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…

Karhi: Lentil Fritters with Yogurt-Turmeric Sauce

An evergreen, soulful 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….

Pasande: 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

A mouth-watering and easy way to get the nutrition on the table. An assortment of vegetables (usually 3-4 and traditionally potatoes, cauliflower, and peas but can be any other colorful combo) are deliciously sauteed with fragrant spices. The kids will love it too! Ingredients: 2 carrots, peeled and diced half head broccoli, florets separated half…