Michelle Peters-Jones

Michelle is a food writer, recipe developer, spice hoarder and social media addict. She is based in Edmonton, Canada and can be found at The Tiffin Box.
Bubble and Squeak Is the Classic British Day-After-Holiday Dish You Need to Know
Perfect for a relaxing meal after a hectic Thanksgiving.
Nov 27, 2020
Recipe: Carrot Halwa
Carrot halwa, also known as gajar ka halwa, is an unusual Indian dessert. It’s made with grated carrots, whole milk, dried fruit, and nuts, and it has a delicious light fudgy texture. Traditionally served at Indian festivals and in temples, this classic dessert is a favorite in Indian households during Diwali, the festival of lights, which is this week! Diwali — the festival of lights — is one of the best-known Indian festivals.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Kerala-Style Fennel and Anise Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
I am sitting here, cooking this recipe for fragrant chicken curry scented with an intoxicating mixture of toasted fennel and coriander seeds and a warming combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. The temperature outside is –34°C. Sometimes I jokingly wonder why I live in a place where the air hurts my face. Then I grit my teeth and dream about tropical beaches and the warm swaying coconut palms of my childhood, and hope that summer gets here as fast as it can.
Mar 3, 2018
I’m Never Going to Be a “Cool Mom” and That’s OK
I am in my kitchen getting dinner ready. The strains of Bruno Mars’ 24 K Magic are floating around in the air, and in my head I am not a mom pushing forty, but in a gold bikini, shaking my backside to that mesmerizing voice. A few minutes later, I look up and I see my nine year old daughter, Adz, staring at me. “Wassup?” I nod to her, still in my hippity-hop mood. “Uh, Mom … you know that’s mom dancing at its best, riiiight?
May 11, 2017
5 Essential Items to Buy from the Indian Grocery Store
One of my weekly rituals is a visit to my local Indian grocery store. I am lucky enough to live in a city that has a strip mall pretty much dedicated to ethnic-style stores, so I can do a lot of my shopping all in one place. I have a couple of stores that I visit regularly to pick up items that I cannot find, or are too expensive, at my regular supermarket. The Indian grocery store is on the top of my list, and these are the items I buy there fairly often.
Jan 22, 2016
A Week of Fast Dinners for Adventurous Eaters
I’ll be completely honest: Being a food writer and photographer means my family is used to eating odd food at even odder times of the day. During the summer holidays, this is not much of an issue – my daughter will happily eat breakfast for dinner if I’ve been shooting pancakes in the bright afternoon light, or sit down for supper at 8 p.m. after I’ve taken advantage of the soft evening light to get a nicely shadowed shot.
Sep 26, 2015
Recipe: Tandoori Chicken Pizza
Phew, it is finally Friday. After a whirlwind busy week of school, after-school activities, work, and writing, Friday night is my night to chill and relax with my family, along with some pizza and wine. And what better way to fuse East and West, than this tandoori chicken pizza? I usually prep for my pizza the night before, after my daughter is in bed. I get the chicken in its marinade and make the pizza dough, which always benefits from a slow rise in the fridge.
Sep 25, 2015
Recipe: Fried Rice with Thai Basil and Tofu
My daughter loves rice, especially fried rice. I love fried rice because it is an easy way to include vegetables and proteins in her meal, and it makes for excellent lunches the next day. Wok cooking is also one of my favorite fast ways of putting dinner on the table quickly. This homemade version — with its peppery, soft, and delicate flavors — is a little lighter and fresher than the take-out version; it’s an all-around winner at our house.
Sep 24, 2015
Recipe: Egg Curry with Cherry Tomatoes
I love summer and early autumn. Even though school has started and my life has been steadily getting packed with all the activities that come along with having a child, there is something about harvest time that makes me want to cook and preserve. My tomato plants have been producing a lot of fruit; I am overloaded with cherry tomatoes. Any that don’t make it into sauce get cooked in creative ways — like this simple weeknight curry. This recipe started off as a pasta sauce.
Sep 23, 2015
Recipe: Vegetarian Indo-Chinese Hakka Noodles
These Indo-Chinese Hakka noodles were a staple of my student life. They’re a classic Indian street food and also make the perfect quick and easy midweek dinner — one that is equally child- and adult-friendly. You can make it vegetarian, like I have, or add shredded chicken, pork, and seafood. Besides being a one-wok dish, which minimizes cleanup time, the best thing about these noodles is you can vary the vegetables to suit the season.
Sep 22, 2015
Recipe: Indian Lentil Dal with Hearty Greens
Around the World in 30 Soups: This month we’re collaborating with chefs, cookbook authors, and our own Kitchn crew to share a globetrotting adventure in soups from countries and cuisines around the world. Today’s stop: India. It’s nearly impossible to choose just one soup from India, a vast nation full of so many diverse cuisines. But it would be difficult to do without dal — so let’s start there.
Sep 21, 2015
11 Essential Spices for Indian Cooking
One of the things that people find intimidating about cooking Indian food is the vast array of spices used — both whole and ground, which are often combined into complex spice mixes. However, having taught classes on Indian food, I find that as soon as people are able to identify and understand the spices we use, then suddenly they find this cuisine is not as hard to make after all. Here are the 11 spices I reach for most often when cooking Indian food and how I use them!
Sep 21, 2015
The 5 Cookbooks That Taught Me to Cook (and I Still Use Today)
When I have guests over for dinner, some of them have read my website and also know I write for The Kitchn, and this naturally leads to the assumption that I am a fairly good cook. The conversation leads to cookbooks, of course, and as I have many of them open or stacked about in my kitchen, people are always nosing around in them and asking me for recommendations.
May 19, 2015
5 Wacky Vintage Cookbooks from My Shelf and Why I Love Them
We all have them. Those odd cookbooks that just seem to appear in our collections — some we picked up on travels, or were given to us by friends and family, or came from antique stores or flea markets whose covers we just couldn’t resist. Here are some of the obscure-ish but much-loved cookbooks in my own collection. I use some of them all the time, while I just enjoy having others on my shelf. Regardless, they have stories, and today, I’m here to tell you what they are.
Apr 24, 2015
On the Local, the Sacred, and One Farmer’s Choice
Every Earth Day I ask myself what I can do to make the world I live in a little bit better. Whether it is turning out the lights for an hour, or doing our best to live a sustainable life, every one of us can take those small steps which all add up to so much more. One of the things I have been doing recently is aiming to source a lot of my food locally, and support my local farmers.
Apr 22, 2015
Ritual & Rice Pancakes: How My Family Celebrates Easter in India
I grew up as a Catholic in India, and one of the holiest times of our year was Lent and Easter. In India Christian Easter (and Christian traditions in general) is probably even holier and a more important religious holiday than even Christmas, as it represents rebirth and renewal. It is a time to spend with family and friends, and has a host of traditions associated with it. Here’s a peek into my family’s traditions of Easter in India.
Apr 4, 2015
5 Bargain Bin Cookbook Finds That I Use All the Time
I have a huge collection of cookbooks. When I moved to Canada from England, I had to give up quite a few, as there just wasn’t enough room to ship them over. But I made it my mission to get back to my original collection — and then some! I source my cookbooks from all over the place, but some of my favorite and most-used books have actually come from thrift stores, garage sales, and bargain bins.
Apr 2, 2015
6 Restaurant Cookbooks That Have Made Me a Better Home Cook
In the past few years, a constant stream of chef and restaurant cookbooks have shown up on bookstore shelves. Some of them are beautiful and look beautiful on a coffee table. Some never leave the kitchen. Some really great ones are perfect in both settings. Here are some of the restaurant cookbooks that have inspired my home cooking and shaped a lot of what I know about food and cooking.
Mar 4, 2015
Here’s Why Marcus Off Duty Is Destined to Grow Old With Me
Cookbook: Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home by Marcus Samuelsson Overall Impression: A collection of simple, elegant and flavor packed recipes that are perfect for everyday suppers or relaxed dinner parties alike. You know those cookbooks. Those that make you smile and reach for your sticky notes, the ones that draw you in with brilliant illustrations and cozy family pictures? Those that make you feel like you can make every single recipe without any stress?
Jan 26, 2015
Recipe: Lemongrass, Lime & Thai Basil Mojito
This is the perfect cocktail (or mocktail) to serve with your Thai feast. The flavors are light and delicate, and they perfectly evoke lazy summer evenings, even when it’s cold and dreary outside. This drink is a riff on the classic mojito, but made with very traditional Thai ingredients. I love how the combination of aromatic Thai basil, lime, and lemongrass syrup make for a refreshing, clean drink.
Jan 23, 2015
Recipe: Coconut Rice
Coconut rice is an easy, delicious accompaniment to spicy Thai curries and dishes, like the Massaman curry I shared yesterday. It’s a lightly sweetened version of traditional steamed jasmine rice, and it comes together in less than 20 minutes. Leaves of makrut lime add a beautiful, subtle lime fragrance to the dish. If you can find them fresh, buy a bunch — more than you need for this recipe — and freeze the leaves in a heavy-duty ziplock bag for future meals.
Jan 22, 2015
Recipe: Massaman Curry with Beef
Thai massaman curry — also known as matsaman or mussaman curry — is a creamy, mildly spicy, nutty, slow-cooked curry heavily influenced by Indian, Malaysian, and Persian cuisines. It is not originally a native Thai curry, but it’s been wonderfully assimilated into classic Thai cuisine. Massaman curry can be made with chicken, beef, or lamb, and it’s an elegant dish to serve for weeknight meals or dinner parties alike.
Jan 21, 2015
Thai Sticky Rice Pudding with Coconut Sauce
This sticky rice pudding can be served for breakfast or as a dessert. When I was traveling in Thailand, I had this rice pudding almost every morning, served in small banana leaf bowls, with thick coconut cream and fresh mangoes. It is easily one of my favorite food memories of all time. You can make this rice pudding with black or white glutinous rice. (Or use both! The black rice tints the white a delicate purplish color.) Both varieties are available in most Asian groceries.
Jan 20, 2015
Bread Revolution by Peter Reinhart Is a Bread Revelation
Cookbook: Bread Revolution by Peter Reinhart Overall impression: This is the book you need if you want to take your bread baking to the next level. It is not an easy book, but it really will change the way you understand everything about food, flour, and the art and science of baking bread. There is something truly therapeutic about baking your own bread. I have only been really learning to do it the past three years or so, and it is one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen.
Jan 20, 2015
Recipe: Thai Coconut Soup
This Thai coconut soup is one of my absolute favorite soups for the winter — heck, for any season! With temperatures here in Edmonton, Canada plummeting to -40°C over the last week, this soup — with its delicately sweet, salty, and spicy flavors — has become more than just a craving: it’s a necessity. I love its versatility and how easy it is to make, particularly if you’ve made the curry paste in advance.
Jan 19, 2015
How We Celebrate Christmas in India
One of the best things about growing up in India was all the holidays we celebrated. As a multicultural country, all festivals are celebrated with lots of joy and gusto. Some of the popular festivals are Diwali, Holi, and Eid, but you may be surprised to know that India is home to a considerable population of Christians, who, along with the rest of the country, celebrate Christmas with their own rituals and traditions. Here are some of my memories of celebrating Christmas in India.
Dec 16, 2014
100 Days of Real Food Makes Healthy Eating as a Family Feel Approachable and Doable
Cookbook: 100 Days of Real Food by Lisa Leake Overall Impression: A well-researched book with a lot of information on eating healthy food with a focus on kid-friendly recipes. All of us always want to eat better food and live healthier lifestyles. However, when life gets maniacally busy — with school, work, and life — it is almost too easy to turn to convenience food, even though we all know that healthy, home-cooked food is best.
Dec 8, 2014
Recipe: Indian Scrambled Eggs (Egg Bhurji)
One of my favorite breakfasts as a kid was this deliciously spicy, creamy egg bhurji, or Indian-style scrambled eggs. They are super easy to pull together and are an interesting addition to a leisurely brunch or a quick breakfast. Eggs are a staple in Indian cuisine, and are usually paired with onions, tomatoes, and spices for quintessentially Indian-style dishes.
Dec 2, 2014
Recipe: Lamb Rogan Josh
Rogan josh is one of the better known Indian classics, and this fiery lamb or mutton dish from the Kashmir region of India is now popular all over the world. My version stays very close to an authentic Hindu-style recipe, but I have tweaked it to make a rich and spicy slow-cooked dish that is perfect for chilly winter days. There are several versions of rogan josh in existence, but the two most common are the Kashmiri Pandit (Hindu) version and the Muslim, or Mughal, version.
Nov 6, 2014
Recipe: Leek, Potato & Fennel Soup with Bacon
This soup is comfort in a bowl. I love serving it with chunks of buttered rustic bread as an easy supper. Thick, creamy, and fragrant — with the deliciously salty crunch of bacon — this unusual leek, potato, and fennel soup is equally at home at an everyday dinner or an elegant dinner party. We had an unusually huge harvest of leeks this year, along with a whole bunch of potatoes, and I was scrambling to make sure everything got used up.
Oct 23, 2014
Recipe: Maple Ice Cream With Pecan Praline
Who says ice cream should only be for summer? Maple syrup, to me, epitomizes warm, autumn flavors and this easy, delicious maple syrup ice cream with crunchy pecan praline is one of the best ice cream flavours out there. Plus, it is brilliant with a slice of creamy pumpkin pie as your Thanksgiving dessert. We celebrate Thanksgiving earlier in Canada, and I am always looking for fun and unusual desserts to add to my repertoire, along with pumpkin pie.
Oct 13, 2014
Recipe: Saffron Rice Pilaf
Saffron pulao is an elegant accompaniment to your favorite Indian dishes and is traditionally served as part of Indian festival meals. Saffron, being one of the most expensive spices in the world, adds to the mystery and fragrance of this dish. It is definitely a keeper when you want to make an everyday dinner special. I like to serve this when I have guests coming over and I want something more special than plain steamed rice.
Oct 8, 2014
How To Cook Perfect Basmati Rice
Perfectly cooked rice grains are like brothers, close, yet separate, and definitely not stuck together. – Indian proverb A simple pot of basmati rice can defeat even the most experienced cooks, especially when it comes to getting it right, night after night. The perfect rice is soft and fluffy, with each grain perfectly separate. Is this possible at home? Definitely. Just follow these easy, foolproof steps. Basmati is one of the best known varieties of rice out there.
Oct 7, 2014
Recipe: Paneer Mughlai Curry
One of my favorite dinner party dishes is this paneer cheese curry, Mughlai-style. I’ve simplified the recipe and it actually takes less than 30 minutes to put together, including the prep, but it doesn’t lose any of its incredible flavor in the process. But I can guarantee that your family and guests will think you’ve slaved over the stove for hours when you present this to them, all creamy, fragrant and delicately spiced.
Oct 1, 2014
Recipe: Indian Chili Chicken
Indian food, particularly regional cuisine, is heavily influenced by its various rulers and foreign inspirations — one of the most enduring influences is our neighbor to the north: China. While at first glance, Indian and Chinese food appear to have almost nothing in common, but you will find an array of Chinese dishes that have been “Indian-ized” in the South, especially with the use of soy sauce, coconut milk, and spices, like five spice and star anise.
Sep 24, 2014
5 Cookbooks To Teach You the Basics of Indian Cooking
As a cooking instructor specializing in East Indian cuisine, I get asked for my cookbook recommendations all the time. While a lot of my recipes come straight from my family, or through oral traditions, there are a few cookbooks I refer to when I need to look up something or to get a basic recipe for a dish from a different region of India. Read on to find out my top five books that will teach you all you need to begin to discover this ancient cooking culture for yourself.
Sep 17, 2014