Parippu Curry (Sri Lankan Dal)

8 oz. red lentils (masoor dal)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 onions, chopped
4 leaves curry, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon saffron powder
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 whole cloves
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 lime
1 green hot pepper
Salt

Wash the lentils well by changing the water at least three times.

Boil them in the water with the saffron, chili powder, turmeric, curry and cloves.
After about 15 minutes, when the color of the lentils changes from red to yellow, remove from the heat and pour into a large bowl.

Heat the oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add the mustard, fenugreek, and cumin seeds and fry for 20 seconds.
Add the onion and garlic and mix well for 20 seconds.

Add the boiled lentils and mix well. Cook for 5 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and salt to taste. Cook until the curry begins to boil.
Remove from heat and add the lime juice.
Add the raw or fried green hot pepper on top (optional).

Serve hot with rice or bread.

Carne en Su Jugo

1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
8 tomatillos, peeled (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 large yellow onion, cut into 4 wedges
1 quart beef broth or water, divided
2 bay leaves
3 cups cooked pinto beans
Finely diced white onion, chopped fresh cilantro, Key lime wedges, cooked bacon, and toasted tortillas, for serving

Wrap meat tightly in plastic wrap, and place in freezer 15 minutes. Remove from freezer, unwrap meat, and slice thinly against the grain. Stack slices; finely chop.

Place the meat in a bowl, and season with Worcestershire, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, soy sauce, and black pepper. Stir until well coated, and set aside.

Heat oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium. Once the oil is shimmering, add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add seasoned meat, and cook until it releases some of its juices, about 10 minutes. (It’s OK to crowd the pan—you want to encourage the meat to stew and release its juices.) Reduce heat to low to keep the liquid from reducing too much. Using a slotted spoon, remove and reserve 2 tablespoons cooked meat.

While the meat cooks, place tomatillos in a saucepan with just enough water to cover, about 3 1/2 cups. Cover with a lid, and bring to a boil. Cook until tomatillos are soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; drain.

Place quartered onion half, cooked tomatillos, and reserved 2 tablespoons meat in a blender with 1 cup broth; blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Add mixture to meat in pot; add remaining 3 cups broth and bay leaves. Season with remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium-low; simmer about 20 minutes. Add cooked beans, and cook until the meat is tender, about 10 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, place about 1 cup or more of the meat-and-bean mixture into each bowl. Add broth as desired, and garnish with chopped onion, cilantro, Key lime wedges, and bacon. Serve with toasted tortillas.

Vegetable Stew with Coconut Milk

Oil – 2 tbsp
Whole spices – Cinnamon – a long piece, green cardamom pods – 3, cloves – 3, bay leaves – 2
Curry leaves – a few
Onion – 1 small, finely chopped
Ginger – 2 tsp, chopped
Garlic – 2 small cloves, minced
Black pepper – 1/2 tsp, freshly cracked
Potatoes – 1 large, diced
Carrot – 1, diced
Green beans – 3-4, cut into 1 inch pieces
Green peas – 1/2 cup
Thin coconut milk – 1 1/2 cups
Salt – to taste
Thick coconut milk – 1/2 cup

You will need:
Heat oil in a large pan. Add the whole spices and curry leaves, and let them sputter. (You can crush the whole spices for more flavor, but my hubby hates finding cardamom seeds in his curry, so I leave it whole.)

Add the onions, ginger and garlic. Saute well till the onions turn soft and translucent. Do not brown them. Add cracked black pepper and mix well.

Add the vegetables, thin coconut milk and salt to taste. Cover and cook till the vegetables are soft, around 10 minutes.
Open the lid, check seasoning and add the thick coconut milk. Let it simmer for a couple more minutes or till heated through, but do not boil the stew after adding thick coconut milk.
A simple trick I learned from my mom, is to mash a couple of the potatoes cubes to add some thickness to the gravy.
Serve hot with bread or Indian breakfast breads like puttu, appam or idiyappam.

NOTES:
1. If using dried peas, soak them in water and pressure cook them first. If using fresh or frozen green peas, you can simply cook them along with the other vegetables.

2. If using canned coconut milk, open the can without shaking and skim off ½ cup of thick milk collected at the top to use as thick coconut milk. If using coconut powder, prepare thin and thick milks as per package instructions. But of course, nothing beats the real deal. Freshly squeezed coconut milk is always the best!

3. An easy variation of this recipe is to cook the vegetables in a little water and finish off with some heavy cream. While it looks the same, the flavor is different from that of the original recipe with coconut milk and of course, it will no longer be vegan. But this can be an easy substitution if you run out of coconut milk.

Tiffin Sambar

For the sambar masala,

Whole dried red chilis – 2-4 (as per heat level desired)
Chana dal – 1 tbsp, heaped
Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp

For the sambar,

Toovar/Toor dal – 1/2 cup, heaped
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Oil – 2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves – 8-10
Asafoetida (hing) – 1/8 tsp
Small Indian shallots – 8-10, peeled and roots cut off (or 1/4 cup chopped red onion)
Tomato – 1 large, chopped
Green chilis – 1-2, chopped
Fresh tamarind – a small lime-sized ball (or use 2 tsp of concentrated tamarind paste)
Cilantro leaves – a few, roughly torn
Water – 3 cups (or more, as needed)
Salt – to taste
Sugar – 1 tsp
Ghee – 1 tsp

How to:

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and dry roast the sambar masala ingredients. Cool down and grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder or mortar-pestle. Keep aside.

Wash the dal in cold water a couple of times. Pressure cook it in a pressure cooker adding enough water and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder for 2-3 whistles or till soft. If you do not have a pressure cooker, cook dal in a large covered pot. Once done, mash the lentils and keep aside.

Soak the fresh tamarind in 1/2 cup warm water. Once they soften, squeeze all the pulp by kneading the tamarind ball well with your fingers. Strain this and keep aside. If you are using tamarind paste, simply dissolve in 1/2 cup of warm water.
Heat oil in a large, deep pan and add mustard seeds and curry leaves. When they begin to crackle, add the asafoetida and whole shallots (or chopped onions) and saute till translucent and aromatic. Next add tomatoes and green chilis and saute till tomatoes are soft.

Add the prepared tamarind pulp and bring to a gentle boil.
Add the sambar masala and mix thoroughly to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes till nicely fragrant and it begins to thicken slightly. Then add 2-2 1/2 cups of water and cilantro leaves and boil for a few minutes.

Now add the mashed dal and season with salt. Add more water if it seems too thick. Bring the sambar to a rolling boil and finish by adding sugar and ghee.

Keep covered for at least half an hour before serving. Enjoy hot sambar with dosas, idlis or steamed rice.

Notes:

In a pinch, you can replace the coriander seeds and cumin seeds needed for the masala with the respective powders. Take care not to burn them while roasting. But do not skimp or omit the chana dal and fenugreek seeds, they are what sets this masala apart from other Indian spice blends.

Indian shallots are smaller with a deep purple-red color and a unique taste. You can replace it with regular shallots or even chopped red onions.

Usually breakfast sambar may not be served with vegetables added, but you can use this basic recipe and add boiled vegetables to it. Add the cooked vegetables along with the dal and adjust water to required consistency. Traditionally, vegetables like potatoes, yam, green plantain, okra, brinjal/eggplant, etc are used.

Smear some ghee over the idlis for the little ones and feed them these fluffy pillows for a very filling and healthy meal. I added a generous amount of shredded carrots and the little bunny here gobbled them all up with no fuss. Win-win, right?!

Sambar

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons oil or ghee
1 medium red potato
1 carrot
1 cup masoor dal (red lentil)
6 cups water
2 tablespoons sambar powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
2 tablespoons frozen fresh coconut (optional)
cilantro leaves for garnishing
salt to taste
For frying:
3 teaspoons oil or ghee
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
4 fresh curry leaves (fresh or dried)
1 dried red chili (broken into pieces by hand)
1/2 red onion

Note: can use a combo of the following vegetables for this recipe – string beans, japanese eggplant, cabbage, spinach (good with potato), radish (indian variety called mullangi is the best) or watery squash like chayote, etc.

Wash masoor dal until water is clear, drain and set aside.

Heat ghee or oil in a pot at medium heat and put in carrot and potato. Coat with oil and stir a bit. Add in drained lentil and sautee for a few minutes. Add 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil under medium/high heat. Ladle out any foam that comes to the surface. Once foam stops, add turmeric and mix up. The dal and vegetables take about 30 minutes to cook.

Add sambar powder and mix well. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt to your taste, tamarind and coconut and mix well. Turn off heat.

In a separate small pan, heat 2 teaspoons of ghee or oil and put in mustard seeds. Wait for them to pop a bit. To help this happen, you can put a lid over the pan. Once its popped for a few seconds, turn the heat down a little and put the curry leaves and broken up chilis. Coat the leaves and chili with the oil and fry for a few seconds. Pour this oil mixture over the lentils and vegetables and mix well.

In the same small pan put a teaspoon or 2 of ghee or oil and fry onion until they are fragrant. Add these onions to the sambar and mix well.

Garnish with cilantro leaves.

You can serve with rice and some yogurt on the side.

Tomato Rasam

1 cup toor dal, also called split pigeon pea
6 cups water
1 tablespoon oil (peanut, sunflower or corn is best)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
5 fresh curry leaves
bunch of cilantro stems, chopped
4 tomatoes (4 cups), chopped (you can also use canned)
2 teaspoons rasam powder
1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste or fresh tamarind pulp
1 teaspoon brown sugar or jaggery
salt to taste
1 tablespoon butter
pinch of asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed

Wash toor dal thoroughly in luke warm water until water is clear.

Put 6 cups of water and the dal in a pot over medium high heat. This dal has a tendency to foam very much. Keep removing the foam and throw it away in the sink. (You can add a bit of ginger which decreases this foaming.)

When the water is boiling and you have gotten rid of the foaminess, add the oil, turmeric, curry leaves and cilantro stems. Next add the tomatoes and mix it all up.

Place the pot over a medium flame with a lid partially covering it. Check on it often so that it does not boil over. This will take about an hour for dal to get tender. (Note – you may need to add more water as needed).

If you are using tamarind pulp as opposed to tamarind paste, break off lime size ball of tamarind and submerge it in warm water for about 15 minutes. Then press the softened pulp and liquid through a strainer over a bowl to separate the usable diluted pulp from the seeds and fibers. Set aside.

When the dal is finished cooking add the rasam powder. Make sure that the powder is homogeneously mixed and that there are no lumps. Let it boil to a golden brown color ~ 15 minutes.

Add tamarind paste or pulp.

Add brown sugar orjaggery and some salt to taste.

Let it all boil. After it has come to a boil for 5 minutes, remove from heat.

In a small pan take 1 tablespoon of butter and heat it under a medium flame. Add asafoetida and cumin seed. When the cumin seed is golden brown and fragrant, pour over. Add cilantro for garnish.

Sambar with Kohlrabi

1 large or 4 small kohlrabi, skin removed and chopped into cubes (~1 cup), leaves chopped
1 cup masoor dal (red lentil)
6 cups water
2 tablespoons sambar powder (MTR brand is good if you don’t have homemade)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
2 tablespoons frozen fresh coconut (optional)
salt to taste

For tempering oil:
2 tablespoons oil or ghee (clarified butter)
pinch of asafetida or hing
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
4 fresh curry leaves (fresh or dried)
1 dried red chili (broken into pieces by hand)
1/2 red onion

Wash masoor dal until water is clear, drain and set aside.

Add drained lentil and 6 cups of water to pot. Bring to a boil under medium/high heat and then leave at medium heat. Ladle out any foam that comes to the surface. Once foam stops, add turmeric and kohlrabi pieces and mix up. The dal and vegetables take about 30 minutes to cook. The lentils should be fallen apart and the kohlrabi should be soft. At this point, add in the kohlrabi leaves.

Add sambar powder and mix well. Simmer for 5 minutes. Should get a golden-like residue forming on the surface. Add salt to your taste, tamarind and coconut and mix well. Make sure the tamarind is completely dissolved. You can also at this time, add more water depending on your preference of thickness. Cook for a few more minutes. Turn off heat.

In a separate small pan, heat 2 tablespoons of ghee or oil and put in asafetida and black mustard seeds. Wait for the seeds to pop a bit. To help this happen, you can put a lid over the pan. Once its popped for a few seconds, turn the heat down a little and put the curry leaves and broken up chilis. Coat the leaves and chili with the oil and fry for a few seconds. Add in the chopped onions and fry for 10 minutes on low heat. The onions should be translucent and give off a nice fragrance. Pour this mixture over the lentils and vegetables and mix well.

You can serve with rice and some yogurt on the side.

Thove

1 cup moong dal (yellow lentils)
6 cups water
1/3 teaspoon turmeric powder
6 curry leaves
*2 small green chilies, chopped (depending on heat and can use jalapeño as a substitute)
1 inch ginger, grated
2 cups chopped spinach or 1 chopped tomato (optional)
chopped cilantro for garnish
juice of half a lemon (could use more depending on how juicy your lemon is)
salt to taste

For tempering
2 teaspoons oil
pinch of hing or asafetida
1/2 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
1 chopped green chili or broken in half dried red chili (if you want more heat)
2 curry leaves (optional)
1/2 small onion chopped
1 clove garlic crushed (optional)

*You can choose to fry these green chillies in oil later with other spices.

Wash your lentils very well in a fine meshed colander. Drop them in a pot with 6 cups water and turn the heat to medium. The lentils will start to foam so skim the top off until the water is bubbling clear. Add turmeric, curry leaves, chopped green chillies, ginger, tomato (if using) and salt. Cook until lentils are soft and fall apart, about 30 minutes. At this point, gage whether you want to add more water for more liquidy soup or a thicker one. Continue to cook. At this point, you can add in spinach or squash if you are using those veggies. Cook them until tender or soft. Turn off the heat.

In a small pan, heat oil under medium heat. When hot add hing or asafetida and black mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to pop, add in chilies and curry leaves if using. Coat them in oil and then add in the chopped onion. Fry until onion is translucent. Mix in garlic if using and fry for 20 seconds or until fragrant.

Pour the flavored oil over the soup and mix. Squeeze lemon juice into the soup. Add salt to taste and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Beet Rasam

1/2 cup red lentils
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
pinch of asafetida (hing)
1/2 red onion, sliced in half circles
1 beet, peeled & diced
2 teaspoons rasam powder
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
parsley or cilantro leaves, chopped
salt to taste

Wash lentils thoroughly, using a fine-meshed colander.

Add lentils to a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Stay by the stove monitoring the foaming as your pot could quickly boil over if you are not watching. Skim off foam. Mix in turmeric powder. Turn the flame to medium-low, partially cover and simmer for about 25 minutes or until cooked through.

Mix in salt to taste and optionally mash down cooked lentils with a spoon.

While lentils are cooking, heat sunflower oil in a saucepan on medium heat. When oil is hot, add in cumin seeds and asafetida. When the cumin seeds turn a darker shade of brown, add in cut onions. Stir fry until translucent. Add in diced beets and salt. Stir-fry the beets for 30 seconds. Next, add enough water to cover the beets by about 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil and then simmer beets until cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Add the cooked lentils to the cooked beets. Add 1-2 cups of water and rasam powder. The consistency should be a thin soup with the lentils on the bottom. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 5-6 minutes. Turn off heat and add lemon juice to taste. Add more salt to taste and mix in parsley or cilantro leaves.

Serve plain or over rice with yogurt and hot pickle.

Chana Masala with Feta and Herbs

Ingredients
1 cup dried chickpeas, preferably soaked at least 4-6 hours (equivalent to 2 15 oz cans of chickpeas)
3 cups water
2 tablespoons ghee or oil
1 stick cinnamon
1 bay leaf
2 cardamom pods, cracked
2 cloves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
pinch of asafetida
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon Indian chili powder or cayenne (or to taste)
feta, cubed
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
cilantro, chopped
salt to taste

If you have soaked your chickpeas, drain them and then add 3 cups fresh water to the chickpeas. Put the stopper in the sealed position on top and pressure cook on high for 12 minutes and then let the pressure naturally release (meaning do nothing). If you have not soaked the beans, just add the chickpeas and water and then press the Bean setting with the stopper on the sealed position on top. When the chickpeas are finished cooking salt them generously.

While the beans are cooking, heat ghee or oil in a pan under medium heat. Add in cinnamon, bay leaf, cardamom pods and cloves. When they start to sizzle, add in the cumin seeds and the asafetida. Shake the pan so everything mingles. Once the cumin seed starts to brown, put in the onions and mix them around. Add the the turmeric powder and and fry the onions until translucent.

Next put in the ginger and garlic and mix and fry for a few seconds. Next add in the diced tomatoes and cook until it separates from the oil. Add in the coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, chili powder and salt and mix well. Cook for a few minutes.

When the chickpeas are done cooking, add them and the cooking liquid (as much as you like if you want it drier or more of it if you like it to be more soupy). Simmer for about 10 minutes and then add the feta and simmer for a few minutes until softened but not breaking apart. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and taste. You want just a bit of tang. Add more if needed. Taste for salt.

Garnish with a sprinkling of garam masala and cilantro (or herbs of choice).

Serve with rice, yogurt (or sour cream if you are feeling decadent), and achaar.

Curried Coconut Lentils

1 cup of brown lentils
2 tablespoons canola oil or ghee
pinch of asafetida
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated ginger
4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon Indian chili powder or cayenne
1 can coconut milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
Brooklyn Delhi Achaar – Roasted Garlic, Tomato or Rhubarb Ginger

Rinse lentils and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat oil or ghee at medium. When the oil starts to shimmer, add in the asafetida and cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds start to brown, add in the onions. When they start to soften mix in the turmeric powder. When the onions are translucent and smelling aromatic, mix in the garlic and ginger. Fry until you smell their fragrance.

Add in the coriander powder, garam masala, chili powder. Stir well. Quickly add in the rinsed lentils with water. Bring the lentils to a boil, then turn the heat back to medium, partially cover them with a lid and cook them until softened, about 30 minutes. Add the can of coconut milk and heat through. If needed, add water for your desired thickness. Add salt to taste. Turn off the heat. Add lemon juice and optional cilantro.

Serve as a soup with a spoon of Brooklyn Delhi Achaar on top. You can also serve with rice and naan.

Sambar

1 cup red lentils (masoor dal)
2 tablespoons unsweetened grated coconut (fresh, frozen, or dried)
1 tablespoon ghee or unsalted butter
1 tablespoon mild-flavored oil such as canola
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
Pinch of asafetida (hing) powder
4 or 5 fresh curry leaves
1 dried red chile, broken into pieces
1/2 red onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1?4-inch-thick disks
1 medium red potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Salt
6 cups water
2 tablespoons huli powder (see below) or store-bought sambar powder
1 teaspoon tamarind paste, plus more as needed
Chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish

Wash the red lentils thoroughly, using a fine-mesh colander.

Thaw frozen coconut or place dried coconut in a little hot water to plump it up.

Put the ghee and oil in a saucepan over medium heat. When the ghee has melted and the oil is hot and shimmering, add one black mustard seed. When the seed sizzles and pops, add the rest of the mustard seeds and the asafetida. Keep a lid handy to cover the pan while the mustard seeds are popping. When the popping starts to subside (a few seconds), turn the heat to medium-low.

Rub the curry leaves between your fingers a little to release their natural oils, and drop them and the dried red chile into the oil. Cover immediately, as moisture from the curry leaves will cause the oil to spatter. Then stir to evenly coat everything with oil, a few seconds.

Turn off the heat. Add the onion and turmeric powder to the pan and fry until the onion has softened and is translucent, a couple of minutes.

Mix in the carrot, potato, and a sprinkling of salt. Stir to coat with oil.

Add the lentils and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Ladle out any foam that comes to the surface. Then simmer over medium-low heat, partially covered, until the lentils are falling apart and the vegetables are tender; this should take 25 to 30 minutes.

Add the huli powder to the cooked lentils and vegetables and mix well. Add the tamarind paste and 1 1?4 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil. Cook at a boil for a couple of minutes, then turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.

Taste for salt and tamarind and adjust as needed. The consistency should be right in the middle, not too thick and not too thin. Add a bit more water or boil for longer depending on your preferred consistency.

Mix in the coconut and simmer for a minute more. Turn off the heat.

Garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve hot o with dosas. You can also enjoy the stew plain.

When reheating huli, add water to get it back to your desired consistency, as it has a tendency to thicken up in the fridge.

Kathi Daal (Tamarind Lentil Soup)

1 cup mung lentils
a few cups water
salt, red chilli – to taste
1/2 tsb turmeric
2-3 tbsp tamarind paste
2 tbsp sambar masala

Temper with:
a few dry red chills, 1 tsb mustard seeds, 2 garlics slivered and a few curry leaves

Boil the lentil with water, turmeric, red chilli powder, salt and water until quite mushy and squash down with the lentil with a spoon, and once you find it is quite cooked, you can use a hand held blender, I swear by Dualit Hand Held Blender kit. The lentil should be not too thick but rather a bit watery.

Once ready, add an equal amount of tamarind, sugar and chill to balance out the flavours. What you are after is an equal flavour of each coming through.

Now heat oil in a small deep saucepan and heat oil in it once very hot temper the mustard seeds, garlic, curry leaves and red dried chilli. Don’t over brown. Pour over the lentil (which should now be in a serving dish).

Enjoy own its on as a soup or with plain boiled basmati rice.

Curry Laksa

1/3 cup vegetable oil (80ml)
2 bone-in chicken breasts (skin removed)
3 pandan leaves (shredded and knotted)
12 oz bean sprouts (trimmed) (340g)
6 oz beehoon (dried rice vermicelli), soak in warm water for 30 minutes to soften (170g)
12 oz fresh yellow noodles or dried yellow noodles (225g)
8 oz shrimps (peeled and deveined) (225g)
1 can coconut milk (14 oz/400ml)
4 oz deep fried tofu (sliced) (113g)
Salt to taste

Spice Paste
5 shallots (peeled and halved)
3 cloves garlic (peeled, and halved)
3 dried chilies (seeded and soaked in hot water to soften)
1 stalk lemongrass (slice bottom third into rings)
1 1/2 inch ginger (peeled and thickly sliced)
1/2 cup curry powder (50g)

Garnish
1/2 cucumber (julienned)
3 to 4 sprigs mint leaves (stems removed)
1 lime (cut into wedges)
4 to 6 tsp fried chili paste

Blend all spice paste ingredients with ¼ cup (60ml) water until smooth. Pour mixture into a bowl. Mix with curry powder to form a thick paste.

Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir fry spice paste until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add chicken breasts and cook until opaque, about 3 minutes.

Pour in 6 cups (1.4 liters) water. Add pandan leaves. Cover and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, fill a separate pot half full of water. Bring to a boil. Scald bean sprouts for about 20 seconds. Remove with a metal strainer.

Add beehoon (dried rice vermicelli) and cook for 2 minutes. Remove with metal strainer.

Cook fresh yellow noodles in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes and dried yellow noodles for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove with metal strainer. Set aside.

Remove chicken breasts from curry soup with tongs. When cool enough to handle, shred meat and discard bones.

Lower shrimps into curry soup with a metal strainer. Allow shrimps to cook for 3 to 4 minutes until shrimps curl and turn pink. Remove and set aside.

Pour coconut milk into soup. Add deep fried tofu and season with salt. Bring it up to a boil and allow coconut milk to heat through. Turn off heat.

Place a portion of noodles, bean sprouts, some shredded chicken, and shrimps in a bowl. Pour curry soup over noodles and vegetables. Garnish with cucumber and mint leaves.

Serve Immediately with fried chili paste and lime wedges.

Shanghai Pork Chop Noodles

4 pork chops
1 tsp white pepper
2 tsp shao hsing rice wine
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp five spice powder
12 oz shanghai noodles, 340g
1 liter chicken stock
4 tbsp spring onion, cut to rounds

Marinate the pork chops in white pepper, rice wine, soy sauce, sugar for 20 mins.

While meat is marinating prepare a big pot of water. When water is boiling, add in noodles, stirring to prevent noodles sticking together and cook for 4 mins. Remove and rinse noodles under cool water. Let drain.

Dump out water and refill pot with chicken stock. Heat stock until just boiling.

Heat 1/4″ of oil in pan wide enough to fit pork chops. Mix flour and five spice powder in shallow plate, dredge the pork chops in flour and shake off any excess flour. Fry the pork chops until golden brown on bottom. Flip over and repeat. Remove and place on kitchen to soak off excess oil. When cool enough to touch, slice into 3/4″ thick slices.

Separate noodles equally into four noodle bowls. Pour hot stock into each bowl, sprinkle handful of spring onions over noodles and place sliced pork chop on top. Serve hot and enjoy!

Cantonese Beef Stew with Bean Curd

2 tablespoons oil
1/2 small onion cut into small pieces
2 cloves garlic
250 g beef cut into small cubes
1/2 cup water
6 mini carrots
2 sticks dry beancurd sticks soak in warm water for 30 minutes, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
3 dashes white pepper

Heat up a claypot with the oil and add the onion and garlic, stir-fry until aromatic.

Add the beef into the claypot, followed by the carrot and beancurd sticks.

Add the water and all the seasonings, stir to combine well.
Cover the claypot, turn the heat to low, simmer and cook until the beef becomes tender.

Serve hot with steamed white rice

Bhutanese Spicy Chicken Stew (Jasha Maru)

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into 1-inch cubes)
4 cloves garlics (peeled finely minced)
3 shallots (peeled and chopped)
2 Tbsp of finely grated ginger
1 medium-size leek (cut into slices and wash properly-refer to notes)
1 large tomato (dice)
4 red chilis (seeded if you like and cut into small pieces)
Salt to taste
1 cup chicken stock
1 small bunch of cilantro leaves for garnish
2 Tbsp of oil

Preheat a wok or skillet with lid and add in oil. Add in the garlic, ginger, onion, chili, and leeks. Stir-fry until the vegetables are soft. Tip in the chicken and tomatoes and continue to stir-fry until the chicken started to turn opaque in color. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cover with the lid and let it gently simmer until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve warm with a bowl of steamed rice. Garnish the stew with cilantro leaves.

Ohn No Khao Swe (Burmese Chickpea Noodle Soup)

1 lb of fresh egg noodles, blanched in boiling water
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed
6 Tbsp fish sauce
1/4 cup oil
1 large onion (diced)
4 cloves garlic (peeled and grated)
1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp chili flakes
1/2 cup chickpea flour or besan flour or gram flour + 1/2 cup water
6 cup chicken stock
1 1/3 cups coconut milk

GARNISHES AND CONDIMENTS:
4 hard-boiled eggs , peeled and sliced
2 green onions (thinly sliced)
1 medium onion , finely sliced
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
2 limes , quartered
1/2 cup chili flakes
1 cup fresh bean sprouts (blanch in hot water briefly if you prefer.)
12 oz (350 g) fresh egg noodles, deep-fried in oil until crispy, drained on paper towel, cooled and crumbled by hand into bite-size pieces
Fish sauce

Marinate chicken with fish sauce for at least 15 minutes. Heat oil in large pot, saute onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric for 5 minutes. Stir in chicken and chili flakes. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent chicken sticking to pot. Meanwhile, add chickpea flour to water and whisk to remove lumps.

Add chicken stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for a further 10 minutes and the chicken is cooked through. Add coconut milk and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.Stir in chickpea flour paste until the soup thickens slightly.

Arrange each garnishing item on a separate plate on the table around a central bowl of chicken and coconut chickpeas soup. To serve, take a portion of fresh noodles and a generous helping of soup, add a little of each garnishing (a dash of fish sauce if desired).

Khao Tom (Thai Congee)

PORK BALLS (MAKES ABOUT 30 SMALL BALLS)
8 oz ground pork
3 cloves of garlic finely minced
Small bunch of cilantro stems finely chopped
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp of fish sauce
1 large egg white beat until frothy

RICE SOUP
8 cups of chicken broth
1 stalk lemon grass bruised to release flavor by smashing with side of cleaver/knife
1 small slice of galangal
4 cups cooked brown rice you can use white rice if you prefer
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp of fish sauce
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
Shredded left-over chicken meat optional
4 eggs room temperature before cooking

GARNISHES:
1- inch fresh ginger peeled and thinly sliced
2 spring onions finely chopped
1 handful fresh coriander leaves

SERVE WITH:
soy sauce
3-4 red chilli (finely chopped

TO PREPARE THE DAY BEFORE:
Cook the rice using rice cooker or stove-top according to the instruction on the package. Let it cool and then store in the refrigerator until ready to be used.

Prepare the meatballs by placing the pork in a large mixing bowl followed by garlic all the way to fish sauce. Mix with your clean hands and then gradually fold in the beaten egg white and mix again and start picking up the meat and throw it back into the side of the bowl and repeat this for few times. This will make the pork balls rather bouncy.

Wet your palms and start rolling the pork into balls. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then drop the pork balls in there, batch by batch. They will float to the surface when they are cooked. Check to make sure they are no longer pinkish. If you make this the day before, store in air-tight container in the refrigerator.

WHEN READY TO COOK
Place the eggs in a pot and cover with water. Bring water to a rolling boil and then turn off the heat and cover and let them sit for 15 minutes. Discard water and set aside.

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large pot. Add in the lemon grass and galangal and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Add in the cooked brown rice and simmer briefly. Adjust taste by seasoning with soy sauce, fish sauce, and white pepper
Discard the lemon grass and galangal pieces.

Prepare four serving bowls. Gently crack one egg in the bowl and some shredded chicken meat (if using). Laddle the hot rice soup over each bowl. Garnish with coriander leaves, spring onion, and ginger. Serve immediately with a small dish of chilies doused in soy sauce.

Asian Pork Meatball Noodle Soup

1 lb angel hair/spaghetti/ramen or Asian wheat noodles/udon noodles
4-5 stalks of baby bok choy
1/4 cup goji berries washed and drained

PORK MEATBALLS:
1 lb ground pork (preferably with some fat)
1 Tbsp corn starch
1 egg yolk
1 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

SOUP BASE
6 cups chicken broth homemade or store-bought
2 inch piece of ginger bruised with heavy object
Small pinch of sugar
Salt to taste

GARNISHES:
1 stalk green onion finely chopped
Fresh cilantro leaves
Red chili oil optional
Fried shallots crisp optional

CHILI SAUCE (OPTIONAL)
4-5 Thai bird’s eye chili finely chopped
Soy sauce

Cook the noodles to al dente and then rinse with some cold water and set aside.

Blanch the baby bok choy in a boiling water for about 5 minutes and then refreshed with some cold water and set aside.

Place all the ingredients for meat balls in a large mixing bowl. Stir to mix everything. Roll into balls. Place them into the refrigerator while you are preparing the soup base.

Place chicken broth and ginger in a medium to large pot. Bring to a boil and then let it gently simmer for about 15 minutes.

Add the salt, and sugar. Have a taste, it should be savory with some tangy taste. Add the meatballs and boil until the meatballs float to the top. Add the goji berries and let them cook for about 1 minute. Turn off the heat.

ASSEMBLING THE NOODLE BOWL:
Portion out the noodles into individual serving bowl. Portion out the meatballs and sprinkle of green onions, cilantro leaves.

Generously ladle the soup with some of the goji berries over the noodles. Drizzle with some chili oil if using.

Serve with some chili sauce on the side if you make some. Tuck in and enjoy! You can even serve with some black vinegar on the side if you like it extra tangy.