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Recipes that use herbs and spices as a key ingredient.

Papaya Peanut Salad

16 Sep

I make this papaya peanut salad when the fruit is somewhere between green and yellow, having a hint of sweet but still crunchy. A light dressing works well when the papaya is at this stage. No garlic or strong sauces, more fruity goodness.

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Capsicum Cherry Tomato Curry

4 Sep

Capsicum and cherry tomatoes are tailor-made for worknight meals, with simple chopping needs and small cooking times. Combine with some pre-cooked tomato masala and you have a capsicum cherry tomato curry that looks so regal, it’s hard to believe how easy it was to create.

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Quick Weeknight Dinners with 3 Make-Ahead Food Parts

31 Aug

Weekdays are busy times for many of us who come back from work late evening and then fix a meal. We want weeknight dinners to be easy to put together, taking little time to move from kitchen to plate. [Not counting the blessed few like Rohit's boss with the gusto to whip up a fancy meal at that hour ;-)]

One could cook loads on Sunday and freeze for the week. But that’s not so exciting, is it? So how does one reach that elusive balance between easy+quick (pre-cooked) and tasty+interesting (freshly cooked)?

Here’s a middle ground.

Make-ahead food parts. Mix and match. Embellish.

Use the Pareto Principle to your advantage: identify the steps in cooking that consume a majority time and labor, and do them beforehand. The chopping of greens. The slow-frying of spices. The boiling of dal. When the time comes to make your weeknight dinner, all that remains to be done is the remaining 20% of cooking that produces 80% of the result.

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Spiced Fried Onions

26 Aug

Few things compare to the taste and smell of just-fried onions. What’s usually an embellishment to pulao or a minor ingredient in curries plays starring role in this recipe.

Spiced onion strips – a mélange of fried onions with an aromatic spice mix. Try it!

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Sattu Paratha: Stuffed Flatbread, Bihar Style

18 Aug

Till about a decade back, a mention of sattu in conversation with a non-Bihari audience would be greeted with puzzled stares. Things have changed today. The world around is more health-conscious, and sattu has gained currency for its great nutritional benefits. Rich in minerals, proteins and fibre, low of glycemic index – sattu is said to be the most economical antidote to diabetes.

The better-known style of consuming this miracle food is probably in the form of a cooling drink, but my favorite way is as sattu paratha – flatbread stuffed with a spiced sattu filling.

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Curry Leaf Pulao

11 Aug

Seeing that a nutty ingredient does a great job of taming the bitter notes of other ingredients (think curry leaf peanut chutney or sesame fenugreek chutney), I dared to make a rice dish seeped in curry leaf, with a load of cashews for good effect. And I loved the result.

Here’s my curry leaf pulao recipe – for those who share taste buds similar to mine :-) How many of you?

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No-Oil Ginger Garlic Pickle

1 Aug

A pickle that’s healthy, easy to make, and has a quick gestation time? This no-oil ginger garlic pickle says yes to all three. Not for delicate taste buds – this one’s for fans of the zingy and the zesty.

You don’t need much skill to make no-oil ginger garlic pickle. Just care, fresh ingredients, and long hours of pleasant sunlight.

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