Karela (Fried Bitter Gourd)

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 there…

Kali Gajar (Purple Carrot) Halwa

A variation on a much-loved dessert that i discovered recently. I have eaten and enjoyed red carrot halwa all my life. This version is less sweet, packed full of anti-oxidants, believed to have warming qualities and definitely more exotic. A deep, lovely purple, it is a specialty of Lucknow and is available during the very…

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…

Persimmon-Tomato Chutney

Gorgeous, sweet persimmon. Juicy, tangy tomato. Perfect combo. A dollop will compliment almost anything. As a dipping sauce or slathered on your burger or accompanying a simple plate of daal and khichri. Ramp up the heat level to your preference. Ingredients:2 persimmons, chopped up4 tomatoes, deskinned and chopped2 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped1 cup…

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….

Shaljam Achar: Fermented Turnip Pickle

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 scurvy on board…

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…

Karhi: Lentil Fritters with Yogurt-Turmeric Sauce

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 rice….