal:
Wash the lentils thoroughly, using a fine-mesh colander.

Heat the ghee or oil in a saucepan over medium heat. When melted, add one cumin seed. When the seed sizzles, add the rest of the cumin seeds and asafetida.
Fry the onions until they are golden brown and fragrant. Stir in the turmeric powder. Next add in the garlic and sauté until fragrant.

Next add in the tomato paste and a few tablespoons of water, mixing it in so it’s incorporated into the rest of the ingredients in the pan.

Add in the coriander powder and paprika and give the pan a good stir. Fry for a few seconds.

Add the carrots to the saucepan and sprinkle them with salt. Give them a good stir.

Next add in the washed and drained lentils with the water. Bring to a boil. Stay by the stove and monitor the foaming, as your pot could quickly boil over if you are not watching. Skim off the foam. Turn the heat down to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer until cooked through, about 25 minutes.

Add in the tamarind and boil for a few minutes. Next add in the coconut milk and heat through. Add salt to taste.

Garnish with cilantro if desired. Serve with turmeric rice and a dollop of yoghurt.

Turmeric Rice:
Wash the rice in several changes of water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water, generously covered, for at least 30 minutes. This is optional but results in softer, more evenly cooked rice. Drain thoroughly, using a fine-mesh sieve.

Place the rice, water and turmeric in a medium saucepan. Place the saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, cover the saucepan and turn the heat to the lowest setting on your stove.
Cook until the rice is tender and there is no water left in the pan, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave covered for 10 minutes, to allow the grains to separate. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Turmeric-Coconut Rice

1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice, such as jasmine
1 3/4 cups coconut water
1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh turmeric, or 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil

Wash the rice in several changes of water and drain well. An easy way to do this is to run water over the grains of rice in the medium saucepan you plan to use, swishing them in a circle with your hand, then pour off most of the water into the sink, holding the rice back with your hand. When the water is clearer after a few rinses (it will never be totally clear), drain the rice through a fine-mesh strainer and dump it back into the saucepan.

In your medium saucepan over high heat, combine the rice, coconut water, turmeric, and salt and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to loosen the grains. Lower the heat slightly and let bubble for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. When the rice is glossy on top, turn the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let the rice sit for 10 minutes. Uncover, add the coconut oil, and fluff with chopsticks or a fork to combine and to circulate the grains. Re-cover and let rest for 10 minutes, or up to 30 minutes to finish cooking. Before serving, fluff the rice again.

Transfer the rice to a serving bowl or platter and let diners help themselves.

Pasta e Ceci with Miso and Chili Oil

2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons white miso
2 1/2 cups just-boiled water
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup ditalini
2 teaspoons chili crisp (such as Lao Gan Ma or Fly By Jing), with oil, adjusted to taste

Add the oil and miso to a large saucepan or small soup pot. Set on the stove over medium to medium-low heat and stir-fry for 4 to 5 minutes, lowering the heat if the miso is threatening to burn, until the miso is very fragrant and a toasty, chestnutty brown.

Carefully pour off the oil into a small heatproof bowl (you don’t need to obsess over every last drop, just try to get most of it); discard this later on, whenever it’s cool.

Set the pan back on the stove and add about half the water, stirring until the miso is incorporated and all the bits on the bottom are scraped up.

Add the rest of the water, as well as the chickpeas and pasta. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the pasta is super-duper al dente (remember, it will continue to cook as it hangs out in the hot soup).

Divide into two soup bowls and top with however much chili crisp you want.

Tomato Rice

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
Salt
1 cup chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
1 cup long grain brown rice

Heat the butter in a medium heavy saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and pepper and a large pinch of salt and stir to coat. Cook gently, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. (Do not let the vegetables brown — if necessary, add a splash of water to prevent this.)

Add the tomatoes and another large pinch of salt to the pan and stir to combine. Raise the heat so the mixture bubbles steadily and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until you have what resembles a thick sauce.

Stir in the rice, 2 1/2 cups cold water and a couple more pinches of salt. Bring to a brisk simmer and cook uncovered for 5 to 8 minutes without stirring, until the liquid on the surface is mostly gone. Stir the rice briefly, cover and turn the heat down as low as it will go. Cook the rice, without removing the lid, for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the pot sit covered for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.

Ham Fried Rice with Pineapple

3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
3 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
1 cup leftover ham, diced
1/2 cup pineapple, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced (yields about 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups cooked rice overnight long grain rice
3 eggs, beaten
Salt, to taste

Mix the soy sauce and pineapple juice together in a small bowl.

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large nonstick pan and heat it over medium-high heat until hot. Add the ham and pineapples. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the bell peppers. Stir a few times to mix well, then transfer everything to a plate and set aside.

Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil and the garlic into the skillet. Stir a few times to release the fragrance. Add the rice and spread it out with your spatula. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is lightly toasted.

Move the rice to one side of the pan and add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the other side of the skillet. Add the beaten eggs onto the oil. Let it cook until the bottom sets, 30 seconds. Scramble a few times until most of the eggs are cooked but some parts are still runny. Mix the rice into the egg, chopping and stirring to mix everything together.

Move the rice to the edge of the pan to make a well in the center. Pour the soy sauce and pineapple juice into the center. Let it cook for a few seconds to evaporate the liquid. Stir everything together until the rice is evenly coated with the seasonings. Let it cook, stirring occasionally, until the moisture is cooked off.

Add the cooked ham mixture back into the pan. Stir everything together. Taste the rice. Add a pinch of salt and mix again, if needed.