Peanut Noodles

200 g fresh white (wheat) noodles (7 ounces; or 100g/3.5 ounces dried)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger (minced or grated)
1/3 cup peanut butter (85g; creamy or chunky)
2-3 tablespoons hot water (depending on desired sauce consistency)
1 tablespoon Thai sweet soy sauce (we like the “Healthy Boy” brand; can substitute 1 teaspoon Chinese dark soy sauce, plus 1 teaspoon sugar)
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce (or vegan fish sauce to keep the dish vegan)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon lime juice (optional)
2 teaspoons chili oil (optional)

Bring a pot of water to a boil for the noodles. Meanwhile, prepare the garlic and ginger, and add to a serving bowl along with the peanut butter and hot water.

Stir to combine, letting the hot water loosen the peanut butter. Then stir in the sweet/dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, fish sauce, and sesame oil, along with the lime juice and chili oil if using.

By now, your water should be boiling. Cook your noodles according to package instructions. Drain and toss in your sauce. Serve.

Yam and Plantain Curry With Crispy Shallots

1/4 cup neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed
4 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
Kosher salt
4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 (2- to 3-inch) piece fresh ginger, grated (about 2 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 whole red habanero or Scotch bonnet chile, pierced all over with a knife
1 (14-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes with their juices
1 1/2 pounds white or orange yams, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 green (unripe) plantains (about 1 pound total), peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 (13-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon red palm oil (optional)
4 cups julienned hearty greens, such as dandelion greens, collards or lacinato kale, tough stems removed
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
1 lime, sliced into wedges

Heat a medium pot, large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium. Pour in the neutral oil, add the sliced shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until shallots are caramelized and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove shallots from the oil and allow to drain on paper towels or a cooling rack. Season with salt and set aside.

Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the cooking oil out of the pot. (Reserve extra oil for another use.) Over medium-low heat, add the garlic, ginger and turmeric to the pot and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for an additional 2 minutes or until it begins to stick to the bottom of the pot.

Drop in the chile and add the whole peeled tomatoes with their juices, crushing the whole tomatoes with your hands as they go in. Stir to combine ingredients and dissolve the tomato paste, then add 3 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat.

Once boiling, season with salt, reduce heat to medium, add the yams and simmer until the yams are just beginning to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the plantains and cook until both are tender but hold their shape, and the liquid is slightly reduced and thickened, 15 to 18 minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk and red palm oil, if using, season with more salt and let simmer for another 10 minutes. Add the greens and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

To serve, remove and discard the cooked chile. Ladle the curry into bowls, top with the caramelized shallots, a scattering of basil and cilantro, and several squeezes of lime juice.

Note: This recipe is an adaptation of asaro, the Yoruba word for a dish of starchy root vegetables simmered in a seasoned tomato- and chile-based sauce. Regional versions of asaro are served all year round across the south of Nigeria and in other parts of West Africa. Traditionally, the dish is made with the West African yam, but you can also use white or purple taro root or unripe plantains. Here, firm, green plantains are combined with white yams in a sauce rich with caramelized shallots, garlic and ginger. There is a slight but welcome heat from a single red habanero dropped in whole to infuse the stew. Coconut milk and an optional spoonful of red palm oil — a floral, slightly smoky oil that is pressed from the fruit of oil palm trees — round out the flavors, and hearty greens cut the richness. Serve topped with crunchy shallots, fresh herbs and a wedge of lime.

Basic Grilled Shrimp

1 large clove garlic
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ to 2 pounds shrimp, in the 15-to-18-a-pound range (or smaller, if skewered), peeled, rinsed and dried
Lemon wedges to serve

Start a charcoal or gas grill, or heat the broiler. Make the fire as hot as it will get, and put the rack close to the heat source.

Mince garlic with salt; mix with cayenne and paprika, then make into a paste with olive oil and lemon juice. Smear paste on shrimp. Grill or broil shrimp, 2 to 3 minutes a side, turning once. Serve immediately or at room temperature, with lemon wedges.

Tempeh Rice Lettuce Wraps with Garlic and Lime

2 garlic cloves, peeled
1- inch segment of fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 cup almond, cashew, or coconut milk
scant 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
8 ounces plain tempeh, crumbled
1 1/2 cups / 6 ounces leftover rice
1 teaspoon soy sauce or shoyu
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 small cucumber, deseeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
a handful of sliced herbs, cilantro, basil, mint
10 – 12 whole lettuce leaves, romaine, little gems, etc.
to serve (all optional):
extra lime, serrano vinegar*, shallot oil, a favorite curry paste

Use a mortar and pestle to smash the garlic and ginger into a paste. Heat 1/4 cup of the nut milk in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, stir in the ginger-garlic paste along with the salt, and barely simmer for a minute of two before adding the tempeh. Stir until well-coated, cover, and allow to cook for about five minutes, stirring once or twice along the way. Add the rice, stir, and allow it to heat.
In the mean time add the soy sauce, and lime juice to the remaining nut milk, stir well, and add to the saucepan as well. Transfer to a serving bowl, and stir in the cucumber. Top with the grated carrot, and herbs, and give a light final toss.

To serve, spoon a generous amount of the rice mixture into a lettuce leaf. If you want to make them extra special do any/all of the following. Spread a whisper thin layer of curry paste across the lettuce, top with the rice mixture, and finish with a spoonful of serrano chile vi

Thai-Style Sweet and Salty Shrimp (or Chicken, or Tofu)

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
3 tablespoons roasted, salted peanuts, finely chopped
3 scallions, thinly sliced crosswise
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

Pat the shrimp very dry and lightly season with salt and pepper.

In a medium (10-inch) nonstick skillet, stir together the sugar, fish sauce and vinegar. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat. When the mixture comes to a simmer, add the shrimp and cook until pink on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Add the peanuts, scallions, lime juice and red-pepper flakes and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Notes: Add a quick cooking vegetable, like peas, thinly sliced asparagus or bean sprouts, with the shrimp, or substitute tofu or cubed boneless chicken thighs for the shrimp.

Serve over shredded cabbage, rice, a roasted sweet potato or rice noodles.

Thai Grilled Pork Skewers (Moo Ping)

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of surface fat
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh cilantro stems
1/3 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons peanut oil
Ground white pepper
1/3 cup coconut milk
Chili-lime sauce (jaew), to serve

Place the pork on a large plate and freeze until the meat is firm and partially frozen, 1 to 1 1/2 hrs. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the garlic, cilantro, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, oil and 1/2 teaspoon white pepper.

Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice the partially frozen pork into pieces about ? inch thick. The slices will be irregularly shaped; cut them into strips 1 to 1¼ inches wide (it’s fine if the strips are not uniform). Add the pork to the marinade and mix with your hands until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours.

Thread the pork onto ten 10- to 12-inch metal skewers, evenly dividing the meat and scrunching it together and packing it quite tightly. If some pieces are too wide, too wispy or awkwardly shaped, fold the meat or tuck in the edges as you skewer. Place on a rimmed baking sheet or in a large baking dish, cover and refrigerate while you prepare the grill.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. For a charcoal grill, ignite a large chimney of coals, let burn until lightly ashed over, then distribute the coals evenly over one side of the grill bed; open the bottom grill vents. Heat the grill, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes, then clean and oil the grate. For a gas grill, turn all burners to high and heat, covered, for 15 minutes, then clean and oil the grate.

Place the skewers on the hot side of the grill (if using charcoal) and cook until lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, flip the skewers, then brush with some of the coconut milk. Cook until the second sides are lightly charred, about another 3 minutes. Flip the skewers again and continue to cook, occasionally brushing with coconut milk and turning every couple of minutes, until deeply charred on both sides, about another 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve with the sauce.

Tip: Don’t thread the meat loosely on the skewers. The pieces should be scrunched together somewhat tightly. This helps guard against overcooking. If you’re using a charcoal grill, don’t push the meat all the way to the bottom of the skewers; the protruding handle end of the skewers may prevent you from being able to position the meat directly over the coals.

Malaysian Chicken Satay

2 lbs. boneless and skinless chicken thigh and leg meat
Bamboo skewers, soaked in cold water for 2 hours
1 cucumber, cut into small pieces
1 small onion, quartered
oil, for basting

Chicken Satay Marinade:

3 tablespoons oil
2 stalks lemongrass, white parts only
2 cloves garlic, peeled
6 small shallots or pearl onions, peeled
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon salt or more to taste
2 tablespoons sugar or honey

Cut the chicken meat into small cubes. Set aside.

Blend all the he Marinade ingredients in a food processor. Add a little water if needed.

For the chicken satay dipping sauce, please click here: satay peanut sauce recipe.

Combine the chicken and the Marinade together, stir to mix well. Marinate the chicken for 6 hours in the fridge, or best overnight. When ready, thread 3-4 pieces of the chicken meat onto the bamboo skewers.

Grill the chicken satay skewers for 2-3 minutes on each side until the meat is fully cooked and the surface is nicely charred, on both sides. Baste and brush with some oil while grilling. Serve hot with peanut sauce the fresh cucumber pieces and onions.

Hawaiian Pork Bowl

1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup sugar
2 English breakfast tea bags
One 1-pound pork tenderloin, butterflied and flattened
Three 1/2-inch-thick slices of fresh pineapple—peeled, quartered and cored
1 red onion, cut through the core into 1/4-inch wedges
1/3 cuo extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Kosher salt
Pepper
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons minced cilantro, plus sprigs for serving

Steamed rice, crisp bacon, diced avocado and thinly sliced jalapeño, for serving

In a large bowl, combine the boiling water, sugar and tea bags and let stand for 5 minutes. Discard the tea bags and stir the tea to dissolve the sugar. Let cool completely, then add the pork and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Drain the pork and pat ?dry with paper towels. Brush the pork, pineapple and red onion with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill ?the pork over high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the pork registers 135°, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a carving board and let ?rest for 5 minutes, then slice the pork against the grain. Meanwhile, grill the pineapple and onion, turning once, ?until charred, about 4 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice with the minced cilantro and the 1/3 cup of olive oil. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Serve the pork, pineapple and onion over steamed rice with crisp bacon, diced avocado, thinly sliced jalapeño and the lime dressing.

Curry Mee

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

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

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

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

Indian Vermicelli with Peas and Cilantro

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

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

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

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

Stir in the chili, cilantro stems and pasta.

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

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

3-Ingredient Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

6 ounces (170g) elbow macaroni
Salt
6 ounces (180ml) evaporated milk
6 ounces (170g) grated mild or medium cheddar cheese, or any good melting cheese, such as Fontina, Gruyère, or Jack

Place macaroni in a medium saucepan or skillet and add just enough cold water to cover. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Continue to cook, stirring, until water has been almost completely absorbed and macaroni is just shy of al dente, about 6 minutes.

Immediately add evaporated milk and bring to a boil. Add cheese. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring continuously, until cheese is melted and liquid has reduced to a creamy sauce, about 2 minutes longer. Season to taste with more salt and serve immediately.

Mexican Rice

3 tablespoons oil
2 1/2 cups uncooked long grain white rice (450g)
3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock, or water + 1 bouillon cube (710 ml)
2 tablespoons tomato paste or 1 cup plain tomato sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

First, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a deep skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the rice and stir constantly until the rice begins to turn golden brown. The toastier your rice, the tastier it will be (information gleaned from my friend, via her grandma of course).

Next, add the chicken stock. The mixture will bubble up, and should be followed immediately by the tomato paste or tomato sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, black pepper, and salt.

Bring to a boil, stirring the tomato paste to dissolve it if using, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Immediately turn the heat down to low and set a timer for 20 minutes.

During or when the rice is done cooking, you may want to check moisture levels. If you smell a hint of a burnt scent, your heat is too high! In this scenario, if the rice is cooked, remove from the heat. If it’s not cooked, lower the heat, and add water ½ cup at a time to continue the cooking process. If it’s too wet, leave the lid slightly ajar or off the pan entirely.

When the rice is done, fluff it with a fork and serve

Southern Macaroni and Cheese

Kosher salt and black pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni
2 cups whole milk
2 large eggs
4 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar (about 16 ounces)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
2 cups shredded Colby Jack (about 8 ounces)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook according to package directions until a little under al dente, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a colander and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk milk and eggs. Add cooked macaroni, 2 cups extra-sharp Cheddar, melted butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and stir until well combined.

Add half the macaroni mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish in an even layer. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups Colby Jack evenly on top. Spread the remaining macaroni mixture on top in an even layer. Cover with aluminum foil, transfer to the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven. Carefully remove and discard the aluminum foil. Top the macaroni mixture with the remaining 2 cups Cheddar and ½ cup Colby Jack. Broil on top rack until cheese is browned in spots, 3 to 5 minutes. (The broiled cheese can go from golden to burnt fairly quickly, so keep a close eye on it.)

Remove from oven and let cool until the macaroni and cheese is fully set, 10 to 15 minutes. (The mixture may first appear jiggly, but it will firm up as it cools.) Serve warm.

Notes: Extra-sharp Cheddar adds tartness and a layer of Colby Jack creates a gooey, molten center. If you can’t find a Colby Jack blend, shredded mozzarella or a Mexican-style blend will work in its place.

New Orleans-Style Barbecued Shrimp

Shrimp
Diced shallots
Butter
Worcestershire sauce
Thyme
Paprika
Cayenne
Cream
Salt
Black pepper

Rice, green beans, and crusty bread for serving

Crank the oven to 450 degrees and make a sauce on the stovetop: diced shallots sautéed in butter, a healthy quarter-cup or so of Worcestershire, a little thyme, paprika and cayenne, some salt and then a whole lot more butter, cut into the pan a knob at a time and whisked into velvet.

Add to that a splash of cream and a few more healthy cranks of black pepper.

Roast the shrimp on a greased pan in the oven under a shower of salt and yet more pepper, and serve it on a warm platter with the sauce spooned over the top. Rice, green beans and plenty of good, crusty bread for mopping up make it an ambrosial meal.

Roasted Fish with Soy, Ginger, and Scallions

White fish fillets
Soy sauce
Rice wine
Lots of grated ginger
Lots of chopped scallions
Chopped garlic (optional)
Sesame or chili oil (optional)

Rice and greens for serving

Buy a few fillets of the white-fleshed fish you like best, then put a sheet pan in a 425-degree oven and let it get hot.

Make a sauce in a small bowl: a few tablespoons of soy sauce for each one of rice wine or sherry, and a heap of minced or grated ginger, and plenty of thinly sliced scallions. You could put some garlic in there, if you like, and a dash of hot chile oil or sesame oil.

Salt and pepper the fish, then pull the hot sheet pan out of the oven and get some neutral oil on it. Add the fish to the hot pan carefully, put it in the oven and roast for a minute or so, then paint the sauce onto the fillets and cook for a minute or so longer, until the fish has just cooked through.

Serve with rice and greens.

Khichuri

1/2 cup mung dal (skinned and split mung beans)
1/2 cup Basmati rice
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 tejpatta (Sold in Indian grocery stores as “Indian bay leaf”)
6 cups water
1 Russet potato, cubed into 1″ pieces
1/2 head of a large cauliflower, cut into small florets
1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut (could substitute with unsweetened dessicated coconut)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Vegetable oil for sauteing
1-2 tablespoons Ghee (could be substituted with butter)
2 tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
1 teaspoon sugar

On medium heat, in a dry wok, add the mung dal and toast until it changes color to a light brown and becomes very aromatic. Keep stirring frequently while you toast the dal – don’t let it burn! Once the dal changes color, add 3 cups of water, add the bay leaves, bring it to a boil, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, add the rice, one teaspoon of Kosher salt and another 3 cups of water, bring to a boil, cover with a lid and cook for another 10 minutes.

While the dal starts boiling, start sauteing your vegetables. In a large skillet, on medium heat, add about 1/4 cup of vegetable oil. When the oil starts shimmering, add the cumin seeds and ginger paste and saute for a few seconds. The ginger is going to splatter like crazy, so be careful! Add the potatoes, cauliflower, turmeric, cayenne and one teaspoon of Kosher salt and saute until the veggies are evenly browned on all sides. This should take about 20 minutes or so.

Once the rice has cooked for 10 minutes, add all the vegetables into the wok, scraping the skillet to get all the spices. Add the tomatoes, mix well, cover with a lid and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Check frequently to make sure that there is enough water in the wok and the khichuri is not getting stuck at the bottom.

Meanwhile, in the same skillet, add another teaspoon of oil and saute the coconut until it gets browned at the edges and becomes very aromatic. Set aside.

After the vegetables have cooked in the wok for 10 minutes, check to see if they are done. At this point, both the rice and dal should be cooked through and about to turn mushy, and the tomatoes should have disintegrated. Add the sauteed coconut, raisins, peas, sugar, zest and juice of the lime. Mix well. I like my khichuri to have the consistency of risotto, so I let it cook with the lid off until the texture is just right. Taste for seasoning. Mix in the ghee just before serving. Enjoy immediately with your favorite vegetable fritters, papads and extra wedges of lime!

Khichuri (Stovetop or Pressure Cooker)

1/2 cup white rice
1/2-cup moong dal (split yellow mung bean)
Half of a small cauliflower, cut into about 10 florets (not so small that they will melt)
2 or 3 small potatoes, peeled and cut in half, or 1 medium potato cut into 4-6 pieces
1/3 cup of frozen peas
1 bay leaf
2 green cardamom
2-3 cloves
1 thin sticks of cinnamon
1 or 2 dry red chili (I often use green chili instead)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon grated ginger
Ghee (clarified butter)
Turmeric and salt as needed

Dry roast the moong dal on medium flame till it starts to brown and you can smell its nutty aroma. (Other khichri recipes use a range of lentils that don’t involve this step.) Stop when about half the beans have become light brown in color, then set aside in a bowl with 2 cups of warm water in it.

Into a pan add a tablespoon of ghee (or mustard oil or vegetable oil) and heat on high or medium till the ghee looks hot.

Throw in the bay leaf. As it starts to brown, lower the flame to medium and add the cardamom pods, clove and cinnamon. Stir with a spoon. Then add the cumin seeds and the chilies. Once the cumin seeds start to sputter, throw in the grated ginger, and stir.

Now add the potato, carrots and cauliflower. Sprinkle some turmeric till veggies turn light yellow. Stir fry for a few minutes.

At this stage, add the dal with the water and salt to taste. Cover the pot and cook till water starts to boil.

Cook for 4 more minutes so that the dal, which takes longer to cook, starts to soften.

At this point, you can transfer everything to a pressure cooker, add the frozen peas, rice and one more cup of water and cook it using the rice setting. (If you’re using a stove top pressure cooker, wait for two whistles before you switch off of the stove.)

Or if not using a pressure cooker, add the rice and two more cups of water to the pot once the dal starts to soften. Cook with a lid on medium or low with occasional stirring to make sure rice and mung beans don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Frozen peas will cook quickly, so add them 5-10 minutes after the rice. Add more water along the way if it starts to look too dry.

Consistency should be like that of a thick porridge, although some people like it drier.

Cook till rice, dal and vegetables look cooked, but not too mushy. Serve with a teaspoon of ghee on top, mango or lime pickle on the side.

This very well with papad or papadum, which are flat, round, tortilla shaped crispy snacks that are usually deep fried or roasted over the fire.

Thai Spicy Steak Salad

1 pound steak (flank, top sirloin)
1 to 2 fresh red chilies (bird’s eye preferred)
3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons fish sauce
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 packet chives, sliced into 1-inch lengths
1 handful cilantro, roughly chopped

In a pan or on the grill, sear the unseasoned steak until browned well on both sides, and cook to medium rare or desired temperature. Allow the steak to rest while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a mortar and pestle, mash together the garlic and chilies to create a paste. Scrape the paste into a large bowl, and add the lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar. Mix well to dissolve the sugar. Add the thinly sliced onions, chives, and cilantro, and toss well to combine. Next, slice the steak into thin, even slices across the grain, and add to the salad. Mix again thoroughly and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to meld. Serve with freshly steamed rice.

Oven Fries with Roasted Garlic

3 large Yukon Gold potatoes (1 3/4 pounds), halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
8 unpeeled garlic cloves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
1/4 cup parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 425°.

On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the potatoes and garlic cloves with the olive oil. Spread the potatoes in an even layer, cut sides down. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the chopped thyme.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are browned on the bottom and very crisp.

Peel the garlic cloves. Transfer the potatoes and garlic to a platter, sprinkle with the parsley leaves and serve.

Suya-Spiced Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloin

2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 1¼-pound pork tenderloins, trimmed of silver skin and halved crosswise
2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar
¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter, cut into 8 pieces and chilled
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/3 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, finely chopped

Heat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the middle position. In a large bowl, stir together the paprika, ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne and 1 teaspoon each salt and black pepper.

Add the pork, turn to coat and massage the spice mixture into the meat. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

In an oven-safe 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the pork and cook, turning occasionally with tongs, until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes total.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the center of the thickest tenderloin reaches 140°F, 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the skillet to the stovetop (the handle will be hot). Using tongs, transfer the pork to a large plate and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add the sugar and broth to the skillet.

Bring to a simmer over medium-high, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

While whisking constantly, add the butter 1 piece at a time; add the next piece only after the previous one is almost fully incorporated.

After all the butter is incorporated, stir in the lime juice and cook until a spatula drawn through the sauce leaves a trail, about 20 seconds.

Off heat, stir in the peanuts, then taste the sauce and season with salt and black pepper. Thinly slice the tenderloins and arrange on a platter.

Stir any accumulated pork juices into the sauce, then spoon the sauce over the pork.