Steamed Eggplant with Garlic and Chilies / The Food of Taiwan

Steamed Eggplant with Garlic and Chilies

I have been waiting until summer to try this steamed eggplant recipe from my friend Cathy Erway’s new cookbook, The Food of Taiwan.  The time finally came when I received these scallions and a white and green eggplant in my farm share recently.

Scallions and eggplants

Cathy’s book is a thorough intro to the cuisine of the island and includes stunning photography by Pete Lee of the recipes, scenery, markets and people of Taiwan.  I am a big fan of her writing and am an avid reader of her food blog, Not Eating Out In New York. I always learn something new from her, whether it be about an esoteric ingredient or the origin for a well-known dish. And I love her tone, which is always to the point and never flowery – a refreshing and unique point of view in the sea of food blogs out there. She is also the host of Eat Your Words, a weekly podcast on Heritage Radio, where she interviews cookbook authors.

The Food of Taiwan by Cathy Erway

The minute I got Cathy’s book, I read it cover to cover.  She does an impressive job of weaving together the complex history, cultural makeup and diverse food traditions of Taiwan with her own family’s roots in the country.  You get to see Taiwan from her eyes as an American college student living there for the first time and then again as she delves deep into its food culture as an adult. This is the type of cookbook I seek out because not only do you learn new recipes and techniques, but you also get a sense of place and context from where they were derived.

The Food of Taiwan by Cathy Erway

I was drawn to the steamed eggplant dish because believe it or not I have never steamed the vegetable.  I always saute, roast or bake it.  I guess the majority of recipes I have made with eggplant have either been Indian or Italian so that may explain it.  I do love the soft texture of steamed eggplant and decided it was finally time I went the distance.  This recipe also seemed like a relatively easy place to start having never cooked a Taiwanese dish before.  The eggplant is first steamed and then flavored with soy sauce, scallions, chili peppers and garlic.  These ingredients permeate the soft eggplant beautifully and I actually couldn’t wait to eat it so I ended up using the photo I took after I dug in;/

Steamed Eggplant with Scallions and Chilies

Congratulations to Cathy on a beautiful book and I’m looking forward to cooking more recipes in The Food of Taiwan.



Posted in Dinner, Easy, Gluten-Free, Recipes Index, Sides, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

South Indian Bok Choy Stir-Fry

bok choy stir-fry with quinoa

Last week I demoed this bok choy stir-fry for my fellow Crown Heights CSA members as part of my volunteering duties.  I taught everyone how to make a traditional South Indian stir-fry called palya with black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dried red chili pepper, curry leaves, lime and coconut. farmshare demo

Like many of the recipes on this site, I applied a traditional Indian cooking technique to local vegetables.  As I mentioned in my last post, Sang Lee Farms, an organic farm based in Long Island supplies my CSA with its produce. The farm specializes in growing Asian vegetables, which would explain this amazing looking bok choy I had to work with.

large bok choy

The farm also sent some additional vegetables I could demo with including scallions and white corn.

scallions and corn

This stir-fry is of course not traditional as far as Indian vegetables go, but it is most similar in flavor to one variety of palya made with cabbage.

chopped veggies

You end up with a spicy (from the black mustard seeds and red chili pepper), sweet (from the coconut and corn) and sour (from the lime) flavored stir-fry.

bok choy stir-fry palya

I prepared the same stir-fry at home with my share and mixed it with red quinoa for a picnic with friends to see Willie Nelson perform at Prospect Park.

bok choy and quinoa stir fry



Posted in Dinner, Easy, Events & Classes, Gluten-Free, Recipes Index, Sides, South Indian, Stir-Fry, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Red Lentils w/ Rainbow Chard, Scallions & Mustard Oil

rainbow chard and scallion lentilsRight about this time of year, our farm share bundle starts to have some heft to it, brimming with summer squash, lettuces, greens and onion bulbs. Ben and I are now members of the Crown Heights CSA, which sources its vegetable produce from Sang Lee Farms, a Long Island farm specializing in growing organic Asian vegetable varieties.  We’ve been enjoying a bounty of bok choy and Napa cabbage along with some new vegetables like yu choy and guy lon.

rainbow chard

This past week we received a gorgeous bunch of rainbow chard.  When I see a healthy amount of greens, my first instinct is to grab for mustard oil, a pungent oil used often in North Indian and Bengali cooking.  I admit to having a slight obsession with this oil because of its rich and spicy flavor.  The oil is golden in color and made from mustard seeds.  My relatives in Delhi often use it in sauteing greens or potatoes.  It’s also used to pickle vegetables for making achaar (‘Indian pickle’) because of its anti-bacterial qualities.  You can find mustard oil in the Indian shop or online.

While driving in the country in North India, it’s impossible to miss the abundant bright yellow mustard fields lining the roadways.  Both mustard greens and the seeds are used in cooking.  This is a photo I took on a road trip through the state of Rajasthan this past winter with Ben.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

To make a complete meal out of the rainbow chard, I added red lentils and these scallion beauties we also got in our share.  They were so big, they almost looked like leeks.  You can really use any lentils you have on hand for this dish.

Green scallions

Often in Indian cooking, cooked lentils or dal are seasoned at the end with spices and sometimes onions tempered in oil.  I flavored my oil with cumin seeds, nigella seeds, paprika and coriander powder. To my spiced mustard oil, I also added in the cut rainbow chard and scallions.

rainbow chard

I served this lentil dish over yellow turmeric rice, topped with a dollop of plain yogurt, some of my tomato achaar from Brooklyn Delhi and garnish of more scallions.



Posted in Dinner, Easy, Gluten-Free, Lunch, North Indian, Recipes Index, Soups & Dals, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Tangra Summer: Indian-Chinese Pop-Up Dinner July 17th

Rhubarb Ginger Sesame Noodles

This upcoming dinner has been a long time coming.  Reason being that I have been busy at work on my first cookbook and have also been in the kitchen processing 100s of pounds of Wilklow Orchards rhubarb for my rhubarb ginger achaar at Brooklyn Delhi.  After a brief hiatus, Diana and I are bringing Tangra back on Friday, July 17th with Tangra Summer at Court Tree Collective, our friend Stephen and Amy’s gallery in Carroll Gardens.

Court Tree Collective

In case you have not been to one of our past events, Tangra is a series of seasonal and vegetarian Indian-Chinese pop-up feasts that Diana and I collaborate on.  The above dish of rhubarb ginger sesame noodles with fried curry leaves is a new recipe we just tested this past weekend and will be serving up! For each dinner, we partner with a local farm and local brewery.

Local Roots

For Tangra Summer, we will be working with Local Roots CSA, an organization started by our friend Wen-Jay Ying who brings the farm to New Yorkers through her weekly CSA subscriptions.  She sources her produce from local farms that use healthy growing practices and partners with Brooklyn based small batch producers (including Brooklyn Delhi:) to provide the complete grocery package for her members.  Our Tangra courses will be inspired by what is in season from Local Roots CSA.Transmitter Brewing

We love partnering with local breweries as what goes better with spicy Indian-Chinese than beers??  This time around we are working with Transmitter Brewing in Long Island City, Queens. Rob Kolb and Anthony Accardi focus on traditional and farmhouse ales at their brewery.  The duo has secured over 20 isolated strains of Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus, as well as a brewhouse library of traditional Belgian, French, English and American yeasts.  The flavors they brew are a fine balance of unique and approachable and we are excited to have them at the dinner to talk more about their brewing process.

To secure your spot at Tangra Summer, purchase tickets here.

Tangra Summer
Friday, July 17th
7:30PM – 9:30PM
Court Tree Collective
371 Court Street, 2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY
Get tickets

Photo Credits
Tangra Noodles: Diana Kuan
Court Tree Collective: Howard Walfish
Local Roots NYC: Wen-Jay Ying
Transmitter Brewing: Jeff Rogers

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Indian-Spiced Vegetable & Cheddar Strata + Cabot Cheese Giveaways

Indian-Spiced Vegetable and Cheddar Strata

This past year, I became part of the Cabot Cheese Board. I can’t say how much I love the cheese that the creamery produces and also what they stand for. Although you may see Cabot brand cheese in a lot of supermarkets, not everyone knows the company is owned and operated by 1,200 dairy farmers in New York and New England.  Just this year, they also came out with a cookbook of recipes from their dairy farm families, which is where I got this strata recipe above. I doctored it a bit with my tomato achaar to give it some Indian flavors.  It’s the perfect brunch dish for the cold and snowy winter we’re having.

Cabot Creamery Cookbook

As a way to celebrate the book, Cabot is running a sweepstakes until April 15th. The grand prize winner will receive a Year’s Supply of Cheese plus a copy of the cookbook, and 10 winners will receive a $25 gift box and a cookbook.  You can enter to win here.

Indian-Spiced Vegetable and Cheddar Strata

It’s hard to keep from eating all the of the cheese before it goes in the oven;) Cabot’s Seriously Sharp Cheddar is what is used in this recipe, but I’m sure any of their aged cheddar varieties like their Farmhouse Reserve, Alpine or White Oak would also be great.

Indian-Spiced Vegetable and Cheddar Strata


Posted in Breakfast, Lunch, Mains, Vegetarian, Winter | 3 Comments

Brooklyn Delhi Video on The New York Times!

Ben and I were recently featured in a video on the New York Times all about our business, Brooklyn Delhi.  The short film captures what we do at Brooklyn Delhi and also comes along with us on our first trip together to visit family in Delhi! The video, which was produced by the folks at T Brand Studio & Blue Chalk, is visually stunning and really gets at the vibrancy of the food and streets in India. I am so happy to share this with you all.

Thanks to the teams at T Brand Studio, Blue Chalk & Emirates Airlines for such beautiful footage of us and our family that we’ll always have: Kaylee King-Balentine, Catherine Yrisarri, Jamie Francis and Gayatri Kaul & to our friend Josh Ethan Johnson for his footage of our wedding that also appears in the vid.

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Indian Stuffed Eggplants (Bharwa Baingan)

Indian Stuffed Eggplants (Bharwan Baingan)

Coming back to Brooklyn after being in India for a month has made me crave some of the dishes we had on our trip.  One of them is a North Indian recipe that my father likes to make called ‘bharwa baingan’ that translates to stuffed eggplant in Hindi.  He got his recipe from my Great Aunt Kumud who lives in Delhi.  The eggplants that are used are usually baby ones that you can find in Indian or Asian markets, but I’m sure you could also sub in thin Chinese, Italian or Japanese eggplants.

Indian baby eggplants

Before filling the eggplants, you have to slit them in a specific way. You make two cuts, almost quartering the eggplants but stopping right before the stem.

Indian Stuffed Eggplants (Bharwan Baingan)

The filling is made from blended up onion, tamarind paste, amchoor powder (dried mango powder), red chili powder, fennel seed powder, kalonji (nigella seed), coriander powder and salt.  The original recipe has grated green mango but I’m subbing in the tamarind and amchoor for the sour tang flavor.

Indian Stuffed Eggplants (Bharwan Baingan)

Then it’s time for the messy, fun part where you spoon in the filling between the eggplant slits.

Indian Stuffed Eggplants (Bharwan Baingan)

What gives the eggplant a truly decadent and unique flavor is the mustard oil you use for frying.  You can find unfiltered mustard oil in the Indian store.

Indian Stuffed Eggplants (Bharwan Baingan)

We usually have this curry with hot chapatis or parathas, but you could also serve them over rice with a yogurt sauce.



Posted in Autumn, Curry, Dinner, Favorites, Gluten-Free, North Indian, Recipes Index, Sides, Stir-Fry, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Hen-of-the-Woods, Havarti & Green Chili Pasta

Mushroom Penne PastaWhile in Wisconsin for our wedding, Ben’s mother found some beautiful Hen-of-the-Woods mushrooms right in their backyard.  This variety of mushroom is usually found in Autumn and is sometimes referred to as maitake (means ‘dancing mushrooms in Japanese), sheepshead mushroom or ram’s head.  They have a full flavor to them that is rich and kind of woodsy and are known to be extremely nutritious.

Hen-Of-The-Woods Mushrooms

Continue reading »

Posted in Autumn, Dinner, Easy, Mains, Noodles, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Update: Martha Stewart American Made Awards

Martha Stewart American MadeThank you to everyone that voted for Brooklyn Delhi. I know that many of you came back to vote for us everyday and we really appreciate it! Although we were not one of the 9 American Made winners, the judges at Martha Stewart selected a few honorable mentions out of the pool of 3,000+ applicants and we were one of them! They chose us specifically in the category of Heritage for how Brooklyn Delhi is preserving Indian cooking traditions with local ingredients.  They also invited us to be a special guest at the Martha Stewart American Made Summit, which is open to the public. Here’s more on that if you are interested in attending.  It’s taking place Nov 7 and 8th.

You can read more about us and the other makers chosen in the Heritage category here.

And thank you again, so appreciate the support!

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Paneer Stuffed Mini Peppers w/ Green Pea Chutney

Paneer Stuffed Mini Peppers with Green Pea Chutney

Last week, we received a delivery from Farmbox Direct full of organic vegetables, fruits and cheese.

Farmbox Direct

I was most jazzed about these mini sweet peppers.

mini sweet peppersLooking for some recipes, I posted to my Instagram to see what friends recommended cooking with these beauties. My good friend Oscar had the idea of stuffing them with spiced paneer and I went with it!  And without even realizing it, I kind of created a deconstructed mattar paneer (North Indian peas and cheese curry).

weighing mini sweet peppers

I made a paneer stir-fry flavored with shallot, garlic, ginger and green chilies that I stuffed into the sweet peppers for baking.

cuttingboardsliced mini sweet peppersstuffed mini peppers on baking sheet

Then I blended up the easiest chutney in the world from green peas, cilantro, yogurt and lemon.  It was a nice sweet complement to the spicy paneer curry.

stuffed mini peppers and green peas chutneyThese were delicious right out of the oven.

stuffed mini peppers with green peas chutney



Posted in Appetizers, Autumn, Chutneys & Pickles, Curry, Dinner, Easy, Favorites, Gluten-Free, North Indian, Recipes Index, Sides, Snacks, Stir-Fry, Summer, Vegetarian | 2 Comments

Martha Stewart American Made Awards


You may be wondering why this corner of the web has been somewhat silent recently…  well it’s because this month, I got married to Ben, my partner at Brooklyn Delhi and now in life! Will post more about our wedding as soon as we get more photos back.

photo by Athena Pelton

photo by Athena Pelton

With so much happening, I didn’t even get a chance to share this other exciting news! Brooklyn Delhi was selected as a finalist in the Martha Stewart American Made Awards, out of thousands of makers across the country. From the pool of finalists, 10 Award Winners will be named: 9 by the judges and 1 by the audience! That’s where you come in…

You can vote for us here up to six times a day until voting ends on October 13th. Also, the most active voters each week will be entered to win a prize package valued at $200.

If we garner enough votes, we’ll be awarded $10,000 to help us grow our business. Please vote for us and spread the word!

Update:  Thank you all for your votes. Unfortunately, we didn’t win but am so thankful for all of your support!

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Red Currant Chitranna

Red Currant Chitranna

You can’t walk around the Greenmarket these days without running into bright red currants on the tables, sometimes accompanied by their golden white counterparts.  The white currants tend to be a little sweeter, but I really love the color of the red ones – kind of like delicate red pearls. They’re commonly used to make tarts, jams and I love sprinkling them into plain yogurt with a drizzle of honey.

Red Currants

When I get a carton of them, I also end up throwing them into a number of savory dishes like salads and my personal favorite chitranna, South Indian lemon peanut rice.  The currants add a burst of tart that complements the fried peanuts, sweet grated coconut and spicy red chili in the rice.  With a dollop of plain yogurt on top, this rice is magic and the perfect summer picnic food.

Red Currant Chitranna



Posted in Dinner, Lunch, Recipes Index, Rice, South Indian, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian | 1 Comment