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.

Gochujang-Glazed Eggplant With Fried Scallions

1 pound Asian eggplant (about 3 large; preferably Korean, or Chinese or Japanese), halved lengthwise and cut into 4- to 5-inch segments
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons gochujang
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 packed teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
1/2 cup olive oil
4 scallions, trimmed, cut into 3-inch segments, then very thinly sliced lengthwise, white and green parts separated

Place the eggplant in a colander set inside a large bowl or the sink. Sprinkle with the salt, toss to combine and let sit for 30 minutes to remove excess moisture.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, add the gochujang, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil and garlic. Whisk to combine, then set aside.
To a large nonstick skillet, add the olive oil and the white parts of the scallions. Turn the heat to medium and fry the scallions, stirring often, until crispy and evenly browned, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried scallions onto a paper towel.

Reserve a small handful of raw scallion greens for garnish, then fry the remaining scallion greens in the oil until crispy and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer fried scallion greens onto a paper towel.

Remove the skillet from the heat and carefully pour the hot scallion oil into a glass container or measuring cup.

After the 30 minutes of salting, dry the eggplant segments with a paper towel. Place the skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the reserved scallion oil.

When the oil starts to shimmer and you see a wisp of smoke, add half the eggplant, cut sides down, and fry until browned and starting to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip once and cook another minute on the other side. Transfer to a plate, add 2 more tablespoons of scallion oil back to the pan, and repeat to fry the second batch of eggplants. (If you are lucky enough to have any scallion oil left, use it to fry eggs or to dress a salad.)

Finally, sauce the eggplants: Add the first batch of eggplants back to the pan alongside the second batch. Reduce the heat to medium-low and pour the reserved gochujang sauce over the eggplants. Toss until evenly coated and the gochujang starts to caramelize, about 1 minute.

Plate the eggplants on a large platter and garnish with the fried scallions and the reserved raw scallion greens. Serve immediately. (To store for later, transfer to a resealable container and keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. This dish tastes great cold, straight out of the fridge, or at room temperature.)

Tomato-Butter Pasta

Kosher salt
1 pound wavy or ridged pasta (like cavatappi or rigatoni), or a long noodle (like fettuccine)
2 pounds large, ripe tomatoes (about 2 to 3), halved horizontally
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 large garlic clove, peeled
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving
Black pepper
Torn basil leaves, for serving (optional)
Finely grated Parmesan, for serving

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, using the large holes of a box grater, grate the cut ends of the tomato into a large bowl. Discard or compost skins. Grate the butter into the bowl as well. Using the small holes of the box grater, grate the garlic into the bowl. Add the red-pepper flakes, and season generously with salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Return the drained pasta and 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to the pot, along with the bowl of grated tomato and butter. Set over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and glosses the pasta, 2 to 3 minutes (the sauce will thicken as it sits). Add more pasta water as needed to emulsify the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with more red-pepper flakes, black pepper, basil and Parmesan as desired.

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.

Notes
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.

Nepali Aloo

3 medium potatoes chopped this dish is usually made with baby potatoes
3 serano peppers chillies sliced into thin long slices
2 inch ginger sliced into thin long slices
5 cloves garlic sliced into thin long slices
2 teaspoons vinegar or more for a more sour taste
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 cup oil to fry
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Chop the potatoes and shallow or deep fry them.

Fry the sliced chillies, ginger and garlic.

In a large pan with a little oil on medium heat, add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds.

Add the potatoes, chillies, ginger, garlic, turmeric and salt and mix well.

add in the vinegar and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Serve hot with rotis or naan.

Patta Gobi Chile (Cabbage and Chickpeas)

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoons turmeric powder
pinch of asofetida
1 bay leaf
1 dried red chilli
2 teaspoons oil
1 serrano pepper chopped thinly
1 inch ginger chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 green cabbage chopped
16 oz can garbanzo beans strained
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 cup cilantro leaves for garnish

In a large pan, heat the oil on medium heat till hot.

Add in the mustard seeds and let sputter.

Add in the cumin seeds, coriander powder, asofetida and turmeric and let roast for a minute.

Add in the red chilli, bay leaf, serano pepper, ginger and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add in the strained garbanzo beans and mix well.

Cook covered on medium heat for 5 minutes.

Mix well again and let cook for another 3 minutes.

Add in the chopped cabbage and salt and mix well.

Cook on medium low heat, covered for 10 minutes.

Stir it well and check after another 10 minutes if the cabbage is soft enough.

Cook for another 10 minutes.

Garnish it with fresh cilantro leaves and serve hot with rotis or naan and a Garlic Papad!

Adraki Gobi Aloo (Cauliflower and Potatoes with Ginger)

1/2 medium cauliflower 2+ cups
2 medium white potatoes chopped into small cubes
1 Serrano chili pepper or to taste
2 inch ginger chopped use less if you dont like ginger
1 garlic clove chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric haldi
pinch of asafetida hing
salt to taste 1/2 teaspoon
1/2 cup cilantro leaves chopped
1 Tablespoon oil

In a pan, add oil and heat it at medium heat for 2 minutes.
Add in cumin seeds and wait until they start sputtering.

Add in the asafetida(hing), coriander powder and turmeric and mix well.

Add in the chopped ginger, garlic and serrano pepper and let them cook for 5 minutes.

Add in the potatoes chopped into small pieces and mix well and cook for 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally.

Break the cauliflower into florets and chop some of the bigger florets to form smaller pieces.

Add in the cauliflower florets and salt and mix well.

Reduce the heat to low and cook covered for 15-20 minutes stirring every 4-5 minutes.

Potatoes should be soft when done.

Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot with rotis or Naan.

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.

Notes
* 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.

Kolhapuri Vegetables (Vegetables in Sesame Coconut Tomato Sauce)

Kolhapuri Masala:
1 tsp Coriander Seeds
2 tsp Sesame seeds
1/2 tsp Poppy seeds
1/2 tsp Black pepper corns
1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon Fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
4 dried red chilies cayenne or arbol for hot and california red or 1-2 guajillo for mild
2 tbsp shredded coconut
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg powder
1/2 tsp or more paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Sauce:
1/2 medium onion roughly chopped
2 tomatoes roughly chopped
1 inch ginger
5 cloves of garlic
1/4 tsp salt

Veggies:
2 cups cauliflower
1.5 cups sweet potato
1.5 to 2 cups other veggies carrots green beans, green peas etc
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1.5 to 2 cups water
salt cayenne to preference

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add all ingredients coriander seeds through cumin and roast for 2 to 3 minutes or until they start to change color. Add the chilies and coconut and continue to roast for a minute or until coconut starts to change color. Take off heat and mix in the nutmeg, paprika and cinnamon. Cool slightly and grind to a coarse powder in a spice grinder or small blender.

Add the sauce ingredients to a blender along with the ground spice mixture from above. Add a tbsp or so water and blend until smooth.

Heat 1 tsp oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the blended sauce mixture and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until the garlic doesnt smell raw and the sauce thickens and changes color. Stir occasionally. You can store this sauce to use later at this point(in the fridge for upto 3 days).

Meanwhile, combine the veggies except bell pepper, in a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Add 1/2 tsp salt and cayenne to preference. Cover partially and Cook over medium hot until the veggies are al dente. (15 to 20 minutes). Fold in the bell pepper and peas in the last 5 mins. Add greens or cooked beans at this point if using.

Combine the cooked sauce mixture from Step 3 and cooked veggies and mix well. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until desired consistency. Mash some of the veggies. Taste and adjust slat and heat and mix in. Garnish with cilantro and lemon and serve with crackers, toasted dinner rolls, garlic bread or flatbread.

Instant Pot:
Make the sauce on saute mode or in a separate skillet (step 1 to 3 above). Once the sauce is cooked, combine the sauce, chopped veggies, 1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt with 1 to 1.5 cups of water and Pressure cook for 14 to 15 minutes (manual) in an Instant pot or electric pressure cooker , Or 6 to 7 mins in a Stove top pressure cooker once the pressure has reached. Let the pressure release naturally, open, taste and adjust salt, garnish with cilantro and lemon. If there is too much liquid, cook on saute for a few mins to reduce.

Notes
For added protein, add cooked chickpeas or other beans along with the veggies when combining with the sauce.

For deeper flavor in the masala blend, add a generous pinch of ground cardamom and cloves as well.

Use 2 to 3 tbsp of premade Kolhapuri spice blend.

Make ahead: Make the sauce till step 3 and store refrigerated. Pre cook the veggies by blanching or roasting until al dente. To serving, toss the veggies into the sauce and simmer for 7 to 8 mins. Add a bit of water if needed. Or to serve, combine the stored cooked sauce, veggies, 1 cup water in an instant pot and cook for 14 mins on manual.

Charchari (Bengali Mixed Vegetables)

1.5 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp or more turmeric
1/4 cup or more water
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 cup chopped potato
1/2 to 1 cup chopped green beans
1 cup chopped pumpkin or squash or sweet potato
1/2 cup green peas fresh or thawed if frozen
1/2 tsp or more salt
1 tsp oil
1 tsp Panch Phoron Or use 1/4 tsp each of cumin seeds, mustard seeds, nigella seeds, and 1/8 tsp each of fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds
1/8 tsp asafetida omit to make gluten-free or use certified gluten-free asafetida
2 green chills chopped
1/4 to 1/2 tsp sugar or other sweetener to taste

Mix the turmeric and mustard powder in 1/4 cup water and add to a skillet over medium heat. Add the veggies except peas to the skillet and mix. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Add peas, salt, mix, Cover and cook for another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the tempering. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add panch phoron spices and let the spices start to pop. 2 mins. (use a lid if the spices pop out too much).

Add asafetida and green chilies and cook for a minute or until the chilies are golden.

Add this tempering to the skillet with cooking veggies and mix in well. Add in sugar and mix. Taste and adjust salt and spice. Add some cayenne if needed for heat. Add a splash of water if the veggies are sticking. Cover and cook for another few minutes or until the veggies are done to preference. Cook uncovered if too wet.

Garnish with cilantro and lemon (optional). Serve as a side in Indian meal or in a bowl with Dal and rice or flatbread.

Notes
Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot: Add the first 7 ingredients and 1/4 tsp salt to a pressure cooker/IP and cook at manual low pressure for 4 mins. Meanwhile, make the tempering(steps 3 and 4). Quick release, add the tempering, 1/4 tsp salt and peas and saute for a few minutes. Taste and adjust salt and heat.

Basic Kachumber Salad

1 small onion finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes chopped small
1 large cucumber chopped small
4-5 red radishes chopped small (optional)
1 green chili finely chopped
1/4 cup packed chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp or more salt
1/4 tsp or more freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp or more cayenne pure red chili powder
1 tsp or more freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice

Chop the onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, wash and drain well.

Add the veggies and the rest of the ingredients to a bowl. Taste and adjust salt and heat. Serve.

Notes:

To reduce the strong sharp onion flavor, soak the chopped onion in water for 15 minutes. Drain and then use.

To reduce spiciness, seed peppers

Variations:

Add 2 tbsp of chopped mint.

Add a generous pinch of kala namak (Indian Sulfur black salt) or 1/4 tsp or more chaat masala to taste.

Add vinegar to taste instead of lemon juice.

Add 1/2 tsp roasted ground cumin or coriander powder.

Add 1/2 cup or more yogurt and 1/2 tsp ground cumin and mix in to make raita kind of yogurt dip.

8-Vegetable Masala Subzi

1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds powder powder the fenugreek seeds and use
1/2 tsp black pepper 1/3 tsp for less heat
1/2 tsp each ground cumin ,coriander, turmeric, mustard
1/3 to 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 to 1/2 tsp cayenne or use some paprika and some cayenne
1 tsp oil
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 cups of chopped veggies such as cauliflower carrots, green beans, peppers, zucchini, potatoes, cabbage etc
3/4 tsp salt less or more to taste
1/3 cup green peas thawed if frozen
cilantro and lemon for garnish

Mix the spices and bowl and set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden. Add the spice mix and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the veggies except peas, salt and toss well to coat. Add a splash of water. Cover and cook for 12 minutes.

Toss well, add peas and mix in. Taste and adjust salt and heat.

Cover and cook for another 5 minutes or until the veggies are tender to preference.

Garnish with cilantro and lemon. Serve with dal and rice/flatbread

Notes
Variation: add a chopped tomato after Step 2 and cook for 2 minutes, then add veggies.

Add 1 to 1.5 cup of chickpeas or beans at step 3 along with the veggies. Double all the spices.

8 Spice Mix: Mix equal quantities( 1 Tbsp) of ground fenugreek, black pepper, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon and cayenne (or half paprika and half cayenne) and store for spicing up the veggies to make a stir fry or roasted veggies.

Add Chickpeas: Add 1 to 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas to the stir fry for filling meal. Double the spices.

Instant Pot: Follow Step 1 and 2 in saute mode, add veggies and splash of water and salt. Cook on Manual for 1 minute. Quick Release, fold in the peas, adjust salt. Close the lid and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving. If the veggies are not cooked, ook on saute for a few minutes. Garnish and serve.

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

Tempering:
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.

Notes
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.

Gujarati Potatoes with Sesame Seeds – Bateta Nu Shaak

1 tsp organic safflower or coconut oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp minced ginger or paste
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced green chile or paste 1 hot green chile
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves kasuri methi – optional
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/3 tsp or more cayenne/red chili powder
3/4 tsp salt
3.5 cups cubed potatoes 1/2 inch 3 med potatoes
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds dried or fresh coconut flakes or crushed roasted peanuts for garnish
cilantro and lemon juice for garnish.

Heat oil in a large skillet at medium heat. When the oil is hot, mustard and cumin seeds and let them sizzle for 30 seconds. Add sesame seeds and cook them for half a minute or until they start to change color. Add ginger, garlic, chile and cook for a minute. Add the ground spices and mix and cook for a minute.

Add potatoes and salt and mix in. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Stir once in between and add 1-2 Tbsp or so water to deglaze if needed.

Reduce heat to medium low and cook for another 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and cooked through and starting to crisp on the edges. Garnish with cilantro and lemon juice.

Garnish with toasted sesame seeds or coconut or chopped roasted peanuts and serve as a part of a meal with Dals/Curries, or make wraps with spiced beans/chickpeas, greens and chutneys of choice.

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

Termpering:
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.

Notes:

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.

Pressure Cooker Avial

Veggies:
2.5 to 3 cups chopped vegetables such as potato, white pumpkin, carrots, green beans, summer squash, indian local squash, drumsticks(moringa tree pods), raw banana/plantain etc
dash of salt and turmeric

Coconut Sauce:
1/2 cup shredded coconut , fresh or dried
1 green chili 2 for hotter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cumin seeds or ground cumin
1/2 cup water

Tempering:
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 green chili chopped
7 to 8 curry leaves

Cube the vegetables to about similar size. Add to a bowl and toss in a good dash of salt and turmeric.

Cook the veggies: Steam the veggies for 15 to 20 minutes in a steamer or until cooked. Or add to a saucepan with 1/2 cup water, cover and cook over medium heat for 12 to 15 mins.

Or add to a Pressure cooker/Instant Pot with 1/2 cup water and pressure cook for 2 mins, release naturally. (for quicker cooking vegetables like raw plantain, cook the separately if needed to avoid mush, or add to the saucepan half way through).

Blend the coconut, green chilies, spices and water to make a coarse mixture . The chilies and cumin should have blended. (If using dried coconut, blend for 30 seconds, then let the mixture sit for 5 mins to rehydrate, then blend again for 30 seconds to a min. Blend longer for smoother sauce).

Add the blended mixture to the cooked veggies and bring to boil over medium heat. (on saute if using Instant Pot). Take off heat. (You can add 1/4 cup non dairy yogurt or 1 tsp tamarind paste with the coconut mixture for a sour profile). Taste and adjust salt, heat, flavor. Add more water if needed.

Make the tempering: Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds carefully and wait for them to start to sputter. Add the green chilies and curry leaves and mix for a few seconds. Then take off heat.

Add the tempering to the veggies and serve hot with flatbread, rice, dosa, or adai.

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.

Notes:

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).

Pressure Cooker Kadai Chole (Chickpeas and Potatoes)

1 tbsp fresh ginger (chopped)
5 cloves of garlic
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 hot green chili , divided
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
2 tomatoes , chopped(1.5 cups)
15 oz can of chickpeas, drained or 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas
1 small potato (cubed)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 green bell pepper (thinly sliced)
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1/4 tsp smoked paprika (or more, to taste)
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp lemon juice
sliced onion, tomato, cayenne, cilantro, lemon juice for garnish

Blend together the ginger, garlic, half green chili, coriander, cumin and paprika with 2-3 tbsp of water until smooth.

Heat oil in a regular skillet or kadai over medium high heat. Add cinnamon stick and bay leaf and cook for a few seconds. Add the blended mixture to the skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

Blend the tomatoes into a puree and add to the skillet, cook for 4 minutes or until garlic smell isnt raw.

Add the chickpeas, potatoes, 1 cup of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes.

Add in the peppers, ginger, paprika, lemon juice, half a green chili chopped and garam masala, if using. (You can also add in 1/2 a teaspoon amchur (mango powder) and 1/2 a teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (or 1/8 tsp powder) for variation.) Mix well. Add more water if needed.

Cover and cook for 2 mins. Taste and adjust the salt and heat. Garnish with sliced onion, chopped tomato, smoked paprika/cayenne and a dash of lemon juice and cilantro. Serve with rice or flatbread or make wraps.

Notes:
You can make this dish with just chickpeas and peppers, i.e use chickpeas instead of potatoes or add other veggies instead of potato.

Instant Pot:
Follow steps 1,2,3 on saute mode. You will need to stir more so that the tomato puree doesnt stick.

Add the chickpeas, potato, water and salt and mix really well to pick up any stuck bits.

Close the lid and pressure cook for 4 minutes. Let the pressure release for 5 mins, then quick release.

Add the peppers, ginger,paprika, lemon juice, half a green chili chopped and garam masala and mix in. Saute for a minute if needed to slightly often the bell peppers.

Garnish and serve.