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



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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

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