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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Eggplant Kootu

Brinjal Pulippu 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…

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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 restaurant dish made with…

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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 largest…

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Moong bean Usal

Sprouted Mung Salad (Moong 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 grow,…

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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 constantly reading, discussing,…

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Chana Masala

Easy Chana Masala

Chana Masala. Those two words set my mouth watering before I can say them out loud. I bought this huge can of chickpeas from the warehouse store the other day– bigger than two people can possibly use up in a week’s time, but a six-pound can for under $3 just looked too good to pass…

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Onion Sambar

Onion Sambar | Vengaya Sambar

It’s almost a given that you cannot go to a Tamil home without being invited to stay for a meal. Tamilians love to feed as much as they love to eat, and when we go to Chennai on our visits back to India it is not unusual for us to have two lunches, two dinners,…

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vegetable kurma

Vegetable Korma

My cat Pie does not want me to write this post for you. No, really, I am not kidding. In the time that I put down these first few words for my Vegetable Korma post, she has prised my fingers off the keyboard with her little head at least a half dozen times, insisting that…

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