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…

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…

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….

Daal: 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…

Ajvar

Red pepper relish from Serbia