Tawa Pulao

Tawa Pulao

When Desi and I lived in Mumbai -- or Bombay as those of us who left the city in those days still like to call it -- there were nights, after wrapping up the graveyard shift at the newspaper we both worked for, when we would set out with co-workers and friends to scour the city's streets for … [Read more...]

Chana Jor Garam

Chana Jor Garam

This spicy-tart chickpea snack, which translates from colloquial Hindi to "super-hot chickpeas," comes straight from the streets of my hometown, Mumbai. Or perhaps it'd be more apt to say it comes straight from the beaches of Mumbai-- those  noisy, colorful, crowded stretches of sea and sand that … [Read more...]

Quick Masala Dosa

Masala Dosa

As much as I wish I could spend all day in the kitchen cooking a slow and leisurely meal,  there are times -- most times in my case-- when time is just not on my side. That’s when I start sniffing around for ideas for new meals, or very often reworking something old into something new, in 30 minutes … [Read more...]

Brinjal Pulippu Kootu

Eggplant Kootu

I say brinjal, you say eggplant, and they say aubergine. Whatever. It's delicious, it's my favorite veggie, and today I have for you one of the most delicious ways you can cook it up and eat it: Brinjal Pulippu Kootu, a tangy dal you might never have eaten before unless you're a native of Tamil … [Read more...]

Tofu Paneer Bhurji

Tofu Paneer Bhurji

A bhurji, in India's culinary lexicon, is a messy scramble of any sort. There's anda bhurji, or egg bhurji, a spiced-up version of scrambled eggs that blazed a path from India's street food stalls to become a popular  breakfast staple in every home kitchen. And then there's paneer bhurji, a popular … [Read more...]

Phirni

Phirni

A true testament to the richness and popularity of the cuisine of India's Muslims is the fact that when anyone around the world thinks of the most delicious Indian foods, the first images that spring to mind are  a lavish, fragrant biryani or a puffy, flaky naan. India is home to the world's second … [Read more...]

Sprouted Mung Salad (Moong Usal)

Moong bean Usal

I have for you today a very simple, very nutritious and very delicious sprouted mung bean salad that, in my part of India, goes by the name of Moong Usal. There's something about sprouting beans that brings out the poet in me. Watching those tiny little white squiggles shoot out of the legume and … [Read more...]

Methi Matar Malai

Methi Matar Malai

“I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.” -- John Steinbeck It was Steinbeck's birthday yesterday. When Desi and I were living in Bombay, we went through a Steinbeck phase when both of us were … [Read more...]