Come summer and I lean towards ice cream and cold sweet things but also towards smaller dishes that I can snack on versus larger meals. Dips can become a meal especially with a colorful assortment at the table and if you include a few different types (keeping in mind your diner's preferences) you could end up with a gorgeous spread of tastes and aromas begging to be eaten.Read More
For the past few months, M has been traveling quite a bit. From Asia to Europe to Africa to Australia, he's been on the fly so to speak. One day here and one day then. And while it sounds glamorous even to me, it turns out it isn't that exciting especially when you're working and not doing much sight seeing plus sitting in a plane for long hours is no fun unless you can stretch out completely in your seat. So whenever he gets back from one his trips, I make sure to welcome him back with ribs (short or spare) because that is his the one thing he craves all the time.
This recipe has become pretty popular with us at home ever since I made it a few months ago. It's sweet, hot and full of spice and a rich aroma to accompany all those flavors. A few cipollini onions also go into this dish along with some fresh mint leaves.
A few tips to making this dish; I strongly recommend using a high-speed blender to get a thick velvety sauce and also refrigerating the entire dish overnight so you can easily skim off the hardened fat once it cools.
And all made in this gorgeous and shiny casserole from American Kitchen. One of the great features about this piece of premium cookware is that it's made locally by a hundred year old company, Regal Ware in West Bend, Wisconsin from responsibly sourced stainless steel and aluminum and comes with a lifetime warranty. The cookware is durable and the casserole I used withstood the high temperatures of the oven and it was also really easy to clean up. No stains whatsoever!
American Kitchen is giving away two beautiful pieces of their stainless steel cookware, all you need to do to enter the giveaway is to go to the little widget below and follow the instructions. The giveaway is starts on February 23 and will end on March 2, 2017. Good luck and happy cooking!
(note: this was a problem with the previous form used to enter the contest, but the code has now been fixed however, if you did enter previously you will need to reenter the giveaway using the form below, sorry for the inconvience)
Indian-style braised short ribs
makes: 2 servings
2lbs (~907g) short ribs
12 cipolini onions or white pearl onions, peeled
1 cup pinot gris
2 inch piece peeled ginger root
8 whole Kashmiri chilies
6 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons amchur
1 teaspoon green cardamom seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 (50g) cup brown sugar
fresh mint leaves to garnish
Place a wire rack at midlevel and preheat the oven to 400F. Place the ribs in an oven-safe stainless steel casserole pan or a Dutch oven along with 6 of the onions.
Prepare the sauce by blending all the ingredients from the remaining 6 onions to the salt in a blender until completely combined and smooth. Stir in the sugar and taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Pour this liquid over the ribs and make sure they're completely coated. Cover and seal the top of the pan with two sheets of aluminum foil and press the lid firmly. Transfer the casserole pan to the preheated oven and cook for 4 hours. The meat will be completely cooked and just falling off the bones. Skim off and discard any excess fat from the surface (alternatively, refrigerate the entire pan overnight and then pull off the hardened fat and discard and then reheat the ribs over the stove before serving). Garnish with fresh mint and serve hot/warm.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by American Kitchen, however all opinions expressed are solely my own.
If you read my interview with the Kitchn as part of their Bite-Sized Guide to Oakland, you will have learned some exciting news. Sometime late Fall last year, I signed a book deal with the wonderful folk at Chronicle Books. "My first cookbook", it feels a little surreal to even type those words or say it but this is happening and will be released in Fall 2018! So stay tuned while I reveal behind-the-scenes footage and more, over the next few months here and on Instagram.
I rarely share too many traditional Indian recipes, most of recipes reflect my journey of adaptation as an immigrant, I sometimes cook traditionally but more so than often the food I cook and create is influenced strongly by my past and present. It's somewhere in between/ Take this samosa pie for instance, I first ate phyllo in the honey soaked baklava at a Greek restaurant in Cincinnati. The sweetness and the crunch of the thin sheets of flaky pastry that revealed a heavenly nut filling scented with rose water. Samosas are an Indian-style hand pie and on some days I'm too lazy to assemble two dozen samosas and so the samosa pie was born. This one envelopes the filling with layers and layers of thin delicate phyllo, brushed with ghee and topped off with a generous sprinkle of nigella.
samosa phyllo pie
makes one 9 inch-pie
2lbs russet potatoes
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil
2 teaspoons crushed coriander seeds
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
2 inch piece ginger root, peeled and julienned
1 cup frozen or fresh peas
1 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (cayenne will work)
1 1/2 teaspoon amchur powder (dried raw mango powder)
1 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup packed chopped cilantro leaves
1 serrano pepper thinly sliced
1 box of whole-wheat phyllo pastry, at room temperature (about 18 single sheets of phyllo)
1/4 cup melted ghee or butter
1 teaspoon nigella seeds
1. Rinse and scrub the potatoes and place them in a large stockpot and fill with cold tap water up to an inch above the potatoes. Add 1 teaspoon salt and heat on medium-high heat for about 20 to 25 minutes until the potatoes are completely cooked and tender. Drain the water from the potatoes and allow to cool before peeling. Once the potatoes are cooled, chop them into large chunks and keep aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch-oven on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot add the coriander seeds and cook until they start to brown within 30 to 40 seconds. Add the onions and ginger and cook until they brown in about 10 to 12 minutes. Then add the chopped potatoes, peas, the remaining salt, chili, amchur, black pepper and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally to coat evenly. Remove the stockpot from the stove and and taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Fold in the cilantro leaves and serrano.
3. Place a wire rack at midlevel in the oven and preheat to 350F. Grease a 9-inch circular pie pan with a little ghee or butter. Carefully line the surface of the pan with one single sheet of phyllo and brush gently with ghee or butter. Place another sheet of pastry at a slight angle to the first and repeat. This will allow you to cover the entire pan as you rotate the placement of the pastry sheets. Place 9 such phyllo sheets. Then fill the pan with the potato-pea filling. Cover the filling with the remaining sheets of phyllo, brushing each layer with ghee or butter. Once the pie is layered, take a kitchen shears and trim the overhang leaving about 1 inch of extra pastry on the edge. Fold this extra inch over itself and crimp it gently to seal. Brush the entire surface of the pastry with the ghee or butter. If you have any extra left-over pastry, you can use it to garnish and decorate the pie. Sprinkle the nigella seeds over the pie and make six 1 inch cuts around the center of the pie to allow it to vent in the oven. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake for about 60 minutes, rotating once halfway through until golden brown. Remove the baked pie from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve slices of the pie with a sweet tamarind chutney and/or spicy green cilantro chutney or even Indian-style mango pickle.
Growing up in a Goan family (well one half to be technically exact), you learn to love and appreciate se food. That’s one of the advantages of living on the coast where fishing is a huge part of the economy. We ate more seafood than meat growing up and I still try to keep that trend alive since we have so many good local options to use in the Bay Area (I do wish we had good lobster options). My dream is to one day go on a fishing boat and watch the fishermen grab their catch from the blue sparkling waters in the sun. That would be an amazing dream become reality but till then I will settle for cooking in my kitchen. You will love this broth if you love clams and mussels because it goes great with either of them!
As part of my series in partnership with Pernod Classic, I’m sharing one of my favorite sea food dishes for my second recipe, a rich and flavorful clam broth that’s infused with ginger and turmeric root, the nutty scent of ghee and the subtle aromatic herbs in Pernod. This is one of those broths that needs to be sopped up with a lot of good toasty bread. So keep a good one on hand that’s ready to be toasted!
I usually serve this with halves of sourdough baguette that’s been brushed with olive oil and toasted in the oven. Ginger and turmeric give this broth a bold flavor and a bright saffron orange tinge, while the Pernod adds a gentle sweetness and a hint of salt. I also added a whole lemon and whole spices to flavor the broth without making it too spicy but you can bump the heat level by adding more chili flakes.
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this broth,
- You can easily substitute mussels for clams in this broth recipe.
- Stick with fresh younger turmeric and ginger root for a more flavorful and colorful broth.
- Use fresh and good quality clams in this recipe, you need to scrub the sand and grit off the shells in cold running tap water with a small brush.
- I’ve added a whole lemon here and cooked it without squeezing. The heat allows to extract the essential oils in the skin of the fruit while also breaking down the pulp to release the citric acid.
clam broth with ginger and turmeric root
yields: 2 servings
1 tablespoon ghee
2 inch piece turmeric root, peeled and julienned
2 inch piece ginger root, peeled and julienned
1/4 cup white onion, minced
5 whole cloves
10 whole peppercorns
1 large lemon, quartered
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups chicken broth, low-sodium
2 cups white wine
2 lbs clams, washed and cleaned for any sand/grit
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup Pernod Classic
1 tablespoon fresh whole cilantro leaves for garnish
1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
- Heat the ghee in a large thick-bottomed stockpot on medium-high heat. When the ghee is melted and hot, add the turmeric, ginger, onion, cloves and peppercorn and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until the onions start to get translucent.
- Add the lemon quarters and salt and cook for one additional minute. Pour in the broth and wine and increase the heat o high to bring the contents of the stockpot to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high and add the clams and cover the stockpot with its lid. Cook for about 10 minutes until the clams open up. Discard any unopened clams. Add the cherry tomatoes and the Pernod and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro and chili flakes. Serve hot.
Note: I love to serve this flavorful clam broth with slices of toasted baguette brushed with olive oil.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored byPernod Classic, however all opinions expressed are solely my own.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Pernod Classic. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
It's been hot in Oakland but not so hot in San Francisco. It's all relative when it comes to temperature but there's always a big difference between the two cities, on most days in Oakland you won't have fog or cloudy skies as San Francisco does, it's usually brighter, warmer and less chillier than the city. I love Oakland for this and many other things. I've been busy on weekends working in the garden, planting lemon and lime trees with the hope that in due time I will get plenty to use without having to run to the store every time I need one. Hope being the key word here. I can grow most things, some better than others, when it comes to fruiting plants and trees, I've usually not had much luck except for peppers and a few others.
With all the cherries we picked recently, I've been working on different exciting and tasty ways to use them. One of my favorite drinks this summer is this fizzy lemonade that's inspired from the spiced lemonades sold on the streets in India. I grind cherries to a fine purée and then use the juice from the fruit to flavor the lemonade. In India, people would usually use black salt/kala namak to flavor the drink but I've swapped it out for himalayan pink salt.
You can get the recipe for this delicious fizzy Bombay cherry lemonade at theKitchenAid blog where I also share detailed instructions on how to use their sleek sodamaker to make fizzy things up!
Disclaimer: This blog post was created in partnership with KitchenAid. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
It's almost comical that I've thought about this barbecue sauce for a few years now but never had a chance to post it. I blame the short span that the cherry fruiting encompasses, it's never long enough! But this cherry BBQ sauce is probably one of the most ideal marriages when it comes to blending the flavors from the East with the West. Barbecue sauce always makes a compelling argument to use something sweet to flavor meat, growing up in India you learn to never add sweet to savory but a good tangy and sweet BBQ sauce can convince anyone that this is a great idea.
This Indian-inspired version uses a dried red Kashmiri chilies to amp up the heat, coriander to infuse a rich smoky flavor and jaggery (a dark raw brown Indian sugar) for sweetness. But the last ingredient jaggery does so much more, it brings out the heat of the chilies, but also bumps up the tartness of the cherries and sourness of the vinegar. It's one of those raw sugars which really compliments spicy flavors making it a better ingredient than regular brown sugar in this sauce. I highly recommend sticking to jaggery even though you could get away with regular brown sugar, this sauce is all about flavor and taste.
This is one a time batch recipe and you could easily scale this up to can (I haven't tried to can it, because we never have enough left). Use the sauce over meats like you would normally and grill away!
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this sauce;
- Use the tart and sweet red cherries in this recipe.
- I usually like to marinade the meat/poultry for at least 1 hour before you grill. Rub and massage the sauce into the meat well, so it seeps through the meat. I also sometimes nick the meat with a paring knife to let the flavors get deep into the meat.
- I like to reserve a little bit of the fat from on the leftover chicken to use to grill vegetables.
- I grilled a couple of chicken thighs and vegetables in Finex's cast iron grill pan over the charcoal fire pit. Once the meat is marinaded for at least 1 hour in a cup of the sauce (my ratio is 2lbs of meat to 1 cup sauce), I slapped it on the lightly oiled pan and allowed it to cook until the internal temperature reached 165F. Avoid moving the chicken to much when grilling, to get good charred grill marks and also orevent the meat from sticking to the grates. The grill pan from Finex is great to cook over direct fire as it can withstand the temperature and also heats evenly. I poured some of the BBQ sauce into the little cast iron BBQ pot to keep it warm while I brushed the meat to coat it with the sauce.
indian - inspired cherry barbecue sauce
yields: approximately 4 cups sauce
2 cups pitted cherries (I used the Bing variety) (frozen/fresh)
1 cup whole grain mustard
1 cup ketchup
1 medium-sized white onion (which is approximately 1 cup diced white onion)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worchesterchire sauce
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
4 dried Kashmiri chilies with seeds
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup packed jaggery or dark brown sugar
1. Place all the ingredients, except the jaggery/sugar in a high-speed blender and process until silky smooth. If you want an extra smooth sauce, strain the mixture through a strainer to remove any fibers (you might not need to depending on how strong of a blender you use).
2. Transfer the sauce to a small saucepan and add the jaggery/sugar. Cook on medium-low heat with occasional stirring until the sauce just begins to boil. Remove from heat, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary and keep the sauce aside until ready to use.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Williams-Sonoma and Finex. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
There are a couple of things you get used to eating all the time if you grew up in an Indian household, one of them being lentils. We eat a lot of lentils, black, green, yellow, orange, red etc. And though the names might not really match the color, for example the red lentils look orange to me, they are still one of the most popular and affordable source of protein in India. They're also pretty easy and fast to cook which adds to their attractiveness.
This lentil soup is one of the easiest to make and it's also one of the creamiest versions you'll try! It's got the texture of silky bisque and I've used Califia's unsweetened almond milk creamer to give the soup its characteristic body and "richness". The base of the soup is seasoned with aromatics and flavored with cloves and bay leaves. And though this isn't a "hot" soup you can easily bump up the heat levels by adding your favorite hot sauce in the desired amount. To give this lentil soup a little freshness, I've garnished it with fresh cilantro and lemon zest and a generous drizzle of a fruity extra virgin olive oil.
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this soup;
- I use black and red lentils for this soup but you could also substitute green/beluga lentils.
- You can make this soup a little hot by adding a little hot sauce if desired.
- Adjust the consistency of the soup as needed using water after blending.
- Califia's new line of creamers have made it possible to create that silky smooth and creamy bisque like texture in this soup. If you want the soup a little creamier, then I recommend playing around with the ratios of the lentil soup base, the water and the creamer. Don't forget to taste and season as you proceed.
creamy mixed lentil soup
yields: 4 servings
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 cup black lentils
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced red onion
5 whole cloves
2 large bay leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic clove
1 teaspoon ginger root cut into 1 inch strips
1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup Califia almond milk creamer (unsweetened)
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves chopped
1 tablespoon lemon zest
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil for garnish
1. Clean and rinse the lentils. Keep aside until ready to use.
2. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized thick bottomed saucepan on medium-high heat. Sauté the onions for about 2 to 3 minutes until light pink. Add the cloves, bay leaves, garlic cloves and ginger and cook for 1 additional minute with occasional stirring. Then add the salt, black pepper and turmeric and cook for 30 seconds. Add the lentils and water and increase the heat to high, bring the contents of the saucepan to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 30 minutes until the lentils are soft and tender. Once the lentils are cooked, remove and discard the bay leaves.
3. Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender. Add the Califia creamer to the blender and blend until smooth and creamy. If the mixture is too thick add a little more water and blend until you get the desired consistency.
4. Transfer the soup from the blender to the saucepan and keep warm. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. To serve, garnish each serving of the soup with the lemon zest and cilantro leaves and a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Califia Farms. All opinions expressed are purely my own.
In a couple of weeks, I will be visiting Los Angeles to attend the IACP conference. It's my first time in LA and it's also my first time attending the awards, it's going to be fun and I'm looking forward to meeting and making new friends! If you have any suggestions on what I should eat or where I should go, please drop a little line below to let me know, I'd love to check out some of your recommendations on this trip.
I love oats as much as my mother hates it. Several years ago she had an accident and had to stay for more than a week in the hospital and she said all they fed her was oatmeal. She avoids it like the plague ever since. Me on the other hand, I can never have enough oatmeal or oats. Judging by the fact that I eat oatmeal about five times a week. It's usually a staple at breakfast but there are times when I'll use it as a rice substitute. Don't get me wrong, the textures are different, one more sticky than the other but it's still delicious in savory form. Whether you wash the oats in cold running water or if you fry them before you boil, they will still be clumpy and sticky. At least that's been my experience but that unmistakable chewy texture of steel cut oats makes it a winner.
I used Bob's Red Mill's steel cut oats and hemp seed hearts I find steel cut oats to be a closer substitute for rice when it comes to using it in savory dishes as a grain, it's just like a wheatberry but less chubby and more soft yet it has that beautiful chewy nature. Hemp heart seeds on the other hand taste like little flakes. When it sticks to those roasted beets as soon as they come out of the oven, that texture... it reminds me of Indian sesame candy, chikki but without all that sugar.
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when making this dish,
- The best way to tell whether the beets are roasted and cooked is to look at the baking pan. If you notice water from the beets in the pan, then continue to roast them until only the olive oil is present.
- You can adjust the consistency of the oats by adding a little water once they're cooked.
- Hemp hearts do not need any cooking, just fold them into the beets and that's it.
- You can sub the beets out with carrots if you're not fond of beets. Adjust the roasting time accordingly.
savory oatmeal, hemp hearts with garlic roasted beets
yields: 4 servings
3 cups diced beets cut into 0.5" cubes, peeled
1 tablespoon garlic minced
3 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup hemp seed hearts
1 cup steel cut oats
3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder, freshly ground
1 cup diced red onion
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/4 cup raw peanuts
1/4 cup grated goat cheddar
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 large lemon
1. Place a wire rack at midlevel in the oven and preheat to 400F. Place the beets, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large baking pan and mix to coat evenly. Roast the beets in the oven for about 40 minutes until they are tender and a knife can pass through the beets easily. Remove from oven, mix in the hemp seed hearts and keep warm until ready to use.
2. While the beets are roasting, prepare the oats. In a medium-sized stockpot, bring the water to boil on medium-high and then add the oats along with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover with a lid and cook until the oats are tender, this should take about 10 to 12 minutes, stir occasionally. Remove from stove and keep aside
3. In a medium-size skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the red onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt and chili powder, sauté until light pink and almost translucent, this should take about 5 minutes. Remove the onions from the stove and stir into the oats.
4. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil on medium-high heat. Add the peanuts along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the black pepper. Toss to coat and fry the peanuts until cooked, this should take about 90 seconds to 120 seconds. Add the cooked peanuts to the oats.
5. Fold the roasted beets with the hemp seed hearts into the oats. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon of grated cheddar, mint leaves and a little lemon juice. Serve immediately.
Disclaimer: Thanks to Bob's Red Mill for sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
This week has been busy, we've been trying to get contractors lined up for all the different projects for our new house. Apparently, all contractors in the Bay are busy until next year so there's that but we finally managed to rope a few people in after a lot of googling, yelp research and asking people. With all the chaos that is to ensue, I'm super excited about the prospect of all the fun aspects of working on a home and making it my own.
My first cover in print just came out last week. Every issue of the Edible Silicon Valley magazine features the work of one local artist (from the food industry) and this time the lovely folks at Edible SV did a little feature on my work and also asked me to share some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes. You can find this issue at most stores in the San Francisco Bay Area and also online at their website.
A lot can be said about a sandwich, in many ways I think of it as a gateway to my heart because a good sandwich can take me to my happy place. I like mine toasted and grilled, stuffed pretty full, yet pressed down and to compact and hold everything inside together. Most of the time, my sandwiches have cheese and if there's cheese, there'd better be some amount of heat involved to melt it.
These sandwiches have two stages of grilling. The first is when big, fat thick slices of garam masala seasoned sweet potatoes go on the grates and the second time it's the panini stuffed with kale leaves,cheese and crispy bacon. And along with this panini there's a hot and spicy Sriracha flavored mayo to dip and enjoy every bite! I also like to top each sandwich off with a fresh fried egg which also works perfect for a weekend brunch item.
Disclaimer: Thank you to West Elm for sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed are purely my own.