Crisp Bitter Gourd

Karela We are not born with a love of bitter. The taste for coffee, dark chocolate, bitter greens develops over time, if at all. Taste buds get seasoned and crave complex flavors. For most of us bitter emerges after sweet, savory and sour. The bold, beautiful bitter gourd falls squarely in this category and where…

Perfect Eggs- boiled, fried and scrambled

My instagram is full of posts about eggs. Maybe it has something to do with the new year, a new start. Of coming back to basics with the most versatile food of all. Dress them up deliciously or elevate them by keeping it simple. Use them to make other ingredients shine or provide a side…

Meat Croquettes

A delicious bonus of making broth at home is that you are left with a lot of roasted, melt-in-your-mouth meat. Nicely browned and moist, it is perfect for preparing mini meatballs for the kids or adults to enjoy alike. Ingredients: 3 cups or more of shredded meat 1 medium boiled potato 2-3 minced garlic cloves…

Slow-Cooked Baby Turnips

These absolutely delicious-looking Hakurei turnips at the local grocery inspired me to do a simple dish with Japanese flavors. A soy glaze (a high-quality store-bought brand works) instead of soy sauce gave it beautiful depth and added the salty, sweet and sour components while dark sesame oil brought a delectable smokiness. Ingredients:1 bunch baby turnips…

Borscht

The first time I had Borscht was in 2000. We lived in a one bedroom apartment on the Westside behind the Theatre District. The place I had it at was the Russian Vodka Room, better known by its moniker, ‘Attitude Adjustment Hour’. Velvet curtains parted to steps leading down to a curvy bar, banquettes, and a piano….

Fermented Turnip Pickle

Shaljam Ka Achar Pickling has existed as a way of food preservation since antiquity. Unpredictable weather and long travel made it necessary to find a way to make food last longer. Pickles are in the Bible and the works of Shakespeare. Cleopatra treasured them as a secret to her beauty and Colombus used them to prevent…

Eggplant, Tomato, and Yogurt dip

With the kids home for the summer, I have not been updating the blog as much as I want to but still continue to pick up fresh, bright-looking produce and stock my fridge waiting for time to appear and inspiration to strike. Yesterday, I looked in and noticed plump, petite Italian eggplant I had picked up…

Fragrant Three Spice Rice

Ingredients: Basmati rice, 1 cup Ghee, 1 tbsp. Cumin seeds, 1 tsp. Onion seeds, 1 tsp. Mustard seeds, 1 tsp. Salt Preparation: Rinse rice, cover in 2/3 water, add salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When rice is almost done (squeeze a grain of rice between fingers. The grain should be soft with…

Lentil Fritters with Yogurt-Turmeric Sauce

Karhi An evergreen, soul food. Karhi combines crunchy pakora (fritter) with a vivid, velvety yogurt sauce and pops of flavor from the herbs and seeds to become one of the most appealing and interesting of dishes. To me, for some reason, this dish is sophisticated and uniquely female. Traditionally, karhi is the main dish, eaten with fluffy basmati…

Asian Pot Roast

Pasande A slow-cooked pot roast exists in many cultures. It is simple, comforting and earthy.  The South-Asian version, called Pasandey, was a staple in our home. The meat is seared and then slow-cooked in yogurt, raw and caramelized onions, garlic and lots of poppy seeds. Ingredients: 2-3 lb. grass-fed chuck roast 2 cloves garlic, sliced 1 med….

Soothing Khichri

Kichri is the ultimate food. It combines the powerhouse of lentils, a source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K and rich in dietary fiber, lean protein, folate and iron, with the comforting carbohydrates of basmati rice. A whole meal with chutneys or a vehicle for carrying more spiced dishes, it is versatile and can be prepared with various ingredients that…