Indian Recipes & Food Ideas
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Indian Vegetarian Feast by Anjum Anand
“Indians are alchemists of the vegetarian table,” writes Anjum Anand, and her new cookbook merges India’s rich culinary traditions with a fresh, modern perspective. Indian Vegetarian Feast should appeal to both vegetarians and omnivores looking for simple, healthy weeknight recipes and beautiful dishes to impress dinner party guests.
May 2, 2019
In Defense of Curry Powder
I’ve heard it said that curry powder — that deep yellow blend of spices you can find premixed and on offer in almost any grocery store’s spice rack — is not for serious cooks. And there’s some truth to that. Curries are a complex category of dishes, and a true curry will have a specific blend of spices to match the ingredients and methods used. There are thousands of curries and to apply one generic powder to all of them is frankly insulting.
May 2, 2019
Mango and Mint: Arabian, Indian, and North African Inspired Vegan Cuisine by Nicky Garratt
• Who wrote it: Nicky Garratt • Who published it: PM Press • Number of recipes: 162 • Recipes for right now: Tomato Rasam, Mango and Pineapple Curry, Jackfruit in Coconut-Cashew Sauce, Roasted Red Pepper Bulgur Salad, White Mulberry Dessert, Watermelon-Basil Juice • Other highlights: Arabian, Indian, and North African meals are frequently prepared buffet-style, making them ideal for people avoiding meat.
May 2, 2019
Indian Cooking Unfolded by Raghavan Iyer
Raghavan Iyer wants you to understand something: for all its spices, for all its flavor, for all its vibrant colors, Indian cooking is not hard. This is a message he’s been putting out there since his first cookbook 660 Curries, but in this latest book, Iyer breaks it down for us in the form of easy, approachable “lessons.” Pull out your favorite pan and dust off your spices, people, because we’re about to embark on Indian Cooking 101.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Chicken Tikka Masala
Although chicken tikka masala is more British than Indian, you’d be hard-pressed to find an Indian restaurant that doesn’t have this creamy, bright-orange dish featured prominently on its menu. But if you do, you’re welcome to come to my house, where chicken tikka masala is on our regular monthly meal rotation. It’s surprisingly easy to pull together, and I promise it’s just as good as anything ordered off the take-out menu.
May 2, 2019
A Fall Pumpkin-Carving Party: The Party Plan
When the other editors and I sat down at the beginning of the year to plan out our new series, Gatherings From The Kitchn, there was one event I knew had to happen: a fall pumpkin-carving dinner party. It’s a tradition that my friends and I started a few years ago — we gather together on a cozy evening in October to carve pumpkins, sip cider and eat a meal full of comforting autumn flavors.
May 2, 2019
A Fall Pumpkin-Carving Party
One of my favorite fall parties I ever threw was this pumpkin-carving party, co-hosted with my friend Lydia, an autumnal afternoon of carving pumpkins, sipping cider and sitting down for a romantic outdoor dinner at dusk. Today I’m going to give you a full look at how we transformed the blank slate of Lydia’s backyard into party central, with a casual pumpkin-carving zone and a cozy buffet and dining area.
May 2, 2019
11 Delicious & Affordable Trader Joe’s Wines to Drink With Indian Food
When choosing wines to go with a meal like Anjali’s Indian-themed sweet potato buffet you might initially feel a little perplexed. How can you pick a wine to pair perfectly with so many different and mainly spicy flavors? Awhile back I wrote a post about pairing wine with spicy foods and boiled it down to three rules. The ultimate decision depends on whether you want the wine to complement or even accentuate the heat and spicy flavors or whether you prefer a more cooling contrast.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Red Kidney Bean Curry with Rice (Rajmah Chawal)
Rajmah Chawal, a red kidney bean curry served with rice, is a rustic, traditional Indian meal that is cooked in households all over India. Originally a staple of the village kitchen, this is a simple, nutritious meal that is naturally gluten free, vegan and suited to people with allergies. Traditionally, rajmah, or red kidney beans, are soaked in water the night before, and cooked until tender the next day.
May 2, 2019
Bal’s Spice Kitchen by Bal Arneson
The Angle: The foods you love, now with more spice factor Recipes for right now: Kale and Green Pea Soup, Fennel and Black Bean Soup, Steamed Chard with Candied Pecans and Mango Dressing, Sweet Potato Koftas with Ginger Curry, Spiced Halibut on Yellow Lentil Puree, Mint Chicken with Coconut Rice, Mango Kulfi Who would enjoy this book?
May 2, 2019
Indian Curries Are Coming to a Slow Cooker Near You
The angle: Slow-cooked curries, meet your new best friend: the slow cooker. Recipes for right now: Tomato Lentil Soup (Rasam), Kerala Fish Curry (Meen Moili), Lamb Chops with Browned Onions and Tomatoes (Masaledar Champas), Kashmiri Potato Curry (Dum Aloo), Eggplant with Yogurt (Kashmiri Baingan) Who would enjoy this book? Anyone who loves Indian food but doesn’t always have the time to make it at home.
May 1, 2019
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.
May 1, 2019
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.
May 1, 2019
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: 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.
May 1, 2019
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.
May 1, 2019
5 Ways to Turn Rice into the Main Course
Somewhere very near the top of my list of things that make me happy is the ability to rely on my pantry for dinner, especially during the week. There are an array of pantry staples that have come to my rescue, but my favorite is always rice. It has its place as standby side dish, yet it’s strong and versatile enough to be the main course. Here are a few ways to turn rice from the supporting player into the star.
May 1, 2019
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.
May 1, 2019
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.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Crispy Baked Samosas with Potatoes and Peas
Samosas were my gateway into Indian food back in my college days. What’s not to love, really? They’re crispy handheld puffs stuffed with spicy potatoes, peas, and onions — a plate of them is an appetizer to share with friends, two or three of them make an excellent lunch to eat on the way to class. I’ve recently become obsessed with making an easy, baked version of these traditional, potato-filled samosas at home. My very non-traditional secret?
May 1, 2019
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.
May 1, 2019
5 Fun Ways to Turn Naan into Dinner
No matter the entrée, an Indian dinner just isn’t complete without a side of naan. In fact, I’ll happily skip the rice and double down with an extra piece of naan every time. But this puffed flatbread has the power to move beyond dinner accoutrement. It’s worthy of a role far better — like actually being the main course.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Slow-Cooker Yogurt Soup with Daikon
One of the first things I learned when I began using a slow cooker was to avoid dairy, or at the very least, wait to add it at the end of cooking since it would curdle or separate if cooked for a longer period of time. Which is why I was surprised to find a recipe in Neela Paniz’s cookbook, The Indian Slow Cooker, for yogurt soup. Not only did I find the concept of a hot yogurt soup intriguing, but I was also interested in the fact that it could be done in the slow cooker at all.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Slow-Cooker Lemon Dal
There are endless ways to season a dal. In my family, a tadka of black pepper and burnt garlic is added at the very end of cooking to bring an astringent bite to the velvety slip of puréed lentils. In this recipe, Neela brings the lush acidity of lemon to tender pink lentils and cooks them until creamy in a slow cooker. This isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it kind of slow-cooker recipe. Cook it on high and it buys you two hours of hands-off cooking.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Slow Cooker Pork Vindaloo
As with any country, you can find traces of its history in its cuisine. Pork vindaloo, famed for its fiery heat, speaks directly to the Portuguese occupation of the southern Indian state of Goa. As Neela explains, “Carne de vinha d’alhos, a Portuguese dish made with pork, was the basis of the now-famous vindaloo served in Indian restaurants. Although many make it with lamb, chicken, or shrimp, I prefer the original recipe with pork, redolent of tamarind, vinegar, and black pepper.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: 10-Hour Slow Cooker Chana Masala
And that's a good thing.
May 1, 2019
What Is Taro Root?
I’ve walked past this funny-looking tuberous vegetable more times than I can count when I shop at my local Whole Foods. Maybe you have too? Or perhaps you’ve spotted it listed on a menu somewhere, or while strolling through an Asian grocery store. Or maybe you’ve been eating this purple-tinged root since day one. We’ll count you as one of the lucky ones. For the rest of us, it’s time we figure out what taro is and what we should do with it.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Saag Paneer Pizza
I love how easy it is to find naan bread nowadays, from the fresh ones at Whole Foods to the frozen garlic naan at Trader Joe’s. Lately this soft Indian flatbread has been my go-to base for sandwiches and, to my pleasant surprise, pizzas. Here’s a tasty pizza inspired by one of my favorite Indian dishes, saag paneer. Saag paneer is a spiced, creamy spinach stew finished with soft pieces of mild paneer cheese.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Upside-Down Chicken Curry Bowl
I adore Indian food, and while my tastes range wide in that nation’s incredibly diverse cuisine, I have to admit that the rich, Westernized chicken tikka masala was my gateway love and still a guilty pleasure. But what does it look like when you flip the bowl and leave the curry until last? Can chicken curry be a lighter, fresher meal?
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Summer Green Beans in Aromatic Spiced Tomatoes
Fresh string beans are a summertime staple, but it’s easy to get in a rut of simply steaming and slapping them on the plate. If the best thing we can say about a forgettable side dish is that it did no harm, it’s time for an upgrade. This recipe will be your beans’ crush all summer long. You’ll make this recipe over and over, and will share it with your friends and relations because it’s just that good. Let us count the ways, and the whys.
May 1, 2019
How To Make Chicken Tikka Masala in the Electric Pressure Cooker
There’s no need to order chicken tikka masala takeout when you can make it lightning-fast in the pressure cooker. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs bring lots of flavor and tenderness to this recipe. Before cutting the thighs into pieces, remove any excess fat. You want the chicken pieces to be bite-sized, so aim for a cut about 1 1/2 inches. Traditional chicken tikka masala recipes start with marinating the chicken in a yogurt sauce.
May 1, 2019
J Is for Jalfrezi
Jalfrezi may be lesser-known than dishes like tikka masala or rogan josh, but it still has quite the fan base. And that’s for good reason — this Indian stir-fry is as fragrant and comforting as the others, with even more of a powerful, spicy kick. The story of jalfrezi starts in eastern India, where, during the British Raj, chefs came up with the recipe as a way of using up leftovers, which over time became a way of cooking marinated meat instead.
May 1, 2019
K Is for Korma
Perhaps you’ve enjoyed chicken or lamb korma at your favorite Indian restaurant, or you’ve made it yourself, but korma can be much more than these meat-heavy versions. In fact, swapping in chickpeas makes a korma everyone can get behind. A classic korma is a mix of meat and vegetables braised with water; stock; heavy cream, yogurt, or even coconut milk; and plenty of spices like cumin, coriander, and cinnamon.
May 1, 2019
M Is for Chana Masala
With a spiced curry sauce that we sop up with abandon, chana masala, one of the most popular vegetarian curry dishes you’ll find at Indian restaurants, is full of tender chickpeas. It’s become a comfort-food classic for many home cooks and still manages to feel wholesome. Best of all, it’s a dish easily made at home — as long as you keep a few key ingredients in your pantry.
May 1, 2019
P Is for Pudla
Imagine a gluten-free version of a crêpe that’s as easy to make and as delicate as the French classic, but even more flavorful (on top of also being vegan and rich in protein). That is pudla. This Indian crêpe made with chickpea flour may be lesser-known, but it’s a simple, savory, and wholesome addition to your breakfast routine. Hailing from Northern Indian, pudla are thin pancakes commonly eaten for breakfast.
May 1, 2019
The World’s First Robot Roti Maker Is a Win for Feminists Everywhere
In the 2002 romcom Bend It Like Beckham, Mrs. Barma admonishes her daughter, Jess: “What family would want a daughter-in-law who can run around kicking football all day, but can’t make round chapatis?” South Asian popular culture is replete with such hijinks — of women and their mastery, or lack thereof, of making chapatis, the whole-wheat griddle breads that are ubiquitous in cuisines of the Subcontinent.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Freezer-to-Pressure-Cooker Chicken Curry
The pressure cooker makes long-cooked dishes like curries possible on a weeknight. If you also want to keep the slicing and dicing to a minimum, partner with your freezer so chicken curry can be on your table in just about 30 minutes whenever that craving hits. This recipe essentially starts with making your own meal kit and freezing it.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Sparkling Midnight Thyme Rosé
This holiday, ring in the new year with something a little different than your standard glass of Champagne. This rosé cocktail perfumed with rose and thyme comes to us from cookbook author Asha Gomez. She starts with your favorite rosé and then swirls in a fragrant thyme simple syrup and a dash of rosewater for a warm and aromatic take on this year’s most beloved wine. Although rose is considered a cooling flavor, the sentiment behind it is all about warmth.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Sweet Potato and Spinach Pakoras with Sweet and Sour Sauce
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been to a really great holiday party and have heard everyone tell me how wonderful the fritters are or “you have to try the croquettes,” only to find they’ve disappeared by the time I’ve made it to the table. It’s always such high hopes met with lots of longing.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Aloo Tikki (Golden Potato Croquettes)
Asha Gomez’s aloo tiki, also known as potato croquettes, are the low-effort, high-impact item on our South Indian New Year’s Eve menu. Chances are high they’ll be the favorite on everyone’s list. You can make the mashed potatoes ahead and even pre-shape the patties, sticking them in the oven before guests arrive in order to serve them hot (although that’s not to say they aren’t delightful at room temperature).
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Black Salt-and-Pepper Roasted Cashews
Salt and pepper became an iconic duo for many reasons, but the one we’re interested in when it comes to these cashews is the flavor. The pepper in this recipe (both cayenne and black pepper) you already know well, but we’re not using just any salt here — Asha Gomez’s recipe calls for kala namak, or Himalayan black salt, which, in actuality, turns out to be pink. This salt has rich umami flavor and a sulfurous undertone.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Kidney Bean and Coconut Curry
Hearty and vegan? Is it possible? Yes, of course! We pulled recipes from a few vegan cookbooks hitting the market this year and asked one of our food photographers and stylists, Maria Siriano, who happens to be vegan, for her thoughts on the recipes. Vegan: The Cookbook by Jean-Christian Jury is a tour de force of vegan cuisine inspired by the culinary traditions from every corner of the globe.
May 1, 2019
5 Indian Takeout Items That Make Dinner Tomorrow Faster
On the busiest of weeknights, calling up your neighborhood Indian spot to place an order for all of your spicy favorites is a quick and tasty answer. It’s OK that you’re not cooking tonight because tomorrow you will. That’s a guarantee because if you throw a few extra items in your takeout order tonight, you can utilize them tomorrow to make your dinner almost as carefree as ordering takeout again — and it may even be more delicious.
May 1, 2019
These 6 Cookbooks Are Your Ticket to the Cheapest Vacation Ever
With the last days of summer still ahead of us and the heat sticking to our backs, you might think grilling, grilling, and grilling are your only options for dinner. But picking at grilled chicken while scrolling through everyone else’s vacation photos is a straight path to lunacy.
May 1, 2019
How To Make Ghee Four Ways
Ghee is butter which has been clarified to remove water and milk solids, which imparts a toasty aroma and flavor in the finished butter. Even better? Turning butter into ghee makes it last even longer and makes it suitable for high-heat cooking and roasting, and it even renders it lactose-free for those avoiding it. Ghee is simply butter made even better by a long, slow cook.
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.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Instant Pot Kacchi Lamb Dum Biryani
Serving tender, aromatic lamb biryani for dinner (especially during Ramadan) just got easier, thanks to everyone’s favorite kitchen gadget: the Instant Pot. Because the popular electric pressure cooker releases steam at the end of the cook time, it mimics the traditional Indian “dum” style of cooking, in which a protein (in this case, lamb) is cooked slowly in steam.
May 30, 2018
Recipe: Tomato Rasam
Tomato rasam, also known as the “sniffle-kicking” soup, is a tomato-based soup from the south of India. There’s enough garlic in a bowl of it to kill a cold (and several vampires); the pepper, asafetida, cumin, turmeric, and tomato will help clear up any inflammation in the sinuses. Leftover soup will keep in the freezer for up to a month, so don’t hesitate to make extras for those days you feel a cold coming on.
Oct 5, 2017
This One-Pan Indian Butter Chicken Is the Perfect 30-Minute Meal
There’s something magical about picking up some spicy Indian takeout and pouring yourself a cold glass of Riesling on a night when you really don’t feel like cooking. But if you are in the mood to spend some time in the kitchen, you can make your own version of your favorite dishes at home. This Indian butter chicken is a great place to start.
Aug 7, 2017
How To Make Indian Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce: Raita
Oh, do I ever have a sauce for you today! Raita is just the sort of cooling, contrasting sauce that all of your summer grilling food needs. Warm with cumin, and studded with crisp cucumber and fresh cilantro, this yogurt sauce is welcome on everything from naan-wiches to grilled watermelon. This warm-weather-friendly sauce is one we think you should know by heart, for making all year long. Raita is mixture of yogurt, fruits or vegetables, and fresh herbs and spices used a sauce or condiment.
Jul 28, 2017
5 South Indian Bloggers Share Their New Year’s Traditions
For many of us, the New Year is well under way. By this point, we’ve already made and broken many of our healthful resolutions! But in South India, the New Year falls in spring, not winter — often, although not always, on the vernal equinox — and is accompanied by meticulous traditions in preparation for the celebratory feast. Of course, different states (Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana) have different traditions.
Mar 29, 2017
4 Indian Breads That Are Better than Sourdough
When it comes to bread, we’re with Oprah (we love bread!) and our admiration isn’t restricted to tangy sourdough loaves or crusty baguettes. Nearly every culture has strong opinions about bread products (see: Why the English Muffin Is Vastly Superior to the Bagel), and India is no exception. Flatbreads, in particular, are an important staple in South Asian cuisine, especially in the wheat-growing states of Northern India.
Dec 27, 2016
What Is Diwali? How One Indian-American Family Celebrates.
The Hindu holiday, which is celebrated this week, is full of sweets, bright lights, and fun.
Oct 30, 2016
Recipe: Masala Chai-Spiced Oatmeal
Infusing masala chai into oatmeal not only makes for a breakfast that's equally as comforting as a steaming mug, but it also gives your bowl a little kick of caffeine.
Oct 24, 2016
The One-Two Punch in South Indian Cuisine
“What kind of Indian are you?” my now-husband said to me in college when he learned of my low (read: non-existent) tolerance for spice in my food. His palate preferred piquancy and pungency. “A bad one?” I answered. Geography was partly responsible for the discrepancy. Our South Asian-American families hail from opposite ends of the subcontinent: mine from Sindh in present-day Pakistan, via Maharashtra; my husband’s from Kerala, on India’s southwestern coast.
Aug 18, 2016
Watermelon Shouldn’t Work in Curry. But It Does!
Sweet, juicy watermelon really can do no wrong. Sliced into thick wedges and eaten with sticky fingers, it’s summer fruit at its finest. You can also toss it with feta for a sweet and salty fruit salad or whiz it into a ridiculously refreshing cocktail, but you already know this. What you might not know is that watermelon can be transformed into something hot, savory, and spicy. I am talking about watermelon curry. The first time I read about watermelon curry I was confused.
Aug 11, 2016
If You Love Chicken Tikka Masala, You’ll Love This Soup
Do you love chicken tikka masala? If so, you’re in luck — this comforting bowl of soup plays off the flavors of the Indian restaurant favorite. Intensely spiced, with coconut cream and crushed tomatoes to round it out, this soup is sure to become a weeknight dinner staple.
Mar 10, 2016
What Gives Jasmine and Basmati Rice Their Fragrance?
Both jasmine and basmati rice are prized for one specific thing: their aroma. There’s nothing quite like the two — they’re far from any other average white or brown rice. And while they carry distinct characteristics in their own right, it’s their fragrance that makes them stand out. But why are they more fragrant than any other long-grain varieties? It’s all thanks to a compound called 2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline.
Feb 2, 2016
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
I Cooked with Curry Leaves for the First Time, and Here’s What I Made
I’ve been trying to expand my cooking repertoire lately since I feel like we eat the same thing over and over again at home. Part of this involves forcing myself to grab something new at the grocery store and cook with it, and last week fresh curry leaves caught my eye! Native to southern Asia, curry leaf is an herb that comes from a tree — it’s used in a lot of East Indian food. Fresh curry leaves look like small, shiny lemon leaves, and smell pungently of curry.
Aug 11, 2015
Chef Cameron Stauch’s Beginner’s Guide to Indian Spices
I first met Canadian Chef Cameron Stauch when I wanted to stop spending so much money on Indian takeout by making my own Indian food, and I had no idea where to start. Cameron went as far as to bring me recipes and guide me around three different mini-marts where I could find Indian ingredients that had been brought into the country in the shop owner’s suitcase.
Jun 9, 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
The Science Behind Why Indian Food Tastes So Good
What is it that makes Indian food so delicious, so rich, so craveable? A few scientists from the Indian Institute for Technology in Jodhpur wondered the same thing, so they analyzed over 2,500 Indian recipes to decode the complex, delicious magic of Indian food. Interested in what they found out? It’s all about opposites attract!
Mar 12, 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
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
The 5 Spices You Need for Homemade Chai (Well, OK. Maybe There Are 8.)
I conceived of this post as a starting point for all of you who love chai, that spicy and fragrant milky tea drunk across most of India and much of east Africa. I wanted to show you the five essential spices that, once procured, will help you make a delicious cup of spicy tea. But then I ran into difficulties. Chai comes in so many forms and flavors — I think I might start a minor tea war here if I prescribed only five spices.
Feb 21, 2014
One Memorable Christmas in India
As I cuddle up with my chai on this chilly December morning, I’m transported through time via photographs of a very memorable Christmas: one spent with my husband and his brother and our sister-in-law in Southern India a few years ago. Christmas in India is as colorful, unexpected, boisterous, fun and totally unapologetic as any other holiday in this wondrous land! Subtlety is simply not on the menu here.
Dec 19, 2013
Make-Ahead Recipe: Lamb Korma
Autumn is all about the warming, stick-to-your-ribs dishes that sound so good as the weather cools down, but comfort food doesn’t have to mean heavy and cheesy. For the fall pumpkin-carving party I hosted for our latest Gatherings From The Kitchn, I wanted to serve a meal that was fresh and healthy as well as warm and comforting, so I planned a buffet centered around an Indian-themed baked sweet potato bar.
Oct 22, 2013
Nigel Slater’s Dark and Sticky Fruit Chutney
Earlier this year, I couldn’t wait to share the UK edition of Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries II with you, even though the book was a little hard to pick up here in the United States. But now things have changed. As promised, Ten Speed Press has just released the US edition, titled Notes from the Larder, making it a little easier to find, and if you’re not up for messing with conversions or if you don’t have a kitchen scale that reads in grams, a little easier to use.
Oct 8, 2013
Pressure Cooker Recipe: Kerala Coconut Chicken Curry
I have a cookbook problem. No, I don’t have too many (well, maybe that too). While the bookstores are glutted with cookbooks, and a new crop inundates us every season, I cannot find the one definitive cookbook I crave — a South Indian cookbook to guide me through learning how to cook recipes from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Goa. I crave South Indian food like nothing else, and today’s recipe is another effort to reproduce the lighter, fresher, coconut-driven curries I love.
Aug 22, 2013
Panch Phoron: Bengali Five Spice
Ever since cooking through Indian Vegetarian Feast, we’ve been inspired to add a tablespoon of panch phoron to everything from sautéed broccoli to a pot of beans or a jar of refrigerator pickles. This five spice mix is so easy to make yet adds tremendous flavor and aroma to Bengali dishes and anything else you can think of.
May 20, 2013