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

Edible Presents How To Prepare An Indian Feast

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On August 6th, Edible Brooklyn & Manhattan are hosting an event all about Indian foods and cooking! I’m excited to be one of 4 speakers at this event, alongside local food makers at Dosa Royale, Bittersweet NYC & Wandernosh.  I’ll be talking about essential ingredients to get started cooking Indian food in your own home & also passing out sample bottles of my seasonal rhubarb ginger achaar from Brooklyn Delhi.

Edible Presents: How To Prepare An Indian Feast
August 6, 8-10PM
Doors at 7:30PM
Brooklyn Brewery
79 N. 11th Street
Brooklyn, NY
Tickets are $5
Buy Now

 
Posted in Events & Classes | 2 Comments

Rajma Veggie Burgers w/ Summer Corn Relish & Feta

rajma veggie burger

It may come as no surprise that rajma, Indian kidney bean curry, is one of my favorite dishes since I’ve posted about it a couple times already – how to make it & how to make rajma enchiladas. It’s one of the unsung heroes of North Indian cuisine, often overshadowed by the chickpea in chana masala.  And I know what you’re thinking – kidneys beans get a bad wrap because they always look so gross in the salad bar, but they really shine when cooked the right way with onion, garlic, ginger, chilies and flavorful spices. Anyway, I hope you consider the humble kidney bean the next time you grab for your usual chickpeas!

This weekend, when my friend Aparna suggested making a rajma veggie burger at her barbecue, I jumped at the chance.  And it being summer, I topped it off with a corn relish made with dill pickles, fresh parsley and lemon.  The sweet and sour of the corn relish really worked well with the rajma burger and salty feta. The relish came out so well, we were eating it straight from the bowl.

cornrelish

For my corn relish, I used dill chips from a new line of Vlasic pickles called Farmer’s Garden.  The pickles in the Farmer’s Garden line are made with no artificial flavors and are hand-packed into traditional mason jars that you can re-use (am a jar horder:). Besides the dill chips used in my recipe, they also make kosher dill spears, zesty garlic chips, bread and butter chips and kosher dill halves. This line of pickles are inspired by pickling pioneer Joseph Vlasic who started making pickles the old-fashioned way 70 years ago.

Corn Relish

For the burger, I made my rajma recipe (without the spinach) and then sought the guidance of my friend and veggie burger extraordinaire, Lukas Volger on the topic. Lukas just launched his own line of veggie burgers called Made by Lukas that really put those gross frozen dry veggie patties in the freezer aisle to shame. His burgers are made from fresh ingredients that you actually get to shape into burgers and cook. It makes for a veggie burger experience that is a lot more fun than just unwrapping one from a plastic pouch and throwing it on the grill.

rajma veggie burger

Lukas also wrote a cookbook all about veggie burgers called Veggie Burgers Every Which Way.  I found one recipe of his called ‘Easy Bean Burgers,’ which I adapted using my rajma curry. If you have leftover rajma, this is also a perfect way to transform it into a totally new dish.  I was worried that because I had just made the rajma and it was a bit soupy that it wouldn’t hold together, but I added in some cooked rice and the bread crumbs from the recipe and they really held together well.  My first homemade veggie burgers were a success!

Rajma Burger and Corn Relish

 

 

This post was sponsored by Vlasic’s new line of pickles, Farmer’s Garden. Opinions expressed in this post are mine alone. I only promote products that I use in my own kitchen and that I think my readers would enjoy as well. You can follow #farmtojar on Twitter to get more recipes and info related to the Farmer’s Garden line of pickles.

And don’t forget to enter their sweepstakes: Farmer’s Garden is celebrating the authentic taste of #farmtojar with the Savor Simplicity Sweepstakes running from 5/7/14 – 7/31/14. Enter at www.farmersgardenvlasic.com for a chance to win a weekend cooking adventure or summer entertaining package, each worth $1,500. One winner will be chosen each month. A $1 off coupon will also be given to all entrants immediately following entry.

 
Posted in Dinner, Lunch, Mains, Recipes Index, Summer, Vegetarian | Tagged | 1 Comment

Summer Recipes in Chickpea Magazine

Chickpea Magazine, Summer 2014 Issue

I’m excited to announce that I have a spread of summer recipes in the most recent issue of Chickpea Magazine, a quarterly dedicated to vegan cooking. The publication is full of beautiful photography, recipes and interesting articles including one this month that is all about fermentation. It has tons of inspiration for what to do with your summer produce. You can pick up a copy at select stores or purchase online at http://chickpeamagazine.com.

Congrats to Cara Livermore and Bob Lawton for yet another stunning issue of Chickpea Magazine!

And here’s a sneak peak at my spread:

Chickpea1

Chickpea2

 
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Spicy Tarte à la Tomate

spicy tarte a la tomato
I can’t believe June passed by without a post from me:( Not like it’s an excuse but I have been planning my wedding (Sept!!), writing my cookbook (manuscript due next March) and running Brooklyn Delhi full steam ahead!

I’m hoping this recipe will make up for my absence. The first time I had a Tarte à la Tomate prepared by my friend Paul’s mother Brigitte, I wanted to eat the whole thing.

Spicy Tarte a la Tomate

Brigitte was born in Alsace, France and keeps French cooking traditions very much alive in her kitchen in Vermont. I was lucky enough to spend some time with her there and of course eat her delicious and beautiful food, which I think about all the time!

Spicy Tarte a la Tomate

I was ecstatic when Brigitte filmed a segment of Paul and Alana’s video series, Cooking by Heart and shared her recipe for her Tarte à la Tomate.  From watching her video (must be like 50 times now:), I have now made her tarte a number of times in my home.  I definitely recommend watching the video several times before making the recipe.

Every year, my friends Jackie and Ken throw a huge pie potluck and this year was the first year I could attend.  I decided that I would make Brigitte’s recipe but with a little twist incorporating my tomato achaar from Brooklyn Delhi. In the recipe, she calls for mustard to be spread on the bottom of the crust so instead I subbed in my achaar (which has black mustard seeds) and the ‘Tarte à la Tomato Achaar’ was born.  It was a total hit at the pie potluck!

tarte1

With tomatoes just appearing at the farmer’s market, I hope you’ll give this recipe a try this summer.

Thanks Brigitte for teaching me the art of the tarte:)

 

 

 
Posted in Appetizers, Autumn, Breads, Dinner, Lunch, Mains, Recipes Index, Summer, Vegetarian | 4 Comments

Spinach Sambar on Food52

sambar

I was recently asked by Food52 to share my family’s recipe for sambar, a spicy lentil and vegetable stew, in their Small Batch column.  It’s a South Indian staple and depending on the region you are from, it can be prepared in different ways.  This version is specific to my mother’s family in the state of Karnataka and is also sometimes referred to as ‘huli’ in Kannada.  I grew up eating the stew most every day, always made with different vegetables that we had on hand.  I’m excited for more home cooks to add this recipe to their repertoire of dishes – so versatile and flavorful!

If you have not already perused Food52′s recipe site or Provisions, their online store of unique food and home goods (that also includes my achaar line, Brooklyn Delhi), you must!  They put in a lot of work to hand-select recipes and products and it shows. I am also a huge fan of their Instagram feed, which has something beautiful and delicious going on everyday.

Head over to Food52 to get my recipe for Spinach Sambar.

 
Posted in Autumn, Dinner, Gluten-Free, Recipes Index, Soups & Dals, South Indian, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian, Winter | 4 Comments

Jalebi Making at Old Famous Jalebi Wala in Delhi

Old Famous Jalebi Wala

Old Famous Jalebi Wala is an institution in Delhi, dating back to the late 1800s. It’s located in the busy shopping district of Chandni Chowk and it’s specialty as the name implies is jalebi, a sweet made from fried dough in sugar syrup.

I visited there a couple years back and didn’t get a chance to post the photos of the jalebi making.  The jalebi here is so good that as soon as a batch is made, they are bought up right away.

People flinging money everywhere!

Old Famous Jalebi Wala

Here’s how they make their jalebi:

Jalebi Making at Old Famous Jalebi Wala

Jalebi Making at Old Famous Jalebi Wala

Jalebi Making at Old Famous Jalebi Wala

Jalebi Making at Old Famous Jalebi Wala

Jalebi Making at Old Famous Jalebi Wala

Just like this guy, you also will get mesmerized by the delicious pile of jalebis:)

Jaebi at Old Famous Jalebi Wala

They also make samosas there too and those go just as fast as their jalebi, definitely worth a try when you go.

Samosa at Old Famous Jalebi Wala

Old Famous Jalebi Wala
Dariba Corner, Chandni Chowk, Delhi
8AM-10PM

 
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Tangra Spring: Indian-Chinese Pop-Up Dinner May 22nd

Cold Sesame Curry Leaf Noodles

I’m happy to announce Tangra Spring is happening on May 22nd (special discount code for ABCD’s of Cooking readers below). Tangra is the seasonal Indian-Chinese pop-up dinner series I host with cookbook author Diana Kuan of Appetite of China.  This menu will feature a multi-course vegetarian meal made with all Spring produce from the farmer’s market. I’m going to be serving my newly released Brooklyn Delhi Roasted Garlic Achaar that night, in addition to a few other surprise condiments:)  We’ll also be providing a local beer and apple cider to go along with the meal.

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Diana and I are happy to be returning to Court Tree Collective, a Carroll Gardens gallery space where we hosted our Fall event.   So excited to welcome you to our Spring feast!

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As a bonus to my readers, I am extending a special discount code that you can use when purchasing your tickets.  This is my way of saying thank you for supporting my events over the years.  We have limited seating so be sure to purchase your tickets in advance here using discount code MANYDUMPLINGS.

Here are some photos from Tangra Fall that Diana took & you can read more about our first event on Medium.
tangrafall tangrafallmenutamarindedamamerice

Photo credits
Sesame Noodles: Ethan Finkelstein
Court Tree Collective: Stephen Lipuma

 
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Saag ‘Paneer’ Tofu & McCormick Spice Giveaway

Saag 'Paneer' Tofu

One of my father’s signature dishes is his palak paneer, which is the popular dish of spinach and cheese curry served at North Indian restaurants.  I have always been fascinated with how his version is a brilliant color green and so tasty even though he uses no butter or cream in his recipe.  One thing that I’ve noticed from watching him make this dish several times is that he just simmers his greens in a very small quantity of water that just lines the bottom of the pot.  I like his method because you end up using all of the nutrients from the greens in your curry and it is essential in getting a creamy texture without adding cream. Using his technique for steaming spinach, I developed a recipe for saag paneer.

Many times palak paneer and saag paneer are used interchangeably, but there is a distinct difference. ‘Palak’ in Hindi means spinach, while ‘saag’ means greens and usually refers to a dish made with a combination of greens like mustard greens, fenugreek leaves, bathau (sometimes referred to as lambs quarters) and spinach.

Saag 'Tofu' Paneer with Kale

In the past, I’ve used mustard greens, which come out greener I realize, but this time I used kale, spinach and dried fenugreek leaves.

I feel that adding some spinach mellows out the flavor and texture of the kale:

Making Saag 'Paneer' Tofu

These are the dried fenugreek leaves I used at the very end, which are optional if you don’t have.

Dried Methi Leaves

To make the dish healthier, instead of paneer, I used tofu that I lightly browned in a pan.

Tofu for Saag 'Paneer' Tofu

I couldn’t resist adding some yogurt at the end because I love the stuff. It’s a healthier alternative than cream, but I won’t judge if you go decadent:)

Saag Paneer with Tofu

At the time when I was developing this recipe, I was also invited by McCormick, the spice company to help celebrate their 125th anniversary of bringing spice blends from all over the world to home cooks in the US.  They sent me these lovely spices from their collection to experiment with.

McCormick Spices

As part of their anniversary, they are also donating $1, up to $1.25 million to United Way to help feed those in need for every ‘flavor story’  or comment about what flavors have been most profound for you in your life shared at their website or on their social channels.  I like this concept because on The ABCD’s of Cooking, I’ve really enjoyed telling my family’s story through the recipes that have been passed down from generations past.

McCormick is also offering my readers a chance to a win a McCormick Anniversary Pack, which includes exclusive McCormick Anniversary Edition product (both black pepper and vanilla extract – not available in stores), a McCormick recipe book and a branded canvas tote – all valued at $50.  All you have to do is comment on this post with the hashtag #flavorstory and share what a certain flavor represents for you or a memory relating to a flavor that is significant to you.

In my recipe, I used McCormick’s garam masala and curry powder, along with fresh ginger, green chilies and garlic.  My saag ‘paneer’ tofu goes perfectly with basmati rice or roti.

Thanks to McCormick for providing the spices for the recipe and giveaway for my readers. Don’t forget to comment below using #flavorstory to be entered to win.

 This giveaway is now closed and our winner has been notified. Congrats Jennifer Piejko!

 

 
Posted in Curry, Dinner, Gluten-Free, Lunch, Mains, North Indian, Recipes Index, Spring, Vegetarian, Winter | 11 Comments

Green Beans Palya (South Indian Stir-Fry) VIDEO

Recently, I was invited by Adrienne Stortz, host of XOXOCooks to share the recipe for green beans palya, a South Indian stir-fry of green beans, spices, coconut and lemon.  Adrienne was a lot of fun to film with and love her edit regarding curry leaves – have to watch to see what I mean:)

You can watch more of Adrienne’s cooking videos here.

 
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Teaching at The Brooklyn Kitchen on April 3rd & 22nd

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I’ll be teaching South Indian home cooking recipes at The Brooklyn Kitchen in both their Brooklyn and Manhattan locations. You can sign up for the Brooklyn class that will be taking place on April 3rd here and the Manhattan class that will be taking place on April 22nd here.

I’ll be giving a sneak peak of recipes that will be included in my upcoming cookbook and also serving Brooklyn Delhi achaars along with the meal.

Hope to see you there!

 
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Writing My First Cookbook!

FromBangaloreToBrooklynWhen I started writing the ABCD’s of Cooking in 2009, I had one goal: to document Indian-inspired recipes I made in my kitchen using ingredients from my farm share.  The blog led me to do a lot of things I never imagined doing in food like hosting supper clubs, teaching classes, starting my own business and now writing a cookbook.

Along the way, I realized I have an insatiable curiosity for my family’s recipes from India and a desire to teach them to those around me.  The last few years, I have been concentrating on learning South Indian recipes from my mom’s hometown of Bangalore and making them my own by using ingredients that are local to me.  What I love the most is applying these cooking techniques to create brand new dishes that I serve at some of my pop-up events like my fresh lettuce dosa wraps with potato palya and coconut chutney or zucchini majjige huli (green yogurt curry).  Over the years, I’ve found that students are drawn to my cooking classes because they’re looking for new types of vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free recipes that don’t lack flavor, and South Indian dishes hit all those notes.  It’s those recipes from my classes and events and more that will be going into my cookbook.

I’m happy to announce to you that I will be writing From Bangalore to Brooklyn with Ten Speed Press / Random House, due out March 2016.  I’m excited to be working with Ten Speed in particular because they have published many of my most treasured cookbooks like Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks, The New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia, Kansha by Elizabeth Andoh and Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sammi Tamimi.

I have a lot of people to thank for getting to this point, namely my mother for being generous with her knowledge of our family’s recipes – sitting with me on the phone and in person on several occasions translating recipes from my grandmother and great aunts, many times from faded Aerogram letters decades old.  My Auntie Asha and Auntie Karen have been role models for me too in the kitchen and have always been kind in answering questions I have about recipes.  I am grateful for the friends I have made in the Brooklyn food community who encouraged me to write this book proposal and helped me tremendously throughout the process: Cathy Erway, Allison Robicelli, Nicole Taylor, Diana Kuan, to name a few.

And if it weren’t for my agent Stacey Glick at Dystel, I don’t think I’d have anything to announce in the first place. She believed in my ideas and work from our very first conversation and took a genuine interest in selling the proposal to a publishing house that shared my vision.  I’m thrilled to be working with Melissa Moore at Ten Speed on this book.

Last but not least, thank you to my fiance Ben who is forever encouraging me to do things I never thought I could do and for knowing just what to say when I am feeling overwhelmed (when those things actually start to happen).

To my readers, many of you who have been with me since the beginning in 2009, I want to say that I’m going to try my best to post as often as I can while I am writing the book.  I may have lapses here and there so I encourage you to sign up for my mailing list to get updated when new posts are live.

To provide a sneak peek of recipes that will be included in the book, I will be teaching cooking classes in Brooklyn and Manhattan at several locations: Brooklyn Kitchen, Natural Gourmet Institute, Institute of Culinary Education, Brooklyn Brainery and Whole Foods Bowery Culinary Center.  The first ones coming up will be at Brooklyn Kitchen on April 3 and April 22.

And so the book writing begins……

 
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