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.

1-2-3-4-5 Tofu

21 ounces firm tofu (1 1/2 containers, 600g; cut into cubes)
2 tablespoons oil
4 slices ginger
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
4 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons water

Preheat a wok (or cast iron pan) until it starts to smoke lightly. This is very important to prevent the tofu from sticking.

Add 2 tablespoons oil, along with the ginger slices. Over medium heat, fry the ginger for 1 minute. Add the tofu, and take 10 minutes to brown the tofu on at least 2-3 sides.

When the tofu is lightly browned (or to your liking), add in 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine, 2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar, 3 tablespoons light soy sauce, 4 tablespoons sugar, and 5 tablespoons water. Stir and mix everything well. Turn up the heat to bring it to a boil.

Cover and reduce the heat to medium/low. Simmer for 15 minutes. Halfway through, check to make sure the liquid is not drying up. If so, reduce the heat further and add in a little more water if needed.

After 15 minutes, remove the lid. The sauce should be mostly cooked down. With the heat on high, gently toss the tofu to ensure every piece is coated in glistening sauce. This process takes a couple of minutes. Reduce the liquid until there is ¼ cup of liquid left and the tofu is gleaming with sauce. Serve immediately.

Crispy Tofu With Cashews and Blistered Snap Peas (with Variations)

1 (14-ounce) block firm or extra-firm tofu, drained
3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed, vegetable or canola, plus more as needed
Kosher salt and black pepper
3/4 pound snap peas, trimmed
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about 2 tablespoons)
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 (13-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk (light or full-fat)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons molasses, dark brown sugar or honey
1/2 cup toasted cashews
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/4 cup mint leaves, torn if large
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)
Rice or any steamed grain, for serving

Slice the tofu in half horizontally, and leave on paper towels to dry any excess liquid.

In a medium skillet or cast-iron pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high until it shimmers. Season both sides of the tofu with salt and black pepper, place in the pan and sear without moving until tofu is browned and golden on both sides, turning once halfway through, about 8 minutes total. Move the tofu to a plate.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan, and add the snap peas. Cook, stirring occasionally, until blistered and just tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and move to a bowl.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, add the ginger and garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the coconut milk, soy sauce and molasses. Simmer, stirring frequently until the sauce reduces and its color deepens to a dark brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. It should coat a spoon without running right off. Stir in the cashews, break the tofu into 1-inch pieces and toss in the pan to coat with sauce. Remove from heat, and taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Toss the snap peas with the rice vinegar, scallions, mint and red-pepper flakes, if using. Divide among plates, along with the tofu and cashews. Serve with rice or any steamed grain.

Baked Tofu With Peanut Sauce and Coconut-Lime Rice (with Variations)

2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil, plus more for brushing the pan and drizzling
2/3 cup lime juice (from about 5 limes), and zest of 1 lime
Kosher salt
8 baby bell peppers or 1 medium bell pepper (any color will do), stemmed and thinly sliced lengthwise
Black pepper
1 cup long-grain rice like jasmine or basmati
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 cup smooth, natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon red miso
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
2 teaspoons chopped habanero pepper, stem and seeds removed, or 1 tablespoon sambal
2 tablespoons buckwheat honey or molasses
2 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained and sliced crosswise, 1/4-inch thick
3 cups peppery greens, like arugula, mizuna or baby mustard greens
2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced

Heat the oven to 450 degrees and lightly brush a large rimmed sheet pan with oil.

In a small bowl, stir 4 tablespoons lime juice with 1/2 teaspoon salt until salt dissolves. Add the sliced peppers, a few cracks of black pepper and set aside.

In a small pot, combine the rice with 1 cup water and the coconut milk. Season with salt and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over medium-low until the rice is just tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, until ready to serve.

In a medium bowl, whisk 4 tablespoons lime juice with the peanut butter, miso, ginger, fish sauce (if using), habanero, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon honey and 3/4 cup water. Stir until smooth and season to taste with salt.

Arrange the tofu pieces in a single layer on the oiled baking sheet and season with salt. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the peanut sauce over each, covering the top and allowing the sauce to run down and coat the sides. Drizzle the tops with some oil, and roast until glaze is set, deep brown and caramelized along the edges, 18 to 20 minutes. Add the remaining lime juice and 1 tablespoon honey to the leftover peanut sauce in the bowl to make the dressing; set aside.

Notes: A spicy, fragrant peanut sauce reminiscent of the groundnut stews that are popular across West Africa anchors this recipe. Any protein would be lucky to be doused and marinated in it, but tofu soaks up the peanut sauce’s flavors and chars up nicely upon roasting.

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.

Slaw with Tomatoes and Blistered Peanuts

1 1/2 cups unsalted raw peanuts
1/2 of a medium-large cabbage
1 basket of tiny cherry tomatoes, washed and quartered
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and diced
3/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon + fine-grain sea salt
honey, to taste

Blister the Peanuts
In a skillet or oven (350F) roast the peanuts for 5 to 10 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice along the way, until golden and blistered.

Prepare the Coleslaw Ingredients
Cut the cabbage into two quarters and cut out the core. Using a knife shred each quarter into whisper thin slices. The key here is bite-sized and thin. If any pieces look like they might be awkwardly long, cut those in half. Combine the cabbage, tomatoes, jalapeno (opt), and cilantro in a bowl.

Make the Dressing
In a separate bowl combine the lime juice, olive oil, salt. Taste, and whisk in a teaspoon or two of honey if the lime is too strong for you. Add to the cabbage mixture and gently stir to combine. Just before serving fold in the peanuts (add them too earl and they lose some of their crunch). Taste and adjust the flavor with more salt if needed.

Notes: Go ahead and leave out the jalapeño if you like it milder. I also thought about adding shredded, baked tortilla chips (like the ones from the tortilla soup recipe). Also, I’ve mentioned this before – I try to seek out organic peanuts. As far as the choice of cabbage goes, you can use green cabbage, or a blend of purple and green. If you like a more creamy coleslaw, go ahead and add a dollop of mayo, or Greek yogurt.

Corn and Coconut Salad

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 ears of corn, shucked
fine grain sea salt
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 cup / 1 1/2 oz / 40 g big coconut flakes, well toasted
1 cup / 3 oz / 85 g sliced almonds, well toasted
3 tablespoons chopped red onions
big squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the corn, sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt and stir well, you want all the corn to be coated. Cook for just a minute, until the corn looses its raw edge, stir in half the thyme, and then transfer the corn to a large serving bowl.

Just before you’re ready to serve, add most of the coconut flakes, most of the almonds, the rest of the thyme, red onions, and citrus juice. Stir well. Taste, season with more salt, to taste, and serve topped with the remaining coconut and almonds (and another jolt of juice if needed!).

Bhindi Masala

1 1lb okra/bhindi
3 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, sliced thinly or ? cup sliced onions
1 large tomato, chopped or ½ cup chopped tomatoes
2 green chilies, slit
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste or ½ inch ginger along with 3 to 4 medium garlic crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle
1/4 tsp turmeric powder/haldi
1/4 tsp red chili powder/lal mirch powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder/dhania powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder/jeera powder
1/2 tsp dry mango powder/amchur
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves, crushed
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves/dhania patta
salt as required

Rinse the bhindi/okra in water. then wipe dry them with a kitchen towel or just allow to dry them naturally in a plate. (making sure they are completely dry eliminates the gelatinous texture of okra)

Slice off the crown and tip of each bhindi. then slice them vertically.
also slice 1 medium onion. chop 1 large tomato and slit 2 green chilies. crush the ginger and garlic in a mortar-pestle.

Heat 3 tbsp oil in a thick bottomed shallow frying pan. add the sliced onions.
saute them till they start turning light brown.

Add 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste and the green chilies. Saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.

Add the chopped tomatoes. stir well.

Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin and dry mango powder. Mix the spices with the rest of the onion-tomato masala. Saute this mixture till the tomatoes become pulpy and you see oil releasing from the sides.

Add the chopped bhindi/okra, season with salt, and stir very well. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and cook on a low flame or simmer. Check after 4 to 5 minutes a couple of times. Continue to cook the bhindi fry on a low flame till the bhindi is done. You will have to check after every 4 to 5 minutes so that the bhindi does not get too browned or burnt. Stir every time when you check it. If the okra is becoming too browned or getting burnt, then sprinkle 1 to 1.5 tbsp water all over. stir, cover and continue to cook.

Once the bhindi is done, add garam masala powder and kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves, and cilantro, and stir well.

Sri Lankan Spiced Chickpeas (Kadala Thal Dala )

2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
10 curry leaves
4 dried red chilies chopped into large chunks
1 large onion finely diced
2 15 oz. chickpeas cans (drained)
Salt to taste
Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan.

Fry the mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves and chilies for around 30 seconds until you hear the seeds pop.

Add the onions and cook until soft and golden.

Stir through the chickpeas and add salt to taste. Sauté for a few minutes until heated through.

Serve warm as a snack or as a side to your meal.

Roasted Squash with Turmeric-Ginger Chickpeas and Greens

Note: You could swap in other roasted vegetables for the squash in this recipe. Broccoli, cauliflower and sweet potatoes would all work. Or just increase the chickpeas and greens.

2 pounds squash, such as butternut, honeynut, acorn or kabocha, seeds removed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
10 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and grated
1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
1 cup mixed torn fresh herbs, such as mint, cilantro, parsley and-or dill
4 cups spicy salad greens, such as arugula or mizuna
1/2 cup whole-milk yogurt
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash and thyme with 2 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer. Roast until the squash is tender and just beginning to turn golden-brown, 35 to 40 minutes.

As squash roasts, toss the onion, vinegar, garlic, turmeric and ginger in a large bowl; let marinate at least 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas and the remaining 1/4 cup oil and stir to coat. Toss in half the herbs and season with salt and pepper.

Divide the salad greens among 4 bowls and top with the roasted squash. Serve with a generous amount of the marinated chickpeas, and a dollop of yogurt. Garnish with the pomegranate seeds, if using, and the remaining torn herbs.

Lemongrass Tofu

1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 14-ounce containers extra-firm tofu cut into 1-inch cubes and patted dry
2 cored-and-quartered plum tomatoes
1 chopped shallot
stems from 1 bunch cilantro (reserve the leaves)
1 tablespoon fish sauce or soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
3 stalks lemon grass, trimmed to the lower 5 inches (dry outer layers discarded and thinly sliced) and
1/4 cup neutral oil
14-ounce can coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 diced tomatoes
steamed jasmine rice for serving

In a medium bowl, stir together 1 teaspoon turmeric, 2 teaspoons kosher salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add two 14-ounce containers extra-firm tofu (cut into 1-inch cubes and patted dry) and toss. Set aside.

In a blender, combine 2 cored-and-quartered plum tomatoes, 1 chopped shallot, the stems from 1 bunch cilantro (reserve the leaves) and 1 tablespoon each fish sauce and chili-garlic sauce. Blend until finely chopped, about 30 seconds.

Add 3 stalks lemon grass, trimmed to the lower 5 inches (dry outer layers discarded and thinly sliced) and blend, scraping the blender jar frequently, until a smooth, thick paste forms, about 90 seconds. Set aside.

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat 1/4 cup neutral oil until shimmering. Add the tofu in an even layer and cook without stirring until well browned on the bottoms and the pieces release easily from the pan, about 3 minutes. Using a spatula, turn the pieces and cook until browned on all sides, another 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to a large paper towel–lined plate.

Return the skillet to medium-high. Add the tomato–lemon grass paste and cook, stirring, until slightly darkened and thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in one 14-ounce can coconut milk, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 2 diced tomatoes. Bring to a simmer then cover, reduce to low and cook until the tomatoes soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the tofu and stir to coat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tofu has absorbed some of the sauce, about 10 minutes. Stir in and sprinkle with reserved cilantro leaves before serving.

Coronation Chickpeas

2 tablespoons mild Indian curry paste (such as Patak’s brand)
3 1/2 cups cooked or canned no-salt-added chickpeas (from two 15-ounce cans), drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons full-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mango chutney
2 stalks celery, finely chopped (3/4 cup)
1/3 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted if desired (see NOTE)
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, plus more whole leaves for optional garnish
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until aromatic, for 1 minute. Stir in the chickpeas until well-coated, then remove from the heat and transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

Stir in the mayonnaise, yogurt, chutney, celery, apricots, almonds, chopped cilantro, salt and pepper until combined. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with whole cilantro leaves, if desired.

NOTE: To toast the slivered almonds, position a baking rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Scatter the almonds on a small, rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Immediately transfer the nuts to a plate to avoid burning them.

Traditional Coronation Chicken

Ingredients
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp white onion (or 1 shallot) finely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp double-concentrated tomato paste
60 ml red wine
60 ml water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp brown sugar
250 gr mayonnaise
250 gr creme fraiche (or unsweetened whipped cream)
1 tbsp dried apricots finely chopped
2 large skinless chicken breasts cooked and cut into chunks
Salt & pepper to taste
3 tbsp toasted almond flakes (optional)

Instructions
Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat.
Add in the onion, bay leaf and curry powder and gently cook for 2 minutes.
Add in the tomato paste, red wine and water and bring to a gentle boil.
Add in the lemon juice and a pinch of sugar, then season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
Simmer for 2 minutes, until the sauce is slightly reduced, then remove from the heat. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and allow it to cool.
In a large bowl mix together the prepared sauce with the mayonnaise, creme fraiche and finely chopped apricots.
Add in the chicken breast chunks and mix gently all the ingredients together. Fold in toasted almond flakes if you like.
Serve the coronation chicken with a salad, rice or as a filling for jacket potatoes and sandwiches. Enjoy!
Notes
How to cook the chicken: You can simply grill or steam the skinless chicken breasts (you can also use skinless and boneless thighs if you like).
How To Store: You can store coronation chicken leftovers in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to two days. I don’t recommend storing it in the freezer.
How to serve: There are endless ways to serve it! Here are a few of my favourite ways:
in a sandwich
over a bed of salad leaves
with basmati rice
with grilled veggies
as a topping for a baked potato

Once you have mastered the basics, feel free to add a few extra ingredients:

– finely chopped celery
– toasted almond flakes
– a little bit of mango chutney
– a little bit of fresh finely chopped coriander
– few drops of Tabasco

Modern Coronation Chicken

2 cups cooked chicken cubed or shredded
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder use more or less depending on your taste
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
2 tablespoons Major Grey chutney Dice the large pieces
3 Tablespoons apricot jam
1 teaspoons lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup red or green grapes halved
1/2 cup coarsely chopped raw almonds
1 Tablespoons oil neutral flavored, a mild olive oil or coconut oil
3 Tablespoons diced shallot onion can be substituted.

Dice the large pieces of the chutney. Sometimes there are large chunks in the jar.

Heat oil in a pan over a medium heat until oil shimmers. Add the chopped shallots and saute just a minute or two. Add curry powder to allow it to “bloom” for another minute or two while stirring.

Turn off heat and add chutney, apricot jam, lemon juice, salt and pepper and whisk.

In a large bowl, whisk together, mayonnaise and curry and chutney mixture. In a food processor or blender, pulse the mixture once or twice to make a smooth paste. Check seasoning, adding additional salt, black pepper, lemon juice or curry powder to taste if needed.

When it’s just tasty enough, fold in chicken, grapes and almonds. Remember that the addition of the chicken, grapes and almonds will dilute the flavor, so re-season accordingly.

Serve as a filling in a sandwich or on a bed of lettuce.

Sheet Pan Gobi

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets – stems sliced thick
2 turnips, sliced thick (optional)
1 large onion, sliced
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp ground cumin powder (roast this slightly before using for better flavor)
1/2 tsp chili powder (to taste)
Salt to taste
1 lemon
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and more for late

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Drizzle some olive oil on the bottom of a sheet pan and set aside.

Combine the vegetables in a large bowl.

Add the 3-4 tbsp olive oil and all the spices to the vegetables.

Add salt to taste and half of the chopped cilantro.

Mix it all very well and then put on the sheet pan.

Place in oven and cook for about 15 minutes, then take them out and mix them around in the sheet pan so that they cook evenly. Place it back in the oven and cook for an additional 15 minutes or so until done.

You will have to check the vegetables from time to time to make sure they don’t burn.

Check seasonings and adjust flavors to taste, squeeze some lemon juice on the cauliflower, garnish with cilantro and serve hot or cold.

Sunday Rice

3 tablespoons canola oil
One 1-inch piece cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
1 cup finely chopped white onion
4 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
2 cups white basmati rice, rinsed, soaked, and drained (see here)
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
2 small or 1 large chicken bouillon cube, preferably Maggi brand
3 cups boiling water
Kosher salt

Heat the oil in a 4-quart stew pot over medium heat until shimmering.

Add the cinnamon stick and cloves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the onion and scallions and cook, stirring, until softened (don’t let them color), about 3 minutes.

Add the bay leaves and drained rice, stirring to coat the rice with the oil. Cook, stirring frequently, until the rice starts to stick to the bottom of the pot, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, bouillon cube, and water, taste, and add salt as necessary.

Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Gently stir the rice with a silicone spatula a couple of times and cover the pot.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let the pilaf stand, covered, for 15 minutes.

Aloo Matar

2 medium boiled potatoes, cut into cubes
3 medium tomatoes, pureed
1/2 cup green peas, I used frozen green peas
2 teaspoons oil, use any oil of choice
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder, or adjust to taste
1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
1.5 teaspoon coriander powder
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 cups water
salt, to taste

Heat oil in pan on medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let them crackle.

Then add ginger garlic paste and cook for 1-2 minute till the raw smell goes away.

Add the pureed tomatoes. Add little salt, give a stir and cover and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.

Remove cover and add turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, red chili powder. Adjust spice levels to taste.

Add more salt as required at this point. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
After the tomatoes have cooked for more than 10 minutes, add 2 cups water.

Let it all come to a boil and then add cubed boiled potatoes and green peas to it.

Cover the pan and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add chopped cilantro and mix.
Serve aloo matar with any bread of your choice. It’s also great with plain rice.

Jeera Aloo

3 medium potatoes
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1.5 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
generous pinch hing, optional, also known as asafoetida
2 green chilies, chopped
1 inch ginger, chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder, or adjust to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
Juice of half a lemon

Boil the potatoes until done – 7 to 8 whistles on high heat on regular pressure cooker or 10 mins on high pressure in Instant Pot with natural pressure release. You can also boil them on stove-top pan until done. They shouldn’t crumble once boiled and should still be able to hold their shape.

Once boiled, peel the potatoes and chop them into cubes. Set it aside.

Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot add the cumin seeds, let them sizzle. Immediately lower the heat so that cumin seeds don’t burn.

Then add the crushed coriander seeds and hing (if using) and saute for few seconds.

Add the green chili and ginger and saute for a minute until the ginger starts changing color.

Add in the boiled and cubed potatoes to the pan and toss with the spices.
Add turmeric, red chili powder and salt. Toss to combine potatoes with all the spices.

Let the potatoes cook for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat, then add the chopped cilantro.

Squeeze in fresh lemon juice to finish it off.

Garnish with more cilantro and serve jeera aloo with paratha or as a side dish with dal and rice.

Dal Tadka

1 cup toor dal, 200 grams, also known as arhar dal/split pigeon peas lentil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1.5 teaspoon salt, divided, adjust to taste
3.5 cups water, divided
4 large garlic cloves, divided
1 inch ginger
1 green chili
1.5 tablespoons ghee, 22 ml, also known as clarified butter or use oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed in mortar pestle
2 cloves
1 medium red onion, 150 grams, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
1/8 teaspoon red chili powder, or adjust to taste
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon kasuri methi, crushed, dried fenugreek leaves

Tempering/Tadka
2 teaspoons ghee , 10 ml
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon hing, also known as asafoetida
2 dried red chilies
1/4 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder, optional

To a pressure cooker add toor dal along with turmeric, 1 teaspoon salt and 3 cups water.

Pressure cook for 4 whistle on high heat then lower the heat and let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. If using an Instant Pot, cook on high pressure for 8 minutes with natural pressure release. Set it aside.

Meanwhile crush 4 large garlic cloves, 1-inch ginger and green chili in a mortar pestle and set it aside.

In a heavy bottom pan, heat ghee on medium heat. Once hot, add the cumin seeds, crushed coriander seeds and cloves. Saute for few seconds until fragrant.

Then add onions, cook for around 3 to 4 minutes until they are soft and start changing color.

Add the crushed garlic-ginger-green chili. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the raw smell goes away.

Add the chopped tomatoes along with 1/2 teaspoon salt and mix. Cover and cook for 7 to 8 minutes until tomatoes are very soft and cooked.

Then add the coriander powder, garam masala, kashmiri red chili powder, red chili powder, cilantro and kasuri methi. Stir the spices with the masala for few 30 seconds.

Add the boiled dal to the pan and mix. I also added 1/2 cup water here as dal looked very thick to me. Let the dal simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.

For the tempering/tadka, heat 2 teaspoons ghee in a small pan. Once the ghee is hot, add 2 chopped garlic cloves. Also add hing and dried red chilies.

Cook for one minute until the garlic starts changing color. Add kashmiri red chili powder remove pan from heat.

Pour tempering over the dal and mix.

Garnish dal tadka with more cilantro and serve!

Recipe Note: You may use a combination of lentils to make dal tadka. Commonly used- toor dal + moong dal or toor dal + masoor dal (red lentils).

Moong Dal Tadka

1 cup moong dal dhuli, 200 grams, also known as split petite yellow lentils
3 cups water, 24 oz
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste
3/4 teaspoon salt, or adjust to taste

Tempering/Tadka
1 tablespoon oil, 15 ml, or you can also use ghee
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon hing, asafoetida
5-6 large garlic cloves, sliced
1-2 dried red chilies
6-7 curry leaves
Juice of half a lemon
chopped cilantro

To you Instant Pot or regular stove top pressure cooker, add the dal, 3 cups water, chopped tomato, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine.

If using Instant pot, cook for 5 minutes at high pressure. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then do a quick release.

If using traditional pressure cooker, cook for 2-3 whistles on high heat. Let the pressure release naturally.

Once the pressure is released, open the lid of the cooker and give the dal a stir. Adjust the consistency of dal at this point to your preference.

To make the tempering, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and the mustard seeds.

Let the seeds sizzle, wait until the mustard seeds pop. Then add the hing.

Add the sliced garlic and dried red chilies and saute for 2 to 3 minutes until garlic become light brown in color.

Then add the curry leaves and saute for few seconds.

Transfer tempering to the cooked dal and stir.

Add in the lemon juice, chopped cilantro and mix. Serve moong dal over rice for a comforting meal!