Pickled onions are one of my favorite "condiments" to accompany Indian food. They are crispy, tangy, and slightly sweet, and pair well with almost any Indian dish. Actually, they also taste amazing with non-Indian foods: I often eat them with Mexican food, barbecued meat, or even stir-fry.
One of my Mom's best friend's is an excellent cook, and the first time I tried quick pickled red onions was at a dinner party at her home. I was reminded of how much I loved them when she brought them to my Mom's birthday dinner party last spring, and having them again inspired me to try my hand at making them. They are very easy to make: you only need 4 ingredients and 1 hour of time.
As of today, it is officially winter! For me, winter equals wearing warm fuzzy socks, snuggling under a blanket, and a cup of peppermint tea. Basically anything that keeps me warm and cozy. Food-wise, for me, the ultimate warm and cozy winter food is tomato soup with grilled cheese. And, perfect for Christmas, this is a red, green, and white meal!
When I visit India, one of my favorite things to eat at a restaurant is tomato soup. I have loved it since I was a little girl: the freshness of the tomatoes (the ones we get here in the US just don't compare), the dollop of full-fat cream, and the big handmade croutons floating at the surface of the bowl. If you've ever had this, you know what I'm talking about, and you know why tomato soup in India is the best!
I obviously cannot replicate soup from India here in the US (again, the tomatoes over there...); but I do my best by making it at home from scratch. I also include a roasted red bell pepper to my soup because it adds a sweetness which is a nice balance to the acidity of the tomatoes.
We are just a few days from the official start of the holiday season, which means everyone is preparing for many family dinners, holiday parties, and get-togethers with friends. First up is Thanksgiving! This year, I have several out-of-town family members coming to stay with me and I am in charge of the menu on Thanksgiving. After much thought (and many drafts), I came up with a menu that I hope will please everyone. The one dish I'm making that I know everyone will definitely love is my favorite go-to party snack: Samosa Pinwheels!
A samosa is a savory snack food consisting of a flaky pasty filled with either vegetables or meat. In India, most samosas you will find are filled with a combination of spiced potatoes and peas. I have always loved samosas, but when I was younger I would often eat the pastry shell (because it was fried and delicious) and leave half of the filling on my plate. That is why I love this modern take on the samosa--you get both pasty and filling with every single bite!
This is one of my mom's recipes and is one of my favorite foods she makes. She would often make them for parties because they were so popular and easy to eat in just two bites. I have fond memories of coming home from school on a day my mom was home from work early, and to my delight she had made samosa pinwheels for us. Really, what is not to like: puff pasty, potatoes, and sesame seeds ... um, yes!
It is finally fall! It has been feeling cooler the past few weeks, but fall officially began a few days ago. I love the cool mornings and evenings, and the sunny but mild afternoons. I am one of those people who perks up at the idea of pumpkin-flavored everything, but moreso for homemade pumpkin bread and pumpkin ravioli than a pumpkin-spiced latte. To me, there is really no better way to celebrate the start of fall than to combine beautiful winter squash with warm and comforting soup!
I adapted this recipe from one in the book The Kind Diet. I am attempting to be a vegan for an upcoming ten-day religious holiday and was looking for good vegan recipes. This soup recipe is fantastic because it is incredibly filling from the combination of lentils and butternut squash. It is also packed with all the nutrients you need--fiber, magnesium, potassium, and Vitamins A, C, and E from the butternut squash; protein, fiber, folate, and iron from the lentils; calcium and iron from the spinach; the anti-oxidant lycopene and Vitamin C from the tomato; and of course, the many health benefits of spices like turmeric and cinnamon. This soup is an absolute health bomb!
My husband V and I have been quite busy as of late: we are busy at work, we are planning a few vacations for the summer, and we are looking for a new place to live as our apartment lease is up soon. In the midst of our daily hustle and bustle, it can be difficult to prepare home-cooked meals. Whenever I feel that my days are overwhelmingly busy, I turn to my favorite kitchen appliance: the slow-cooker.
My mom provided me with a recipe for making raajma, a curry made with red kidney beans, which is made on a stove and takes roughly 30 minutes to make. Not that 30 minutes is a lot of time, but the idea of dumping the ingredients into the slow-cooker and not having to worry about it was much more appealing. I often use my slow-cooker to make chili, and it turns out amazing because the ingredients have time to blend together and thicken.
Raajma has always been one of my favorite dishes. It is so comforting, whether you are eating it with bread, rice, quinoa, or by itself. I have found that many cultures have some variation of "beans and rice" as a comfort food.
Exploring Indian cuisine and trying to learn the recipes of my family. I hope to help and inspire others along the way.