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.

Japanese-Style Tuna Noodle Salad

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

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

Cook the noodles according to the package instructions.

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

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

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

Pasta with ‘Nduja Sauce

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

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

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

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

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

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

Curry Mee

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

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

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

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

Chicken Khao Soi (Thai Coconut Curry Noodle Soup)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package instructions.

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

Indian Vermicelli with Peas and Cilantro

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

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

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

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

Stir in the chili, cilantro stems and pasta.

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

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

Perfect Doctored Ramen

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

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

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

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

Sheet Pan Fried Rice with Bacon and Broccoli

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

Heat oven to 475°F.

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

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

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

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

Pressure Cooker Mattar Paneer

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

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

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

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

Tomato Cheese Masala Toast

2 slices bread, any kind (I like a very grainy bread, but this combo tastes great on truly anything)
1 medium Roma tomato, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (1 ounce)
1/2 teaspoon chaat masala, plus more if needed

Toast the bread to the desired toastiness. Evenly top each piece of toast with the tomatoes, followed by the cheese.

Place the tomato-cheese toasts in a toaster oven (or under the broiler on high) and toast until the cheese has fully melted on top of the tomatoes.

(Alternatively, microwave the toasts on high in 30-second intervals, until the cheese has fully melted on top of the tomatoes.)

Sprinkle the toasts with the chaat masala, adding more to taste.

Rice Noodles with Peanut Sauce

Salt
8 ounces (about) rice noodles (vermicelli or sticks, as you like)
8 ounces bean sprouts
4 eggs
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce, or to taste
2 small hot red chiles (like Thai bird or Fresno), seeded if you like and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or to taste
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
Lime wedges

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Put the noodles in a large bowl. When the water boils, add enough water to the bowl to cover, stir, then let the noodles soak until they are soft and pliable. Start checking after 3 minutes; thicker noodles could take up to 15.

When the noodles are nearly tender, add the sprouts to soak for a minute or reserve 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid, then transfer everything to a colander, run under cold water for 1 minute, and shake off any excess water.

Meanwhile, bring the remaining water back to a boil, carefully add the eggs, cover, and turn off the heat. Steep the eggs for 9 minutes, then drain and run under cold water until cool.

Whisk together the peanut butter, sugar, fish sauce, 1 teaspoon of the chiles, and the lime juice in a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved liquid and continue to whisk. The dressing should easily coat the back of a spoon. If it’s too thick, whisk in more hot water 1 tablespoon at a time. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more lime juice, chiles, and salt if you’d like.

Combine the noodles and sprouts with half the dressing in a large bowl and toss gently with 2 forks.

Peel the eggs and halve lengthwise.

Garnish the noodles with the eggs, scallions, and peanuts and serve at room temperature, passing the lime wedges and the remaining dressing and chiles at the table.

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.

Coconut and Red Curry Lentil Stew with Sweet Potatoes

2 tablespoons unrefined virgin coconut oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 to 1 1/4 cups)
2 sweet potatoes (16 to 18 ounces in total), peeled and chopped into 3/4-inch chunks
1 pinch kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 pinch red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
4 teaspoons finely grated ginger (from a 3-inch piece)
3 garlic cloves, finely grated
3 tablespoons red curry paste (such as Maesri or Thai Kitchen)
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes (with juices)
1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro (leaves and tender stems)
1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
1 lime finely grated zest (juice reserved for finishing the dish)
2 1/2 cups water, plus more to thin, as needed
1 tablespoon fish sauce, or to taste; see note about a vegan substitute
1 tablespoon (per person) Greek yogurt or sour cream, to serve
1 handful cilantro leaves, to serve

Heat coconut oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 4 to 6 minutes, until softened. Add sweet potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook for 5 minutes (stirring often), or until the outsides lose their firmness.

Push the sweet potatoes to the side of the pan and add ginger, garlic, and red curry paste. Cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant, then stir together with the sweet potatoes.

Add red lentils, tomatoes, cilantro, coconut milk, lime zest, and water. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until lentils are soft, about 20 minutes, thinning with more water, if needed. Season soup with fish sauce, then off the heat, add the lime juice (start with 1 teaspoon and go from there). Taste again. Need more fish sauce or salt? Add a bit more. Need more heat? Add a few red pepper flakes.

Divide among bowls and top with a dollop of yogurt and a little cilantro. (Make-ahead tip: stew can be made up to 3 days in advance; gently reheat before serving.)

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.

Small Batch Congee (Khao Tom)

2 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
1/4 pound ground turkey or pork
1 tablespoon fish sauce (more to taste)
2 eggs
1 green onion, chopped for garish
1 handful cilantro, for garnish
1 pinch ground black pepper, to taste

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Lower to medium heat and cook the ground meat in the water for about 5 minutes, separating the meat into chunks.
Drain the meat from the boiling water and wash the pot. Add the meat and rice to the pot.

Add enough water to just cover the rice by an inch and heat to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer for another 10 minutes for rice to soften.

While the rice and meat are cooking, add fish sauce to taste. Start with 1 tablespoon and add more for more flavor.

Poach the eggs in the porridge for at least 2 minutes depending on how runny you like your eggs.

Divide into bowls and top with pepper, cilantro and chopped green onion.

Classic Reuben

For the Russian Dressing:
2 1/2 tablespoons (35ml) mayonnaise
2 tablespoons (30ml) sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons (20ml) ketchup
1 tablespoon (15ml) dill pickle relish
1 tablespoon (15ml) fresh juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon (5ml) grated horseradish from a jar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Sandwiches:
1 pound (500g) sliced corned beef (see note)
1/2 pound (225g) sauerkraut
8 slices Jewish rye bread
5 tablespoons (70g) unsalted butter, softened
8 slices Swiss cheese

For the Russian Dressing: In a medium bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sour cream, ketchup, relish, lemon juice, and horseradish. Season dressing with salt and pepper and set aside.

For the Sandwiches: Preheat oven to 350°F. Lay a sheet of aluminum foil on a rimmed baking sheet and place corned beef in the center. Bring foil edges up to form walls, then add 2 tablespoons (30ml) water to corned beef. Seal package well and transfer to oven to heat corned beef, 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine sauerkraut with 3 tablespoons (45ml) water and set over medium heat until warmed through, about 4 minutes; keep warm.

Brush 1 side of each slice of bread with butter. Heat a large cast iron skillet or griddle over medium heat. Working in batches, add bread, butter side down, and toast until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a clean baking sheet, untoasted side up.

Spread Russian dressing generously all over untoasted side of each bread slice. Mound corned beef, making sure to let any excess moisture drip off first, on half of bread slices. Mound sauerkraut on top of corned beef, making sure to let any excess moisture drip off of it first. Lay half of cheese slices over sauerkraut and the other half on the remaining Russian-dressed bread slices.

Transfer to oven and cook until cheese is fully melted, about 3 minutes. Close sandwiches and serve right away.