Shrimp Creole

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups chicken stock or canned chicken broth
4 teaspoons Creole Seafood Seasoning or more to taste, divided
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 fresh bay leaves
2 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes
3 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Louisiana-style hot sauce (such as Crystal)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined raw medium shrimp

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened but not browned, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add chicken stock, 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning, paprika, cayenne, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high; reduce heat to medium, and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Stir in scallions, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and salt; cook, stirring often, until thick but still a little saucy, about 10 minutes. Set aside Creole sauce.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high; swirl to coat. Add shrimp; sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning (or to taste), and cook, stirring often, until slightly pink, about 1 minute.

Add Creole sauce to shrimp; cook, stirring, until shrimp are pink, cooked through, and coated in sauce, 3 to 4 minutes.

Sicilian Swordfish

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons table salt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
2 pounds swordfish steaks, cut 1/2 inch thick

Light a grill or preheat the broiler. In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice with the salt until the salt dissolves. Stir in the oregano. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season generously with pepper.

Grill the swordfish steaks over high heat (as close to the heat as possible), turning once, until cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer the fish to a platter. Prick each fish steak in several places with a fork to allow the sauce to penetrate. Using a spoon, beat the sauce, then drizzle it over the fish. Serve at once.

Poached Chicken with Ginger Scallion Sauce

For the chicken:
5 chicken drumsticks (or 4 chicken thighs––organic, kosher, or free-range chicken preferred; see note below about using breasts)
3 slices ginger
1 scallion

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 scallions (white and green separated, with the green parts chopped)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup water (the water you cooked the chicken in)
15 grams ginger (about 1 1/2 tablespoons, minced)

In a medium pot, bring about 4 cups water to a boil along with 3 slices ginger and 1 scallion. Lower the chicken into the pot, and bring to a boil again. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. The heat level should be just high enough so the water is moving, without any big bubbles or rolling water.
After 10 minutes, turn off the heat, leave the lid on and let the chicken continue cooking in the warm pot for another 15 minutes.

If you use boneless, skinless chicken breast, you can reduce the cooking time to 5 minutes, but still keep the chicken in the pot for 15 minutes after turning off the heat. To test if the chicken is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the chicken to make sure the juices run clear.

Remove the chicken from the pot and place in ice water for 5 minutes to stop the cooking process and firm up the meat. Shred the meat onto a serving plate.
To make the sauce, heat 3 tablespoons oil in a saucepan over medium/low heat, and cook the scallion whites until crisp and lightly brown. Remove and place the scallion whites on top of the shredded chicken. Add 2 tablespoons light soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 cup of the water you used to cook the chicken to the remaining oil in the pan. Stir and bring it to boil. Add in the ginger and chopped scallion greens. Taste for seasoning and add more soy sauce or salt if desired. Bring to a boil again and pour it over the chicken.

Mango Salad With Zesty Lime Vinaigrette

Mango salad:
3 mangoes ripe, Alphonso recommended, peeled and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
1/4 red onion thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped

Mango Salad Dressing:
Zest of 1 lime
1/4 cup lime juice freshly squeezed (about 2 limes)
2 tsp white sugar
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil or other neutral tasting oil
Freshly ground pepper

Combine all the ingredients for the Mango Salad in a large bowl. Toss to combine. *If making ahead, cover and refrigerate at this point, before adding the salad dressing.

Prepare the Mango Salad Dressing by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisking well to combine. Cover and refrigerate if making ahead or use immediately by drizzling over the salad and tossing to combine.

Jerk Chicken with Pickled Bananas

MARINADE:
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces Guinness stout
1 medium red onion (about 9 ounces), finely chopped
8 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Tabasco sauce
1 large nutmeg seed, freshly grated (about 4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup whole allspice berries, ground (about 3 tablespoons)
6 large garlic cloves, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, crushed
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
2 habanero chiles, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
3 dried bay leaves
12 boneless, skin-on chicken thighs

FOR THE PICKLED BANANAS:
6 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 branches fresh thyme
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 habanero chile, split, seeds and stem intact
6 cloves
6 just-ripe bananas

PREPARATION
In a small skillet, toast the coriander and cumin seeds over medium heat, shaking the pan, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Let cool, then grind in a spice grinder until pulverized.

Add to a large bowl along with all other marinade ingredients (everything but the chicken). Add 1 cup water and whisk to combine. Alternatively, working in two batches, place all marinade ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 2 or 3 times to combine.

Place chicken in a large container big enough for all pieces plus marinade. Reserve 3/4 cup marinade for later use, and pour remaining marinade over the chicken. Refrigerate 1 or 2 days (chicken can be stored for up to 5 days).

Prepare the pickled bananas: Add all ingredients except for the bananas to a nonreactive saucepan and boil over high, 10 minutes. Chill completely. Once brine is chilled, peel and slice the bananas on the bias. Add to the brine and chill, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Heat grill to medium-low. Remove chicken from marinade and temper at room temperature for 15 minutes. Place chicken on the grill, skin-side down. Every minute or so, rotate the chicken a half turn so that the skin develops a deep, dark mahogany char and has been slightly crisped and rendered, 8 to 10 minutes total.

Turn chicken over to finish cooking, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, skin side up. Brush the reserved marinade on the skin side. Remove bananas from brine and serve with jerk chicken.

Pineapple Fried Rice with Shrimp

8 ounces shrimp (225g, peeled, deveined, rinsed, and pat dry)
1 cup onion (150g, diced)
1/2 cup carrot (75g, diced)
4 ounces ham (or Chinese sausage; 115g, finely diced)
6 cups cooked rice (about 900g)
2/3 cup peas (100g)
1 cup pineapple (diced into 1/2-inch pieces)
1 scallion (chopped)
2 eggs (beaten)
1/4 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine (plus 1 tablespoon, divided)
4 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce (or Thai thin soy sauce)
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil

First, prepare the shrimp, onion, carrot, ham/mChinese sausage, rice, peas, pineapple, and scallions. If using fresh pineapple, remember to trim away the pineapple core. If using canned pineapple, rinse away any syrup and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.

Beat 2 eggs with ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon Shaoxing wine. Heat your wok over medium heat until lightly smoking. Add 1 tablespoon oil, and scramble the eggs for 1 minute—until just cooked. Turn off the heat, break the egg into small pieces, transfer to a dish, and set aside.

Heat another 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Cook the shrimp until they turn pink, about 1 minute. Remove from the wok and set aside.

Heat the last 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Cook the onion until translucent. Add the diced carrots and ham, and cook until the carrots are no longer crunchy. Add the rice and 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine. The steam from the wine will loosen the rice chunks!

Stir-fry everything together well, and add in the peas, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, ½ teaspoon ground white pepper, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, the scrambled egg, and the cooked shrimp. Stir-fry everything together for a few minutes.

Finally, add the pineapple and scallions. Mix everything again for a minute or two. To crisp and warm the rice through, you can use your wok spatula to spread the rice in a single layer around the surface area of the wok, making use of all the heat and letting any excess liquid evaporate.

Salt to taste, and serve immediately!

Summer Mango Salad

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon palm sugar (or regular sugar)
1 fresh red chili pepper, sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
3 ripe mangoes , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves , finely chopped
2 tablespoons shallots , fried (or French fried onion)

Prepare the dressing by combining the lime juice, palm sugar, chili, and salt in a small bowl. Stir to mix well and set aside.

Combine the mango and cilantro in a large bowl. Pour in the dressing and toss to mix well. If you plan to serve the dish later, you should transfer everything into a sealed container and store it in the fridge, up to 1 day.

Toss in the cashews and fried shallots. Mix well.

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice (Khao Pad Sapparod)

1 large pineapple
3 Tbsp cooking oil divided
4 cups cooked jasmine rice (best is leftover rice)
1 lb large shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 large onion (peeled and diced)
3 large eggs
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup roasted peanuts

Seasonings:
1 Tbsp shrimp paste
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce or more to taste
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Garnishes:
3 stalks green onion (finely chopped)
Fried shallots crisp

Prepare the pineapple:
Cut the pineapple into half lengthwise. Scoop out the meat on each half of the pineapple. Cut the meat into 1-inch cubes. You’ll only need 1 cup of the pineapple cubes (drain off extra juice). Keep the rest for other use. Empty the juice that’s left on the shell and set aside to place your finished dish into the pineapple shells later.

This step is totally optional. Put the pineapple shells in the oven at 350 F and bake it for 30 minutes to dry it up.

Cooking the fried rice:
Preheat a wok or large skillet. When the wok is hot, add 1 Tbsp of oil. Add the shrimp and stir fry quickly until pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes or so. Dish out and set aside.

In the same wok, add the rest of the cooking oil. Crack in the eggs and break the yolk a little bit and then let it cook for about 10 seconds without stirring. When the eggs are half cooked, add chopped onion and stir fry for another 10 seconds. Add the rice follow by seasonings. Stir fry to mix everything.

Add the pineapple cubes, raisins, and roasted peanuts and stir again to mix everything. Have a taste and add more fish sauce if needed. Finally, garnish with green onion, give it one last stir and dish out into the pineapple shells. Garnish with some fried shallots crisp. Serve immediately.

Cambodian Lemongrass Chicken with Holy Basil (Cha Kreung Satch Moan)

For the Kreung:
3 stalks lemongrass, bottom 4 to 5 inches only, outer leaves discarded, sliced into thin rounds (65g once sliced)
One 3-inch knob galangal, peeled and sliced into thin rounds (35g once sliced)
Two 4-inch knobs fresh turmeric, peeled and sliced into thin rounds (25g once sliced)
12 makrut lime leaves, preferably fresh, sliced very thinly crosswise
1 small shallot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds (25g once sliced)
5 medium cloves garlic, peeled (25g)
1/2 cup holy basil leaves, very tightly packed (12g; see note) or Thai basil leaves (25g)
For the Stir-Fry:
1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil, divided
2 pounds (900g) boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 3 breast halves), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, divided
One 3-inch piece fermented mudfish (prahok) (35g), cut in half, divided (optional)
2 teaspoons (10ml) Asian fish sauce, divided
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cube (6g) chicken bouillon, such as Knorr, crumbled to a powdery consistency, divided
1 cup holy basil leaves, very tightly packed (40g), divided
4 jalapeños (150g), stemmed, halved, and seeded, then cut on a bias into 3/4-inch strips, divided
Kosher salt

For Serving:
Steamed white rice

For the Kreung: Using a large granite mortar and pestle, combine lemongrass, galangal, turmeric, and makrut lime leaves and grind to a smooth but slightly fibrous paste. These are the toughest, most fibrous ingredients in the paste, so it will take 5 to 10 minutes for the paste to form. Once the paste has formed, add shallot and garlic and pound again to smash them into the paste, another 3 to 5 minutes longer. Add basil to the mortar and pound until it is fully incorporated into the paste.

For the Stir-Fry: In a wok, heat 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add roughly half of the kreung to the wok, stirring and scraping constantly with a wooden spatula to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. At first, the paste will snap and pop as it begins to release moisture. Continue stirring until all visible moisture has cooked off and the paste has thickened and darkened slightly, 1 to 2 minutes.

Increase heat to high, then add half of the chicken to the wok, along with 1 piece of mudfish (if using) and cook, stirring, until chicken is coated in the kreung and has turned white on the surface, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in half of fish sauce, sugar, and bouillon and scrape browned bits from the bottom of the wok (some may still adhere). Stir in half the basil. Once basil has wilted, reduce heat to low and add half of jalapeño slices, cooking until warmed through but still crisp. Season with salt to taste.

Scrape contents of wok into a serving bowl and discard fermented fish. Rinse and dry wok, then repeat with remaining oil, kreung, chicken, and other ingredients.

Serve stir-fry right away, passing steamed white rice at the table.

Chicken with Garlic, Chilies, and Peanuts

2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
4 5- to 6-ounce chicken breast cutlets, pounded to an even 1/4-inch thickness
Ground black pepper
3 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
4 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts reserved separately
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/3 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons salted butter, cut into 2 pieces

In a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce and the chicken, turning to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes. Pat the cutlets dry with paper towels, then season with pepper.

In a nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering.

Add the chicken in a single layer and cook until well browned on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes total, flipping once halfway through. Transfer to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm.

Allow the pan to cool for a couple minutes, then add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and scallion whites. Cook over medium, stirring, until the mixture is fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Off heat, add the sherry, the remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, half the peanuts and any accumulated juices from the chicken.

Return to medium and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Off heat, add the butter and stir until fully incorporated. Pour the sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle with scallion greens and the remaining peanuts.

Dodo (Fried Plantains)

4 medium ripe, deep-yellow plantains (about 2 pounds)
1 small red onion, peeled and halved
Canola or other neutral oil, for frying (about 3 cups)
1 lime, zest removed in strips and julienned, plus 1 tablespoon juice
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
Kosher salt

Cut off the tips of each plantain. Use a sharp knife to create a slit in the skin along the length of each plantain, carefully making sure not to cut into the flesh. Remove and discard the skin by peeling it apart. Slice each plantain in half lengthwise, then cut into 1-inch pieces.

Thinly slice one onion half, then transfer the slices to a medium bowl. Quarter the remaining onion half lengthwise, and pull the layers apart.

In a large, deep skillet or sauté pan, pour 1/2 inch oil and heat over medium. When hot, add the larger onion pieces and fry, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove and discard the cooked onion.

Working in batches to avoid crowding, fry the plantains, stirring halfway through, until browned and caramelized at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet.

While the plantains are frying, toss the sliced onion with the lime juice, red-pepper flakes and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Let marinate, at least 10 minutes.

Toss the fried plantains in the bowl with the pickled onion mixture while still warm. Add the lime zest and season to taste with salt. Serve immediately.

Beef Suya

1 1/2 pounds boneless short ribs, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick strips
1/4 cup peanut oil, plus more for grilling
2 tablespoons store-bought or homemade ground suya spice blend (see Note), plus more for serving
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, grated
Kosher salt
2 medium plum tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch strips, seeds discarded
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced into rings
1 lime (optional)
1/4 cup toasted peanuts, chopped

Lay several strips of meat on a piece of plastic wrap, leaving about 1/2 inch between each slice, and top with another piece of plastic wrap. Pound the meat strips with a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy frying pan until 1/8-inch thick. Repeat this process until all the meat has been flattened. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup peanut oil and 2 tablespoons suya spice blend with ginger and garlic. Add beef, toss to coat and season with 2 teaspoons salt. Cover with plastic wrap, and let marinate in the fridge for 4 to 12 hours.

Heat a gas grill or grill pan over medium-high, and brush with peanut oil.

Skewer the beef pieces on 12 individual presoaked wooden or metal skewers, wiping off any excess marinade. Brush the meat generously with more peanut oil and set the skewers on a baking sheet.

Working in batches if necessary, grill the beef skewers until meat is cooked through and lightly charred on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the skewers to a platter and sprinkle with more suya spice blend. Repeat until all the beef has been grilled.

Place the tomato and onion slices in a bowl and squeeze lime juice all over. Season with salt and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Strain any excess liquid.

Top skewers with red onion and tomatoes, sprinkle with toasted peanuts, and serve with additional suya spice, for dipping.

Tip
To make suya spice blend, combine 1/4 cup dry roasted peanut powder, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground cayenne, 2 teaspoons hot paprika, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 teaspoon fine sea salt. Makes about 1/2 cup.

Jollof Rice

FOR THE OBE ATA:
1 (14-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes with their juices
1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped
1/2 medium red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 red habanero chile, stemmed
2 tablespoons canola or other neutral oil

FOR THE JOLLOF RICE:
1/2 cup canola or other neutral oil
2 medium red onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
3 cups parboiled long-grain rice (such as Carolina Gold or Uncle Ben’s Original), basmati or jasmine rice (about 1¼ pounds)
5 fresh thyme sprigs
1 fresh bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups beef, chicken or vegetable stock

Prepare the obe ata: Working in batches if needed, combine all the obe ata ingredients except the canola oil in a blender and purée on high until smooth. The liquid from the can of tomatoes should suffice, but you can add up to 1/4 cup of water if necessary to get the purée going. (You should have about 3 cups of purée.)

Heat the 2 tablespoons canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add the purée and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until the sauce is slightly reduced by about a third of its original volume, 18 to 20 minutes. (It should make about 2 cups. Obe ata can be cooled and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for up to 1 month.)

Prepare the rice: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the 1/2 cup canola oil in a large Dutch oven over medium until shimmering, about 1 minute.

Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove half the onions to a plate and set aside.

Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant and translucent, about 2 minutes.

Add the tomato paste, turmeric and smoked paprika, if using, and toast, stirring occasionally, until turmeric is fragrant and tomato paste has deepened to a dark red color, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the obe ata sauce and bring to a simmer over medium heat. The habanero oils love to disperse in the air, so you may want to turn on your stovetop fan or open a window while simmering the obe ata.

Stir in the rice, thyme and bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper.

Stir in the stock and cover with a lid. Transfer the pot to the oven and cook until rice is just tender, 35 minutes.

Remove the pot from the oven and let sit, covered (no peeking) for 15 minutes. Uncover, fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the reserved sautéed onions. Adjust seasoning, if necessary, and discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Serve warm.

Tomato-Poached Fish With Chile Oil and Herbs

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 small shallot, thinly sliced into rings
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 pound small, sweet tomatoes, halved
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
1 1/4 pounds fluke, halibut or cod, cut into 4 equal pieces
1 cup cilantro, tender leaves and stems
1/2 cup mint, tender leaves and stems
Limes, halved, for serving
Tortillas, toast or rice, for serving (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large skillet (use one with a lid) over medium-high heat.

Add garlic and shallots and cook, swirling the skillet constantly until they are starting to toast and turn light golden brown, 2 minutes or so.

Add red-pepper flakes and swirl to toast for a few seconds. Remove from heat and transfer all but 1 tablespoon of the chile oil to a small bowl.

Add tomatoes to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until they burst and start to become saucy and jammy, 5 to 8 minutes. Add fish sauce (if using) and 1 1/2 cups water, swirling to release any of the bits stuck on the bottom of the skillet.

Cook until the sauce is slightly thickened but still nice and brothy, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Season the fish with salt and pepper and gently lay the pieces in the brothy tomatoes. Cover the skillet and cook until the fish is opaque and just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes (slightly longer for a thicker piece of fish, like halibut).

To serve, transfer fish and brothy tomatoes to a large shallow bowl (or divide among four bowls).

Drizzle with reserved bowl of chile oil, more olive oil and the crispy shallots and garlic.

Top with cilantro and mint, and serve with limes for squeezing over the top.

Serve with tortillas, toast or rice, if you like.

Bengali Cholar Dal

250 gms Chana Dal/ Bengal gram
1.2 litres water
2-3 cloves
1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 heaped tsp sugar
2 tbsp mustard oil or vegetable oil
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 green chillies slit lengthwise
30gms grated coconut
1 heaped tbsp raisins
1 tbsp chopped coriander for garnish

for the spice mix:
1 inch cinnamon stick
5-6 cardamom pods seeds only

Add the lentils and water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over a medium heat stirring often. Simmer and add the cloves, turmeric, salt & sugar. Continue cooking for a further hour and 15 minutes until the dal is soft stirring often making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat off and mash roughly with a potato masher or back of a fork.

To make the ground spice mix; heat a frying pan over a low flame. Break the cinnamon stick and chillies to smaller pieces. Add the cardamom seeds along with the cinnamon and red chillies to the pan. Keep the heat on low giving the pan a few shakes every couple of minutes. Roast the spices for 7-8 minutes. Cool slightly and tip it in a coffee grinder to make a fine powder. Set aside.

n a heavy bottom non stick pan heat the oil over medium flame; add the bay leaf and cumin seeds cooking until they sizzle for a few seconds. Now add the green chillies and stir for 2-3 seconds. Add the coconut frying for a minute or so until it start to turn light brown

Slowly pour in the cooked chana dal stirring well. Bring it to a boil, add the raisins and the ground spice powder. Simmer on a low heat cooking for 10 minutes with a lid on. Stir a few times as it simmers making sure it doesnt stick to the bottom of the pan. Check seasoning and garnish with fresh coriander. Serve parathas, luchis or steamed rice

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.

Pineapple Fried Rice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 lb (225 g) ground chicken (or ground turkey)
2 eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt
3 cups cooked rice, overnight rice works best, separated by hand (*Footnote)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup mixed veggies (snow peas, carrots, and/or corn)
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/3 cup roasted cashews
1 lime , cut into wedges
Chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish (Optional)

Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet (or a wok, or a carbon steel skillet) until hot. Add the eggs. Let cook without touching, until the bottom is set. Stir and chop with your spatula to separate the eggs into small bits. Once the egg is just cooked (it’s OK if some parts are still a bit runny), transfer it to a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoon of oil and the ground chicken. Stir and chop with your spatula to separate it into small bits. Cook until the chicken turns mostly white.

Add the rice. Stir and chop to further separate it into single grains. Cook until the rice is heated up, 2 to 3 minutes. If you’re using a wok or a carbon steel skillet, the rice might stick to the pan. You can add a bit more oil and use your spatula to release the rice.

Add the soy sauce and curry powder. Stir to mix well.

Add the pineapple, bell pepper, frozen veggies, green onions, and sprinkle with salt. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add back the scrambled eggs and cashews and toss again. Carefully taste the rice. Sprinkle more salt and stir to mix well, if needed. Transfer everything to a big plate.

Serve hot as a main dish or side dish.

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.

Khichri (Buttery Lentils and Rice)

5 handfuls of basmati rice
2 handfuls of husked moong daal
Salt to taste
1 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
1 small red onion, cut into rings
1 tbsp butter mixed with a teaspoon of oil or 1/2 tbsp of ghee
1/ tsp cumin

Begin by mixing the lentil and rice and giving it a good rinse. Then soak for up to an hour (minimum 30 minutes)

Drain the rice and lentil. They should look like the photo below after being drained. Now pour into a saucepan and add enough tap water to cover it.

Bring to a boil then leave to simmer until cooked. This should take about 4-5 minutes. The rice shouldn’t be mushy and the lentil should still have bite. All the moisture should leave the pan. take of the heat.

In a small frying pan, heat the butter and oil or ghee, once piping hot add the cumin until they splutter, then the garlic until it’s slightly crisp and finally the onions and stir until soft.

Pour this flavoured butter/ghee over the rice and stir. Serve with some plain greek yoghurt, full fat natural yoghurt and if you’re lucky to find this; thick buffalos’ milk desi yoghurt!

Mango Pie

FOR THE GRAHAM-CRACKER CRUST:
2 1/2 cups (280 grams) finely ground graham-cracker crumbs
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 large pinch sea salt
9 tablespoons (128 grams) unsalted butter, melted

FOR THE MANGO CUSTARD:
3/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 teaspoon powdered gelatin (2 1/2 packages at 2 1/2 teaspoons per pack)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 30-ounce can Alphonso mango purée (3 1/4 cups)
1 large pinch sea salt

Stir crumbs, sugar, cardamom and salt together in a medium bowl. Add butter, and stir with a fork until evenly combined.

Pour half the crumb mixture into a 9-inch round metal pie pan, and spread evenly. Press down with fingers, a metal measuring cup or a second pie pan to compact the crumbs as much as possible across the bottom and up the sides of the pan into an even crust. (The more compressed the crust, the less it will crumble.) Repeat to form the remaining crumb mixture into a crust in a second pan.

Heat oven to 325. Transfer both crusts to freezer, and chill for 15 minutes. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Place 3/4 cup cold water in a large bowl. In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup sugar with the gelatin; sprinkle mixture evenly over the surface of the cold water. Let sit a few minutes to bloom.

In the meantime, whip the cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar together until medium-stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm 1 cup of the mango purée to body temperature (stir to make sure you are just warming it and not bringing it to a boil). Pour warmed mango purée over gelatin mixture, and whisk until well combined. Gelatin should dissolve into mango completely. Gradually whisk in remaining mango purée.

Use a rubber spatula to beat the cream cheese in a medium bowl until it is soft and smooth, then add to mango mixture along with a large pinch of sea salt. Use an immersion blender to blend until completely smooth, tipping the bowl to make sure you’ve incorporated everything well. Gently tap the bowl on the counter once or twice to pop any air bubbles. Use the spatula to gently fold about 1/4 of the mango mixture into the whipped cream, then fold cream into the larger amount of mixture until no streaks remain.

Divide custard between cooled crusts. Use a rubber spatula to smooth out the filling. Refrigerate 5 hours or overnight until firm and chilled. Serve chilled.