Thai Chicken Meatball Soup

1 (4-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 jalapeño
2 pounds ground chicken
1 large bunch cilantro, leaves and stems finely chopped, a few whole leaves reserved for serving
3 tablespoons fish sauce
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil, plus more as needed
2 cups chicken broth
1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
5 ounces baby spinach
1 tablespoon lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
Steamed white or brown rice, for serving

Using the small holes of a box grater, or a Microplane, grate the ginger, garlic and jalapeño (or finely chop them by hand). Transfer half to a large bowl and set the rest aside. To the large bowl, add the chicken, finely chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons fish sauce and 1 teaspoon salt. Use your hands or a fork to fully combine but do not overmix.

Use your hands or an ice cream scoop to form 2-inch meatballs (about 2 ounces each). In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs in a single layer and cook, flipping halfway through, until golden brown on two sides, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat, adding oil as needed.

Once all the meatballs are browned and out of the pot, if the oil is burned, wipe it out and add a bit more to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium, add the reserved ginger mixture and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, coconut milk, sugar and the remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce, and bring to a simmer. Add the meatballs and any juices from the plate, and simmer until the flavors come together and the meatballs are cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in the spinach and lime juice. Divide rice among bowls, then top with meatballs, broth and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Simple Tomato Sauce

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

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

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

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

Pasta With White Beans, Arugula Pesto, and Halloumi

FOR THE PASTA:
1/3 cup/75 milliliters olive oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium green serrano chile, stemmed and halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 (15.5-ounce/400-gram) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups (about 9 ounces/250 grams) short, twirled pasta, preferably gemelli or trofie pasta
3 cups/700 milliliters chicken or vegetable stock
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup/60 milliliters lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
1 block halloumi (around 7 ounces/200 grams), very finely grated

FOR THE ARUGULA (ROCKET) PESTO:
Heaping 1/3 cup/50 grams pine nuts, well toasted
2 small garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 lightly packed cups (about 2 ounces/60 grams) arugula (rocket), roughly chopped
1/2 cup/20 grams roughly chopped parsley (leaves and tender stems only)
1/3 cup/90 milliliters olive oil, plus more as needed
Kosher salt and black pepper

Prepare the pasta: Add the oil to a large, lidded sauté pan, and then place it over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the garlic and chile, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often, until the garlic is nicely golden. Stir in the thyme, beans, pasta, stock, 2 teaspoons salt and plenty of pepper, and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, with the lid off, for about 5 to 10 minutes. This will help it absorb more of the liquid.

As the pasta cooks, make the pesto: To a food processor, add the nuts, garlic, arugula (rocket), parsley, half the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a good grind of pepper. Pulse a few times, scraping down the sides and pulsing again until you have a coarse paste. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the remaining olive oil, adding a touch extra if needed to loosen the pesto.

When ready to serve, stir the lemon juice and half the pesto into the pasta (discard the chile, if you wish) and transfer to a large serving bowl or platter with a lip. Sprinkle over about half the halloumi, and serve with the extra halloumi and pesto to eat alongside.

Notes: makes about 160 grams of pesto

Braised Fresh Black-Eyed Peas With Baby Turnips

1 bunch baby white turnips with greens, such as Hokkaido (8 ounces)
4 tablespoons French-style unsalted butter
2 small red onions, diced
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2 pounds fresh black-eyed peas in pods, shelled
Fresh mint leaves

Remove the green tops from the turnips, and cut the turnips into quarters or sixths depending on size. Separate leaves from stems and discard stems; wash leaves.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 3- to 4-quart shallow stovetop braiser over medium heat. Sweat onion in butter for 1 minute, until translucent. Add turnips and sweat 2 minutes, until glossy and starting to “shine.”

Run a knife through the leaves once, maybe twice, and add to the pot. Season with a healthy pinch of salt and stir until leaves are also starting to sweat and wilt.

Add peas and 1 cup of water. Season with two large pinches of salt (restaurant-chef pinches, not home-cook pinches). Cover. Reduce heat. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes.

Stir. Add 1 cup water. Add pinch salt. Re-cover. Simmer for 10 more minutes.

Stir. Simmer for 10 to 15 more minutes, or until beans are cooked and soft and starchy inside, turnips are cooked and water has turned grayish purple. Taste for salt and season. Let cool completely on stovetop with heat off.

Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow everything to meld and settle. Serve the next day, reheated over low until tepid, stirring in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to melt gently into the broth. Finish with a shower of fresh mint and ground black pepper.

Cucumber-Tomato Salad with Seared Halloumi

FOR THE CROUTONS:
1 pound slightly stale sourdough or country bread, thickly sliced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt

FOR THE SALAD:
4 to 5 cups cucumber chunks, preferably thin-skinned, such as Kirby or Persian
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 pounds cherry tomatoes, halved, or ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
8 to 12 ounces halloumi or bread cheese
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons thinly sliced red onion or scallions, plus more to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint or basil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, plus more as needed

Make the croutons: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut each slice of bread into 1-inch-wide strips. Tear each strip into 1-inch pieces, removing the crust as you go if it is very thick. Transfer to a large baking sheet (or use 2 sheets, if necessary to prevent crowding). Drizzle with olive oil and toss until evenly coated.

Bake until golden brown and crunchy on the outside, 18 to 22 minutes, rotating the baking sheet and turning the croutons halfway through so they brown evenly, and checking them every few minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with a light sprinkling of salt, if needed. Let cool on the baking sheet.

Make the salad: In a colander in the sink, toss the cucumbers with about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place a bag of ice cubes or an ice pack on top to chill and firm the cucumbers. Let drain while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes with about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
Slice the halloumi about 1/4-inch thick, then cut into bite-size strips. Smash and peel the garlic cloves and combine with 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a small bowl to steep.

Pour off excess liquid from the bowl holding the tomatoes. Add drained cucumbers, red onion or scallions, fresh herbs and 2 tablespoons vinegar to tomatoes and toss well. Remove and discard the garlic cloves from the extra-virgin olive oil, add the oil to tomatoes and mix well. (If desired, the salad can be made up until this point and refrigerated for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain off excess liquid in the bottom of the bowl before proceeding.)

When ready to serve, add about half the croutons to the salad and toss so they can absorb the liquid. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt, pepper, extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar.
Cook the halloumi: Line a plate with paper towels and lightly coat a nonstick skillet with extra-virgin olive oil. Heat oil over medium-high until rippling. Working in batches, cook the halloumi strips on both sides until golden-brown and crusty, about 1 minute per side. Remove to the plate to drain.

Taste and add more croutons to salad as desired. (If there are too many, the salad will be starchy; too few, and it will be wet.) At the last minute, toss in the halloumi, add another good glug of extra-virgin olive oil, mix gently and serve immediately. (If desired, transfer to a clean bowl or platter for serving.)

Fast and Easy Marinara Sauce

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes

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

Miso-Mustard Dressing

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

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

Miso Dressing with Ginger

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

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

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

Golden Cauliflower Dal with Spinach and Coconut

1 cup split red lentils (masoor dal) see notes on “timing”
2 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons ghee (or for vegan use coconut oil) ( ***see note at bottom!)
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2–3 fat shallots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ginger, grated or finely minced (or use ginger paste)
2–4 fresh or dried chilies (optional, for heat)
1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fenugreek leaves
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 large head of cauliflower, broken into large florets (about 2 lbs), stems ok.
couple handfuls baby spinach

Cover the split lentils with 2 cups boiling water, set aside.

In an extra-large saute pan or Dutch oven, heat the ghee over medium heat, add the crushed coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and stir for one minute.

Add the shallots, garlic and ginger and optional chilies, and saute until fragrant and golden, lowering the heat to med-low, if need be, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and turmeric. Stir in the lentils along with the 2 cups of hot water. Add the salt and fenugreek. Give a good stir.

Add the coconut milk and stir to incorporate, then add the cauliflower florets, coating them well. Give the pan a shake to allow any lentils to slip back into the liquid. Increase heat, bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer gently over med-low heat, until lentils are softened and cauliflower is fork-tender, about 10 minutes.

Remove lid and let some of the liquid cook off, about 3-4 more minutes. Carefully stir in spinach. Taste, adjust seasonings. Add a squeeze of lemon if you like.

Garnish with cilantro or scallions and if you made the extra tempering oil ( see notes), spoon this over top before serving.

Serve with naan bread or basmati rice, or on its own in a bowl like a stew.

Notes

***For extra flavor (as is, this is “gently” spiced) create a tempering oil. Double the ghee and double the whole seeds. After sauteing the seeds in the oil or ghee, spoon half of this into a small bowl and set aside -to drizzle over the finished dish (this is the “tempering oil”) super tasty!

Timing: If your lentils seem extra-large, or your cauliflower florets seem extra small, cook the lentils a few minutes before adding the cauliflower, so the cauliflower doesn’t get overcooked. ****I used tiny lentils and extra-large florets.

You could also, roast off the cauliflower separately (toss with oil, salt and pepper at 400F until tender) and stir into the cooked lentils.

Spicy Peanut Stew With Ginger and Tomato

1 medium-size eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 to 2 jalapeño chilies, seeded and minced
1 onion, chopped
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 small (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, preferably roasted
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1/2 cup natural unsweetened peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
1 medium-size zucchini, 6 to 8 ounces, cut in quarters lengthwise, then sliced 1/2 -inch thick
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish
Cooked rice, for serving
Chopped roasted salted peanuts, for garnish (optional)

In a colander, toss eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt; set aside for 30 minutes. Rinse, drain well and set aside. In a small bowl, combine cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne; set aside.

In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots and fry, stirring often, until soft, crisp and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallots to a large bowl, leaving oil in pot.

Raise heat to high and add eggplant. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and just tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with shallots.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pot and heat over medium-high heat. Add ginger and chilies and cook, stirring for 30 seconds.

Add spices and cook, stirring, 30 seconds more. Add onion and cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add diced tomatoes, stock or water, eggplant, shallots and a sprinkling of salt. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Place peanut butter in a medium bowl, add one or two ladlefuls of hot soup, and stir until emulsified, then pour mixture back into soup.

Reduce heat to a simmer, add zucchini, cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Turn off heat and stir in lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Let cool slightly and taste; add salt if necessary. Serve in bowls with rice, garnished with cilantro leaves and chopped peanuts, if desired.

Eggplant Ravaiya

1 cup roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon jaggery (unrefined cane sugar), or cane or turbinado sugar
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Kashmiri chile powder or 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced Serrano chile (if you like less heat, you can remove the seeds and pith)
Pinch asafetida (optional)
1 teaspoon chickpea flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 baby eggplants (see note)

Put all ingredients except for the olive oil and eggplants in a food processor, and pulse until the peanuts are ground. Add oil and pulse to combine; the mixture will resemble damp sand. Set aside.

Cut a crosshatch in the bottom of the eggplant about three-quarters of the way up the fruit, leaving the stem intact. (In other words, you’re making a deep plus-sign shape in the bulbous part of the fruit, so you can stuff it with the peanut filling.) Repeat with the remaining eggplants.

Stuff each eggplant with a little of the peanut mixture, just enough to fill the hole. You should have some peanut mixture left over.

Place the stuffed eggplants on their sides in a single layer on the bottom of a large pot or saucepan with a lid. The eggplants can overlap a little, but ideally they will all fit on the bottom of the pot. Dollop the leftover peanut mixture on top of and around the eggplants, and add 1 cup of water. Turn heat to medium and cover the pot. Let the eggplant cook at a simmer, adjusting the heat as necessary, for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the eggplants are just tender when you poke them at the stem end with the tip of a knife.

Taste the sauce for salt, and serve hot with basmati rice or Indian flatbreads.

Tip
It’s best to use baby eggplants (about 4 inches long) shaped like teardrops. The chef Niven Patel uses an Indian variety, but this shape is also grown in Italy and elsewhere, so you can find it at farmers’ markets and some supermarkets too. Or use long skinny Japanese eggplants, and cut them into about 4-inch pieces, then make two slits in each piece as you would for a whole teardrop eggplant. They will break down a bit more but will still taste good.

Sabudana Khichdi

1 cup medium tapioca pearls (look for sabudana at an Indian grocer)
3 or 4 small-medium yellow potatoes (about 8 ounces), such as Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn
Fine sea salt
1/2 cup raw peanuts
4 to 5 Thai chiles, stems removed, roughly chopped
1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch coins
3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 to 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro, for garnish

Place tapioca in a large bowl and cover with water. Swirl to release starch, then drain. Repeat a few times until water runs mostly clear, then drain well. Return tapioca to bowl, along with 3/4 cup water. Soak for 4 to 5 hours, or until water is mostly absorbed and tapioca pearls are easily squashed when pressed between your thumb and forefinger. Drain well, and place into a large microwave-safe bowl.

Place whole potatoes in a small pot and cover with water. Season generously with salt and set over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until completely tender, about 25 to 35 minutes, depending on size. Remove potatoes from water, allow to cool, then peel, and dice into 1/2-inch cubes. Add to tapioca.

Set a frying pan over medium heat and add peanuts. Swirling constantly, toast them until shiny, aromatic and golden brown, about 4 minutes. Pour immediately onto a plate to prevent overcooking. Wipe pan, and return to stove.

In a food processor, pulse chiles and ginger together until finely minced, stopping to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula once or twice. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can do this step by hand.) Remove 1 tablespoon chile-ginger mixture, and set aside. Add cooled peanuts to food processor, and continue to pulse just long enough to roughly chop nuts. Scrape peanut-chile mixture into tapioca-potato mixture.

Heat frying pan over a medium flame and add oil. When oil shimmers, add cumin. When cumin begins to sizzle, stir in reserved chile-ginger mixture, and allow to sizzle but not brown, then immediately pour into tapioca mixture. Add 1 teaspoon sugar, toss and season with salt to taste.

Microwave tapioca mixture on high for 2 minutes, then stir. Continue cooking for another 2 minutes, then stir again. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes in 15-second increments, until tapioca is translucent and chewy, but not quite transparent and clumpy.

Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, sugar and lemon juice.
Garnish with cilantro, and serve hot.

Spiced Eggplant and Tomatoes With Runny Eggs

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 pounds Italian eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (Diamond Crystal), plus more as needed
1 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds
1 1/4 teaspoons baharat blend (or use another spice blend, such as garam masala)
Freshly ground black pepper
5 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3 fat garlic cloves, finely grated, pressed or minced
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (about 1 pound)
3/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, mint, cilantro, parsley, dill or any combination, plus more for garnish
4 to 6 large eggs
Lemon wedges, for serving
Plain whole-milk yogurt, for serving
Hot sauce (such as Tabasco), for serving

Put eggplant in a colander in the sink and toss with 1 teaspoon salt. Let drain while preparing the nuts.

In a small bowl, combine nuts, 1/4 teaspoon baharat and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pine nut mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and toasted, 2 minutes. Pour nuts back into the small bowl and stir in lemon zest. Set aside for serving.

Add 3 tablespoons oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high until oil thins out, about 20 seconds. Add enough of the eggplant to fit in one layer without overlapping. Cook eggplant until browned, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer eggplant to a plate. Repeat with more oil and eggplant, taking care not to crowd the pan.

When all the eggplant is browned, push the last batch still in the pan to one side. Drizzle the empty part of the pan with a tiny bit of oil and add garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Return the rest of the browned eggplant back to the pan and stir well to incorporate garlic.

Add tomatoes and remaining baharat, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a big pinch of pepper. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes and eggplant become stewy, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in herbs. Taste and add more salt, if needed.
Make small hollows into the stewed eggplant with the back of a spoon. Gently crack an egg into each hollow. Season eggs with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid or piece of foil and cook on medium-low until the eggs are just set, but still soft, 4 to 7 minutes. Remove the lid, and garnish with the spiced nuts, more herbs and a squeeze of lemon. Serve with yogurt, hot sauce and more lemon wedges on the side.

Turmeric Fried Eggs With Tamarind and Pickled Shallots

FOR THE PICKLED SHALLOTS:
1 shallot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Kosher salt

FOR THE TAMARIND DRESSING:
1 1/2 tablespoons/30 grams tamarind concentrate
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)

FOR THE SPINACH AND EGGS:
1/4 cup/60 milliliters olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 packed cups/200 grams baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 large eggs
1 fresh green chile (such as a serrano or small jalapeño), thinly sliced into rounds, seeds and all

Prepare the pickled shallots: Add the shallot, lime juice and a pinch of salt to a small bowl; use your fingers to gently massage everything together. Set aside to pickle lightly.

Make the tamarind dressing: Add all the ingredients to a bowl, along with 1 1/2 tablespoons water. Whisk to combine and dissolve the sugar. Set aside.

Prepare the spinach: Add 1 tablespoon oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high. Once hot, add the garlic and cook for 90 seconds, stirring, until fragrant and lightly golden, then stir in the spinach (in batches, by the handful) and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and wipe out the pan.

Prepare the eggs: Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and the turmeric to the same pan; stir to combine and heat over medium-high. Once hot but not smoking, crack in the eggs and quickly sprinkle the whites with the sliced chile.

Season the eggs all over with a good pinch of salt and use spatula to separate the whites so that the eggs are not joined together. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes, spooning some of the oil over the whites. You want the whites to be crispy at the edges and the yolk to be runny. (You can cook it for longer, if you like your eggs more cooked.)

When eggs are cooked to taste, use a spatula to transfer them to the plate with the spinach, drizzling with any extra turmeric oil left in the pan. Top with the pickled shallots and a spoonful of the tamarind dressing, serving any remaining alongside.

Skillet Greens With Runny Eggs, Peas and Pancetta

2 ounces pancetta or 2 thick-cut slices bacon, diced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch ramps or scallions, thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
2 bunches red, rainbow or Swiss chard, stems thinly sliced and leaves coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
Pinch of red-pepper flakes
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth, or water
2/3 cup fresh or frozen peas (you don’t have to thaw them if frozen)
6 large eggs
Toasted country bread or baguette, for serving (optional)

Add pancetta and 1 tablespoon oil to a 10-inch skillet and turn the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fat has rendered and the pancetta is golden brown and crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate.

To the same skillet, add remaining 2 tablespoon oil, ramp or scallion whites, and chard stems, and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, salt and red pepper and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.

Add the chard leaves, ramp or scallion greens, and broth, set the heat to medium-low, and cook partly covered, until very soft and silky, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. If using fresh peas, add them during the last 5 minutes of cooking; if using frozen peas, stir them in when the greens are cooked.

Crack eggs into the greens. Season eggs with salt and pepper, then cover pan completely and cook until eggs are cooked to taste, 5 minutes for very runny, 7 minutes for jammy. Sprinkle with pancetta and serve with toast if you like.

More-Vegetable-Than-Egg Frittata

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, sliced (optional)
Salt and black pepper
4 to 6 cups of any chopped or sliced raw or barely cooked vegetables
1/4 cup fresh basil or parsley leaves, or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or mint leaves, or any other herb
2 or 3 eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Put olive oil in a skillet (preferably nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron) and turn heat to medium. When fat is hot, add onion, if using, and cook, sprinkling with salt and pepper, until it is soft, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add vegetables, raise heat and cook, stirring occasionally until they soften, from a couple of minutes for greens to 15 minutes for sliced potatoes. Adjust heat so vegetables brown a little without scorching. (With precooked vegetables, just add them to onions and stir before proceeding.)

When vegetables are nearly done, turn heat to low and add herb. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, beat eggs with some salt and pepper, along with cheese if you are using it. Pour over vegetables, distributing them evenly. Cook, undisturbed, until eggs are barely set, 10 minutes or so; run pan under broiler for a minute or 2 if top does not set.

Cut frittata into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Huevos Rotos (Broken Eggs with Potatoes)

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes or 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 pounds new potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces if necessary
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 eggs
Lemon wedges, for serving
Flaky sea salt, for serving

In a measuring cup, combine the olive oil, paprika, red-pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, a generous grind of pepper and 1 cup water.

Put the potatoes in a large skillet and pour the olive oil mixture over them. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook on high until the potatoes are fork-tender, 6 to 9 minutes.

Uncover and turn the heat to low. If the potatoes are sticking or dry, add more olive oil. Arrange the potatoes in an even layer, cut side down if halved, then add the onion and garlic surrounding the potatoes. Cover and cook until the potatoes are golden-brown and the onions are softened, 4 to 6 minutes.
Stir the potatoes (if they’re sticking, add more oil).

Make 4 nests in the potatoes and crack an egg into each. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny, 4 to 6 minutes.

To serve, break the yolks gently with a serving spoon, then scoop some potatoes and an egg onto plates or into shallow bowls. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and flaky salt.

Vermicelli Sweet Corn Usli (Upma)

2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 cups wheat vermicelli noodles (see Tip)
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon urad dal (optional)
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 sprig fresh curry leaves
1 green chile, such as serrano, finely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
1 ear fresh corn, kernels cut off the cob
1/2 cup roasted cashews, roughly chopped
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup frozen or fresh grated coconut, plus more for garnish
1 lime, halved

Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a medium pot with a fitted lid over medium heat. If the noodles are on the long side, break them up into roughly bite-size pieces. Add them to the pot, and use a wooden spoon to keep them moving so they get lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Scrape into a bowl.

In the same pot, heat the remaining tablespoon oil over medium and fry the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the urad dal (if using), the onion, curry leaves, chile and salt. When the onion is completely softened, but not yet browned, add 1 cup water.
As soon as the water comes to a boil, add the toasted noodles, corn kernels, cashews, cilantro and coconut; stir well. Cover, and cook on low for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat, and let it rest for another 5 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and lime juice, then garnish with extra coconut and cilantro, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Tip
Look for very fine vermicelli noodles made from wheat, also called semiya or seviyan at South Asian and Middle Eastern grocery stores. The noodles come toasted and untoasted, short and long. If you buy toasted noodles, there’s no need to toast them in coconut oil (Step 1); simply add them to the boiling water (Step 3).

Coconut Milk Rice

2 cups rice (any fragrant rice)
1 1/2 cup coconut milk or (1 cup coconut chopped or grated + 1 ½ cup water)
2 cups Water (adjust as needed, you can use 1/4 cup more)
2 tsp ginger grated or crushed or paste or ginger garlic paste
1 to 2 green chili slit
1 medium carrots chopped (optional)
1 cup green peas frozen or fresh (optional)
6 beans chopped (optional)
2 tbsp oil , Ghee or butter
Salt as needed
Spices for coconut milk rice
1 bay leaf or tej patta
4 cardamoms or green cardamoms
6 cloves or laung
2 inch cinnamon piece or dalchini
1 tsp cumin or jeera
optional for garnish
10 cashews
4 tbsp Grated coconut or coconut flakes

Wash and soak rice for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Optional – Skip this step if you are using store bought coconut milk. Blend chopped coconut pieces with 1 1/2 cup water. Filter to extract the milk and use 1 1/2 coconut milk in the recipe.

Add ghee or butter to a cooker or pot. Fry cashews until golden. You can set aside if you like crunchy cashews.

To the same pan, add spices and fry till they turn fragrant. Add ginger paste and fry until it smells fragrant.

Add slit green chili, chopped vegetables and fry for 2 to 3 mins.
Pour the coconut milk along with the water and add salt. Taste and check the salt.

When the coconut milk begins to boil, add rice and mix well.

Cover and cook until fully done on a medium flame.

Little water can be sprinkled if rice is still not cooked well. If cooking in a pressure cooker, allow to whistle once.

Allow the coconut milk rice to rest for 15 mins then fluff it up with a fork.

Toast the coconut until golden and garnish it over the rice. You can also garnish with cashews.

South Indian Coconut Rice (Thengai Sadam)

1 cup uncooked rice (any kind, or 3 to 4 cups cooked rice)
1 to 1 1/2 cup coconut grated (fresh or frozen) (adjust to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
1 to 2 green chili (slit or chopped)
1 dried red chili (broken to 2 pieces) (optional)
2 tablespoons oil or ghee
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)
1 pinch hing (asafoetida)
1 tablespoon chana dal (bengal gram)
1/2 tablespoon urad dal (skinned split black lentils)
1 teaspoon ginger (fine chopped)
12 to 15 cashewnuts or peanuts

Wash rice at least thrice and drain the water. If using basmati rice, soak it for 20 to 30 mins.

To cook rice in pot, bring 2 cups water to a rolling boil and add the rice. Cook covered on a low heat until fully done but not mushy.

To pressure cook basmat rice, pour 1¾ cups water & pressure cook for 1 whistle. To pressure cook normal rice, pour 2 cups & pressure cook for 2 whistles. The rice must be grainy and not mushy. When the pressure releases, open the lid.

Fluff up the cooked rice with a fork and cool completely.

Slit the green chilies, fine chop ginger, and grate the coconut. If using frozen coconut, break up the lumps and loosen the coconut.

Making coconut rice:

Pour 2 tablespoons ghee or oil to a pan and heat it.

Fry cashews or peanuts until golden. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chilli, chana dal and urad dal. Saute them and fry until the dals turn golden and aromatic.
Then add ginger, slit green chilli & curry leaves. Saute for 30 to 60 seconds until the curry leaves turn crisp. Add hing.

Optional – Quickly pour 2 to 3 tablespoons water to the pan. This will soften the dals and bring out the flavors of the ginger and curry leaves. If you want your dal to be very soft, then you can add little more water. Cook until all of the water evaporates.
Then add fresh coconut and sprinkle salt on it. Then add rice. Off the heat. If using frozen coconut, then saute the coconut a bit until it becomes hot. Then add the rice.

Mix well and taste test. Add more salt if needed. Serve coconut rice with a simple curry or plain yogurt.