Simple Tomato Sauce

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes (optional)
2 (28-ounce) cans whole or diced plum tomatoes
2 sprigs basil or 1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a large, straight-sided skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add garlic and cook until just lightly golden. Add chile flakes if desired and cook 30 seconds.

Stir in tomatoes and juices, basil or bay leaf, and salt and pepper.

Bring sauce to a simmer and cook until sauce is thick and tomatoes have mostly fallen apart, about 30 to 40 minutes. Adjust heat as needed to keep at a steady simmer. If using whole plum tomatoes, mash them up with the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher to help them break down. Remove sauce from heat and discard basil or bay leaf.

Fast and Easy Marinara Sauce

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup shallots or 1 cup onions, diced
4–6 garlic cloves
pinch chili flakes (or up to 1/4 teaspoon for a nice kick)
2 pounds ripe tomatoes (or 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
1/2 teaspoon salt,more to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper, more to taste
8–10 basil leaves, torn

optional: 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey

Prep the tomatoes: If using fresh tomatoes, quarter them and blend in a blender. Alternatively, slice them in half and grate the flesh, leaving the skins behind.

Saute: In a saute pan, saute shallot or onion over medium heat, for just a few minutes until just tender and fragrant, add the garlic, saute 1-2 minutes. Add the chili flakes and stir for one minute. Add the oregano, and give a stir. Add the tomatoes and all their juices. (If using canned tomatoes, break them apart with a metal spatula as best you can and add all the juice from the can-then add one cup of water rinsing out the can. ) Stir in the salt and pepper.

Simmer: Bring to a simmer, uncovered, and simmer gently 8-10 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce begins to reduce and thicken. Reduce by one cup ( so you’ll end up with 3 cups). If you used the canned whole tomatoes, feel free to blend with an immersion blender.

Taste, adjust salt, pepper and chili flakes, adding more if you like. If your sauce lacks sweetness, stir in some tomato paste and/or maple syrup. If your sauce seems watery, just continue to cook it gently uncovered for a few more minutes. If it gets too thick add a splash of water, or if too sweet, balance it with a few drops of vinegar.

Use on pasta or spaghetti or on meatballs. To use as a pizza sauce, cook it down just a few more minutes, to thicken a little more if you like.

Notes

The sauce will keep 4 days in the fridge- or can be frozen. If freezing the sauce in a mason jar, leave 1-inch headroom for expansion.

Miso-Mustard Dressing

In a mixing bowl, whisk together about 2 tablespoons miso, 1 tablespoon mustard and 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar. Then add water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dressing is exactly the texture you want (thick is nice for a dip or for dressing cooked vegetables, and runny is nice if you’re using it on softer salad leaves).

You can mix up the miso you use, as well as the mustard — white miso and Dijon work well.

Miso Dressing with Ginger

1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons miso paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos
2 tablespoons water
1 small garlic clove
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch cayenne

Place all ingredients in the blender, and blend until silky smooth.

Store in a sealed jar in the fridge for 7 days.

Quick Fresh Tomato Sauce

5 pounds tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 garlic clove, halved
1 basil sprig
1 bay leaf

Cut tomatoes in half horizontally. Squeeze out the seeds and discard, if you wish. Press the cut side of tomato against the large holes of a box grater and grate tomato flesh into a bowl. Discard skins. You should have about 4 cups.

Put tomato pulp in a low wide saucepan over high heat. Add salt, olive oil, tomato paste, garlic, basil and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a brisk simmer.

Reduce the sauce by almost half, stirring occasionally, to produce about 2 1/2 cups medium-thick sauce, 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust salt. It will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator or may be frozen.

Foolproof Bernaise Sauce

1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 sprigs tarragon, leaves finely minced, stems reserved separately
3 sprigs chervil, leaves finely minced, stems reserved separately (optional; if not using add an extra sprig of tarragon)
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 egg yolks
Kosher salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter

Combine wine, vinegar, herb stems, shallots, and black peppercorns in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and lower heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until reduced to about 1 1/2 tablespoons of liquid, about 15 minutes. Carefully strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl, pressing on the solids with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.

Combine wine reduction, egg yolk, and a pinch of salt in the bottom of a cup that barely fits the head of an immersion blender. Melt butter in a small saucepan over high heat, swirling constantly, until foaming subsides. Transfer butter to a 1-cup liquid measuring cup.

Place head of immersion blender into the bottom of the cup with the wine reduction and turn it on. With the blender constantly running, slowly pour hot butter into cup. It should emulsify with the egg yolk and wine reduction. Continue pouring until all butter is added. Sauce should be thick and creamy (see note). Season to taste with salt. Whisk in chopped tarragon and chervil, if using. Serve immediately, or transfer to a small lidded pot and keep in a warm place for up to 1 hour before serving. Béarnaise cannot be cooled and reheated.

Foolproof Hollandaise

1-2 egg yolks (about 35 grams)
1 teaspoon water (about 5 grams)
1 teaspoon lemon juice from 1 lemon (about 5 grams)
Kosher salt
1 stick butter (8 tablespoons, about 112 grams)
Pinch cayenne pepper or hot sauce

Combine egg yolk, water, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt in the bottom of a cup that barely fits the head of an immersion blender. Melt butter in a small saucepan over high heat, swirling constantly, until foaming subsides. Transfer butter to a 1 cup liquid measuring cup.

Place head of immersion blender into the bottom of the cup and turn it on. With the blender constantly running, slowly pour hot butter into cup. It should emulsify with the egg yolk and lemon juice. Continue pouring until all butter is added. Sauce should be thick and creamy. Season to taste with salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper or hot sauce (if desired). Serve immediately, or transfer to a small lidded pot and keep in a warm place for up to 1 hour before serving. Hollandaise cannot be cooled and reheated.

Foolproof Mayo

1 large egg at room temperature
1 tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice (from 1/2 a lemon)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 cup (240ml) vegetable or canola oil
Kosher salt

Place egg, lemon juice, and mustard in the bottom of cup or jar that just fits the head of your immersion blender. The egg/lemon juice mixture must reach the blades for this to work (see note). If the mixture does not reach the blades, double the recipe before attempting.

Add garlic, if using. Pour oil on top and allow to settle for 15 seconds. Place head of immersion blender at bottom of cup and turn it on high speed. Do not pulse or move the head. As mayonnaise forms, slowly tilt and lift the head of the immersion blender until all oil is emulsified. Season mayonnaise to taste with salt. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

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.

Coconut Chutney

1/2 cup grated coconut
1/2 cup coconut milk (full fat, stir the coconut milk in the can, and then measure it out. Store the remaining in the freezer for future use)
2 sprigs (about 24 leaves) curry leaves

1/4 packed cup cilantro (coarsely chopped)
2 tbsp mint (coarsely chopped)
1 tsp ginger (crushed into a paste)
Juice of 1 lemon (add little at a time, and then more according to your taste. I like my chutney a bit tart)
2 serrano peppers (coarsely chopped, or jalapeno peppers. Deseed and use less if sensitive to heat)
Salt to taste

For optional tadka or tempering:
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
5-6 curry leaves
1 dry red chili pepper (broken into pieces)

Place all the ingredients into the jar of a blender.

Blend into a very smooth chutney.

Optional tadka:
Heat the coconut oil. Add the mustard seeds, and when they sputter, add the red chili pepper and curry leaves. Stir quickly until peppers begin to change color, about 30 seconds, then turn off heat.

Carefully pour over the chutney and serve.

Dry Carrot Chutney

1 c,up carrots, packed, grated
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Spread grated carrots evenly on a baking tray.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until the carrots become crispy, golden brown. Allow to Cool.

In a medium pan add oil and sesame seeds. Saute for a minute on medium heat. Add carrots and sauté for another minute on low heat.

Turn the heat off. Add red chili powder and salt. Mix well and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Dry Peanut Chutney

1 cup peanuts
8-10 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon salt

Roast peanuts in a small pan, on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Allow them to cool.

Add peanuts and all the ingredients to a small food processor jar and pulse until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Store in an airtight container.

Garlic-Peanut Dry Chutney

1/2 cup peanuts
15 small spicy green chilies or 5 jalapeños, rough chopped
8-10 garlic cloves
1 1/2 tablespoon oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt

Add 1/2 tablespoon oil to a small pan. Roast garlic cloves and chilies for a minute. Add peanuts and roast them until they turn golden brown, 1-2 minutes.

Allow to cool. Pulse in a food processor with salt until the peanuts are roughly ground.

Add remaining oil to the pan, put the chutney from the food processor in the pan. Roast for 10 minutes on medium-low heat or until the chutney gets crunchy.

Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

Dry Coconut Chutney

1 cup dry unsweetened shredded coconut
8-10 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

Add all the ingredients to a small food processor jar and pulse until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Store in an airtight container.

Black Sesame Dry Chutney

1/2 cup black sesame seeds
1/4 cup peanuts
1 teaspoon salt
5 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon red chili powder

In a small pan, roast sesame seeds on low-medium heat for 3-3 minutes or until aromatic and they start making a popping sound. Keep aside.

In the same pan roast peanuts for 2 minutes. Allow to cool.
Add all the ingredients to a food processor and grind until all the ingredients have incorporated well. Store in an airtight container.

Add a few drops of oil over the chutney, after serving on your plate.

Cilantro Mint Chutney (with Peanut, Coconut, and Yogurt Variations)

2 cups cilantro (packed) leaves & stems, rinsed, pat dried and rough chopped
1 cup mint leaves discard stems
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut frozen or dry
4 garlic cloves peeled
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
4 to 8 small green chiles or 1 to 2 jalapeños
1 lemon juiced
1 to 3 teaspoons kosher salt add as per taste
2 to 4 teaspoons sugar add as per taste
1/2 cup water

Add all the ingredients to the blender and blend until you get a smooth consistency. Add extra 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if needed. Taste and add more salt if needed. Makes about 2 cups of green chutney.

The chutney stays good in the refrigerator for up to a week. But I recommend freezing any leftovers after a day in smaller portions in silicone ice cube trays.

Notes:
Use cilantro stems as well as leaves.

For bright green color, add only the mint leaves and discard the stems.

If your blender is not powerful it may take longer for the chutney to process. This can cause the mint to over-process and turn the chutney bitter or also discolor. To avoid this, you can first grind the chutney without the mint leaves. Then add in the mint leaves and blend again until they are just incorporated through.

Variations:
Coconut adds creaminess as well as texture. To make cilantro mint chutney without coconut, simply skip the coconut and reduce the water by half.

You can substitute coconut with roasted peanuts to make cilantro peanut chutney.

Adding yogurt instead of coconut also gives a smooth creamy texture to the green chutney.

Skip sugar or stir in sweetener of your choice.

Don’t have cumin seeds? Substitute with ground cumin.

Coconut Chutney

3/4 cup coconut fresh frozen or unsweetened dry desiccated
2 tablespoons split roasted chana daal or roasted peanuts
1 garlic clove peeled
1 to 2 green chili
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoons sugar optional
1/3 cup water add more as needed
1 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Tadka (optional)
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/8 teaspoon asafetida optional
6 to 8 curry leaves washed and pat dried
1 dried red chili optional for more spicy chutney

Add coconut, roasted gram lentils, garlic, chili, cumin seeds, sugar, lemon juice and water to a blender and blend until you get smooth chutney. Add more water if needed to get to the desired consistency. Take out the chutney in a serving bowl.

Heat oil in a tadka pan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and allow them to pop. Turn the heat off and then add asafetida/hing and curry leaves. Be careful as you add curry leaves as the oil may splatter.

Pour the tadka over the chutney and stir in.

Pressure Cooker Green Tomato Chutney

1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon asafetida optional
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1-2 jalapeños
4 green tomatoes roughly chopped (around 2 pounds)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar or jaggery

Turn Instant Pot to sauté(more) mode and heat oil. Add mustard seeds and allow them to crackle. This may take 2-3 minutes. Add asafetida, turmeric, jalapeños, green tomatoes, and salt.

Give a quick stir. Add brown sugar. Close Instant Pot with pressure valve set to sealing.

Pressure Cook (low pressure) for 5 minutes followed by quick release or natural pressure release.

Open Instant Pot and set to sauté mode. Mash the tomatoes using a masher, cook for 2 minutes stirring frequently. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Mix well and enjoy!

Kakdi Koshimbir (Indian Cucumber Salad)

4 small Persian cucumbers
1 tablespoon ghee
1 teaspoon cumin seeds lightly crushed in the palm of your hand
1/8 teaspoon asafetida
1 small green chili sliced lengthwise
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons peanuts roasted and ground
2 tablespoons cilantro chopped finely for garnish

Peel the cucumbers, finely dice and keep in a medium bowl.
Heat ghee in a small saucepan over medium heat. Lightly crush cumin seeds in the palm of your hands and add to the hot ghee. Allow the cumin seeds to sizzle, about 30 seconds. Add hing and green chili and cook for another 30 seconds.

Pour the tempering on the chopped cucumbers. Add salt, sugar, peanuts, and cilantro. Mix well and serve immediately.

If making ahead of time, hold on the salt and sugar and add them just before serving. This helps the cucumber not release too much water. Leftover koshimbir can be refrigerated for a day.

Notes:
To make it vegan simply use any neutral oil instead of ghee.

You can skip the peeling cucumbers or peel them partially.

Powdered hing often contains wheat flour, but gluten-free versions are also available.

Add salt and sugar just before serving so the cucumbers do not release too much water.

Pick out the chili before eating unless you like super spicy food 🙂

Herbed Tomato Salad With Tamarind-Maple Dressing

FOR THE SALAD:
2 pounds mixed tomatoes, such as cherry, heirloom, Sungold or beefsteak
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves picked and stalks finely chopped
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves, preferably Thai
12 perilla, shiso or mint leaves, finely chopped
2 scallions, finely sliced

FOR THE FRIED SHALLOTS:
3/4 cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed or vegetable
4 shallots, sliced into 1/16-inch-thick rounds
Sea salt

FOR THE DRESSING:
4 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, grated
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt

Start the salad: Cut the tomatoes into different shapes — this creates different textures and visual interest — and place them in a colander. Sprinkle with a big pinch of salt, and set in the sink to drain as you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Place a strainer over a heatproof bowl. Line a baking sheet or large plate with paper towels.

Prepare the fried shallots: Add the oil and shallots to a medium saucepan, and place over low heat. Bring the oil to a simmer, stirring the shallots with a fork to separate the rings. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the shallots are light golden brown, watching them closely, as they will brown quickly toward the end of their cooking. (Don’t let the shallots brown too much, as they will continue to cook after you take them out of the oil.)

Remove the shallots to the strainer to drain, then transfer them to the paper towels. Season with salt and allow to cool. Reserve the oil. Shallots can be fried 5 days ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Prepare the dressing: Whisk together all the ingredients.

Assemble the salad: Combine the tomatoes, two-thirds of the herbs and scallions, and half the dressing. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. To finish, top with the remaining dressing, a drizzle of the shallot cooking oil and the rest of the herbs and scallions, then finally with the fried shallots. (Reserve remaining shallot oil for other uses, like vinaigrettes, stir-fries and soups.)