Karhi: Lentil Fritters with Yogurt-Turmeric Sauce

An evergreen, soul dish that is one of my favorites. The vivid color, the crunchiness of the pakora (fritter) and the velvety, cooling yogurt sauce make it the most appealing of foods. Subtle flavors pop out in a refreshing, vegetarian, gluten-free concoction. To me, for some reason, this dish is uniquely female. Traditionally, karhi is the main dish, eaten with fluffy basmati rice….

Asian Pot Roast

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. onion,…

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…

Vegetable Ginger Medley

This is an easy, colorful stir fry that is so full of nutrition. Ingredients: 2 carrots, peeled and diced half head broccoli, florets separated half head cauliflower, florets separated 2 inch pc. ginger, peeled and julienned half cup oil (I use refined coconut oil, all the benefits without the overpowering taste) half tsp. cumin seeds half tsp….

Chilli Hot Chocolate

The streets of NYC are hushed, blanketed, pristine and personal. Outside, the snow is chaotic, pelting the face as you step down onto a sidewalk that has no end. No traffic, only the sound of the wind, snow plows and shovels. People walking in the middle of the road, an easy camaraderie. Inside, a pot of steaming, spiced chocolate…

Beet Curry

We lived in Muscat in our early childhood. The summers were bone-dry and scorching. To escape, we would travel to the equally scorching but more smoldering heat of Karachi where my aunt and grandmother lived. Their house was an updated version of a traditional South Asian home. The rooms wrapped around a courtyard that was…

Thoughts for You

  We emerged onto FDR from the traffic snarl of First Avenue. I looked out at the sunshine dancing, glinting on the river across to the Brooklyn shoreline and let out a sigh of relief to finally be out of the doctor’s office. I relaxed into the moment. Nael had dozed off into an exhausted…

Simple Lentils

Every year, when I return from Karachi in the winter, along with memories of time spent with loved ones, there are other nuances and sensations that go deeper. Two are the most memorable. First, drifting off to a nap after a simple home-cooked meal with the sounds of the city around me, chirping, cawing,  faint sounds…

Learning to See Again: Journeys with my Blind Son

We adopted our boy, Nael, at birth in 2011. My husband and I had led our lives until then in a carefree, almost irreverent disregard for the traditional. Nevertheless, I had a very strong maternal instinct, and he a nurturing nature, and we knew that we wanted a big family, eventually. Once we decided to…