Chicken with Rice Pilaf with Almonds and Fruit

Rotisserie chicken
Rice
Butter
Sliced onion
Prunes, raisins, dried currents, or a combination
Slivered almonds
Salt and pepper

First, melt a knob of butter in a pot, then sauté a sliced onion in it until translucent.

Add rice, as much as you want to cook, and stir it around, then add water in its usual ratio to the rice, and cook as you always do.

At the end, add some chopped prunes, or currants, or raisins, or all three, along with a handful of slivered almonds and salt and pepper. Fluff the rice to mix everything together. Put the top back on the pot, and let the rice and mix-ins mellow out for a few minutes.

Serve alongside a store-bought roast chicken, the legs and thighs separated and the breasts cut on the bias and fanned out for show.

Chicken Salad with Avocado and Herbs

Rotisserie chicken
Arugula
Sliced scallions
Chopped cilantro
Avocado or two
Lime
Chopped garlic
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Pick up a heat-lamp roast chicken at the market on the way home — it’s O.K.! — and tear it apart to feed four, or half of it for two, shredding the meat with your fingers.

Mix the chicken with a few handfuls of baby arugula, a large handful of sliced scallions and a lot of chopped cilantro.

Cut an avocado or two into the mix if you have them on hand.

Then make a dressing out of lime juice — one juicy squeezed lime will do — a pressed garlic clove and a few glugs of olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper. Drizzle that over the top and serve. Dinner in 15 minutes, tops.

Chicken Panzanella

Rotisserie chicken
Tomatoes
Arugula or watercress
Olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Salt
Pepper
Toasted bread

Grab a super-tanned rotisserie chicken on the way home. Tear the meat into strips, then cut a few smallish supermarket tomatoes (or better, if you’ve got them) into wedges and marinate them in oil, salt, pepper and red wine vinegar.

Pay a few bills or fold some laundry, then turn the whole thing into panzanella by mixing together the chicken, the tomatoes, some fresh watercress and some chunks of stale or toasted bread, then showering the salad with freshly ground black pepper and a spray of kosher salt.

Miso Roasted Eggplant

Small japanese eggplants
Neutral flavored oil
White miso
Sesame oil
Rice wine
Soy sauce
Black pepper
Sesame seeds

Grab some small eggplants — the Japanese variety is a good option — and cut them on the bias into little steaks.

Drizzle them with neutral oil and roast in a 400-degree oven for 20 minutes or so, turning them once or twice, until they’re soft.

Then crank the oven to broil, and paint them with white miso that’s been cut with splashes of sesame oil and rice wine, a smaller splash of soy and a few grinds of black pepper.

Let that get going until the skin begins to pop, then serve those little vegetarian flavor steaks over rice, with a spray of sesame seeds over the top.

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.

Grilled Broccoli with Soy Sauce, Maple Syrup, and Balsamic Vinegar

Broccoli florets
Soy sauce
Balsamic vinegar
Maple syrup
Neutral-flavored oil
Red pepper flakes
Sesame seeds or furikake
Rice, for serving

Toss broccoli florets in equal parts soy sauce and balsamic vinegar, a generous dash of maple syrup and a splash of neutral oil, then grill (or broil) until they’re soft and crunchy.

Serve them under a scattering of red-pepper flakes and sesame seeds, or use furikake.

Serve over rice by itself or alongside with any meat.

Pork Chops with Gochujang and Peanuts

Thin pork chops
Dry roasted peanuts
Sesame oil
Chili powder
Salt and pepper
Gochujang
Orange juice
Mirin
Chopped scallions
Rice, for serving

Secure the thinnest chops you can find at the store — that’s crucial for the quick-broil part.

Throw a few handfuls of dry-roasted peanuts in a pan set over medium-high heat with a glug of sesame oil. Let those go until they’re fragrant and just beginning to darken, then take them off the heat and toss with a few shakes of chile powder. Set the peanuts aside and heat your broiler.

Line a sheet pan with foil, and oil it lightly. Salt and pepper your chops, lay them out on the pan, and slide them into the oven. Cook the chops for around four minutes, then flip them over to finish.

Meanwhile, mix a tablespoon or so of gochujang, the Korean red-pepper paste, with a healthy splash of orange juice and a wisp of mirin. Taste. Adjust. Pour into a deep serving dish or platter.

When the chops are well crusted and brown, slide them into the sauce for a toss. Top with the peanuts and some chopped scallions if you have any. Rice on the side.

Sloppy Joes

Chopped onions
Diced celery
Diced jalapeno
Diced red pepper
Minced garlic
Half pound ground beef
Tomato paste
Pureed canned tomatoes
Worcestershire sauce
Potato buns

Put a Dutch oven over medium-high heat on your stove, then add a glug of olive oil and sauté in it a handful of chopped onions, a couple diced ribs of celery, a diced jalapeño and a small diced red pepper.

When the mixture is supersoft, add a few cloves of minced garlic and cook for a couple more minutes, then dump a pound and a half of ground beef into the pot — ideally the sort that is 20 percent fat — and stir and sizzle until it is well browned, about 10 minutes.

Bring the heat down a bit and add a lot of tomato paste — say 3 tablespoons, maybe 4 — and let it get a little toasty before adding a cup or more of puréed canned tomatoes. Cook that down for a few minutes, then add quite a few glugs of Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce to taste, and continue cooking until the mixture is quite thick, another 15 or 20 minutes.

Season to taste and serve on toasted potato buns.

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.

Pork Chops Puttanesca

3 cloves garlic, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 12-ounce rib pork chops, preferably heritage, about 1 1/4-inch thick
1 small red onion, finely chopped
8 ounces ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
4 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and mashed
2 tablespoons pitted oil-cured black olives, chopped
1/2 tablespoon capers in vinegar, drained
1 1/2 tablespoons golden raisins
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, minced

Mash 1 clove garlic with dried oregano, ¼ teaspoon chile flakes and salt to a paste in a mortar. Stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil and the vinegar. Spread this mixture on both sides of the pork. Set aside. Heat grill. Heat oven to 225 degrees.

Heat remaining oil in a small skillet, add onion and sauté until translucent. Mince remaining garlic and stir in. Add tomatoes, anchovies, remaining chile flakes, olives, capers and raisins. Stir in wine and cook on low until mixture is thick, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Grill pork close to source of heat, turning once, until nicely browned but not cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. (You can also cook the chops in a grill pan or skillet over high heat for about 2 minutes per side). Transfer pork to a baking dish, slather with tomato mixture and place in oven for 45 minutes for medium, longer for more well done. Arrange pork on a serving platter, spoon any pan juices over it, scatter with oregano and serve.

Penne or other modest macaroni dressed with just olive oil and chile flakes is excellent alongside, to share the sauce with the meat.

Pork Chops with Pipian

FOR THE PORK CHOPS
4 medium-thick pork chops, bone-in or boneless
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons neutral oil

FOR THE PIPIAN SAUCE
8 chiles de árbol
3 plum tomatoes
1 small onion, peeled and thickly sliced
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/2 cup raw, hulled, unsalted pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup unsalted peanuts
1/3 cup hulled sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (or 2 allspice berries)
1 canned chipotle pepper
2 tablespoons neutral oil, lard or chicken fat
1 cup chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Make the sauce: Remove the stems from the chiles de árbol, and gently roll the chiles between your fingers to remove the seeds. Discard seeds. Set a bare skillet over high heat for 5 minutes, then add the chiles. Toast until they are darkened and fragrant, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Place them in a bowl, cover with 2 cups boiling or very hot water, and set aside to soak.

Return the skillet to high heat. Add the tomatoes, onion and garlic, and cook, turning occasionally, until charred, approximately 10 minutes. Put the vegetables on a plate, and set aside to cool, then slip the skins off the cloves of garlic.

Return the skillet to medium-low heat. Place the pumpkin seeds, peanuts and sesame seeds in the skillet, and cook, stirring and shaking the pan continuously, until they are toasted and fragrant, approximately 2 to 4 minutes. Put the seeds and nuts in a bowl, and stir in the cinnamon, cloves and allspice.

Put the chiles and soaking liquid in a blender with the tomatoes, onion, garlic, the nut-seed mixture and the chipotle. Purée until smooth.

Add the oil, lard or chicken fat to a large, heavy-bottomed pot, and heat over medium heat until it is nearly smoking. Add the purée. It will sputter a lot. Lower the heat, and stir, cooking the mixture down to a thick paste. It will continue to sputter and pop. Add the broth to the paste, and stir, then season with the salt, sugar and vinegar, and cook for another 15 minutes or so, until it resembles a thick, creamy soup. Lower heat to a bare simmer.

Make the pork chops: Season the pork chops aggressively with salt and pepper, and dust them with the flour. Add the oil to the skillet, and heat over medium-high heat until nearly smoking. Add the chops, and let them cook undisturbed, in batches if necessary, until crisp and well browned, about 5 minutes per side. Set them aside to rest for 5 minutes or so. Serve a chop per person on a generous amount of sauce, with tortillas to mop it up. Extra sauce can be used to braise chicken, lamb or more pork, or as a topping for enchiladas

Pork Chops with Maple-Balsamic Sauce

3/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup pecans
4 (1 1/4-inch thick) pork chops
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 green apples, cored
1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger

Preheat a broiler or light a charcoal grill.

In a small nonreactive bowl, whisk together the syrup, vinegar, sugar and cinnamon.

Place a small pan over medium heat, add the pecans and about 2 tablespoons of the maple-syrup sauce and cook for a few minutes, until the nuts are glazed and fragrant. Transfer the nuts to a plate and spread them out to cool. Transfer the cooled nuts to a cutting board, chop roughly and set aside.

Season the pork chops aggressively with salt and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil. When the broiler is hot, or the coals are covered with gray ash and you can hold your hand 5 inches above them for only 1 to 2 seconds, broil or grill the meat for approximately 7 minutes per side. Brush with some of the remaining maple glaze every 2 or 3 minutes, turning them frequently to prevent the sugar from burning.

When the chops are cooked, remove from the broiler or grill and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, slice the cored apples into thick rounds, drizzle with olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper and place on the broiler pan or grill until tender when pierced with a fork. These, too, should be brushed with the maple glaze and turned frequently.

Serve chops with the apple slices, sprinkled with pecans and candied ginger.

Polenta is the perfect accompaniment — stir in some goat cheese and rosemary instead of the more typical butter and Parmesan.)

Pork Chops with Dijon Sauce

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 1 1/4-inch-thick center-cut rib or loin pork chops, bone in
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onions or shallots
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken or veal stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional)

Melt butter in the oil in a large deep skillet over high heat. Season chops with salt and pepper and add them, browning well, about 2 or 3 minutes a side, reducing the heat slightly if chops brown too quickly.

Remove chops to a platter and pour off most of the fat. Add green onions or shallots and cook over medium-high heat until softened, about 1 minute. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping brown bits off the bottom. Stir in the stock and return chops to the pan. Bring the sauce to a simmer, cover and cook until chops are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the chops to a warm platter; cover with foil to keep warm. Raise the heat and boil pan juices to reduce by half, about 2 minutes. Add cream and boil 2 minutes more, until sauce reduces a bit and thickens. Remove from the heat and whisk in mustard and the parsley, if using. Taste and add more mustard if desired. Immediately spoon sauce over the chops and serve.

Pork Chops in Lemon-Caper Sauce

4 bone-in pork chops (about 8 ounces each)
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 very small shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium, if store-bought
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons juice
Hot sauce (optional)

Dry the chops with paper towels, and season aggressively with salt, pepper and the thyme. Swirl the olive oil into a large skillet, and heat over medium until the oil begins to shimmer. Add chops, and cook until well browned on each side and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer chops to a plate, and cover to keep warm.

Drain the fat from the skillet, then melt 2 tablespoons of butter in it over medium heat until sizzling. Add the shallot and garlic, and sauté until the aromatics soften, reducing the heat if necessary, about 1 minute. Sprinkle in the flour, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Whisk in the wine and chicken stock, raise heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced by half, 7 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the capers, parsley, lemon zest and juice and hot sauce to taste (if you’re using it), and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter until it’s melted and the sauce looks smooth. Nestle the pork chops into the sauce, and allow them to warm up for a couple of minutes, then serve, pouring sauce over each pork chop to taste. Garnish with more fresh parsley.

Sous Vide Turkey Breast

1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large rosemary sprigs
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
3 pounds boneless, skinless turkey breast, cut into halves, skin reserved if desired (see Note)
Crisp turkey skin, optional (see Note)

In a small saucepan, simmer maple syrup, butter, rosemary and salt until the butter melts and the maple syrup thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

Place the turkey in a large bowl and pour the cooled maple mixture over it, turning to coat pieces with syrup. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Using a sous-vide machine, heat a large pot or heatproof container of water to 145 degrees. Transfer turkey to a reusable silicone sous-vide bag or resealable plastic bag, laying breasts end-to-end so the thin side of one is against the thick side of the other. Slowly lower the bag into the water, allowing any air to escape. Weigh down the bags; an upside-down metal steamer basket or a metal bowl work well for this, topped with a metal spoon or tongs for extra weight, if needed. Cook until the turkey reaches 145 degrees when checked in the center with a meat thermometer, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Step 4

Carve the breast, and serve with crisp turkey skin, if you like.

If want to make the crisp turkey skin, ask your butcher to save you the skin when your order the breast (or be sure to save it if you’re trimming your own turkey breast). Scrape any visible lumps of fat off the skin. Heat oven to 325 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pat skin dry with paper towels, then spread it out flat on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt, and bake until skin is golden and crisp, anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours.

Sous Vide Soft Poached (Or Ramen) Eggs

1-16 large eggs
Salt and pepper
Directions

Using sous vide circulator, bring 4-inches water to 167°F/75°C in 7-quart Dutch oven or Lexan container. Using slotted spoon, gently lower eggs into prepared water bath, cover, and cook for 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill large bowl halfway with ice and water. Using slotted spoon, transfer eggs to ice bath and let sit until cool enough to handle, about 1 minute. To serve, crack eggs into individual bowls and season with salt and pepper.

Eggs can be cooked, chilled in an ice bath for 10 minutes, and refrigerated for up to five days. To reheat, lower eggs into water bath set to 140°F/60°C and cook until heated through, at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour, then crack into bowls as directed.

Fried Chicken Sandwich

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup pickle juice (sour dill is my favorite)
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
Optional: up to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper for a spicy sandwich
Oil for frying (about a cup)
For serving: Buns (buttered and toasted) and pickle slices!

Wrap the chicken loosely between plastic wrap and pound gently with the flat side of a meat tenderizer until about 1/2 inch thick all around.

Cut into two pieces, as even as possible.

Marinate in the pickle juice for 30 minutes to one hour (add a teaspoon of Tabasco sauce now for a spicy sandwich).

Beat the egg with the milk in a bowl.

Combine the flour, sugar, and spices in another bowl.
Dip the chicken pieces each into the egg on both sides, then coat in flour on both sides.

Heat the oil in a skillet (1/2 inch deep) to about 345-350.
Fry each cutlet for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden and cooked through.

Blot on paper and serve on toasted buns with pickle slices.

NOTES
I’ve used peanut oil, coconut oil, vegetable oil, and grapeseed oil all with fine results. Peanut oil is what CFA uses, but don’t use that if anyone has a peanut allergy.

Also, if you’d prefer to bake: substitute bread crumbs (Panko if you got em) for the flour and coat as directed. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10-15 minutes until cooked through.

Fried Chicken Sandwich

4 hamburger buns, split
1 head green leaf lettuce, leaves separated
1 beefsteak tomato, sliced
20 dill pickle slices

2 boneless, skinles chicken breasts
1 cup dill pickle juice
1 1/2 cups milk, divided
1 cup peanut oil
1 large egg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Place a chicken breast on a cutting board. With your hand flat on top of it, carefully slice the chicken in half horizontally. Trim excess fat as needed.

In a large shallow baking dish, combine chicken, pickle juice and 1/2 cup milk; marinate for at least 30 minutes. Drain well.
Heat peanut oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

In another large shallow baking dish, whisk together remaining 1 cup milk and egg. Stir in chicken to coat and drain excess milk mixture.

In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine chicken, flour and confectioners’ sugar; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Working in batches, add chicken to the skillet and cook until evenly golden and crispy, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Serve chicken immediately on burger buns with green leaf lettuce, tomato and pickles.

Pork Schnitzel

6 thin boneless pork loin chops
Breading:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour unbleached recommended
2 eggs
2 Tbsp water
2 cups dried seasoned breadcrumbs plus more as needed
Vegetable canola, peanut or sunflower oil, for shallow frying.
Lemon slices for serving

Trim the pork of any fat along the edge and using the tip of a knife, cut about three 1/4-inch slits along the edge where you trimmed the fat. Pound each piece of pork with a meat pounder/hammer until it is VERY thin – almost, but not quite to the point that it will tear and fall apart. Set aside.

Set up a breading station with 3 shallow plates (large enough to lay a piece of your pork flat). Add the flour to the first plate, spreading it into an even layer. On the second plate, use a fork to whisk together the eggs and water. Scatter the breadcrumbs on the 3rd plate.

Bread your pork by first pressing the pork into the flour, flouring both sides and shaking off any excess.

Next lay the floured pork into the egg mixture and swirl it around a bit. Flip over and do the same on the other side. Lift and let excess egg drip off back onto the plate.

Finally, lay the pork onto the plate with the breadcrumbs. Use your fingers or a spoon to move some of the breadcrumbs onto the top of the pork. Press down gently so that the underside gets nicely coated in crumbs, then flip over and press down again. Make sure you have an even layer of crumbs covering the entire piece of pork on both sides. If there are bare spots, sprinkle breadcrumbs over that area and press down onto the meat with the palm of your hand.

Place the breaded pork onto a cooking rack set on top of a baking sheet. Repeat with each piece of pork, placing onto the cooling rack without overlapping at all. Place the baking sheet/cooling rack with the breaded pork into the fridge, UNCOVERED, for one hour.

When it has been almost an hour, start heating your oil. Add oil to a heavy-bottomed, high-sided skillet to about 1/4-inch (or about 1/2 the height of your breaded pork). Heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Test by taking a few crumbs from the pork and dropping them into the oil. They should immediately sizzle and quickly float to the top.

Add 2 or 3 pieces of pork to the hot oil. Don’t crowd the pan or overlap them. The schnitzel should lay flat and have a nice bit of space between. Allow to cook for about a minute, then use tongs to regularly check the progress of browning on the underside. You may need to adjust your heat down if they seem to be browning too quickly or up a notch if they aren’t browning quickly enough. It should take about 3 minutes per side with the right temperature of oil and the proper thinness of the schnitzel.

Once the underside is a deep golden brown, flip and brown the other side. Remove to a cooling rack with a piece of paper towel under it to catch drops (not directly under the meat, under the cooling rack).

Repeat with remaining pork pieces.

*If making lots and you want to keep them warm, place on a baking sheet in a 200F oven to keep warm and crispy.
Serve with lemon slices.

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!