Kathi Roll

Kati Roll

A Kati Roll is a popular street food from one of my favorite cities on the planet: Calcutta, or Kolkata, as it is now called. There is something about big, buzzing cities that really appeals to me. And Calcutta, one of India’s most crowded and oldest cities, has a million life stories in its narrow, old…

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Tofu Curry

Tofu Curry with Chickpeas and Summer Vegetables

I had been dreaming of making this Tofu Curry with Chickpeas and Summer Vegetables for so long, and now that I have, I am dreaming of the time I’ll make it again. Seriously, it’s that good. But first, how is your summer going? Is it sliding away too fast? One of the reasons I love summer is all…

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Misal

Misal, the Ultimate Bombay Street Food

There’s no way to actually describe a Misal to you other than to say, you must eat this. You must, you must, you must. Misal is — like most of Bombay’s hallowed street foods — an explosion of flavors and textures. It’s a spicy curry of sprouted beans topped with raw onions, boiled potatoes, crispy farsan (fried chickpea…

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Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Here’s an easy recipe that is perfect for weekdays or weekends, as an appetizer or an entree. It’s packed with protein, incredibly good for you, and — icing on the cake — it’s fat-free. Plus, it has a delicious Indian twist to it. My Stuffed Bell Peppers with biryani masala. Biryani masala is a spice…

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asparagus pakoras

Baked Asparagus Pakoras

Desi has a special relationship with asparagus. Every time we see it at the store, he wants to buy it. When I try to explain to him that the stalks don’t look fresh, or the price is too high, he pouts and sulks like a kid without candy. And that’s a true story. It’s easy…

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Masala Khichdi

Masala Khichdi

A popular one-pot meal that’s cooked in just about every Indian home is a khichdi or a khichari, and those are not the only names it goes by. It’s khichuri in Bengali, pongal in Tamil, khichri in Gujarat, and kedgeree in English (yeah, as in the language spoken by the Brits). Although the Brits, somewhere…

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Cholar Dal

Cholar Dal

Recipes for Cholar Dal almost always start off by alerting you that this is a dish for special occasions, served at Bengali weddings or other life events. Its simplicity, though, tempts one to break that hallowed tradition and label this a dal perfect for weeknight meals. In fact, that’s exactly what I am going to do…

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Keema Wrap

Keema Wrap

Here’s a perfect recipe for a weekend brunch or lunch. It’s delicious, meaty albeit meatless, and so waistline-friendly that you will find yourself floating on the air. Literally. Keema or kheema, in India, is a mince usually made with lamb and sometimes beef. It is almost always cooked with spices into a dry curry. For my…

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Crockpot Sambar

Fat-Free Crockpot Sambar for Two

Do you ever get tired of those leftovers? I know I do. I cook up a big pot of dal or pasta for Desi and I, and then– many cooking experiments later– I am digging it out of the back of the refrigerator. It is covered in fuzzy gray stuff, smells lethal, and I am afraid…

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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…

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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 surround this noisy, colorful, crowded city. Life in Mumbai…

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Mushroom Paratha

Mushroom Paratha

One of my favorite times of the day is opening up emails you send me, and over the weekend I got this message from a reader, Ruth.  “I could eat Indian food every day – both northern and southern,” wrote Ruth who learned to cook from Indian friends. “So please post more Indian recipes.” I looked through the…

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Masala Dosa

Quick 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,…

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Mango Curry

Mango Curry

This silky mango curry is a delicious memory of growing up in India’s sultry summers. Each year, when May rolls around, Indian markets are overwhelmed with a flood of mangoes, lovingly referred to here as the “king of fruits”. Mountains of mangoes in every shape and size add brilliant orange color to an already colorful…

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