I tried to make a fruit tart. Unfortunately the custard did not set properly and it turned into fruit tart soup. It still tasted nice, and it certainly looks nice. Back to the drawing board.
Fluffy, fragrant basmati rice tossed with roasted, buttery cashews and finished with bright citrus notes from the limes – what’s not to love? This rice ticks a lot of boxes for me; you get a number of flavor profiles expertly combined:
- sour: limes
- buttery: cashews
- floral: turmeric, cilantro, ginger
- roasted: mustard seeds, urad dal
- earthy: curry leaves
The order you cook the ingredients matters for this one – certain items take no time to cook, and others take a bit of coaxing.
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 cups of cooked basmati rice
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp urad dal
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)
- 1 in piece of ginger, minced
- 20 curry leaves
- a bunch of cilantro, chopped
- juice from 1/2 a lime (and more to taste)
- 1/2 cup halved cashews (can sub peanuts)
- salt to taste
- oil or butter to help the spices blossom
- Pop the mustard seeds in a bit of oil or butter.
- Add the ginger and nuts, turning frequently. Cook until the nuts are browned.
- Add the turmeric, hing, dal, and curry leaves. Cook until the dal is lightly browned.
- Fold in the rice; careful not to turn too frequently or the grains will break.
- Fold in the lime juice and cilantro. Add salt to taste. Adjust the lime juice as necessary.
This was inspired by a miso ramen recipe with a sundubu jjigae base, and the garlicky trumpet mushrooms come from my recent paella attempt. It’s a winner. Get your bib out, this is a slurper.
There’s so much going on in this dish, and all the flavors are married pretty well. My favorite parts:
- the garlicky trumpet mushrooms stand out despite being immersed in a soupy broth because they were browned in a separate skillet
- the daikon adds tremendous depth to the broth
- there’s something about well cooked green onions that really gets my goat (maybe because it reminds me of eating Vietnamese scallions in oil)
- the chili oil at the end is a serendipitous spicy spoof
- 500 ml water
- 1 cup of diced daikon
- 1 tbsp capers
- 3-4 tbsp miso paste
- 1/2 a sheet of kombu, cut into strips
- 4-5 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- salt to taste
- 6 trumpet mushrooms, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 green onions, sliced
- fried tofu
- chopped coriander
- 2 portions of cooked ramen noodles
- chili oil (good god, I love this stuff)
- Combine all ingredients for the base in a stock pot. Simmer this on medium heat, covered. This should cook for about 30 minutes.
- In a skillet, heat the sesame oil on medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sautee until the water evaporates.
- Add the garlic to the skillet. Turn the mushrooms a few times to get an even browning on all sides.
- Add the green onions to the skillet and cook until they wilt and a nice fond develops on the pan.
- Add the vegetables to the stock pot. Ladle a bit of broth into the skillet to loosen the fond and pour that brilliant flavor back into the stock pot.
- Simmer all ingredients for another 10 minutes.
- Ladle the vegetables and broth over a portion of cooked noodles.
- Top with whatever toppings you fancy.
What’s wrong with the colored pencils, you might ask… Yes, a dog was chewing on them. Of course.
I was recently in Stockholm and picked up a pack of coloring post cards. I think this is my new favorite past-time.
I’m usually not one for dal, but even I can’t resist the buttery goodness in this dish.
- 250 g dry lentils (soak this in water for about 4-6 hours)
- 2 onions, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 20 g ginger, minced
- 500 g tomatoes (I used canned tomatoes)
- 60 g butter
- 1/2 tbsp chili powder (adjust to your liking)
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- chopped cilantro, to garnish
- In a covered pot on medium heat, bring the lentils and water to a boil. Cook for about 90 minutes.
- In a hot skillet, lightly fry the garlic and ginger.
- Add the onion and half of the butter just before the garlic starts to brown. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, salt, and chili powder. Cook for another 10 minutes.
- Strain the lentils, and add them directly to the tomato mixture.
- Fold in the remaining butter and add the garam masala. Simmer for another 20 minutes.
- Serve with a sprinkling of cilantro over some rice or naan.
This recipe blew my socks off; I had severe doubts and hopes regarding its success and was entirely elated when I tasted the composition. Normally, I’m tasting things as I’m going along, adjusting here and there. As I was taste testing the sauce, my worries set in – the tamarind comes across incredibly strong. I was afraid it was too overpoweringly sour and thought I’d have to bin the dish… Somehow I had the idea to roll one little chickpea in the sauce before sending this pot to the trash. It was the best thing I could have done!
The creamy, nutty chickpeas balance the sweet tartness from the tamarind. This dish is creamy, tart, savory, and spicy. I can’t wait to make it again.
- 200 g dried chickpeas (after measuring, soak them in water for 6 hours)
- 40 g tamarind (simmer this on the stovetop for about 30 minutes in about 3/4 cup of water)
- 4 shallots, sliced into half rings
- 10 g ginger, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bird’s eye chili, sliced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 4 tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 tsp salt, adding more to taste
- These three things can be done on three burners, simultaneously.
- Boil the chickpeas for about 90 minutes. Strain and set aside.
- Once the tamarind is quite soft, strain it, reserving the water. Remove any seeds, and do what you can to mash up the solids. We’ll be using the water and the mashed up solids in the sauce.
- Caramelize the shallots in a skillet with a bit of oil. Set aside.
- In a skillet on medium-high heat, fry the ginger, garlic, and chili until the garlic is fragrant but not browned.
- Add the cumin and coriander, stirring for about 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes and tamarind juices/solids. Combine with the sugar and salt. Let this simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Take one cooked chickpea, roll it in the sauce and taste it. Adjust the sugar and salt to taste.
- Fold the chickpeas and shallots in the sauce.
- Serve with your choice of naan or rice.
A very North Indian dish with a lot going on for it – floral notes from the saffron and cardamom (magnified if you use Ceylon cinnamon), toasty nuttiness from the almonds, and a juicy, sweet surprise from the raisins.
- 2 cups of white rice (Basmati, if you can)
- 2 cups of water
- a generous pinch of saffron
- 2 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- one finger length piece of cinnamon bark (Ceylon, if you can)
- 2 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
- 1/4 cup of raisins
- 1/3 cup of sliced almonds
- 1/2 tsp salt
- On the stove top in a covered pot, bring the rice and water to boil.
- Simultaneously in a separate vessel (I used a small sauce pan), lightly fry the cardamom and cinnamon in 1 tbsp of your chosen lipid.
- When the rice is boiling, add the saffron and turn the heat down to low.
- When the cardamom and cinnamon start to become fragrant, add the almonds. Toast until they become golden.
- Then add the raisins. Cook for about 1-2 more minutes.
- Fluff the rice with the salt, additional 1 tbsp of lipid, and the spice-almond-raisin mixture. Continue cooking until most of the water has been absorbed.
- Turn off the heat and leave the pot covered for another 10 minutes.
- Serve with any number of Indian dishes.